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Archive for: 9月, 2020


PENETANGUISHENE – A cake auction at Penetanguishene Secondary School raised $200 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. READ MORE:

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Canadian Century 21 members donated their highest-ever amount to Easter Seals in 2015, with Barrie’s B.J. Roth Realty Ltd. coming in as the top office for fundraising in Canada. During the past year, Century 21 Canada members collected $682,335 for the charity. “Century 21 is one of our most valued partners,” Easter Seals Canada president and CEO Dave Starrett said. “Together, you continue to set the bar very high – and the generosity of all those contributing to the Kids to Camp Program has translated into once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for so many of our kids.” Since 2009, Century 21 members have raised nearly $4 million for Easter Seals and the Kids to Camp program, sending more than 320 kids to camp.


TAY TOWNSHIP – Bonar Presbyterian Church is closing after 101 years of service to Port McNicoll. The church has suffered declining attendance for years, but it has reached the point where it cannot continue to operate with such a low head count. “Financially, we can’t continue with nine to 10 people,” said clerk of session Isabel Savage. Officials have tried to revive the church over the years with children’s programs, but Savage said people have become so busy these days that they don’t have time for organized religion. There are no other Presbyterian or Protestant churches in Port McNicoll, meaning people will have to travel to Midland or Penetanguishene for services. “It means travel for older people who don’t really want to travel,” said Savage. Regular members of the church are saddened by the loss, but Savage said they’ve resigned themselves to its closure. “I think everybody looks at the reality of the situation,” she said. “You can’t run a church with so little people.” Construction of the church began in 1913 on land donated by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The first services were held Sept. 27, 1914. Over the years, it served countless sailors who arrived aboard ships in what was once a bustling port. Bonar Presbyterian Church’s final service will be held Sunday at 3 p.m., followed by a reception.


It could cost nearly another $1 million to redevelop Memorial Square in downtown Barrie. City councillors will consider a motion Monday to close Fred Grant Square, needed to allow the project to be built. But they will also look at increasing its capital cost by $945,538 – to nearly $5.2 million. Coun. Michael Prowse, chairman of Barrie’s finance committee, says it’s a good investment of city funds nevertheless. “The redevelopment of Memorial Square is a very important project as we continue to make that area an attractive place for people and a place where people can gather,” he said. “While I’m not happy about the additional costs, I am delighted by the progress of the two-to-one contribution and the fundraising the BIA has been able to deliver so far. “This really is a legacy project for the city and it will further transform our city centre.” The original $4.2-million re-development cost was to be funded equally by a city reserve, the Downtown BIA and from BIA fundraising. The additional $945,538 will come from BIA fund-raising ($263,639), the BIA itself ($263,638) and the city’s tax capital reserve ($418,261). The tender for this project is expected to be issued mid-April and close mid-May. It’s expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The redevelopment includes a centrally located cenotaph, a representation of the Nine Mile Portage and an outdoor performance stage – all flanked by and east and west promenade. Its costs have increased on two fronts. Dealing with accessibility, soil and ground conditions, adding two patio areas and the stage, in terms of its foundation, electrical service and landscaping, have caused the increase. The second front is upgrading the storm drainage system to address climate change, and do a pilot project to treat storm runoff before it enters Kempenfelt Bay. Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority is contributing $150,000 toward the filtration project. This could also become the standard method of treating storm water in Barrie. “The total project, including the sewer and storm water improvements, designed to protect Lake Simcoe, likely would not have been undertaken on our own,” Prowse said. “The BIA partnership allows us to leverage the city dollars two-to-one. “Like any development there will be things that come up and need to be discarded or funded,” he said. “So far, at least, I am confident our residents are still getting great value but I will be watching the progress intently.” The new Memorial Square includes a $750,000, 25-year deal for the sponsorship naming rights with Meridian Credit Union. Meridian would have naming rights to the lower tiers of the park, but not the upper tier, which would continue to be named Memorial Square. The exact location and nature of signs would be determined by the city, BIA and Meridian; signs would be put up toward the end of the construction phase. Meridian would also be allowed to install and operate one automated teller machine (ATM) within its space. Naming rights are conditional on the downtown park retaining the historical recognition of the memorial – which commemorates Canadian veterans from the First World War, the Second World War and conflicts since 1945. Redeveloping Memorial Square, turning it into a large urban square and linking it to Kempenfelt Bay’s shores is part of the city’s waterfront parks program. It’s to make it more of a people place for events, festivals and other activities. The existing road network would be replaced with wide, sloped avenues for pedestrians along each side of Memorial Square – which will help create a continuous link with Heritage Park. The cenotaph would be relocated to a more central spot in the park, to both give it more prominence and to allow for military ceremonies – such as Remembrance Day, Battle of Britain, Battle of the Atlantic – to take place around it. While the wide, sloped avenues for pedestrians along each side of Memorial Square would be designed for pedestrians, they could be used at times for necessary deliveries to businesses and shops which front onto Memorial Square. But the area would be pedestrian, rather than vehicle-oriented. Fred Grant Street will be eliminated and become part of the space. And a high canopy of deciduous trees would be placed along the edges of Memorial Square, to shade the pedestrian walkways to the waterfront. @BrutonBob


Like all Ontario hospitals, Collingwood General and Marine Hospital has felt the squeeze as the number of visits increase every year. With an eye on increasing the quality of patient care and the efficiency in the hospital’s emergency room, the CGMH has kicked off a $1M campaign to renovate the area. Presently working under an aging design from the 1950’s, the emergency department is only half the square footage recommended by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. With the hospital seeing more than 33,000 visits to their emergency department annually, capacity rivals some of the hospitals in Toronto according to CGMH Foundation executive director Jory Pritchard-Kerr. "It’s going to be seven to 10 years before we see the redevelopment of the hospital, but over the next 10 years we are going to have to see more than 350,000 people in this department and we really feel that, based on the studies that have taken place over the past couple of years by Dr. Kylie Bosman, chief of the emergency department and Erin Bruce, manager of the emergency department, this is really the right thing to do." There is some hope that the provincial government will help out with some of the costs of renovation, but it will not cover the cost of equipment and furnishings that will need to go into the department. And money from the government takes time. All things being equal, staff hope that renovations can begin in the fall. "The overall goal is improving patient care, improving the patient experience and bringing timely and appropriate care to the patient’s bed side, said Bosman. "We are dealing with a very small footprint, so we are looking to be very nimble. We are not in the position to expand our walls right now so we have to become as nimble as we can." Key changes will include conversion of private treatment rooms into multi-purpose rooms with cart-based supplies and equipment that can be moved as needed, replacing the central nursing station with workstations, and opening space in the triage area for easier access to equipment. Wait times after the renovation should remain unaffected. "Our current wait times are recognized as being in the top five of the province when you first enter the emergency department and the time you are seen by a physician," said Bosman. "So we are among the top in the province and our goal is to maintain or improve that."


A vehicle parked on Bayfield Street North drew unwanted attention early Sunday morning. Police were called after a citizen alerted Barrie police to a vehicle parked on the city’s major artery at approximately 4 a.m. Police noticed a strong smell of alcohol coming from the young man and he was arrested and brought to the police station where he blew two-and-a-half times the legal limit. The 20-year-old man was charged with impaired driving and released with a future court date.


MIDLAND – A Passion for Fashion is once again teaming up with Community Living Huronia to stage a spring fashion show highlighting trendy styles and raising money for a worthy cause. Nancy Spiker, co-owner and president of the Midland business, said this is the sixth show her store has done in collaboration with CLH. “A few years ago, some of the people supported by CLH were helping out at the store,” she said. “Two of the ladies really loved modelling, so we decided to have a fashion show and have them in it.” All of the proceeds from the show since then have gone to the CLH Foundation. The event has sold out every single year, with this year’s show – inspired by the music of Tina Turner – selling all 380 tickets by February. “It’s the quickest we’ve ever sold out,” said Spiker. CLH Foundation president Tony Hume said the fundraiser has been “fantastic” for his organization. “Every year, Nancy steps it up and puts on a great show,” he said. “The volunteer models really look forward to it.” The show will take place April 8 at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre. For more information, visit .


Kaity Fotherby from the Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie, far right, is ready to accept donations of mops, brooms and buckets from the Trinity Anglican Church’s women’s fellowship. The church group has coined itself the Bucket Brigade and is accepting community donations of cleaning supplies, towels, washcloths, sheets, blankets and pillows, pots and pans for the women’s shelter. In behind, from left, are Nancy Monkman, Mae Harasymiw, Harry Harasymiw and Mary Ellen Howey. To schedule a drop off, call the church at 705-728-2691.


Barrie police are looking for a man carrying a knife who stole a can of Red Bull from a variety store on March 24. Police say a man entered the Bayfield Convenience shortly before 8 p.m. and placed a can of Red Bull in his coat pocket. While doing so, police say a six inch steak knife to the floor, which he quickly retrieved and placed into his sleeve. At the time, another customer had been in the store which seemed to have prompted the suspect to purchase two bottles of Coca-Cola. He left the store and was spotted getting into the passenger side of a red car, which had been waiting out front for him. The man is described as a white male, about five-foot-eight and six feet, with a medium build. He had full beard, with brown hair and was wearing a baseball hat, grey hoodie with a maple leaf on the left side of the hood, and a black coat with ‘WSOP’ on the lower back. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det.-Const. Farrell of the Barrie Police Investigative Services at 705-725-7025, ext. 2175,, or call Crime Stopper at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at


From the Great Northern Plains of Western Canada, Little Miss Higgins struts and serenades her way, guitar in hand, lips blazoned red, onto the Meaford Hall stage on April 16. As if she just drove in off the back-road of another time with gravel dust and a sunset trailing behind her, this pocket-sized powerhouse plays music brewed up in old-time country blues sprinkled with a little jazz and maybe a hint of folk. Whether it’s songs about passion or songs about panties, she writes about real things in a rooted and poetic way. Little Miss Higgins (aka Jolene Higgins) was born in Brooks, Alberta, and raised in Independence, Kansas. Music entered her life early. “When I was about four my dad bought this old piano at a local bar,” she recalls. “It was a mini grand piano. He brought it home and told me it was mine. I carved my name in the side and started taking piano lessons.” Growing up playing piano, Higgins now uses guitar and voice as her main instruments as well as her theatre background to bring a “refreshing sound and story to the stage.” She spent a number of years after studying theatre at a college in Alberta, roaming Western Canada, acting in plays, frequenting blues clubs and playing her guitar. Higgins finally settled down in Saskatchewan and that’s when music took the driver’s seat. Her stage name, Little Miss Higgins suits the undeniably inflammatory mix of her blues and country music repertoire but the moniker was largely accidental. “When I moved to Saskatchewan in 2002 I started hanging out with this Greek guy,” she recalls “He started calling me Little Miss Higgins so I used it on poster for a gig I was doing and it just stuck.” Over the past five years, Little Miss Higgins has built a strong national reputation throughout Canada, appearing in clubs and on festival stages in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Owen Sound, and Canso, Nova Scotia performing most often as a duo with partner and guitar player, Foy Taylor. As a songwriter, she has been influenced by a range of artists from Memphis Minnie, Billie Holiday, Big Bill Broonzy to Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan. Her first two studio albums “Cobbler Shop Sessions” (2006) and “Junction City” (2007) superbly showcase Little Miss Higgins as a highly-developed songwriter as well as a remarkable country blues performer in a style gracefully highlighted by her partner, guitarist Foy Taylor and occasionally a handful of other roots musicians. In 2009, to her fan’s delight, Higgins released “Little Miss Higgins Live: Two Nights In March”. The album was recorded at Amigo’s Cantina in Saskatoon, and Engineered Air Theatre in Calgary. The album features such favourite performance fare as “The Dirty Ol Tractor Song,” “Velvet Barley Bed,” “In The Middle Of Nowhere” and “I’m Gonna Bake My Biscuits.” As well as a couple of previously unreleased songs including “Snowin’ Today: A Lament For Louis Riel.” Following that came the award-winning album, Across The Plains (2010) and Bison Ranch Recording Sessions (with The Winnipeg Five) in 2013. Don’t miss pocket-sized powerhouse Little Miss Higgins April 16 at 8 p.m. at Meaford Hall. Tickets are $23 and available online, in person or by calling 1-877-538-0463.