Images from Uxbridge Fall Fair 2018
Veteran volunteer receives top honour for service
by Nancy Melcher
A local volunteer was given high recognition on Monday for her support of veterans and public education about Canada’s involvement in the First and Second World Wars.
Tish MacDonald received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from Mayor Pat Molloy at Monday’s council meeting. On hand to congratulate MacDonald was, among several others, Jennifer O’Connell, MP for Pickering-Uxbridge, local Legion Branch 170 president Sherrill Hodgson, and several proud veterans.
The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields. Originally called the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, this official Canadian honour “recognizes unsung heroes in our communities who volunteer their time, efforts and a great deal of their lives to helping others, and who ask for nothing in return.”
MacDonald was nominated for the award by Ret’d. Col. Allan Bainbridge, with whom she has worked, due to her efforts to promote awareness of our veterans.
The citation from Governor General Julie Payette reads: “Tish MacDonald actively supports veterans’ causes in her community and encourages others to learn about their important contributions. Over the course of a decade, through her work with the Royal Canadian Legion, the Honour our Veterans Banner Program and Uxbridge Secondary School, she has helped increase public knowledge of Canada’s participation in the First and Second world wars.”
MacDonald first became involved in 2007 as a teacher-supervisor on a high school Remembrance Tour to Vimy Ridge.
“I have a tremendous passion for the veterans, and it’s important to me to be able to connect the students to them, to make sure their stories are not forgotten,” says MacDonald. “I feel humbled because it was the veterans that nominated me. That means a lot to me.”
There are already 50 students signed up to take the next Uxbridge Secondary School Tour next spring. MacDonald explained, “We match each student with a veteran from World War I and World War II. They research that veteran’s story. When we visit a place, like Juno Beach or Vimy Ridge, the students with veterans who were active at that location tell those stories. Every veteran’s story gets told where it happened, throughout our trip. It brings it all to life for the students.”
USS students are also planting tulip bulbs in preparation for the portion of the trip that will be in Holland.
MacDonald brings history to life with these experiences that help students connect to events of the past, and to keep the memories of the veterans alive.
First Leaside hole finally getting new “lease” on life
Citizens of Uxbridge – despair no more. The much-maligned “hole” at the corner of Victoria St. and Brock St. W. is finally going to disappear.
Ward 4 councillor Fred Bryan gave the happy news at Monday’s council meeting, announcing that demolition of the crumbling foundations will begin this Friday, Sept.14. A general clean up around the property must be done in preparation for the construction of a new foundation.
Demolition will include pumping out large quantities of murky water and scooping out any vegetation that is growing in the current foundation. New fencing is to be erected around the property, and any interior or exterior walls that will not be used in the construction of the new building will be removed.
According to Brian Pigozzo, chief building official in the township’s Development Services Department, the above should take three to four weeks to complete. The site should, he said at Monday’s meeting, then be ready for a contractor to come in and begin construction on the foundation, which he said hoped would be up and covered by late November. Pigozzo added that, by that time, the surrounding property should also be backfilled and levelled.
No dates for further construction have been confirmed, and no firm timeline for the construction that begins on Friday is in place. Pigozzo did tell council, however, that progress on this stage of the construction would be monitored “according to property standards.”
by Lisha Van Nieuwenhove
Notes from the September 10 Council Meeting
Special Olympic swimmer called a rock star: Victoria McDonald, a member of the Uxbridge Otters swim team, received several presentations from council and others at Monday’s meeting, all congratulating her on her accumulation of no less than five gold medals at the Canadian Special Olympics Nationals, held earlier this summer.
As the Cosmos reported on August 16, Victoria swam her way to three individual gold medals: 50m Freestyle, 25m Freestyle and 25m Breast stroke. As part of Team Ontario, she also received two team gold medals.
Victoria was presented with certificates of recognition from council, as well as from Jennifer O’Connell, MP Pickering-Uxbridge, and from MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy. Regional Chair Gerri Lynn O’Connor also congratulated Victoria, telling her she was a “rock star” representing Ontario the way she had.
Making the Youth Centre their own: In a presentation to council, Uxbridge Youth Centre program facilitator Dale McKnight and artist/sculptor Francis Muscat made a request to relocate the large mosaic that once hung in the former youth centre location.
The mosaic, originally installed at the 34 Brock St. W. location, was created by Muscat, along with several youth who attended the centre. When the building was slated for demolition due to the impending culvert construction, the mosaic was removed, and the pair came before council asking if it could be mounted at the entrance to the new location at 75 Marietta St. This address is also home to the Uxbridge Seniors’ Centre.
McKnight and Muscat also requested permission to create another mosaic for the other side of the entrance, one that will reflect the youth centre’s new surroundings.
“The tree we have now symbolizes the tree of life – birth to death, and it’s interesting that we now have youth and seniors in the same building,” explained Muscat. “We would like it if the next piece could focus more on the seniors, as it’s their building too.”
Council voted in favour of both the mounting of the existing mosaic, as well as the creation of a new one, but added that it was necessary for the Youth Centre to obtain a letter from the seniors saying that they are in agreement with the project.
Quashing Campbell rumours: Several residents who visited the Culvert Project information evening last Wednesday expressed concern that the property on which the James Campbell Insurance building sits was being sold for the downtown culvert project. In a report to council, clerk Debbie Leroux confirmed that only a small portion of the property was being purchased for the project in order to gain access to the land “for construction and future maintenance.”
According to the report, the property that exists beyond the parking lot behind the building (treed banks and the creek itself) is the only part of the property that is being sold.
Urban Pantry stocks nothing but local goodness
by Shelagh Fitz
Not all of us are culinary geniuses. In fact, few are as inspired as the chefs at Urban Pantry. By their own definition they are a “trendy casual globally influenced, locally sourced eatery” located right here in Uxbridge. The restaurant is a destination for those wanting to sample all the goodness that is naturally grown and raised and produced in this area. Urban Pantry has even been certified as a member of the Feast On™ movement, for restaurants who believe local food matters.
“The Feast On™ designation is difficult to get. You have to document the origin of the foods you serve. It’s not good enough that the product is made in Ontario, the ingredients need to be grown here too,” says restaurant owner, Nikki Filntissis. She cites a popular Ontario bakery that “makes a great product but it doesn’t use wheat that is grown in Ontario” and therefore doesn’t qualify.
The current menu lists Uxbridge’s Thunder Ridge bison, house-made ricotta, Uxbridge greens, beer-battered Ontario perch, and Ontario free run farmed brown eggs. But according to Filntissis, much more of what appears on your plate is organically farmed here.
“Food is delivered most days from a dozen or so Uxbridge farms; winter deliveries continue from those that have greenhouses.”
The menu changes about three to four times a year. “The chefs plan ahead and craft preserves of peppers, chutneys and sauces at this time of year to serve later.”
The restaurant even has its own onsite garden to provide a variety of herbs and peppers.
The Feast On™ designation covers beverages as well. Urban Pantry only serves beer from Ontario craft breweries, including The Second Wedge Brewing Co., Ontario cocktails are crafted from liquor sourced from Dillon’s Distillery in Beamsville with syrups made from scratch on site. And Ontario VQA wines populate a significant portion of the restaurant’s wine list.
Feast On™ has a mandate to build local food identity while supporting the local economy and Ontario farmers.
“We are lucky to be in farmland,” says Filntissis. The support goes both ways. Many of their suppliers and local service providers are their customers too.
A self-described foodie, Filntissis was inspired to create something different when they revamped her family’s restaurant that formerly stood on the site and they have certainly succeeded. But there is one thing that is still done the same way it always was done — the fries. “We still hand cut them every morning,” says Filntissis.
The Cosmos is featuring local food finds all through September to celebrate Local Food Month in style!
A new craft beer is all in the family
Collaborations between craft breweries are nothing new, but two North Durham breweries are celebrating what could be the world’s first craft brewery collaboration baby.
The happy parents? Both longstanding brewery employees – Megan is the events coordinator for Port Perry’s Old Flame Brewing Co. and Zach is the sales rep for Uxbridge’s The Second Wedge Brewing Co. The couple welcomed their first bundle of joy over Labour Day weekend.
Unbeknownst to Megan and Zach, in the months leading up to the baby’s arrival, The Second Wedge and Old Flame were brewing up a surprise. Secret meetings and emails were exchanged, recipes were cooked up, and this week, both breweries are releasing a brand-new beer in honour of the newborn and her parents.
Old Flame Brewing Co. is releasing A Beer for Birdie, a seasonal fruity light blonde ale. The Second Wedge will be launching Love Child #1, a cacao wheat beer. These two completely different beers are designed to stand alone, but also taste delicious together when blended in the same glass.
“In a way we’re releasing three beers together,” says The Second Wedge co-owner Joanne Richter. “We’re excited to have people try all of them – it’s our way of celebrating a baby and a couple who are special to both breweries.”
Old Flame owner Jack Doak says, “This is a very unique collaboration, and this is a very unique couple. We are excited to celebrate the arrival of Birdie with Megan, Zack and our friends at The Second Wedge.”
To get a bottle of each beer to mix together, you’ll have to visit both breweries. Bottles of A Beer for Birdie can be purchased at Old Flame Brewing Co., and Love Child #1 cacao wheat beer will be available at The Second Wedge Brewing Co., for a limited time.
Penny House becomes tangible reality for local teen
Josh Morrison finally got to lay his hands on a project that has been laying on his heart since 2012. Morrison was part of a wall-raising last Friday morning, when he and several Habitat for Humanity volunteers, along with several local personalities, lifted five walls into place; at least two of those walls will be part of Josh’s Penny House. The Penny House campaign raised almost $125,000, all of which went towards the CentreTowne home.
Once the walls were secured in place, Morrison wrote a message to the future occupants of the home. The owners may just find his message, as they have several more hours of “sweat equity” to put into the construction of the home before they can move in.
Art on the Fringe Festival a main event this weekend
Organizers of this year’s Uxbridge Art on the Fringe Festival promise that it is better than ever!
The Festival features over 30 emerging and established artists displaying their work, which includes paintings, ceramics, fiber arts, jewelry, furniture and more.
The Fringe Art Festival is presented by Artists of Uxbridge, a local art group that meets regularly to bring artists together, promoting and supporting art in the Uxbridge and area community. New members at all levels are welcome. More information about the group will be available onsite at the Art on the Fringe booth.
As well as browsing and shopping with the artists, visitors can also eat lunch or grab snacks from Laura’s Casual Kitchen food truck; listen to live music provided by some of the musicians featured during Fridays at the Foster concerts; and finally, enjoy the scenery and heritage buildings. There are washroom facilities available, and the entire site is accessible.
While visiting Art on the Fringe, don’t forget to see the many Museum Centre buildings and farm equipment from yesteryear. The Historical Centre, which is where the Festival will take place, is a great location, high on a hill overlooking Uxbridge. A large parking lot is on the south side for those arriving by car, or, for those on the trails, get some exercise by walking the trail to the venue.
For more details about Artists of Uxbridge and the Fringe Art Festival please visit artistsofuxbridge.ca
Art on the Fringe happens both days this weekend – Saturday and Sunday, September 15 and 16, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days. The Uxbridge Historical Centre is located just north of the Brock St. W./Conc. 6 roundabout.
Lane restrictions on Toronto Street in Uxbridge
The Regional Municipality of Durham, Works Department would like to advise residents of lane restrictions on Toronto St (Hwy. 47) in Uxbridge.
From Sept. 10 to 28, construction will take place between Douglas Rd. and Cemetery Rd. accommodate the installation of a new island and entrance that will support new development.
Unfavourable weather conditions may influence the work schedule.
Drivers are asked to exercise caution for the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and construction workers.
Landowners needed for tree planting program
by Nancy Melcher
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “the creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” John Muir believed, “the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” Robert Frost told us, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” Henry Davis Thoreau noted, “We need the tonic of wildness.” And Margaret Atwood said, “In spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
Forests Ontario is working with governments and organizations to make the province greener through planting trees.
“Decades of community outreach have helped plant millions of trees in the province each year. When you support us, you support the future of Ontario’s forests,” says the Forests Ontario mission statement. “Planting trees is a practical way to get more from your property, give back to the community, and help the environment. Work with us, and you can increase the value of your land, improve the quality of your soil, increase wildlife habitat, enhance recreational opportunities, improve the overall health of the environment and leave a lasting legacy.”
This registered non-profit charity is working to help the Ontario Government reach its goal of planting 50 million trees by 2025. They are looking for rural landowners with a minimum of one (1) hectare of open land suitable for growing trees, along with a commitment to maintain the forest that will grow there.
Trees are planted in the spring, and now is the time to plan and prepare the land. Some agreements can lead to tax breaks for the landowner. And with more forests growing up, the entire population benefits from less carbon in the atmosphere and more habitat for wildlife.
If interested, contact Forests Ontario for more information, and to book a consultation, visit www.forestsontario.ca, or email@example.com, or at 1-877-646-1193 ext. 257.
You bring the land; they’ll bring the trees!