Bookmark and Share   June 6, 2012   Vol. 3 Week 24 Issue 153

Vintage bike owners kick back and relax in clan Gregor


Donald Broadfoot, of Clinton, took home the Albion Hotel "Best in Show" Award for the 1940 Indian he restored complete with sidecar. Broadfoot quite enjoyed taking people for little spins around the village. The sidecar seat was very comfortable and came complete with a sidekick pooch named Rosie.

Rosie was born to ride! This eight year-old dog owned by Donald Broadfoot, of Clinton, loves to ride in the sidecar of Broadfoot's restored 1940 Indian. Rosie has only been riding for the past year but she knows when the "Doggles" go on it's time to take up her position on the right side of the side car - she likes to put her nose out to the breeze.

Motorcycles are fast becoming the way for many folks to get out on the weekend and tour the countryside. The number of bikes that can be seen parked around or driving through the village is becoming increasingly evident, as the official start of summer grows closer.

And on Sunday, June 3rd vintage bikes were very evident, as Bayfield Old Bike Day was held in Clan Gregor Square.

“Despite the weather, rain on, rain off, there was a good quality of vintage
bikes on display during Bayfield Old Bike Day,” said organizer Jerry Baljeu.

Clan Gregor Square was the perfect setting for bike enthusiasts to mix and mingle.

According to Baljeu, 42 bikes took part in the event. He also noted that bike enthusiasts delighted in the range on display, favorites of note included a 1940 Indian with sidecar, a mid 1950s Ariel Twin, a single cylinder Royal Enfield and a great looking BSA Gold Star. The smallest bike on display was a 1965, 50cc Honda Step-Through.

Show participants had the opportunity to vote for the Albion Hotel "Best in Show" Award. The winner was a 1940 Indian restored and owned by Donald Broadfoot of Clinton.

Other highlights of the day included some live music as well as Goderich Shoreline Radio 99.7 FM broadcasting live from the show.

A 1956 Ariel Twin owned by Jack Graham, of Windsor, and a single cylinder Royal Enfield from 1957 owned by Geoff Doherty, of Belmont, were just two of the vintage bikes on display at Bayfield Old Bike Day on Sunday.

Cooper's personal geography subject of exhibit

Bayfield's JMR Gallery presents Ontario Artist Audrey Cooper's exhibit “Personal Geography” from now until June 17. (Submitted photo)

Ontario Artist, Audrey Cooper, has created “an exhibit of paintings focusing on the things I see in my new and latest life in London and surroundings (Bayfield).”

Her exhibit entitled, “Personal Geography” is currently on display at JMR Gallery until June 17.

Cooper's desire to take a brush, dip it in acrylic and paint a picture on canvas didn't emerge until just before her 78th birthday in 2005.

"You might say I'm a late bloomer, but I did pick up the brush and here I am, seven years later still working on memories of yesterday mixed in with my observations about today. It is a joyful and enriching way to spend my time. Besides that I feel I still have something to say before being put out on that ice floe, and pushing glorious colors around on canvas, is a fine way indeed to say it,” said Cooper, in a recent press release. “I paint because I know I am alive in this time and in this space.

“My passion is to make you aware of what I see every day - the extraordinary sight of people living their daily lives, moving through the remarkable landscapes of their world. I want you to not only look but also see the reality around you, and realize you exist, here, now, in this moment, and at some future time, you will remember.”

This is the first of JMR Gallery’s featured Exhibits for the 2012 Season. A closing reception, with the artist in attendance, will be held on June 17, from 1-3 p.m. Other exhibits planned for the summer months include: Julie Hawkins, July 11-22; Angela Lorenzen, June 22 to July 8; Jacquie vanKlaveren, July 25 to Aug. 7; JMR Gallery's third annual "Loving Bayfield" Exhibit, Aug. 10-26; JMR Gallery's second annual "Clan Gregor Square Foot" Exhibit, Aug. 29 to Sept. 23.

To learn more about any of these upcoming shows visit

History book to be officially launched on Father's Day

Book cover 2

Following a successful debut at the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS) meeting on May 28, the history book entitled, “For the Love of Bayfield” will be officially launched on Father’s Day.

Local historian, Dave Gillians is the author of this newest village history. Ken Larone, a local resident as well as a renowned journalist, reviewed the book in Issue 152 of the Bayfield Breeze and gave it high praise.

The BHS will host a formal Book Launch on June 17 from 2-4 p.m. at the Bayfield Town Hall to celebrate this history that was six years in the making. Books will be available for sale at $35. Gillians will be on hand to chat about the stories and to sign copies. At 2:30 p.m. a short ceremony will be held to officially launch the book. All are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

According to Bill Rowat, BHS president, “Dave has dug up many unheralded stories and also come up with some fascinating new perspectives on old stories. For instance, Dave develops a well documented theory that Baron Van Tuyll originally bought the Bayfield tract, not to develop it as a community, but rather to ‘flip it’ as a secure site for military defense when fears of American expansionism were rampant in the early 1800s.”

“For the Love of Bayfield” is also now available for purchase at The Archives Room on Main Street on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. The net proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Bayfield Historical Society to help preserve the village’s history.

Second half of festival features CanadA's best 

Artistic Directors Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata will host the second half of their sixth annual Bayfield Festival of Song on June 8 and 9.

The festival began on June 2-3. The remaining concerts will feature Canada’s leading operatic soprano, Adrianne Pieczonka and dedicated concert and recital artist Alexander Dobson. Those who attend should watch out for some surprising historical notes and stories, with rarely heard songs as well as more familiar music.

The popular Saturday morning Coffee Concerts continue on June 9 with “Wish you were Here”. This 11 a.m. concert will offer up a collection of musical picture-postcards from around the world.

Celebrity recitals will feature two phenomenal evenings of songs, duets and operatic favorites. Canada’s superstar soprano Pieczonka along with her partner mezzo-soprano Laura Tucker will perform with Ralls on the piano on June 8. And then on June 9, Dobson will present a delightful program for a summer night. Both shows start at 8 p.m. Praised for riveting performances across North American and Europe these stars will no doubt entirely seduce the audience with their vocal art!

All concerts will be held at the Bayfield Town Hall. For complete 2012 concert information visit the “Bayfield Festival” link at: Tickets are available online or locally at The Village Bookshop, 519 565-5600.

In support of Ralls and Ubukata dedication to introducing young people to the art of song, student tickets for the Saturday morning and Sunday concerts will only be $10 -- an adult accompanying them will not be charged!

RBC Foundation and the Ontario Arts Council are generous supports of the 2012 Bayfield Festival of Song.

Sixty-fifth annual rummage sale only weeks away

For 65 years, crowds of people have been coming to the Pioneer Park’s Annual Rummage Sale and snapping up all kinds of bargains and treasures. This year the event will be held on Friday, July 13th from 7-9 p.m. at the Bayfield Arena.

The sale, along with a silent auction, provides much needed funding for the maintenance and upkeep of Bayfield’s beautiful lakefront parkland that offers visitors fresh lake breezes and world-renowned sunsets 365 days of the year!

Rummage Sale items may be dropped off at the arena after 11 a.m. on July 12th until 2 p.m. as well as on July 13th. Anyone who is unable to drop items off on these days, can contact Bud Robinson at 519 565-5322 or Claire Trepanier at 519 565-2745 and they will arrange for the items to be picked up prior to the sale.

Please note when donating that baby furniture, sports equipment, and electrical items must be CSA approved. It should also be noted that the following items will not be accepted: clothing, shoes, magazines, textbooks, televisions, large appliances, building materials, mattresses, soiled or broken items.

Bill Rowat is the person to contact if anyone wishes to donate an item or service to the silent auction. He can be reached at 519 565-5838.

This event could not happen without the assistance of over 120 volunteers. Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Sandy Scotchmer at 519 565-2830 or call Trepanier at the number listed above.

A new addition to the Rummage Sale this year will be “TasTee Queen”. They will be set up outside on the fairgrounds selling their famous hand cut fries, hot dogs and other goodies.

Bayfield Lions' Club's Walk for Dog Guides raises $7,000


Sunday marked the 10th year that Rolly and Karen Scott, of Kitchener and Bayfield, had participated in the Walk for Dog Guides. Their pets Dakota, a Huskey and Cheynne, a Retriever-Newfoundland mix, were ready and willing to get out on the route.

To some people, their Dog Guides are their eyes, to others, their means to live independently. On June 3, the Bayfield Lions’ Club hosted the local “Purina Walk for Dog Guides” to raise funds so that more Canadians with disabilities may have a dog guide.

And raise funds they did! The local walk raised $ 7,000.

“Everyone who took part should be very proud of themselves,” said Bayfield Lions’ Club President, Larry Simpson. “Next year, our goal will be $10,000.”

Simpson noted that both the walkers and dogs had a good day and seemed to really enjoy the “silly dog tricks” portion of the event. Participants were treated to hotdogs after the walk and all the dogs went home with a bag of goodies and a certificate.

The Lions Foundation of Canada trains Dog Guides and assists Canadians with a wide range of disabilities. Dogs are trained in five program areas, Canine Vision, Hearing Ear, Autism Assistance, Special Skills and Seizure Response.

According to the Lions Foundation of Canada website, Dog Guides are trained to perform a set of basic skills that are useful to all handlers. However, some of their training is also tailored to meet the specific needs of their future handler. The website states that there is an ever-increasing demand for these service dogs and the Foundation’s current goal is to raise enough funds to provide 160 more Dog Guides in 2012.

Sisters, Pat Shewen (right) and Peg Brant, both of Stratford, headed to the registration desk early Sunday morning so that they could take Ginger, a Beagle cross and Rhys, Golden Retriever, out on the walk.

Kelly Miller, of Seaforth, and Fenex, a Golden Retriever, were ready to head out on the Bayfield Lions' Club's Purina Walk for Dog Guides on Sunday morning.


Jane Rowat joined Margo Robeson and her dog, Sadie, on the Walk for Dog Guides.


After the walk, members of the Bayfield Lions' Club treated participants to hotdogs. Getting the onions fried and ready were from l-r: Mike Sproule, Bill Steenstra, Tony Van Bakel and Ron Harris.


Optimist club

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? How about a round of golf followed by a satisfying pig roast dinner? Members of the Bayfield Optimist Club now have tickets available for their upcoming golf tournament to be held at the Bluewater Golf Course on June 23.

Registration begins at 11 a.m. with Tee Off following at noon. Tickets are $50 per person. Carts are $15 extra per person. The fee includes a pig roast dinner complete with baked potato, Caesar salad and dessert.

Prizes will be awarded via a random draw. But the real prize is the fact that participants are helping raise funds for youth projects in their community.

To get tickets and/or book a foursome please contact Optimist Jane Gillman at 519 482-7478.

united church 

“Bayfield’s Got Talent” and we’re not afraid to showcase it.

This special evening of music, comedy and dance will be held on June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church.

St. Andrew’s United Church Choir will host this event as a fundraiser for the church – a free will offering will be collected.


The Friends of the Bayfield Library (FOBL) would like to help area youngsters get ready to celebrate Father’s Day. Children, supervised by a parent, are invited to come to the Bayfield Library located at 20 Main Street to create a Father’s Day Craft on the afternoon of June 9.

The craft making session will run for one hour starting at 1 p.m. There will also be readings and refreshments. No registration is required.

On June 16-17, the Bayfield Library staff, with help from the FOBL, will host their annual book sale. The sale will run on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Both titles for children and adults will be offered for sale. The event will be held rain or shine. Donations of recently published, gently used books are welcome and can be dropped off at the library earlier that week.

For information please call 519 565-2886. The FOBL are now on Facebook and welcome people to check them out there!


The Photography Club of Bayfield (PCoB) is going back to school for their next meeting, June 7.

The PCoB will be holding their meeting at Central Huron Secondary School (CHSS) in Clinton. This coincides with the school’s annual photographic exhibition, curated by Jacqui Vercruyssen, and coupled with a silent auction of the student works.

Members of PCoB, and other interested individuals, are invited to come to this event that will take place in advance of the PCoB meeting itself.

According to Jack Pal, a PCoB founding member, “This should provide a great backdrop for our meeting and at the same time satisfy many member interests. Since the silent auction ends at 7:15 p.m., interested parties are advised to come before 7 p.m. to take in the exhibit and to participate in the auction.”

The PCoB meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. Part of the meeting will be a workshop/demonstration by PCoB member, Conrad Kuiper, on Macrophotography. A comment and critique session on the club’s most recent assignment, Alphabet Photography, will also be held. Members are encouraged to post their assignment photos on the PCoB Flickr site.


Many area residents will no doubt have the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) 2012 calendar hanging on their wall – they may like to circle June 15th on it as it is all set to become a very important date on the village social calendar.

On that Friday evening the photographs selected for the 2013 calendar will be exhibited during a wine and cheese event hosted by the BACC. The advertisers for this new calendar will also be announced. The calendar itself will be unveiled and the 2013 campaign launched.

The BACC is very pleased to advise that once again the advertising space in the calendar has been sold out and the BACC Executive thanks the advertisers for their ongoing support of this initiative.

The evening will be held at the Bayfield Town Hall from 7-9 p.m.

This year the recently formed Photography Club of Bayfield was enlisted to assemble a wonderful mix of photos of the many beautiful village landscapes and historical sites to provide the images for the calendar. The photos selected to represent each calendar month will be available at the launch as a onetime opportunity to purchase a framed keepsake. No other framed enlargements will be sold. The photo used for the calendar’s cover will be auctioned off that evening.

There is no admission fee for the evening and all are welcome to attend, however, it is requested that those who wish to attend RSVP to

Pioneer park 

Live music streaming from Pioneer Park will be a welcome addition to the Bayfield Sail and Canvas Festival Weekend as Pioneer Park Entertainment presents a performance by the Canadian Celtic Choir on June 16.

The choir will unite their voices in song starting at 8 p.m. in the park. The group, founded in 1996, sings and promotes Celtic choral music and culture in Southwestern Ontario.

Their current repertoire features songs from Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and the Canadian Maritimes ranging from the traditional, including those sung in Irish and Welsh, to modern music of the 20th and 21st Century.

William Zadorsky was appointed conductor of the Canadian Celtic Choir on April 1, 2010. Their accompanist is Jean Willadsen. The group has approximately 50 members and is based out of London, ON.

Bayfield Concert Series

Singer/songwriter Andy Kim is the next music icon to grace the Bayfield Town Hall stage as part of the Bayfield Concert Series, a Meades Bros. Production.

Tickets are now on sale for the June 16th show entitled, “Songs and Stories”. The cost is $30. The hall doors will open at 8 p.m. with the performance scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at The Black Dog Pub and Bistro in Bayfield, Ernie King Music in Goderich or from

To learn more about all the stellar acts scheduled to come to the village in the coming months visit

CPh foundation 

The Clinton Public Hospital is the health care provider of choice for many Bayfield and area residents. These individuals may be interested to note that the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation will be holding its annual fundraising Enchanted Dinner and Dance on June 23.

The evening will feature both a live and silent auction. Tickets are available now for $75 a person (this includes a $45 tax receipt). Here in Bayfield tickets are available by contacting Tyler Hessel, 519 565-4034.

Music at the Barn

The landmark barn at Kryart Studio should prove to be the perfect location for a new summer concert series.

“Music at the Barn” will be comprised of five performances scheduled from June to September on Sunday afternoons starting at 2 p.m. at Kryart Studio. The line up is as follows: Adrian Jones and Kim Régimbal and DNSQ3, June 24; Opening: Benson Brown and Katy Johnston, The Marrieds, July 15; Danielle Durand and Ben Hermann (tentative), July 29; Graham Nicholas, Alanna Gurr and Lowlands, Aug. 26; and Josh Geddis and Jenny Omnichord, Sept. 16.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $14 at the door for the first show. All other shows are $14 in advance and $16 at the door. Or a season pass can be purchased for $50 for all five shows. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, as there is limited seating.

For more information or tickets contact Durand at 519 993-3154. Or visit the following Facebook page: Tickets can also be purchased at

writers' festival 

Five authors will be coming to the village for the 2012 Bayfield Writers’ Festival hosted by The Village Bookshop on June 23-24.

This year the main event will be held at St. Andrew’s United Church starting at 1 p.m. The authors and their works featured will be: Hugh Brewster, RMS Titanic: Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage; Cathy Buchanan, The Day the Falls Stood Still; Stephen Marche, How Shakespeare Changed Everything; John Lawrence Reynolds, Beach Strip; and Andrew Westoll, The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary.

Tickets are selling now for $15 and are available at The Village Bookshop

On Sunday at 12:30 p.m. there is the added bonus of a First Class Luncheon with Hugh Brewster starting at 12:30 p.m. at The Little Inn.

History lovers will no doubt enjoy the opportunity to hear this celebrated Titanic expert and author speak at this event held in the 100th year since the great ship went down.

Tickets are available now for $35 per person. For more information call the bookshop at 519 565-5600.

film society

Another exciting series of Toronto Film Circuit films brought to you by the Bayfield Film Society is nearly at an end.

Those without a subscription can still attend as a limited number of tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 per film.

The spring schedule of films concludes with The Guard on June 14. This final film will begin with a wine and cheese celebration at 6:30 p.m. at the Bayfield Town Hall (the movie begins at 7:30 p.m.)

For more information contact: Lynn Gillians, 519 565-5884 or by e-mail; or Margo Robeson, 519 565-2827 or e-mail

fitness fun 

Pickle Ball is the fastest growing sport for seniors and is gaining in popularity here in Bayfield. It can be described as a combination of badminton, tennis and ping-pong.

Ann and Rick LeBeau, of Bayfield, are pickle ball enthusiasts and would like to teach Pickle Ball to beginners. They have been playing the sport themselves for many years and will be playing in the Summer Games in London, ON. Anyone who would like a lesson are invited to call them at 519 440-2120.

One Care sponsored Pole Walking is really hitting its stride in Bayfield. Anyone wishing an introductory lesson or other info should call 519 565-2202 or 519 565-5638. There is no charge for this and poles can be provided.

New additions to the current Pole Walking schedule include: Sundays, Co-ed Pole Walking, 9:30 a.m.; Tuesday mornings Gentle Jaunt, 9:30 a.m.; Wednesdays, Gentle Jaunt, 4:30 p.m. and Power Pole Walking, 5:15 p.m.

The above is in addition to the usual walks for women are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays and walks for men Mondays and Fridays. The start time is 8:30 a.m.

All walks begin from 6 Main Street.

Besides Pole Walking, One Care continues to sponsor several programs for both men and women to keep up with their desire to stay fit. Register now for four months of classes for $50 excluding yoga.

Dancefit and Toning classes are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. The classes are held at the Bayfield Community Centre. The cost is $4 per class.

The Sit and Get Fit classes are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. On Fridays a Gentle Stretch Class is offered at 10:15 a.m. Both of these fitness opportunities are held at the Bayfield Community Centre and cost a $2 per class.

A Gentle Yoga Class is held at the Bayfield Town Hall starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays. The cost for is $4 per class and participants are asked to bring a yoga mat.

Summer Outdoor Yoga will start July 5 in Pioneer Park at 8:30 a.m. and continue on subsequent Thursdays. The cost is $3 per session.

Call the numbers listed above for more information on the above exercise opportunities.

For those people looking to exercise their minds, Women’s Bridge is played every Wednesday at 1 p.m. No partner needed to play the cost is $1.50 per game. For more information call Brenda Blair at 519 565-2881. Bridge is played at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building.

Boot Camp has come to Bayfield due to the efforts of fitness enthusiast, Kaylie Ginn. She plans to offer a large variety of exercises to keep things interesting and challenging. She will be incorporating strength training, cardio, yoga, plyometrics, kick-boxing, interval training and more. One-hour sessions are held Monday to Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Clan Gregor Square.

Each session of the Bayfield Boot Camp costs $10, or a weekly pass can be purchased for $30. First sessions will be free. Participants should wear proper footwear, bring a bottle of water and a yoga mat or towel. Participants should arrive 15 minutes before their first session so that Ginn can learn their workout history. For information contact Ginn at 519 525-1959.

hearing clinic

Have you heard the news? A monthly hearing clinic has been established in the village at Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy. The next date for the clinic is June 19.

The Kincardine Hearing Clinic will be offering their services on the third Tuesday of every month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The clinic will offer: hearing aid adjustments and repairs to all makes and models, no cost hearing tests, new prescription of hearing aids, wax removal, hearing aid battery sales as well as hard of hearing assistive devices. Please call The Kincardine Hearing Clinic at 1-855-396-6026 to book an appointment.






There are countless photographs of people in the Bayfield Historical Society’s Archives collection, but sadly their names were never recorded. In this section we will showcase an image with the hopes that one of our subscribers might be able to identify the individual(s) in the photo. Please email your information to the Editor’s attention at the address listed near the bottom of the page in “Submissions” or you can email the archivist directly at or click on the image and make a comment on Flickr. You can view the entire Collection of Remember Me Photos: Volume 2 on Flickr as well.

This week, the Junior Riders are shown participating in the Bayfield Fall Fair in 1956. Does anyone remember any of these equestrians?

Remember Me 153

Make your on any image and it will take you to Flickr.



Remember Me 151

In Issue 151, action at the lunch booth at the 1956 Bayfield Fall Fair was shown. Lucky Elephant Pink Candy Popcorn would appear to have been a staple at the booth. Anyone recognize those in the photograph?


Remember Me 152

In Issue 152, the shooting gallery at the 1956 Bayfield Fall Fair proved to be very popular with both men and boys as evidenced by the crowd gathered around the booth. Does anyone look familiar?




Bookmark and Share  PHOTO STORY

virtual high 

online education a reality of bayfield's economy

A jubilant Stephen and Patricia Baker share in the ribbon cutting to officially open the Virtual High School's new location on Main Street in the village. Stephen is the owner and founder of VHS, as well as the online school's principal. Patricia is the school's Registrar.

John Smallwood, spoke to the crowd gathered for the Grand Opening on Friday. He is currently the English Curriculum Coordinator at VHS and has worked with Baker since 1996 when they teamed up to create a Grade 13 Canadian Literature online course.

During the opening speeches, Roger Lewington, president of the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce, spoke to the positive impact that both the reconstruction of the heritage building and the establishment of VHS has had to the Bluewater economy.

A couple hundred people turned up to see behind the scenes at one of Canada’s largest online high schools during their grand opening on Friday night.

Jeremy DeMers, (far right) is the Elementary School Curriculum Coordinator at VHS. He was kept busy fielding questions from people who toured the school including, Joyce McIlwain (second from left) and Sue Burton (centre).


The second storey of VHS is home to the administration. It was a popular place to tour on Friday night. The open concept design allows employees to effectively communicate with each other.


When the building was lifted in the summer of 2011 buried underneath they discovered the old boiler door. This artifact was cleaned up and framed. It now graces the entrance to the building’s second storey.

The property at 27 Main Street N. has seen a number of transformations in the 159 years since Wm Connor first purchased it.

The Martha Ritz House as it looked on July 11, 2011 during the heart of the reconstruction process. The building was lifted to accommodate a full basement.

The reconstruction project on the former Martha Ritz House began in Feb. 2011. The staff of the Virtual High School were able to move in to their home one year later. The official grand opening of the building was held on June 1.


IMG_5010 The VHS logo is a shiny red apple. The classic education/teaching symbol. The “waves” going out of the stem of the apple are meant to symbolize the virtual/online aspect that allows VHS to reach students around the world.

The Virtual High School (VHS) is 8,100 square feet of reality. And despite the rain that fell on the evening of June 1st, a couple hundred people turned up to see behind the scenes at one of Canada’s largest online high schools during their grand opening.

The inclement weather held off long enough to allow for outdoor speeches and an official ribbon cutting by owner and founder of VHS, Stephen Baker and his wife, Patricia. She also acted as master of ceremonies for the formal portion of the evening. She introduced speakers, Bill Dowson, mayor of the Municipality of Bluewater; Ben Lobb, MP for Huron-Bruce; Ashley Hammill, executive assistant for Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce; Roger Lewington, Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) president; John Smallwood, curriculum coordinator for English at VHS; and Stephen Baker, founder and owner of VHS as well as its principal.

In his remarks, BACC President Lewington commented on what the Bakers have had the vision to build in Bayfield.

“A couple of years ago at the Mayor’s Breakfast we had Mike Pullen speak on the Creative Economy or the knowledge based economy… It’s about people being able to establish businesses where they want to be and to connect to the world through the internet…there is no more powerful example of the creative economy than the Virtual High School. It has much more than regional importance, I believe it has national importance, as it is visionary in the creative economy in Canada. It’s the future.”

Lewington went on to list some of the positive impacts that the VHS’s move to 27 Main St. N. has had on the local community. These included: good local high tech jobs for young people, money coming in from around the world that stays in the area and their presence will encourage other like businesses to start up in the community.

“Apart from this facility, the VHS also employs educators in our community that are online. There are 550 jobs on Main Street, that are primarily tourism driven, this helps a lot to diversify our economy,” said Lewington.

Lewington also commended the Bakers for making a conscious decision to hire local builders and trades for their facility where ever possible allowing all of those construction dollars to flow through the local Bluewater economy. He also thanked them for getting involved in the community philanthropically. Baker is a BACC board member and VHS has become sponsors for such recent projects as the BACC village calendar and the Festival of Fitness and Art in Bayfield.

What people didn’t see when touring the beautifully transformed Martha Ritz are the 64 distinct high school courses that VHS offers to 4,600 active students instructed by 60 Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) online instructors. They did, however, have the opportunity to meet VHS’s administrative staff of 14 who were available at the open house to field questions.

Like the building that VHS now calls home, the business has a storied history.

According to the VHS website, in the fall of 1995, the first Canadian online course, designed in Notepad, became viewable to anyone using the Netscape browser. Baker developed this Grade 11 Biology course while working as a staff member at Goderich District Collegiate Institute (GDCI). Following the success of the online Biology course, Baker worked with Smallwood in 1996 to develop a Grade 13 Canadian Literature course (ELIOA) that won second prize for best online course in North America at NAWEB 97.

VHS was not an overnight success story, after this initial success in creating online courses, Baker would face a few challenges and obstacles that prevented his vision from growing. Despite these setbacks he persevered writing, developing and teaching online courses.

The VHS website also acknowledges that during the same time period, Baker was also involved in the development of another company involving his children and led by son, John. Desire2Learn was established in 1999. It used the VHS online courses as a base from which their learning management system was patterned.

But the struggle continued. The VHS website notes that Baker had only one student in 2001 and nine students in 2002. It was then that he applied to the Ministry of Education in Ontario to be granted status as an inspected private school that would have the ability to grant Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) credits. Following a number of inspections by the education ministry, VHS became a fully accredited, inspected private school in Ontario in April 2003, offering credits entirely online and has remained so ever since.

Each course costs $499 and no textbooks are required. Course content is written and developed by VHS curriculum developers matching the requirements of the province’s education ministry. The online courses have proven to be a terrific way for some students to achieve their education. International students, home schooled youth, star athletes, and musicians, even students who have faced bullying in a traditional education format can and do benefit from online learning. They can set their own learning pace and don’t face set deadlines for assignments or tests. There is no end of day bell or summer vacation to interrupt the learning process.

With the continuing growth of VHS, Baker determined they needed to have a more visible presence in Bayfield. He was drawn to the Martha Ritz for its great location. He saw potential in the building and liked the idea of VHS being right on Main Street, since staff and visitors would be able to visit all the restaurants and stores in the area with ease. Baker's apparent love of history may also have played a part in selecting the site as he shared several anecdotes from the property's past during his remarks.

According to an article published in a souvenir program created for the village’s centennial in 1976, Wm. Connor first purchased the land in 1853. The first building constructed on the property was called “The Exchange”. Connor had this building partially torn down with one section being moved up the street to form the main part of Tippet’s harness shop. In the late 1800s “The Queen’s Hotel” was fashioned. This large frame building had an elegant two-story verandah and a small tower room that attractively broke the roofline at the front. Over the years it was a hotel, a boarding house and a private home. Then in 1923 Martha Ritz moved to the village from Stratford and purchased the building. She married Tom Bailey and the couple ran the Martha Ritz Hotel together until that infamous Labour Day Weekend in 1947 when it burned to the ground. It was said, the pair rebuilt, “The New Ritz”, quite literally on the ashes of the destroyed hotel.

In more recent years, Gayle and Pat Waters, proprietors of the neighboring Little Inn of Bayfield owned the building. During that time it housed hotel rooms, a gourmet food store, spa and later a restaurant.

Baker noted that when the building was lifted in the summer of 2011 to accommodate a full basement, the fabled ashes were indeed exposed, buried within they discovered the old boiler door. An artifact they had cleaned up and framed. It now graces the entrance to the building’s second storey.

The construction project, with John Chapman working as contractor, started in early February 2011. The VHS administration was fully ensconced on the second floor of their new home one-year later.

During Ontario Heritage Week in Feb. of this year, the Bluewater Heritage Committee honored the Bakers for the work they had completed on this heritage- designated building. The open concept design allows employees to effectively communicate with each other.

Baker explained to those gathered at the ribbon cutting the meaning behind the VHS logo that now adorns the second story front porch of the building.

The shiny red apple is the classic education/teaching symbol. The “waves” going out of the stem of the apple are meant to symbolize the virtual/online aspect that allows VHS to reach students around the world.

Stayed tuned…there is another apple in the basket but this one is green. Virtual Elementary School, a project that has been in the works for a couple of years, is now available for students in Grades 6-8.





PIXILATED — image of the week

Victoria Weekend

"Victoria Weekend"...By Cate Cuerden

Email your photo in Jpeg format to with the subject line Subscriber Photo of the Week. or...Upload your photo to Flickr.

I am looking for the Bayfield that is a delight to the eye – please share photos with a touch of whimsy, beauty, humor or a sense of fun. If you are to include people in your photos be sure to have their permission to publish their picture on-line and also send in their names and where they are from. And don’t forget to tell me who took the photo for proper credit to be issued







Melody Falconer-Pounder


The women (Bonnie Sitter and Dianne Waun) behind the Facebook Group “Save the Elm Trees – Huron County/Hwy4” are asking for the support of the community again to help prevent the cutting of a healthy Elm Tree located 1.6 KM from Kippen between 911 addresses 73894 and 73960. The MTO has deemed that it needs to be cut down due to its proximity to the highway. It has been said that this tree is neither rare nor endangered. There are a few folks that would like to dispute this, I think. With ongoing road improvements, a tree gracing the side of a county road is becoming a rare sight indeed! And this particular tree is endangered as bureaucracy now threatens its very existence. It took a great deal of passion to save the largest Elm on this stretch of highway, a neighbor to the Elm now threatened, and yet a very simple solution (placing reflectors around it) was achieved when everyone worked together. Hopefully this can be done for the neighboring tree as well. I do hope that next time I drive that stretch of highway I can still delight in the beauty that four remaining Elm trees provide - not just three. (One of the five was deemed diseased and its removal is not being disputed.) Anyone who wishes to email in support of saving this tree should send their correspondence to and

It has also been brought to my attention that a commemorative plaque has gone missing off the Post Office Building on Main Street. The building itself will be demolished soon to make way for the new library, washrooms and post office and members of the Bluewater Heritage Committee (BHC) were planning on retrieving the plaque so that it could grace the front of the new post office when construction is complete. The plaque is brass and bears the names of all Bayfield’s past Post Masters and Mistresses. It could be that someone had the forethought to remove the plaque for safekeeping. Either way both members of the Bayfield Historical Society and BHC would like to know its whereabouts. It can be returned without question to The Bayfield Archives, attention Bill Rowat, or dropped off at the home of Geordie Palmer, 19 Louisa St. or a strictly confidential call can be made to Palmer at 519 565-2903.

These two important “Submissions” leave little room for my thoughts on the week past, I would, however, like to congratulate all involved with the grand opening of the Virtual High School! Just one more reason Bayfield is such a unique and wonderful place.

And I would also like to thank Donald Broadfoot, and his adorable sidekick, Rosie, for taking me for a spin in the sidecar of his 1940 restored Indian during Bayfield Old Bike Day on Sunday. One great thing about being the Editor of the Bayfield Breeze is you never know where an assignment will lead you! - 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 519-565-2443.
Hope to see you online soon at 


Bookmark and Share

Click to sign up for weekly email notices.

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: Ian Matthew, Roger Lewington, Mike Dixon, John Pounder, Dennis Pal, Melody Falconer-Pounder