Wasaga-based film fest cancels gala, but awards go on

The curtain has fallen on this Saturday’s gala event for the annual South Georgian Bay Film Festival — but the show will go on.

Festival board chair Kevin DeAbreu said a decision was made on the weekend to cancel the gala due to poor ticket sales.

However, a view-and-vote event at Country Life Resort on July 11 will proceed, and the winners will be announced on July 14 after viewer votes are tabulated with the judges’ scores.

The event, now in its second year as the South Georgian Bay Film Festival, received 35 entries and held a view-and-vote event at the Simcoe Street Theatre on the weekend.

“We will revisit the gala scenario for next year,” DeAbreu said. “We take it in stride, and we view everything as a learning experience.

“The qualities of the films are amazing, far improved from previous years with many repeat entrants,” he said. “We truly do believe that the South Georgian Bay Film Festival is well on its way to becoming an ‘established stop’ for both national and international film makers, as well as local youth.”

For more on the festival, go to .

What’s happening at the corner of Midland and Hugel avenues?

Construction crews have started preparing a parcel of land on the corner of Midland and Hugel avenues in downtown Midland. The property, known as , will be the site of a three-storey, 10-unit condominium. The building is just down the street from the Beer Store and across the street from the Advanced Foot and Orthotic Clinic.

Just the facts:

• The vacant lot currently houses a mobile fast-food truck.

• The property has approximately 21 metres of frontage along Midland Avenue and 50.5 metres of frontage on Hugel Avenue.

• The proposed building will have 16 parking spots with 11 of those spots in a partial basement.

• Access to the parking garage is proposed off of Midland, while access to the five other spots will be off Hugel.

• Residential units will be on storeys two through four and accessed via an elevator and stairwell.

• A building height of 13 metres will be permitted even though previous zoning regulations only allowed for 11 metres.

• The lot was rezoned to permit residential use, as previous zoning required the first floor to be commercial use only.

• The entire building will have a total gross floor area of 1,673 square metres.

• All exterior lighting on the building will be shielded so that it does not infringe on adjacent properties.

• The top floor would be smaller than floors two and three and include a rooftop patio.

• There will be four units on floors two and three and two units on the fourth floor.

Great Clips comes to Orillia

Great Clips has been building a following since opening at the County Fair Plaza in late November, said manager Ann Dawson.

“It has been very, very busy.”

Located next to Zehrs, the salon and its staff of eight offers haircuts, shampoos and styles.

“No chemicals here,” said Dawson. “We don’t do any colours or perms. We keep it chemical-free.”

Customers can check-in online, by downloading a Great Clips app on their phones for free, she added.  

“It will hold them for an hour,” Dawson said. “It will tell you how busy it is. If there is an hour wait, it will tell you on the app that there is an hour wait and you can pop your name in next in line.”

Floyd Pinto — Adjala-Tosorontio mayor

I have always been actively involved with my community since moving here with my family over 16 years ago. I have served two terms on council, work for CLASS and have been on various committees during my term which gave me an understanding of the operation of the township.

My education, experience and skills sets — B.A. in commerce specializing in business management, a diploma in computer programming and employed as a computer programmer, were crucial in uncovering the problems with the township accounts. My resolve for accountability and to act in the best interests of the community resulted in an OPP investigation which led to the reduction of post retirement benefits from 80 to 65 years of age, saving the tax payer $644,470 (audited statements) to date. I have also uncovered issues with mileage payments and the budget itself, and have brought these concerns to the public’s attention through my blog, newsletters and articles in the paper.

My campaign

Keep taxes affordable, address the current $3.5-million debt. Stop taking on more debt ($15.4 million) to benefit developers.

Immediately address residents’ concerns with development, gravel pit, unaffordable water and sewer rates, speeding complaints, high speed internet.

Cancel — OPA 15

Tax increase must be justified with better services to residents.

Stop wasting tax dollars — $260,000 spent on tenders for Everett sewer plant, then cancelled.

Salary raises should be based on productivity.

Pave roads, obtain infrastructure grants.

Development must follow Ontario Municipal Board/ Local Planning Appeal Tribunal approvals.

Will not force existing residents to hook up to the new sewer systems.

Promote businesses, including farmers market.

We are elected by residents and should work with the residents as your taxes pay our salaries. The OPP and integrity commissioner’s reports indicated policies, procedures and bylaws not being followed. This needs to stop. I have always stood by the residents and will continue to do so. I humbly ask residents to elect me as your mayor.

Contact:  / /

Midland investigating contaminated soil in downtown parking lot

An investigation into industrial contamination found in the soil under the municipal parking lot at is going to cost the Town of Midland a minimum of $100,000.

had purchased the lot in 2016 with the intention of building a waterfront brew pub, but low levels of industrial contamination found in the soil and issues with groundwater quality .

After the deal fell apart in late 2017, the Town hired Stantec Consulting Ltd. to conduct a contamination overview study.

Town officials believe the low levels of contaminant found in the soil at 526 Bay St. were transferred through groundwater and that the contaminated soil is upstream from the parking lot.

“The study identified 63 potential sources of contamination and ranked them high, medium and low,” said Andy Campbell, director of engineering, water and wastewater.

Drilling will begin in September in the areas that ranked high on the list, which includes the vicinity of 509 Bay St., a property that used to be occupied by Imperial Oil.

“The drilling and analysis will tell us if we really just have an issue at 509 or 526 Bay St. or that it’s in a much broader area,” said Campbell.

The proposal that went before council on July 23 had estimated costs for a subsurface investigation at $100,400. This number could change depending on what is discovered in the coming months.

“The only way to find out what is underground is to start drilling holes and do analysis,” said Campbell. “At this point, we are trying to minimize the drilling we do to contain costs, but if we find something that shows we need more holes, we will do that.”

Initial contaminant levels found in the soil in 2017 were well below provincial guidelines and do not pose any immediate health risks. Should this change, the public will be notified.

“We want to ensure everyone is aware of what is going on underground there. If there are any health concerns, we will address them,” said Campbell.

Staff are optimistic that surplus funds in the 2018 budget will cover costs of the investigation.

Get advice from an Innisfil senior at the Elder Wisdom bench

A few seniors from Lakeside Retirement home will be sharing their words of wisdom with a younger generation Aug. 8.

The project is called Elder Wisdom and started a few years ago with Coleman Care Centres and Schlegel Villages seniors’ homes.

One of their stops in 2016 was in Barrie and the program continued this year, with Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library staff participating.

“We emailed them and asked about coming to Innisfil,” Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library strategic planning co-ordinator Dana Stott said. “They are bringing the bench and #ElderWisdom buttons, but it’s important to have local residents sharing the wisdom.”

The concept is a senior will sit on a green bench in front of the library while waiting for a stranger to take a seat beside them and start up a conversation.

“It’s a catalyst to get people talking and to fight ageism within the community,” Stott said. “It’s to highlight talents and wisdom and to show our elders they are valued and appreciated.”

It also creates an intergenerational conversation without the barriers, she added.

“There are a lot of questions about relationships and some about careers,” Stott said. “General life questions and queries.”

One of the ideas with the Elder Wisdom program is people assume seniors have all the answers.

“It’s more like if you’re a senior, you’ve had the wrong answer more times than not and you’ve learned from them,” she said. “That’s one of the ideas on the website that I thought was pretty clever.”

As the Elder Wisdom program has grown, the focus has also turned to technology, with guests using hashtag #ElderWisdom to share their experiences.

“There’s an initiative to get seniors comfortable with technology. This was the first year they had a Twitter panel and included technology as a learning piece.”

The Elder Wisdom program visits Innisfil Aug. 8 from 3 until 8 p.m. in front of the Lakeshore branch of the Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library,  All are welcome to participate by spending some time on the green bench. The event happens rain or shine.

For more details, visit

Southern Georgian Bay OPP charge Innisfil man for drinking and boating

The Southern Georgian Bay OPP marine unit charged 10 people during 30 hours of patrol over the course of the August long weekend.

Officers checked 55 vessels, looking for operator sobriety and for required safety equipment. They also responded to 21 calls for services within the detachment patrol area.

Ten operators were charged for a variety of marine related offences, including James Allan, 48, of Innisfil who was stopped on Six Mile Lake at 4:10 p.m. on Aug. 2. OPP marine officers spoke with Allan and ended up transporting him back to the Southern Georgian Bay detachment.

Allan has been charged with operating a vessel while ability impaired, operating a vessel with more than 80 mg of alcohol in his blood, failing to have a pleasure craft operators card, operating a pleasure craft without prescribed visual signals, operating a pleasure craft without a licence and for driving over 10 km/h within 30 metres of shore.

Southern Georgian Bay OPP marine officers remind all vessel operators that they need to have sufficient life jackets and all required safety equipment on board prior to leaving shore.