chamber requests council proceed with revitalization
Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Mayor of the Municipality of Bluewater, Paul Klopp and council for presentation at their May 4th meeting. It was prepared by the Executive of the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC): President Jamie McDougall, Past-President Leanne Kavanagh, Treasurer Ian Matthew and Secretary Tony Scott and appears here in its entirety.
May 3rd wasn't your typical spring Sunday afternoon on Bayfield's Main Street. Necessary COVID-19 regulations have created a ghost town. Concerns regarding the economic impact the pandemic is having on the community were addressed in a letter to Bluewater Council by the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce. The organization would like to see the Main Street Revitalization project scheduled for 2020 proceed as planned in hopes of a more positive outlook in 2021. Council agreed. (Photo by Jack Pal)
We write to you in very difficult times, as COVID-19 has caused a total collapse of our tourism businesses. Outside of wartime, this is the greatest disruption in 100 years, and there will be no quick recovery. Clearly the priority is health first, but as the pandemic subsides, we need to find a way to restart the tourism economy in Bluewater. This will not be an easy task as health experts forecast that reinfections will continue for a length of time.
Tourism is a major contributor to the economy in Bluewater.
Cottagers, campers and visitors drive our economy with shopping, hospitality, services and general employment. The impact is felt throughout Bluewater. Ontario Tourism recognizes this through Regional Tourism Organization 4 (RTO4) and their focus on Bayfield as one of three heritage destinations in Southwestern Ontario. Bayfield Main Street, with heritage designation is a major draw as well as the shoreline and marina, which is the largest recreational marina on the east coast of Lake Huron. Apart from COVID-19, high lake levels have created havoc along the shoreline.
We understand the economic implications for Bluewater and that various levels of government each have a role to play in the recovery. Our tourism-based economy is in a state of disaster and we ask for Bluewater’s assistance to move ahead with the Bayfield Main Street Revitalization prior to the 2021 season.
Downtown Revitalization: This project has been under consideration for 40 years and is a key component of Bayfield tourism. The 2020 season is a write off. We ask that you advance the project to complete both the drainage and the heritage streetscape prior to the start of the 2021 season. Council has wisely set aside funds for the project and there would appear to be opportunities for grants from senior levels of government. This should have no great financial impact on Bluewater as this project has been in the planning process for infrastructure.
The federal government has assigned infrastructure funds for the recovery effort. We anticipate the provincial government will further enhance this funding. This is a shovel ready initiative that can take advantage of timing to ensure the future of tourism in Bluewater and continue to support its expanding tax base.
We appreciate your consideration of this urgent request. We have looked for a path to minimize the financial impact on Bluewater yet maximize the economic impact. We attach several documents to support our requests (Editor’s note: not included.)
The economic outlook for extended closures is simply grim. The best we can hope for is a restart in 2021. This initiative would be viewed as a very positive step by the residents of Bluewater and help them to look to a brighter future.
Follow Up: Bayfield Ward Councillor Bill Whetstone reported that at Monday's meeting of council a motion was passed in support of the BACCs request to speed things up to be shovel ready and to get the revitalization project done this year pending infrastructure grants from the government.
Snook's sanitizer campaign kicks off with $5,000 donation
Ryan (Snook) O’Reilly has always been known for assisting his teammates on the ice, but once again, he is doing his part off the ice, right here in Huron County.
With the overwhelming demand for safety products for places like the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital and every long-term care and retirement home in Huron County, O’Reilly has a plan and people can help.
O’Reilly’s group of volunteers have got their hands on over 350 cases of Health Canada approved hand sanitizer. Each case contains 12 - 750ml bottles. The cost of each bottle is below retail at $20 per bottle. Cases can be purchased by businesses, organizations or the general public to help support the need to stop the spread of COVID-19.
O’Reilly has kick started this campaign by donating a hat-trick of donations to the following: 90 bottles to the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital, 90 bottles to the retirement homes in Huron County, and 90 bottles to long-term care homes in Huron County. Ryan’s contributions total over $5,000 and he hopes that people will get behind him towards this campaign. Ninety bottles are the equivalent of 7.5 cases.
“This is a great initiative for the hospital as well as local retirement and long term care facilities. We all have to do our part and this is a simple way to get behind the frontline workers and residents in all these facilities,” O’Reilly said. “Our plan is to sell all these cases and get them in our community as fast as possible.”
These cases will be distributed to the following properties within Huron County: Alexandra Marine and General Hospital, Maitland Manor Nursing Home, Goderich Place Retirement Residence, Harbour Hill Retirement Community, all in Goderich; Blue Water Rest Home, Zurich
Braemar Retirement Centre and Gilbert Hall Retirement Home, both in Wingham; Exeter Villa, Fordwich Village Nursing Home; Seaforth Manor and Maplewood Manor, both in Seaforth;
Huronlea Home for the Aged, Brussels; Anfield Manor and Huronview Home for the Aged, both in Clinton; and Queensway Nursing Home and Retirement Residence, Hensall.
Every single person or business that donates one bottle will be entered into a draw to win a personalized Ryan O’Reilly, St Louis Blues jersey.
For larger corporate contributions, please contact Faris at firstname.lastname@example.org . To help support and donate bottles or cases, contact Abbey Faris at email@example.com to place your order.
Fitness classes resume via YouTube and instructor sandy
Anyone missing familiar fitness classes that need a little motivational push to get up and move during social distancing, can now watch Sandy Scotchmer, of Bayfield via YouTube as she has posted two cardio classes converted from DVD.
Here is the link: www.youtube.com/
The classes were recorded by Scotchmer about five years ago for Snowbirds leaving for warmer climates during the winter months. At the time, participants wanted to maintain their level of cardio training and Scotchmer was asked if she could record classes. Rising to the challenge, she approached Pat and Steve Baker with The Virtual High School (VHS) to see if they could help with recording the classes.
“Thankfully, VHS jumped on the idea wholeheartedly and the rest is history!” said Scotchmer.
She added, “We invite you to click on the link and enjoy two cardio classes - perform one class or two, it’s up to you. Remember to work at your own pace and stretch after cool down!”
bayfield centre for the arts requesting photos from 2020
Bayfield Centre for the Arts (BCA) would like to invite people to participate in a Special Project set to the theme: “Navigating the year 2020 - events, people and places of Bayfield”.
The year 2020 is shaping up to be a new and unusual reality for the world. BCA has begun a project of collecting photographs of moments in time that will act as a retrospective of the COVID pandemic and emerging behaviours across the village and surrounding area.
“We are collecting a variety of photographs of people, pets, wildlife, parks, trails, lake/rivers and buildings. Photos can include landscapes, waterscapes, portraits (candid and posed), still life photos and more. We hope to document this significant, historical human experience through visual storytelling,” President of the Bayfield Centre for the Arts, Leslee Squirrell.
Anyone, professional or novice using smart phone or professional camera, can submit a photo(s) one time or multiple times over the course of the collection period - Jan. 1-Dec. 30, 2020. The photos should reflect aspects of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which are important to capture for future generations and family story telling. A focus on positive actions and beauty are encouraged.
High resolution photos are best for reproduction. The collection will be curated into the “Special Project” and made available in the spring of 2021. Submission does not guarantee use for the Special Project.
By submitting to the collection, the Photographer grants to the BCA rights to their photographs (if selected) for: Reproduction of selected photos as images in their Special Project; subsequent sale proceeds (if any) to the BCA for fundraising and community purposes.
The BCA recognize that except as identified above, the photographs and rights therein, including copyright, remain the sole and exclusive property of the photographer. Any additional use by the BCA requires the prior written agreement of the photographer (with terms to be separately negotiated) between BCA and the Photographer.
How to submit your photo: Give your file and photo a name; include your name and a brief description of the image.
If a participant’s own email address is a GMAIL account they can submit directly to BCAspecialproject@gmail.com and include the above information in the body of the email.
For any other email address account participants can submit through the web-based tool WeTransfer.com and send photos to BCAspecialproject@gmail.com Please wait for the verification code on this website, prior to exiting. The appropriate info can be included in the message section.
A Letter from Lockdown in Soller, Mallorca, Spain
Lockdown Day #52 - Freedom Walk #3: Finally able to go for a walk within 1 KM of their residence the couple were out and about at 8 p.m. during the nightly Balcony Clap for essential workers. During the event, Gary captured a photo from a new physically distanced angle, of Andrew and Sally Bowden, who own a jewellery store, "Lluna 52", located below their residence. (Photo by Gary Lloyd-Rees)
Bayfield residents Gary and Kate Lloyd-Rees are currently in Soller, Mallorca one of the Balearic Islands (which are part of Spain), under a government decreed COVID-19 lockdown, from where they sent this update on May 4.
Today, Monday, is our 51st day of the lockdown that came into effect across mainland Spain and the Canary and Balearic Islands on March 15th. The lockdown period has now been extended three times and the current extension is due to end on May 10th – the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, announced that he will seek Congress (Parliament) approval this week to further extend the lockdown by two weeks to May 24th. It is becoming increasingly anticipated that there will be a continuing lockdown (albeit it with increasing relaxations) into late June or beyond.
Eight days ago, was the first major nationwide relaxation of the confinement restrictions when children aged 13 or under could leave their home for up to an hour each day, within a 1 KM radius, accompanied by an adult from their family unit. The nation was promised that if the relaxed confinement conditions were well observed, and that the nationwide health statistics continued to improve, that the rest of the population would also have their confinement relaxed - and so it came to pass…
Two days ago, after being confined for 48 days, we were finally allowed out to walk and exercise. The chart illustrates how this has been organized – as always, the rules required a lot of clarification and gave rise to some bizarre anomalies. In essence, there is a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.; between 6-10 a.m. and between 8-11 p.m. a person aged between 14 and 70 can go for individual exercise within the confines of their municipality or a person, or two from the same household, can go for a walk within a 1 KM radius of their home. Soller is a municipality in itself - like Bluewater, but a fraction of its size and with twice the population. Between 10 a.m. and noon and between 7-8 p.m. persons over 70 can go out for a walk individually or as a couple from the same household; between Noon and 7 p.m. an adult can take out up to three children 13 or under from the same household for up to one hour and within 1 KM of their home.
We can now go out together in the 10 a.m. to Noon or 7-8 p.m. time slots in addition to our individual trips to the grocery store. If we had a dog, we could now take it for a walk.
Given the complexity of the rules, drawn up by a committee, there are some bizarre anomalies: surfing is an allowed exercise but not swimming; we could pole walk to the beach which is beyond 1 KM but we can’t walk to it; and a parent can take out three children 13 or under, but two parents together can’t take out their only child of 14. Still, we are grateful for what are referred to locally as “freedom walks”.
How are things in Spain and Mallorca?
An image of Soller and surrounds. (Submitted photo)
Last week’s “letter” reported that Spain was down to “only” about 2,000 new infections and about 320 deaths each day - in the past few days the numbers being reported are half those levels Today, both Murcia (where our son and family live) and the Balearics reported zero new infections and zero deaths. These reduced numbers, together with the freedom walks has given rise to a huge sense of relief and optimism that the ‘new normal” is not too distant.
What are the de-escalation plans?
This is where things get extremely convoluted…Today, Spain entered Phase 0 of its de-escalation plan – small businesses (<400 sq. m.) can open by appointment, customers can pick up restaurant orders (delivery was already allowed) and renovation on private homes can restart (all accompanied with a raft of health safety measures). Under Phase 1, small businesses can open without appointments at 30 per cent capacity, groups of up to 10 can gather (keeping social distances of 2 metres), open air markets can open at 25 per cent capacity and outside bars and restaurants can open at 50 per cent capacity. Phases 2 and 3 relax the restrictions further until Phase 4 (which is being called the “new normal”) is reached. Travel within a region is allowed at Phase 1 except for travelling to a second home which is only allowed at Phase 2.
Moving from one phase to the next will be done asymmetrically by region, only when specific health conditions are met can a region move to the next phase. To make matters even more complicated, the other three of the Balearic Islands (Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera together with three of the smaller Canary Islands) have started today at Phase 1, due to their low level of cases. Between Phase 0 and Phase 1 is a minimum of one week, and between 1 and 2, 2 and 3, and 3 and 4 is a minimum of two weeks. Therefore, in theory, Mallorca (and all of Spain) could reach the “new normal” by June 22nd. Importantly, travel between regions will only be allowed once the departure and arrival region are at Phase 4.
We continue to be safe and well and are starting to tackle the logistics of making our way home. We remain grateful to our friends back home in the Bayfield area for your best wishes and words of support.
See you back in Bayfield. Stay safe and well everybody.
Bayfield declared Greatest Small Town Thanks to voters
At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 29, Bayfield was declared the “Greatest Small Town in the Taz and Jim Listening Area”! Due to the efforts of a determined legion of daily voters Bayfield made it past 64 other communities for the title. And it was no easy feat as they went up against their neighbors to the south, Grand Bend, in the final round. It was an epic battle and a close one right to the end with the heritage village garnering 52 per cent of the popular vote as the poll closed.
The next morning Bayfield Ward Councilor, Bill Whetstone – or Bayfield Bill as he was affectionately named by radio personalities Taz and Jim – took part in an on-air interview with the two hosts.
Highlights of this interview, which was all in good fun, are included here:
Bayfield Eats for Hospitality Relief (Bayfield Eats) is entering its fifth week of operations.
Every week, Chef Brian Clarke and Timothy McDonald, of the Black Dog, with help from Trevor Sawchuk, of Drift, in conjunction with River Road Brewing and Maelstrom Winery, release a new unique menu through their Instagram account @bayfieldeats with all profits going to help local hospitality workers who have been laid off due to COVID-19.
To date the team has been able to raise over $4,000 and they are continually, completely humbled by the outpouring of support from the community.
Bayfield Eats has featured menus of "Baytucky" Fried Chicken, Mexican, Italian and last week Southern BBQ to rave reviews from all who were quick enough to reserve their spots. The team only prepares 80 meals per week so as to not take business away from other restaurants operating in the village. Chef Clarke posts new menus every Monday morning at 10 a.m. on Instagram and Facebook and is selling out all 80 meals within hours of posting. The meals are then prepared for Friday pickup in front of Drift on Main Street.
Although advanced menus are a closely guarded secret upcoming weeks will feature: Thai, “At The 1950s Drive-In”, Cuban and 1920s Parisian. Stay tuned to both Bayfield Eats Facebook and Instagram pages for upcoming menus.
The team at Bayfield Eats wants to remind hospitality workers that if they wish for assistance they can send a confidential email to firstname.lastname@example.org or people are also invited to confidentially nominate someone for assistance.
The community continues to come together to serve each other during this time of crisis.
Lake Huron Chrysler in Goderich, in conjunction with The Little Inn of Bayfield, is putting a van on the road with a driver to pick up and deliver groceries to people from Bayfield Foodland and Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy’s Bayfield location.
There will be no charge for this service. Please contact Dean O’Brien at 519 525-0420 or email email@example.com for more information.
Bayfield Area Food Bank (BAFB) can provide emergency food for free.
Anyone who has had their income reduced or anyone struggling to meet their food needs is asked to call 519 955-7444 for assistance.
BAFB has prepackaged boxes on hand and arrangements can be made for free delivery.
The Bayfield Farmers’ Market will soon launch a new online market store where customers can shop directly from food/beverage vendors. This will enable the market to operate in compliance with current pandemic health and safety requirements.
The market will be held every Friday from 3-5 p.m. in the parking area on the north side of Clan Gregor Square. This market will serve only as a pick-up point. Customers will not be able to shop or purchase in person at the market.
The market is also working on offering delivery service for customers who are unable to travel to the market or simply do not feel comfortable with pickup. More information will be coming soon.
The market’s board continues to work diligently to be ready for opening day on May 15. Updates will be available on their Facebook page, Bayfield Farmers’ Market, and in the Bayfield Breeze as they become available.
A number of very generous people have signed up with Home4Good as volunteers to help people with their shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who is self-isolating or otherwise advised not to shop, is encouraged to contact Leslie Bella at Home4Good, firstname.lastname@example.org or text 519 955-1531, and Home4Good will assign someone to help.
Home4Good has tracked advice for safe shopping, and posted suggestions on their Facebook page Home4GoodinBayfield. This information suggests that the use of homemade face masks is recommended when shopping, or when visiting medical services, particularly for those of people over 65 or with underlying health conditions.
Leslie Bella has been digging through her treasure trove of surplus quilting scraps and producing a seemingly endless supply of “one of a kind”, 100 per cent cotton, washable masks, in two models. Bella will supply two free masks per household, one to use and one for the laundry.
Mask Version One: donations of 1/4" elastic is needed to make more of these. (Submitted photos)
Mask Version Two is available through a Home4Good initiative.
Email her at email@example.com to get the masks. One design has 1/4” elastic ear straps, but elastic is in short supply. The other model has ties and is more comfortable for many, particularly those people wearing aids and/or glasses.
The second model is not in short supply, particularly if local quilters are open to sharing more of their scraps with Bella. Pieces at least 10”X7” in a tight weave of 100 per cent cotton are requested. Twill tape and 1/4” elastic would also be welcome. Please drop off supplies to 18 Louisa St, Bayfield.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Grand Bend and Area Chamber of Commerce has undertaken various efforts to support local business, this latest effort, “Shoreline ToGo”, crosses all local municipal and county “borders” to support local food and beverage providers with a single online hub of delivery and takeout options open to residents.
Launched Apr. 20, Shorelinetogo.ca already has 32 food and beverage businesses listed, a number that grows daily. Published with address, phone number, takeout-delivery menu and hours of operation, restaurants, farm-gate operations and craft beer, wine and cider producers are ready and open to serve. Residents in Lambton Shores, South Huron, Bluewater and North Middlesex can check out the offerings online, order takeout or delivery, and help support the same businesses who have contributed so much to these communities over the years through donations and sponsorship.
Restaurants, farm-gate and beverage producers throughout the market area – Bluewater - Lambton Shores, South Huron, North Middlesex - are encouraged to visit ShorelineToGo.ca to register and showcase their delivery or takeout options. There is no cost to any business to participate and the process is the completion of a simple online form. Any business needing resources or assistance can contact Chamber Manager Susan Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout this area, restaurants, farm-gate and craft beverage providers have contributed hugely to the local economy and the livability of towns and villages. Recovery from the Covid-19 crisis will be in large part energized restaurant owners, chefs, kitchen staff and servers, and the support of local customers.
Due to the Covid-19, the Annual Plant Sale hosted by the Bayfield Garden Club (BGC) has been cancelled. The sale, planned for Saturday, May 9th is always fun and a great fundraising event for the club.
“We'll miss the chance to buy interesting plants at great prices and look forward to the sale in 2021,” said Susan Beatty, representing the BGC. “Our June event is also cancelled. We have a great line-up of events planned for the remainder of the season and hope they can go ahead sooner than later. We'll keep you updated.”
Memberships are important to the BGC - the cancellation of both the Bayfield Lions' Home and Garden Show and the Annual Plant Sale makes renewal difficult this year. Membership fees go a long way in funding the work the BGC does to beautify the village as well as covering
meeting expenses. Beatty invites people to support the BCG by renewing their membership for 2020.
The membership fee is $10. Cheque made payable to Bayfield Garden Club may be mailed to C. Barrett, 32 Thimbleweed Drive, Bayfield ON N0M 1G0. Please include your name, address and email address with the cheque. Cheques can also be dropped off at the above location. Please email email@example.com to make arrangements.
After that a membership card will be either mailed or delivered to your home. The BCG appreciates the community’s continued support.
Faith, age 12, shares an example of what the Bayfield Historical Society is looking for as part of their efforts to collect stories and art from children documenting their experience of living during an historic pandemic. (Submitted photo)
Faith's story - the Bayfield Historical Society is asking that the children sign their artwork or story on their cover page and on the back cover list their age and school. (Submitted photo)
Youngsters are unleashing their creativity in a variety of ways while staying at home during the pandemic. And a local group would like to capture this creativity for posterity. Especially the stories and artwork that the children, ages 12 and under, are producing right now while they are truly living through history.
The Bayfield Historical Society (BHS) wants to help preserve these memories of what life during the pandemic was like for children.
According to Barb Durand, “The Bayfield Historical Society is asking children in Bayfield and surrounding area to submit written stories and or their artwork for a future collection. We will display this collection in our windows (at the Archives on Main Street) when we are allowed back on the street. Either a scanned copy or their original artwork will be kept at the archives for a future collection. We may also use the material to create a printed book.”
Durand, who looks after publications for the BHS, notes that, this is not a contest but a collection that will document the children’s stories. She asks that the children sign their artwork or story on their cover page and on the back cover list their age and school.
“We will ask for the submissions when the time comes for us to re-open. We are documenting history. Thank-you and wishing all families to stay safe and healthy,” Durand concluded.
For more information on this BHS project please email firstname.lastname@example.org.