Little Stories

Rural Intentions Lynette Madar

In the interests of full disclosure, I will confess that I was already in a bad mood when I arrived at the public meeting regarding water and wastewater services for Craighurst and Horseshoe Valley.

I had found out earlier that my husband Dave, who has cystic fibrosis, was being booted out of his London Health Sciences hospital bed so they could give it to someone waiting in emergency. I'm pretty tuned into healthcare challenges so I could appreciate that hospitals need to get people out of hallway beds - it's all we read about these days.

But it astounded me that a guy with only 30% pulmonary function isn't considered sick enough to stay. How little lung function do you need to be considered sick?

Dave is on the mend so maybe they had a better understanding of his situation than I gave them credit for, but on that particular Wednesday January 23rd, it did not feel like good news.

And so, I was looking forward to a distraction: an informative evening out with my friend where we would hear about plans for Craighurst and get to ask some questions.

They  (the township and hosts Cole Engineering) didn't make it easy for us. As I shepherded my 90 year old friend down the steps behind the Crazy Horse, across the path and up a hill through the snow to the red building by the new lake, I was reminded of our parents' shtick about walking three miles up-hill through waist high snow to get to school in the old days. When we got there, the room was full of poster board displays. It was very busy and the information was highly technical so we sat down to wait for a presentation… but there was to be none. "Are you kidding me?" I asked no one in particular, but should probably apologize to a blond lady that just happened to be walking by at the time. "Do you mean I dragged my 90 year old friend through the snow and up a hill to elbow her way in to see technical posters and hope there’s someone standing nearby to explain it?"

For my friend's part, she was able to conduct some other business, so she was happy and I'm glad for that. But neither of us learned anything about the proposed works. We were told at a previous public meeting that the engineering works is the last required public consultation under the planning act. So whatever happens next will be a surprise I guess.

Understanding time lines and when to expect changes would be good: I hope the township will keep us advised of things despite there not being any further planning act requirements to do so.

 

Hillsdale Highlights   Alissa Shanahan

  • Community Rink: Thank you to Garry and Mark for getting our rink in such fine form – it is greatly appreciated!  Please remember, we do have skating only times (as in, no hockey).  They are 5:00-7:00pm every Monday-Friday, and from 2:00-4:00pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and Statutory holidays. A sign with these hours is posted, and more signage is coming.  Please remind your children of these hours so that everyone can utilize the rink (that is, it is not JUST a hockey rink).  Additionally, the rink would not exist if it weren’t for the help of volunteers who take turns doing the flooding.  If you are interested in helping flood the rink, please email Garry Dunn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; the more people there are to help flood, the less times each person has to do it!
  • Family Day: The Hillsdale CRA is not hosting an organized Family Day event, but please know that the rink will be open at the posted hours (weather permitting), so feel free to use it and enjoy some family time outdoors!
  • We Need You! Are you in need of volunteer hours?  Are you a dedicated, determined and hard-working person?  We have an opening for the sign changer position with the Tell Hillsdale community sign.  This position has already afforded many students ALL of their high school volunteer hours, and it is a fantastic way to give back to the community!  The sign changer will need to be available to change the messages on the community sign starting in March.  The sign cannot run without the help of volunteers so why not make this your year to give back?  If you are interested or would like more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!
  • Social Time at St. Andrews:  Stop on by St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (6 Mill Street West) the third Thursday each month from 9:30-11:00am to socialize with neighbours!  For a small fee, you can enjoy tea, coffee and muffins.  The next coffee hour is Thursday, February 21st.
  • Hillsdale Community Recreation Association (CRA): The Hillsdale CRA meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at the hall at 7:00pm.  Please note that there will not be a meeting in February, so our next meeting will be Wednesday, March 27th.   Come out to have your input heard about our community, and get involved as much (or as little!) as you wish!

The “Hillsdale Highlights” is a community news update, so please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any information you would like the community to know about! Follow the official Hillsdale Community Recreation Association on Facebook for details about upcoming events and social gatherings at “Hillsdale Community Group.”

 

  • Community Rink: Thank you to Garry and Mark for getting our rink in such fine form – it is greatly appreciated!  Please remember, we do have skating only times (as in, no hockey).  They are 5:00-7:00pm every Monday-Friday, and from 2:00-4:00pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and Statutory holidays. A sign with these hours is posted, and more signage is coming.  Please remind your children of these hours so that everyone can utilize the rink (that is, it is not JUST a hockey rink).  Additionally, the rink would not exist if it weren’t for the help of volunteers who take turns doing the flooding.  If you are interested in helping flood the rink, please email Garry Dunn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; the more people there are to help flood, the less times each person has to do it!
  • Family Day: The Hillsdale CRA is not hosting an organized Family Day event, but please know that the rink will be open at the posted hours (weather permitting), so feel free to use it and enjoy some family time outdoors!
  • We Need You! Are you in need of volunteer hours?  Are you a dedicated, determined and hard-working person?  We have an opening for the sign changer position with the Tell Hillsdale community sign.  This position has already afforded many students ALL of their high school volunteer hours, and it is a fantastic way to give back to the community!  The sign changer will need to be available to change the messages on the community sign starting in March.  The sign cannot run without the help of volunteers so why not make this your year to give back?  If you are interested or would like more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!
  • Social Time at St. Andrews:  Stop on by St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (6 Mill Street West) the third Thursday each month from 9:30-11:00am to socialize with neighbours!  For a small fee, you can enjoy tea, coffee and muffins.  The next coffee hour is Thursday, February 21st.
  • Hillsdale Community Recreation Association (CRA): The Hillsdale CRA meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at the hall at 7:00pm.  Please note that there will not be a meeting in February, so our next meeting will be Wednesday, March 27th.   Come out to have your input heard about our community, and get involved as much (or as little!) as you wish!

The “Hillsdale Highlights” is a community news update, so please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any information you would like the community to know about! Follow the official Hillsdale Community Recreation Association on Facebook for details about upcoming events and social gatherings at “Hillsdale Community Group.”

 

 

Saskatchewan Exchange 2019

     Fifteen EDHS students are very hard at work organizing their educational exchange happening in the month of May 2019! This group of youth will be travelling along with EDHS teacher chaperones Gregory Davidson and Katie Cameron to James Smith First Nation near Melfort, Saskatchewan where they will be twinned with students from St. Bernard Community School. The students are excited to experience this First Nation community first hand and will participate in activities such as a pow wow, sweat lodge, a visit to the University of Saskatchewan, The Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert and Prince Albert National Park. The James Smith students will be visiting Elmvale in early May and will be busy with activities such as a trip to sugar bush, a Blue Jays game, Algonquin Park, Niagara Falls and a working farm. This opportunity is funded in part and organized through Experiences Canada, who have been apart of many previous exchanges.

Elmvale students have already began fundraising so that we may adequately host our guests. They made and sold Christmas wreaths, Christmas candy grams at school and are set for the Winterama Polar plunge on Saturday, February 14th at noon at Rotary Park!  Previous exchanges to the Yukon and Nunavut have been very successful and the students who participated had nothing but good things to say about their opportunity for growth and how the experience widened their perspective. The best part however are the friendships made. Support is very much appreciated for th3is very unique opportunity. For any questions about donating or fundraising please contact Greg Davidson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Danielle Henry

EDHS Exchange Student

 

Elmvale Seniors Housing Association Update  February 7, 2019

 

Since our last update, there has been a flurry of activity within our group! Attendees at the December meeting were asked for their contact information when they “signed in”. That information will be helpful as we endeavour to make our correspondence with our community more personal and more timely. To that end, we will continue to send updates to this newspaper, but we will also send email updates to those people who provided us with their email addresses when they arrived at the community meeting. On occasions where charts, graphs, photos and pictorials should be shared, an email is more effective than hoping that there is space in the newspaper. If there are people in our community who are reading this update and wish to get on our mailing list, please send an email to our Association at (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Perhaps some members of our community who were not aware of our meeting, or who were unable to attend, would like to get “caught up” with this exciting project. We encourage you to contact us so that we can explain the vision and the initiative of this endeavour. We have been looking at some possible sites in town, paying attention to availability, location, size, official plan designation, current zoning, servicing available and price. This is a time-consuming, but vitally important, process! We are also investigating the capacity and limitations of the Sewage Treatment and Water Supply systems in Elmvale.

 

 

Anten Mills News with Dennis Gannon

The weather has definitely been a subject of discussion the last couple of weeks. Extreme cold warnings, snow squalls, bus cancellations, we have certainly have had many challenges. This past Thursday evening a family in our community despite the absolute best efforts from our Springwater fire fighters, lost their home. The extreme cold weather challenged the fire fighters who came from the Minesing, Midhurst and Elmvale stations to fight the fire. According to Springwater Fire Chief Ian Gavet, the residents had working smoke alarms that alerted them, had a fire safety plan which got the family out safely and called 911 from outside the house. The response from our fire fighters was quick and effective but the fire was spreading at a rapid speed that couldn’t be stopped.

The rate that fire spreads has dramatically increased in the last 30 years. In the past it would take approximately 20 to 30 minutes for a room to become full of fire. Now that time has been drastically reduced to between 3 and 5 minutes.

Why you ask? 

Open floor plans combined with wood products that are adhesive based along with furniture and clothing that are made from petroleum products have made a significant change in the way fire acts resulting unfortunately in more and quicker devastation. The reality is that unlike what we see on television or in the movies, our fire fighters unless they are standing outside the door when the fire begins, will have a difficult if not impossible time stopping the fire from spreading.

So how do we protect our family? 

The answer is really quite simple.  Have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, develop and practice a fire escape plan with your family and call 911 from outside the home without hesitation. Doing and practicing these methods will definitely increase the chances of a good outcome.

Most homes in our community are older than 10 years and if they haven’t yet, the smoke alarms need to be replaced. The Fire Code regulates fire safety and it’s this regulation that requires smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, their location and life expectancy.

If you need or would like more information on alarms or fire safety planning contact the fire department at 705 728 4784 and they will be happy to assist you with your questions.

Our Springwater Fire and Emergency Service is staffed by a dedicated group of volunteers. They train regularly and respond to all types of emergencies within our municipality while holding down other careers.

In our Anten Mills community we have 5 members of the fire department stationed at the Minesing hall. Their careers include the medical profession, sales, transportation, counselling and project management. Being a volunteer fire fighter is demanding but the rewards are great. Helping those in need is a selfless act and our volunteer fire fighters command our respect and thanks.

While the fire department isn’t currently recruiting new members, watch for announcements in the future and consider giving back to our community.

And speaking of giving back, if you have a fire hydrant in front of your house or near you, please help our fire fighters by shovelling at least a 3 foot area around it. The picture accompanying this article shows how the fire fighters hook up to the hydrant and the obstacles they face. Keeping the hydrants clear will greatly help in hooking up quickly and efficiently.

Our neighbours in Minesing will be hosting their 47th annual MiniFest this weekend. If you are looking for some family fun head over and enjoy the activities. We wish Minesing every success.

That wraps it up for this edition. If you have any news or events, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

GOOD VIBES COFFEE HOUSE

POTLUCK AND JAM

Good Vibes Coffee House has been a safe haven on Thursday nights to enjoy music, comedy, companionship, and laughter for a single female. I truly miss it when life keeps me from attending!! It is a friendly audience for newcomer's to perform for and gain confidence. All talents are welcomed from musicians, story-tellers to comedy.  Buzzword at the end of the evening has been a game that I lead that is well received.

At other times of the year Coffee House patrons are invited to other social events at Lu LaFrance's home such as a Summer Barn Party, and a Christmas Open House. Ground Hog Day, Feb.2nd, was one such event. We were invited to a potluck and jam: arrived at 4:30pm and ate at 5:30pm.

There was a variety of dishes and desserts to satisfy everyone. We then adjourned downstairs for a musical jam. This event has always been well received and enjoyed!!

Good Vibes Coffee House has always been a friendly, welcoming place for all who attend. There  are often special celebrations at the Coffee House such as: Christmas, New Year's, Halloween, and individual’s birthdays if mentioned to Lu ahead of time.

You can find us on Thursday nights from 7-10pm at the corner of Mount St Louis Road and the 4th Line of Oro-Medonte. For further information you can find us on our Facebook page: Good Vibes Coffee House or our website: www.goodvibescoffeehouse.org

Come and enjoy!!

 

Rosie’s Devotions

Snow Squalls

The sun's rays illuminated the freshly fallen snow outside my living room window. Thousands and thousands of miniature diamonds glistened in the sun.

There's nothing like freshly fallen snow. It is pure white, soft, and fluffy as it falls from the sky to the ground, covering the earth like a warm blanket.

When you open your hand and a snowflake lands, you can see that it is intricate and beautiful. After a time of collecting snowflakes, you realize that each flake is different; no two are alike. To me, these tiny fractals are an enigma. But then, a lot of snow can be quite a nuisance, as well as dangerous

Snow squalls invaded our area, pummelling us with lots of snow. Snow removal machines were kept busy during the day, as well as during the night. We are fortunate enough to be able to hire someone to come and plow our driveway, whereas others have to shovel the white stuff by hand.

As I look out my back door, I wonder where our snowplow man is going to pile more snow that we are expecting. Perhaps a week of mild temperatures and lots of sunshine will reduce the number of snow hills in our backyard. Perhaps today is the beginning of this much-desired process. But what if we get more snow — will it be too much for our roof?

I find myself beginning to worry.

Yet, God tells us to cast our worries and anxious feelings onto Him. He knows what is going to happen, even though we do not. We have to believe that when the time comes, He will lead us to the right person to look after the snow load on our roof. He could even send us an early spring!

Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (NASB)

1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (NASB)

Are you feeling anxious about something in your life right now or worried about what may happen?

Let us trust in God, Who has everything under control.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for rewarding us with beautiful sunshiny days. Thank You for showing us the beauty in freshly fallen snow, the intricate snowflakes that lie on our windowsills, and diamonds that glisten on the white ground. Help us to trust in You and to give You thanks, even though we are pummelled with snow. Amen.

Rosemary Hagedorn, Penetanguishene,

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Elmvale Lions Guest from FCC

The Elmvale Lions Club monthly guest speaker initiative provided for yet another excellent presentation at our January 22nd meeting. Director Bob Daniels from Farm Credit Canada (FCC) came by to explain what FCC is, what they do, their investment in rural communities and what’s happening with local farming.

FCC is a federal government organization whose mandate is to help support growth and prosperity in the agriculture industry. It turns out that the FCC supports not only farming but also assists with the input sector (suppliers to farms) and they lend money to the processing and distribution sector of agriculture. They have assisted with providing financing to breweries and yes even the new cannabis sector. They have a monstrous portfolio of over $36 Billion and they are profitable, providing a significant dividend cheque back to the federal government each year. They assist both large and small operations and currently help finance about 30% of the farming industry.

As different issues come to the forefront in agriculture sustainability the FCC provides new programs to assist with maintaining success in Canadian agriculture. Priorities in things like mental health support, young farmers and women in agriculture have become major initiates. The FCC, through their AgriSpirit fund of $1 million annually, also provides funding to local initiatives and locally has assisted with donations to the Elmvale Curling Club and Elmvale Community Hall. 

From a local perspective Bob discussed that agriculture land values have been increasing in Ontario and presented insightful information from the Stats Canada Census revealing that while land acreage deployed for agricultural use has been decreasing in our area, the total value of agriculture products produced has been increasing. 

Our next speaker will be February 26th with the speaker TBD. Our March 26th speaker will be Don McKay who helps train Lions Club Guide Dogs. If you are interested in attending a meeting or would like to learn more about the lions club you can contact Jason at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to our website at www.elmvalelions.ca

Lori McLachlan

The  Springwater Libraries

Mother Goose Time

EarlyON is offering this special program weekly as a way for parents/caregivers to bond and communicate with their infant ages 0-12 months.  We will sing songs, poems, lullabies and have some storytelling.  Thursdays February 7 – March 28, 1:30pm-3pm, Elmvale Branch.  Registration required.  The usual drop-in Stay, Play and Learn will be closed during this program.

Seniors Sponge Painting

This bi-monthly club meets for an opportunity to be creative and have a nice afternoon out with friends!  Monday February 11, 2pm-3pm, Elmvale Branch.  This program is free but registration is required to ensure adequate supplies.  Future programs will be held on Monday April 15 and Monday June 10.

Homeschool Family Bowling

All are welcome to this FREE use of the vintage bowling alley (must set up own pins) on Thursday February 14, 1:30pm-3:30pm Minesing Branch.  This is an unsupervised event with no registration required.

Healthy Eating = Healthy Weight

What is the ideal diet?  Eating well with THE NEW Canada’s Food Guide, making wise choices in the grocery store and how to eat out properly in restaurants will be discussed with Registered Nutritionist and Health Coach, Joan Hawkes.  Tuesday February 19, 6:30pm Elmvale Branch.  Registration is required.

Paper Peas

Come to our creative card making club!  Tuesday February 19, 6:30pm-9:30pm.  Cost $15.  Midhurst Branch.  Our theme is Birthday this month.

Lego Club

All ages are welcome to our Lego building challenges on Thursday February 21, 3:45pm Minesing Branch or Thursday March 14, 1:30pm-3:30pm at Elmvale Branch.

Midhurst Book Club

New members are still welcome at this book club that meets the last Saturday of every month (February 23) 1:30pm-3:30pm at Midhurst Branch.

DIY Chunky Arm Knitting

Join special guest Laurena Green from Spool Lounge to make your own chunky knit throw.  Please bring your own yarn.  Preregistration is required as we only have 15 spots.  Thursday February 28, 6pm-7:30pm Midhurst Branch.  Cost $5.

Volunteer Income Tax Program

Book your appointment and file your taxes for individual taxes up to $30,000, 2 person or family taxes up to $40,000.  Appointments will be held in March and April on Thursdays 1pm-6:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-2:30pm.  Our last dates for appointments are Saturday April 20 and Thursday April 25.

St John Ambulance

Babysitting Course: 9am-5pm ages 11-15, cost $65.  Bring a doll/teddy bear, lunch and a drink.  Home Alone course: 9am-12noon, ages 10+, cost $45.  Bring a lunch and a drink.  Friday March 1, Minesing Branch.  Registration/payment is required.

Spring PA Day Craft

Ages 5+ are invited to make a free, fun spring themed craft.  Friday March 1, 11am-3pm Midhurst Branch and Tuesday March 12, 11am-3pm Elmvale Branch.  This is a drop in program with no registration required.

DIY Aromatherapy Bracelet

Traci MacCabe will show you how to create your own lava bead and stone bracelet with an essential oil that matches your personality.  Friday March 8, 7pm Minesing Branch or Tuesday March 26, 7pm Elmvale Branch.  Cost $10.  Registration is required to ensure adequate supplies.

March Break Programs

We’ve got lots cooked up for your school break with something for all ages!

Monday March 11: Intro to Lego WeDo 2pm-3pm Midhurst Branch.  Ages 8+ please register for this free program (only 8 spots available).  Fancy Cupcake Decorating 3pm-4:30pm Elmvale Branch.  Cost $2.  Ages 8+ please register (12 spots available).

Tuesday March 12: Make Your Own Robot 1pm-3pm Minesing Branch.  Ages 3+ no registration required.  The Amazing Race Library Edition 7pm-8:30pm Midhurst Branch.  Cost $1.  All ages make up teams of two or more people (max 10 teams).  Registration required.

Wednesday March 13: Make Your Own Placemat 11am-noon, 2pm-3pm Midhurst Branch.  All ages, no registration required.  March Break Movie: Ralph Breaks the Internet 1pm Elmvale Branch.  No registration required.

Thursday March 14: Popcorn Program: 11am-1pm Midhurst Branch.  All ages.  Snack, game and craft.  Registration required.  March Break Movie: Ralph Breaks the Internet 1pm Minesing Branch.  No registration required.  Indoor/Outdoor Scavenger Hunt: 5:30pm-6:30pm Midhurst Branch.  Free, smores outside.  Registration limited to the first 40 people.

Friday March 15: Storytime 10:30am Elmvale and Midhurst Branch.  STUNT Ventriloquist Tim Holland!!! 2pm Minesing Branch.  No registration required.

Saturday March 16: Make your own Sock Creature 1pm Midhurst Branch.  Cost $1.  Ages 8+ please register for this program (15 spots available).

 

Worlds Purest Water

Water column By Erin Archer

When blessed with this column, I thought, “Where do I start”? ha ha ha…I’ve been told by a wise, writer friend “People connect more with the WHY then the WHAT.

So here’s my why

Wednesday, October 18th  2017…I get my kids on the bus, I go home to get ready for a client…text comes in “R.I.P. Gordie”…I hit the floor.

The next few hours were a blur of texts and phone calls and emails and tears. Then an email comes in from one of Gord Downie’s friends. “I know this will find you broken, but Gordie would be proud if you used that mouth of yours, stood up and got counted.”

In that moment, I signed on to every Water organization and Indigenous Rights movement he was involved in. Two days later; on Facebook, up popped “Water Walk, November 4th and 5th. Walk to Protect the Worlds Purest Water that recharges on French’s Hill/Waverley Uplands.” I cancelled my weekend away and my life has forever changed.

It’s more then doing this because it’s the RIGHT thing to do, although IT IS the right thing to do.  When guided by purpose; when called to the water, it just becomes who you are.  You go to it, you pray for it, you walk for it, you conserve it, you fight for it…you PROTECT it.

A few short months ago, I was talking to my 9-year-old son about the amount of sand and gravel that’s permitted to be removed each year. “It’s like 48,000 school buses being removed, every year.” With tears in his eyes he said, “That’s too much filter Mommy.”

I have found family. We laugh and cry and lift. Each blessed with unique gifts. Each willing to do what we can. If you are wishing to join this movement, if you are wishing to stand with us, the time is NOW.  There are so many great avenues to travel, but WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Please reach out via Facebook to the “Friends of the Waverley Uplands”, drop an email through www.theWATERkeepers.ca or call me at my home 705-361-3919.

Coffee meetings once a week in Wyevale to sit and chat, have questions answered, maybe do a little work ahaha…every day, a little bit of  “do something”; every day moving forward that much more.

I look forward to meeting you; the water thanks you.

Peace, love and light  E

 

A snowy day Thurs Jan 31

Around 8am., standing across from Foodland waiting for the LINX bus: 

  1. 1 looking “north”  •    no. 2 looking “south” 

On Thursday January 31st, 2019 I had a morning appointment in Midland. The weather was not the best but the Simcoe LINX bus came through.  Boy, it sure was cold in that wind waiting for the bus.  The driver did do a good job keeping the bus on track through the snowy white landscape in which it was often hard to distinguish the road with the snow blowing across from the fields.  

  1. 3 in more detail as LINX bus approaches (thought I saw someone on snow bank by bus there, but zoomed in and could see it’s only signposts) and riding on the bus, about 8:15am:
  2. 4 looking out the front window of the bus, on that stretch past line 10, not yet at Baseline Rd.

 

The Simcoe LINX bus has proven to be reliable and the drivers are professional, friendly and helpful.  Even in harsh winter weather, the LINX bus is a good option for those in Elmvale who need to travel to Midland-Penetang or Barrie. 

Information on the Simcoe LINX bus service can be found on their website at https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/linx by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone (toll-free) 1-800-263-3199.

by Connie R. Smith

 

Discovery Harbour, in Penetanguishene, is set to get our visitors out skating this winter! The Skate Trail attraction at Discovery Harbour promises hours of family fun!

 The exciting new Skate Trail is now open and is one of the most exciting additions to the Discovery Harbour line-up of events for the upcoming season.

 The Discovery Harbour Skate Trail is now open until mid March. Hours are Friday nights (6pm-9pm), all day Saturday (12pm - 9pm) and on Sundays (12pm-4pm).

 Lace up your skates and experience the magic of skating along our unique 1 km trail. The historic site will come alive with amazing live out-door entertainment featuring local area talent from Eric Kidd, Chris Figgures and young musician Emma Reynolds. New this year is the addition of a Crokicurl rink and Ghost Stories being told on Friday and Saturday nights. A kids’ snow-tube run has been created; cook bannock over an open fire or strap on a pair of snowshoes and hike through the trail. Rent a Fat Bike and ride through the historic site.

 Join us the evening of Valentines Day for 'Sweetheart Skate' February 14th with a dinner/ skate package available at a cost of $35 per person.

 On Friday February 15th at 6:00pm, Discovery Harbour will be alive with activity hosting the Kick-Off to Penetanguishene's Winterama Winter Carnival. Fireworks, a  fire-juggler, live-entertainment, ice-sculptures will all be happening as part the full weekend special event.  Continuing on Monday February 18th, Family Day, Discovery Harbour will be open during the day to host skating, movie look-a-like characters and more.

 “Discovery Harbour is an impressive attraction, and we are proud that it will host the launch of the 71st Winterama Winter Carnival,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “As we develop our government’s new tourism strategy, we look to attractions like the Skate Trail and events like the carnival that confirm Ontario’s status as a destination of choice and continue to attract visitors and tourists year after year.”

 Tasty food offerings will be available at our on-location restaurant as Captain Roberts’ Table Restaurant will be open for all of our visitors. New this year is the new addition of our Skate Blade Café and warming area. This new area was a suggestion that our visitors stated in surveys. They wanted an area to put skates on and leave winter boots to stay dry and warm. We think it’s a great addition for our skaters! 

 

Schedule 10, Springwater and the Hine’s Emerald dragonfly 

By Kate Harries AWARE News Network

The Ford government withdrew Schedule 10 of Bill 66 on January 23, which still leaves much of this omnibus bill on the order paper. Each schedule – there are 12 – targets a different ministry. Only the section dealing with land-use planning under the municipal affairs and housing ministry is gone.

The news was tweeted out by Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark: “The use of this tool would never be approved at the expense of the Greenbelt or other provincial interests like water quality or public health and safety”

That is precisely the kind of black-is-white speak we have heard from our Progressive Conservative MPPs. Schedule 10 specifically listed the Greenbelt Act and the Clean Water Act as among the laws whose restrictions on development need not apply. So of course projects approved under Schedule 10 could encroach on the Greenbelt! and set aside the public health and safety provisions of the Clean Water Act!

That was the whole point!

Clark continued: “However, our Government for the People has listened to the concerns raised by MPPs, municipalities and stakeholders with regards to Schedule 10 of Bill 66 and when the legislature returns in February, we will not proceed with Schedule 10 of the Bill.”

We are left to speculate. Why, if Clark considered Schedule 10 of Bill 66 to be so safe and protective, would he withdraw it? Politics, of course. 

Schedule 10 was in fact so profoundly wrong that a huge wave of opposition threatened to engulf the government. MPPs were feeling the heat, municipal leaders were taking a stand, and groups ranging from Environmental Defence to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture to the Ontario Professional Planners’ Institute were weighing in.

At Springwater Township’s January 23 council meeting, hours after the Clark tweets, I presented AWARE Simcoe’s opposition to Schedule 10. With that part of Bill 66 withdrawn, it might have seemed superfluous – but similar legislation looms and this debate wasn’t about legislative detail, it was about basic principles and we need to understand what they are and why they matter.

The most basic principle of all is democracy. A political system that’s messy and challenging, but – we as a society have decided - better than others. So I pointed out to council that Schedule 10 failed on every conceivable level – no public notice or information to the public, no public meeting, and no appeal once a secretly passed bylaw is approved by the minister. 

I also talked about the Clean Water Act, which is not about the environment, but about us, about our public health I went into the history of the act, arising from the Walkerton tragedy. Pre-2000, when it came to water, there was weak legislation and poor oversight from the province. Brockton councillors didn’t know that. Alone among them, Councillor Mary Robinson Ramsay had taken note of the alarming reports from an environment ministry inspector and tried to get other members of council to take action. She was ignored.

And, I wanted to stress, the Clean Water Act only applies to municipal drinking water systems. We have a gap, with many private wells and vulnerable aquifers left with no protection from contamination or over-extraction. 

I then spoke about what farm groups have told the Ontario government – their opposition to Schedule 10 could not have been more strongly worded. Take this, for instance, from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture:

“To fulfil their role and function for all Ontarians, Ontario’s prime agricultural lands must be separated from non- compatible land uses. To do otherwise, as Schedule 10 proposes, will be “death by a thousand cuts” for the family farm businesses, farm input supply businesses and food processing businesses located throughout Ontario.”

And:

“Agriculture is a business. This proposal suggests that agricultural land should no longer be used for agriculture to make way for commercial and industrial businesses. The agri-food sector is the economic powerhouse of Ontario; employing 822,000 Ontarians and generating nearly $40 billion in GDP.”

Finally, I focused on the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly. The Minesing Wetlands is the only place left in Canada where this beautiful, globally endangered dragonfly makes its home, with a few isolated populations surviving in the United States. It requires shallow, undisturbed, springwater-fed marshes and sedge fens surrounded by forest and meadows. These are features of the Minesing Wetlands that are presently being degraded by human activities, including development in a dozen settlement areas including Barrie, Midhurst, Everett, Angus, Snow Valley.

I concluded with the thought that the Hine’s Emerald is a symbol of why no development should be allowed to by-pass regulation that protects farmland, water and natural heritage, which are all under threat. Let us preserve local democracy, keep sprawl from consuming our countryside and ensure that the Hine's Emerald Dragonfly and other endangered species continue to grace this Earth.

Go to aware-simcoe.ca/2019/01/wave-of-opposition/ for full version of this blog with background links.

 

Samuel Archer by Hisorian Gary French  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Most of what is know of Samuel Archer’s life comes from the obituary in the Barrie Northern Advance, July 20, 1864:

“A man named Samuel Archer, who resided in the Township of Flos, lost his life at Wyebridge, on the Penetanguishene Road, last week, under the following circumstances. He had been quarrelling with another man, and had several times applied to Mr. James Plewes, a magistrate living at the Wye, for a warrant against his alleged assailant. Mr. Plewes refused to grant one, but Archer would not be denied, and kept importuning his on the subject holding him at the same time by his coat, until the former gave Archer a slight push from him, and the unfortunate man fell through the door, which was immediately behind him, and never rose again. His death is supposed to have been caused by an injury to the spine. He was under the influence of liquor at the time, and was addicted to drink. The occurrence took place in a tavern where Plewes had gone, in consequence of Archer’s demand for his interference, with the intention of reconciling the parties.

“Since writing the above we learn that upon an investigation held by Dr. Crookshanks, as Coroner, into the circumstances of Archer’s death, the jury found a verdict of accidental death. It appears that the deceased had been drunk for some time previous to his death, and forced his way in the morning into Mr. Plewes’ bedroom to ask redress for some imaginary grievance. Mr. Plewes had told him he would go over to the tavern and enquire into the affair, which he accordingly did; and Archer, upon being refused a warrant, had become rather violent and abusive, so that some force had to be used by Mr. Plewes in order to release himself from the grasp of the deceased, as above stated. The deceased had had several falls previous to the last fatal one, and is supposed to have sustained some injury from them. A post mortem examination was held by Dr. Gilmor, of Penetanguishene, who, we believe, gave it as his opinion that death had been caused by concussion of the brain.”

 Samuel Archer was a son of William Archer and Margaret Smith and was about 10 when his family immigrated from Diss, Norfolk. The Archer’s settled in 1832 on the Penetanguishene Road near Orr Lake (lot 69, con 1 Medonte, north of the McDonald Sideroad) and Samuel  in 846 married Harriet Gravett, who lived about a half mile north, on the Flos side. Harriet’s half-sister, Matilda, married Samuel’s brother John Archer. The reference in the obituary to Samuel being a resident of Flos is not correct – Samuel and Harriet settled on a farm in Tiny Twp. near Wyebridge. After Samuel’s death, at the age of about 42, Harriet was able to keep the farm for their three surviving children (Mary Jane Pool, Caroline Guthrie and James R. Archer) and she died in 1898, a respected widow. When the newspaper refers to James Plewes living “at the Wye” he was utilizing a common usage at that time and for many years since – “at the Wye” means at Wyebridge, just as “to Port” means to Port McNicol. James Plewes had recently built an important grist mill on the Wye River at Wyebridge. Dr. William R. Gilmour was the surgeon at the Provincial Reformatory in Penetanguishene and in 1875 married, as his second wife, the artist Mary Hallen, daughter of the Rev. George Hallen of Penetanguishene. Dr. James S. Crookshank was long a physician in Barrie.

 

GBGH Foundation welcomes new executive director

Jan 28 – The Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Foundation has hired Nicole Kraftscik as its new executive director (ED). Kraftscik, who brings more than 10 years of philanthropy experience, will begin working part-time for the Foundation in February, transitioning to full-time in early April.

“I am thrilled to work for my hometown hospital, where my husband Martin and I have raised our family of three children - Haley, Taylor and Riley - and plan to stay for years to come,” says Kraftscik. “I really look forward to bringing new ideas and experience to GBGH, as well as building relationships both in the community and with the Board of Directors, staff, credentialed staff and volunteers who play an integral role in great patient care here at GBGH.”

Kraftscik comes to GBGH with an extensive background in the field of fundraising leadership in Simcoe County. This includes her most recent role as Senior Development Officer at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) Foundation. As part of that team, Kraftscik was jointly responsible for raising $2.4 million in major gift revenue in the last fiscal year – well exceeding the $1.3 million target.

“I attribute this success to an ability to build strong relationships with donors, volunteers, staff, credentialed staff and corporate partners who are committed to improving patient care, close to home,” says Kraftscik. “I’m grateful for my experience at OSMH, and the strong relationships I have built within the Orillia and area community.”

As a leadership member in the OSMH Foundation, Kraftscik has experience in the strategic and campaign planning process for a medium-sized hospital foundation, major gifts and legacy giving. Additionally, she has held roles in annual giving, organizing signature events and direct mail, and is also an Executive Member on the Planned Giving Council of Simcoe County and Rotary. Kraftscik also holds memberships with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and Association of Health Care Philanthropy (AHP).