Lisa Barcrof at Griffin’s Greenhouse spent Tuesday morning arranging and setting out beautiful spring flowers. Griffin’s offers a variety of flowers and plants in all different colours, perfect for spring gardening.
In this week's print edition
No horseshoes in Lakefield this season
Nominations open for Kawartha Chamber Business Awards
Province enacts Stay at Home Order and manditory remote learning
Group Mounts Campaign to Reclaim Lakefield Park
Watch for your Lakefield Trail 20th Anniversary Newsletter in the mail!
MP Monsef announces funding for local Legions
Strike up the Band: Lakefield Citizen Band 1938
Reverend Ben Vanderheide leaves Lakefield
Driver located after fleeing collision scene
Selwyn drafts changes to rooming and boarding by-law
PRHC to ramp down non-urgent care
Clintonia Park in Donwood Nearing Completion
Cooking “from scratch” with Lenore Kuch
Editorial by Terry McQuitty
Accidental Columnist by Marnie Clement
Mature Living by Terri Williams Kinghorn
Book Review by Barry Mutter
@yourlibrary by Kacie Gardiner
Story Time at the Buckhorn Library
Golden Years Club Update
To have your local news delivered to you subscribe here
Unheralded the documentary
"Unheralded" chronicles a week in the life of "The Lakefield Herald", a local newspaper published in Lakefield, Ontario. Whether writing about dog shows and 100th birthdays, or telling stories of citizen opposition and community loss - local news reporters have a difficult job, especially when the readers are their neighbours. "Unheralded" is an NFB-TVO Calling Card production.
Gallaway Estates Subdivision in Halls Glen no longer under appeal
by Vanessa Stark
A subdivision that was proposed for the township of Douro-Dummer in 1995, has finally gotten final approval to start construction.
The original project owner had dreams of a 56 home subdivision in the hamlet of Halls Glen, which was approved by the Township at that time. However, years later the project was abandoned and eventually taken over by Timberline Custom Homes in 2006.
Development on the subdivision, to be called Gallaway Estates, went through many changes with the new owners.
The Gallaway Estates project is located at 1918 County Rd 6, Douro-Dummer and through changes to the original plan, it will include three storm-water and wetland blocks, 52 residential lots – each with their own wells and septic systems, and a park area.
With approval from the County, Otonabee Conservation and all applicable parties, the Township passed a by-law allowing this new subdivision, with the changes and updates to the plan.
However, this project essentially came to a stop late in the year of 2019 after a local group called ‘the Friends of the Drumlins of Dummer’ (FODD) made an appeal of the by-law.
The case then went before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) for a decision.
Elaine Hilker, Chair of the FODD, did not respond to recent interview requests by deadline but told the Herald previously that the biggest concern the group had for this proposed subdivision, was the water table. She said that for developments in Lakefield, they are able to tap into already existing sewer and water systems but at Halls Glen, there is not that same access to those resources.
However, with the new plan, the owner had gone through many tests and surveys which showed there was sufficient resources that will not impact neighboring properties, residents, or buyers.
LPAT issued their decision on March 25, 2020 stating that the appeal was dismissed.
Ray Northey, owner of Timberline Custom Homes said that the LPAT process was very slow, taking 30 months from the date the complaint was filed but that he is ultimately relieved he finally has direction.
“It was a big surprise when the Township called saying I had an email with great news. It took a weight off my shoulders to know I am not in limbo and have direction. Usually once the Case has been heard LPAT has 90 days to make a decision. Unfortunately COVID- 19 slowed the whole process to seven months.”
With the decision made, and Northey able to continue his work on the property, they will be finishing Phase One and Two of engineering as well as finalizing the rest of the conditions with the township and the agreements with various other bodies.
Northey said they are hoping to start Phase One of the roads this fall/winter with a five to eight year plan to be finished as long as the economy stays strong.
“This will be an exciting project to develop and build. Building with NATURE is Timberline Custom Homes Logo. Leaving everything as natural as possible starting with the roads with natural ditches through the trees and houses situated on the large lots where they are best suited. There will be a large eight acre Environmental park in the centre of the subdivision with proposed fractional ownership. There will be six lots that are 1 acre, 23 lots that will be 1.3 acres, 16 lots that are 1.6 acres and six lots which will be 1.9 acres. The original farmhouse on the property will be upgraded when ready to sell and not torn down.”
The full LPAT ruling, which fully details and explains their decision, can be found on the Douro-Dummer council agenda for April 6, 2021 under correspondence items, 13.3.
Agendas and minutes can be found at dourodummer.on.ca/council/meetings-agendas/.
Selwyn drafts changes to rooming and boarding by-law
by Vanessa Stark
Changes to rooming and boarding houses within the Township of Selwyn could be coming in the near future.
A recomendation for a draft by-law amendment was presented to council on Tuesday night in regards to regulating rooming and boarding houses within the Township that are municipally serviced.
The draft amendment comes after a petition was presented to council at the October 13 meeting and a presentation was given stating residents in a local subdivision are not feeling safe due to issues revolving around rental houses.
Susan Hopkins, a resident of Summer Lane submitted a letter to council back in October that stated “Only 1/3 of the homeowners on this street live in their homes. We are close to Trent and while on one hand we all expected rentals and some students (which we welcome), on the other, no one expected the absentee landlords, the dangerous roads for children, the garbage and neglect of the homes and the properties, and make-shift rooming house landlords that are making a business out of a gap in rental spaces for students. We are concerned and we need your help.”
In response council and staff have been busy working to create a safe, welcoming environment for residents, tenants, and landlords.
A recommendation was presented to council at this week’s council meeting that stated “That the report of the Planner related to the Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment to Regulate Rooming/Boarding Houses be received for information; That staff be directed to finalize the draft Zoning By-law Amendment to Regulated Rooming/Boarding Houses, considering Council’s input; and That staff be directed to commence the public consultation period which is to include at least one (1) public open house (virtual); social media campaign; and the statutory public hearing, in order to solicit public input related to the proposed amendment.”
It should be noted that the changes to the by-law are in addition to the building code regulations.
Some of the major amendments to the by-law include:
• Maximum number of bedrooms in a boarding, lodging or rooming house shall be six.
• No cooking facilities shall be permitted in any bedroom or room other than a kitchen of a boarding, lodging or rooming house
• Minimum number of parking spaces for a boarding, lodging or rooming house shall be one (1) per building plus one (1) per three (3) lodgers
• Minimum dimensions/room sizes for individual bedrooms, window space etc.
• Minimum number of toilets, kitchen sinks, washbasins, bathtubs or showers in a boarding, lodging or rooming house
• That the boarding, lodging or rooming house be registered with the Township of Selwyn in accordance with the normal requirements of the Township. To this note, Staff recommends that a licensing process be implemented similar to the approach taken with second units, which includes:
• Submission of a formal application, included detailed site plan and floor plan
• Payment of a fee proposed to be $250;
• Review of application for compliance with the zoning by-law regulations, building and fire codes.
• Maximum lot coverage by open parking areas, driveways, and vehicle movement areas of a boarding, lodging or rooming shall be 25 per cent. This regulation would assist in addressing concerns that Council heard related to front yards being converted entirely into driveway/parking areas for boarding, lodging or rooming houses.
It was also noted that these new amendments, should they be adopted, cannot be applied retroactively. This means that if there is a current boarding house with eight rooms that is operating according to the current laws, they will not be penalised through these new amendments.
The Township will be holding public consultation on these proposed changes to the by-law. For more information visit selwyntownship.ca
Province inacts Stay at Home Order
Selwyn proposes new open-air burning by-law
by Vanessa Stark
Selwyn Township is looking to update their by-law for open air burning. This will mean more consistency and enjoyment for residents in the area.
Andrew Bowyer, fire prevention officer for Selwyn Township presented a report which included a draft by-law in regards to open air burning, specifically with campfires, within the township.
The report stated that as the Township of Selwyn continues to grow, Selwyn Fire Department has seen the need for an updated version of this by-law to be implemented.
During Bowyers presentation to council he stated, “These proposed amendments are made to help regulate open air burning to the safest degree possible while also trying to find a balance for residents of this township to enjoy the properties that they have outdoors.”
He said one of the most significant changes in the by-law was the new 1:10 ration that would be implanted for fires throughout the Township.
“When you think about the 1:10 ratio, that has a one foot. fire in all directions, which is a relatively small fire. The majority of people will usually have a two foot fire. So if they were going to have a two foot fire, they would have to have 20 feet of clearance.”
Bowyer said this decision came after speaking with a resident who was required to have a clearance of 20 feet when enjoying a campfire at home, however when at his trailer he only needed to have 10 feet of clearance.
The by-law amendment also made changes to the size of brush fire piles, which is proposed to be increased significantly. The report stated that it has long been observed that the vast majority of brush piles are much larger than what is currently allowed in the by-law. The new recommended maximum size of a brush fire shall not exceed 50 feet. Brush piles may only burn between sunrise and sunset.
Councillor Anita Locke asked Bowyer what the rules would be around campfires at the Lakefield Campground, as the area resides in the Village of Lakefield which classifies as a built-up area. Under the by-law, both current and proposed, open air burning is not permitted.
Bowyer answered saying “We can define certain areas as being permissible and those that are prohibited, so we have allowed campgrounds. So Lakefield Campground was approved to have open air burning at that location.”
Councillor Gerry Herron raised the question of fees and fines should residents not follow the by-law.
Bowyer answered by saying that the first time they need to visit an area, the residents will be given a warning with the fire to be put out. Second time offences the fire department responds to, they would issue a fine of $488 per truck, per hour that responds.
Angela Chittick, Selwyn Township Clerk, also noted that inspection fees would be handed out by by-law enforcement officers to residents that were found to be going against the by-laws on multiple occasions.
Councillor Donna Ballantyne asked Bowyer if the new ratio for fire clearance had been approved by their insurance company. To this Bowyer stated that he had reached out but had yet to hear back from them.
She also wanted to know why trailer parks were to be given a year for these new ratios to be followed.
Bowyer stated, “The reason why trailer parks are given a little bit more time is because they will open on May 1, and we don’t want to be enforcing this for them immediately when they go in. Certain trailer parks have had bonfire pits that are much larger than one foot in all directions so we are giving them a year to get into compliance.”
Ballantyne also asked to see examples of other municipality’s open-air burning by-laws for comparison.
On that note, she stated, “I would like to ask support from my council members to defer this decision for no more than one month, because we don’t want to interfere with the season when campfires start and to get some answers before we commit ourselves to the bylaw.”
Councillor Locke seconded the motions and was carried.
TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a third provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). These measures are being taken in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province’s hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“The Covid-19 situation is at a critical stage and we must act quickly and decisively to stay ahead of these deadly new variants,” said Premier Ford. “By imposing these strict new measures we will keep people safe while allowing our vaccination program to reach more people, starting with our high risk population and identified hot spots. Although this is difficult, I urge everyone to follow these public health measures and together we will defeat this deadly virus.”
Case rates, hospitalizations, and ICU occupancy are increasing rapidly, threatening to overwhelm the health care system. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province have increased by 28.2 per cent between the period of March 28 and April 5, 2021. In addition, between March 28 and April 5, 2021, Ontario has seen the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care escalate by 25 per cent. While every action possible is being taken to increase capacity and continue daily surgeries and procedures, the province is reaching a tipping point.
Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise , or for work that cannot be done remotely. As Ontario’s health care capacity is threatened, the Stay-at-Home order, and other new and existing public health and workplace safety measures will work to preserve public health system capacity, safeguard vulnerable populations, allow for progress to be made with vaccinations and save lives.
In addition, the province is also strengthening public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake. Measures include, but are not limited to:
• Limiting the majority of non-essential retailers to only operate for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., with delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm, and other restrictions;
• Restricting access to shopping malls to limited specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, with one single designated location inside the shopping mall, and any number of designated locations outside the shopping mall, along with other restrictions;
• Restricting discount and big box stores in-person retail sales to grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only;
• Permitting the following stores to operate for in-person retail by appointment only and subject to a 25 per cent capacity limit and restricting allowable hours of operation to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. with the deliv ery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.:
o Safety supply stores;
o Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies;
o Rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental;
o Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public;
o Businesses that sell motor vehicles, boats and other watercraft;
o Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services; and
o Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs or technical support.
• Permitting outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses that engage in sales to the public, to operate with a 25 per cent cap acity limit and a restriction on hours of operation to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
These additional and strengthened public health and workplace safety measures will be in effect as of Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.
Keeping schools and child care open is critical to the mental health and well-being of Ontario children and youth. Schools and child care will remain open for in-person care and learning in public health regions where it is permitted, with strict safety measures in place.
In addition, beginning next week, education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs across the province, and all education workers in select hot spot areas, will be eligible to register for vaccination. Vaccinations will commence during the April break starting with priority neighborhoods in Toronto and Peel, then rolling out to priority neighborhoods in other hot spot regions, including York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham. This will be followed by a rollout across the province as supply allows.
“While our government took decisive action by implementing the provincewide emergency brake, more needs to be done to protect against the threats to our health system resources and the continued health and safety of individuals and families across the province,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “By further strengthening public health and workplace safety measures, we can work to reduce transmission of the virus while we work to rollout Phase 2 of our vaccine distribution plan, and put more needles in the arms of Ontarians.”
“The rapid and increasing spread of COVID-19 and the variants of concern pose significant threats to our health care system and the well-being of Ontarians, requiring immediate and decisive action,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “The declaration of a third provincial emergency is necessary to provide the government with the tools needed to help protect the public, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.”
As part of Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, people living in regions with the highest rates of transmission will be prioritized to receive a vaccine, starting with the most at-risk in the Peel and Toronto public health regions. This initiative will be expanded to additional “hot spot” regions based on established patterns of transmission, severe illness, and mortality.
To support this expanded vaccination effort, mobile teams are being organized to administer vaccines in high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, and locations occupied by large employers in hot spot neighbourhoods to individuals aged 18 or over. Pop-up clinics will also be set-up in highly impacted neighborhoods, including at faith-based locations and community centres in those hot spots, in collaboration with public health units and community organizations within those communities. The province will provide additional resources to support these mobile and pop-up clinics in the hardest-hit neighbourhoods.
The government will also extend booking for COVID-19 vaccination appointments to more age groups through its provincial booking system, for public health regions with highly impacted neighbourhoods, on Friday, April 9, 2021. Booking eligibility will be extended to include individuals aged 50 and over for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at mass immunization clinics in high-risk areas as identified by postal code, using the provincial booking system.
Health and safety inspectors and provincial offenses officers will increase inspections and enforcement at essential businesses in regional hot zones to continue protecting essential workers while on the job. There have been 19,500 COVID-related workplace inspections and investigations across the province since the beginning of 2021. During those visits, over 450 COVID-19 related tickets have been issued and OHS inspectors have issued over 14,446 OHS orders and stopped unsafe work related to COVID-19 a total of 24 times.
Rapid testing continues to be deployed in workplaces for asymptomatic staff in key sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain, mining, construction and food processing. Approximately 5.4 million rapid antigen tests have been sent to over 1,150 workplaces, including 100 essential industry sites, under the Provincial Antigen Screening Program. To encourage the use of these tests under the program, additional outreach will occur to employers in regions with highest rates of transmission to increase access to testing, and the process for enrollment in the screening program will be streamlined to allow for quick access to these supports.
“As we continue to see COVID-19 variants of concern drive this third wave of COVID-19, it is evident stronger public health and workplace measures are needed to help interrupt the spread of the virus,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “By all of us staying at home, while still taking some time to enjoy the outdoors with the people we live with in our local neighbourhoods and maintaining two metres physical distance from others, we can reduce our mobility, minimize transmission, protect our loved ones and our communities, safeguard health system capacity, and save lives.”