BENNS’ BELIEF: FINDING JOY IN THE NEW NORMAL | THE BIG LIE | NEW BOOK ON BASIC INCOME
THE LINDSAY ADVOCATE WINNER – MEDIA EXCELLENCE
State of the Arts
Do we support arts and culture strongly enough?
LUMBER GOES THROUGH THE ROOF
PANDEMIC INNOVATIONS AT LIBRARY, KAWARTHA CONSERVATION
Rockwood Forest Nurseries have been a pillar of the Kawartha Lakes area for the past 36 years. THE NURSERY IN CAMERON, ONTARIO grows trees, shrubs and perennials sold not only through their retail garden centre, but whole scale to homebuilders, landscapers, golf courses and more. “We serve everyone from homeowners to commercial sites at all different budget levels. We have various price points for various budgets so people can get what they need,” explained the owner, Santosh Patel.
Santosh couldn’t be more grateful for the support of the Kawartha Lakes community. “The fact that my little business puts food on the table for 18 people is only possible with the support of local community members,” he said. Last year, Rockwood started their Shopify account to give customers another convenient way to meet all their gardening needs.
Santosh lives at his family cottage in Fenelon Falls for the 6 months that Rockwood Forest Nurseries is open for business. He loves the peace and quiet of rural Ontario, and the opportunity to give back to the community through employing locals, helping the environment by encouraging folks to plant trees and inspiring the next generation through their “little growers” program. “While parents are looking for shrubs in our garden centre and farm, we plan to have little potting stations where the young grower would have experience potting, learn a little bit about the tree or shrub and then have a little specimen to go home with. They can then transplant it with their family when they get home,” Santosh said.
“We have been with the Xplornet family for over 9 years now. Without their Internet service, we wouldn’t be able to have that as another sales channel for my customers,” he said. Supporting local businesses like Rockwood Forest Nurseries is Xplornet’s bread and butter. If you’re a local resident or business owner give us a call today at 1-866-637-2490 for information about Internet options near you.
June 2021 • Vol 4 • Issue 38
Fireside Publishing House, a proudly Canadian company. The Lindsay Advocate is published monthly and distributed to a wide variety of businesses and locations within Kawartha Lakes, North Durham and southern Haliburton County. We are a proud member of the Lindsay and District, Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon Chamber of Commerce. TEAM ADVOCATE
CONTENTS KAWARTHA LAKES’ FINEST MAGAZINE
Publisher: Roderick Benns Associate Editor: Nancy Payne Contributing Editor: Trevor Hutchinson Research, Strategy & Development: Joli Scheidler-Benns Contributing Writers: Nancy Payne, Frank Smith,
Roderick Benns, Geoff Coleman, Kirk Winter, Jamie Morris, Ian McKechnie, Trevor Hutchinson Web Developer: Kimberley Durrant LETTERS TO THE EDITOR SEND TO
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Graphic Design: Barton Creative Co. Photography: Sienna Frost, Roderick Benns, Nancy Payne On the Cover: Susan Taylor, executive director, Kawartha Art Gallery. Photo: Sienna Frost
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cf /The Lindsay Advocate PRINTING
15 12 Editorial: Cultural support needed. 13 Opinion: The Big Lie. Just how good is progress the way we define it? 15 Cover Story: State of the Arts.
Kawartha Lakes has talented artists of all kinds. The city must find more ways to support this growing economic sector.
28 Pandemic Innovations
Area organizations like Kawartha Lakes Public Library and Kawartha Conservation figured out how to stay more relevant than ever.
34 34 If you build it, you’ll pay a lot - Lumber prices are through the roof and there are many reasons why.
IN EVERY ISSUE
4 Letters to the Editor 8 UpFront 11 Benns’ Belief 40 The Local Kitchen 41 Crossword 43 Friends & Neighbours 44 Just in Time 46 Trevor’s Take
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Ontario’s cabinet must go A TE
AD O C V
Paramedic care appreciated
My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. He also had two artificial hips. As the years flew by, I cared for him as best as one could. His legs continued to weaken and he was falling much too often. Our kind neighbours would come to his rescue and lift him from the floor. However, when I did have to call the paramedics, they said, “Call us so your neighbours don’t injure their backs.” They were here on a regular basis. Then it all came to a head Mother’s Day weekend last year. He fell on May 10 and paramedics Francine Scott and Bruce McKay attended him. Dear Francine saw the dilemma I was in and said she was sending an emergency message regarding my situation. On May 11 he fell in the kitchen and paramedics Kevin Sheahan and Chris Barrow cared for him. They also sent an emergency message. Late that evening he fell again, and Adam Guppy and Jon Gorniak attended him. Jon also sent a message. They made the decision to take him to the hospital to at least give me a night’s rest — a very scary time as we were in the midst of COVID-19. My husband remained in hospital for nine weeks before being transferred to Caressant Care McLaughlin Road where he is receiving the care he needs and deserves. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Francine, Bruce, Kevin, Chris, Jon and Adam, my angels on earth. Francine, I’ll never forget you stopping by to see if I was doing okay. Dawn Maddock
What does BGC stand for?
It has been reported that the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes has rebranded as BGC Kawarthas. Why? “Not to be trendy or because it’s shorter and catchier,” according to the report, but rather “removing gender from the name.” One is left to wonder what BGC stands for. RBC still stands for the Royal Bank of Canada. CIBC still stands for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. TD still stands for ... well you get the point. But then, taking everything into consideration, this name change is no doubt preferable to having to include every letter of the alphabet in its name to echo its inclusive practices. Carl Sweetman
The present Ontario cabinet is woefully ill-equipped and utterly disinclined to adequately serve Ontarians during the ongoing pandemic. The package of restrictions announced April 16 met with an almost universal burst of shock, disappointment and amazed puzzlement. Clearly, the measures of police action and closing outdoor recreation facilities were not recommended by the science advisory table, nor would they achieve any significant reduction in COVID infections. Even more distressing, after several hours of discussion the previous day, the government had proposed even less action to try to flatten the third wave of infections. Police involvement and the closing of outdoor recreation facilities were measures added only after advisors raised concerns about the lack of any substantial action to curb the growing infection rate and overcrowding of hospital ICUs. The science advisory table had urged closing more businesses and provision of immediate sick pay for workers in all essential businesses. However, cabinet members are said to have rejected these options because their “constituents would object.” Protecting Ontarians during the pandemic is like a war. During wars, success is achieved by anticipating a wide range of possible outcomes and developing in advance a suite of effective strategies to combat those outcomes should they materialize. In contrast, Ontario’s cabinet evidently operates only after crises have arisen, and then only with concern for what some constituents (i.e. business owners) will say. Possible developments in the pandemic should have been identified beginning a year ago, with plans for effective measures fleshed out, ready for implementation. Ontario’s cabinet, however, has been plagued by chronic inaction as COVID rates worsened. Can we afford to wait until June 2022 to put another cabinet in place? Don Hughes, Lindsay
Are ORVs beneficial for economy?
Thanks to Kirk Winter’s report from council on the ORV question. (“More off-road vehicle access criticized in pitches to council,” Advocate online.) As the financial expert asked, how do we know this is a good thing for the local economy? It was one of my burning questions. Sandra Smith
Not all corporations evil
In the May issue, a letter writer stated “... the people are nothing but economic units for the wealthy. Alas, I see no way that we will ever shake off our chains.” His essay also referenced globalization, traders and “the obsessive pursuit of money.” Tracy Hennekam Who are the “wealthy”? It seemed that his comBroker of Record / Owner ments applied to the owners and operators of global cor705-320-9119 705-320-9119 firstname.lastname@example.org porations, albeit none were specifically named. A large email@example.com proportion of the products we buy these days are made 46 Kent St. W., Lindsay, ON K9V 2Y2 available to us via global companies. No business owner www.sellwithtracy.com forces us to buy anything they sell. I don’t see how any business, large or small, can place chains on anyone since 051916 Tracy Hennekam BC proof.indd 1 2018-09-17 we are all free to boycott any business or product we dislike. Perhaps the “wealthy” includes the public servants listed on the 2020 sunshine list which disclosed all public servants who were paid $100,000 or more in 2020 and are subject to the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act? There could be some public services that don’t meet your approval, but you cannot stop paying taxes for them to release yourself from those very real “chains.” Faith doesn't make things easy, Some express derision towards big corporations as if it makes them possible. Luke 1:37 they are all inherently evil. I have never understood this attitude because they, like me, are paying customers of those very same corporations. 705-887-9837 | 705-320-7598 | www.gideons.ca Global corporations deserve the respect of every Canadian for the economic miracles they are and for the great good that their millions of investors, managers and employees have collectively contributed to the wellbeing of humanity.” Gene Balfour, Fenelon Falls Personal service, from the team you trust.
Praise for Indigenous-focused editions
What a pleasure it was to see the beautiful cover of your May 2021 issue “How Little We Know” featuring stories of the Indigenous community. Beginning with Mike Perry’s newfound Métis heritage and Sylvia Keesmaat’s wonderful telling of history followed by a focus on the crucial issues of language and food sovereignty, this issue was packed with excellent reading. I was especially touched by Trevor Hutchinson’s “Trevor’s Take: A Settler’s Reflection.” Miigwech for showing leadership on our “journey of learning.” Glenna Burns, Bobcaygeon CONT’D ON PAGE 6
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Reader disappointed in tree choice
While I appreciated the article by Jamie Morris on Rockwood Forest Nurseries and thank him for making me aware of local businesses, I am disappointed that he did not plant a native tree. While the paperback maple is a pretty ornamental tree, it is native to China and will not host the same insects, fungi and other food sources that our native birds need. I hope most of us are aware of the value of pollinator plants and allot some space in our gardens for them. The same importance extends to our native trees with their important ecological roles for supporting a greater diversity of wildlife. Native trees such as the red maple and black cherry flower early in the spring and therefore are an important source of nectar for our emerging hungry bees. A tree has a longer lifespan than our garden plants. Do some research and make a better choice with planting trees. Aldo Leopold in his A Sand County Almanac got it right: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Gerarda Schouten, Coboconk Thanks for the comment, Gerarda. Your point is well-taken. You’ll be relieved to know that I didn’t purchase the paperbark maple after all. My final choice was a serviceberry, a hardy native that will join other natives, including several ninebarks, in my backyard. ~ Jamie Morris
Unions didn’t help these plants
I’m responding to the article ‘’Unions are good for your health,’’ from February. My question would be, how good were unions for the health of employees at Firestone Tires in Lindsay, the Honeywell plant in Port Perry and the Caterpillar plant in southern Ontario? These are just three of the plants that came to mind; there likely are many more. As I saw it, the unions with their bullying tactics managed to get these plants shut down, leaving the employees looking for other jobs and trying to put food on the table. So maybe you could enlighten me as to how unions were good for those employees’ health? Gary Byrne, Reaboro
Valu-mart pricing for online order and deliveries unfair, says reader
It’s a long story that led me to ordering groceries online through Valu-mart in Lindsay. Easy process, prompt delivery — seems all is well, right? Not so much; when comparing the grocery tape of the items scanned to the receipt I found, every item was marked up, except the eggs! HST was not charged by Valu-mart on grocery items, but Instacart, separate shopping service, charged HST on the food (separate from the HST for the delivery fee, which I know is required). Then I added one item, which they say you can do — what they don’t tell you is it will cost you almost $8 to do so. Imagine! So I paid a delivery fee, fine; service fee, okay; tip, all right, and a mark-up from $68.19 to $76.49. All added up my cost was $92.94. How is that okay? Kim Kilburn, Lindsay
ORV use contributes to climate change-related deaths
According to a NASA report from October of 2018, CO2 can stay in the atmosphere 300 to 1,000 years. Of the CO2 emissions over the last 300 years, half have occurred since 1980. Our generation is a major culprit. According to the Canadian government, using the latest data available, transportation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Of the 15 megatonne increase in 2018, 7.8 megatonnes came from fuel consumption by on- and off-road vehicles. ORVs are a major culprit — a recreational pursuit, not a necessity. We keep burning more and more fossil fuels. The World Health Organization predicts that between 2030 and 2050 climate change will result in 250,000 additional deaths per year. Plus, heat waves induce the onset of cardiovascular, respiratory diseases and other conditions, so the actual count will be much higher. Encouraging more ORV use makes us complicit in thousands of deaths per year. COVID tells us what happens when you ignore the science. Bill Steffler, Lindsay
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Quantify Numbers that matter
Canada: One of the few industrialized countries that does not provide a school lunch program
Soroptimists help hungry families, local restaurants
of kids’ calories are from foods not recommended by Canada’s Food Guide of high school students do not eat a healthy breakfast before school
Source: Food Secure Canada
They’re not so much cafeterias as they are school restaurants. France has developed strong nutrition standards for its school lunch program, with local governments and parents showing wide support. In the city of Bordeaux, for example, fresh bread is served each day just a few hours after it comes out of the oven, all school year long. Nearly half the food in the region is organic and 70 per cent of the vegetables come from the immediate region, according to food blogger Tom Conrad. Meals are based on ingredients like organic chicken,
lamb that is traceable to the farm where it was raised, certified Atlantic salmon, seasonal vegetables, organic fruit and dairy from the region and traditional cheeses. It’s not confined to one region either. Even in the poorest neighbourhood of Paris, school meals include dishes like veal, salmon and organic vegetables — all paid for
by the government.
French fries? Only once every few weeks.
Members of Soroptimist International of Kawartha Lakes know the struggles that businesses and individuals are facing today. That’s why they are sponsoring a program that benefits three groups of people: you, local restaurants and women and children in need. As a donor, you will receive a charitable receipt when you support “A Meal on Us.” Just name a restaurant within Kawartha Lakes that you want to support, and the Soroptimists will purchase gift cards or gift certificates, using 100 per cent of your donation. Those gift cards will then be distributed to women and their families through your local food bank. Restaurants benefit from needed cash flow, and families who are struggling will have the opportunity to enjoy a meal without worrying about the cost of food, an opportunity that they would not otherwise have. To stand behind their mission of helping women and girls, the Soroptimist club will match donations to a total of $2,000 — making your money go twice as far — and and helping more restaurants and serving more women. Donations can be made by e-transferring to the email@example.com, or mailing a cheque to SIKL, P.O. Box 365, Lindsay ON K9V 4S3. Be sure to include your name and address to receive your charitable receipt, and the name of the restaurant. A $20 minimum donation is required for receipt. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of Soroptimist globally, and ten years for the Kawartha Lakes club — making a difference in our community!
Business UPFRONT Morrison Nicholls wins international award
Marlene Morrison Nicholls of Stewart Morrison Insurance has won an Enterprising Women of the Year Award. A media release calls it “an annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs.” The awards, sponsored by Enterprising Women magazine, are considered “one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners in the U.S. and globally.” To win, nominees must demonstrate that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship and stand out as leaders in their communities.
Dry stone wall in Bobcaygeon needs business, community support
Pictured at the dry stone wall in Bobcaygeon. Left to right: John Bush, Stephen Slack, Richard Fedy, Robert Blane, Monica Cara, Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan, Ann Adare. Photo: Submitted.
The 122-metre (400-foot) stretch of dry stone wall near Case Manor on Canal Street in Bobcaygeon is one of only two in Kawartha Lakes. Known as the Edgewood dry stack wall, it is now in serious need of repair. Volunteers from Environmental Action Bobcaygeon are determined to rescue it, according to a media release. The wall was built in
“It is nice to be recognized as someone who has shown leadership, resilience and longevity in the business community,” said Morrison Nicholls, a 45-year veteran of the industry. She noted insurance was once a male-dominated industry and says as the only Canadian woman in a group of very strong women from the U.S. and around the world, “it was a very special nomination and award to achieve.” Morrison Nicholls says she has spent most of her life building a business that welcomes diversity and inclusivity, and providing women with stable, full-time careers with equal pay and benefits. “I hope I have been part of an encouraging, positive voice for women in business.”
1890 through 1891 and will undergo a full restoration for its 130th milestone birthday this year. The “rare and excellent example,” as the volunteers describe, of nineteenth-century dry stack stone wall construction was something early Ontario settlers built. The Boyd family paid farmers a dollar for each wagon load of stones brought to the site. Building a dry stone wall requires a high degree of technical achievement; the technique has been recognized by UNESCO for its picturesque appeal and cultural significance. With the wall’s repair costs estimated at $70,000, the Bobcaygeon group has joined with the Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes to create the Edgewood Stone Wall Fund to facilitate community donations. For more information on the campaign and how to help, visit www.EdgewoodStoneWall.com
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BENNS’ BELIEF RODERICK BENNS Publisher
Finding joy in the new normal
In theoretical physics an event horizon is a boundary around a black hole. It is the point of no return in which no light or radiation can escape. For many people, pandemic life — from a social perspective — is such that we’ve been living ever closer to such a boundary. We are on a damaged starship, if you will, drifting closer to the moment we may slip beyond reach. Mental health has been frayed. Anxiety has intensified. Our human crew is beyond tired. Visible to our sensors, though, are those climbing vaccination numbers. They offer hope and reassurance. In truth, they offer light — the very thing this pandemic black hole tried to take from us. I have no doubt we will eventually push our way back to safety. But when we know we’re safe and base survival is no longer the goal, what is it that remains after being adrift for so long? People speak of “back to normal” and a “new normal,” but we haven’t had occasion to really live in that space, have we? Is back to normal when our businesses fully reopen, certainly something we all wish to see? Is that good enough to define normal in the 21st century? Pandemic life has been Zoom and pixelated relatives. It has been gated yards and distant waves of hello. Even when we got outside and passed people on trails, we knew these encounters were not to be lingered over. We passed quickly with fleeting, awkward smiles. We were all travellers; we were all alone with each other. During these past 15 months of disquiet there were young people who started elementary school or high school. Others graduated and started college or university, their first launch into an uneasy world. People lost jobs. Started jobs. Gave birth. Got married. Got divorced. They went through major life changes — and not always with the typical supports available, but with a protracted sense of unease for what was to come. What is to come? Will well-being be seen as a common front now and less through a personal lens? Will we see health in the security of our community, not just in the shape of our own needs? Will the sight of a face mask a year from now — more common in Asian nations to guard against seasonal flu — be seen as responsible? Or will it stoke dread, a grim reminder of That Time we wish to forget? Perhaps the best place to find our “back to normal” is to start with joy, wherever we can find it. The embrace of family. Going to the theatre. The quiet knowing that a dark time in our history really has passed. We will not be the same people we once were, and that’s all right. We will work to be better — and we must help each other find the light.
More cultural support needed We’ve come a long way on the arts and culture file in Kawartha Lakes since 2014. That’s when then-Ward 7 Councillor Brian Junkin posed an astonishing question. Kawartha Art Gallery executive director, Susan Taylor, had just asked council for stable funding. Junkin wanted to know why the gallery didn’t just sell the permanent art collection housed in the gallery to raise some money. Selling off assets is always the battle cry of the imaginatively impaired, no matter the level of government. (Highway 407 anyone?) Since then, things have improved. Council has approved a cultural master plan. It has set up the well-received Arts and Heritage Trail. We have an arts and culture officer. Most recently the city has agreed to hire a curator to work with local museums to help with grant proposals. There’s no doubt the city must do this and more to help over-stretched volunteers in a sector that provided 527 jobs to this area in 2017, according to census data. But one curator hired to help so many groups in the city will be a tough job — not that we have an actual job description yet. But as our feature story in this issue reveals, there are plenty of nearby municipalities that do far more, such as own and operate museums and provide stable funding. Although it provides other forms of support, Kawartha Lakes provides no consistent annual funding for cultural organizations other than a nominal amount for Maryboro Lodge. The truth is, we still fall short of properly supporting and showcasing arts and culture in this city. Even basic things show how far we have to go, like taking the time to correct the Explore Kawartha Lakes website listings that include museums that no longer exist and confusing maps that no tourist could use effectively. Strangely, there’s also a link to public art policy rather than examples of public art. Arts and culture is not the sphere of the elite; it is something we all enjoy and that bonds us. The city must continue to do more for a sector that will be in more demand than ever as our communities grow.
LETTER SPOTLIGHT Cognitive kits appreciation I’ve just read your “Cognitive kits now available at library for people living with dementia” story (Advocate online). What a clever idea! With these resources, family caregivers in your area can find education, help and support readily available. Dementia — as I know — can be a very difficult and demanding issue. Alzheimer’s disease struck my father and I helplessly watched him decline both mentally and physically. While there was nothing I could do to stop the disease, I worked hard to keep him safe and comfortable. Despite my best efforts, I lost Dad twice — once when he forgot who I was and once again when he passed away. Unfortunately, dementia is a common — and fast-growing — concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 50 million people worldwide suffer from the debilitating condition, with nearly 10 million new cases being added each year. Family caregivers may find their new and ongoing responsibilities overwhelming and would be wise to borrow one of these “cognitive kits” from your public library — as well as to actively seek out other resources which can also be of great help and comfort to them. Rick Lauber, Edmonton, Alberta Author of The Successful Caregiver’s Guide and Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians
The Big Lie says ‘progress’ is good FRANK SMITH Frank Smith is a farmer and retired teacher who lives with his wife on a small farm west of Lindsay. He is past president and active member of Toward Balance Support Network. When I was young and wanted a drink, I went to the kitchen sink, poured myself a glass of water and drank. In those days, it never occurred to me that the water might be contaminated; I just drank. There is something in the act of drinking water out of the tap without a second thought that makes it one of faith. Everywhere you look today, that faith is being lost, with terrible consequences to society. Currently, one-third of the world’s population lacks access to clean, safe water. By 2025, that number will have grown to half of the world’s population according to the World Health Organization. We know that we are responsible for this inequity, but since that knowledge is too great a burden to carry, we deny it. Yet, our insatiable desire for things requires others to pay for our pleasures. That was our reason for creating The Big Lie in the first place. The Big Lie says that what we make is good. The things we make have value in that they create the money that feeds progress and progress is, by definition, good. What God makes, however, is called raw materials which have no value until we sacrifice them to progress. Therefore, water’s only value is for fracking or removing toxic waste from industries and cities; food’s only value is for engineering either genetically modified pseudo-food products or junk food for the snack counter; air only serves as the reservoir of all the pollution that our smokestacks disgorge. Thousand-year-old trees are no more than lumber, and mountains only exist for minerals. We know progress is a lie, but we have come to accept it as the natural way of things, even though we have also come to fear that there is no safety for us or for our children anymore. No peace, no joy — just end-
less service to progress. Rather than trusting the water that comes out of the tap, water that our health authorities have deemed safe, we have fostered a $306-billion bottled water industry that sells more than 365 billion plastic bottles of water each year, or one million bottles a minute. Every year, billions of these used bottles end up in the ocean, out of sight and out of mind. The choice government makes in this phenomenon is to feed bottling companies unlimited access to precious groundwater at almost no cost and with no oversight.
Rather than trusting the water that comes out of the tap, water that our health authorities have deemed safe, we have fostered a $306-billion bottled water industry that sells more than 365 billion plastic bottles of water each year, or one million bottles a minute. Our addiction to things is so great that withdrawal seems impossible. Nevertheless, there are only four things that we really need. We must have clean, safe water; clean, safe food; clean, safe air; and a clean, safe place to live. Everything else is superfluous. The way back from the brink seems immense, but the first step is easy. Plant seeds. Care for them as you would care for your children. Watch a bean break through the earth. See it as a child would, filled with wonder at the magic of life. Watering your garden can teach you our collective need for clean, safe water. Tending it can heal your soul. Sharing the bounty can teach you our need for community. All of these acts throw back the veil under which The Big Lie flourishes, revealing it in all its weakness. Do this and you will find that your addiction for needful things has diminished, because when you tend to the healing, nature will do the rest.
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DOWNTOWN Stay home, stay safe and support local! While construction and COVID-19 present short-term challenges, businesses continue to serve the community. There are still a variety of convenient ways to shop in Downtown Lindsay and Fenelon Falls. Businesses remain open for curbside pick-up or delivery and with social distancing protocols in place. kawarthalakes.ca
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You’re going to dig what we’re doing. 14
The Art in community }} Does Kawartha Lakes support culture as well as it could?
NANCY PAYNE Associate Editor
Artist volunteers at the Fenelon Station Gallery in August 2020. Photo: Nancy Payne.
Susan Taylor’s plea on behalf of the Lindsay Gallery at a 2014 city council meeting was a success. Sort of. Yes, some councillors had balked at giving money to the arts, but they ultimately waived the gallery’s rental fees and provided an emergency grant of $3,300 a month to keep the doors open. “We got what we wanted, but it wasn’t a good business model,” said Taylor, executive director of what is now the Kawartha Art Gallery. “I realized there had to be a better way to do this. It wasn’t a sustainable solution — we’d be back where we started from in three years.” It was a familiar pattern. Arts and culture organizations in Kawartha Lakes would hang in until the shoestring frayed to the breaking point, then plead with council for crisis funding. After the many townships and settlements of the old Victoria County amalgamated in 2001, “there were other priorities, so I don’t think our arts, culture
and history organizations necessarily got the attention they deserved,” Fenelon Falls councillor Doug Elmslie said.
It’s impossible to pinpoint how Kawartha Lakes stacks up when it comes to supporting culture, but a glance at other municipalities is illuminating. Northumberland County (population 86,000) has invested more than $3 million to build a new county-owned long-term care facility in Cobourg that will house the municipality’s local museum and archives. The municipality of Dysart (6,300) owns and runs the Haliburton Highlands Museum. Tiny Minden Hills (6,100) operates a municipal cultural centre that includes an art gallery, museum and heritage village alongside a nature centre and library. CONT’D ON PAGE 16
THE ART IN COMMUNITY CONT’D FROM PAGE 15
Maryboro Lodge in Fenelon Falls is the only city-owned museum in Kawartha Lakes. Photo: Courtesy City of Kawartha Lakes.
Maryboro Lodge The city inherited its one museum from the village of Fenelon Falls during amalgamation. Recently redeveloped in conjunction with the waterfront Garnet Graham Park and splash pad, Maryboro Lodge, which has no paid full-time staff, saw 30,000 visitors in 2019, many of them children. “It’s one of our best-kept secrets,” said Doug Elmslie, the councillor who chairs the Fenelon Museum Board.
And then there’s Peterborough, which admittedly has a more concentrated population with greater access to public transit. An arm’s-length, city-backed organization, the Electric City Culture Council or E3, runs bursaries, training programs, an annual Artsweek and just created a new poet laureate post. The city itself spends more than a million dollars to run its art gallery, and museum and archives. Kawartha Lakes, by contrast, provides no consistent annual operational funding for arts or culture organizations, other than the $13,500 it gives the museum it owns and operates, Maryboro Lodge in Fenelon Falls. “The bulk of the cultural activity in this area takes place outside the municipal government,” said Craig Metcalf, general manager of Lindsay’s Academy Theatre.
After years of tireless advocacy, often through umbrella organizations such as the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council and the Kawartha Lakes Culture and Heritage Network, the “better way” Susan Taylor pictured is starting to take shape. The Arts and Heritage Trail is giving residents and visitors alike a way to explore local culture. The work of Donna Goodwin, the economic development department’s arts and culture officer, is widely praised. And in its biggest step in decades, council adopted a 10-year cultural master plan in February 2020. Based on the plan’s recommendations, the city has hired an archivist and is creating a job description for
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Kawartha Art Gallery provides opportunities for youth through art programming such as Summer Art Camp programs. In response to the pandemic, the Gallery will provide free online art programming for youth this summer. Photo: Submitted.
another position to be filled in 2021: a curator who will work with local museums, ideally helping them qualify for grants otherwise unavailable because they don’t have permanent staff. “That’s what small museums can’t do. They don’t have the income,” said Beverly Jeeves, director of communications for the Culture and Heritage Network. The decision to hire a shared curator was not universally popular, though; Lindsay’s Olde Gaol Museum had requested city funding for a full-time curator of its own, and others questioned whether one person could effectively support so many museums and historical societies. The city also faces some lingering pre-amalgamation us-vs-them sentiment, and occasional suspicion of anything seen as reducing local control. “If you lived in any other community, there’d be one (former) train station, but here we have five train stations that people want to keep,” said Janet Tysiak, a volunteer executive member at the Fenelon Station Gallery.
ABOVE: A pre-pandemic production at the Lindsay Little Theatre in 2018. Photo: Submitted. BELOW: A 2018 all candidates meeting at the Kirkfield Museum. Photo: Arlene TenHove.
THE CASE FOR CULTURE
Would it really matter if there were no murals or artisans’ market in Kinmount, the Pontypool grain elevator sat neglected, and the Bobcaygeon Music Council never ran another concert? The cultural master plan estimates the cultural sector employs 527 people in Kawartha Lakes, and that every dollar of municipal investment generates somewhere between $3.70 and $11.70 for the community. CONT’D ON PAGE 18
Planning for a Cultural Centre The vision of a central cultural facility floated tantalizingly out of reach for years, but it’s getting closer to reality. April saw the first meeting of the city’s Cultural Centre Feasibility Task Force, which will set the terms for a consultant to conduct a study.
Lights, Camera, Kawartha Lakes!
CONT’D FROM PAGE 17
“It’s an economic driver, it’s a tourism driver. The arts are not a self-indulgent thing,” said Sarah Quick, artistic director and co-founder with husband James Barrett of Globus Theatre and the Lakeview Arts Barn near Bobcaygeon. “People don’t understand that it’s incredibly labour-intensive to run a museum but the profits don’t come back to us — they go to other businesses in the community,” said Barbara Doyle, the Olde Gaol’s volunteer manager. For example, more than half of the people who took in the annual fall studio tour in 2018 came from outside Kawartha Lakes; 31 per cent were from the Greater Toronto Area. Those visitors didn’t pay admission but did eat lunch, buy gas and browse shops. “There’s a greater value than just dollars and cents,” said the Academy’s Metcalf. Performances, exhibitions and experiences build a stronger community. “It just creates a better place to live.” A 2019 study by Community Foundations of Canada found that people who rate their community’s arts, culture and leisure as “excellent” are almost three times more likely to feel a strong sense of belonging, especially in rural areas. Canadians who take in the arts frequently volunteer twice as often as those who don’t, and their physical and mental health are better. Venues like the Academy, Globus, Lindsay Little Theatre or Fenelon’s new Grove Theatre provide a chance to explore music, dance or acting, and to form new friendships. Museums, galleries and heritage sites give residents a place to share their stories and newcomers a place to learn them. “It’s important because there are people like me, who go back four generations in the village, and there are also a lot of residents who have been part of the exodus out of Toronto and area,” said Ian Burney of the Kirkfield Historical Society, which operates a museum in the former Presbyterian church. “It’s important that we record some of this history before it’s lost.”
FROM PLANNING TO ACTION
Amid its ambitious recommendations, the cultural master plan observes, “Cultural sector organizations are operating at the peak of their current abilities. Most are run by hard-working volunteers who do not have formal or professional training … The sector cannot grow beyond its current level of success without addressing these core operational issues.” Grant programs and corporate donors typically fund one-off programs but not day-to-day expenses. “You can get business sponsors, you can get government grants, but none of it is going to cover your core funding,” said Glenn Walker, Maryboro’s curator. wi od o G Summer students or short-term contractors depart D onna when the grant ends. It falls to volunteers to create programn
Local movie fame has long been limited to the recurring debate over whether parts of A Christmas Story were really shot in Lindsay, and trying to spot familiar faces in the background of the bus-loading scene in Meatballs. The economic development office is aiming to change that by hiring a consultant to develop processes that will make Kawartha Lakes more film-friendly, ensuring location scouts receive a response within 72 hours of an inquiry. “It’s a great way to showcase and share, and to capitalize on a multimillion dollar industry in a really practical way,” said Donna Goodwin, the economic development department’s arts and culture officer.
THE ART IN COMMUNITY
A 2019 study by Community Foundations of Canada found that people who rate their community’s arts, culture and leisure as “excellent” are almost three times more likely to feel a strong sense of belonging, especially in rural areas.
TOP: Globus Theatre co-founders Sarah Quick and James Barrett rehearse a scene. Photo: Courtesy Globus Theatre. ABOVE LEFT: The Kirkfield Museum, housed in the village’s former Presbyterian church, also hosts events like this prepandemic Joni Mitchell-themed concert. Photo: Charles Gloster. ABOVE RIGHT: Visitors read in the gardens outside Maryboro Lodge in Fenelon Falls. Photo: Sharon Walker.
ming, care for artifacts, do the hiring and banking, complete endless grant applications and organize creative but labourintensive fundraisers such as the hugely popular Festival of Trees at Settlers’ Village. Running a performance or display space, often in a heritage building, is not like running a business. “There’s this idea that if the public really loves something, they’ll fund it. Well, a lot of people locally are struggling. We want them to come
in and see what’s here and be inspired and be educated,” said the Olde Gaol Museum’s Doyle. The lack of a line in the budget obscures the wide-ranging help the city does provide. “Operational funding can come in a lot of different ways — heat, hydro, rent,” said Goodwin. “There are a lot of ways that the municipality supports organizations that use municipal buildings.” CONT’D ON PAGE 21
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THE ART IN COMMUNITY CONT’D FROM PAGE 19
For instance, the city offsets utility costs for the Olde Gaol, is building an accessible entrance at Maryboro Lodge and helps maintain the Fenelon Station Gallery. “Last year they put brand-new toilets in. Those things mean a lot to us,” said Tysiak. Problems can arise fast and cause major damage; a flood at one building might bump an overdue paint job, so volunteers often tackle the work themselves. Repairs and maintenance are generally done by the parks, recreation and culture division, which is also responsible for everything from arenas to cemeteries. Municipal budgets are finite and tax increases are unpopular. “There’s no end of places to put money,” Elmslie said. “It’s a balancing act. We have to preserve our heritage, but we have to fix our roads, too.” Lately, he said, culture “has taken a much more front and centre position than it had in the past. The cultural master plan is a huge step because once it gets written down and once it gets adopted by council, that’s a road map.”
The plan’s vision statement describes a time when “Kawartha Lakes is widely known for its thriving cultural sector,” one that is “well-resourced” enough to attract provincial and federal funding Although “there’s not a pot of money associated with the plan,” Goodwin said, the journey is well underway, thanks to the addition of new staff, a cultural route planning tool to be introduced once travel resumes, and plans for outdoor music events, murals, a sculpture garden and more. Federal recovery funding topped up by council was welcomed in a sector walloped by the pandemic, but Globus Theatre co-owner Quick said the truly special part was Mayor Andy Letham coming to listen and learn. “It felt really good. I’m really hoping that this turns a little corner in people understanding our role in this region and this community.” Those involved in arts and culture locally are watching closely to see the details of the cultural master plan’s broad directions. “Sometimes the most important parts of those plans are the reports that outline the actual implementation,” said Metcalf. Of particular interest is the possibility of municipal funding for day-to-day operations. “Staff have been directed to bring options forward for inclusion in the 2022 budget
discussions,” Goodwin said. Culture and heritage groups have seen the value in presenting a more consistent message to the city. “A councillor once told me the city of Kawartha Lakes is a community of communities,” Jeeves said. Her group is working on ideas like an overall needs list for city-owned buildings used by cultural organizations, and a passport visitors could get stamped at destinations around the municipality. “I think that’s our role, to make sure we’re talking to one another.”
Although “there’s not a pot of money associated with the plan,” Goodwin said, the journey is well underway, thanks to the addition of new staff, a cultural route planning tool to be introduced once travel resumes, and plans for outdoor music events, murals, a sculpture garden and more. Although next year’s municipal election could upend the city’s priorities, there’s already been huge progress, the Kawartha Art Gallery’s Taylor said. “The reception to the conversation and the advocacy has been so positive. I honestly consider that we’re very fortunate in our community that we have a council that you can email and they will reply to you personally.” It’s a time for optimism, she added, even though provincial funders often overlook small rural arts groups. “We have such a wealth of natural assets, cultural assets, our people. We get penalized for being small, but by God we’re special.”
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New book on basic income has many local connections A new book, The Case for Basic Income, includes the voices of many local Kawartha Lakes residents. Written by prolific author Jamie Swift and Queen’s University professor and food insecurity expert Elaine Power, the book traces the evolution of the social policy, especially in Ontario. A basic income would provide an income floor, usually set at or near the poverty line, regardless of one’s work status. It would be there for anyone in times of need and so would be free from the stigma of welfare. It would also avoid the need for a long application process and instead work through the Canada Revenue Agency’s system. The new book includes numerous interviews conducted with the many The Case for Basic Income: people who put their trust in the new Freedom, Security, Justice social policy pilot as well as community by Jamie Swift and Elaine leaders. The pilot would be cancelled Power is now available early by the Progressive Conservative at Kent Bookstore Party of Ontario when Premier Doug in Lindsay. Ford took over. It was one of the first acts of the new government. This is the latest book on what has become a worldwide interest in basic income as social policy. It also adds compellingly to a growing body of evidence that shows how ensuring adequate income can spin off into many social and economic benefits for society. People interviewed or quoted include former Ross Memorial Hospital CEO Bert Lauwers, former Kawartha Lakes Police chief John Hagarty, and Mike Perry, who was chair of the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition and spearheaded the drive for Lindsay to be chosen as one of three pilot sites for basic income in Ontario to be tested. The book also has segments featuring Advocate founders Roderick Benns and Joli Scheidler-Benns. ~The Advocate
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NOTES FROM CITY HALL ORVs — coming soon to a road near you Kawartha Lakes council will soon allow off-road vehicles (ORVs, also known as ATVs or all-terrain vehicles) access to a number of designated rural roads in the south of the city and routes through Lindsay and Bobcaygeon, creating a united trail system for recreational vehicles running from the Ganaraska Forest all the way to Haliburton. Despite several deputations from the public questioning everything from the decision making process of the task force led by councillor Pat Dunn to the costs of enforcement, the city has decided to spend some time fine-tuning some of the parts of the new ORV bylaw with a goal to implement the new rules on Sept. 1.
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City to encourage more discussion of basic income In a contested and close vote, Kawartha Lakes council approved a motion by councillor Doug Elmslie to send letters to Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock Member of Parliament Jamie Schmale and federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to encourage a meaningful discussion between Ottawa and the provinces on the issue of a universal basic income. Letham will not run for third term Kawartha Lakes mayor Andy Letham informed council that he will not be standing for a third term as mayor. “I will not be running in the next election,” Letham told council. “We have accomplished much together as a team and we have much more to do. Let’s keep going.” While some were surprised by the mayor’s announcement, Letham remains true to a promise he made to his family in 2014 that he would only be a two-term mayor.
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}} Kawartha Conservation and our library system have responded by making themselves more relevant than ever
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Lyndsay Bowen, library specialist, outreach and community engagement, hopes to introduce local history storywalks for adults by summer. Photo: Sienna Frost.
When the Kawartha Lakes Public Library’s virtual book club began, most participants didn’t know each other, given they were from all across the city. Getting to know each other began with the sharing of book suggestions. Soon club members were asking to exchange emails so they could chat outside of book club time. Then it turned into socially-distanced porch drop-offs of books, parking lot visits to exchange books, and even buddy reading — reading the same book at the same time to talk about it. In no time, Lyndsay Bowen, says, she realized it was “a full-blown community” that had been created. One person was in tears the first time the book club met on Zoom, says Bowen, as they had been missing social interactions. “To think that this all started with a simple, 45-minute Zoom program,” she said. It’s the challenge shared by dozens of local businesses and non-profit organizations: how to balance the fact that people are largely being told to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19 against the reality that
most people are desperate to find things to do after 15 months of relative isolation. Amidst the upheaval of the pandemic, Bowen’s book club is but one of many success stories for the library. From book bundles and cognitive kits to the movie-streaming Kanopy app and outdoor storywalks, the library has managed to not only stay relevant but actually increase the number of programs it offers. For instance, with people staying home to cook more, the library introduced the highly popular Spice Club for its adult clientele. “We thought that perhaps 20 or so people would join if we were lucky, but we currently have over 65 participants. People are visiting restaurants less, but with more time spent cooking at home, those go-to recipes and meals have gone sort of stale for many,” Bowen says. She adds that the Spice Club is a great way to learn how to incorporate new spices into families’ kitchens, and access new recipes, too. “Of course, the social component is a selling feature as well, even if it is just making virtual connections for now.
A runaway success for children and families has been something dubbed “storywalks” — outdoor reading sites set up around Kawartha Lakes. The initiative takes pages of a children’s book and posts them on yard signs stationed around a trail. Families can read the story together as they get out for a walk. “I remember scrolling through my personal Facebook page and seeing Facebook friends posting about taking their kids to different storywalks. That’s when I got the feeling like, wow — word has really gotten out. These are a success,” she tells the Advocate. It started with just one storywalk at Ken Reid Conservation Area in December, and has continued there ever since, in addition to other locations. “We update the stories approximately once a month,” says Bowen. Library CEO Jamie Anderson says the library “did not expect the huge interest that developed for these programs with people asking when they would be available in their communities.” Since then, the library has partnered with Settlers’ Village in Bobcaygeon to do the same thing. “And I mean, what’s not to love?” Bowen says. “It pairs literacy and physical activity together and encourages families to get outside. Participants can stay in their own community and still enjoy a fun and safe family activity.” There were nine locations set up for spring break, says Bowen, noting that some families tagged the library daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts as they worked their way through the storywalks in many Kawartha Lakes communities. Bowen hopes to introduce local history storywalks for adults, likely in time for summer. Anderson says parents were also actively looking for ways their children could disconnect from computers, but still be engaged. “This led to our Full STEAM Ahead take-home kits,” Anderson says. Families can borrow the STEAM kits from the library and connect in some way to science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Bowen says her best success in navigating during the pandemic has been through social media, local media and striking partnerships with other groups, all to get the word out about free library opportunities for families. “We’ve found partnerships we may not have otherwise explored,” says Bowen, from Kawartha Conservation to Settlers’ Village, Burns Bulk Food, Kawartha Lakes Food Source, the local Alzheimer Society and others.
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The library’s partnership with Kawartha Conservation started with the Christmas at Ken Reid event in 2019, when the first storywalk was piloted. CONT’D ON PAGE 31
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Full STEAM Ahead These are toys and activities that build skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The program proved to be so popular more items were added; there are now more than 40 available for families to borrow. Many items were purchased from Tradewind Toys in Lindsay. Take-Home Packs The library provides all the supplies as well as an instruction sheet to do a craft or activity. New activity packs are available at the beginning of each month on a first-come, first-served basis. There are two different packs: one for ages two to five, and the other for kids five and up, presented in partnership with Pinnguaq, a not-for-profit that uses STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) to create learning opportunities. Book Bundles With in-branch access not available in some stages of reopening, shelf browsing — usually the best way to pick children’s books — hasn’t always been possible. If families aren’t sure which books to check out, they can fill out a form on the library website telling staff about their child’s reading interests. Library staff will then hand-pick books and have them available at the preferred library branch. Grab and Go Bags Grab and Go bags are perfect for busy families who need some help picking out books to read together. There are five books in each themed bag, which may include a mix of picture books, easy readers and non-fiction books. Themes include unicorns, dinosaurs, kindness and more. Cognitive Kits Cognitive Kits help support the skills and abilities of people living with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment. The collection of eight unique kits contains an assortment of activities that encourage social engagement and success with daily activities. Kanopy Kanopy is the library’s newest digital resource. It’s a collection of movies and television shows for all ages, including classic cinema, independent films, documentaries, award-winning foreign films and more. The new service expands the movies, television shows, music and other items available through Hoopla. COVID-19: The Kawartha Lakes Pandemic Time Capsule To capture how COVID has affected our community, the library started a collection of local and general news articles, photographs and experiences shared by citizens of Kawartha Lakes. The entire collection can be found in the digital archive found in the Local History area of the library system’s website. Park Passes Ontario Parks has provided permits that allow members of the library entry to provincial parks in Kawartha Lakes, allowing families to get outside while still not travelling far from home.
People have flocked to Ken Reid Conservation Area’s trails during the pandemic. Photo: Roderick Benns.
PANDEMIC INNOVATION CONT’D FROM PAGE 29
“Kawartha Conservation was a huge reason that these were successful,” says Bowen. “They did an excellent job of getting information out to members of the Kawartha Lakes community, and staff there have been known to walk the conservation area to locate a missing storywalk sign that has gone astray.” Bowen says she has come to realize that “people are very interested in any sort of outdoor activity, no matter the weather.” That truth isn’t lost on John Chambers, marketing and communications specialist with Kawartha Conservation, which has seen people flocking to its popular outdoor trails. The organization has thrived since the pandemic began as people look for as many outdoor opportunities as possible to get out of the house. Chambers says between the storywalk trails created in conjunction with the library and developing and launching The Talking Forest app, there are now more reasons than ever to visit places like Ken Reid Conservation Area. The Talking Forest app is an interactive trail where visitors can use their smartphones to hear some of the trees “speak” through. Staff at Ken Reid have tried to provide “new experiences and new reasons to come and explore and embrace the wonderful resource we have right here,” he says. Chambers calls the local conservation areas “critical” during the pandemic, having “provided families and individuals an opportunity to escape from the news and the headlines and the overwhelming information for a little while.”
He says it’s well documented that spending even 20 minutes in nature can reduce stress, improve mood, lower blood pressure as well as providing exercise and a change of scenery. “I think people have really been able to embrace and benefit from that.” Chambers says there has been a marked increase in Google searches for Kawartha Conservation properties, which ranges from a 78 per cent increase up to a 300 per cent increase over last year. For example, he says from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020, there were roughly 1.4 million searches for conservation area properties, with about 381,000 of them for Ken Reid. “Those searches are a combination of both direct searches, meaning someone searched the name of the conservation area, and discovery searches, where someone would put ‘walking trails near me’ or ‘where to hike’, etc. and one of our conservation areas would appear on their search,” Chambers explains. Engagement has been somewhat easier for the conservation area compared to the library, given people were literally searching for things to do outdoors. But there’s no doubt its ongoing work to connect with visitors has paid dividends, as social media photos attest. As Chambers says, the conservation areas “allow families and individuals places to walk, exercise, decompress and just enjoy being outdoors for a while.” The community has clearly benefited from the library and conservation area’s efforts to reach new people and to connect to those who have been feeling isolated. As the pandemic recedes, with people’s circumstances buoyed by higher vaccination rates, it’s clear that the innovation and persistence of groups like this has helped along the way.
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WHY I CAME BACK TO CALL KAWARTHA LAKES HOME
KARL REPKA After 11 years away from Lindsay for school and several early career years in Toronto and Ottawa my wife and I were considering a few longer-term options. Staying in Ottawa or moving back to Toronto were both possibilities; even The Hague was in the mix. In the end, we thought we would never regret moving close to both of our parents and siblings who live in Kawartha Lakes. That was eight years ago and I’m happy to report there are still no regrets and many happy memories.
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REAL ESTATE REIMAGINED.
If you build it, you’ll pay a lot
}} Lumber goes through the roof as
local building supplies throttled by pandemic, more home developments and international factors
GEOFF COLEMAN Writer-at-large
Chris Handley of Handley Lumber in Fenelon Falls. Photo: Geoff Coleman.
Pete and Kristy Lindsay recently became empty nesters. After finding a lot north of Coboconk to build on, they took the plunge and started planning their dream home. They were past the point of no return when the pandemic indirectly became part of the planning process. As the prices of building materials began their meteoric climb, instead of pressing pause the couple forged ahead with their dream. The site has been cleared, levelled, graded and is ready for the foundation — and their current house is up for sale. You would be forgiven for thinking the Lindsays are risk-takers, but they said they are more pragmatists than gamblers when it comes to their situation.
It’s no secret that lumber prices have skyrocketed in the last several months. Chris Handley, owner of Handley Lumber in Fenelon Falls, says there are both local and international reasons for the lumber sticker shock. Handley, who is confident this scenario will be written up in economics textbooks in the future, explained that the increases result from a perfect storm of COVID-fuelled supply and demand factors, with some environmental and systemic challenges mixed in. On the demand side, with more people working from their houses, there has been an uptick in renovation projects. Money that might have been earmarked for a trip to Europe instead goes to an addition or a new deck.
Evan Taylor at Jermyn Lumber in Bobcaygeon. Photo: Geoff Coleman.
Demand for local building products also comes from people looking to construct an entire house after selling their homes in the Greater Toronto Area and moving to Kawartha Lakes. Further, home builders have not slowed down their activities as some predicted a year ago, as the Angeline Street North subdivision in Lindsay shows. Pete and Kristy Lindsay experienced a ripple from the building boom as they have had to wait for their concrete foundation to be poured. The company they are using had to scale back operations last year and didn’t complete all the basements they had committed to in 2020. With no slowdown in subdivision builds, as was expected, there has been no time to catch up on last year’s work, and new contracts in 2021 are getting bumped back. Whenever demand is high for anything, prices tend to increase, but in the current circumstance there is also a drop in supply. With fewer loggers in the woods, fewer drivers transporting logs to mills, fewer shifts in manufactured lumber factories, and fewer workers on those shifts, everything from rough spruce strapping to fine Cocobolo veneer plywood is in short supply, according to Handley. He said things got really interesting in February when Texas suffered a serious power crisis resulting from three severe winter storms. The power outages affected a major North American producer of resins used in everything from roofing shingles and paint to plywood and vinyl siding, cutting a big link in the supply chain.
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CONT’D ON PAGE 37
KAWARTHA LAKES PUBLIC LIBRARY
R VE EW CO ’S N IS T D HA
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BECOMING by Michelle Obama Michelle Obama grew up in a modest, caring family. She had a determination to overcome racism and prejudice. She became a lawyer but remained grounded in humanitarianism. She became America’s First Lady but remained humble, working against racism and injustice. A must read.
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HIGH LUMBER COSTS CONT’D FROM PAGE 35
“This is truly unprecedented. The demand from new development can’t be overstated. Never before have we seen anything like it,” Handley said. Craig Jermyn at Jermyn Lumber in Bobcaygeon agreed. “If there were hurricanes in Florida, you’d see the price of OSB (chipboard) jump because it was the cheapest thing available for people to use to cover up their windows … but nothing like this.” The Jermyns have another challenge thrown at them when trying to fulfill orders for their customers. Lumberyards frequently allocate materials based on the previous year’s orders. That’s a good system until a yard is forced to close down temporarily like Jermyn Lumber did last year when Bobcaygeon was in the midst of the COVID crisis. The company is experiencing strong demand, but has an artificially low supply resulting from last year’s ordering. This year, while open for curbside pickup, Jermyn staff have had to work double-time behind the scenes to get all the materials their fulltime builders and part-time do-it-yourselfers need. Todd Jermyn, patriarch of the lumberyard, adds that the industry is seeing panic-buying situations where contractors will grab all they can, pay for it, and have it delivered to sites that have not even turned sod. “No one knows what commodity item might be in short supply next,” Todd said. He says stores are often given a set amount of certain supplies for the year, which could be screws, joist hangers, or fasteners of any kind, or steel studs, drywall, shingles and insulation. “A lot of jobs may not get finished because of shortages. We can’t get I-joists, and roof trusses are out 14 weeks.” Both businesses have seen customers shift their requests from one product to another if the first is not in stock. So, even products not derived from lumber such as drywall have been affected as plans to use wood panelling or wainscotting fall through and an alternate product is used to complete a project. Previously customers could expect a fiveday turnaround on drywall orders. Now, it is more likely to be a sixmonth wait. Meanwhile, back at a quiet lot on the edge of the Canadian Shield, the Lindsays have contractors to schedule and repeatedly reschedule, and decisions to make about paint, flooring and bathroom fixtures in a rapidly changing and unstable marketplace. Pete Lindsay is philosophical about the situation, stating that lumber prices were probably due for a correction anyway. “When I was a kid, you could build a house for less than the cost of buying one. Then, for a long time, that switched around and it was cheaper to buy. Now, we are back to the way things were when I was young.” Despite the huge jump in prices, it still costs less to build than to buy with a real estate market that has set new heights, not only in big cities but right here in Kawartha Lakes.
Pete Lindsay, standing where he hopes his home will be one day. Photo: Geoff Coleman.
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In Memorium DAN BURNS
Daniel “Dan” David Burns, 48, known fondly to many as Burnsy, died peacefully May 2 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Devoted husband and best friend to Megan. Beloved dad to Reese and Mya of Lindsay. Treasured son to parents David and Joanne Burns of Lindsay. Cherished brother to Jackie (Garth) Banning and uncle to their children Sam and Matt of Richmond, Ontario. Adored son-in-law to Garr and his late wife Pauline Maywood and brother-in-law to Meredith (Jay) Priddle. Loved grandson to Gord Stewart and his late wife Shirley of Cameron, and the late Mike and Lil Burns and remembered by many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Dan was a pillar of the community and loved by many. He was heavily involved in making downtown Lindsay vibrant and strong. He started working at Burns Bulk Food (Country Call at the time) in 1985, when his parents bought it. He and Megan gradually purchased it and Dan fondly spent his days greeting customers and building the business to what it is today. He enjoyed working with multiple generations of family members over the years. He prided himself on the business the family built, and he loved his staff, as they loved him. Dan loved to travel; he and Megan enjoyed the sunshine, exploring new sights, sampling new cocktails and making memories with friends in the sunny south. He treasured the memories made taking the kids camping in tents when they were young and then moving on to long-haul trips in a trailer as they grew up. His happy place was visiting Jack’s Lake in the summer with the whole family. Although he left the world too soon, Dan left a lasting impact on many. He brightened many days, created many smiles, and shared many laughs. Go Leafs, go! A celebration of life will take place when provincial restrictions loosen. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a local charity of your choice, as Dan was all about supporting local. Donations and condolences may be made through the Mackey Funeral Home, 33 Peel Street, Lindsay or online at www.mackeys.ca
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The Local with Kitchen
PRESENTED BY Scotch eggs Diane has always been a curious cook. She reads cookbooks for pleasure as well as for recipes. She came across Scotch eggs while looking for an interesting way to use eggs when her children were young. “It was love at first bite!” Scotch eggs are a part of Diane’s Christmas morning tradition. Almost every picnic outing with her family included Scotch eggs. The tradition continues; now her grandchildren are fanatics about Scotch eggs as well! When Diane owned the Blue Oak Bed and Breakfast on historic Oak Street in Fenelon Falls, Scotch eggs were a feature. Every year, she makes them for the awards feast presented to participants of the Snowshoe Kawartha event in Fenelon Falls. Scotch eggs are so easy to make. Diane’s recipe notes, “Hot or cold, these eggs are just plain delicious.”
Blue Oak Scotch Eggs Please note: I use individual links of sausage so the number of eggs can be tailored to the number of people being served. 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled 1 link uncooked sausage with casing removed, (I prefer Schneider’s Oktoberfest; however, any family favourite will do) flour bread crumbs or panko salt and pepper Roll the hard-boiled egg in flour. With floured hands, wrap the uncooked sausage meat around the egg. Roll the covered egg in bread crumbs. Note: At this point the eggs can be refrigerated overnight. I roll them in more bread crumbs in the morning. Bake in 375 oven for about 20 minutes or until done. Story and photos by Sharon Walker
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Keep Calm and Do aa a Keep Calm and Do Keep Calm and Do Keep Calm and Do a Puzzle Puzzle Puzzle Puzzle ACROSS
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by Barbara Olson Barbara Olson byby Barbara Olson © ClassiCanadian Crosswords CROSSWORD by Barbara Olson ClassiCanadian Crosswords ©© ClassiCanadian Crosswords © ClassiCanadian Crosswords
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You’ll find the solution on page 46 By Barbara Olson © ClassiCanadian Crosswords
37 Veggie burger ingredient
1156 King Street East Oshawa, ON 905.723.3438
FRIENDS & NEIGHBOURS
World adventurer and environmentalist plants local roots
WILLIAM McGINN Writer-at-large
I have never set foot outside North America are separate from nature, meaning we are not a part of unless parts of the Caribbean count. Whereas Kara the intricate web.” Ashley, 25, has been to Thailand, Italy, Hungary, China At 18, she single-handedly ran a coffee shop in Inuvik, and the Czech Republic, and many more places. She also Northwest Territories. Then she went on the first of divides her time among Lindsay, Iqaluit and Colorado. her many solo travels, including to Jamaica, Cambodia, Her father, Paul Ashley, says all her travelling — much of Vietnam and Thailand. After getting an Adventure Guide it on her own — scares him half to death. diploma from Thompson Rivers University in British Kara is many things. She is an adColumbia, she discovered a program venturer, environmentalist, businessat Naropa University, in Colorado, woman, teacher and caretaker. Her where she graduated with a bachelor’s childhood, alongside her parents, and degree concentrating on environmental younger siblings Brandon and Olivia, studies and peace and conflict studies. In Colorado she took to rock climbwas anything but ordinary. ing and worked in a summer program Paul, who is now a professor at — Nature Highs — for youth strugFleming College in the Fish and Wildgling with addictions. She is looking to life Technician Program, worked for expand it into Iqaluit next year. the Canadian Wildlife Service, and for When her father moved to Lindsay 20 years he managed 10,000 acres of in 2013, she began visiting him every land at the ecologically sensitive Long summer. They enjoy boating together Point National Wildlife Area, a skinny on the Trent Severn Waterway and finger of protected land jutting into Kara has also created Kara’s Nature Lake Erie that is home to many rare Camp. While she has worked with plants, reptiles, and amphibians. children for over a decade, this is the Kara was home-schooled by her Kara and Olivia Ashley. Photo: Submitted. first time she will be running a program mother and would often help her herself. The family owns a small homestead on Kenrei father and the researchers with hands-on work, between Road, where she will give young campers daily access to a hikes, canoeing andkayaking. When Paul looks back on yard, orchard, vegetable garden, art shed, pond, family his data sheets, some of them are in a 10-year-old’s of chickens, daily campfires and field trips to nearby Ken handwriting. Reid Conservation Area. When Kara was a preteen, her family moved, all the Kara said she is hoping her nature camp is successful way to Iqaluit, Nunavut, on Baffin Island. After moving, enough to run for future summers in Lindsay. “I’m really she went into the public school system, and in high blessed to be able to get along with kids very well and to school she not only started an environmental club but be able to provide a space for them where they can feel was able to get David Suzuki to visit. safe and loved.” “Over the years, feeling connected and held by the “I’m just immensely proud of what she’s accomEarth has influenced my ability to be resilient in very plished,” said Paul, “and the people she’s already influstressful times,” Kara said. “I think one of the most devenced is pretty amazing.” astating beliefs that we could have as humans is that we
JUST IN TIME
Waste Not, Want Not
}} Recycling and reusing in Kawartha Lakes
IAN McKECHNIE Writer-at-large
drive shaft was a treasure coveted and used over It’s a grey Thursday afternoon in late April as I sit down and over ... Unwanted field stones were piled up into to write this column, a few hours after Miller Waste’s useful walls; unmerchantable tree brush was burned chocolate brown and caramel-coloured garbage trucks to produce saleable potash. Ontario started without have made their rounds through Lindsay and other comrefuse, and with barely the concept of it.” (Entire buildmunities across the municipality. ings could be recycled: in 1888, red bricks previously Stopping at the foot of driveways and laneways, the used in the Grand Trunk Railway’s Port Hope roundorange-clad garbage collectors remove not only clear house were brought to Lindsay and used to build the bags of refuse, but also the contents of our blue boxes. engine sheds between Durham and Albert Streets.) These familiar plastic containers — distinguished by three white arrows arranged to look like they are in perpetual motion — brim over with our aluminum cans, our glass bottles and any number of plastic packaging materials. On alternate weeks, the Miller trucks collect fibrous materials — cardboard and newspaper — from similarly-sized green boxes. Once the boxes have been emptied, we return them to our garages or apartments and let them fill up again, knowing that we will be repeating the same ritual next week. We call this process recycling, and while we may have a vague awareness of how it works and why it is important, we seldom think about how it came to be and just how sigJohn’s Cartage began in 1963. Photo: Courtesy Al Hussey. nificant the blue box was when first introduced to this community a little over 30 years ago. The “reduce, reuse, recycle” concept persisted, The intervening years, of course, have taught us that even though nobody used the word recycling. “Handrecycling is far from being a solution to our waste problem me-downs, pronounced to sound like one word, was a — a problem that’s entirely of our own modern creation. more common term,” observes historian Rae Fleming, Of course, the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle” has who grew up in the Argyle general store. “Sweaters been around for generations. went from one child to the next, and so on, until worn University of Toronto emeritus professor Thomas out, but not thrown out. The yarn could be used to McIlwraithe, in his study Looking for Old Ontario, notes that knit socks, or for filling in quilts and so on. ‘Waste not, “In the farm-making era Ontarians recycled everything. want not,’ was a common expression well into the Every brick, skillet, spoon, pickle crock, millstone and second half of the 20th century.”
A quarter of a century after the end of the Second World War, circumstances had changed and a great deal of glass, metal, paper, and plastic was simply thrown out. Landfills were filling up, leading to widespread public conversation about the need for recycling by the 1980s. That’s where Allen Hussey’s family enters the picture. “My stepfather, John Villeneuve, started John’s Cartage in 1963,” says Hussey, today the proprietor of The Bike Garage. “I started working for him in 1973, when I was 16.” They collected many loads of garbage from some of Lindsay’s larger industrial concerns, namely Uniroyal and Abex Industries, and hauled it all to the old landfill at the northernmost end of William Street. Hussey purchased the company in 1988, and shortly thereafter heard rumours about the burgeoning recycling movement. Working with Trevor Lewis, then the engineer for Lindsay, and Don Barkey, Hussey’s business began a pilot project in which the town’s citizens were encouraged to leave their newspapers at the Lindsay fire hall where they would be picked up and taken to be recycled in the area’s first recycling plant on Hwy 35 south. “We had to build our own equipment back then to separate the co-mingled material (cans and plastics),” Hussey says. Cleats from rubber snowmobile tracks were used to perforate plastic pop bottles, thus making them easier to bale in preparation for shipment to processing facilities elsewhere in the province. A grassroots movement was developing. John’s Cartage worked with Judy Kearns and Emily townJohn’s Cartage worked ship reeve Ken Logan to establish the Victoria Recycling Association, with Judy Kearns and and a blue box recycling program Emily township reeve was launched in 1989 — the first Ken Logan to establish in Lindsay and the fourth in Ontarthe Victoria Recycling io. “The public was really excited Association, and a blue about it,” Hussey remembers. Local had been eagerly saving box recycling program citizens recyclable material for a couple of was launched in 1989 — months beforehand, well aware that the first in Lindsay and they were making history by filling their blue boxes. Within a year, the the fourth in Ontario. program had expanded to include the villages of Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, and Omemee, along with the townships of Eldon, Emily, Fenelon, Manvers, Ops and Verulam. Said Hussey in a 1990 interview with the Lindsay Daily Post, “The blue box recycling program has made everyone aware of the serious problem we face with landfills.” He went on the speaking circuit, addressing local students in school assemblies about the importance of doing their bit. “I was the preacher of recycling back then,” he says. Two dozen schools across the Victoria County Board of Education formed Student Action for Recycling programs in 1990, and then-mayor Lorne Chester urged students to take the message of recycling home to their parents. Over 30 years later, it is clear that the Victoria Recycling Association’s message transformed a community. Yet much remains to be done, and innovative solutions to our waste management challenges will no doubt continue to surprise and inspire us.
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Elder stories, elder care
One of my favourite stories my grandfather used to tell me from his time running a taxi business in Lindsay, way back in the day, was of a return shopping trip that ended up being only a one-way fare. Grandpa had taken a regular customer, known for his drinking, to a local bootlegger in town. His customer — we’ll call him Pete — exits the cab and goes into the bootlegger’s house to arrange his purchase. A few minutes later, a Lindsay police car pulls up behind Grandpa. Not wanting to get in trouble, Grandpa moves his cab one house down and the cop pulls into the spot where the cab had been. A happy (and clearly, ummm, oblivious) Pete leaves the bootlegger and hops into the back of the waiting police car. Grandpa leaves, knowing his services will not be needed. It’s been well over 15 years since I heard that story, one of my favourites, recounted in person. The story has been passed down through the family as one would gold. It’s one of those yarns that I never get tired of hearing or retelling. For my part, I have turned that story into an adage for everyday living: “Remember how you got here. And be careful how you get home.” I have found myself thinking about old family stories a lot lately. It’s probably from a combination of COVID boredom and pandemic-induced reflections on my own mortality and that of my older family members. No doubt, as I read more and more on what happened in long-term care homes during the pandemic, I have also been thinking about how, as a society, we treat our elders. I hope there will no doubt be important inquiries that come with recommendations for systemic change that are implemented by whatever government is in power. We will need to examine how we, both at a societal and individual level, treat our elders. Can the non-Indigenous among us ask and learn from Indigenous communities about the veneration of elders? Are there cultural communities among us that can help us change the mainstream version of elder care? Will we have the political will to implement the suggested changes that come from inquiries? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I am positive they are important (and not just because I am starting to measure how much racetrack I have left). I for one hope that I am challenged to answer these questions and to reflect on the most personal of levels how I treat my elders. I expect, given my upbringing in a youth-worshipping commercial culture, that not all of this self-examination will be comfortable.
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to this month’s crossword, Keep Calmpage and Do a41
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S W O R 62
By Barbara Olson © ClassiCanadian Crosswords
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FLATO Developments Inc. president Shakir Rehmatullah joined Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham outside Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, to present a $25,000 donation to Erin Coons, RMH Foundation CEO, March 2021.
FLATO Developments supporting Kawartha Lakes Food Source at its fundraising event, March 2021.
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