Back in the early days of the pandemic, when everything was closed and everyone stuck at home, I’d sling my guitar over my shoulder a few nights each week, set up my mic and amp on my front porch and serenade my neighbours with cowboy chords and campfire classics.
Sometimes there would be a small crowd and other times it would just be me and the odd dog walker, but it was fun and it broke up the boredom of the lockdown.
Well, I broke out #BruceSpringsteen for @RNAO and all our frontline workers tonight. #BornInTheUSA was released 36 years ago today! Here’s a campfire medley. 🔥🎸😎#Cheer4HealthWorkers #TogetherWeCanDoIt #GloryDays #Amherstburg pic.twitter.com/qQRxMsEvQA— Donald McArthur (@captainbyliner) June 5, 2020
The neighbours told me they liked the singing and I enjoyed playing and having a reason to practice and learn new songs, like Freefallin’ and Wonderwall.
Those porch concerts were the highlight of many dreary lockdown days, and a highlight of the summer was when Ron from the RTT came out and my neighbours pulled out lawn chairs and stood on their front lawns to watch the show.
McGregor resident Don McArthur performs off his front porch in support of the @RNAO and all front line workers. @captainbyliner, an @Aburg_TownHall councillor, plays most nights, usually for about 30 minutes. He starts at 7:30 p.m. the nights he plays. #Amherstburg pic.twitter.com/SKB7XjALEG— River Town Times (@RTT_Amherstburg) May 1, 2020
But I was frustrated by painfully slow Internet speeds every time I tried to share snippets of songs on Twitter and Facebook to honour nurses and other frontline workers as part of the RNAO’s campaign to make some noise every night at 7:30. Even clips as short as 30-60 seconds would take forever or simply wouldn’t upload through my spotty Wi-Fi connection, so I had to boost my data package so I could upload them via the cellular network.
All that changed when Bell rolled through my neighbourhood and hooked me up with a fibre Internet connection. The porch concerts had stopped by then but my download and upload speeds were now lightning fast, which put an end to the buffering on my Netflix shows and Zoom calls and dramatically improved my ability to work from home.
Officials with Bell attended a press conference at Town Hall last week to announce that every home and business and nook and cranny in Amherstburg – some 8,000 locations in all – were now similarly primed to receive fast and reliable high-speed Internet service. It was the culmination of a $12-million investment the company announced in tandem with the Town back in 2017 to connect all of Amherstburg.
“This is the kind of thing that will draw people to Amherstburg,” Mayor Aldo DiCarlo told reporters. “Those considering future investment in Amherstburg now know this small Town has positioned itself as a big player in the digital world.”
Amherstburg resident and realtor Dan Gemus told AM 800 News his improved Internet connection means he can now host his real estate show from home instead of the studio. He added the lack of access to high-speed Internet can be a deal breaker when people are considering where to purchase their homes.
I agree the completion of this high-speed Internet project presents an opportunity for Amherstburg to market itself as a showstopper locale for remote and technical workers who require big city connectivity but desire rural living, waterfront views and affordable homes.
Companies and employees discovered during the pandemic that efficient and effective work can be done from home. There are obvious cost savings and environmental benefits involved with remote work and the trend is only likely to accelerate.
Countries like Bermuda and Barbados are inviting people to move there and work remotely and there’s no reason Amherstburg can’t do the same, leveraging our high-speed digital infrastructure, our relatively affordable housing prices and our incredible quality of life to attract residents from across the province and country.
You can put in a day’s work and be golfing, kayaking, fishing, boating or cycling on amazing trails within minutes of punching out.
Live here, work anywhere. Canada’s Corner Office!