I recently attended a concert at the Empire Theatre in downtown Belleville to see the East coast sensation, Jill Barber. The theatre was the perfect setting for this pre-Valentine’s Day show full of fantastic love songs. At one point in the evening, Jill gushed “Belleville, what a romantic name for a city.” This comment was received with mocking laughter from the audience, much to the surprise of Ms. Barber who questioned “Did I say something funny?” I, too, was a bit surprised by the reaction. In truth, Belleville is a romantic name for a city. Do the locals really have such a hard time seeing this city as beautiful, or romantic for that matter?
Focusing on its potential, Belleville has been encouraging and supporting development through many projects such as the Waterfront trail, improving the heart of the city (thank you BBIA) and the new library to name a few. Yes, the latter received some local criticism from the hockey fans looking for another arena; rumour has it your needs will be met soon. This city offers some impressive architecture in the downtown core and is the setting for some really fantastic restaurants. We are grateful to Capers for their social nights, Earl and Angelos for its upscale experience, a new bon vivant L’Auberge de France, and to the staple favourite downtown Dinkle's/Paulo's; and the list goes on.
I offer a thank you to those Bellevillians who share in the knowledge that we are a beautifully romantic City, and who do their best to support Belleville in living up to its name.