Enough dislike

Developer Victor Boutin was in Chatham Feb. 14 to announce his plans for the former YMCA building – a student residence with room for up to 200 international students that is expected to be completed by December 2019.

At the risk of breaking the Internet, it’s time to put away the hate towards the Boardwalk on Thames condo project in downtown Chatham and look to the positive benefits to our city’s future.

Is almost 10 years too long to wait for a large project like the Boardwalk to come to completion? Yes.

Has it been frustrating for motorists and businesses adjacent to the project over the years? Yes.

Should we put all that aside now, and embrace an attractive building that is bringing upwards of 90 families and all the economic spinoffs associated with them to our downtown? Yes, we really should.

With Victor Boutin’s announcement of a $9 million investment in creating a much-needed student residence out of the old YMCA building, and his investment in our municipality, he has shown us – eventually – he will get things done. Positive things that add to the attractiveness of Chatham-Kent to people who want to make a home here.

For some reason, despite the hate thrown his way, he has come to love this community and all the area has to offer. Boutin is even talking about making his home here, and being excited about where Chatham-Kent will be in the next 10 years.

So, take a moment to get all the negativity out, and let’s move on to be the enthusiastic and positive people who get behind projects that benefit our community. Make your jokes and predictions about when the student residence will actually be done and then, let it go.

We have so many great things happening in Chatham-Kent, with new jobs, new business opportunities and yes, new construction projects. The downtown is looking better and better every year, thanks to people with money who choose to invest here and in the potential that anyone with a shred of vision can see. All the businesses, big and small, that have stuck it out in downtown Chatham are poised to finally reap their reward.

So – less hate, more support. You don’t have to have him over to your house for dinner, but let’s make Mr. Boutin feel welcome in a community he may soon call home because we are better than that.


  1. Why should we make him feel welcome when he has done nothing to the citizens of this community, except insult us. He can have his ‘take it or leave it’ attitude, that he has shown us repeatedly this last decade, and can stick it where the sun don’t shine. We don’t have to like him. You know how many developers are in this town that do projects more efficiently? This opinion article is complete merde.

    • He has built a residence for Ridgetown college students in downtown Ridgetown. He has renovated a historic downtown church into amazing office spaces (a church heading toward the wrecking ball). He will, quickly, renovate the old YMCA into student housing because St. Clair needed it yesterday. What have you done, my friend?

  2. So a beautiful Boardwalk will finally be filled. Where and why are these 90 families coming from and will someone revitalize the downtown mall? I’m not being negative, just curious.

    • What does the mall have to do with this story? Absolutely nothing. Why can’t people stay focused when they comment on news stories?

  3. What does the mall have to do with this story? Absolutely nothing. Why can’t people stay focused when they comment on news stories?


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