Bookmark and Share   March 17, 2021   Vol. 12 Week 12 Issue 610

jonny appleseed wins bayfield reads and canada reads 2021 

On Sunday, March 7, The Village Bookshop hosted Bayfield Reads live on ZOOM.

158606347_3768657566534781_7545866267768320011_nChristopher Walker was the winning defender at Bayfield Reads 2021. He represented the book "Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead. (Submitted photo)  

Five Bayfielders came together to defend this year’s Canada Reads contenders: Lorelei Lingard defended Natalie Zina Walschots’s “Hench”, Brad McLellan represented Jessica J. Lee’s “Two Trees Make a Forest”, Godfrey Healthcote defended C. L. Polk’s “Midnight Bargain”, Carmen Davies spoke for Francesca Ekwuyasi’s “Butter Honey Pig Bread”, and Chris Walker championed Joshua Whitehead’s “Jonny Appleseed”.

The event was a huge success, with over fifty participants and lots of fantastic comments about this year’s books. The host, Mike Peirce, did a great job and really kept the team moving.

This year’s defenders were all so excellent that the judges, Ruth Gibson, Jayne Dietrich, and Greg Stewart, had a very difficult time making a decision. In the end, the winner was Chris Walker and Joshua Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed.

This year’s People’s Choice Award was also a close race, with Brad McLellan and Jessica J. Lee’s Two Trees Make A Forest emerging as the winner.

Both winners feature beautifully woven stories about young Canadians reconnecting with their cultural roots, and are available, along with all of this year’s fabulous Canada Reads books, at The Village Bookshop.

Incidently, Jonny Appleseed was the winner of Canada Reads 2021. Devery Jacobs, defended the novel by Joshua Whitehead at the national level.

Letting go and organizing topic of first virtual speaker 

JITSteamprofilepics-15Pauline Hoffman (Submitted photo)

The Saturdays at the Library speaker series is back – virtually by ZOOM! Friends of Bayfield Library (FOBL) and the Huron County Library have partnered to bring the popular speaker series online until the time when it is safe to gather again.

All are welcome to join the ZOOM meeting on Saturday, March 27 at 10:30 a.m. for the first speaker of the 2021 season. Pauline Hoffman’s topic is “It’s Time to Let it Go” – reducing the stress of going through the belongings of a deceased loved one and organizing your own belongings to make this process easier for your children and friends after you’re gone.

Hoffman is a Certified Professional Organizer, experienced speaker, and the founder of Just In Time Solutions.

Those who wish to attend are asked to please pre-register for the Zoom meeting:


The Municipality of Bluewater is seeking input regarding the installation of shoreline protection on municipal property.

Due to erosion, private property owners have requested to install shoreline protection on municipal property to protect their own properties. To date, Bluewater Council has permitted the installation of erosion mitigation measures on one property.

Multiple reports have been presented to Council regarding these requests, the most recent being a draft policy regarding “Shoreline Protection on Municipal Property”. The intent of the policy is to apply guidelines for potential construction of shoreline protection on municipal properties, while at the same time mitigating risk of potential liability due to the installation of shoreline protection on municipal property by private property owners. Please click the link to view shoreline protection reports and draft policy:

The opinion of Bluewater property owners matters to Council. Please click the link to complete the ten-question survey:

Comments can also be emailed to Please note that the draft policy comment period is open until Friday, March 19th and personal information will be kept confidential.

lena needs a quiet sanctuary 

151308591_2483261201970616_4580324823920101427_nLena (Submitted photo)

Bayfield Forgotten Felines (BFF) has helped hundreds of feral and abandoned cats find their forever homes but many are still waiting.

Lena is the Adopt-A-BFF featured cat of the week.

The Rescue is looking for a forever home or a foster family for this five-year-old female.
Volunteers shared that when she was brought to the Rescue her condition indicated that she had been on the streets and alone for sometime. She was scared and very thin when she arrived and suffered from a yeast infection in her ears and also needed dental surgery.

Lena was once someone’s pet as she had a microchip but her family has not been located.

She has had her surgery and has healed; however, she is not adapting well to being with so many other cats at the Rescue. The stress is causing her to lose her fur and she is becoming quite anxious. Lena needs a quieter place to hang out and relax to become the cat she wants be.

Anyone who is patient and has the time to help her decompress and blossom would be the perfect candidate for Lena or even the perfect foster parent to help her out while she waits for her forever home. If so please reach out to Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines at

The cost of a vet visit is $150 per feline, a lot more for cats with special needs. Donations are always appreciated. E-transfers can be sent to the email above or email to arrange for a drop off or pick up of donations. Cheques can be mailed to Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines, P.O. Box 33, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0.




Blue bayfield 

Blue Bayfield’s beloved three-wheeler is up for adoption.

IMG_0415Blue Betty is looking for a new organization to assist. (Submitted photo)  

After years of delivering water to the Farmer’s Market and other local events such as, parades, Blue Betty is looking for a new home. For those unfamiliar with her, she is a modified “Florida” trike designed to carry a 20 L water tank. She could easily be further modified to suit the needs of any community group or to serve more than one organization.

Why would an organization benefit from Blue Betty? She can be a visible representative of the organization. She can be modified to advertise any Mission Statement. She is a simple reminder of a community or business endeavor. A tricycle carries fun memories for most people. This is an opportunity to develop a Mascot that is fun to ride while informing the public of the organization’s hopes and dreams.
She is in perfect condition and the price is right – free!

Please contact Ray Letheren for more information


The next Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) scheduled hike is set for March 20.

Bannockburn Conservation Area will be the location for this Hills, Valleys and Trees hike. The landscape and forest growth of Bannockburn offer a fascinating story of the Huron County landscape. Families and youth are invited to join in this hike with Education Specialist, Denise Iszczuk, from the Ausable-Bayfield Conservation Authority. This hike which should prove to be both beautiful and educational will begin at 2 p.m.

Participants are asked to meet at 76249 Bannockburn Line, for a map please visit: The hike will be approximately 1.5 hours over a distance of 2 KMs. The trail difficulty is listed as moderate. It is a natural trail with some steep inclines. Those who take part are encouraged to dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes and bring water.

The hike leaders are: Peter Jeffers, Ralph Blasting, 519 525-3205; and guest expert Denise Iszczuk.



Bayfield Area Food Bank will be hosting their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, March 31 at 1 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually.

Members will be notified by email, however, if there are others interested in attending from the community, they can send an email request to and the ZOOM link for the meeting will be sent to them as well.


The Board of Trinity St. James Anglican Church has announced that in-person services will resume today (March 17). Book of Common Prayer services will continue on subsequent Wednesdays starting at 10:30 a.m. 

People must be pre-register to attend by calling Godfrey Heathcote at 519 565-5824 or via email at Seating is limited and COVID-19 protocols will be followed.

Sunday services at 11 a.m. will continue to be provided virtually over ZOOM. All are welcome.

The congregation would also like to invite people to join in their relaxed Coffee and Conversation hour also held over ZOOM every Thursday and Friday starting at 11 a.m.

To join any of these ZOOM sessions please contact Rev’d Mary Farmer at

knox, bayfield 

Knox Presbyterian Church, Bayfield invites people to join their weekly church services, available anytime, online with YouTube and Facebook. The online links are available on the Knox, Bayfield website:

Rev. Lisa Dolson, hosts a Book Study on ZOOM every Tuesday at 2 p.m. The book currently being discussed is “Entering the Passion of Jesus” by Amy-Jill Levine. All are welcome to join the discussion. Please contact Rev. Dolson at 519 572-8529 for more information.

Due to the pandemic, Camp Kintail has cancelled their summer program of "Kintail on the Road" for 2021. In past years, Knox, Bayfield hosted the camp at the church on Wednesdays during July and August. The congregation looks forward to offering the program in 2022.





pet memorial wall to be established at Huron Hospice 

Many people share an intense bond with their animal companions, whom they love as members of their family. A dog, cat, or other pet can add structure to the day, keep people active and social, help to overcome setbacks and challenges in life, and even provide a sense of meaning or purpose. So, when a cherished pet dies, it’s natural to feel devastated by grief and loss.

“At Huron Hospice the staff and volunteers are experts in dealing with loss and grief. They recognize that we experience a difficult journey when we grieve a loss of any kind, including our furry companions,” said Willy Van Klooster, Huron Hospice Executive director. “That is why we have established the Pet Memorial Wall. It is another way we can help provide an outlet for these feelings. The Pet Memorial Wall will complement the Memorial Forest, which was founded in 2019.”

The Pet Memorial program is open to anyone who wants to remember the life of a pet friend and the Pet Memorial Wall is open to the public to visit at any time. While there, people can take a stroll on the Tranquility Trail, surrounded by the Memorial Forest. The Wall, the Forest and the Trail are located behind the Huron Hospice residence, 37587 Huron Road, Clinton, ON and are easily accessible to visitors.

As part of the program, a memorial dedication service will be held annually on the second Sunday of June to commemorate the pets, giving pet owners a chance to say goodbye. Additionally, Huron Hospice also offers grief recovery programs, which includes the loss of pets.

Individual customized plaques for the Pet Memorial Wall can be ordered for $225 each at Each plaque measures 5” x 10”; and can be customized freely with commemorative text. Mounting the plaque on the Wall is included. An income tax receipt will be issued in the amount of $200 for each plaque order.

For further enquiries please contact Christopher Walker at or 519 525-7352.

Seaforth Hospital receives grant from CMA foundation  

The CMA Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund has granted $44,000 to the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) Seaforth Community Hospital as part of its COVID-19 relief initiative to support those on the frontline of this pandemic.

“These funds will be used to enhance the patient care experience within the hospital, allowing us the ability to create flexible and adaptable patient care areas through the purchase of a negative air machine, a portable pressure monitor, an ante room panel kit, protective screening at communication stations, a workstation on wheels, a portable oxygen saturation monitor and vital sign towers,” said Dick Burgess, Foundation chair. “It is in these times of crisis and uncertainty that strong communities pull together to help one another. The Seaforth Community Hospital Board of Directors are grateful for the support from the CMA Foundation that is helping us build stronger health care resources for the communities we serve.”

The CMA Foundation announced the COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund as part of its commitment to provide COVID-19 relief. The $5 million fund supports hospitals across Canada with fewer than 100 beds to meet their evolving needs with activities, equipment and training that enhance staff wellness, improve access to care and help prepare for future pandemics.

"I am inspired every day by the dedication of physicians, health care providers and all hospital workers as they continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic head-on,” said Allison Seymour, CMA Foundation president. "We know these are extraordinary times that require extraordinary support. From managing evolving health care needs to address changes in your community, to ensuring the proper equipment and training for your staff, our hope is that these funds will have a positive impact as you continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic.”

The CMA Foundation is the charitable arm of the Canadian Medical Association and provides impactful charitable giving that furthers excellence in health care. To date, the foundation has committed more than $30 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

vaccine appointments booked through hPPH not province

The province launched a provincial booking system and customer service desk to support COVID-19 vaccination appointment bookings on March 15; however, eligible residents of Huron-Perth will continue to book their COVID-19 vaccinations through Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH).

Ontario is supporting its public health units with the implementation of the new provincial booking system in the ways that best suit local needs. HPPH has a self-established booking tool and call centre, and so will continue for the time being to book appointments for COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

A list of those currently eligible is available at For those eligible, appointments can be booked through or through the HPPH booking line at 1-833-753-2098. Online bookings are highly encouraged as call volume is high.

Eligible seniors can ask a trusted individual to book on their behalf. Several local agencies are also assisting eligible seniors to book online using the HPPH booking system. Contact the Community Support Services Network at 1-844-482-7800 to be connected to a local agency nearby that can be of assistance. Through that number, accessible rides can also be scheduled where needed.

The HPPH phone line and webpage are updated regularly advising whether appointments for future clinics are available to book. People are asked to please not call their primary care provider or pharmacy for more information on appointments. Appointments at this time are only booked through HPPH.

The province has confirmed that vaccination eligibility for those 80 and older applies to any individual who will be turning 80 or older in 2021 (born in 1941 or earlier). If this applies, please follow the booking instructions listed above to book an appointment. HPPH apologizes to those who were turned away until HPPH received this current provincial direction.

Please remember that vaccinations are only available to eligible groups. There will be enough vaccine for everyone. Anyone who wants to be vaccinated will have an opportunity to be vaccinated.

Please know that once HPPH announces that a group is eligible for the vaccine, they are always eligible; they will not miss their chance to be vaccinated as there will be more opportunities.

pandemic one year mark observed on March 11 

March 11 marked one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. In Canada, it was a national day of observance to commemorate those who have died due to COVID-19.

In Huron-Perth, 50 people have died due to COVID-19, mostly older adults who were residents of long-term care and retirement homes. These deaths are a tragic reminder of how severe the virus can be, especially for the most vulnerable community members.
Along with these tragic losses are the incredible challenges that the pandemic has brought upon area communities. Huron Perth Public Health would like to thank everyone for their perseverance and compassion in helping to control the spread of the virus in Huron-Perth. After a very difficult year, vaccines give hope of ending the pandemic. Until then, HPPH urges everyone to continue following all personal and public health measures.

As of March 10, a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Huron-Perth has a presumptive positive screen for a variant of concern. This means the individual probably has a variant of concern (VOC). Genomic sequencing is needed to confirm that it is a variant of concern and which variant it is. Genomic sequencing will take at least two weeks to complete.

In keeping with provincial direction, HPPH will be extending the time interval for second doses of COVID-19 vaccines up to 16 weeks. This will mean cancelling most currently booked appointments for second doses and offering more first doses.

The provincial transition to extend the interval between first and second dose came into effect on March 10. Extending the second dose interval means more individuals will be able to receive the first dose of vaccine.

HPPH will share more information about how to book second doses in the near future.
Anyone who has already been booked for a second dose will likely have their appointed cancelled. They will receive a cancellation email or phone call from HPPH.

Not all second doses are being extended. The following groups will continue to receive their second dose of vaccine between 21 to 42 days: residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, elder care Lodges and assisted Living facilities, who are at the greatest risk of both exposure to COVID-19 and serious illness and death.

The decision to extend the time interval for a second dose follows the recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). Current evidence with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines shows high vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 for two months after the first dose, including among older populations.


public health  

The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.

“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.

For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties please visit:

Hospice Raffle 

Huron Hospice is launching an exciting new fundraising 50/50 Raffle. The first draw started on March 1st. The Huron Hospice 50/50 is your chance to win big! The more you play, the bigger the pot and the greater your chances to win. When you play, you are “Making Moments Matter” for families on the end-of-life journey. It’s a win-win!

Each year, the Ontario Government covers half of the cost of Huron Hospice $1.2 million operations. The province allows funding to be used for employing nursing staff.

“Huron County donors cover the other $600,000 of our costs. Donors cover the cost of Hospice community programs, such as grief and bereavement recovery for adults, and children and youth. At the residence, donations help provide meals, heat and hydro and general building upkeep,” said Willy Van Klooster, Huron Hospice Executive director. “We are truly fortunate to have a team of 130 volunteers who help our nurses and provide many of these services and programs. We are thankful for both the Government support and the assistance of our donors and volunteers. We could not do it without any of them,”

Van Klooster added, “Like many other charities, COVID-19 has had an impact on our Hospice revenue this year. We have been forced to think outside the box and be strategic about how to raise our badly needed revenue.”

“Although the Government does not cover them, these daily programs and services are essential. They impact our friends and neighbors, maybe even a family member," commented Jay McFarlan, Huron Hospice Board chair.

“We understand that buying raffle tickets is not for everyone,” said Christopher Walker, Huron Hospice, manager of Fund Development. “However, in 2021 interest in raffles is growing.

Walker noted that there are many other ways in which Huron Hospice donors can support the Hospice. They can join the Hike for Hospice, support the There’s No Place Like Home Telethon or by making donations in memory of family who have died.

Walker concluded, “Donors and their gifts are a critical part of our continued work. We thank everyone for joining us, however they choose to give. We know all gifts come from the heart.”

Buying Raffle tickets is simple. Between now and Apr. 1st people can get their tickets at When they purchase, they have options of 100 tickets for $40, 40 tickets for $20 and five tickets for $10.

Please contact Christopher Walker at 519 525-7352 or with any questions.

 Grand Bend Rotary

Members of the Grand Bend Rotary would like to invite people to mark Wednesday, May 26 on their calendars to help them celebrate their 30th anniversary and share in some community appreciation.

They will be hosting a Drive-in event at the Shipka Starlite Drive-in Theatre starting at 6:30 p.m. The evening will cost $40 per person and will feature entertainment, a blockbuster movie, fabulous food and door prizes. More details to come as the date grows closer.

Conservation Education 

Conservation educators at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) have offered support to the watershed community though new learning opportunities, which are provided at no cost thanks to program sponsors Canada Nature Fund; Environment and Climate Change Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program; and ABCA.’

Two new online synchronous (when there is live interaction between ABCA conservation educators and students) learning programs were created for watershed teachers. The Species at Risk program, with funding support from Canada Nature Fund of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, teaches students about local species at risk, including turtles, mussels and fish found in the Ausable River. The second program, Wonderful Wetlands, focuses on the at-risk habitat of wetlands and is sponsored by the EcoAction Community Funding Program. Additional support for teachers is found on ABCA’s website,, which has a teacher’s resources section with printables, lesson plans and educational website links.

People can now watch ABCA conservation educators, on YouTube, with the posting of this series of free presentations. ABCA first broadcast these videos, as live ‘lunch and learn presentations’ for each of these topics. The lunch and learn presentations are now available, for viewing anytime, on ABCA’s YouTube channel:

“Conservation educator Nina Sampson and myself are available to chat and we are keen to help teachers or parents in any way we can,” said Denise Iszczuk, conservation educator. “Step one to learning about nature is to plan time to get outside every day.”

In addition to these and other remote learning opportunities, this March the conservation educators at ABCA are planning outdoor spring sessions of Oaks and Acorns; Coyotes and Pups; Muskrats; and Outdoor School.

To register or to find out more visit the website’s education web page at this link:

Anyone who would like to chat with conservation educators about these programs, is asked to please call 519 235-2610, or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, Ext. 255 or 262.



Bookmark and Share Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol 

rEmember this


The Huron County Museum is home to thousands of artifacts that illustrate the history of both the rural and urban populations of the area. Space dictates what wonderful curiosities the public regularly gets to see when they visit the museum located at 110 North Street in Goderich (now open to the public by appointment). But where there is wifi, there is an opportunity to time-travel with over 3,000 pieces of the museum’s collection now available to view online at

“Remember This” highlights items from the collection of the Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol. Items that have shaped the fabric of the county and the people who have lived here since before the county became the county in 1835 up until more recent times.

Today (March 17) is St. Patrick's Day and so we perused the collection looking for a little local Irish history... 

mortar cannon  

Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 7.49.30 PM 

This is a black mortar cannon dated from 1811. The depth of the hole is the entire length of the cannon. Information about this cannon was found in a Goderich Signal-Star dated Jan. 18, 1968. It included a review of the Huron County Museum at that time with an interview with then Curator James Chisholm:

“…on the grounds are several old mortars. Originally built in Scotland, these mortars once stood on the banks overlooking Goderich Harbour.

It is said that once, during the time of the Fenian attacks, (the Fenians were an Irish brotherhood dedicated to freeing Ireland from British control between 1858-1885, a group of Fenians crossed the lake from Michigan in small schooners and tried to enter Goderich Harbour.

Militiamen, so the legend goes, loaded the thick, stubby barrels of the mortars with 'two shovels full of gunpowder, a big wad, and all the scrap metal they could find'.

Several booming salvos from these monsters were sufficient to persuade the Fenians to flee out in to the lake."


christening gown

Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 8.24.57 PM 

This is a Christening gown. It is made from white linen with hand made eyelet on the hem, bodice and sleeves.

The dress was made in Enniskillen County Fermanagh, Ireland about 1831 and sent to Canada for the infant daughter of Charles and Mary Naylor, pioneers of Hullett Township, Huron County.

 irish chain quilt

Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 7.51.07 PM 

This quilt has a white background highlighted with an Irish Chain pattern in red.



Bookmark and Share  PHOTO STORY

Bayfield Main Street Revitalization project 

public presented with proposed landscape design 


On March 3, the proposed final public meeting on the Main Street Revitalization Project was held over ZOOM.

A Virtual Public Meeting regarding the Bayfield Main Street Revitalization project was held on March 3. (Photos by Melody Falconer-Pounder)  

Kelly Vader, an Environmental planner with BM Ross and a Bayfield resident, who has been involved in the project for the past seven years, provided an update on the progress that had been made since the third public meeting held on Sept. 2, 2020.

Ron Koudys, of Ron Koudys Landscape Architects in London, was brought into the project last fall, since that time he has updated the concept plan. Vader noted that reviewing his proposals were at the heart of this public meeting.

She also explained that there had been a series of meetings in October 2020 with the Main Street business owners. The project team also had individual meetings with as many of the Main Street property owners as possible to go over the plans for immediately in front of their businesses to ensure they had no concerns with what was being proposed. In addition, a presentation had been made to the Bluewater Heritage Advisory Committee with a second presentation scheduled. The team had also met with the Huron County Accessibility Committee (HCAC) to review the plans.

Koudys noted, prior to sharing his design drawings for the updated Main Street landscape, how much he appreciated all of the comments that the team had received and the time that people took to provide the information.

“One of the things that really came out from the comments is that everyone really cherishes the unique character of Bayfield, and the Bayfield downtown, and I think the design team recognizes that and we are doing everything that we can to enhance and complement that unique character,” Koudys said.

He shared that a lot of the comments were directed at not reducing the width of the street.

“Main Street is not uniformly wide from end to end because of the way it was built over the years in some places spread out and in other areas narrower,” he said.

He acknowledged that as a result of the new design some of the street would be slightly narrower while other areas would be slightly wider.

He went on to say that Bayfield’s downtown is not a collection of buildings side by side with a linear sidewalk running in front of it.

“Bayfield’s downtown is a collection of unique, individual buildings set along the street so it creates a different kind of relationship between the building, the street itself and the sidewalk as people move through the space. So rather than try to emphasize the linearity of the street experience what we have developed are a series of unique experiences that draws the buildings out into the landscape and creates a series of nodes linked by sidewalks,” said Koudys.

The landscape architect then shared illustrated examples of the project’s approach along the corridor highlighting a few of the areas along the street.

He acknowledged the project includes establishment of an enhanced tree canopy and used the area in front of The Little Inn as an example. The plan includes protecting the Willow Tree at the corner by enhancing the landscaping around it as well as adding new trees. He explained that in order to allow for successful tree establishment there has to be enough root volume to allow for the trees to grow.

“Throughout the design we have placed trees in beds that will allow for the appropriate volume,” he said.

In front of the Bayfield Archives and Bayfield Public Library the design allows for the creation of a central plaza. The pathway in front of the library will also include some bike racks and benches.

“Our intent here in this mid-block location is to create a gathering place. There is lots of activity and as a result we have increased the amount of pavement and how the space expresses itself at the street,” Koudys said.

Accessible parking spaces have been suggested in front of The Little Inn, Bayfield Library and The Black Dog Pub and Bistro. Currently there is one accessible space by the library. Koudys stated that the plan allows for paved accessible parking spaces while the remaining spaces would be gravel. More accessible spaces could be added if the need is determined. Simple pedestrian crosswalks have also been suggested in the area near the library and The Black Dog.

Koudys used the area in front of Hive to explain the use of “welcome mats”.

“We are creating a landscaped, paved surface that is reflective of the building’s architectural character. The stores change use, they come and go, but the buildings are the enduring aspect of the street and that is what is celebrated in the landscape. The welcome mats are connected down the street through sidewalks and we have been looking at a whole host of paving materials here. What we are recommending at this time is exposed aggregate which picks up on the character of the gravel that is there now but provides a paved surface that deals with the muddiness, and the tracking, and the snow shovelling,” Koudys said.


Following the landscape architect’s presentation, Vader summarized the feedback from the property owners regarding the project.

“They were generally very appreciative of the effort we made to seek their input and to give them an opportunity to look at the details specifically in front of their properties,” she said.

Vader noted that they liked the concept of sidewalks linking points of interest defined by welcome mats of different materials in front of their businesses. They liked the idea of exposed aggregate sidewalks as a compromise between plain concrete and stone dust as it is easier to maintain and would reduce the mud currently being tracked into buildings. They liked the proposed idea of two levels of lighting; pedestrian level lighting with separate fixtures on the street. The business owners did express concern about the reduced street width, the loss of parking spaces and the impact construction may have on their businesses especially after dealing with COVID.


Vader went on to explain that there are two components where council is seeking additional input from the public and that is related to the project extents.

“When this project started back in 2014 there wasn’t a specific scope as to where the project ended and started,” said Vader. “So, when we were finalizing the cost estimates recently we wanted to confirm where the project would end at each end of Main Street. So, for these two areas council has asked us to seek additional input.”

The first area in question is just north of Catherine Street. The current design would run to the north end of the Virtual High School. This extent would see the project include one more property to the north just beyond the limits of the former guest cottage that was once part of The Little Inn. The cost to do this would add approximately $33,000 to the budget for full road construction and sidewalks.

The second area being examined is the area from Charles Street to Chiniquy Street to include the shopping area established there. The current design plan ends at the south limit of Main Street. To extend the streetscape along Charles, including sidewalks and road resurfacing, would add approximately $52,000 to the budget.


Dale Erb, engineer with BM Ross, shared that the total cost estimate for the project, including tax, is $2,386,000. This estimate does not include costs to fully bury the hydro or extend the project north beyond the Virtual High School or west along Charles Street. The hydro costs included only allow for the burial of the hydro services across the street from the East side. The work included in this estimate also includes: storm drainage and underground work, road work, sidewalks, lighting, boulevards and landscaping.

“Historical quotes for the fully buried hydro are now out of date because they go back to 2015,” said Erb. “Back then it was about half a million dollars or more. So, at the end of the day with the fully buried hydro, again this is an old estimate, and the extent of the limits on Charles and Main, should a decision be made to go that way, we could be looking at a cost closer to $3 million...”

Vader summarized the project’s next steps. A summary of comments collected from public input will be presented to council so that they can confirm proposed design elements thus allowing for the completion of the final design and preparations to tender the project for construction. Timing for construction will be dependent on contractor availability, decisions related to final design elements as well as receipt of provincial approvals.

Burying the hydro emerges as public priority for project 

The dialogue continued regarding the revitalization of Bayfield’s Main Street during a Virtual Public Meeting held on March 3. Approximately 20 people registered to comment on the project or ask questions of the team on the most recent conceptualization of the project.

Dave Kester, manager of Public Works with the Municipality of Bluewater, chaired the meeting.

Kester reminded everyone that the reasons behind the revitalization were the need to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act of 2005 (AODA), the need to comply with minimum maintainance standards and the need to fix the ongoing storm-water drainage issues that have plagued the street for many years.

Lawrence Elliott was the first of the public to comment. A number of his concerns were echoed by those who followed him. Many people felt that the plan had grown too grand in scope and should be simplified, with the fixing of the drainage issues and the complete burying of the hydro along the street emerging as priorities.

Elliott said, “It is all about tourism on Main Street and we agree with that because that adds to the tax base – to me it seems there is a division between people and I believe personally that, that is a complete misunderstanding. I don’t believe there isn’t anyone who is opposed to cleaning up what I experienced this past weekend, what is literally a Bog on Main Street and I understand that, I walk it every day, almost, and it is horrible and I am sympathetic to that for the property owners and the merchants, whether they be actual owners and tax payers or not, they do pay rent.

According to Elliott, there is an absolute consensus between both the business community and the residents of the village, to bury the hydro lines “because it makes no sense whatsoever to proceed without getting them buried.”

He went on to say that people overwhelmingly are opposed to crosswalks and curbs, although some agree to drive over curbs, and that everyone wants to grow a new tree canopy with mature trees and invest in that.

“No one argues that we should not fix the drainage. It is recognized that the poorly thought out, flawed engineering that went into the roadway in the first place is the overall cause of all the drainage problems, it’s not the sidewalks, it’s not the pathways. The crux of the problem is the drainage and that is being addressed,” said Elliott. “There is an unique opportunity for council here to do the right thing, and in the process please everyone, that is very unusual, but I think everybody can be pleased if more thought goes into it and it’s not stamping out some urban design.”

Toward the end of the meeting Kester provided some insight as to the challenges being faced by the team with regards to the project.

“The challenges of trying to incorporate the AODA components, alongside with the minimum maintainance standards and also trying to get the drainage, a lot of those pieces all go hand in hand with one another…that’s not to say that there can’t be modifications made to it but it becomes very challenging or difficult to actually remove some feature completely because we are trying to ensure we are able to achieve those things that we’re obligated to achieve through the design as well,” said Kester. “We are trying to make those best efforts, modify things in a way that are representative of the comments that we are getting for feedback, but still being able to achieve what we’re obligated to achieve as far as accessibility is concerned, as far as maintainance standards are concerned for snow removal, water and things like that. This is a little bit of the challenge that we are trying to deal with here.

“Again, I appreciate that there are members of the public that are providing those comments and we are going to do our best to address as many of these comments as we possibly can to incorporate them into a design that is ultimately functional, esthetic and holding within the character that the feel is today.”

Three members of Bluewater Council were present at the Virtual Public Meeting that ran for just over three hours. Bayfield Ward Councilor Bill Whetstone, Stanley East Ward Councilor Peter Walden and Mayor Paul Klopp.

The meeting concluded with comments from the Mayor.

“You need to have a lot of discussion to get focused. I definitely feel that I have gotten focused on what is needed. I have been reading all the letters that have come in. What are our next steps? We await a report to come back that reflects what we’ve been hearing and then we’re also going to get the hydro cost down to what it is and then we can come back. And the key word is we will be coming back to discuss. This isn’t going to be, oh it comes to council and it is voted on. That was not our intent, our intent was to keep moving things along,” said Klopp. “It has become loud and clear that Bayfield wants the hydro lines buried and it has been stated that we will come forward with some ideas on how that can happen.

“And then, of course, the main thing is will you and us together be satisfied with a plan and that is what we are still aiming to do and if it takes a little longer than it’s going to take a little longer. We are going to get the drainage issue fixed. that is number one. but we sure would like to dovetail the whole thing all together but it is all of us working together.”

50321742162_2ee476b0e7_kOne reason for the project is the need to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act of 2005 (AODA). Municipalities were given to Jan. 1, 2016 to do so.


    Final design recomMendations 

Part of the presentation at the public meeting was given to sharing the team's recommendations for the final design of the project. Here is a breakdown of the highlights:


Dale Erb, an engineer with BM Ross, noted that there have been some questions raised about the style of curbs being proposed. He wished to clarify that there are two styles being proposed: drive over curbs and barrier curbs.

According to Erb, drive over curbs would be used to access parking areas and to define the edge of the new roadway. As the name implies it allows vehicles to drive over top to access the new parking. This style of curb can be found in some of the newer developments at the south side of the village, the Fawn Creek development being one example.

Barrier curbs are very similar in height to the parking blocks that are placed every year along Main Street and they will be used along the edge of the boulevard between the vehicles and the businesses.

“The barrier curb prevents vehicles from advancing on to the new boulevard and pathway areas thereby protecting the pedestrians. It also will allow the boulevard grading to provide some flexibility to better match the building entrances allowing compliance with the accessibility component that we are striving to meet,” said Erb. “Concrete is the preferred product for this purpose largely because it can withstand being beaten up by snow plows, vehicle tires and de-icing materials.”

Erb noted that comments were received from the public relating to the stark nature of the new concrete and consideration is being given to tinting the concrete to reduce glare.


“Some (people) are good with transitioning away from the traditional gravel walkways while others feel that the existing gravel material ads to the uniqueness of the Main Street experience and at the end of the day there are pros and cons to both viewpoints,” Erb said. “We have spent a lot of time over the years, since the end of 2013, debating this before landing on a hard surface option for the sidewalk. Probably the biggest reason for transitioning away from the existing gravel relates to the inability to properly maintain the gravel during heavy rain or winter conditions and the instability that can occur during those times. One of the key considerations is also accessibility.”

Erb then explained, that exposed aggregate concrete is the material being proposed for the sidewalks between the welcome mats.

According to Erb, exposed aggregate is less stark than the finish of a normal concrete sidewalk but it would still provide longevity in maintainance and fulfill accessibility aspects.

The proposed sidewalk width would be 2.2M (7.2 ft) with wider areas in some locations. He noted that standard sidewalk width is 1.5M (5 ft). Efforts would also be made to match with business entrance elevations where feasible to help with accessibility needs.


The welcome mats are the defined areas in front of the businesses that would be formed from a combination of surface treatments specific to each space including, unit pavers and different concrete treatments.

“The welcome mats are really formed in the response to the architecture of the buildings itself, a brick building with red brick, for example, the stone detail would be the inspiration for what the welcome mat might look like,” explained Landscape Architect, Ron Koudys. “I know in front of The Little Inn, for another example, they have had some pavement already installed using natural flagstone, that could be an option…the idea is to promote uniqueness in the character of each of the buildings as people move along the street so it doesn’t look like a conventional downtown with a long linear ribbon of sidewalk.”


Existing benches will be used in many locations. In areas where larger gathering areas have been proposed additional seating options are being suggested.

“In order to complement the uniqueness of the individual locations we would seek to use complementary furniture at the same time,” Koudys said.


Two lighting zones are being proposed for the revitalization: street lighting and pedestrian accent lighting.

“We looked for a lighting style which was complementary to the heritage style that is there now. There really isn’t anything that works efficiently that would illuminate the street properly but we did find a light with a similar character,” said Koudys. “And we did find a smaller light fixture that would be suitable for pedestrian level so what we are proposing is a nod to the heritage on the street in obtaining the character but efficiency of a modern light and then in strategic locations especially in gathering places we would introduce a more rustic light that complements what has been there for many years.”


Rain gardens or infiltration basins are another aspect of the project that was presented at the public meeting. Kelly Vader, BM Ross Environmental planner, explained that these will be located at various locations along the corridor.

“They will be vegetated so they wouldn’t look like an infiltration basin it would look more like a landscaped area,” she said. “They do serve a very important purpose and that is to clean and filter the storm water runoff that is coming off the street. Surface water drainage would be directed to these areas either through curb cuts or through channelization. Once the water enters these areas it filters down through the plant material and the filter media and would be picked up through a drain pipe underneath and then down into the ground.”

Vader also explained that if the village were to get a big storm event the water would be directed to the storm sewer system but it would still go through this filtering media first to clean the storm water and take out some of the contaminants before it gets directed to the lake.

“These (gardens) do require some maintainance because you have to make sure that the entrances to these facilities don’t get blocked up with debris but they will result in an improved quality of storm water runoff before it gets to the lake,” said Vader.


The parking areas, with the exception of the three paved accessible parking spots, are to be gravel. As a result, there are several parking areas along Main Street that are currently paved that will be converted to gravel as part of the revitalization. According to Vader, this is to increase permeability and provide a cohesive and consistent look throughout the project.


With the wider boulevards permitted by the slight narrowing of the roadway width planting adjacent to some properties will be expanded. The initial planting of these areas would be completed as part of the project but ongoing maintainance of these areas would be undertaken by the adjacent property owners.

“Only new areas created would be planted not existing beds currently in place,” said Vader. “In our discussions with property owners a number of them have indicated that they plan to undertake additional upgrades on their own properties after the Main Street project is completed to try and match in better with the new streetscape.”


The start date for construction is dependent on discussions with Hydro One regarding the complete burying of the hydro lines. The team is waiting to hear back from Hydro One with a cost estimate.

Some aspects of construction could begin as early as Fall 2021 if a partial burial of hydro was the option chosen by council. Phase 1 would see the installation of storm sewers and possible road reconstruction extending into the fall, and subject to weather, through parts of the winter.
This work is dependent on approval from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).

“We are waiting for approval from the Ministry of Environment for storm sewer piping and installation,” said Erb. “We hope to see that sometime this spring but until we receive the permit from the ministry the storm sewer work cannot legally proceed.”

Construction of the streetscape components, such as, concrete work and plantings, would start again in the spring of 2022. Work would be stopped from June to September 2022 to not impede the summer tourism season with work finishing in the fall of 2022 if needed.

Erb added, “To address concerns from business owners regarding access to businesses during construction we suggest that a communication strategy be developed to coordinate business access and keep everyone up to date on the status of the work. Tender documents can note that access to buildings must be maintained during construction.”

He explained that access can be provided at all times to businesses although there may be temporary restrictions during concrete pours and other work in front of entrances. The plan would be to have signage placed at the edges of Main Street confirming that businesses are open during construction.



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Harbingers of Spring

Tundra Swans make annual pilgrimage 











A year ago, we had just entered a strict lockdown in Soller in Mallorca, Spain. Regular readers of the Bayfield Breeze may remember our sixteen weeks of “letters home” detailing life in Mallorca under lockdown. Unable to travel back to Mallorca this year, and as the saying goes “Every cloud…”, we had the opportunity to make the short trip from Bayfield to just south of Grand Bend to view and take images of the migrating Tundra Swans.

Tundra Swans, also known as Whistling Swans, are one of only two species of native North American swan – the other being the slightly larger Trumpeter Swan. As their name suggests, Tundra Swans spend the summer breeding season in the remote arctic and sub-arctic tundra of Alaska and Canada. They leave the tundra in late September/October to spend winter in lower latitudes – a large proportion heading to Chesapeake Bay located in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. This journey entails a 12,000 KM round trip every year.

In early spring, the Chesapeake Bay swans head back to the tundra. Their journey takes them via several “staging posts” where they rest and feed for a short time before continuing on their journey - we are fortunate to have a staging post just a short distance from Bayfield in the “Thedford Bog”.

The Thedford Bog was once a huge wetland of 18,000 acres situated just south of Pinery Provincial Park. Now drained and used as agricultural land, the swans habitually stop here for a two to three week period sometime between late February and early April where they feed on remnants of the previous year’s agricultural crop. This year they arrived in large numbers on March 8th - at the peak there may be more than 10,000 swans that can be seen.

In a short while the swans will be gone – heading to Michigan and then onto the Canadian prairies before heading for the Canadian arctic.

If you missed seeing them this year, do not worry…they will be back next year. The Lambton Heritage Museum website keeps regular track of their arrival, stay and departure. Viewing is very accessible, as they can be easily seen from Greenway Road (off Highway 21, 3 KMs south of Grand Bend) from the comfort of your vehicle.

(NOTE: On March 15th, the Lambton County health area moved into the COVID-19 Grey (Lockdown) zone. If you intend visiting the Swans please ensure that you are aware of applicable public health restrictions.)








Jan Hawley has died. News of her sudden passing yesterday afternoon made shockwaves across social media.

I first met Hawley, the long time Economic Development Officer for Huron East in 2016, when she invited me, as editor of the Bayfield Breeze, to a taping of the CBC television show, “Still Standing”. They had come to put Vanastra back on the map, no doubt, due to her efforts of persuasion.

Host Jonny Harris introduced her at the start of the evening’s taping as the “Legend Jan Hawley”. She was instrumental in showing Harris and the crew around the village and she shared her enthusiasm for advancing and improving Vanastra. Harris noted that Hawley would love to have seen those old decrepit buildings come down for the good of the community but they were built to last and contain asbestos that makes them very costly and difficult to remove. Now, Harris has a knack for capturing the essence and spirit of the people he meets.

“Give her a couple of Red Bulls, a sledge hammer and a long weekend and she’d take them down by herself,” Harris said.

Hawley was a champion to many and a mentor to all and our greater community has lost a genuinely nice human being. – Melody

Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome.
Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m.

Please email me at or call 519-525-3830.


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Founding Members
Goderich Honda
Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative Ltd.
Bayfield Foodland
Outside Projects
Brad's Automotive
Bayfield Garage
Pharmasave Michael's Pharmacy
The Dock's Restaurant
Ian Mathew CA
Royal LePage Heartland Realty Brokerge


Writer, editor, photographer: Melody Falconer-Pounder
Web publisher/Graphic Designer: Dennis Pal
Advertising Sales: Mike Dixon
Logo Design: Kyle Vanderburgh, Goderich Print Shop
Special thanks to the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce
Breeze Committee:Mike Dixon, John Pounder, Dennis Pal, Melody Falconer-Pounder