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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Muskoka Lakes Court Decision Gets National Exposure
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (7617 reads)

Yesterday's court ruling against the Township of Muskoka Lakes to have the government recognize the public's right to portage has been reported nationally in newspapers, radio and TV.

In an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling released yesterday, three judges concluded that the protection of public safety trumps canoeists’ access to portages and shorelines on Crown land. The decision marks one of the few times Canadian courts have examined whether carrying a canoe between waterways is a right in a country explored and settled by paddlers. Two men drowned in 2008 near the dam, which may have justified the decision by the Minister and upheld by the courts.

The right to navigate Canada’s waters has long been protected under federal legislation and common law. But in the Township of Muskoka Lakes’ case, the Appeal Court found that this right does not include transporting a canoe over “another’s land.”

If the township had won, the Ontario government would not have been allowed to disturb the portage and the 4.5-megawatt hydroelectric project would likely have been halted.

The Township is seeking to provide another portage route and has not ruled out another legal action.

Mayor Alice Murphy will be on HBR’s Undercurrents, Thursday at 11am.

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No Daytime Buring: Fire Chiefs
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (68 reads)

The Muskoka Fire Chiefs have set the Fire Danger Rating to LOW.  Small fires are permitted in most rural areas in Muskoka, but the Fire Dept is reminding you that NO DAYTIME BURNING is allowed.  Please consult with your local fire dept for outdoor burning regulations in your municipality.

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Huntsville's New CT Scanner in Operation
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (656 reads)

The renovated CT Scan Suite featuring a new, 128-slice CT Scanner is in full operation at the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital Site.

Thanks to a generous $2 million funding commitment from the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, the new scanner was installed and a significant renovation was undertaken to create a safe and patient-friendly space that meets infection control and accessibility standards.

Since the project was completed at the end of May, the new CT has already been used for nearly 500 CT scans. The Simcoe/Muskoka Acute Stroke Protocol relies heavily on the CT service at the Huntsville Hospital as it is the only designated District Stroke Centre between Barrie and North Bay.

Upgrading aging equipment helps us to better serve our community and provide a much-needed tool for improved diagnostics and patient outcomes, says Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer at MAHC.

Supporting the project was an easy decision for the Foundation, explains John Crockett, Chair of the Huntsville Hospital Foundation.

“The Foundation’s role to raise funds for the technology and capital assets needed to sustain and build the area’s health care system is taken very seriously,” says Crockett. “We strongly believe the generosity of both seasonal and year-round residents will help us meet our financial commitment in support of this state-of-the-art investment in health care, here for life.”

Crockett adds community support has been positive including major pledges from the Doug Woollings family and the Rotary Club of Huntsville.

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MAHC Receives $500,000 Donation
Monday, July 21, 2014 (2489 reads)

In a small reception today at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare's South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Site, local philanthropists Brock and Willa Napier presented a cheque for $500,000 to the Foundation.

The Napiers, year-round Muskoka residents from Minett, have specified that their gift be directed toward replacing the existing CT scanner, which is now more than nine years old. The proposal to replace the CT scanner is part of the upcoming 'Get Better' capital campaign to support $6.5 million of technology improvements at the hospital. The total cost for the new CT will be approximately $1 million.

Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer at MAHC, says gifts like the Napiers’ are critical to ensuring that life-saving equipment is available when patients need it.

The Napiers are also supporting another significant health care initiative: the Brock & Willa Wellness Centre in Port Carling - comprised of a nursing station, a palliative care facility and a seniors' residence.


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Appeal Against Bala Falls Hydro Dam Dismissed
Monday, July 21, 2014 (503 reads)

The Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal to stop the Swift River Energy Corp & the Ministry of Environment Ontario from building a hydro dam at Bala Falls.

The Muskoka Lakes Township had filed an appeal stating that the building of the hydro dam would destroy an existing portage between the Moon River and Lake Muskoka.

The Court said that the common law of public right of passage over a navigable waterway does not include the right to portage over another’s land and the Minister has charge of the management of public lands and the right to prohibit passage over portages.

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Muskoka Lakes Loses Appeal on Bala Falls
Monday, July 21, 2014 (6388 reads)

The Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal to stop the Swift River Energy Corp & the Ministry of Environment Ontario from building a hydro dam at Bala Falls.

The Muskoka Lakes Township had filed an appeal stating that the building of the hydro dam would destroy an existing portage between the Moon River and Lake Muskoka.

The Court said that the common law of public right of passage over a navigable waterway does not include the right to portage over another's land and the Minister has charge of the management of pubic lands and has the right prohibit passage over portages.

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Court Expected to Rule on Bala Falls Today
Monday, July 21, 2014 (5970 reads)

The Court of Appeal of Ontario is expected to release its decision on whether an exisiting Portage at the Bala Falls can be blocked later today.  The case is the latest attempt by the Township of Muskoka Lakes to stop a hydro dam from being built at the portage site.

The township claims that the land where the hydro plant is located is th only portage available from the Moon River to Lake Muskoka.

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Bracebridge Man Recognized as Ontario Senior of the Year
Monday, July 21, 2014 (5208 reads)

The Town of Bracebridge Community Recognition Advisory Committee announced that local resident, Sidney Rosenblatt has been awarded the Ontario Senior of the Year Award from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

The Ontario Senior of the Year Award recognizes seniors, who after the age of 65 have enriched the social, cultural or civic life of the community, without thought of personal or financial gain. A senior’s achievement can be made in a variety of fields including community service, volunteerism, education, and humanitarian activities.

Councillor Steve Clement and Robyn Specht-Kilroy, on behalf of Bracebridge Town Council and the Community Recognition Advisory Committee, presented the Ontario Senior of the Year Award to Mr. Rosenblatt on July 16.

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Pride Flag Raisings Take Place Today Throughout Muskoka
Monday, July 21, 2014 (369 reads)

All six Muskoka Municipalities will raise the Pride Flag today starting at 9am in Huntsville.  Other communities that will have official flag raising ceremonies are Bracebridge at 10.30am, and Gravenhurst at 11.30am.  Muskoka Lakes will raise its flag in Port Carling at 2pm - the first time the township has voted to participate.  Lake of Bays Twp also advised that they will be raising a Pride Flag to bring awareness to LGBT issues.

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Muskoka Arts & Crafts Summer Show Starts Today
Friday, July 18, 2014 (4797 reads)

The Muskoka Arts & Crafts’ 52nd Summer Show is now up and running at Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge.  The show features two hundred artists, including crowd favourites and lots of first time artists in attendance.. There will be a Beer Tent sponsored by the Griffin Pub and a food court.

The show runs from july 18-20th. Admission is by donation.

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Swim For Hospice This Sunday
Friday, July 18, 2014 (201 reads)

Organizers at Hospice Huntsville are asking you to become a Swim Challenger and join Joy Jarvis – a local long distance swimmer as she completes a 12km "Swim for Hospice" Joy is braving the waters of the Muskoka River early on Sunday morning leaving the Town Docks in Huntsville and swimming out and around Centreview Island in Lake Vernon and BACK!

Challengers will join Joy at the final 3km, 2km or 1km of her swim exiting the water at River Mill Park at approximately noon. Joy and the swim challengers will be raising funds for Hospice Huntsville by collecting pledges from local community members and businesses.

For more information,

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Midnight Madness Returns to Downtown Huntsville
Friday, July 18, 2014 (879 reads)

Downtown Huntsville will close to traffic on Main St between Centre St and Brunel Rd today at 4.30 so that merchants can prepare for their annual summer Midnight Madness.  The ever popular event will feature a variety of displays, live music, entertainment and of course shopping.

Hunters Bay Radio will be on hand helping to raise money for Gabby Bushey who was injured in an accident earlier this year. 

Midnight Madness runs from 6pm - midnight.

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Muskoka Pride Week Kicks Off Today
Friday, July 18, 2014 (483 reads)

Muskoka Pride Week kicks-off today with the 2nd annual Huntsville Pride Picnic. Organizers are inviting everyone to attend this community event to promote understanding and acceptance about LGBT issues. Local dignitaries including Huntsville Mayor Doughty and MP Tony Clement will be on hand to support the participants.

Join them for live music; help paint a Pride banner, and standup paddleboard demonstrations from Algonquin Outfitters.

The picnic runs 4.30 - 6.30 at River Mill Park.

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Falling Tree Branch Injures Man
Thursday, July 17, 2014 (4820 reads)

On Thursday July 17, at approximately 1:20 pm OPP responded to a call to assist with traffic control for ambulance in the area of Muskoka Road 118 West, Bracebridge after a male was injured while attempting to remove a tree. 

The OPP are currently investigating the cause of the workplace accident. Initial investigation has found that a tree branch fell on top of the male while cutting into the tree in the Milford Bay area.

The male was transported to the hospital by land with unknown injuries.

The investigation is on-going and no further details are available at this point in time.


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Town Clock Repairs Complete
Thursday, July 17, 2014 (1548 reads)

Repairs to the Town Clock have been completed following an act of vandalism last month, just days after the clock tower renovations were complete.

The east side of the clock had its original glass broken, and damage was done to clock face and had to be replaced.  This follows an expense of $280,000 by the town to fix the structure of the building that holds up the clock.

Mayor Doughty said that vandals had gotten on the roof and caused the damage from there.  He says steps are being taken to alarm the roof to prevent future incidents.

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Doughty Moving Ahead with Plans for a River Mill Park Entrance Sign
Thursday, July 17, 2014 (1324 reads)

Mayor Claude Doughty moved forward with his plan to install an archway sign at Main St across from Town Hall for River Mill Park.  The town had issued a Request for Proposal 4 months ago, with “un-satisfactory results.

Mayor Doughty was able to locate a company in North Bay that "was able to do what we are looking for." 

Mayor Doughty asked the Public Infrastructure to authorize an expenditure of $1500 so the company could enter into the design phase of project and promised he would have the final costing at the next council meeting for approval.

That sparked comments from some councilors that the project was unbudgeted and wanting to wait until next term before authorizing the expense.

Doughty indicated that the initial costs could come out of council's discretionary fund. 

In the end, despite the outcry from some councilors, the motion was passed.

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Huntsville Councilors Cry Foul on Dugout Covers
Thursday, July 17, 2014 (8066 reads)

Huntsville's Public Infrastructure also approved to pay for covers for the baseball dugouts at a cost of no more than $1600 - for covers that were already installed.

The expense was only half of the cost according to Councilor Tim Withey who said that a member of the public had arranged to pay for half of the cost and could possibly find funding for the balance, bringing the town's portion to zero.

Councilor Zanetti voiced his concern that the purchase was made before it was approved, and Karin Terziano echoed the same thought but said it was nice to see someone take the initiative.

Councilor Davis said that the purchase should not be approved because it was a budgetary line item and should wait for next year.

Withey countered that the expense was minor, and could end up costing the town nothing, and was needed for a tournament. 

Mayor Claude Doughty stopped the conversation by saying that the covers should have been replaced when the old ones became unusable and if council can't react to these things - "shame on us."

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Huntsville Pulls Out of Negotiations To Provide Winter Road Maintenance
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 (9520 reads)

The District Road deal for winter maintenance is off.  Yesterday the Huntsville advised District that it would cease negotiations to provide winter road maintenance for the 2014/15 season.

Denise Corry, the acting CAO said that the town may be in a position to start providing road maintenance in the spring of 2015, provided the two levels of government can come to an agreement.

For now the town will concentrate on town owned roads and the main arteries in Huntsville will be left for the District to maintain.

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Fire Dept Gets Go-ahead to Give First Aid
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 (1689 reads)

The Huntsville Fire Dept was before the Pubic Infrastructure Committee yesterday to get the go ahead to enter into an agreement with the District to provide first aid services at calls for service if the fire dept was on scene before paramedics.

Hernen told the committee that an agreement was in place up until 2007 and had expired.  The new agreement essentially was cleaning up some paperwork and Hernen noted that the expiration clause was removed and replaced with a 30 day notice clause if either party wanted to terminate the agreement.

The good news was that those in need of medical assistance would get it by whichever first responder arrived on scene first.

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Canoers Ask Town of Huntsville For Help With Portage
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 (4159 reads)

The Fox Lake Association was before Huntsville's Public Infrastructure Committee yesterday asking for help making a portage between Fox Lake and Lake Vernon safer for canoers.   Ellen Fox and Judith Maxwell told committee members that a new portage was opened up along side Hoodstown Shores Rd after the traditional portage was closed when the Hoodstown Shores subdivision was created and the current route to portage is along a long narrow road, which they claimed is too dangerous for younger canoers.

They had asked the town to make a treadway beside the road, but Mayor Doughty inquired as to whether they had talked to the current property owners about restoring the original portage.  When the delegation answered no, they were advised to make enquires and get back to the town.  Mayor Doughty said that with the low traffic, an easement across the properties would be the ideal solution.

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Hart House Owners Approved to Proceed With Repairs
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 (4714 reads)

Huntsville’s Municipal Heritage Committee voted to allow some renovations and repairs to the Hart House yesterday.  The property which was the subject of a public outcry last year when an expansion to the property was proposed was before the committee asking for permission to repair the foundation that supports the turret on the building and to replace the verandah which was rotting out.

The proposal included replacing the wood plank floor of the verandah with stone and councilors debated the owners’ right to make the change, but in the end voted to allow the change after it was noted that one of the other historically significant buildings in town - Huntsville Town Hall underwent significant renovations in 2002.

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The Huntsille Mayor's Golf Tournament Returns
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 (1609 reads)

The Huntsville Mayor’s Golf Tournament is back!  After a brief hiatus and not occurring last year, the tournament is back and looking for sponsors and players.

Huntsville coun. and a leading force in the charity’s revival effort, Karin Terziano said “We’re still looking for a number of hole sponsors… and the tournament is more than half full for players, but we are still looking for foursomes and individuals.”

The charity began around 10 years ago to raise funds for non-profits in the community.

Registrations is $225 per players; this includes a cart, lunch, dinner and prizes.  Hole sponsorship is $250 per hole.

The charity will be held Monday, Sept. 15, at Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course.

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Travel Ontario Lists Muskoka After Dark Venues
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 (1654 reads)

Recently, Travel Ontario published an article highlighting After Dark events across Muskoka. 

They praised the Deerhurst Resort’s Decades show, calling it a performance that will “keep you dancing in your seat from the first beat to the last”.  The Kee to Gala concert venue and bar on Lake Muskoka earned a mention, lauded as a Muskoka nightspot that “should be at the top of your summer”.  Finally, the Muskoka Sound Festival was described with such words as “stunning”, “electrifying”, and “a music lover’s paradise”. 

The list named each a necessary addition to any travelers exploring the Muskoka region, showing just how much Muskoka has to offer after the sun goes down.

Read the full article at:

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Miller Says Province Can't Afford Credit Downgrade
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 (864 reads)

Yesterday Parry Sound - Muskoka MPP Norm Miller took the opportunity to comment on the 2014 Ontario Budget that was introduced in the Provincial Legislature.

Miller said "This budget increases spending at a time when the deficit is already headed in the wrong direction. Despite warnings from economists and now bond rating agencies, the 2014 budget commits over a billion dollars to new spending instead of taking measures to get current costs under control" he said.

Just this past week, Moody's placed Ontario on negative watch. A downgrade from the bond rating agencies would make interest payments more expensive for the province, as well as increase the cost of borrowing money.

Miller said "The province simply can't afford another credit downgrade."

"The interest on the Provincial debt is already the third highest single item in the budget. Servicing the interest on the debt is even projected to be the largest growth item on the 2014 Ontario Budget." he said.

"Real steps need to be taken to address the now $12.5 Billion deficit and make life more affordable for people in Parry Sound - Muskoka" concluded Miller.

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Kearney Regatta Alive & Well
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 (3741 reads)

The Town of Kearney has announced that the annual Kearney Regatta is alive and well yesterday despite reports to the contrary.  Councilor Yvonne Wills says that besides a Fire Works Extravaganza held on Sunday August 3, that they have added Swim, Canoe and Cardboard Boat Races at the Town Dock.   Other events are taking place as well throughout the community on Saturday and Sunday, August 2 & 3. The event will be closing with the always popular Northern Lights Steel Drum Band and Fire Works at dusk. 

HBR is also sponsoring The Biggest Little Music Festival being held on August 2 & 3 in Kearney.

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Muskoka Pride Week Kicks Off July 18th
Monday, July 14, 2014 (423 reads)

July 18th through 27th is Pride Week in Muskoka.

In addition to the Muskoka Pride Picnic which is being held at Annie Williams Park on July 27th, additional events are planned across Muskoka throughout Pride Week.

Organizers are inviting everyone, straight or gay to the kick-off BBQ at River Mill Park in Huntsville starting at 4:30 this Friday.  Other events on the weekend include a Saturday Social, a Bonfire Bash, Fireworks and Out & About Hike at the Bracebridge Resource Management Centre. 

For more information visit

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BOATsmart Launches Social Campaign for Kids Camps
Monday, July 14, 2014 (177 reads)

BOATsmart! has launched a social campaign that promises a donation of $1 to kids camps for every photo you share tagged #BoatSmartMoment.

Share a photo of your boating moment on Twitter or Instagram.  The campaign covers a coast-to-coast tour, stopping in over 100 communities across Canada.  The tour will travel through Muskoka on June 25 to 27, ending in Tofino, BC Aug. 19. 

Their goal is to raise $10,000, the same number of photo shares, for kids camps.

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Patient Satisfaction Ranks High at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare
Monday, July 14, 2014 (1758 reads)

Patient satisfaction for acute care and emergency care services at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare hospital sites continues to rank above provincial averages for Ontario community hospitals on all dimensions of care, according to a recent independent study.

The three-month survey, conducted from October 1 to December 31, 2013 indicated a 98.3% overall satisfaction rate by acute care patients and a 94.0% overall satisfaction rate by emergency care patients. The provincial averages for Ontario community hospitals were 92.7% for acute inpatient care and 85.5% for emergency care.

Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer at MAHC, says the results speak volumes about the quality of care patients are receiving at the MAHC hospital sites.

National Research Corporation randomly asked 25 acute care patients and 100 emergency care patients at each hospital to evaluate their experience. Patients were asked their opinion on dimensions of care like the quality, access and coordination, their physical comfort and the conditions of their environment, the courtesy of staff and physicians, sharing of information and overall impressions.

On all of these dimensions of care combined, MAHC scored above provincial averages. In addition, 75.3% of those who responded said they would highly recommend the emergency services to friends and family, while 80.3% indicated they would highly recommend the inpatient services.


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Novel Marathon Set to Break Another Fundraising Record
Monday, July 14, 2014 (357 reads)

The 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon looks to well exceed its $20,000 fundraising goal with a total as of $20,593.15.  The money will go to the YMCA’s Literacy Services in Huntsville, which offers classes to adults in literacy, numeracy and computer skills.

Karen Wehrstein, the MNM media coordinator said that “This is a preliminary total, Last year at this point we were ecstatic to have raised almost $18,000, little knowing another $2,000 was going to be totaled up due to additional donations.  So stay tuned…”

The Novel Marathon is currently underway at the Active Living Centre at the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville, with about 40 writers speedily penning their works in competition for Best Novel in two categories plus other prizes.  Having started on Friday evening, they have until 8 p.m. Monday to complete their tomes.

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Muskoka Pride Kicks off Celebration on Friday
Monday, July 14, 2014 (697 reads)

July 18th through 27th is Pride Week in Muskoka.  In addition to the Muskoka Pride Picnic which is being held at Annie Williams Park on July 27th, additional events are planned across Muskoka throughout Pride Week.

Organizers are inviting everyone, straight or gay to the kick-off BBQ at River Mill Park in Huntsville starting at 4.30 this Friday.  Other events on the weekend include a Saturday Social, a Bonfire Bash, Fireworks and Out & About Hike at the Bracebridge Resource Management Centre.

For more information visit

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Nuit Blanche North a Huge Success
Monday, July 14, 2014 (5438 reads)

Thousands descended on Downtown Huntsville for the 4th Annual Nuit Blanche North on Saturday to see and participate in dozens of activities and acts being performed at River Mill Park and Main St.  HBR participated by hosting the Bang Bang Cabaret featuring local musicians.

Thought by many to be the busiest Nuit Blanche North yet, organizers say that they are still buzzing from the event and are already working on next year.

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Extension to Hunters Bay Trail on the Agenda at Sustainability Committee
Monday, July 14, 2014 (898 reads)

Its meeting week at the Town of Huntsville and the Sustainability Committee will start the week off with their regular monthly meeting which starts at 9am.   The committee will hear from Prof. Sven E. Jorgensen of the Copenhagen University today, and he will be presenting along with Dr. Colin Yates of the U of W on Modeling Sustainability in Huntsville.

The committee will also get updates on painting of sharrows on town roads,  and discuss options for the extension of the Hunters Bay trail.

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Muskoka Novel Marathon Begins this Weekend
Friday, July 11, 2014 (1116 reads)

The Muskoka Novel Marathon is an annual event to raise funds and awareness for adult literacy in Huntsville and surrounding areas. To date, the event has raised almost $85,000. The 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon starts tonight July 11-14 in Huntsville.


Writers sign up to spend an (almost) uninterrupted long weekend writing or re-writing their manuscript.  Winners get feedback from a professional editor and all submitting authors get suggestions and comments from the judges.

Funds raised at the Muskoka Novel Marathon are donated to YMCA Muskoka Literacy Services and help keep the doors open to those in the community that want to overcome literacy challenges for a better life.  

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Huntsville Reading Club Seeking New Members
Friday, July 11, 2014 (2067 reads)

Amber McNair, youth services librarian with the Huntsville Public Library, is searching for new members for the 2014 TD Summer Reading Club.

Adults, teens, kids, and younger can join the program. Find some new reads and read for a chance at winning prizes.

McNair said the program also helps prevent summer learning loss for school-aged children.

Anyone who is interested in joining the club can visit the library at 7 Minerva St. E and ask the staff at the checkout desk to help them register. Club members will receive a ballot for each book they read, or have read to them, until Monday, Aug. 18.

The ballots are entered into a draw for weekly prizes as well as grand prizes. The grand prizes will be awarded at a wrap-up party on Thursday, Aug. 21, at 2 p.m.

Tots, who are babies to kids in Grade 1, can be entered with a chance to win a free ice cream cone from the Nutty Chocolatier each week or a grand prize of a $100 gift certificate to Applause Toy Store.

Kids, who are students in Grades 2 to 6, can win a free ice cream cone from Muskoka Moosies each week or a grand prize of a Nintendo 2DS plus Pokemon X plus accessories.

Teens, who are students in Grades 7 to 12, have a chance to win two movie passes from the Capitol Theatre each week or a grand prize of a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

And adults could snag a free medium coffee and cookie from Seven Main Café as well as a $10 gift card from Coles Bookstore each week or a grand prize of two passes to TreeTop Trekking.

The theme for the reading club this year is ‘Eureka!’

McNair said participants are not limited to reading just the books on the library’s recommended reading lists, found on their website,

“They can read books they have at home, books they borrow from someone or books borrowed from the library,” she said.


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Brunel to Re-open Tonight a 6pm
Friday, July 11, 2014 (4373 reads)

Hwy 141 will be closed to thru traffic at the railway crossing today as crews work on the railway lines.  The closure will be in effect from 8am to 8pm.  Traffic can detour at Stephenson Rd 4 to Hwy 11.

Meanwhile Brunel Rd which was washed out after a beaver dam failure a couple of weeks ago, is slated to re-open today at 6pm.

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Pioneer Power Show Picks up Steam This Weekend
Friday, July 11, 2014 (869 reads)

Today the 30th Annual Pioneer Farm & Forest Show takes place and runs through the weekend. 

The show promises to take you back to the pioneer days with a Waterous Saw Mill demonstration, a Blacksmith Shop, Tractor & Engine Displays,  Lawn, & antique Tractor Pulls, Classic & Antique Vehicles & a reenactment of War of 1812.  The event takes place at JD Lang Activity Park and Fairgrounds on Fraserburg Rd. 

Tickets are just $5, and children under 12 are free.

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Nuit Blanche North Comes to Huntsville Saturday
Friday, July 11, 2014 (1340 reads)

The 4th Annual Nuit Blanche North returns tomorrow night to Downtown Huntsville and promises to be the biggest event yet.  This year’s late night festival is based on the theme "Impact" and will offer more than 25 different projects and performances.  Last year, more than 5,000 people joined in the fun and organizers are expecting to top that number

The downtown core will be divided into 4 zones with a variety of installations including the HBR's licensed Big Bang Cabaret featuring some of Muskoka's Best Musicians.  Come in and grab a seat and cold one – the live performances start at 8pm.

The festival runs until the wee hours of the morning with lots for people to see and do.

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Mayor Doughty Warns of Rising Policing Costs
Thursday, July 10, 2014 (4317 reads)

Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty echoed the concerns of Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith last week saying that the District should be prepared for increased costs in policing in the region.  Doughty said that the District currently pays $10 Million to have police services and there is pressure to catch up to what other towns are paying in the province.

Doughty told HBR that the District pays the same as the Town of Niagara On The Lake pays and covers a larger region.  Doughty also said that Muskoka is policed at levels to support summer population levels, but have to employ officers year round.

Doughty predicted that policing charges could jump to $15 Million in two years and that's a 5% increase on the District levy.


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Touring BC Boys Choir Searching for Billet
Thursday, July 10, 2014 (828 reads)

Celebrating the internationally acclaimed choir's 45th Anniversary, the British Columbia Boys Choir and its 40 young performers will showcase songs and stories that tell the rich history of Canada from east to west: how Canada was built, our multicultural people and the vast country that we call home. O Canada Our Home is about you and me and the pride of being Canadian.

Do you have a spare room for 2-4 boys for the BC Boys Choir? They are looking for billets for boys ages 8-16 for the one night July 16. They will arrive Wednesday afternoon and do sound check and stay at the theatre until the show is over. The billet will take them home after the show and bring them back into Town to the Holiday Inn on Howland Dr. to catch a bus at 7am on Thursday morning. The billet is only responsible for giving the boys breakfast and hopefully a bag lunch for their travels.

If this is something you can help out with - THANK YOU! Simply email Rob Saunders, Festival General Manager, at to confirm how many boys and the address.

Hosts will receive 2 free tickets to the show. (If you already have tickets - we will reimburse you or give credit towards other tickets to be purchased

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MPP Questions Health Minister
Thursday, July 10, 2014 (2474 reads)

This morning during Question Period, Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound – Muskoka, took the opportunity to directly question the new Minister of Health on funding for nursing stations throughout the District of Muskoka.

The District submission outlines plans for possible nursing stations to be located in Dorset, Severn Bridge, Port Severn, and Port Carling.

“I believe that the success of nursing stations in the Parry Sound District illustrates the value that they provide for small, rural communities. The District of Muskoka plan is well thought-out and certainly warrants a meeting with the Minister” stated Miller.

“Access to healthcare is a growing concern, particularly when many in need of care already travel great distances to receive treatment. This ‘Made-in-Muskoka’ plan aims to address the key challenges faced by seniors and low income families, as well as the seasonal population” added Miller.

“I am pleased that the Minister has agreed to the meeting and look forward to the next steps.” concluded Miller.

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Food Co-op Updating Members on Progress
Thursday, July 10, 2014 (1015 reads)

The Muskoka North Good Food Co-op is hosting a Co-op Hootenanny! at the Chaffey Hall on Thursday, July 17th. Doors open at 5pm for new members to join and the meeting starts at 6. Members will be updated on co-op progress, view the new design of the building and vote/have input on that space and design. Afterwards, mingle with your community and fellow member-owners for a locally inspired BBQ and live music~ a good ol' Hootenanny!

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Brunel Rd Set to Re-open
Thursday, July 10, 2014 (9479 reads)

Construction is coming along on Brunel Rd where a beaver dam washed away part of the road nearly 2 weeks ago.   The District of Muskoka, who is overseeing the repairs says that it all looks good to re-open the roadway by the weekend if all goes well.

Crews had to remove a significant part of the base and rebuild the road, and Lake of Bays Mayor Bob Young said that washouts do take time to rebuild properly.

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River Mill Park May Get Its Own Sign
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 (11684 reads)

Mayor Claude Doughty says Huntsville town council has issued a request for proposals for an archway sign to be installed for River Mill Park. The sign is planned to hang over King Street at Main Street between the TD Bank and The Love Tree. However, council did not find the design for which it was looking.

“We don’t have a sign for River Mill Park, but it’s a great park and deserves a sign, in my mind,” said Huntsville mayor Claude Doughty.

The plan is to create a wrought-iron archway attached to decorative concrete bases.

 “We’re thinking it will be installed in September,” said Doughty.

He said there is no estimate for the project yet, but the project and its costs will be presented to council for approval before installation.

He added he has had conversations with a service club about partnering financially on the project.



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Perry Twp Seeking First Responders
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 (3897 reads)

The Township of Perry is seeking residents who are interested in becoming a first responder.   Dan Marshall, Perry’s Fire Chief says that the volunteers will learn new skills and make an important contribution to the community.  First responders will be called upon at any time, 24/7 in any weather, to respond to emergency situations like fire suppression, rescue operations or medical assistance.

No experience is necessary, the successful candidate will be taught everything.  For more info call 705-636-5311

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Star Reports Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Abusive at Bala Rehab
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 (19812 reads)

New details are emerging about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s stay in rehab near Bala earlier this summer.

The Toronto Star is reporting that , Ford was involved in altercations withwith fellow rehab residents – pushing and scuffling with them, and was kicked out of his group therapy program after being verbally abusive.

The Star says the details come from witnesses at GreenStone Rehab which is located in Bala. One source claims  Ford broke things,  and got into fights with other residents.

According to the Star’s sources, Ford seemed to be exempt from the rules and “had the run of the place.”

The Star also says that management was concerned Ford may have continued to use drugs or alcohol during his time in there. However, The Star was unable to determine if Ford abused any substances during his two month stint.

Police were called at least once to deal with an incident at GreeneStone during Ford’s time. It’s not known if the police visit was related to Ford.

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Health Unit Reminds You to Supervise Your Children at the Playground
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 (3477 reads)

Falling causes 43% of all unintentional playground injuries resulting hospitalizations among children under 10 years of age according to the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit.

Officials at the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit say that outdoor play is important to overall child development. Playgrounds offer children an opportunity to be active and play together with other children.  While playgrounds offer many benefits to our children, there is also the possibility that they may be injured while playing, especially due to falls.

Health Unit officials advise you to supervise your children closely and ensure that they know how to use the equipment safely. The Health Unit says most playground injuries happen when children are not watched closely enough.

Teach your children the rules of playground safety:

• Wait your turn

• No pushing, shoving or horseplay

• Slide down feet first

• Don’t go up the slide ladder until the other person has gone down the slide

• Hold on to railings

• Wait until play structures are dry, slippery surfaces can cause serious injuries

• Sit down on swings and slides

• Never jump from unsafe heights

• Keep away from moving swings and the bottom of slides

• Before using the playground, remove helmets, scarves and drawstrings.

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Nuit Blanche North Returns Saturday
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 (7222 reads)

The 4th Annual Nuit Blanche North returns this Saturday to Downtown Huntsville and promises to be the biggest event yet.  This year’s late night festival is based on the theme "Impact" and will offer more than 25 different projects and performances.  Last year, more than 5,000 people joined in the fun and organizers are expecting to top that number

The downtown core will be divided into 4 zones with a variety of installations including the HBR's licensed Big Bang Cabaret featuring some of Muskoka's Best Musicians.  Come in and grab a seat and cold one. – the live performances start at 8pm.

The festival runs until the wee hours of the morning with lots for people to see and do.

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Muskoka Arts and Crafts Summer Show Returns
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 (1253 reads)

The Muskoka Arts and Crafts’ 52nd Annual Summer Show returns this month July 18th. For three days, one of Ontario’s oldest and largest outdoor rural craft shows will exhibit two hundred artists to Annie Williams Memorial Park in Bracebridge. New and returning exhibitors will mix it up from as far away as Mission, BC. The Muskoka Arts & Crafts show debuted in 1963 with almost 3,000 people seeing the work of over 50 artists.

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Where is Your Lifejacket? OPP Asks
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 (2386 reads)

Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a number of deaths reported on waterways and many of these incidents could have been prevented provided a personal flotation device had been worn.

Chief Superintendent John Tod, Regional Commander of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Central Region is asking all boaters to always wear a personal floatation device (PFD) or lifejacket when out on the water. “A life jacket stored somewhere on a boat will not help you if you somehow fall into the water or get knocked out of your boat…”.

Marine officers on area lakes within the OPP Central Region take water safety very seriously and stop boats each and every day to make sure that the necessary and required equipment is present. The law with regards to PFD’s is simple; for every person on a boat, there must be a lifejacket. Failure to do can result in a fine which starts at $200.

The message from the OPP is simple, “if you go out onto the water, please wear a PFD at all times as this could make a difference in your safe return to shore should you encounter a problem on the water. Water safety begins before you leave shore and ends when you have safely returned at the conclusion of your outing” adds Chief Superintendent Tod.

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HBR Staffer Recognized for Radio Documentary
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 (1081 reads)

Hunters Bay Radio is pleased to congratulate John Sailors who was recognized by the National Community Radio Association for his radio documentary on Residential Schools and the effects on local residents who attended them.

Take our Talk is the end product of a month’s long search to find victims of the residential schools program who were willing to talk.  Making the documentary was a life changing event in John’s life, saying that he learnt so much about his culture.

To listen to the documentary, follow the link

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Bracebridge Hosts Skateboard Competition
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 (1826 reads)

On Saturday July 12, at 10:00 a.m. the Town of Bracebridge will be hosting the 5th Annual Muskoka Throw-Down Skateboard Competition. Skateboarders from across Muskoka will converge at the Bracebridge Skate Park to test their skills in a friendly street and bowl skateboard competition.

This youth friendly competition has categories for all ages; 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, and 17 years and older. New this year is a scooter category for those 10 and under.

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Junquestock Comes to Bracebridge
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 (11823 reads)

Mayor Graydon Smith and Deputy Mayor Rick Maloney presented an Event Tourism Grant in the amount of $5,000 to Melloney McNabb for the 2014 Junquestock event to be held at the Muskoka Foundry on July 18-20, 2014. Event Tourism grants are provided by the Town to support and foster new up and coming events as well as support established events that are trying expand their event by introducing new elements.

“Who else but someone with the vision to turn an old industrial building into a home décor mecca would have the inspiration to host a festival that centres around objects that can best be described as antique, vintage, up-cycled or just plain junk,” said Mayor Smith. “We’re thrilled to see this unique and eclectic event hosted in our community.”

Junquestock is a festival that encourages people to dig through the piles of treasures from vendors who have “picked” through barns and basements, shed and attics. Television shows like American Pickers and Canadian Pickers have opened people’s eyes to what is truly unique and collectible.

For more information about the Town’s Event Tourism Grants visit

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Muskoka Lakes Hires Interim CAO
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 (3337 reads)

The Muskoka Lakes Township Council has appointed a new Interim CAO.  Clayton Harris will take over the reins of the township until a decision is made on a permanent replacement to be decided on next year. Harris brings several years’ of senior management experience in both the private and public sectors; most recently as the City Manager for the City of Vaughan.

Mayor Alice Murphy welcomed Harris to the Township of Muskoka Lakes, saying “we look forward to benefitting from his extensive background and experience in providing leadership to the Township until the position is filled on a permanent basis.

Harris replaces former Chief Administrative Officer Chris Wray and started work with the Township yesterday

Harris will be the fourth person to act as CAO since the new Council took office in 2010.

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Third Skydiving Death this Year
Monday, July 07, 2014 (1569 reads)

Last weekend there was another skydiving death at the Parachute School of Toronto in Georgina, Ont.

York police say a 39-year-old man died Saturday evening when his jump ended with a hard landing.

They say the man was an experienced skydiver, and that his parachute had opened.

There have been two other fatal jumps connected to the school in the past year.

In May, 28-year-old Alana Shamrock died after experiencing equipment failure, and last 42-year-old Igor Zaitsev died after losing control of his parachute.


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OPP to Launch Online Reporting System
Monday, July 07, 2014 (5883 reads)

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has made another move to improve efficiency within one of the largest deployed police services in North America. 

This week the OPP unveils a new online reporting system that will enable the public to report specific occurrences from a computer. Citizen Self Reporting will offer the public another way to report select incidents which are not an emergency, by completing a report online at their convenience. 

The OPP is one of several Ontario police services who have adopted an Internet-based crime reporting system where people can report certain crimes such as lost property, theft from vehicles, and property damage, without an officer having to be dispatched.   Only occurrences that do not involve an injury, a suspect or evidence are applicable. An officer will attend if requested by the complainant. 

It is expected that Citizen Self Reporting will be beneficial to both the public and the police. It will provide a convenient alternative to the citizens of Ontario, while allowing frontline officers to focus their efforts on other enforcement and crime prevention strategies within our communities. 

To access the system, go to 


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HBR & BIA Win Bathtub Derby
Monday, July 07, 2014 (821 reads)

Hundreds of people lined up both sides of the river in downtown Huntsville on Saturday to watch participants in the Muskoka River Bathtub Derby racing each other along an obstacle course to help raise funds for Top Hat Youth home for homeless teenagers and to raise funds to improve River Mill Park.

This year the Huntsville BIA &  HBR won the event.

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Canusa Looking to Fill Positions
Monday, July 07, 2014 (10831 reads)

Canusa in conjunction with the YMCA Employment Resource Centre is looking to hire new employees.  Representatives from Canusa will be on hand to answer questions, take in resumes and interview applicants. 

The job fair runs from 10am - 2pm at the YMCA Employment Resource Centre on King William St in Huntsville.

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Student Entrepreneur Showcase Tomorrow
Monday, July 07, 2014 (1077 reads)

The Muskoka Small Business Centre, in partnership with the Town of Bracebridge will be hosting its 6th annual Student Entrepreneur Showcase tomorrow.  The event will feature this year’s Summer Company businesses from across Muskoka in a tradeshow style display, and will present the awards for the 2014 Muskoka Bizplan Challenge, a business plan competition held in Muskoka High Schools.

The showcase and awards take place from 5-8pm at the Bracebridge Sportsplex.

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The Annual Vintage Boat Shows Returns
Friday, July 04, 2014 (1441 reads)

The Antique and Classic Boat Society of Toronto returns tomorrow for its 34th annual vintage boat show.

Tomorrow, July 5, more than 120 boats will be on display during the event, both on land and in water, and each ready to tell the story of their restoration.

On May 30, ACBS held a familiarization event at the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre with multiple vessels showcased in short tours of the bay.

Among them, Wa Chee Wee, built by Ditchburn Boat Works in Gravenhurst in 1923.

The poster boat for the 2014 event, Wa Chee Wee was sunk in Lake Muskoka and years later raised and at last fully restored in the spring of 2012.

If you have a Wa Chee Wee-style restoration of your own on the go, you could find that elusive puzzle piece in the Field of Dreams or flea market.

New this year is a live boat auction by Antique Boat America, along with youth sea flea building and cardboard boat races.

The day boasts children’s entertainers and for $10 a person you can take part in a one-hour pirate cruise on the Wenonah.

There will be more than 60 vendors, a small “unique” car show, food court, and beer.

The ACBS Toronto 34th annual summer boat show is taking place on July 5. Tickets are $15 per person, which includes entry into the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre. Children under 12 are admitted free. Please, no pets at the show. For more information visit



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Town Waiting on Payment from Waterloo
Friday, July 04, 2014 (19419 reads)

Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty says "it's just an accrual problem" when speaking of income reported by The University of Waterloo at the Forbes Hill building, but not yet paid to the town.  At an earlier committee meeting, staff reported that rental of accommodation at the University Building was up over last year and that the building "was on a roll."

HBR has learned that none of income reported has yet been paid for by Waterloo.  And Waterloo's lease is up for renewal next year and so far the University has not been forthcoming on whether they intend to renew the lease or pack up and leave town.

In the meantime, the mayor has been in talks with Ryerson University to gauge an interest level that Ryerson may have to use the building.

According to sources, the town is waiting for payment in excess of $50,000.

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Little Free Library Opens in Huntsville
Friday, July 04, 2014 (3666 reads)

The Huntsville Library along with the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, The Rotary Club of Huntsville and the Town of Huntsville unveiled their Little Free Library yesterday at town hall.

The Huntsville Public Library was approached by the Huntsville Festival of the Arts for help in creating the space for the community. The Rotary Club of Huntsville agreed to supply the materials and build the library structure, which was painted by local artist Helena Renwick.

The Little Free Library runs on premise that a user will take a book and eventually leave a book in its place. With this model the collection will constantly evolve and be a reflection of our community culture and interests.

People waiting for a performance at the theatre, jazz in the park or just needing a place to sit and relax between shopping are encouraged to pick up a book and read outside.

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Environment Canada Records Seventh Ontario Tornado
Thursday, July 03, 2014 (24551 reads)

Environment Canada says Ontario has recorded its seventh tornado of the season.

Meteorologist Geoff Coulson confirms a tornado touched down on Monday on Bear Lake about 30 kilometres northwest of Huntsville.

He says though the tornado damaged trees in the area, it was mainly concentrated on the lake itself.

The tornado was measured as an EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale denoting the minor damage it caused. The most severe twister thus far this year hit the central Ontario community of Angus on June 17, causing massive damage to homes in the area.

Coulson says the season for tornadoes can last from April to October, and there is "a lot of variability" in terms of the number of tornadoes that touch down.

He says last year was a “particularly active” season with 23 tornadoes compared to the average of about 12.

Coulson adds Ontario could be in store for unstable air next week which could result in strong thunderstorms.



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Muskoka Sound Music Fest Seeking Volunteers
Thursday, July 03, 2014 (1259 reads)

The Muskoka Sound Festival is looking for volunteers.  The new festival is seeking anyone interested in helping plan, and set up and help run the festival to contact them.   The festival is seeking positions from production to stage hand to security to hospitality to transportation. 

Muskoka Sound is expected to bring 5,000 per day to the event which is being held at Lions Lookout field on Sept 12-14.  For more info, visit

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Bracebridge Open For Business: Mayor Smith
Thursday, July 03, 2014 (4384 reads)

Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith says Bracebridge is open for business following a bylaw that removed all Municipal development charges on Commercial and Industrial developments in the town.  The move follows a reduction by 50% in District Development Charges across the board at the District Council which passed after much discussion on Monday. 

Smith along with Huntsville Mayor Doughty and Gravenhurst Mayor Donaldson maintain that since 2008, Muskoka has seen a significant loss in manufacturing jobs and that leaves excess capacity in municipal and district infrastructure available.  Its hoped that the move to remove and reduce Development Charges will help attract new business to the area.

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Bathtub Derby Returns Saturday
Thursday, July 03, 2014 (4317 reads)

The Bathtub Derby will return again for another summer as part of Rotary Dockfest this weekend taking place at Huntsville Town Dock.    The festivities kick off with a pancake breakfast at 8am at River Mill Park, followed by a parade of tubs down Main St at 11am.

The first of three heats begins at noon with bathtubs furiously racing through obstacles on the Muskoka River as they make their way to the finish line.

The event will have something for everyone, so bring your friends and the whole family. There will be a Rotary BBQ, beer tent, arts and crafts for the little ones as well as a bouncy castle and various other activities for kids.

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Ontario Legislature Resumes Sitting
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 (247 reads)

The Ontario legislature is set to resume sitting today – the first session since the June 12 election.

The previous session was dissolved in May after the NDP refused to back the budget of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s minority government, who then swept to a majority government.

All 107 MPPs will be sworn in, including Wynne and her new cabinet.

The next order of business will be to elect a new speaker.  Five people are up for the job including two Liberals – Dave Levac, who held the job before the election was called, and Shafiq Qaadri.

Progressive Conservative Rick Nicholls and New Democrats Paul Miller and Cheri DiNovo also want the job.

The Conservatives will also be choosing an interim leader to take over for Tim Hudak, who stepped down on election night after the party failed to make substantial gains.  He will keep his seat in the legislature.

Veteran Tories Jim Wilson and John Yakabuski are expected to compete for the interim role.  The interim leader will lead the party until a new leader is chosen.

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Reconstruction underway on Brunel Rd
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 (1644 reads)

Work is underway on Brunel Rd where cascading waters from a failed beaver dam washed away part of the road.  Workers are currently removing materials before they can start the work of re-constructing the roadway.  Lake of Bays Mayor Bob Young said that he’s not surprised that the district says it will take two weeks to complete the repair, saying that it took his township over a week to do a smaller repair last year. 

The washout is causing significant detours for people commuting from Lake of Bays to Huntsville.

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