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Sunday, October 04, 2015

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Closing Your Cottage: How to Avoid Thieves.
Friday, October 02, 2015 (1126 reads)

It seems summer is truly finished and the last of the seasonal residents are preparing to go home to the city for the rest of the year - making it prime season for cottage break-ins. 
To combat these incidents the OPP are offering tips to help thief-proof your summer home. 
Remember to remove all food and especially all alcohol from the cottage as well as removing any firearms. 
Trimming trees and shrubs around your property can also increase visibility and make your cottage less attractive for potential thieves. 
Similarly, including motion sensitive lights around the exterior can deter break-ins as well as installing an alarm system. 
Some of the most stolen items are ATVs and snowmobiles, OPP recommend winterizing all vehicles, covering them, hiding their keys and in the case of snowmobiles, removing the track from the vehicle. 

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Police Remind Motorists Not to Veer for Deer.
Friday, October 02, 2015 (3129 reads)

As the fall creeps in Police are reminding motorists to be attentive of wildlife as deer in particular are more mobile this time of year. 
OPP recommend that drivers use caution when in any deer-crossing zones as deer are seldom on their own. 
They also recommend that drivers pay extra caution during evenings when deer collisions are at their most prominent

and remind them not to rely on devices designed to scare off deer and to never veer away but rather brake firmly so as to not lose control of the vehicle. 

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Main Entrance to Bracebridge Hospital Closed Oct. 6 - 8.
Friday, October 02, 2015 (574 reads)

It'll be a little trickier to get into the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital next week after Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) announced that the facilities main entrance will be closed from Oct. 6 to 8. 
During the closure, patients as well as visitors are advised to use the Emergency entrance into the building. 
Closure will allow a new heat curtain to be installed between the automatic doors at the main entrance ultimately making the waiting room more comfortable. 
The MAHC is reminding people that the change may cause increased traffic and congestion at the Emergency entrance and asks that members of the public are mindful. 

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Oktoberfest Comes To Gravenhurst
Friday, October 02, 2015 (680 reads)

In Gravenhurst Sawdust City Brewery will be holding their first Oktoberfest celebration. The two-day three-session event features a large indoor dance hall with entertainment provided by The George Kash Oktoberfest Experience. Attendees will participate in a variety of Oktoberfest activities including songs, dances, games and contests. Music ranges from Bavarian-style oompah to a variety of contemporary favourites. The event also features authentic Bavarian cuisine and of course, german style craft beer.

A shuttle bus can pick up patrons in Huntsville and Bracebridge.

Visit for more information.

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Bracebridge Dog Park Opens to the Public
Friday, October 02, 2015 (616 reads)

The official opening of the Three Amigos Dog Park, on the grounds of James W. Kerr Park  was celebrated yesterday.

 The opening marked two years of work by a dedicated committee and group of volunteers led by Councilor Lori-Lynn Giaschi-Pacini as Chair.

A number of activities were organized to celebrate the occasion and included the unveiling of the Three Amigos Dog Park sign, and recognition of donors and volunteers by Mayor Graydon Smith.

 The Dog Park was named in honour of major donors Brock and Willa Napier’s three dogs: Ben, Hunter and Harley who are affectionately referred to by the Napier’s, as the “Three Amigos”.

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Feast the Harvest Festival Tonight at Hillside Farm
Friday, October 02, 2015 (1696 reads)

A unique event will be will be held this evening in Hillside.  Organizers from the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op will be presenting the Feast the Harvest Festival at the Hillside Farm featuring ally sourced food, beverages and local music.

Kelly Ebbs the General Manager says that the event is a fundraiser for the co-op which she hopes will open by the spring of 2016.

The food, much of it is locally sourced, as well as local craft beer and wines.  Musicians Clayton T-Bone Earl, Mark Hockey, Doug and Arlene McLean, Paul Lagendyk and Bet Smith will be performing throughout the evening.

Tickets for the event are $30 for Muskoka North Good Food Co-op members, $35 for non-members, $20 for youth aged 13 to 18, and free for children 12 and under.  Tickets can be purchased at

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Muskoka Conservancy Hold Two Events in Huntsville This Weekend
Friday, October 02, 2015 (188 reads)

The Muskoka Conservancy and Westwind Forest Stewardship will be hosting two public events this weekend as a part of the Healthy Trees Program.  The Woodlands and Wildlife Forest Festival on will be held today October 2 and the Gifts of the Forest Marketplace on Saturday, October 3.

This year’s day-long event will bring together local professionals and private landowners to hear about topics including: "The Future of Ontario's Forests", Emerald Ash Borer, Beech Bark Disease, Flying Squirrels, and Wolves and Coyotes. Peter Schleifenbaum, owner of Haliburton Forest, an 80,000-acre forest that was recognized as Canada’s first certified sustainable forest, will be the keynote speaker for the day. 

The Woodlands and Wildlife Forest Festival will take place on Friday, October 2 between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Active Living Centre in Huntsville, Ontario.

New this year, for Saturday is the "Gifts of the Forest Marketplace" event in conjunction to the Forest Festival.

"This event will host artisans and crafters from the Muskoka region who work with materials found in the forest", says Becca Ferguson, Stewardship Technician. "We will feature paddle making, chainsaw carving, bowl turning, and bird carving to give you examples of the types of displays".

The Marketplace will take place on Saturday, October 3rd between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Active Living Centre.

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Learn About Becoming a Firefighter in Gravenhurst on October 8th
Friday, October 02, 2015 (148 reads)

Your final opportunity to learn more about becoming a Gravenhurst Volunteer Firefighter will be on Thursday October, 8th at Station 1, during the Fire Dept's open house.

Larry Brassard, the Chief at Gravenhurst Fire Department said that "For those people who have already submitted an application and for others who may still be considering answering the call, this will be a real opportunity to learn first-hand about what your commitment will be."

Applicants will have the chance to speak directly with members of the department to get a real sense of the training regime and future expectations. They’ll also be able to schedule personal interviews and learn all the necessary steps to complete the application process.

To learn more about the many benefits to becoming a Volunteer Gravenhurst Firefighter and to find an online application, please visit

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MWAG Offers Housing Program for Women in Transition.
Thursday, October 01, 2015 (98 reads)

The Muskoka Women's Advocacy Group (MWAG) wants you to know about it's Chrysalis Housing program and the opportunities it offers to women in transition. 
MWAG's housing program is designed to assist women in "unraveling the red tape" needed to move forward in life and achieve their goals. 
The housing program offers studio apartment as well as one or two bedroom units that are geared to the income of individuals using it and available for upto a year. The program puts women in touch with staff members who can help to assist them. 

If you are in crisis or transition and are looking to get involved you can be referred to the Chrysalis housing program through either of MWAG's two crisis centres or you can apply individually by contacting Robin Carson at Chrysalis, that number is 705-789-8488.

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Trisha Cowie Defends Party Stance on CPP, Dukes It Out with Clement.
Thursday, October 01, 2015 (6604 reads)

Liberal Trisha Cowie was on the defensive during the latter part of last night’s all-candidates debate after questions posed about Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s comments on small businesses.

Cowie was asked to clarify her leader’s position around comments made during an interview with the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge wherein he called small businesses “tax dodges.”

Cowie said the comments were taken out of context and that Liberal party was instead trying to tighten up any existing loopholes. She urged voters to watch the exchange in context as well as encouraging them to watch another controversial Trudeau’s statement where he spoke about budget’s balancing themselves.

“Watch it in context and watch it make sense,” Cowie said adding that she doesn’t appreciative the nasty and divisive approaches taken when attacking Trudeau and that she is looking forward to changing them.

Incumbent Tony Clement chimed in on the matter calling Trudeau’s comments untrue and unfair and claiming that Trudeau planned to introduce a “massive new payroll tax similar to what Kathleen Wynne is forcing down your throat in Ontario.” Clement called those measures, referring to the Liberal’s plans to increase investment in the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), “job killers.”

Cowie was quick to fire at Clement’s accusations back saying that the Liberal’s plans to investment in the CPP were not payroll taxes and rather investments in retirement, the future and worked towards a dignified old age.

“If we want to talk about what a payroll tax is, I’d be curious to know, Mr. Clement, your pension and what we’re paying for your pension,” Cowie said.

Clement quipped quickly that Cowie’s was herself being nasty and divisive.

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Marxist Candidate Calls for a New Canadian Constitution.
Thursday, October 01, 2015 (2744 reads)

Parry Sound – Muskoka’s Marxist-Leninist candidate called for a new Canadian constitution during last night’s all-candidates forum in Huntsville.

During a response to a question regarding the Canadian senate, candidate Albert Gray Smith said that his party was for the abolishment of the senate calling it a relic of a 19th century constitution that was no longer relevant today.

“We believe there needs to be a new and modern constitution,” said Gray Smith. “There are vestiges of privilege written directly into the constitution.” He added that the senate in Canada was a North American equivalent of the British House of Lords, put in place by the country’s founding fathers who did not fully trust democracy. 

“They’ve called it a sober second thought but it’s not longer that it’s a blocking of the democratic will and it must be gotten rid of,” Gray Smith said.

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Minimum Wage Goes Up Today
Thursday, October 01, 2015 (27667 reads)

Thousands of workers in Ontario and four other provinces across Canada get a raise today.

Effective Oct. 1, the minimum wage goes up in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador are both increasing their minimum hourly wages by 25 cents on Thursday, bringing Ontario's rate up to $11.25 and Newfoundland and Labrador's up to $10.50.

In Alberta, the rate jumps one dollar to $11.20 and Saskatchewan is raising minimum to $10.50.

The Northwest Territories holds its minimum at $12.50 an hour, that after an increase of $2.50 in June.

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Huntsville Debate a Packed House
Thursday, October 01, 2015 (5336 reads)

A packed house showed up for last night's All Candidates Forum in Huntsville yesterday.   Incumbent candidate Tony Clement defended his record and pointed out that the economy is growing for a second month in a grown and about the surplus announced earlier this month.  He stood on his record of local leadership. 

Liberal candidate Trisha Cowie made a point of explaining that while she was wearing orange, she was in fact a Liberal.  She called on the audience to vote for real change, saying its time to invest in Canada.  When challenged on her parties plan to spend billions on infrastructure, she said that we could saddle our children with failing infrastructure or invest in it now.

Green Party Candidate Glen Hodgson told the audience that the greens win when other parties borrow parts of their platform and said that his fully costed platform will work and said they were the only party who could be trusted on the environment.

NDP candidate Matt McCarthy promised to repeal Bill C 51 and invest in low cost child care.

For more in depth information on the forum, visit

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$26,000 Expense To Repair Two Paths Sent Back to the Drawing Board
Thursday, October 01, 2015 (2577 reads)

Huntsville council balked when staff asked to spend $26,000 to repair two paths at Meadow Park after reconstruction of the tennis courts to be completed next year.  Staff explained that there was a certain amount of damage to the paths expected after the heavy equipment was removed from the site and the paths should be brought up to current accessibility standards.

Councilor Bob Stone started the conversation with the remark that "We're busted!" and asked that the town only upgrade the path that leads to the courts and not a path that runs across the park.

Staff was sent back to make changes and report back.

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Huntsville Council Stops Plans to Hire $25,000 Consultant
Thursday, October 01, 2015 (956 reads)

Huntsville Councilors put the brakes on spending on two initiatives at Monday night's council meeting.  The first request for approval was $25,000 to hire a consultant who would assist the town the its strategic visioning.   Staff explained that the consultant would guide council help guide council for the remainder of this term and also engage the community finding out what they want for the next 10 years.

Council had already set a list of  goals for this term of council and on top of the list was fiscal restraint.   Councilor Nancy Alcock, challenged the spend saying  the visioning process would overlap with the Official Plan review and there would be an overlap with the potential for both projects would study some of the same things.

Mayor Scott Aitchison offered an alternative view saying that  the documents would be complementary, but acknowledged that it looked like the will of council was to defeat  the motion.

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New Bandshell to be Discussed at Huntsville General Committee Today
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 (2042 reads)

Huntsville's General Committee meets today and will be hearing a deputation on the new River Mill Park Bandshell.

Planning is underway and the Rotary Club is spearheading a project to bring the bandshell to reality.

The group will present its plans to the committee today and already have a $5000 pledge from the Muskoka Concert Band.

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Huntsville Has New Deal for Waterloo Building
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 (18355 reads)

Huntsville has a new deal with the University of Waterloo.  At Monday's council meeting Mayor Scott Aitchison told councilors that the new deal would be better for the town as they would have more control over what happens and Waterloo would be paying market rates when using the facility.

According to Aitchison, the lease agreement would give control of the building to the town and allow them to rent out a good portion of the building.

The town had previously issued a Request for Proposal for possible tenants that would end this month and seemed optimistic about finding users for the building.

As for the University, they would keep the wet lab in the building but would be there less often.  Staff however says that the rent from Waterloo would increase from $2 a year to $70,000.

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Under 18 Tournament Still Looking for Volunteers
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 (13225 reads)

Organizers of the 2015 National Women's Under 18 Championships which will be held in Huntsville between Nov 4th and 8th are looking for volunteers.

Wendy McConnell of the Host Organizing Committee said that "We are looking for committed individuals interested in having some fun while contributing to the success of a Hockey Canada National Championship. This event will not only bring national attention to our community but also leave a lasting, positive legacy for the local development of women in sport.”

The Women’s Under-18 Championship is one of eight Hockey Canada national events. Elite female athletes from across the country take part in the National Women’s Under-18 Championship aiming for the ultimate goal, to one day play for Canada’s National Women’s Team.  This tournament has previously been held in Calgary, Alberta and Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

For more information on volunteering for this event please e-mail

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Ironman Event Sends $500k in HST to the Feds, Nothing for Huntsville - Ironman Organizers
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 (3008 reads)

Muskoka's first Ironman race was very successful, that according to organizers Ray Love and Mike Malone who were before Huntsville Council on Monday night.

Love reported that Huntsville pulled off a successful race with 1300 athletes participating and an equal amount of volunteers to ensure the race was a success.

Love told council there was the potential of a $5 million in economic impact to the community and estimated over half a million dollars was sent to Ottawa and the province via the HST. 

Love noted that Huntsville, who helped fund the race, received nothing in the way of taxes and promised to target potential funding organizations belonging to the Province and the Federal Government next year.

Love also floated a possible destination tax which could be levied by the town for next year.

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Gravenhurst Debate Focuses on Pensions, Seniors and National Security
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 (672 reads)

The third of five all-candidates forums in Parry Sound – Muskoka, this one hosted by the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce and moderated by chamber president Bob Collins, saw all six federal candidates square off on the issues of national security, the Canadian Pension Plan, seniors and more.

Locally, candidates were asked a range of questions including their stances on employment insurance, unemployment rates and integrity in government.

The debate by all accounts was orderly, with NDP and Liberal candidates touting party lines and why their government is the right choice to replace the Conservatives. Green Party candidate Glen Hodgson detailed what set his party apart from the other major parties. Conservative incumbent Tony Clement was quick to put his accomplishments within the riding front and center, while also distancing himself from party leader Stephen Harper by saying that his first priority was his constituents here in Parry Sound – Muskoka.

Tonight Huntsville will play host to the fourth all-candidates forum at the Algonquin Theatre.

For more in depth coverage of last night’s forum visit

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Candidates Answer Questions on Chemtrails at Gravenhurst Debate
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 (1260 reads)

Last night’s federal all-candidates debate in Gravenhurst had its fair share of lively discussions but a few stuck out, in particular debate over the existence and alleged impact of chemtrails.

For the uninitiated, chemtrails refer to the visible contrails left by aircrafts that some groups believe contain chemicals that are the cause of certain sicknesses in those exposed. They are widely discredited as a conspiracy theory, but are supported by a growing number of believers.

One such believer posed a question to federal candidates asking them their position on alleged chemtrails and what they would do about them. The majority of the candidates said they were too uninformed to make any concrete statements on the issue but used the opportunity to address other environmental issues such as climate change as well as the issue of alleged scientific muzzling by the Conservative government. Incumbent Tony Clement weighed in on both topics saying that he didn’t believe in the chemtrails theory citing that the government was not in the business of conspiring against its citizens and that government was simply not organized enough to pull off that kind of operation.

Canadian Action Party (CAP) candidate was the odd man out siding in favour of the chemtrail theory and calling Clement’s dismissal “disrespectful” while saying that there are many people in this area that have felt the effects of alleged chemtrails.

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Commemorative Sculpture Honouring Donnie Eagles Approved by Huntsville Town Council.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 (6606 reads)

Huntsville's town council has approved a commemorative sculpture in honour of long-time Huntsville resident Donald "Donnie" Eagles. 

Eagles, who could often be seen sweeping the streets of downtown Huntsville, died earlier this year. He was 65. 

A stalwart of the community, Eagles has been fondly remembered since his death and in recognition of his contributions to the town a bronze broom will be placed beside the sign leading to Rivermill Park. 

The sculpture is slated to be completed over the next several weeks. 

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Gravenhurst Fire Fighters Going Door to Door To Educate Residents on Fire Safety
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 (239 reads)

Gravenhurst fire fighters will be out knocking on doors in the community during the evenings of Tuesday, October 6th and 7th, and October 13th and 14th in an effort to spread fire prevention and fire safety awareness messages in multi-unit residential buildings.

Robert King, fire prevention officer says that “Part of our fire prevention messaging is to make sure residents have two ways out of every room in the event of a fire.  Quite often children ask us what to do if they live in an apartment building and can’t get out a window. ”  Fire fighters will be handing out brochures that will answer that question and more.

“The fire department has had a few “close calls” in the past few years in apartment buildings in addition to two serious fires,” said King. “We want to prevent this from happening in the future.”

When you see Fire truck out in front of your building, open your door and say hello to your local volunteer fire fighters. King says to make sure to ask them any questions you may have about fire prevention and fire safety.

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All Candidates Forum Tonight in Gravenhurst
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 (239 reads)

Tonight the third in a series of all candidates forum for Parry Sound – Muskoka will be held in Gravenhurst.

A short meet-and-greet starts at 6 p.m. with the forum starting at 7 p.m. at the Terry Fox Auditorium located at 101 Centennial Drive.

The forum will be hosted by the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce and so far all six of the candidates have confirmed they will be taking part.

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Culture Station Gets Nine Months to Work Out Rent Details
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 (6418 reads)

Huntsville Councilors expressed frustration last night as they tackled the issue of the Culture Station after receiving a letter from users of the facility that asked that council reconsider an earlier decision that deferred the matter to December's council meeting and deal with it now.

The letter called on council to make a decision on the future of the station or risk having the current occupants leave the facility.

Councilor Nancy Alcock told the packed gallery that "I'm not here to get you" and that the municipality would like to be a partner with them, lamenting that as a supporter of the Culture Station, she has felt bullied by some of the users of the facility.

Councilor Alcock floated the option of extending the current rental rates ($1 monthly) until June 2016 to give users a sense of security. That motion was eventually passed by council.

Councilor Brian Thompson reiterated that any solution to the problem should include a fair and equitable rental rate for the Suzuki Strings who occupy the other part of the building and pay around $8,000 in rent per year.

Mayor Scott Aitchison said that the rent issue has opened a Pandora's Box and the cupboards are bare when referring to maintenance issues on the provincially protected heritage building.

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Huntsville Votes to Spend $60,000 on Health Care Consultant
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 (1987 reads)

Huntsville town council has voted to spend $60,000 to hire a consultant to help a newly formed committee - the Hospital Retention Working Group - understand the workings of the healthcare industry.

The working group was struck several months ago and is chaired by Rob Alexander. The committee is tasked with ensuring that Huntsville will retain a hospital campus within the municipality.

Alexander said that in the past two months, the committee has met four times and has come to the conclusion that most of them weren’t well enough informed about healthcare.

Alexander said that this hiring a consultant was phase one but couldn't elaborate more.  When Councilor Bob Stone asked how much money the town would be asked to contribute in total, Alexander said he could not answer the question.

Alexander went on to say that Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is expected to receive an answer on their single site proposal from the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN by year end. If approved, a site selection committee would be formed.  Huntsville should have its strategy in place by that time, Alexander said.

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Siskins Dole Out Otters First Loss.
Monday, September 28, 2015 (1096 reads)

Huntsville's Junior C Otters took to the ice to combat the Stayner Siskins last Friday and it didn't go as planned. 
The Otters took their first defeat of the 2015 season on Friday with a 5 to 2 loss against the Siskins making their 2015 season record 2 - 1, thus far. 
The Otters will be back on their home ice to square off against the Orillia Terriers this coming Friday, whom they swept 5-3 in their opening game of the season earlier this month. 

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Bee Apiary Coming to Parry Sound Next Spring.
Monday, September 28, 2015 (394 reads)

Canadore College's Parry Sound campus will be going to the bees next spring with plans announced to build an apiary on site. 
An apiary is a collection of beehives for beekeeping and honey making purposes. The apiary, which is slated to be completed by Spring of 2016, will initially hold four hives with plans to increase that number as time goes on. 
The project has been made possible thanks to a  $7,306 grant from the TD Bank Friends of the Environment and a $2,000 grant from local business Crofters Organics. That money will be used to purchase honey bees, beekeeping equipment and tools. 
The project will lend itself to the college's already existing beekeeping programing and workshops.
The college will have the responsibility of managing and maintaining the apiary with assistance from a Parry Sound and Area Apiary Resource Team. 
An information session will also be held at Canadore College on Oct. 28. The event is free but registration is required and can be confirmed at 705-746-9222.

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Third All-Candidates Forum Taking Place Tomorrow in Gravenhurst.
Monday, September 28, 2015 (295 reads)

Mark your calendar, tomorrow is the third all candidates forum for Parry Sound - Muskoka, this time in Gravenhurst. 
A short meet-and-greet starts at 6 p.m. with the forum  starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the Terry Fox Auditorium located at 101 Centennial Drive. 
The forum will be hosted by the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce and so far all six of the candidates have confirmed they will be taking part.

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Tire Blow-Out Causes Bus Fire in Georgian Bay.
Monday, September 28, 2015 (811 reads)

A coach bus caught fire last Friday on a portion of Highway 400 in Georgian Bay Township. 
On Sept. 25 at around 2 p.m. police from the Southern Georgian bay detachment along with emergency crews responded to a report of a Trentway-Wagar coach bus that was travelling south on Highway 400 near Crooked Bay Road when the rear passenger tire blew out and caused a fire. 
The driver pulled the bus over and evacuated the 43 passengers, including 40 students aged 12 to 16 and three adults. 
Personnel tried to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher but the bus was ultimately destroyed.
One student was transported to a local area hospital with minor injuries as a result of the fire and the investigation is ongoing. 

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Culture Station Users Threaten to Leave If an Agreement Doesn't Materialize
Monday, September 28, 2015 (3234 reads)

Huntsville Town Council meets tonight and will be discussing the Huntsville Train Station and the tenancy of the Culture Station.   The item is a last minute addition to the agenda and councilors will discuss a letter sent by user groups including the Chamber of Commerce, Huntsville Art Society,  The Train Station Society and Historical Society asking the town to honour the lease agreement  put in place by the last term of council, that would cost users of the station $1 per year.

Council had deferred a decision on whether to increase the rent on the building to December, but the letter by the user groups are calling on the town to make a decision and are threatening vacate the building if council doesn't act.

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What's Cooking Bracebridge This Weekend
Monday, September 28, 2015 (208 reads)

The second year of What's Cooking Bracebridge is happening October 2nd-4th this year and organizers are bringing in famous Chefs, Authors and Culinary Specialists, featuring Jamie Kennedy and Marilyn Smith.

Organizers say that the event is bigger and better than last year and are offering a variety of ticket packages to suit most budgets.

For more information visit the link:

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Huntsville Asks Residents to Take Survey on Property Taxes
Monday, September 28, 2015 (637 reads)

The Town of Huntsville is undertaking a survey to get input from residents and how they feel about their property taxes. The survey allows residents the means to express what services they want to receive funding or improve and provide input on how money will be invested for the 2016 draft budget.

The survey is available to be filled out online at or in person at Town of Huntsville facilities until November 13th.

Residents interested in gaining insight into what services are provided for their tax dollar and where the money comes from, are encouraged to read the Town of Huntsville’s Your Municipal Tax Dollars at Work: Property Tax Outline. This booklet offers information on the overall budget, sources of revenue and services delivered in 2015.

To download the booklet visit

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Clement Stops In at Crofters' Organics.
Friday, September 25, 2015 (1080 reads)

Conservative Tony Clement was in Parry Sound today visiting local business Crofters Food Ltd. where he received an update from Crofters president Gerhard Latka on the expansion of the business.

Crofters, an organic jams and jellies company, were the beneficiaries of a $822,323 loan announced by Clement earlier this year to help modernize the business’s production line and packaging system.

Clement called Crofters a “success story” and said it serves as an example as to how the Conservative government has made job creation a top priority.  Latka spoke to the growth as well saying that since receiving the funding they have created six new positions for a total of 44 employees.

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Gordie Merton Absent from Parry Sound Debate.
Friday, September 25, 2015 (507 reads)

It seems that Canadian Action Party (CAP) candidate Gordie Merton was the odd man out at last Tuesday’s all-candidates forum as the only candidate not present during the debate.

Merton, who participated in the first all-candidates forum at the Rene Caisse theatre in Bracebridge and the second in Port Sydney, said he wasn’t aware of the debate and hadn’t been invited.

“What a fiasco,” Merton said. “I was at home and was phoned by a friend who asked if I needed a ride home from the debate; I said ‘what debate?’.”

Merton said he doesn’t know if he was purposely excluded from the forum or if they simply weren’t able to reach him but added that if the latter is the case then they didn’t try hard enough.

“I didn’t get a notification or anything, I was like a mushroom – kept in the dark,” said Merton.

His absence at the forum hasn’t broken his spirit, however, as he looks forward to the coming debates at the end of the month and October.

“It’s a hindrance, but I’ve got four other debates to go to and I’m sure that the peoples’ voices will be heard in that as well.”

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Federal Candidate Says Signs Are Being Stolen, Vandalized.
Friday, September 25, 2015 (20543 reads)

Stolen and damaged election signs are causing a headache for one Parry Sound – Muskoka candidate.

Gordie Merton, candidate for the Canadian Action Party (CAP), recently reported a number of his signs, including one on his own front lawn, have been stolen and others damaged in and around the Gravenhurst area.

“The first one was stolen on Wednesday,” Merton said. “Yesterday supporters told me that more signs along Highway 169 had been taken as well as signs going up towards Torrance.”

Merton says that roughly a third of the 15 signs he has put out so far have been stolen or damaged. Merton has 50 signs in total, but is still waiting on stickers to personalize is signs before putting the rest out. Merton says that while these signs have been funded through donations and CAP it’s still not cheap with just 50 stickers costing $154 and the signs even more.

“All of this has been donated, which I’m thankful for because I wouldn’t have been able to get the money for it, so it stinks when people steal signs,” Merton said.

Merton reported the thefts and vandalism to the OPP and says he thinks the issue stems from a sense of anger towards the government,

“I don’t see any reason to vandalize anything, but I guess it might be because of the political powder-keg that Canada is sitting in right now. People are angry at the government and they don’t care who it is and I don’t blame them for being angry. That’s why I became a candidate, there needs to be a change but there are other ways of voicing your opinion,” he said.

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Culture Days Events on All Over Muskoka This Weekend
Friday, September 25, 2015 (3385 reads)

Culture Days kicks off today throughout the region and around the country.  Culture Days is a national program designed to invites everyone to explore, discover and participate in arts and culture in every community across the country. In 2014, the fifth annual Culture Days event took place in more than 850 Canadian cities and towns, with attendance topping 1.6 million Canadians. Last year, more than 1650 activities were presented across Ontario.   The event will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind the scenes”—and to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers at work in their community.

Locally there are dozens of free activates of all interests available for families to explore.

To explore the activities in your area or across the country visit their website at

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Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department Seeking New Recruits
Friday, September 25, 2015 (915 reads)

The Huntsville Fire Department is asking "do you have what it takes?"   The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department is actively seeking individuals interested in serving as firefighters in the community.

The department operates out of 2 fire stations in Huntsville and 4 fire stations in Lake of Bays;

 Like the majority of other municipalities in Ontario, the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department relies on a complement of dedicated and fully trained volunteer firefighters to provide fire protection services. In order to provide an acceptable level of service, they depend on the availability of an adequate number of volunteer firefighters at any time of the day to respond to emergencies. If you think you have what it takes and can answer the call, visit Huntsville Station #1 on Payne Drive to pick up an information package.

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Fire Prevention Week Urges You to "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep"
Friday, September 25, 2015 (18341 reads)

Gravenhurst Firefighters will be welcoming the public at an open house on Saturday October 3rd between 10:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m. at the Gravenhurst Fire Department kick-off Fire Prevention Week this year.

The theme of Fire Prevention Week is “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep”, stressing the importance of having working smoke alarms in your bedroom, as well as on every level of your home.

 Rob King, fire prevention officer with the Gravenhurst fire department says “Having working smoke alarms and a prepared and practiced home escape plan has been proven to saves lives.”

The Muskoka fire safety house will be on site providing fire prevention tips in the simulated kitchen, living room and bedroom where you learn ways to keep your family safe, and what to do if there is smoke in your house.

In addition, the department will have portable fire extinguisher demonstrations where members of the public can practice using an extinguisher to put out a real fire.  Fire rescue demonstrations and equipment will also be on display.

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Gravenhurst Asks For Input on Official Plan
Friday, September 25, 2015 (184 reads)

The Town of Gravenhurst's Official Plan is currently being reviewed and the town is inviting residents to provide input in the process.  An online survey has been created that will give you an opportunity to learn more about the process and share your opinions.

The survey can be found by visiting

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Human Trafficking Survivor Speaking at DIVA Night, Tonight.
Thursday, September 24, 2015 (1644 reads)

Tonight's the night, the Muskoka Women's Advocacy Group (MWAG) is bringing DIVA night to the Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville. 
DIVA or Domestic Intimate Violence Activists Night, is bringing awareness to violence against women as well as human trafficking.
The evening will feature an art gallery, live music from Gina Horswood, and guest speakers Timea Nagy, who is a human trafficking survivor, and youth philanthropist Brooke Houle. 
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and admission is free.

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Muskoka Mayors Ask LHIN to Send Hospital Plan Back to the Drawing Board
Thursday, September 24, 2015 (2731 reads)

Muskoka area mayors on behalf of their respective Councils, have submitted a response to the MAHC's Pre-Capital Submission to the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network.

The municipalities have requested that the LHIN reject the Submission by MAHC and direct the hospital to re-start the long-term planning process.

MAHC’s August 5, 2015 Submission was prepared based on the concept of having one centrally-located acute care hospital as the model for long-term hospital services for the area covered by MAHC.

The municipalities in the East Parry Sound portion of the MAHC catchment area also object to the model selected by MAHC, joining  Bracebridge, Huntsville and the other area municipalities, who have made it clear that the provision of acute care services at both the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge and the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital is vital for all of the communities served by the MAHC.

In a press release, the municipalities said that they believe that MAHC needs to be instructed to undertake a new pre-capital planning process.

Mayor Graydon Smith said that “Over many years, Bracebridge, Huntsville and the other area municipalities have been strong and effective supporters of MAHC and have advocated for addition Provincial support for the services provided by the Hospital. We look forward to working with MAHC in the future to develop a long-term plan for sustainable hospital services for this area.”

Mayor Scott Aitchison indicated that “clear direction needs to be provided to MAHC by the LHIN to focus on the development of a long-term hospital service delivery model that addresses the unique needs of Muskoka and the entire area serviced by MAHC.”

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Beer to be Sold in Grocery Stores by December, Wynne Says.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (4793 reads)

The Province of Ontario says that citizens can expect to see beer in grocery stores by the end of year. 
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced today that by December of 2015 around 60 grocery stores in the province will be able to carry and sell beer. 
That number will grow in 2016 with the Ontario government announcing that it expects to approve about 150 stores by May and close to 500 province-wide over the next three years. 
Wynne announced that the first retailers to receive licensing will be 25 in the GTA, six in the northern end of the province, 16 in western Ontario and 13 in eastern Ontario.

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Women of Distinction Awards Extends Nomination Deadline.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (584 reads)

The YWCA of Muskoka has extended the deadline to submit nominations for the Women of Distinction awards to Monday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. 
Entering its 14 year of celebrating and honouring the achievements and accomplishments of women in Muskoka, this years gala event will take place on Oct. 28 at the Mark O'Meara ballroom in Huntsville. 

Nomination forms can be found online at

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Province to Provide Details on Beer in Grocery Stores Today
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (1478 reads)

The provincial government will be releasing details on changes to how beer will be sold in the future.  Premier Kathleen Wynne will outline the changes this morning on the 10-year plan on how you will be able to buy beer from grocery stores.

The premier has a news conference scheduled for this morning at the Mill St. brewpub.  

Rob Engman of Sawdust City Brewing Company welcomes the changes saying that a portion of shelf space in Grocery Stores will be reserved for craft breweries.

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Huntsville Mayor's Golf Tour Tournament Gets Underway Today
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (1086 reads)

It's a great day for a round of golf and Huntsville's Mayor's Golf Tournament begins this morning at Deerhurst.   Participants in the tournament will help raise funds for charity and can play 18 holes on Deerhurst Highlands or Lakeside Courses as well as cocktails and a 3 course dinner with wine pairings, prepared by Deerhurst’s Executive Chef.

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Tom Thomson's "Ghost" Visits Huntsville For Culture Days
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (3276 reads)

The ghost of Tom Thomson will be visiting downtown Huntsville this Saturday, September 26th at 8pm to read selections from his journal, Tom Thomson: Journal of My Last Spring. The reading, an event organized as part of Culture Days, will take place in front of Town Hall at Tom Thomson’s statue.

The ghost,  the ghost who is an author who wishes to keep his identity secret, has recreated Tom Thomson’s life as it was in 1917, in the form of a real-time Twitter account (@TTLastSpring) and daily journal. The evening reading promises to shed light on what happened in the last days leading to Tom’s mysterious disappearance on July 8, 1917. Following the reading, the author will  discuss Tom’s life, his art, and of course, the mystery.

Tom’s ghost will be leading an expedition the next day, Sunday September 27th to the gravesite at Canoe Lake departing at 10am. Details can be found at 

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Fire Causes $100,000 Damage
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (3757 reads)

Huntsville OPP on routine patrol spotted a house on fire at 16 Shay road early this morning. Huntsville Fire crews were called to the scene and found a basement fire with flames extending to the main floor. Crews were able to quickly knock the fire down and determine that there was no occupants in the building. The fire is believed to be electrical in nature and ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) will be call to assist in the investigation. There is heavy smoke and fire damage throughout the building and the damage estate is 100K.

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Nursing Staff to Take Over PSW Support Work in Bracebridge Hospital.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 (13751 reads)

Cuts to staffing announced by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) in April will see the four personal support worker (PSW) positions cut from the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital (SMMH).

In April, MAHC announced that it would be reducing the number of Complex Continuing Care (CCC) beds at the SMMH from 24 to 16. As a result of the reduction, MAHC would see the loss of 6.6 full time equivalent (FTE) positions, 2.8 of which will be PSW positions. 

MAHC says that the cuts to positions were made in order to address both financial needs and to reflect the current needs and usage the site.
While the cuts have been made to help MAHC meet its financial requirements, CEO Natalie Bubela said that none of the people affected by the cuts were involuntarily removed from their positions.
"MAHC worked closely with the unions and no staff members left the organization involuntarily," Bubela said. "...The impacted staff either opted to take early retirement, voluntarily left the organization or were absorbed into vacant positions at the organization." 
With the loss of the PSW support positions within the SMMH site, the hospital's existing nursing staff will be providing care to the patients in the remaining 16 CCC beds.  

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Bird's Mill Parking Lot to be Closed for Repairs.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 (566 reads)

Bird's Mill Parking Lot in Bracebridge will be closed to the public this October for repairs. 
The Town of Bracebridge reports that in the spring of 2013 the heritage walkway adjacent to the parking lot experienced "significant erosion." In order to repair the area, which includes the restoration of a nearby bank, the town has contracted Titanium Contracting Inc. to do the work. 
Bird's Mill parking lot will be closed from Oct. 1 onward while construction is completed and is expected to be re-opened in December. 

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District Supports Towns Healthcare Fight.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 (3012 reads)

Ontario's Premier will be hearing from Huntsville and Bracebridge this fall regarding healthcare in the region. 
The District of Muskoka voted to endorse resolutions passed by both Huntsville and Bracebridge that are calling on the province to ensure that a full range of hospital services "including acute care, in-patient and surgical services" are maintained at both the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge and at the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital. 
With the endorsement from district council, copies of the petitioning resolution will be forwarded to Premier Kathleen Wynne, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) will also receive a copy as well the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and all municipalities in the MAHC catchment area.
Mayors Scott Aitchison and Graydon Smith will also be delivering the resolutions to the LHIN on Sept. 28, personally.

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District Investigating Changes to Representation
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 (2268 reads)

Staff at the District of Muskoka will be spending the next few months creating a report on the process of changing representation around the district council table.

Councilors voted yesterday to pass a motion calling for staff to investigate the process of adding or reducing council members to create a balanced and equal representation at council. Currently, and since district council’s inception, the towns of Huntsville, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst as well as the township of Muskoka Lakes have had one more member around council than Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay.

Mayors Bob Young and Larry Braid presented the idea to council at their Sept. 21 meeting saying that while it may have been appropriate to have less representation when district council first formed, it is no longer appropriate.

Young said that the process to bring changes to district council was a complicated and lengthy one, requiring approval from the Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs as well as involvement from each of the communities in Muskoka. Despite this, the majority of councillors were supportive of a report investigating the process with Mayors Scott Aitchison and Graydon Smith as well as Muskoka Lakes Councilor Phil Harding calling it a step in the right direction.

Council ultimately voted to pass the motion. District staff said the report will likely take a few months to complete.

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District to Close Two Bridges For Repair This Fall
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 (14937 reads)

You can expect to have a few delays this autumn now that the District of Muskoka has approved closures of two bridges in the region.

At their Sept. 21 meeting, district council voted to approve a motion that will close two bridges from October to mid December for repairs. The Jevin’s Creek Bridge, located on Muskoka Road 13 (Southwood Road) is slated to be closed from Oct. 5 until Dec. 18. The second bridge, located on a portion of Britannia Road, will be closed from Thanksgiving until Dec. 18.

Initially, both bridges were to be closed from Oct. 5 onward but the decision to delay the closure was made by district’s engineering and public works committee to help mitigate delays during repair.

Councilor Bob Young voiced his concern over the Britannia project, saying that the closure will cause significant problems for people driving between Lake of Bays and Huntsville as the only available detour route is roughly 20 to 30 kilometres long. District staff acknowledged that the detour would be significant and said they plan to notify the public prior to any construction work.

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Huntsville Advises Community Groups to Make Budget Requests Before November 2nd
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 (925 reads)

The Town of Huntsville is advising that the deadline for community groups to make submissions for new initiatives for the in the 2016 Budget is November 2nd. 

Community Groups interested in making requests for  donations, grants to organizations, forgiveness of fees or donations of capital for the 2016 operating and capital budget should do so prior to Nov 2, 2015.

On November 12, committee will debate and consider the submissions for the draft budget and deputations from community groups will be allowed at this meeting.

Interested groups can visit for more information regarding the 2016 Budget Guidelines.

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Bracebridge Prepares for Food Drive in October
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 (161 reads)

The Muskoka Oldtimers Hockey Club is getting ready for its Fall Food Drive for Manna, taking place on Tuesday October 6th. This is the most important fundraiser of the year for the Manna Food Bank, and are asking the public to please give generously.

They are asking Bracebridge residents to collect non-perishable food items you'd like to donate to your neighbours who need help putting groceries on the table. Items like canned fruit, vegetables and fish, dried pasta and sauce, peanut butter, breakfast cereal, crackers, flour and sugar are always in high demand.

Set them out in bags on your front porch by 5:30pm on October 6th and they will be picked up that evening, as dozens of volunteers go door-to-door throughout the town from about 6pm to 9pm.

The goal this year is to match previous years by collecting in excess of 12,000 lbs of food and $2,000 in cash and cheques.


For more information calll 705-646-0114 or email

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Correction: Bridge Repairs.
Monday, September 21, 2015 (3586 reads)

Correction: An article published earlier today on stated that the District of Muskoka would be deciding whether or not to approve the closure of the Port Sydney Bridge near Indian Landing from Oct. 5 and Nov. 13. In actuality, two bridges are to be closed the first being a bridge on Muskoka Road 10 on Britannia Road and the second to be the Jevin’s Creek Bridge on Muskoka Road 13.

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Tens of Thousands Raised for Cancer Research Last Weekend.
Monday, September 21, 2015 (448 reads)

People were running and money was piling in over the weekend as Muskokans participated in the annual Terry Fox Run. 
Tens of thousands of dollars were raised for cancer research thanks to the runs. 
Bracebridge raised a whopping $35,000 from more than 200 runners and according to organizer Bruce Reville, that number is expected to rise to $40,000 when all the online and school donations are tallied. 
Gravenhurst raised just over $6,000 according to the events Facebook page. 
The village of Bala raised $7,200 for its run. 
Parry Sound raised a total of $4,259 and the Town of Huntsville's Terry Fox Run organizer, Bill Coon, said Huntsville is still tallying the results from their race. 

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Fall Fair This Weekend.
Monday, September 21, 2015 (2213 reads)

The 133rd Huntsville fall fair comes to Huntsville's fair grounds this weekend with rides, games and shows sure to excite. 
Gates open at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25 with opening ceremonies starting at 6:30 p.m. and local musician Tobin Spring playing at 8 p.m. Admission is $5.00. 
Saturday starts off with a Western Horse show at 9 a.m. sharp. Musicians Clayton Earl and Riley Towns will be playing at 12 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively and the costume themed baby contest starts at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Sunday will feature horseshoe pitching, animal shows, zoo-to-you animal displays and an excavator competition. 

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Otters Take Two Wins Last Weekend, Face Stayner This Friday.
Monday, September 21, 2015 (234 reads)

Huntsville's Junior C Otters were twice victorious last weekend in their home-opener against the Orillia Terriers as well as their second game of the season against the Caledon Golden Hawks. 
The Otters took a 5 - 3 win against the Terriers during Friday nights opening game before travelling to Caledon on Sunday where they racked up a second 5 - 3 win. 
The Otters will be playing again this Friday, Sept. 25 against the Stayner Siskins. 

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Greens Sweep Bracebridge on The Weekend, Hodgson Pitches Seniors Policies
Monday, September 21, 2015 (784 reads)

Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of more than a dozen supporters of Green Party candidate Glen Hodgson who joined him for a sweep of Bracebridge streets on Saturday.

Hodgson said that “Many people in Bracebridge tell me they are increasingly tired of the old way of doing politics and are happy to see that Greens are different,”

Hodgson said that under the Greens plan to introduce a National Seniors strategy that includes:

•    Implementing a Guaranteed Liveable Income to supplement pensions and ensure no Canadian lives in poverty;

•    Creating a national Pharmacare program for prescriptions;

•    Creating a National Housing Plan with affordable and predictable home care;

•    Expanding the Canadian Pension Plan; and,

•    Creating a National Dementia Strategy, which includes more long-term care beds in neighbourhood facilities and improved supports for family members.

Hodgson says the Green Senior Bill of Rights will be reintroduced to the House of Commons after the election.

For full information about the Green Party’s fully costed platform, visit

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Muskoka Novel Marathon Announces Record Amount Raised for Literacy
Monday, September 21, 2015 (1072 reads)

The Muskoka Novel Marathon announced the final total of funds raised by the 2015 Muskoka Novel Marathon earlier this summer.  $32,226.55 was raised for adult literacy in Huntsville.

Karen Wehrstein, event convenor said that “This final total was so far beyond even my pie-in-the-sky predictions," at the Marathon wrap-up party and awards presentations, held on Saturday. “These people are beyond amazing,” she said.

The Muskoka Novel Marathon is an annual 72-hour writing spree and fundraiser that takes place in the Active Living Centre in the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville. This year it took place July 10-13, and the writers collectively wrote 618,000 words, or 2,471 pages.

It is also a judged writing competition, and the winners' manuscripts are sent directly to two publishing professionals.

Funds raised by the Marathon go to the YMCA’s Literary Services in Huntsville. The program's Team Leader, Nancy West, says the money will be used for upgrading the program’s curriculum, providing needed professional development opportunities for the teachers, and raising awareness in the community.

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MNR Investigating Bear Remains in Bracebridge
Monday, September 21, 2015 (2830 reads)

Muskoka 411 is reporting that the MNR is investigating a gruesome discovery in Bracebridge.  A full set of bear paws was discovered on the Monsell Rd Bridge, last Monday, not far from the Bracebridge Fairgrounds, along with genitalia from the animal.

The MNR report that other parts of the animals remains were found on Thursday not far from the bridge.

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Cycling and Safety Up For Discussion at Lake of Bays Council.
Friday, September 18, 2015 (3176 reads)

The issue of cyclists and the safety issues they pose was up for discussion at Lake of Bays Sept. 15 council meeting.

Mayor Bob Young tabled a discussion about whether or not bicycle races benefitted the township and whether or not the heavy-presence of cyclists was a safety issue.

Councilors were conflicted as to the benefits of the races with most agreeing that the larger races like the recent Ironman Marathon, provided economic benefits to the region while many of the smaller ones saw little to no benefit to the township.

Councilor Lacroix did note that these racing events bring national and international attention to the region while Councilor Ross said that the village of Dorset doesn’t benefit at all and that the races actually cause detriment due to road closures.

Councilors also floated the idea of putting a cap on any future cycling events looking to add to the current list, citing safety concerns on Highway 117.

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Norm Miller Talking Food in Parry Sound Today.
Friday, September 18, 2015 (560 reads)

MPP Norm Miller will be talking about food this afternoon in Parry Sound. 
Miller will be joining in on Parry Sounds' Community Kitchen program and helping to teach residents how they can cook and eat on a budget. 
Hosted at the Parry Sound Friendship Centre, the community kitchen program is supported by the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit as well as the District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration Board and was recently the recipient of a funding from the Ontario Trillium Fund. 
Miller will also be discussing food-security in the region. 

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Home Opener for Huntsville Otters Tonight.
Friday, September 18, 2015 (359 reads)

Tonight marks the home opener for Huntsville's Junior C Otters. The Otters will be taking on the Orillia Terriers at 8 p.m. this evening at the Don Lough arena.
Orillia opened their season earlier this month but took a loss against Midland. 
The Otters placed third overall in last years regular season and are hoping to improve their station this year. 

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Small Game Hunting Starts Tomorrow.
Friday, September 18, 2015 (2466 reads)

Hunting season opens up tomorrow for small game in Ontario. 
The small game hunting license allows for hunting of rabbits, hares, grouse, squirrel, pheasant, raccoon, fox, skunk, groundhog and more. 

A one-year small game license tag will run you $25.15 and can be purchased online or at service Ontario.

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Huntsville's Jeff Allen Competes in World Judo Championships
Friday, September 18, 2015 (1327 reads)

Huntsville native Jeff Allen will be competing in the World Judo Championships this weekend in Amsterdam.  Allen whose home club is the Huntsville Judo Club won the Canadian Championship in June.

The world Championships will be streamed live on the internet at and will be broadcast on TV at a later date.

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Gravenhurst Residents Can Take Advantage of Low Cost Rabies Clinic
Friday, September 18, 2015 (1883 reads)

Dog tags and low cost rabies vaccinations will be available at special clinic being held at the Gravenhurst Dog Park on September 26th.  The Town of Gravenhurst in partnership with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit will be providing rabies vaccinations for $20.

On Monday Sept 28th, dog tags will be on sale at the town office.

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Clement Brings Campaign to Louis II's to Show Support for Small Business
Friday, September 18, 2015 (1838 reads)

Conservative incumbent candidate Tony Clement will be attending Louis’ II Restaurant in Huntsville on this morning at 9am for a campaign event and breakfast and to highlight his support for small business owners in Parry Sound-Muskoka.

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Terry Fox Run This Weekend
Friday, September 18, 2015 (403 reads)

This Sunday marks the 35 anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope and Terry Fox Runs will be taking place all over Muskoka this weekend.

In Gravenhurst a 5 and 10 km run starting at the Centennial Centre starts at 10 a.m. with registration at 9 a.m.

In Bracebridge, runners can register as early as 8:30 p.m. and the run starts at 10 a.m. at the Memorial Park Bandstand on Manitoba Street.

In Huntsville the run starts at the Huntsville High School Parking lot and starts at 9 a.m. and in Parry Sound the race starts at Waubuno Beach at 11 a.m.

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Muskoka's Contributions to Devil's Brigade Honoured This Month.
Thursday, September 17, 2015 (2548 reads)

Muskoka’s contributions to the legendary First Special Service Force (FSSF), also known as the Devil’s Brigade, are widely recognized with nine of the FSSF’s members coming from the region.  To further recognize those contributions, Steve Woolman, whose father was a member of the unit, will be presenting a replica of the Congressional Gold Medal given to the group to the Royal Canadian Legion in Huntsville.

The presentation will take place on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. and will also feature a feature-length film about the FSSF with never before seen footage.

Woolman said that this night will give interested people a glimpse into a door most didn’t know even existed.

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Former NDP President Responds to Criticism of "Go Green" Letter.
Thursday, September 17, 2015 (2298 reads)

Former president of the Parry Sound - Muskoka NDP, Clyde Mobbley, has penned a letter in defense of the comments that had him ousted from his position.

In early September, Mobbley went against his party and urged voters to vote for the Green Party in order to topple conservative incumbent Tony Clement.

In an open letter Mobbley said, "with the October 19 election, giving the boot to Harper's man here in Parry Sound - Muskoka is a real possibility... How can make this happen? By a majority of voters who do vote this October 19 in this riding, voting Green."

Mobbley's comments sparked controversy and national media coverage with many speculating that the true reason behind his comments came from his dissatisfaction with losing the candidacy nomination to Matt McCarthy earlier that year.

In Mobbley's most recent letter he says that belief is "childish" and that his desire not to see a Conservative re-elected was his "sole motivation" for his comments.

"Regardless of the childish belief made out to be my motivation regarding my September 1 statement circulated over social media, I stand by my comments," he said in a letter released on the Sept. 13.

“I take the commitment seriously to not see a Conservative re-elected in this riding, and still do,” Mobbley adds.

Mobbley's letter re-iterates his initial comments, albeit with a degree of partisanship this time.

"Conservative support in the riding is about 36 per cent, which is enough for Clement to get re-elected unless a common Green or Orange candidate is chosen... At this time I ask all those that will be voting this Oct. 19, don't split the vote in Parry Sound Muskoka."

A full transcript of Mobbley's letter is available here:

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Hodgson Says May Has Found a Way to Take Part in Debate
Thursday, September 17, 2015 (709 reads)

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has found a way to take part in the Globe and Mail’s leaders debate tonight, despite the Globe and Mail banning her from attending. During the debate, May will respond to questions posed by the moderator in real-time through a Twitter video feed. 
Local Green Party Candidate Glen Hodgson said that “It is absolutely unacceptable that the democratically elected leader of a Federal Party will not be allowed to attend the debate. It makes a mockery of any promise from the other Party leaders to respect democracy when they are willing to take part in this forum knowing that Elizabeth May has been barred from attending,” he said.

The Globe and Mail has excluded the Green Party, despite 81% of Canadians wanting Elizabeth May in ALL debates. 

You can follow  May @CanadianGreens on Twitter tonight during the debate for real-time video and tweets from Elizabeth May during the course of the debate.

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Burks Falls Hold Branding Session, Asks for Public Input
Thursday, September 17, 2015 (522 reads)

The Village of Burks Falls will be holding a Branding Meeting on Wednesday September 23rd and are inviting residents, businesses and tourism operators to become part of the conversation on how to promote the community of Burks Falls, Armour and Ryerson Townships.

The meeting will be held at Burks Falls Arena starting at 7pm and there's an online survey available for those who can't make the meeting.  Follow the link to take the survey:

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Lots of Culture Days Events Happening in the Region
Thursday, September 17, 2015 (1593 reads)

Culture Days is being celebrated throughout the region next week, starting on Sept 25.  Culture Days is a national program designed to invites everyone to explore, discover and participate in arts and culture in every community across the country. In 2014, the fifth annual Culture Days event took place in more than 850 Canadian cities and towns, with attendance topping 1.6 million Canadians. Last year, more than 1650 activities were presented across Ontario.   The event will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind the scenes”—and to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers at work in their community.

Locally there are dozens of free activates of all interests available for families to explore.

To explore the activities in your area or across the country visit their website at

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Local Lighting Company Gets Big Contract With Niagara Parks Commission
Thursday, September 17, 2015 (1970 reads)

A local lighting company has been designated the official Lighting Design Firm for the Niagara Parks Commission for the next 5 years.

James Solecki made the announcement that his company, Integra Lighting had signed an agreement with the Niagara Parks Commission on Friday and that he already had plans for projects at the huge network of parkland that the commission maintains.

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Bracebridge Offer Tours of Restored Woodchester Villa
Thursday, September 17, 2015 (472 reads)

The Town of Bracebridge will be hosting a Public Open House for the recently restored Woodchester Villa on Saturday, September 19th.

Members of the public are invited to view the restoration of the building.  Woodchester Villa is one of the largest and rarest of the octagonal architectural style houses built in Ontario and is protected by an Ontario Heritage Trust.  The property is also designated by the Town of Bracebridge as having cultural heritage value.

Woodchester Villa is historically significant for its association with Henry J. Bird, an important woolen manufacturer and civic leader in Bracebridge. In 1872, Bird relocated his woolen mill to Bracebridge from Peel Township becoming one of the town’s most prominent industrial facilities.

 The building overlooks the Muskoka River and downtown Bracebridge and has pedestrian trail linkages to Entrance Drive, King Street and Bird Lane.

The open house will be held from 10am to noon on Saturday and partake in light refreshments and tours of the building.

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Lake of Bays, Georgian Bay to Ask for Equal Representation at District Council.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 (1561 reads)

It's official, the Townships of Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay are taking the District of Muskoka to task over unbalanced representation. 
Lake of Bays council voted today to support a motion by Mayor Bob Young that would ask the district to reconsider the distribution of representatives from each community around the council table. 
Lake of Bays support comes just days after Georgian Bay Mayor Larry Braid and his council voted to support a similar motion. 
With the support of their respective councils, Mayors Young and Braid will bring forward the motion at September's district council meeting with the hopes of initiating the process of exploring better and more fair representation at the district level.
Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay, along with Muskoka Lakes, currently have only three seats each along the table while Huntsville, Gravenhurst and Bracebridge have four each, effectively giving them the power to quash any disagreement between towns and townships. 

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New Face at Kearney Council.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 (2556 reads)

Kearney has a new face around the council table after former councilor Ken Ball left his post earlier this year. 
Kearney town council voted in Elizabeth Stermsek to replace Ball who left his seat in order to move out west. 
Stermsek was up against five other potential candidates all of which gave deputations to council prior to a decision. 

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Looking for Volunteers
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 (598 reads)

On Monday the Town of Bracebridge along with Mayor Graydon Smith and officials from  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muskoka took part in a flag raising at the Municipal Office.

The flag raising is an opportunity for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the town to bring awareness of volunteer opportunities which are open to adult volunteers across Muskoka who can spare an hour a week to make a difference in the life of a child. Currently there are more than 20 children on the agency waiting list hoping to be matched with a volunteer mentor in their area. Interested parties are invited to contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muskoka by phone at 705-644-9914 or visit

Big Brothers Big Sisters is Canada’s leading child and youth mentoring charity, and  facilitates life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their potential as individuals and citizens.

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Barkway Rd in Gravenhurst to be Closed for a Month for Repairs
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 (412 reads)

The Town of Gravenhurst is warning residents of Barkway Rd that the road will be closed at 1144 Barkway Rd starting next week Sept 21st while the town replaces a culvert.   The culvert which is located about .4km south of Seehaver Rd is expected to take until October 19th before construction is completed and the road re-opened.

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LOB Council Lends It Support to New Solar Project
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 (1280 reads)

Lake of Bays has voted in favour of supporting a proposed solar power project on North Portage Road.

After a short delegation from project - proponent Petawawa Renewable Power Corporation, as well as property owner Don Taylor, council voted to pledge its support to the project which must apply for a government, Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) contract by Sept. 30.

The proposed project would take up 45 acres of previously logged bush and generate around 500 kilowatt hours of energy. 

The land was chosen for its relatively secluded location allowing for the project to be "out of sight and out of mind" as well as it's close proximity to existing energy infrastructure and access roads.

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Lake of Bays Defers Decision on ATV on Public Roads
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 (3391 reads)

Lake of Bays councilors were at odds yesterday over whether or not ATVs should be allowed to operate on municipal roads.

Director of Building and By-law Services, Stephen Watson, made a presentation to council regarding the imminent lapsing of a by-law that allowed  ATVs to operate legally on certain municipal roads for a two year trial period. The trial period was intended to gauge the public’s response to increased road access for ATVs as well as examine any potential advantages and disadvantages, such as road maintenance and noise complaints.

With the two year trial due to expire on Jan. 1, 2016, Watson recommended that council  allow the by-law to continue past the January cancellation date and remove any remaining restrictions on municipal roads. Furthermore, Watson’s report recommended that Lake of Bays also ask that the District of Muskoka also allow ATV use on district owned roads in the township.

While Watson claimed that during the two year trial period there were zero noise complaints and no reported road maintenance issues, councilors were conflicted, with half feeling that, given that nearly all other communities in Muskoka now allow road use for ATVs, the township should go forward while the other half voiced concern that the public needed to be consulted and that the issue posed a risk of increasing trespassing problems in the region.

Council ultimately voted to defer the issue for at least a month in order to properly consult with both the public and special interest groups such as the ATV club.

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Candidates Square Off in First All Candidates Forum
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 (4763 reads)

Nearly 200 people attended the first in a series of All Candidates Forums at the Rene Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge.  The Green Party Canadidate Glenn Hodgson was warmly recieved  by the crowd and began his remarks calling on all parties to allow his leader Elizabeth May to be included in the upcoming national debate.  Hodgson said that locally the Greens were polling at 20% and could be sending a MP to Ottawa after the election.

NDP Candidate Matt McCarthy told the crowd that this election was the most important election in a generation, and that Canadians didn't have to choose between the economy and the environment.  McCarthy continually stressed the NDP's plan to introduce low a cost child care plan, saying that it would allow women to go to work and raise people out of poverty and increasing the tax base.

Trisha Cowie of t he Liberals said that Ottawa is broken and attacked the platform of the NDP saying that Mulcair has no answers on the economy and then attacked MP Tony Clement's record in the riding.

Conservative Candidate Tony Clement highlighted his record in the riding, supporting the economy, helping to create jobs in the area.  Clement boasted growth in manufacturing in the region, and his work to help sustain the environment, particularly water levels in Georgian Bay.  Clement also talked about stopping youth out migration and his role cutting expenses in Ottawa.

Port Sydney will host a meet and greet with candidates tonight at the North Granite Ridge Golf Course at 6pm.

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The Monster Takes First Loss in Michigan Fight.
Monday, September 14, 2015 (2370 reads)

Kyle “The Monster” Nelson’s perfect professional record was tarnished last week.

Nelson took his first loss during a match against opponent Adrian “The Eagle” Hadribeaj in Novi, Mich., last weekend. Nelson was competing for the title of Triple X Cagefighting’s lightweight champion, a category above the weight class he typically fights at. Nelson wasn’t fazed by the heavier weight class, fighting hard throughout the entire match.

Going into the fight with a professional record of six wins and no losses, Nelson had been favoured by mixed martial arts website as the lead in each category. The fight lasted a full five rounds and despite a toe-to-toe fight, Nelson’s opponent was awarded the win by the judge’s decision.

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Jeff Allen Headed to Amsterdam for Judo World Championships.
Monday, September 14, 2015 (1266 reads)

National judo heavyweight champion Jeff Allen is hoping to bring home the hardware from the World Judo Championships this month. 
Allen, a resident of Huntsville, is leaving for Amsterdam this Thursday to compete in the championships from Sept. 19 to 24. 
Allen has three years of martial arts training under his belt and has racked up nearly 20 medals in that time, but is hoping to win the title of world championship this go round.

Allen's fight will be live-streamed on and will later be broadcast on TV. 

Allen's trip was made possible due to crowd-funding and sponsorship and he passed along his thanks to the community for all the support they've lent him over the years. 

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