Uxbridge hosts finance minister
By Roger Varley
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau visited Uxbridge briefly on Thursday, accompanied by Pickering-Uxbridge MP Jennifer O’Connell.
During the hour-long visit, Mr. Morneau was given a detailed description of Uxbridge’s 320-kilometre trails system by Recreation Manager Amanda Ferraro, as well as an overview of plans for the Fields of Uxbridge and the proposed new swimming pool (a planned visit to the Fields was called off due to the weather). He also took time to examine the various small sculptures in the township hall lobby: miniature versions of the L.M. Montgomery and Col. Sam Sharpe statues and the newly restored trestle bridge on the Trans Canada Trail.
While at the township offices, the minister was taken out to look at the Trans Canada Trail pavilion in Centennial Park, where he met with passing children enrolled in the Outdoor Quest summer camp program, one of numerous camps run by the township.
“Do you know the prime minister?” one child asked in awe when told who the minister was.
On hand to greet the minister and Ms. O’Connell were Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor, most members of council and several senior staff members. Asked why he was visiting Uxbridge, Mr. Morneau admitted he was not there to present a cheque or make any announcements. He explained that he is visiting various ridings in the country, particularly rural ones, to obtain some context on issues facing Canadians as he prepares changes to the tax structure.
The mayor took advantage of the opportunity to let the minister know how growth in Uxbridge is severely limited by various pieces of provincial legislation and how the township appreciated the funding that the federal government has provided for various projects.
More signs set to dot Uxbridge township landscape
by Roger Varley
Uxbridge could soon be seeing new directional signs around the township in hopes of bringing visitors to local venues and attractions.
In a deputation to council on July 10, Chuck Thibeault of Central Counties Tourism said the town has three types of visitors: transient, such as cyclists, people heading to cottage country or just driving through; those with a specific destination in mind; and those visiting friends and family.
Mr. Thibeault said the first type don’t give the town or township a second thought as they pass through. The second type sees and visits nothing else other than their pre-determined destination. The third type are often left to their own devices to discover the town on their own.
He said a sign study group has mapped out all of Uxbridge’s assets, such as the trails, the train station, the Foster Memorial, the arena, shopping and dining, in the hope of moving visitors to explore more than one asset of the area.
Noting Uxbridge’s designation as “Trail Capital of Canada”, Mr. Thibeault said: “We claimed the title: let’s exploit it.”
As a result of its work, the group recommended the placement of signs on major entrance points to the township guiding visitors to the downtown. In town, the group wants clearly visible signs pointing out the way to go for venues, attractions and services and where municipal parking lots are located. In the parking lots, they want maps showing what is located where and what events are upcoming.
Mr. Thibeault said about 45 signs would be required, all of which would use standard, nationally recognized symbols for accommodation, dining, etc. He said Central Counties Tourism would pick up one-third of the cost of the signs. He said a request for proposal is being put together for the creation of the signs and the group will report back to council in the fall on its progress.
In his presentation, Mr. Thibeault said making it easier for visitors to find their way around and learn what the township has to offer would increase the number of visitors, boost the local economy and enhance the image of Uxbridge. His group provided a lengthy list of road sites where signage should be placed and what information should be included on each sign.
Addressing current gateway signs in the township and existing directional signage, the group said there is a lack of co-ordination and consistency. They also suggested some signs could benefit from additions, such as the Goodwood community sign identifying itself as “Home of the World’s Largest Buttertart” and Leaskdale as the “Home of L.M. Montgomery.”
Recreation manager Amanda Ferraro said $10,000 was set aside for the sign study, adding that another $35,000 is in reserve for the program.
Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor said the town has missed out on visitors and tourists in the past because of a lack of signs.
“We can start with the 2018 budget,” she said. “It will take a couple of years to get them all done.”
Mr. Thibeault said the group had decided against including directional signs for private enterprises such as golf courses and ski hills, although they might be included at a later date. He acknowledged, however, that including such venues in the program might lead to a reciprocal arrangement in which the venues install maps which would show their guests other points of interest to visit.
Kids + games + BBQ = fun
by Roger Varley
More than 200 Uxbridge children between the ages of six and 14 turned the arena into a massive playground on Friday as they took part in the third edition of the Uxbridge JumpStart games.
The free event, put on by the township and Canadian Tire, saw the kids divided into several groups to take part in such activities as seated volleyball, noodle floor hockey, tennis and wheelchair basketball.
“It gives them a chance to play sports they’ve never done before,” said township recreation co-ordinator Rebecca Harman.
An instant hit with the children was Lee Melymick, a member of the U23 Team Canada wheelchair basketball squad, who led them in games with wheelchairs supplied by the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association. Mr. Melymick, who has played for Canada in international competition, said he only started the sport a year-and-a-half ago. He noted that players do not have to be disabled to play wheelchair basketball.
“It’s an inclusive sport,” he explained.
Every child attending received a free T-shirt, cap, water bottle, barbecue and a take-home lunch. The Games also included those who are enrolled in the township’s summer camps program. Recreation manager Amanda Ferraro said adding the camps to the mix provided the event with “loads of volunteers.”
Ms. Ferraro said the township donated both staff and the use of the facility and the Uxbridge Tennis Club also helped out. Other groups involved included the Bonner Boys and Uxbridge Rotary Club.
For Canadian Tire owner Pat Higgins, the event was a chance “to give back.”
“Look at their smiles,” he said, surveying the scene. “They’re all having a wonderful time.”
JumpStart helps disadvantaged children with the costs associated with registration, equipment and transportation for a wide variety of sports. The Uxbridge Canadian Tire program is one of the most active in Canada and all money raised for JumpStart in Uxbridge remains in Uxbridge.
Accident claims lives of Uxbridge couple
by Roger Varley
An Uxbridge couple was killed in a traffic accident north of Peterborough on the weekend.
George Eliadis, 52, and Shari Keyes-Williams, 42, suffered fatal injuries Saturday evening after their motorcycles and two other motorcycles were hit by a car that crossed over the centre line on Highway 118 near Essonville. Two other motorcyclists whose identities were not immediately released, were seriously injured in the accident.
Haliburton Highlands OPP reported a Chrysler PT Cruiser drove over the centre line and collided with the group of seven motorcyclists. At press time, there was no report whether charges will be laid in connection with the crash.
Fall Fair looking for Ambassador and assistance
Planning for this year’s Fall Fair is well underway, and organizers are looking for more volunteers to round out the process.
The fair is searching for a Fair Ambassador who will preside at this year’s Fair, as well as at some events in 2018. Being a Fair Ambassador is possible for all individuals between the ages of 18 and 24. Further details are available on the Fair’s website or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An acute need for assistance to set up the Produce section on the Wednesday and Thursday before the Fair, and for general disassembly on Sunday afternoon remains. Please contact Bev Harrison at 905-852- 5877 or email email@example.com if you can assist.
The “Fair Book” is now available at H. Goode and Sons, Uxbridge Library and the Town Hall. The book contains rules and regulations for all of the competitive classes as well as information on the entry process. It is also available online.
For junior competitors, there is a simplified version of the Fair Book, in the form of a one page listing of classes specific to them at Uxpool.
The theme of the 153rd Fair is “Made In Canada, Eh!” The Fair dates are September 8-10.
The “Great Uxbridge Carrot Cake Caper,” unveiled last month, has been well received. Prize money has been increased to $200. Entries, complete with recipes, should arrive in the Fair Office by noon on the 10th for judging. Auction begins at 1 p.m., with proceeds supporting the Fair’s annual Uxbridge Secondary Student Award.
The enhanced event list and prize package for the Demolition Derby have been finalized. Visit www.uxbridgefair.ca for details and the entry process.
A reminder that the Fair’s new Midway provider, World’s Finest Shows Inc., will be offering day passes for the Midway at a discounted price. Sales will begin August 8 at Canadian Tire Uxbridge and Sugar FX. Quantities are limited.
Please address any additional queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web site at www.uxbridgefair.ca.
Goodwood News with Bev Northeast
Lots going on in Goodwood! Theatre at the community centre, volleyball groups, tennis in the south park along with baseball, and basketball is keeping everyone busy!
A reminder that the Pearls & Lace craft show is booking tables; call 905-640-3966 or email email@example.com if you are interested, before we are sold out!
There are many changes to the schedule for the Baptist Church, which will now hold Sunday service at 10 a.m. until after Labour Day weekend. Sunday School is cancelled until the fall. The 10 a.m. Thursday Bible study is continuing, but will not be held the last two weeks of August. Kids’ Club returns September 19 at 6:45 p.m. Check the website www.goodwoodbaptistchurch.com for upcoming programs.
Remember to get a permit to have a fire on your property, and please pick up after your dog in the North and South parks, as it is so unfair to the children that play ball in those parks.
If you haven’t received your information on the Durham Region Transportation Study, please let me know. Plans are to widen Hwy. 47 from Bloomington to Durham 21, which can only mean more trucks for this area. We have a truck bypass on – Wagg Road from Conc. 3 over to Durham 30, which isn’t being used by many of the trucks hauling out of the pits north on Front Street.
Finally, please drive at the speed limit as we have children and pets we would like to protect.