bayfield breeze issue

The Bayfield BreezeIssue 653 Week 03 Vol 13

January 12, 2022


Issue 653 Week 03  Vol 13
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What’s up Dude!


This image captured the moment when Sean Taylor first met Dude when the Bayfield resident travelled to Toronto to see him. (Submitted photos)

51729945564_470783cafe_oIn contrast to his casual and laid-back moniker, Dude has quite an intelligent and noble appearance. He is a Suluki / Labrador mixed breed and he is quite unlike any other dog you have ever seen with his sleek and shiny gold coat and aristocratic profile.

Dude began his life as a stray puppy at a construction site in Bahrain. No one knows how he came to be there, but apparently Bahrain has many stray dogs living in difficult circumstances. One day, the young puppy wandered over to a school across the street where the children took a shine to him. Despite being somewhat apprehensive about interacting with a strange dog, the teacher decided that the school should attempt to find him a permanent home. Some of the parents volunteered to take the puppy in for two weeks at a time, but this was not an ideal solution.


A few days later Sean Taylor and Dude were on the road to Bayfield together. (This image was taken at a traffic stop.)

The teacher and the children resolved that they would endeavor to raise enough funds to have an international rescue organization find the young dog a home. The agreement was such, that if the children could meet the financial threshold, they would be able to name the puppy and choose the country to which he would be sent. It wasn’t long before all the bake sales paid off and arrangements were made with the rescue organization, Paws Across the Water, and their Bahrain affiliate, Rays of Hope, to place the young dog.

For some reason, the children were under the impression that Canada was the surfing mecca of the Western Hemisphere, and before long, the newly named “Dude” was flying to his new home in the Great White North.

20200228_180137The first time, Dude, a dog originally from Bahrain, encountered a really wintery day!


The first time, Dude, a dog originally from Bahrain, encountered a really wintery day!

Meanwhile, Sean Taylor and Heather Church, of Bayfield, were tending to their own two dogs. One was a foster dog that would soon be leaving them and the other was a senior dog who had become deaf and blind. Taylor had become particularly attached to his foster dog and was feeling quite sad about her impending departure. Both he and Church were also feeling somewhat down about the declining health of their older dog. In an effort to channel his grief, Taylor began scouring the internet looking for a dog that needed a home. He soon spotted Dude in a posting by the rescue organization. The ad caught his eye because it mentioned that Dude had come from Bahrain. Coincidentally, Taylor had previously become friends with a fellow from that country while he was attending university in Toronto.

By this time, Dude was resting his heels in a kennel near Toronto. Sadly, his adoption was not going as planned. He had been taken in by four different families on a trial basis and all of them had returned him to the kennel deeming him to be “unsuitable”. Taylor decided to visit the location and took Dude out for a very short walk. He was warned by the staff that Dude could be difficult and somewhat hyperactive and that he was afraid of loud noises. That was an understatement. Nevertheless, Taylor felt compelled to give Dude another chance, particularly because “he was just so cute”.

Selling Church on the idea was a bit tricky but Taylor promised that if things didn’t work out, he would reluctantly return Dude to the kennel. It was a bit of a rough start to the new family dynamic but after a few weeks, both Taylor and Church were determined to provide Dude with a permanent home.

Shortly after making the commitment, a vet discovered that Dude had a serious heart condition. He would require an expensive and difficult operation to repair a heart valve. Paws Across the Water was able to do some fundraising and contributed $8,000 toward the surgery which was performed at the Veterinary Hospital in Guelph. Dude was only six-months-old, but he had already lived a lifetime of struggles.

Two years have passed since then and Dude is now almost three years-old. He is currently Taylor and Church’s only dog. He has fully recovered from his surgery but is required to take a daily medication to ensure his continued good health. He has an active daily routine to keep him fit which has also served to improve Taylor’s lifestyle. Whereas, he was previously a “night owl”, Taylor now finds himself an early riser and walks Dude three or four times a day.

Dude has mellowed and matured, but he will still become anxious on occasion. He is somewhat stressed by loud noises such as airplanes, construction work, or fireworks. When asked what the greatest reward was in adopting their dog, Taylor stated that he and Church do not have any children of their own and Dude has become a cherished companion and family member.

It took a lot of effort and specialized help to repair Dude’s damaged heart, but in the end, he managed to heal a couple of human hearts in the process.

“Bayfield People and Canine Community, Inc. (Bayfield PACC) is a registered not-for-profit in Ontario with a volunteer executive management team and volunteer board of directors. Bayfield PACC is supported by an active group of responsible dog owners and volunteers in the community and by like-minded friends of Bayfield PACC on Facebook at Bayfield P.A.C.C. and Instagram at Bayfield PACC. For more information please visit:”

Editor’s Note: The Bayfield People and Canine Community (PACC) is interested in hearing from residents who have an interesting story to tell about how they came to acquire their dog. Whether your pet came from near, or far, please contact the Bayfield PACC to share your story. They can be reached via the contacts listed above.


So many people came together to make the holiday season a special one for the clients of the Bayfield Area Food Bank (BAFB), all of which deserve thanks. A person only needs to look through the archived issues of the Bayfield Breeze to review how many in the community have supported BAFB during this festive time of year – from campgrounds and businesses hosting food drives to the local grocery store organizing a brown bag campaign and providing a place for people to make cash donations.

“The generosity of our community is indeed impressive,” said Terry Henderson, president of the BAFB Board of Directors. “We are so very blessed to live in this caring part of the world!”

Some of the generous and thoughtful donors that have yet to be thanked include:

Dianne Brandon, of Dianne Brandon Photography for collecting on the BAFB’s behalf during special photoshoots as well as providing a generous donation of “Bayfield Maple” syrup for clients.

Bruce Power again reached out to all the area food banks, with grocery store gift cards for all of their clients, done up beautifully in Christmas cards for them.

“The Bruce Power employees have been extremely generous multiple times over, during the course of the pandemic. BAFB is very grateful for their ongoing and very generous support,” said Henderson.

Leading up to Christmas, the Lions Club of Bayfield, in partnership with a number of Bayfield restaurants, organized a food collection during the Bayfield Walkabout. The BAFB would like to the Lions, and the restaurants involved, for collecting on behalf of their clients.

“Our thanks also to River Road Brewery for their food collection during their ‘Hopped Up Holiday Market’ held over three December weekends,” said Henderson. “We are so grateful to the organizations and businesses that continue to collect on behalf of the food bank. I really cannot stress enough, how very thankful we at BAFB are, for this continued support from every corner of our community!”

Hessenland Restaurant at St. Joseph’s donated holiday dinners to a number of BAFB clients on Dec. 23rd, insuring a happier Christmas for those clients.

“Many thanks to the businesses involved with Hessenland, to enable this generous donation,” said Henderson.

Margaret Fouts, of Lakeshore United Church in Goderich, donated hand knit wash cloths, made by their Knitting Group, for all our clients in December, and Terry Boa Youmatoff did them up beautifully with ribbon and adding a bar of soap.

The members of Bayfield Guiding donated a terrific collection of warm mitts and gloves for BAFB clients!

“That was so kind of the girls, and I’m sure a welcome addition to our client’s Christmas orders,” she said.

She added, “A special mention also, to an area resident that worked for weeks and weeks, maybe months, preparing local black walnuts, that were then gifted to our clients and also to our volunteers. This resident gave so much of her time, to beautifully prepare and package the walnuts as a Christmas gift to us at BAFB. Many thanks to her for her kindness.”

Henderson went on to say that she would like to thank the many volunteers at BAFB that have given of themselves many times over, not just this last busy month of December, but throughout the year.

“We have had a challenging time, more than a year now, working with the various changing pandemic protocols; working with less volunteers at any given time due to the necessary restrictions; dealing with a much larger work load and yet our volunteers are a dedicated group, and continue to meet these challenges,” she said. “BAFB is entirely volunteer run. Many, many thanks to all that make this happen! Month after month, we are meeting the challenge, and I should add, we are absolutely honored to be able to provide this service to our community.”

For anyone who would like to support BAFB with a monetary gift, there are a few options available. Cheques can be mailed to: Bayfield Area Food Bank, 10 Keith Cres., Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0. An e-transfer can be made through BAFB’s gmail account: or a donation can be received on-line through the website. All donations of $20 or more will be receipted for tax purposes. BAFB is a registered charity with CRA. Anyone who would like a receipt, is asked to ensure that their name and address are clearly provided along with the donation.

Anyone in need of assistance at this time, is asked to please reach out through either an email to or phone/text 519 955-7444. All enquiries are handled with complete confidentiality.

Collection bins for non-perishable items can now be found on the north porch by the Parish Hall at Trinity St. James Anglican Church and in the foyer of the Bayfield Public Library on Main Street (during opening hours). The library is the best place to donate if items are in danger of freezing, as the donations are kept indoors until a BAFB volunteer can collect them. The third drop off location, Crichet Handmade Designs, 20 Catherine St, Unit C, (the little barn across from Virtual High School) is now closed until the spring but the BAFB appreciates that owner Gaby Parejo hosted the bin at her store over the Christmas season.


Jamie Stanley profilepic2020

Const. Jamie Stanley (Submitted photo)

Friends of Bayfield Library (FOBL) and Huron County Library are pleased to co-sponsor the Winter 2022 “Virtual Saturdays at the Library” speaker series.

All are welcome to join the ZOOM meeting on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 10:30 a.m. The January speaker will be Constable James Stanley, OPP. His topic will be “Don’t be the Next Victim” and will cover such issues as trending scams, common scam techniques, how to detect a scam, and what to do if you become a victim.

Savvy con artists are creating more and more sophisticated scams designed to trick unsuspecting and trusting victims into giving them money. Examples include: phishing emails and texts, fake online shopping ads, prize notifications, and emergency scams among others.

Constable Stanley is the Community Safety Officer/Media Relations Officer for the Huron County OPP Detachment. He has been in policing for twenty-one years. Prior to his policing career, Constable Stanley was with the Canada Border Services Agency in Windsor, ON.

Constable Stanley’s message should be of great interest to many in the community.

Anyone wishing to participate in the ZOOM meeting is asked to pre-register by clicking on the link provided on the FOBL website:


As the temperatures drop and nature begins creating its usual winter phenomena along the Lake Huron shorelines, the Municipality of Bluewater is reminding residents and visitors to enjoy the lake from a distance.

As ice forms on the lake, it constantly breaks up, refreezes, and gets pushed toward the shoreline, forming ice shelves that can stretch several meters out into the lake. It appears almost as an extension of the shoreline in some places and is very appealing to the adventurous walker or photographer.

However, these surfaces are not safe to walk on.

Unlike the ice that forms over bodies of standing water, ice forming over the Great Lakes is thinner and less stable because the lake is always moving beneath it. What appears to be thick, stable ice, can hide large cracks or caverns. One wrong step and individuals can find themselves falling through the cracks and getting trapped in the caverns or plunging into the frigid waters. Hypothermia can set in within minutes if the temperatures are cold enough. Depending on conditions, it can be difficult for rescue crews to respond.

As beautiful as these natural phenomena are, it is far better, and safer, to enjoy them from the shore.


Postcards from Huron County templates

To inspire travel and recall memories along Ontario’s West Coast, Mandy Sinclair launched an eight-part podcast series entitled, “Postcards from Huron County” yesterday (Jan. 11). New episodes of the podcast will be released every two weeks until Apr. 19.

Host and recently-returned local, Sinclair, has created an eight-part podcast series that takes listeners on an intimate journey to Huron County, traditionally the territories of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples. Each episode delves into an aspect of the heritage and often lesser known history of the area as told to Sinclair in conversation with historians and community members who have a close connection to each subject.

Guests and topics featured in the series include Jenna McGuire on the Historic Saugeen Metis; board members sharing memories from their years volunteering with the Clinton Spring Fair; Sinead Cox speaking about the Home Children; David Yates on prohibition in Huron County; and a director and local who inspired characters in the Blyth Festival’s Wing Night at the Boot.

“I grew up in Huron County and, after spending time in Morocco, returned to the area in July 2020. I began exploring the region’s nature trails and cycling through its small communities. As a naturally curious person, questions about the area’s history started to emerge. By chance, I stumbled upon a sign indicating the way to the Point Farms Hotel at Point Farms Provincial Park. The hotel’s immensity and former glory days amazed me, but I left wanting to know more – who stayed there? Where did they come from? What did they do while there? What did they eat? And, so began the idea for Postcards from Huron County.”

People are invited to preview the trailer of Postcards from Huron County on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and Stitcher. One link to the trailer can be found here:

Postcards from Huron County is made possible with funding from the Huron Heritage Fund and Community Futures Huron – Community Projects Initiative and the support of Clint Mackie, Andrew Bouck, Nick Vinnicombe, and Mark Hussey at Faux Pop Media.


Hike? Yes! Lunch? No (sorry).

The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) will kick off its 2022 season with a Winter Hike and on Saturday, Jan. 15 but unfortunately, they have cancelled the traditional lunch following the hike.

The hike will begin at 11 a.m. at the Varna Complex.

“In the current circumstances, we didn’t feel comfortable serving food to our hiking guests – and we weren’t sure they would want to gather closely, even outside” said Hike Coordinator Ralph Blasting. “But we have an exciting series lined up for 2022 and we hope lots of folks will join us on our first outing.”

Hikers of all ages are welcome to join a guided walk on the Taylor Trail and Mavis’ Trail. The Taylor Trail is an easy one km loop through the woods, while Mavis’ Trail is a more challenging 2.5 km circuit to the Bayfield River. Hikers may choose to do one or both, with the full distance taking about 90 minutes. Of course, on Jan. 15 trail conditions could be snowy or icy, so warm clothes and snow/ice cleats are recommended. On the trails, masks are optional when distanced and the vaccination status of hikers is not checked. The Varna Complex is 5 km east of Bayfield on the Mill Road. Map at

This is also the event at which BRVTA members are encouraged to renew their annual memberships and new hikers to join. Membership is $20 for individuals and $30 for families of two or more. All funds go to support the volunteer work of the BRVTA.



The Bayfield Community Centre and Arena will be closed from now through to Jan. 26 respecting the current lockdown currently in effect.

“We look forward to reopening and getting back together as a community,” said Jeff Kish, director of Marketing for the Bayfield Community Centre.

Visit www.bayfieldcommunitycentre occasionally to get new updates please.


Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the congregation of Trinity St. James Anglican Church in Bayfield has decided to move services back online for the foreseeable future.

To learn more visit


In their efforts to promote community well being, the Session of Knox Bayfield have decided to resume online-only worship services.

All are invited to join them on Sundays at 11 a.m. on ZOOM.


The Session will reassess the situation in February.

To learn more visit for a ZOOM link, a link to the Knox YouTube page or follow them on Facebook at


Jasmine (Submitted photo)

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

Jasmine is the Adopt-a-BFF cat of the week

Jasmine is a lovely, little girl. Although very timid and fearful upon arrival at the Rescue she has blossomed into quite the purr machine.

She is a “puppy-cat” meaning that she will follow her humans everywhere and just generally want to hang out with the people in her life. She also seems to love the water. She “helps” to do the dishes, loves it if the tap is running and has no fear of jumping into the sink – when it is empty. In fact, her new family shouldn’t be surprised if she decides to curl up in it.

Jasmine is about one-year-old and is definitely ready to move in with a family of her own!

Whose sink will Jasmine soon claim as her own? Please email for more information,, if you have room in your home for her.

The adoption fee is now $200. Adopted cats are vetted, shots are up-to-date and they are also spayed or neutered. Donations are also always appreciated. E-transfers can be sent to the Rescue’s email 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.



Ian Jean, Forestry and Stewardship specialist with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. (Submitted photo)

As we begin 2022, resilience is once again a common theme, according to Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) staff. Forests and natural areas are an important part of resilient communities. They provide economic and recreation opportunities and places to gather and reflect, said Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist with ABCA, Ian Jean. He said forests also help to create clean air and clean water. They also contribute to better mental and physical health, he said.

People in our communities have been resilient especially over the past two years. The natural areas we depend on and enjoy must also be resilient, said Jean. Drought, storms, pest outbreaks, and disease have impacted our forests over the years.

“Forests have natural qualities that help them recover,” said the Forestry Specialist. “Genetic variability in trees and species diversity in forests are important for adaptation and recovery.”

There are complex connections between plants and fungi in the forest we are only beginning to understand, he said. Enhancing the qualities that help natural areas recover from stress are more important now than ever, according to Jean. Climate change, invasive species and newly introduced pests and diseases bring additional strain to natural systems.

“Our natural areas today are very fragmented,” he said. “This makes them more vulnerable to the impacts of drought, pests or disease but there are several things we can do to enhance the resilience of our natural areas.”

Planting trees to enlarge and connect natural areas helps build resilience. Larger forests and natural areas have less edge effect and tend to have stronger associations between plants, fungi and animals. This reduces opportunities for invasive species and improves recovery from stressors. Connecting natural areas allows movement of wildlife, pollinators and genetic exchange necessary for adaptation and recovery following disturbance.

Dutch Elm Disease and Emerald Ash Borer and other invasive pests have had major local impacts in recent memory but our forests show an incredible ability to recover and adapt, Jean said. While there are challenges ahead, he prefers cautious optimism over worst-case scenarios.

“We are in a good position with tools, resources and knowledge to build resiliency and help forests recover and adapt,” he said.

People can all contribute, according to the Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist. In backyards, planting native wildflowers to enhance pollinator habitat is important. On farms, naturalizing unproductive land, small or odd-shaped fields, or rough valley lands improves resilience. These areas can be actively restored through planting or simply left to let nature take over. The advantage of an active approach, according to Jean, is the ability to enhance species’ diversity and function.

Planting different kinds of trees and native vegetation can be used to enhance diversity.

“Diversity is very important,” he said. “More diverse forests are more resilient to disease, pests and climate stress.” Equally important, according to Jean, is matching trees appropriately to the soil type, drainage and other site characteristics.

ABCA offers a wide range of trees through its spring tree planting program. Jean encourages interested landowners to visit for the spring tree order form or to give him a call at 519 235-2610 or toll-free at 1-888-286-2610 to discuss planting projects.

“We’re happy to help with project design and help to apply for funding for eligible projects,” he said.

Funding programs are available in many areas for naturalization dependent on the type of project, location and specific program details.

ABCA thanks grant program funding partners including member municipalities, Huron County Clean Water Project, Forests Ontario, the Government of Canada’s Canada Nature Fund, and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, along with community donors and other valued funding partners.


On Jan. 3, the Province of Ontario announced that all publicly funded and private schools would move to remote learning starting Jan. 5 until at least Jan. 17, subject to public health trends and operational considerations.

During this remote learning period, the County of Huron Children’s Services Division and partner agencies are providing free Emergency Licensed Child Care for school-aged children of health care and other eligible frontline workers. This started on Jan. 10. Licensed child care programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and centre-based kindergarten programs will remain open.

Emergency Licensed Child Care services are reserved exclusively for children of essential workers identified in the Province of Ontario’s List of Workers Eligible for Emergency Child Care, who have exhausted all other alternatives. Both parents are required to submit verification of employment and at least one parent is required to be on the eligibility list from the Province. Child Care will only be available for the dates that both parents are required to be working outside of the home.

Child Care Centres currently providing Emergency Child Care:

  • London Bridge: Exeter Elementary School, 93 Victoria St E, Exeter, ON N0M 1S1
  • Clinton Co-operative Childcare Centre: Clinton Elementary School, 27 Percival St. Clinton, ON N0M 1L0
  • Clinton Co-operative Childcare Centre: Goderich Public School, 125 Blake St. Goderich, ON N7A 1Z1
  • Walton Little School Inc.: 42659 Walton, Brussels ON N0G 1H0

The County of Huron will be approving applications for Emergency Licensed Child Care spaces for eligible families on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible workers seeking to access Emergency Licensed Child Care for their school-aged children are required to complete and submit the online application. Spaces are limited.

More information and applications forms can be found at:

The County of Huron has worked closely with Huron-Perth Public Health to develop procedures that are required in the operation of Emergency Licensed Child Care services to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The County’s Children’s Services Team and partner agencies remains committed to providing necessary and essential community services to Huron residents. The County of Huron thanks local Child Care Providers, and all essential workers, for their continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Noted in a press release issued on Jan. 7, Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) continues to book appointments at HPPH mass vaccination clinics as quickly as possible for all eligible individuals. Clinics continue to provide first, second and third/booster doses.

Partners in Huron Perth continue to provide as many COVID-19 vaccinations as possible. Visit to see local vaccination opportunities.

Despite recent challenges with its booking system, HPPH has been filling vaccination clinics to capacity. The online booking system has been closed due to technical issues and HPPH apologizes for the inconvenience and difficulty it has caused for people trying to make appointments. HPPH will be moving online booking to a new system, and expects it to be available mid-January. As well, HPPH has dedicated booking staff working seven days a week to call those who have left messages or submitted forms.

They have an appointment request form available at and the HPPH booking phone line, 1-833-753-2098, is open. They continue to book appointments by phone. They are experiencing very high call volumes and it may take them longer to get back to callers. Please be patient and do not leave multiple messages or submit multiple forms as it slows down their response time.

In keeping with provincial guidance, they are also working to ensure access to vaccine for the following groups:

  • Healthcare workers and those in congregate settings – if you work in a healthcare or congregate living setting, contact your employer if you have not already been given information.
  • Education and childcare workers – HPPH will work with school boards, childcare services and related employers to provide further details.
  • Pregnant individuals – if you are pregnant, you may walk in to any HPPH clinic for vaccination; no appointment is needed. They do not require a note from your primary care provider, obstetrician, or midwife.

Select local pharmacies also continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines. A complete list is available at

Either mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) may be used as a booster dose, regardless of which vaccine was received for the first or second dose. The first available vaccine people can get as a booster is the best one.

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or are isolating because of an exposure, is asked to please not come to their vaccination appointment. They will need to reschedule their appointment.

As of Jan. 4, HPPH and partners have administered 257,198 vaccine doses in Huron Perth. Eighty-three percent of Huron Perth residents aged five and older have received at least one dose of vaccine, 78 per cent are fully vaccinated with two doses, and 31 per cent have received three doses of vaccine. Nearly 40 per cent of five to 11 year-olds have received their first dose.


The Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home emergency cold weather shelter is extending its hours. By extending shelter hours, staff are able to continue offering guests overnight accommodation, plus add a day use centre. Shelter guests also receive wrap-around supports, including meals.

“Extended shelter hours is welcome news, particularly in response to the current provincial restrictions that have required many businesses to close to the public,” said Director of Social and Property Services, Barbara Hall. “Day use hours ensure washrooms and warm spaces are available to those who may otherwise be forced to face the winter elements.”

The shelter is staffed by the Heart to Home Stability Team. These individuals have been specially trained in trauma informed care, substance use, and mental health services. Since the opening of the shelter in 2020, 16 individuals have been successfully, permanently homed with assistance from the Stability Team. This Team will continue this important work in 2022.

“I extend my heartfelt thanks to the staff and partners involved in this project.” said Huron County Warden Glen McNeil. “The pandemic has required all of us to shift and pivot many times, often with little or no notice. The team responsible for the Out of the Cold shelter have again worked swiftly to ensure the safety of our community. Thank you to the entire team.”

The Huron Out of the Cold Shelter is located at Lakeshore United Church, 56 North St., Goderich. To access use front door entrance. The phone number is 519 525-5922. COVID-19 screening and restrictions are in place, including mask wearing.

The shelter is open Monday to Friday with the following hours: 9 a.m. to noon, open for day use; noon to 2:30 p.m., closed for cleaning purposes; 2:30-5:30 p.m., open for day use as of today (Jan. 12); 5:30-7 p.m., closed for evening set up; 7 p.m. to 8 a.m., open for overnight guests. Saturday to Sunday and Holidays: 5 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., open for overnight guests. There is no admission after 10 p.m. on any day of the week including holidays.

Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home is run by the County of Huron in partnership with: Choices for Change; CMHA Thames Valley Addiction & Mental Health Services and Lakeshore United Church.

For more information on Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home and the topic of homelessness in Huron please visit


Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson has announced a new $10,000 grant for eligible businesses that are subject to closures under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. She also announced that the Ontario government will provide additional electricity-rate relief for businesses, as well as workers and families spending more time at home.

“I am well aware of the sacrifices and hardships businesses, workers, and families have endured during these unprecedented times,” Thompson said. “That is why we will continue to support them in unprecedented ways.”

As part of a comprehensive plan to support workers and businesses, the government is announcing an Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. It will provide eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000.

Eligible small businesses include: restaurants and bars; facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms); performing arts and cinemas; museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions; meeting or event spaces; tour and guide services; conference centres and convention centres; driving instruction for individuals; and Before-and-After school programs.

Eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and that are subject to closure under modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and will not need to apply to the new program. Newly established and newly eligible small businesses will need to apply once the application portal opens in the coming weeks. Small businesses that qualify can expect to receive their payment in February.

“Small businesses, job creators and the entrepreneurial spirit are the backbone of Ontario’s economy. Unfortunately, these businesses have been some of the most impacted by COVID-19, and many continue to struggle,” said Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli. “Since the start of the pandemic, we have provided unprecedented supports for businesses in every region of the province. With the new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant, our government will provide relief for thousands of small businesses that create jobs for hard working Ontarians.”

The Ontario government is also providing electricity-rate relief to support small businesses, as well as workers and families spending more time at home while the province is in Modified Step Two. For 21 days starting at 12:01 am on Tuesday, Jan. 18, electricity prices will be set 24 hours a day at the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate.

The off-peak rate will apply automatically to residential, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility and will benefit customers on both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans.

“We know that spending more time at home means using more electricity during the day when prices are higher, that’s why we are moving to off-peak electricity rates 24 hours per day, seven days a week,” said Minister of Energy, Todd Smith. “The off-peak rate will provide immediate savings for families, small businesses and farms as all Ontarians work together to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.”

Further, online applications for the previously-announced Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will open on Jan. 18. This program will provide eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for up to 100 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.

Eligible businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs.

Those required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs. A complete list of eligible businesses will be provided prior to the launch of the application portal.

The government is also improving cash flows for Ontario businesses by providing up to $7.5 billion through a six-month interest-and-penalty-free period that started Jan. 1 for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. This supports businesses now and provides the flexibility they will need for long-term planning. Building on Ontario’s efforts to improve cash flows for businesses, the province continues to call on the federal government to match provincial tax deferral efforts by allowing small businesses impacted by public health restrictions to defer their HST remittances for a period of six months.

“Ontario’s heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries have been hit first, hardest, and are expected to take the longest to recover from the pandemic,” said Lisa MacLeod, minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “These new supports are critical to protect sectors that contribute more than $76 billion and hundreds of thousands of jobs in communities across the province.”

These measures will build on Ontario’s support for businesses and workers, including:

  • Cutting wholesale alcohol prices to provide approximately $60 million in annual support to restaurants, bars and other businesses, as well as making it easier for businesses to create and extend patios and permanently allowing licenced restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order.
  • Extending COVID-19 paid sick days until July 31 to keep workers safe and ensure they do not lose pay if they need to miss work for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Providing targeted COVID-19 support through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which delivered $3 billion in urgent and unprecedented support to over 110,000 small businesses across the province.

These measures will also build on Ontario’s support for businesses and workers, enabling an estimated $10.1 billion in cost savings and support to Ontario businesses in 2021, with more than 60 per cent, or $6.3 billion, going to small businesses, including:

  • Supporting a reduction in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board premiums.
  • Allowing businesses to accelerate write-offs of capital investments for tax purposes.
  • Reducing the small business Corporate Income Tax rate to 3.2 per cent.
  • Providing the Digital Main Street program, which helped more than 20,000 businesses across the province to increase their digital presence in 2020-21.
  • Introducing and temporarily enhancing the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit to encourage investments in certain regions of Ontario that have lagged in employment growth in the past.
  • Providing targeted COVID-19 support through the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant.
  • Lowering high Business Education Tax rates for job creators.
  • Increasing the Employer Health Tax exemption from $490,000 to $1 million.
  • Lowering electricity bills through measures such as the Comprehensive Electricity Plan, with the Province paying for a portion of high-priced, non-hydro renewable energy contracts.
  • Providing targeted COVID-19 support through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which delivered $3 billion in urgent and unprecedented support to over 110,000 small businesses across the province.


2021 12 08 CNOY - FINAL

Those who participate in the Coldest Night of the Year Walk that raise over $150 – $75 for youth under 18 – will receive a CNOY toque. (Submitted photo)

United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) is encouraging residents to bundle up and raise money for the third annual Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) walk in Goderich, a family-friendly winter fundraising event for local individuals experiencing homelessness, hunger and hurt.

“We’re very happy to welcome CNOY back again this year,” said UWPH Goderich & Area Community Committee Chair Beth Blowes. “Funds raised address real challenges in Goderich and area around the issue of chronic homelessness. Based on the success of the past two walks, our community truly understands how important this issue is. We invite everyone to join us in working to raise $94,000 in support of our most vulnerable residents.”

By walking, participants will better understand the experience of being on the streets during a cold Canadian winter while raising funds to aid UWPH’s local work in support of the Huron Homelessness Initiative in Goderich. The initiative includes programs such as the Huron supportive housing worker, shelter for women, children and youth and temporary emergency shelter during the cold months.

This year’s Goderich walk includes a COVID-safe, outdoor event on Saturday, Feb. 26, and a virtual option to walk any time, any distance during the month of February. The in-person walk begins at 5 p.m. and features a two or five km circuit around Courthouse Square. Participants raising over $150 — $75 for youth under 18— receive a CNOY toque. To register as an individual or team, visit

Last year’s all-virtual CNOY raised $92,492 during the month of February thanks to the efforts of 232 walkers, 44 teams and 1,421 donors.


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 and also the per centage of people vaccinated please visit:


Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has recognized outstanding achievements in conservation, each year since 1984, with conservation awards. Past award winners have included rural landowners and residents, agricultural producers and farms, service clubs, community organizations, companies, nature groups and municipalities.

The local conservation authority is inviting the public to nominate a person, business, farm, community group, or organization in 2022 for the Conservationist of the Year Award. People may nominate someone for the award until Feb. 24.’

To submit a nomination, visit for the nomination form at this web page link:

“There are many local stewards helping to protect and enhance our local watershed resources and this award is one way we can say ‘Thank you’ for those positive stewardship actions,” said General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of ABCA, Brian Horner. “We have been pleased to recognize many deserving recipients over the years. We know there are many others deserving of recognition as well.”

Individuals, organizations or companies who either reside in, or have completed conservation work in, the ABCA area are eligible to win the Conservationist of the Year award. Current ABCA staff members and directors are excluded.

The Conservation Award acknowledges one individual or group per year who demonstrates positive conservation principles. The nominee must have undertaken conservation efforts over a number of years showing long-term benefits for nature and society. Examples of conservation work include: improving local water quality; conservation farming; reforestation; conservation education; providing wildlife and fish habitat; and promoting awareness and action for soil, water, and habitat.

ABCA presents the winner with a hand-crafted gift and makes a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods site maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.


The rapidly spreading Omicron variant has forced Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson to postpone her annual Remarkable Citizens recognition for a second consecutive year.

“This program has a long history of celebrating individuals who inspire a united sense of community,” Thompson said. “But, unfortunately, we must also acknowledge that it would be unsafe to do so at this time.”

The MPP added that the event, along with her annual New Year’s Levee originally scheduled for Jan. 12, have been postponed until further notice.

“Nominees who will be recognized for their 2021 efforts will be notified accordingly. Special consideration will be given to individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty to help their community manage the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Thompson said the tough decision to invoke further restrictions and return to online learning was not an easy one to make, but there is general concern for the province’s health care system as a result of Omicron.

“We all need to do our part to help curb this latest spread,” she said, noting that from Dec. 15-30, the province saw a 533 per cent increase in hospitalizations driven by Omicron.

“Even if only one per cent of cases are hospitalized, Ontario’s health care system is likely to become overwhelmed in the near future,” Thompson said, adding she encourages everyone to get the vaccine and booster shots.


As of Jan. 7, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Inpatient Surgery Unit at its Stratford General Hospital site after two patients tested positive.

Outbreak status refers to two COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period, where both cases could reasonably have been acquired in the hospital.

The unit is now closed to admissions until further notice. It should be noted that this outbreak has affected the Inpatient Surgery Unit, not the Operating Rooms or the Surgical Ambulatory Care Clinic.

Emergency/urgent surgeries at the hospital will continue and those patients will be admitted to another unit for their recovery.

Huron Perth Public Health has been notified and patients, family/caregivers and team members affected by the outbreak are in the process of being notified. Necessary contact tracing and testing for individuals on the unit is also taking place.

Family and caregiver presence on the Unit has been restricted. The only exception is for palliative patients. Care teams will regularly update families/caregivers and make them aware of opportunities for virtual connections.

“Our top priority is to the safety of our patients and team members,” said President and CEO, Andrew Williams. “We thank those adhering to our screening process, masking requirements and family and caregiver presence guidelines to help us prevent further spread of the virus within our hospital.”

Please note it is safe to receive care at Stratford General Hospital and the hospital remains open for all other scheduled clinics, procedures and emergency visits. HPHA will continue to update the community, as more or changing information occurs.


The Co-Chairs of Family Day WinterFest South Huron have announced that the one-day community festival is postponed to 2023.

Co-Chairs Jeff Musser and Dave Frayne say it’s disappointing to cancel the event for 2022 but they say it’s the right thing to do. They made the decision in order to help keep people safe during the latest wave of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and in light of the impact of the recent world-wide spread of the Omicron variant.

Family Day in Ontario is Monday, Feb. 21. The WinterFest Co-Chairs encourage individuals to observe direction from public health authorities as they celebrate Family Day in their own family circles this year.

Family Day WinterFest South Huron began, as a partnership of community groups and activities, in 2011, and continued for ten years. More than a dozen community groups worked in partnership, between 2011 and 2020, to create this single-day, family-friendly winter carnival for Exeter and area. The event drew thousands of people to the area with a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. The Co-Chairs say now is not the right time for an event of this size.

The Family Day festival ( could be back in 2023 if an improved pandemic situation makes it possible to hold the event safely.


The County of Huron believes engagement with residents is important as it prepares the 2022 budget. Huron Residents can learn more about the County’s annual budget process by visiting

“County Council and staff remain committed to providing quality services to residents and making Huron a safe, welcoming and affordable community,” said Warden Glen McNeil. “I wholeheartedly encourage residents to visit Huron County Connects and learn more about Huron’s budget process.”

As part of the annual budgeting process, all County departments draft and review their annual budget estimates under the strategic priorities set by County Council. At Council’s initial review of the budget, the draft budget is also made available to the community, who are encouraged to stay informed. After the public has had a chance to engage, Council again reviews and debates, before final approval of the budget is made.

Huron County Council’s budget session is scheduled for Feb. 9 (virtual). Council meeting agendas and livestream video access information is available online:

Please note that council meetings can only be viewed live and video recordings are not cached as per County policy. Stay informed on the County of Huron’s 2022 Budget process by visiting


January is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer Society of Huron County is pleased to announce it is launching a nation-wide campaign reminding people that the organization is the First Link® to support, knowledge and community.

A diagnosis of dementia is not easy. Making a quick connection to a community of support can make a big difference by eliminating uncertainty and unknowns. The Alzheimer Society is the first place to turn – and First Link® is the connection to support, care, knowledge, expertise, and referrals.

First Link® is the Alzheimer Society program offering approved services and information to those living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and caregivers. It encompasses the areas of Risk Reduction, Education, Living Well with the Disease, Community, Research, and Advocacy; an umbrella that brings together all aspects of the care and management of dementia in Canada.

With more than half a million Canadians living with dementia today, a number expected to reach almost one million in 10 years, the Alzheimer Society is continuing to enhance its support amongst people living with dementia to meet their needs early in, and throughout, their journey.

The goal of First Link® is to ensure a user of the services has the right support and information, from the time of an initial diagnosis and throughout the progression of the disease. By connecting with First Link, they will have access to all the services available to family caregivers and people with dementia in Huron County including counselling support, education, and a better understanding of accessing the right services during the different stages of the disease.

To get access to services and programs, call the Alzheimer Society of Huron County at 519 482-1482 or 1-800-561-5012 or ask their family doctor for a referral to the Alzheimer Society.

People are invited to get started addressing their concerns about dementia by improving their knowledge on the subject by participating in free, online winter education sessions offered by the Alzheimer Society of Huron County.

Every January the Alzheimer Society of Huron County offers free education sessions to help people answer their most pressing questions. These online education opportunities are also commitment free – anyone can register for one – or all of them.

People can register for these Winter 2022 programs on the Alzheimer Society of Huron County’s Education Hour page at They can also register by contacting the Alzheimer Society using the contact numbers provided above or by emailing

The sessions include: Dementia 101, Cargiver Resources, Dementia Basics and Memory and Aging.

Dementia 101 presents a general overview of dementia, what to expect, and where to turn. It is a starting point. This is the best option for anyone who is only able to attend one of these dementia education sessions.

Caregiver Resources will help clarify where to turn and what resources are available in Huron County. A First Link® Navigator will be there to answer questions.

The Dementia Basics Series is comprised of four, free, one-hour sessions designed to answer people’s most frequently asked questions. This series will be offered on Thursdays in January and February at 1:30 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. The dates and topics are: Jan. 20, 10 “Warning Signs – Should I be Worried?”; Jan. 27, “Types of Dementia”; Feb. 3, “Brain Changes – 8 As of Dementia”; and Feb. 10, “Communication Tips”.

The Memory and Aging™ course is a four-week course for anyone interested in finding out more about age related memory changes, brain health lifestyle choices and the practice of new memory strategies. While this course ordinarily has a workbook fee, the Alzheimer Society of Huron County is offering it free this February. Participants will be meeting on ZOOM from 10 a.m. to noon on the following Wednesdays: Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23.

Please reach out to the Alzheimer Society of Huron County to access needed help at the contacts listeda above. Support, knowledge and community changes everything.


People are invited to enhance their personal resilience, and discovering how to lead and support others on their own journey to rediscover their resilience.

The Connectedness Coaching team, in partnership with the McKay Centre for Seniors, would like to announce a sponsored virtual workshop series, “Reconnecting Seniors with Resilience in Huron County”, with a choice of offerings in February or March 2022. The workshop should equip older adult Huron County residents, service providers and community volunteers with the knowledge and tools they need to enhance their resilience. This educational offering is also the level one training required to become a Resiliency Trainer.

The schedule is as follows:
February Workshop Offering – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. (Feb 1-3, 8-10, 15-17)
March Workshop Offering – Mondays and Wednesdays at 1 p.m. (Feb 21-23, Feb. 28-March 2, March 7-9)

Additional benefits to attending the workshop series include: a three-month subscription to an online knowledge hub, a journal to capture the participant’s learning journey, access to a facilitator guidebook and additional resiliency training (free admission to a Connectedness Coaching Workshop Series). Please visit to register. Call-in options, technology mentorship and tablets are available to support participants in their journey with us. For more information contact Sarah Versteeg, Connectedness Coaching’s Program coordinator, at

Reconnecting Seniors with Resilience in Huron County (RSR) is a train-the-trainer adaptation that engages and empowers resilience through a modified version of Seniors Action Quebec’s resilience education and Connectedness Coaching. RSR is hosted in collaboration with the MacKay Centre for Seniors, Connectedness Coaching Service Providers, and Seniors Action Quebec, and is funded by the Seniors Community Grant Program 2021-22.


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. 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.

With the extremely cold temperatures this week we thought we’d see what winter wear the Museum had in their collection of textiles and we discovered an ensemble reminiscent of clothing worn in the holiday classic, “A Christmas Story” set in December 1940…


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The Museum suggests that this child’s three-piece matching winter outfit comprised of coat, snow pants and wool cap were probably in fashion between 1940 and 1959.

This child’s coat features a green, white and brown houndstooth check pattern with grean leather trim and shoulders. There is a borg lining which is an extra layer that’s stitched inside a garment possibly made from a sheepskin-like fabric very similar to shearling. The coat has two pockets with flaps and is belted at the back.


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These are a pair of child’s snow pants featuring a green, white and brown houndstooth check pattern with green leather from knees to ankle. The pants are lined and also have a classic waistband. There is an outside zipper on each leg and an elastic band for under feet.


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This is a child’s wool cap featuring a green, white and brown houndstooth check pattern. The hat is lined with a beige satin-like material. The button on the top of the cap and the “visor” are a dark green leather. The cap also has ear flaps and there is a dome for a strap but the strap is missing.



July 14 – Issue 627 – PIONEER PARK’S RAFFLE SOLD OUT: The Pioneer Park Association (PPA) is looking to the community for support of two alternative fundraisers as their largest annual event the Pioneer Park Rummage Sale has been postponed for the second consecutive year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. People can support the PPA by purchasing limited edition prints and/or trying their luck by buying some raffle tickets. Celebrating selling all 5,000 raffle tickets for the Pioneer Park “Repair the Stairs” Campaign were l-r: Emily O’Halloran, Pattie MacDonald and John Rishworth. The draw for the 50/50 cash prize will be held on Aug. 13. (Submitted photo)


Aug. 25 – Issue 633 – BAYFIELD AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY – ORGANIZERS DECLARE HYBRID FAIR A SUCCESS: The Huron County 4-H Sheep Clubs Competition was held at the South end of the fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon. There was plenty of activity in the show ring, as well as the sheep barn, for visitors to the fair to watch. (Photo by John Pounder)


Sept. 1 – Issue 634 – BAYFIELD YACHT CLUB – NINE VESSELS SET SAIL FOR GIVEN’S MEMORIAL RACE: Founded in 1971 the Bayfield Yacht Club’s (BYC) goal is to bring together sailors to provide boating related activities and events both locally and abroad. BYC is member driven and always seeking new members to participate in sailing regattas, day races, after parties and fun! On Aug. 21, BYC lived up to their mandate by hosting a very successful race – the annual Given’s Memorial Race was held with nine sailboats taking part. (Photo by Gary Lloyd-Rees).


Sept. 15 – Issue 636 – BAYFIELD CENTRE FOR THE ARTS – SUMMER WRAPS UP AT THE BARN ON MAIN STREET: “Our most exciting event was the Year of The Barn Exhibition held on Aug. 20 and 21!” said Leslee Squirrell, president of the BCA. “The Off-The-Wall style event was open to the public on Friday, Aug. 20 and more than 200 people visited the show!” The BCA Board has heard from many that attended that it was the most enjoyable and safe event they have had an opportunity to participate in, in a long time. (Photo by Jack Pal)


Oct. 6 – Issue 639 – BAYFIELD INTERNATIONAL CROQUET CLUB – NOT THE BEST WICKET WEATHER FOR TOURNAMENTS: It wasn’t the best wicket weather for the Canadian Open Golf and Association Croquet Tournaments held from Monday, Sept. 20 to Wednesday, Sept. 22. as some rather wicked rain soaked the lawns in both Bayfield and Seaforth, but fortunately, this did not seem to dampen the spirits of the tournament players. Bill Rowat, of Bayfield is shown here making a shot. (Photo by Gary Lloyd-Rees)


Nov. 17 – Issue 645 – CHRISTMAS IN BAYFIELD – THE TIME THE POWER WENT OUT FOR THE TREE LIGHTING: The 30th anniversary of Christmas in Bayfield weekend will be a memorable one for many. Not only for the fun and merriment but also for the power outage.The Lighting of the Lights and Santa Visit was postponed to Saturday evening, Nov. 13, when the weather proved more appealing. (Photo by Dianne Brandon)


Dec. 1 – Issue 647 – BAYFIELD WALKABOUT – FESTIVE SPIRIT ALIVE AND WELL DURING POKER WALK: The festive spirit was alive and well on the village’s Main Street when the second annual Bayfield Walkabout (following a hiatus in 2020) was held on the afternoon and evening of Saturday, Nov. 27. Festively attired Chris Ver Bakel, manager of Captain Harry’s Bar and Grill, accepted donations of non-perishables and toys from participants in the Bayfeild Walkabout. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)


Dec. 15 – Issue 649 – RIVER ROAD BREWERY AND HOPS – ONE MORE DATE FOR THE HOPPED UP HOLIDAY MARKET: The “Hopped Up Holiday Market” hosted by River Road Brewery and Hops has returned for a second year. The market began on Dec. 4. A second one scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 11 was rescheduled for Sunday, Dec. 12 due to extremely high winds and rain that swept through the area Friday night and Saturday. Huron Honey was one of the businesses selling their product at the “Hopped Up Holiday Market” on Sunday. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)


Dec. 29 – Issue 651 – UNDER CONSTRUCTION – TRAFFIC COULD BE SWITCHED TO NEW BRIDGE SOON DEPENDING ON WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS: Anyone who has driven across the temporary Bailey Bridge at Bayfield recently will have noticed a lot of progress on the new bridge. In fact, according to an update shared by Bayfield Ward Coucillor Bill Whetstone the new bridge may be open for usage sometime next month. The crew were busy paving the surface of the bridge roadway on November, 29, 2021. (Photo by Greg Csullog)

Editor’s Note: 2021 may become known as the year of one step forward and two steps back when it comes to how our little corner of the world navigated through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the dancing, or maybe because of it, many in the community came together while staying apart. They didn’t look back but instead kept hope alive by pressing forward.

Here are just a few highlights of that journey…


Aug. 19 – Issue 632 – BAYFIELD RIVER VALLEY TRAIL ASSOCIATION – WORLD INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY RECOGNIZED WITH HIKE: Guest speaker David D Plain led a large and enthusiastic group of 27 hikers on the Sawmill Trail on Aug. 9 in recognition of World Indigenous Peoples Day. (Photo by Jack Pal)


Sept. 29 – Issue 638 – BAYFIELD LIONS’ CLUB & PIONEER PARK ASSOCIATION – REPATRIATION AND RESTORATION OF MARITIME ARTIFACT A TRUE VILLAGE ENDEAVOR” Looking forward to celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2022, the Bayfield Lions’ Club members are planning several community projects, one of which they finished last week with the repatriation of a restored rudder from a ship that ran aground off the shore at Bayfield nearly 140 years ago. The people behind the project l-r: Doug Vanderhaar, Bud Robinson, EJ Bauer, Terry Lazaravitch, Carl Humphries and Scott Gregory. (Photo by Jack Pal)


BEST TURNOUT EVER FOR HULLETT SWAMP STOMP: Every year in October, the Photography Club of Bayfield (PCoB) holds an early morning photo walk through the beautiful Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area, found just to the northeast of Clinton, to try and capture the beauty of the area especially the Fall colors.(Photo by Jack Pal)


Nov. 3 – Issue 643 – HAPPY HALLOWEEN – SPOOKTACULAR FUN DOWN ON THE FARM: River Road Brewing and Hops was the place for all ages of trick or treaters to enjoy on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 30 as some Halloween fun was to be had! (Photo by Dianne Brandon)


Nov. 17 – Issue 645 – YATES AUTOGRAPHS COPIES OF NEW HISTORICAL SOCIETY BOOK: As part of Christmas in Bayfield, the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS) welcomed Huron County historian David Yates on Nov. 13-14 to autograph his new biography of Admiral Henry Wolsey Bayfield. The local author personalized copies for shoppers who were excited to find the perfect gift for history lovers. On Saturday afternoon, Yates, who is a retired high school teacher, had the opportunity to write a special inscription for his much-admired elementary school teacher, Bayfield resident Carol Simons. (Photo by Julia Armstrong)


Dec. 8 – Issue 648 – LIBRARY FRIENDS HAVE MERRY TIME HANDING OUT COOKIE KITS: In spite of dark skies that threatened snow, not one snowflake fell on the Friends of Bayfield Library (FOBL) Gingerbread Cookie Decorating event held on Saturday, Dec. 4. How fitting that this event coincided with National Cookie Day! Kicking the Gingerbread Cookie Decorating event into high gear were FOBL’s very own elf, Judith Higgs (centre), with granddaughter Stephanie Higgs (left) and niece Thea Wildman (right). (Submitted photo)


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.

submission section


This week I am pleased to share my space with the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA), whose Board member, Laurie Donze-Allen has composed an inspiring letter encouraging others to get involved by volunteering and/or by purchasing a membership with the organization to help further their good works in providing residents and visitors with an abundance of trails to explore. – Melody 

When my husband and I first came to Huron County in the fall of 2017 as first-time tourists, Lake Huron was the big draw. We stayed several months and subsequently, came back time and time again. I loved driving into this region, admiring the farmlands bordered by amazing forests. The trees were taller and more majestic than those I had seen in other parts of Ontario.

I became aware of the symbiotic relationship between water and earth. The nourishment that allows the trees to thrive came from abundant aquifers and the healthy ecosystem. I also experienced Bluewater’s community spirit on a group hike during our first visit. We made friends and as a result of these and others factors, here I am today, a “transplant” from the urban core and full-time resident.

I would like to encourage your support of the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) for the good work it does to provide a diverse network of seven trails in a unique natural environment: go to and click the “Memberships/Donations” tab. Over 60 volunteers contribute their talents to keep these beautiful trails open for the local community and visitors to enjoy year-round.

The BRVTA has an important partnership with the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) to organize educative group hikes. With the affiliated entity, the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF), we are able to process donations to keep the trails well maintained. The ABCF also helps the Bayfield Tree Project to plant beautiful examples of unique trees that add charm to the village. Fifty of our volunteers are trailblazers who help out with maintenance throughout the year. I’ve seen them at work in early March. Now, that’s commitment and community in action!

The trail system is helpful in:

  • expanding our social network,
  • helping to maintain hikers’ physical and mental well-being,
  • developing tourism and the local economy,
  • fostering stewardship of the ecosystem – for example, we all can learn so much from ABCA experts about topics such as how important the tree canopy is to help prevent shoreline erosion that has been a sad reality in recent years, and finally,
  • nourishing our need for beauty, as we appreciate birds, trees, mushrooms and other natural elements that grace our forests.

Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect said, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

More than ever in the past year, that saying has proven itself. I’ve loved getting out on the trails in each season. They have allowed me to stay physically active and positive in spirit. I am more aware of the trees after having experienced winter forest landscapes during my hikes. Even in the drab early winter months, nature does her thing so well: as the leaves fall, more sunlight shines through. I study and appreciate the trees more, even naming some of them: Modigliani’s Mother and Child, the Three Graces and the Kisses. They are strong, life giving and examples to me in how to work through the challenges that have come to the fore in the past year.

The BRVTA started the hiking buddy program in January 2020. It helps individual hikers to plan a hike with another person at the time and location they desire. It is a flexible and safe way to meet the health distancing guidelines while making new friends. Please write me through the BRVTA website if you are a member and would like to add your information to the hiking buddy contact list. The buddies are of varying ages and hiking levels. This simple system also helps us organize snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Please consider joining us to start reaping one of the benefits of a very reasonable BRVTA membership ($20 per year for one person, $30 for a couple or family). Our trail association also organizes a variety of group hikes throughout the year, many of which offer an educational component. These benefits of a BRVTA membership will be an important move towards a better fitness level, expanding your social network, and appreciating more fully the unique natural lifestyle and culture of Huron County.

Are you interested? If so, please contact me, Laurie Donze-Allen by email at Hope to see you on the trails soon!