Heritage buildings are more than just old bricks and mortar. The Empire State Building, Big Ben, and Casa Loma all bring tourists to their cities, and yet form more than just backdrops on selfies or fill check-boxes on bucket lists. Heritage buildings are community assets. They represent the physical portion of a city’s identity — what would Paris be without the Eiffel Tower? In this rapidly changing world, heritage buildings provide a sense of continuity by serving up memorable experiences for generation after generation.
Active Again — a program that encourages older adults to try various recreational activities in a comfortable environment with other participants who may require an ‘adaptive’ or modified approach to participating — was launched as a pilot project for 2019 in Fenelon Falls.
The Active Again pilot program was born when the Kawartha Cycling Club received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2018 to fund the initiative. KLSRC has worked closely with six different sport and rec providers in the area to put together and facilitate the program.
Speak to any four people in the City of Kawartha Lakes about the prospect of growth and development and you are likely to get at least as many opinions.
Some will no doubt abhor the idea of more people, more traffic and less of the tranquility that they either grew up with or came here to enjoy. A business owner might say we need to grow and we need to grow fast to increase economic opportunity and wonder how we can increase employment. A parent with young children might suggest that we are growing too old as a community and ask about much-needed community amenities.
Still others might simply ask, ‘‘When is the Walmart coming?”
It’s a long way from Modesto, California to Bobcaygeon – particularly with stops in Toronto, Nairobi, Kenya, and Gulu, Uganda – but for the owner of the award-winning Kicking Cowgirl Designs western boutique, the journey has been a summation of her skills, passions, and vocation.
Kimberly Dawn had come to the family cottage in Buckhorn since her youth, but made a permanent move to the Kawarthas four years ago. Prior to that she called Toronto home, operating her western boutique from a storefront in a section of her parents’ silk screening shop. Similar to the present store in Bobcaygeon, her 416 location sold western wear ranging from boots, to belts, to hats, to clothing, but the entire business originated from screened t-shirts she sold as a fund-raiser years earlier.
At the recent mayoral luncheon in front of the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce, City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham laid out what he believes are the top 10 ways the City is moving forward to the assembled business leaders.
1 – Roads
“Roads are our number one issue and challenge,” says the mayor.
“We now spend $50 million a year on our 5,400 lane kilometres of road network. We spend 90 per cent more on roads than we did 10 years ago and 50 per cent more on winter control.”
Letham says 35 cents of every tax dollar brought in goes toward roads. The City of Toronto only allocates five cents of every tax dollar to roads, showing the challenge of maintaining this many roads in a single tier municipality with a small tax base.
“Roads are a challenge with the changing climate and we need to change the way we do business. Over the next few years, it will improve.”
“With an aging population, increasing health care costs and an inactive population, the City of Kawartha Lakes needs to invest in environments that make being physically active the easy choice, while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint. CKL needs to adopt a longer-term vision for how our community is designed and the policies that direct new development.” (City of Kawartha Lakes Integrated Community Sustainability Plan Final Report, April 2014)
The Sustainability Plan was an inspirational document. It saw promoting and enabling active transportation — walking and cycling — as critically important, and called for a decreasing of our dependence on cars.
The preamble to the Active Communities section ends with a vision of transformation: “Connecting communities through safe routes for walking and cycling to school, work and key community amenities . . . can become the way of life in CKL.”
But the Sustainability Plan was meant to be more than inspirational. It included a commitment to “move these words into action.” Around Active Transportation there were sets of actions laid out around four goals, each action given a priority and a timeline.
Communities across the municipality will begin to see makeovers taking place for 17 business and property owners who were successful applicants in the first round of the Million Dollar Makeover funding program. In total, almost $400,000 of the nearly $1,100,000 has been allocated for 2019.
The Molleson family’s future is looking brighter after being selected to own one of two Habitat for Humanity homes being built in Bobcaygeon this spring. Bobcaygeon’s Buffy Molleson and her son and daughter, Ashton (9) and Ocean (8), are Habitat for Humanity’s newest future-homeowners.
To Buffy, it means a way to overcome a previously insurmountable obstacle, and a way to provide a stable home for her children. “I have always wanted to own my own home, I just never had what was needed to get a mortgage,” says Buffy. “I am overwhelmed with appreciation and I am deeply grateful for this chance to better the lives of myself and my children.”
The municipality is undertaking a downtown parking strategy to examine the current and future parking requirements in the downtown areas of Lindsay, Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon. As outlined in the Kawartha Lakes Transportation Master Plan, this study will develop solutions to optimize parking in the defined areas.
In the last several years, demand for downtown parking has increased dramatically. In downtown Lindsay, the average rate of use for parking during peak weekday business hours has increased from 61 per cent in 2014 to 81 per cent in 2018. Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls have also seen increased pressure on parking resources, especially during the busy summer season.
CEO and General Manager of Kawartha Dairy, Brian Kerr, says rumours that one of this area’s most iconic brands is set to go national is premature.
“We have growth plans, but not a national expansion in the near term.”
Instead, says Kerr, there is “lots of room to grow right here in Ontario.”
A source told The Lindsay Advocate that a national expansion was in the cards this fall, but Kerr shot down this rumour.