All trails soon to lead to IKEA
by Jonas Fornander
Soon there will be a new reason to “start the car” and head out to the trails that wind their way through the Township of Uxbridge. IKEA has announced that it plans to build a “small urban format” store in north Durham, and wants it to be a part of the Countryside Preserve.
“To create a better everyday life for the many people – that is what we can bring to Uxbridge,” says Guén Grien of the store’s vision.
Grien, a spokesman for the store, told the Cosmos in an exclusive interview that the globally-known home lifestyle chain that it is excited to bring a small, sustainable store to the Preserve because the mandate of being environmentally friendly is common to both the Township of Uxbridge and IKEA. And the lack of an IKEA store north of the GTA means that potential customers have to drive further to get to a store, which increases individual carbon footprints.
“We vant that people do not drive their cars so far to get to IKEA,” says Grien. “If they come to Uxbridge and they park their cars, it is less than for them to drive to the city, and that is good for the air, ya?”
The proposed “small urban format” store, to be located on the Countryside Preserve in Uxbridge, will be similar in design to the store that is currently being built in Vienna, Austria, pictured above. The IKEA Preserve store will also aim to be as green as possible, with a publicly-accessible roof garden and with 160 trees on the building, as well as choosing sustainable building materials. Artistic rendering of Vienna store
Grien also revealed that the store itself would be situated well within the Countryside Preserve, and would only be accessible via bikes and walking. Customers must park their cars at places that are already in use. For customers who make large purchases, electric golf carts will be available for them to load up their purchases and take them to their car.
“Oh, the space is so perfect,” says Billy Ektorp, a cashier with a Toronto IKEA who hopes to move to the new store when its built. “It’s so lush and green, and IKEA is just so into doing things green. They’ll match!”
Sven Helfrieses-Ober is the project manager for new store, and says that he hopes Uxbridge residents don’t mind the presence of the store too much.
“We know that a lot of people love this open space, your Countryside Preserve,” says Helfrieses-Ober, “and we are committed to only building just a – how you say it – mycket liten [Swedish for tiny] store here in Uxbridge. It will make sure the people won’t drive so far, but they still have way to IKEA. Because everyone should have the IKEA.”
Helfrieses-Ober also said that the tiny store would be modified in that it would not feature a children’s play centre, as many of the larger format stores do, but rather a doggy day-care centre, so that shoppers who were out on the trails for a walk with their pup can pop into the store and purchase their meatballs or lingonberry juice concentrate without having to tote Fido through the store. It will, alongside the popular grocery section, feature a snack bar where trail walkers can purchase a frozen yogurt to go.
Guén Grien commented that the new store would not likely begin construction until after April 1, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic would hopefully be over by that date, and residents of Uxbridge will likely have stopped rolling their eyes at the prospect of having an IKEA store in the middle of the Trail Capital of Canada.
Glad första april! (Happy April Fool’s, for you non-Swedish speaking readers!)
The Cosmos figured Uxbridge could use a chuckle – we hope this helped. Note: Jonas Fornander did not write this article – he’s the man who does the IKEA commercials. Another note: a “small urban format store” is in fact being built in Vienna, Austria, and is expected to open in autumn of 2021. Source: lonelyplanet.com
A note from MP Jennifer O’Connell
Canada is coping with COVID-19
For well over a week now, you’ve been self-isolating and practicing social distancing to protect yourself, your family and vulnerable groups in our community from the spread of COVID-19. I know you’re worried about caring for your kids and your family, or worried about your business or your job and how you will pay your bills.
While you are helping protect your community by limiting the spread of the virus, your government is unwavering in its commitment to support Canadians, our healthcare system, and our economy. These are truly extraordinary times, and no Canadian should have to worry about paying their bills, rent, or putting food on the table.
As the ﬁrst phase of Canada’s COVID-19 $82 Billion Economic Response Plan, we are providing immediate help to Canadian workers and business that are most in need. For a full, comprehensive look at our government’s response, visit joconnell.liberal.ca. Here are just some of the measures we’ll be taking:
• Introduce an Emergency Care Beneﬁt of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave. This measure could provide up to $10 billion to Canadians, and includes workers, including the self-employed, who are sick, quarantined, or who have been directed to self-isolate but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness beneﬁts.
• Provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
• The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. For individuals (other than trusts), the return ﬁling due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.
• Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent or other dependents who are sick, but do not qualify for EI sickness beneﬁts, as well as EI-eligible and non EI-eligible working parents who must stay home without pay because of children who are sick or who need additional care because of school closures will also be eligible for beneﬁts.
• Provide additional assistance to families with children by temporarily boosting Canada Child Beneﬁt payments. This measure would deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.
• Provide additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes with a special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit. This measure would inject $5.5 billion in the economy. • Reduce required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.
While these measures will take 2-3 weeks to roll out directly to residents, this wide-ranging support will help ensure Canadians can pay for rent and groceries, and help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty.
This is just the beginning, and our government will be there with you every step of the way. We will do whatever it takes to keep you and your family safe, and our community thriving. This situation is changing on a daily basis and you can stay updated on the latest information by visiting canada.ca/coronavirus. The prime minister has said there is nothing we won’t do to keep Canadians safe. I know that together, we’ll get through this.
While our constituency ofﬁce is closed for in-person meetings, our team is available to assist you in your dealings with federal departments. Please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone at 905-839-2878 or by email at jennifer.OConnell@parl.gc.ca
Message from Mayor Dave Barton
I’d like to start this column by stating how proud I am of Township residents for pulling together to isolate in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and for volunteering to help others in our community. I know the staff on our front lines at the hospital and in our medical clinics appreciate your support.
In order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community, we have closed all outdoor playground and recreation amenities. We took this step to help minimize the number of surfaces multiple people can touch, and to reduce the opportunities for people to gather in groups where they might spread the virus. Our sidewalks, trails and parks are still open, so take time each day to get outside and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Just remember to maintain public distancing to avoid the spread of illness between households.
We know that residents are concerned about financial stability. Our tax department is working on ways to help residents manage their tax payments in order to give people flexibility planning their household budgets over upcoming weeks. Check out uxbridge.ca to learn more about this topic.
We announced a fire ban to reduce unnecessary calls to the fire department. We need our emergency services staff to be focused and ready to respond to community needs.
Municipal staff are working to provide the services you need. We are asking the public to contact us via phone or email. We have updated each department’s webpage with the information you need to connect with our staff. Ward councillors and myself are listening to community concerns as well, so continue to reach out via email, phone and social media.
Things will continue to evolve, and we likely have tough times ahead. Please stay connected – your community connections, 105.5HitsFM, local papers and township/regional/provincial/federal websites are the best ways to stay informed. This is an extremely stressful time for us all. Please, as much as you are able, use technology to communicate with your friends and loved ones and try to limit your hours spent dwelling on this pandemic and the 24-hour news stations.
Uxbridge prepares for coronavirus arrival
Dr. Carlye Jensen, chief of Markham Stouffville Hospital Uxbridge site, has told Uxbridge council that the arrival of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Uxbridge is not a question of if, but when.
Jensen says that staff and doctors at the Uxbridge Hospital are being trained to respond to the infection. As part of the local medical community’s efforts, weekly updates on the situation will be posted on www.uxbridgehealth.ca These updates will also be posted here, at thecosmos.ca
Jensen stressed that wearing surgical masks does little to lower the risk of contracting the coronavirus, noting that the infection is spread mainly by physical contact. She said anyone who believes they might have the infection should not go to the hospital or a clinic, but rather phone the Durham Region Public Health Department at 1-800-841-2729 or Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000. Jensen noted, however, that people who need to visit the hospital’s emergency department should not unnecessarily avoid seeking care.
“Our doors are always open,” she said. “We have plans in place to keep COVID-19 out of our ER.”
Jensen said it is important for people to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid touching one’s face and disinfect door handle, phones and keyboards.
The doctor said symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, tiredness and dry cough which, in some cases, can lead to shortness of breath and the need for hospital treatment. Other symptoms which might develop are aches and pains, nasal congestion, sore throat and diarrhea.
Popular music festival another victim of coronavirus
The Sunderland Lions Music Festival is the latest event to be cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The popular festival, which was to have run from April 14 through to April 30, will have to wait until 2021 to celebrate its 63rd year.
“After careful review of the emerging developments surrounding COVID-19, the Sunderland Lions Music Festival Committee has made the decision to cancel the 63rd festival, which was scheduled to run this year from April 14 to April 30,” said festival chair Dale St. John.
He added, “This cancellation is based on minimizing any added risk to our many valued participants, teachers, volunteers, audience members and adjudicators, and was made in conjunction with current information from the Region of Durham Health Department, the Province of Ontario and the government of Canada.”
For more than 60 years, the annual Sunderland Lions Music Festival has brought together hundreds of young musicians from Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge townships, along with teachers and community supporters, to promote higher standards of musical awareness and achievement through opportunities for both public performance and professional assessment.
The public is asked to watch the website – sunderlandlionsmusicfestival.com – for further updates as the Music Festival Committee begins preparations for the 2021 festival.
Longtime Goodwood resident celebrates a big birthday
Lillian Hope (née Bacon), who has lived in the Goodwood area her entire life, celebrated her 101st birthday on March 15. Along with partaking in the usual cake and ice cream, Hope also challenged a friend to a walker race.
“For someone at 101 of age, you wouldn’t expect such incredible agility,” marvelled her niece, Betty Groff. “Yes, sometimes her arthritis acts up, and yes, she needs a little more help these days, but she recently fought a bout of pneumonia – and won!”
Hope still lives in the home that she built with her husband approximately 70 years ago, now sharing the space with her brother. Her family is inviting those who know her to take respect social distancing right now, but to take some time for a phone call to mark this milestone birthday. “Enjoy your year, Aunt Lilly! We look forward to celebrating your 102nd birthday!” laughs Groff. Photo submitted by Betty Groff