Alliston baker Samantha Young developing loyal following with her butter tarts

Some artists express their creativity with the stroke of a paint brush on a canvas, while others like Samantha Young use butter, flour, eggs, sugar and a warm oven to bring their visions to life.

Young, who turns 23 next month, has long dreamed of having her own bakery.

She’ll never forget the day she asked her mom how she could combine her love of art and baking.

“She said ‘Oh, you can be a baker or a pastry chef.’ So since (age) 10 that’s what I wanted to do for sure. I never changed,” Young said.

After graduating from Banting Memorial High School she went to the University of Houston to get her business degree in hotel and restaurant management, and finished her studies after transferring to Guelph.

When she graduated in February she was still planning on attending culinary school, but then an opportunity came up after a storefront in downtown Alliston became available.

The property’s landlord reached out to her to see if she would open her own bakery.

“I hadn’t gone to culinary school yet, but I decided I will just do all of my self-taught baking,” she said. “I might as well just dive in and see what happens.”

Leading up to this she was already building up a loyal customer base with the treats she sold during the fall at her boyfriend’s business down the street, Cool Moose Creamery, like her famous butter tarts, pies and cookies.

“I kinda got my following there, and then at The Well Café a couple doors down, I started baking for them too,” she said.

The landlord of the Well also owns the building where her bakery is located.

“He was obsessed with my butter tarts and said I needed a place to sell these things,” she added.

Carriage House Bakery celebrated its grand opening in late April.

“It’s been unbelievable, the support from the community has been even better than we imagined it would be,” she said.

Most of the treats are based on old family recipes passed down from her grandparents and other relatives.

Her Scottish shortbread has been in the family for generations, and her fudge squares are her great aunt’s recipe.

Her butter tarts, which come in plain, pecan and raisin varieties, are the most popular daily baked items, followed closely by the scones, cinnamon biscuits and cookies.

She also does custom orders for cakes, cookies, cupcakes and cake pops.

“That’s starting to take off more than we expected to,” she said. “We are now getting booked three weekends in advance.”

Her dad Greg bakes the bread, which is offered in different varieties throughout the week, like farmhouse white, chunky cheddar, multigrain, whole wheat and natural sour dough.

“His passion has always been bread,” she said. “He’s always loved it and he’s a real bread nerd.”

Carriage House Bakery is located at

To contact them call , visit their or follow them on Instagram

They are open Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City gearing up for final enclosure of Orillia recreation facility

Once entirely open to the elements, Orillia’s emerging recreation facility is gaining a skin as the project moves toward another stage in its development.

“Over the coming months, we are gearing up for the final enclosure of the building,” said Kent Guptill, director of facilities and special projects.

Once fully enclosed, significant interior work begins, including the filling of pool basins, tiling and lighting, he added.

“It’s a busy and exciting time for those working on the project,” Guptill added.

Most of the structural steel that defines the building is complete, while installation of masonry walls and exterior sheeting on the east, south and west walls continues.

Installation of roofing over the pool area is underway as well.

As the building takes shape, anticipation is growing among residents who have “waited a long time for this project to materialize,” Mayor Steve Clarke said.

“But what I find even more exciting is what the redevelopment of the 36-acre Foundry Park site will mean for Orillia,” Clarke added. “We are taking a brownfield that was once inaccessible to the community and transforming it into the social heart of the city.”

The facility is slated to open in the first quarter of 2019.

Novice driver charged for careless driving in Alliston and having open liquor

A member of Nottawasaga OPP’s bike patrol unit pulled an unsafe driver off the road in Alliston over the weekend.

The officer was patrolling Beattie Avenue on Saturday, Aug. 11 around 8:30 p.m. when he came across a vehicle driving erratically.

The vehicle reversed and veered side to side, almost hitting an oncoming vehicle.

The driver, a 27-year-old New Tecumseth man, was stopped and arrested.

He was charged with driving a vehicle with an open container of liquor, being a novice driver with a blood-alcohol level above zero, driving without a permit and careless driving.

The man was also issued a three-day licence suspension.

Ontario’s cannabis industry faces a cloudy future

Marijuana stocks have fallen sharply this year, bringing them into what investors might consider bargain territory. But it would be unwise to bet on that assumption.

The fact that Canada is the first G-7 country experimenting with legal sales of recreational pot should be enough warning that uncertainty is going to characterize this new market for quite some time – probably at least two years after legalization, set for Oct. 17.

The size of the legal market – a prime consideration for investors, obviously – is unknowable with any kind of precision. That’s to be expected, given that projections are necessarily based on black-market sales.

Illicit dope peddlers and wholesalers are not among the most reliable sources of market data.

It’s therefore a leap into the unknown to speculate how big a pie the scores of publicly traded North American marijuana producers will be able to divvy up.

The most common projection on Canadian market size is about $5 billion (all figures in Canadian dollars) in annual sales by 2020. That assumes a complete migration by pot users from the black market to the new legal one, an unlikely prospect, and one of many risk factors I warned of earlier this year.

Read more:

Ontario complicated matters further this week by revealing it doesn’t know how many legal pot stores there will be, when nor how widespread in the province. It hasn’t determined its criteria for licensing retail outlets nor begun its promised exhaustive consultation with communities on how the market is to be set up and monitored.

Ontario is expected to be the biggest recreational weed market in North America after California. The industry’s investors have long had their eyes on that prize.

Ontario did take steps this week to suppress growth in pot demand. It has permitted municipalities to ban pot stores. It has also outlawed cannabis lounges. And it has prohibited pot use except in private residences, effectively making consumption of legal recreational marijuana a strictly middle- and upper-class activity.

In a policy reversal, the Ford government said this week there will be no Ontario bricks-and-mortar pot stores until April 1, 2019.

Given that the Ford government hasn’t yet decided on the qualifications for eligibility to open a pot store, it’s unlikely there will be very many of them come the province’s official start date.

“I’m a little suspect on these stores being open April, but maybe the first batch will be open by then,” Matt Bottomley, analyst at securities firm Canaccord Genuity, told Bloomberg News this week.

In the meantime, between federal legalization Oct. 19 and the first store openings next April, recreational pot will be available to Ontarians only online, with purchases from the provincial government’s Ontario Cannabis Store.

Selling pot exclusively online is a sure way to dissuade tokers from switching from the black market, the feds’ rationale for decriminalizing recreational pot use in the first place. An online purchase leaves a digital trail. That’s an obvious worry for consumers who don’t want employers, governments and others to know of their pot-consumption habits.

Ontario will ensure that consumers know that marijuana “is still a drug that poses risks to health and safety,” said Attorney General Catherine Mulroney this week.

What does that mean?

Does Ontario have in mind a public awareness campaign? Or is the Ford government planning to make the decisions on product pricing, the types of marijuana products that can be sold, acceptable locations for pot stores and acceptable marketing methods?

Each of those factors will affect demand and investor returns.

Ontario’s pot-plan announcement this week was sufficiently maladroit to further depress marijuana stocks. The stocks may have further to drop, though.

One of the biggest reasons for that was also revealed this week when Constellation Brands Inc., one of the world’s mid-tier beverage alcohol firms (Corona beer, Robert Mondavi wines), stunned the industry with a $5-billion investment in Canopy Growth Corp.

With that massive cash infusion, the Victor, N.Y.-based Constellation increases its stake in Canopy to 38 per cent, or 50 per cent if it exercises warrants that are part of this week’s deal. With a market cap of $52.2 billion, Constellation outclasses the entire industry in capital, which for starters, it expects Canopy to use to expand to 30 from the 11 countries in which it currently has a presence.

With Big Pharma and Big Tobacco yet to be heard from, Big Booze is quickly moving into the pot sector on several fronts. Mid-tier brewers Molson Coors Brewing Co. and Heineken NV already have forged partnerships to market beverages infused with THC, marijuana’s active ingredient.

Canopy stock leapt 31 per cent Wednesday on the Constellation announcement. But the deal sees Canopy lose its independence – the likely fate for most pot firms, destined to be absorbed by the handful of biggest industry players.

In the key Ontario market, players are free to seek market dominance, which will, as things look now, have Canopy heading for near-monopoly status in that rich market. By contrast, Alberta and B.C. have restrictions that prevent the emergence of an oligopoly or near-monopoly.

But in the huge Ontario market, it’s tough to imagine a scenario in which most pot firms aren’t outmuscled by Constellation’s new Canadian branch plant, Canopy Growth, which has targeted $1-billion worth of pot firms for acquisition.

Pot stocks were already in a swoon before Ontario’s abrupt policy reversal this week changed the rules of the game. Investor fatigue with escalating pot-firm expenses against a paucity of profits caused the pot-stock sector to tumble by 44 per cent in market valuation since its peak in January, as measured by the BI Canada Cannabis Index.

Current industry leaders such as Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis Inc. must achieve a bonanza in Ontario, with all its uncertainties, to recoup their enormous investment in expansion. Both firms have yet to earn a profit to justify their combined market cap of $15.4 billion.

Viability for this fledgling industry might lie with Fluffys and Barneys. Canopy Growth’s stock popped about 5 per cent early this week when it said its Canopy Animal Health unit has won Health Canada approval to research pot for pets, with an early emphasis of anxiety relief.

Canada’s publicly traded marijuana firms are on track to boost annual weed production to a staggering 3 million kilograms by 2020. The industry has to hope that among Canada’s 16.4 million household cats and dogs, there are enough stressed-out Fluffys and Barneys to help absorb all the weed they’re bringing into production.

Georgian College removes parking gates, implements mobile parking app

Georgian is implementing parking improvements at the Barrie campus to improve the customer experience. Beginning Aug. 1, all parking lot gates will be removed and the college will roll out a new licence plate recognition system.

The new system will eliminate lineups and provide a more efficient, safe, and user-friendly method to purchase hourly or daily parking passes via Honk Mobile (by phone or kiosk) or at a pay-by-plate machine.

If you don’t want to pay via your phone, there will be pay-by-plate machines and Honk Mobile kiosks in select college buildings including: the Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences, Automotive Business School of Canada, University Partnership Centre and the Student Life Centre.

Honk Mobile, a pay-by-phone parking app, can be used for hourly and daily parking in all the lots. The app is available for all iPhone and Android devices, as well as all internet-enabled PCs. It can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

Cash meters will still be available in some lots for a limited time but they will be removed during the next year. More information on parking at Georgian can be found .

Fresh options abound at Wasaga’s new Potato Factory

Michael Mikhail is putting the finishing touches on the bar overlooking Potato Factory’s .

“It’s 120-year-old wood. They were about to throw it out and I said, ‘wait, you can’t do that!’” said the restaurant’s vice-president of operations.

The pieces will accent the bar at the 200-seat restaurant, which opened on June 29.

The menu features burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips, and their signature ‘appetizer wheel’ of a minimum of four items.

The restaurant can also cater to customers based on allergies and religious considerations.

Mikhail emphasized all the food is fresh.

“From prepped to dish, it’s been marinated here, blanched here, cut here, and you can taste the difference,” he said. “We know exactly what goes into our food.”

Shaughna Ainsworth — Barrie Ward 1

I have lived in Ward 1 for over 20 years and have always had a keen interest in municipal politics.

I have for many years been a secondary school teacher with the Simcoe County District School Board with a bachelor of education and an honours degree in political science. Being my mother’s daughter has given me invaluable insight into local municipal politics.

While patiently waiting in the wings for this opportunity, I have acted as a sounding board for my mother during common place discussions and deliberations on local issues. At the cost of blushing, I am pretty sure even as a new member of council I can hit the ground running, ardently advocate for the ward while making a strong contribution at the council table.

Among other things, I will enthusiastically stand up for Old Barrie and the needs of Ward 1, including:

The reconstruction of failed roads. Because of many years of neglect, roads in the ward have gone beyond the point of resurfacing and now require total replacement. Infrastructure renewal will be a top priority.

Protecting and maintaining the North Shore Trail, publicly owned green spaces and waterfront properties, including Johnson’s Beach, is equally important.

Spending is always about priorities and, of course, essential services must come first. I will only make informed decisions while considering taxpayer benefit and municipal value. I believe in a balanced community while cautiously holding the line on spending and tax increases.

Speeding is a huge concern on our neighbourhood streets. I would like to investigate reducing speed limits on local roads.

Please vote Shaughna Ainsworth. I am a motivated, community-minded person always willing to help others. I am capable of setting targets and reaching goals and will always keep your best interest in mind. I have a full understanding of the commitment required to be a ward councillor and I won’t let you down. Thank you.

If you have questions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me at , email or visit my website

Many unknowns on the horizon as Canada prepares to legalize pot

On Oct. 17, Canada will become one of the first Western nations to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

And it’s only fair that we go first, since we were one of the first countries to ban it. A Liberal government under William Lyon Mackenzie King added marijuana to the list of substances banned by the Opium Act almost 20 years before the Americans outlawed pot.

Then, when the United States banned weed in 1938, Canada banned it again. It was such a non-problem that the King government forgot they’d already made it illegal.

We can expect some serious issues to arise next fall. For one thing, the sale of marijuana in Ontario is still up in the air. The previous provincial government planned to open a chain of marijuana stores similar to the LCBO. The new Progressive Conservative government appears to be leaning toward free enterprise. A decision needs to be made soon: decriminalization is only three months away.

The new law has other traps. Growing pot will be legalized, but only for four plants for personal use. Commercial growing and selling will be just as illegal under the new law as they are now. In fact, some penalties for growing and dealing will be harsher.

Some advocates of a wide-open market are, for now, simply ignoring the law. Marijuana “dispensaries” are open in most cities and towns, selling marijuana, hashish and edibles. In at least one Eastern Ontario First Nation, Tyendenaga, dozens of new marijuana outlets have opened in defiance of the old and new laws.

It will be interesting to see how the government reacts to these outlets. Until recently, pot growers were simply ignoring the federal narcotics law. The RCMP and local police forces went after growers, especially in the fall, but more than enough pot was grown illegally to supply the Canadian market. Now, it’s not just a matter of breaking the law. Unlicensed commercial pot growers and dealers will be competing against well-connected licensed growers and government retailers.

It’s one thing for pot growers and dealers to compete against each other. It may be quite another for them to compete with governments that have become desperate for new revenue streams.

And no one is sure what will happen about impaired driving. It has always been illegal to drive under the influence of drugs. Now, the challenge for the police will be to find a way to convince judges that people who drive stoned are “impaired”. No one has come up with a quick test similar to a breathalyzer.

People who want to smoke pot will need to be careful not to break several new rules. While the regulations of the decriminalization law haven’t been published, it’s clear that it will be rather easy to break the new law.

Under the new law, you can possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public. And you can share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults. But you’d better make sure they are adults: give or sell pot to someone under 18 and you’re looking at up to 14 years in jail.

You can only buy dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer or online from the federal government. The law says nothing about hashish. Edibles are excluded, as are marijuana vapes. And, while you can “share” your marijuana, but you can’t sell it. That’s illegal dealing.

And you’ll have to buy seeds, seedlings or clones from a licensed dealer. Presumably, the new regulations will make it illegal to sell seeds and clones.

You can make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products. But the law is not clear about the legality of baking with cannabis and transporting the stuff to a friend’s place. Will there be a rule like Ontario’s law against transporting an open bottle of wine or case of beer?

I think the government has made things far too complicated. People will still be charged, either under provincial laws, which do not carry a criminal record, or federal laws, which do. It will be up to the police to decide which charges will be laid.

As well, the people convicted of simple possession will not have their criminal records erased. In several of the U.S. states where marijuana was legalized, criminal records were destroyed. That should be done here; people who have done something now recognized as relatively harmless should not be stuck with records that affect their ability to get a job or travel.

There will likely be a class action lawsuit filed in the next few months to try to force the government into suspending the criminal records of people convicted of offences for things that will be legal under the new law, things like simple possession and cultivation of four or fewer plants. If I had a marijuana record, I probably wouldn’t wait for this lawsuit to grind through the courts. I’d get the forms and apply now.

(To get them, simply google “Official PBC Record Suspension Application Guide and Forms” and the material you need will show up on the National Parole Board website. Ignore the ads for companies that offer help. This is something you probably can handle yourself.)

Mark Bourrie

Mark Bourrie is a lawyer practicing in Lanark County and Ottawa. He is also a part-time professor of History and Canadian Studies and an author. You can reach him at [email protected] or 613-255-2158.

Basic high-speed internet lacking for Midland, Penetanguishene residents

More than 88 per cent of north Simcoe residents do not have access to basic high-speed internet, according to a recent broadband analysis.

A study of area broadband networks, conducted in part by the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation, shows that the majority of residents in the region are underserved when it comes to high-speed internet.

“The question is not whether you have high-speed internet, but whether you have appropriate high-speed internet that is at a speed and a level that meets the needs of the public,” said Rob McPhee, who led the analysis project.

In 2011 the CRTC said all Canadians should have access to minimum download speeds of five Mbps and upload speeds of one Mbps. In 2016 this standard changed and minimum download speeds of 50 Mbps and upload speeds of 10 Mbps are now required.

The report states that a total of 88 per cent of permanent residents, 70 per cent of seasonal residents and 94 per cent of commercial buildings in north Simcoe do not have internet that meets the latest CRTC standards. Of those, 22 per cent of permanent residents, 33 per cent of seasonal residents and 21 per cent of commercial buildings don’t have access to internet that meets 2011 standards, let alone the latest service standards.

“When you look at it nationally, communities in the North Simcoe region ranked between 113 and 167 out of 168,” said McPhee. “The north Simcoe region is in the bottom 25th percentile of high speed internet connectivity.”

Beausoleil First Nation ranks second last in all of Canada in regard to quality of high-speed internet, with 100 per cent of residents unable to access 2016 service standards and over 50 per cent receiving internet that fails to meet 2011 standards.

“Our aim with this report is to seek out infrastructure builds through SWIFT (Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Network),” said Chris McLaughlin, general manager of the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation. “We are going to be approaching them and trying to work with them to see if our region can be one of the first with some sort of project through the fund.”

Bo’s Authentic Thai Cuisine opens in Barrie

Amornthip Ratanadawong, known by her childhood nickname Bo, owns and operates Bo’s Authentic Thai Cuisine.

Bo’s memories of Thai cuisine have stayed with her and are truly represented in the offerings on her menu.

A large part of the dining experience is tasting some of Bo’s Thai sauces, which she enjoys making herself.

The seasoning is based on the “Five Taste” principle, which is a blend of five distinct flavours: sweet, hot, sour, salty and bitter.

Bo’s Authentic Thai Cuisine only uses the finest ingredients including the freshest herbs, exotic vegetables and special spices. Bo’s brings the true taste of Thailand to Barrie.

Located on Anne Street, just north of Dunlop Street, Bo’s has a quaint dining area and a decorated patio for outdoor dining.