Lakes and beaches are what most Simcoe County residents identify as local icons and landmarks, but when it comes to challenges, garbage tops their list.
An Ipsos Reid survey conducted last fall revealed the good and bad in Simcoe County, from the perspective of 1,601 residents.
"Satisfaction with the County of Simcoe as a place to live is very high and the percentage of residents rating their satisfaction as very satisfied … has increased from 79 per cent to 81 per cent," said county clerk Glen Knox.
Residents "like it here," the Ipsos Reid key findings indicated.
Growth is shaping opinion, as more and more people surveyed are more-recent arrivals; fewer people surveyed grew up here.
As a result, previously accepted landmarks, such as the Martyrs’ Shrine, are listed as the top icons; the percentage of people citing that fell to six per cent, from eight three years ago. Lakes are tops with 21 per cent, followed by beaches (at 14 per cent). Both are up significantly over 2005. Nearly twice as many residents – 12 per cent, up from six per cent three years ago – said they didn’t know what the recognizable landmarks in the county are. One-third of residents couldn’t name one.
In terms of challenges, however, 20 per cent of residents said waste management was tops, followed by taxes, at 10 per cent, and land use planning at 10 per cent. Significantly fewer mentioned road repair – 11 per cent, down from 21 per cent three years ago – as a concern.
In its investigation, Ipsos Reid found the Site 41 controversy played a key role. Mentions of the site rose to 15 per cent, up from six per cent three years ago.
In 2008, three times as many residents called the county regarding garbage – 15 per cent, up from five per cent – three years before.