If you can climb stairs you're okay

FTLComm - Tisdale - April 2, 2003


This past week Kevin McIntyre paid a visit to Tisdale and he reported in his story about his visit that he was not impressed. Now I am genuinely proud to live in Tisdale and at Christmas time I tried to show off the retail segment of the community off so that you too would appreciate the excellent market place that this outstanding rural community has to offer. The difference between Kevin and myself is that Kevin is dependent upon his van and wheelchair to get around and I am still able to walk and climb up and down stairs.




During a business day, any business day, go down town in Tisdale and you are certain to see at least one motorised wheel chair and one person using a walker. There are more than a dozen wheel chair bound people who make their way up town almost every day and dozens more who must make their way around using muscle powered or electric driven wheel chairs. After all Tisdale is a community with a large proportion of senior citizens and for them mobility is so important in their lives.




In 1971 I was doing a sociology course and one of the assignments we were given was to study a minority group and the group I was in were given senior citizens. We went out and interviewed visited and studied the life style of seniors in Regina and discovered the number one quality of life factor for every individual we met in the study was their need for independence. The more dependent a person is the less value they attribute to themselves and their reason to go on living declines remarkably. We discovered a group of seniors living in older hotels and next to the ones we met hanging out on the street they were the happiest people we interviewed. It is impossible to understand the importance of being in control of your life and mobility, being able to shopping, banking, visiting, on your own power is what life is really all about.




Have you noticed that teenagers and children are not a problem on Tisdale's sidewalks, no skateboarders to dodge, no roller bladders to contend with, no munchkins on bicycles; Tisdale's sidewalks are just to rough for these means of getting around. I move around Tisdale on a bicycle and I never go near the sidewalks, they are just to dangerous.




Now it is important to understand that most of downtown Tisdale is off limits to people in wheelchairs but what if you get around with the help of a cane or a walker, these sidewalks and store entrances are just as impossible for these people as those on wheels.




For the past five years we in this part of Canada have experienced the worst drought conditions in recorded history with last summer being the worst. The whole of Tisdale is sitting on clay, it is under everything. However, our houses and commercial buildings are sitting atop piles. This has produced a differential in settling as the low water content in the clay has caused it to shrink and the whole town has settle as much as six to eight inches, some areas like the main street and its sidewalks more than others while the buildings remain at their permanent level. Geologists and other experts have assured me that when the water table rises the clay will not swell but these streets and lawns, sidewalks and gardens will remain at their present level.




In the pictures presented with this story you can see the drastic signs of descent of the sidewalk in comparison with the buildings. This is particularly upsetting to the merchants and the town of Tisdale who have had to foot the bill for replacing a lot of side walking in the two blocks of the downtown area in just the past few years. But as Kevin discovered the sidewalks are so uneven and slope so much toward the pavement that his van lift can not be used to let him get out of his van or return to it on the streets in the down town area.




It is unlikely that as a community Tisdale can not afford to do its best to remedy this situation. Most of the people in Tisdale live close enough to the downtown area for the very reason that being close allows them the ability to get around on their own but with the condition of the walkways and the inaccessibility of the majority of the stories and businesses we are placing major and unfair obstacles before the citizens of the community.




Today, I began at the Hotel across from the post office and worked my way down the two blocks of the downtown area first on the East side then worked my way back South along the West side photographing each and every entrance way. The images are presented in order below. I did miss Zeorbe's bakery as I dashing in to grab a BeeSting and warm up my hands and change batteries but Zeorbes like most other locations is not accessible to anyone who can not climb stairs.




As you look at these pictures notice that only a few would not be level were the sidewalk lifted six inches. Those businesses with two or more steps up need to run ramps into their business, though this would take up valuable floor space it would make them accessible and the whole community would benefit from this awareness and improvement.

Click on the thumbnails below to see the full sized image

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Tisdale Hotel

Bank of Nova Scotia


Banda Floors

Family furniture






Fairlight Studio


China Wall


Royal Bank






Salvation Army


Martin's Music


LaCroix Drugs








Markwart's Jewelry

Tisdale Florist

Hair Stylist






H & R Block


Lamb's Hardware

Fantasy Flooring

AgWest & Radio Shack




LaBlanc's & Sweet Aroma

Donna's Florist

Bank of Montreal


Timothy W. Shire



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This page is a story posted on Ensign and/or Saskatchewan News, both of which are daily web sites offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. These publications are the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004