Catching up on some fall stories and notes …

14 stories you may have missed …

Isn’t it a little early for ice and cold (minus 18 tonight).

Well, a B.C. court is making sure one ice-making company learns the cold, hard truth about a safe and clean environment.

On Nov. 5, 2018, Arctic Glacier Canada Inc. pleaded guilty in the Provincial Court to violating subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act. The company was ordered to pay a $350,000, which will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund, after an ammonia spill killed fish near the Golden Ears Bridge in the City of Surrey.

… Wrongway drivers menace to roads

OPP say between Oct. 5 and Nov. 5 they responded to 25 reports of a vehicle travelling the wrong way in Ontario. A collision occurred in five of the incidents and two people lost their lives in two of the crashes. And 12 charges have been laid so far in five of the incidents, two of which are driving while ability impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.

As well, there were 182 wrong-way vehicle incidents on OPP-patrolled roads last year (2017) and 207 so far this year (2018).

… ATV drivers charged with impaired operation

In Gravenhurst recently, the OPP’s S.A.V.E (Snow-vehicle, All Terrain Vehicle, Vessel Enforcement) team and the MNR charged two males in separate incidents for impaired operation of an ATV.

On Nov. 5, at 5:30 p.m. Richard Dukier, 59, of Springwater Twp. Was charged.

And Nov 6. at 11:50 a.m. James Traynor, 57, of Gravenhurst was charged.

… McNaughton helps with CO donation again

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is just over, and to mark the occasion, Gravenhurst retailer has once again donated CO alarms for free distribution by the Gravenhurst Fire Department.

The McNaughtons donated another 100 CO detectors to the fire department.

“Last year, the Ontario based charity ‘Nolan’s Story’ partnered with Gravenhurst Home Hardware to donate 100 Carbon Monoxide alarm to our department, which have all been given out to families in our community,” said Fire Chief Larry Brassard. “With our supply now exhausted, Home Hardware and ‘Nolan’s Story’ have just donated another 100 CO alarms. We’re obviously delighted at this show of support from the community,” Brassard said.

Ian McNaughton, owner of the Gravenhurst Home Hardware store and a Gravenhurst volunteer firefighter himself is happy to provide this community donation.

“There are many families with differing needs in our community, but no one should lack basic safety in their homes where they should be safest,” McNaughton said.

“It’s a wonderful tribute to Nolan Young and we are grateful to be able to continue to support this initiative.

“Nolan was just 12 years old when he died accidentally from carbon monoxide poisoning and it’s our responsibility to spread the word about his death so that we might prevent another child from suffering the same fate,” said Anna Frigault, Nolan’s grandmother.

If you know someone who needs an alarm but can’t afford to buy one, please call the fire department at 705-687-3414.

… Huntsville businesses target of robbery, theft

Provincial police in Huntsville and the OPP Forensic Identification Services were at a business on Main Street East  in Huntsville in response to a break and enter.

Sometime between Saturday Oct. 27 and Monday Oct. 29 Suspects forcibly entered the business, once inside stole an undisclosed amount of cash and a laptop computer.

OPPare looking for this suspect in a Huntsville robbery Oct. 29.

And also Monday Oct. 29, just after 8:30 p.m., officers were notified that a robbery had just occurred at a business on Highway #60.

Police learned that a lone male had attended the business and demanded the owner place cash into a bag.

The owner complied with the male’s demands and the male fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, last seen running toward the rear of the building.

Emergency Response Team (ERT) including K-9 assisted in the investigation but it was believed that the suspect ran to the street behind the business and left in a vehicle.

The male suspect is described as approximately 5’8″ to 5’10” tall. He was wearing a black hooded sweater, balaclava, black gloves, dark blue pants and construction type boots. He was also described as having dark eyes

Muskoka Crime Unit is assisting in the investigation and is seeking the public’s assistance in helping to identify and locate this suspect.  A weapon was not seen by the business owner, and he was not injured during the robbery.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can submit your information online at or if you have any information on this crime or any other crime. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display and you will remain anonymous. Being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000.00. You can follow Crime Stoppers of Simcoe Dufferin Muskoka on Twitter or Facebook. – with photo

… Sex assault allegations after golf tournament

OPP in Bracebridge and the Central Region Crime Unit have completed their investigation into allegations of a sexual assault.

On Sept. 22 the female victim met the suspect at an area golf club during a tournament and the assault took place afterward at a Muskoka Lakes Township residence. The victim first reported the assault to the York Regional Police Service who, in turn, advised the Bracebridge OPP.

As a result of the ongoing police investigation, Christopher William Finlay, 39, of Georgian Bay Township was arrested and charged with: two counts of sexual Assault. He was in court in Bracebridge on Nov. 6.

Victims of sexual assaults are not alone. If you have been sexually assaulted or know someone who has, there are local resources to help you. You can visit the Muskoka/Parry Sound Sexual Assault Services for assistance at . A toll free call can also be placed to the Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 1-800-461-2929 where your information will remain anonymous and confidential. If you are in an immediate crisis, please dial 9-1-1.

… Northlander dreams still chugging alone

All Aboard Northern Ontario, one of a couple of groups trying to revive rail national passenger rail service notes it was 40 years ago Oct. 29 that VIA Rail Canada was born as an operating railway when it assumed the operation of The Canadian, the Super Continental and the other remaining Western Canadian passenger trains from Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN). Now they, and a group from southwestern Ontario are continuing efforts to revive train service, including the Northlander.

… Here’s a Christmas gift idea that will help support the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s youth programs. A coupon book featuring more than $1,000 worth of savings from 140 local businesses in the region including restaurants, services, retail, attractions and more. The coupon books are currently being sold at the YMCA’s Barrie, Collingwood, Gravenhurst, Innisfil, Midland, Orillia and Wasaga Beach Health and Fitness centres at a cost $10 each.

… Gravenhurst dog tags help return of family pets

Got a dog? Dog Tags are the law in Gravenhurst and will help locate your pet faster if it’s lost.

Helpful dog tags are the law in Gravenhurst.

A friendly reminder from the bylaw department that all dogs in town must be leashed at all times when in public or on trails, and they must have valid dog tags in order to reunite the pet with the owner if lost.

Dog tags can be purchased at the Town Office or at Pet Valu. Tag information and applications can be found at

Please keep in mind, there is a large fenced in, off leash Dog Park at the end of John Street South (Staff Sergeant Larry Bigley K9 Park), where dogs can run without leashes and socialize.

In the unfortunate event that a dog is lost, residents and visitors are advised to phone byaw (705-687-3412) with a detailed description of the dog. Assistance with locating dogs can be provided by patrolling the area as well as sharing photos and description of the dog on the town’s social media channels.

If you find a lost dog, contact the bylaw division. If staff cannot locate the owner of a lost dog, it will be taken to the Orillia OSPCA (705-325-1304). In order for a dog to be released, the owner is required to fill out a “Canine Release Form” and obtain a valid dog tag.

… Fine Films survey asks if 4 p.m. shows in winter OK

A Gravenhurst Fine Films survey asks: 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. for shows during January and February. Let the know by email at

Visit their website for further information and movie trailers

… SUV tumbles over edge at Lions Lookout in Huntsville

A weird accident Oct. 5, just after 8:30 a.m. in Huntsville had firefighters and paramedics responding to a motor vehicle collision at Lions Lookout in Huntsville.

They found that an SUV had driven over the edge of the lookout and fallen approximately 38 meters landing on its roof.

Two occupants were extricated from the vehicle by Huntsville Fire and transported to hospital. The male driver was treated for minor injuries and released; the female passenger was later transported to a Toronto area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The couple were tourists from out of the country

A police investigation concluded no charges would be laid.

Police are looking for this suspect in a Gravenhurst assault this summer.

… Serious summer assaults in Gravenhurst and Bracebridge require public’s assistance

OPP in Bracebridge and the Muskoka Crime Unit are still investigating a pair of serious assaults in south Muskoka this summer.

The first was of an 18 year-old girl that occurred in the very early morning hours of July 1, near Dominion Street in Bracebridge.

They are also seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a male suspect (see photo, left) after a serious assault on Aug. 15 in Gravenhurst.

The attached photograph image was taken from a security footage video in the area.

If you are able to assist in identifying this male suspect or have any information pertaining to either assault, please contact the Bracebridge OPP at 705 645-2211 or visit Crime Stoppers at: or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

… Pitman Bay Camp in Huntsville trashed

Huntsville OPP were advised of a significant amount of damage that was done to Pitman Bay Camp in the town of Huntsville.

A family had attended the camp to do a venue visit for an up and coming event and found the damage. Unknown culprits had done extensive damage to three different structures on the property. One building had spray paint inside and outside walls. Another building had damage to both exterior windows and doors. Once inside that building the culprits flipped tables, smashed all the plates and shattered a bathroom sink. The outside hose was also left on and flooded the grounds. The third building had damage to the door and glass window.

… Community Ambassador Program wins gold

The Town of Gravenhurst has received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for its Community Ambassador Program, a project in the category of Video/Multimedia Promotion from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Jeff Loney accepts award in Atlanta, Georgia, back in early October.

Staff economic development head Jeff Loney accepted the award in Atlanta, Oct. 2, during the IEDC Annual Conference.

The Community Ambassador program had 280 credit card sized USBs were created that became puzzle pieces of a large mural

Four main elements are included on the USBs including a video, invitation for a FAM tour, customized community profile and links to relevant information. Recipients of this program are invited to visit Gravenhurst and bring their USB card back, place it back into the mural and spend some time with Economic Development staff to talk about their ideas for Gravenhurst.

“This program, despite only being a couple of months into implementation has shown several positive results. There are now over 30 trained enthusiastic community ambassadors composed of new residents, long term residents and seasonal residents,” said Loney, manager of Economic Development.

“Our team has completed four familiarization tours which have led to three business investments in the area.”

For more information, please contact Loney at or 705-687-3412, ext.280.

Also see the town’s new website at

… Gravenhurst protecting local heritage

Gravenhurst’s Municipal Heritage Committee has been very active this summer with plaque unveiling’s and awards presentations.

The Narrows Lighthouse has been saved.

They gathered on board the Wenonah II and to celebrate a heritage plaque unveiling of the new Narrows Lighthouse on Lake Muskoka, which was saved after being rebuilt by the federal government.

They worked with the town and the Canadian Coast Guard to ensure that the heritage look and feel of the lighthouse was preserved during the much needed retrofit.

On Sept. 9, the committee celebrated the designation of Church of Our Lady, Southwood.

As well, they handed out the 2018 edition of the Built Heritage Awards.

2018 recipients:

  • Simcoe residence, 320 Farquhar Street
  • Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating & Electric, 210 Brock Street
  • Johnathan Bullock Pottery, 210 First Street
  • Rickshaw Restaurant, 350 Muskoka Road South
  • Auburn Gallery, 260 Bay Street
  • Lindsell House, 190 Mary Street North
  • Murdoch residence, 795 John Street

Said chair Hank Smith: “This award is a way of recognizing projects that exemplify Gravenhurst’s Built Heritage and promoting high quality projects that otherwise may go unnoticed.”

The Built Heritage Award Program has been in place since 2013. Since its inception, the Committee has awarded over 25 Built Heritage Awards in town.

On Sept. 29 a dozen properties were on a historic walking tour; which included a screening of the Lost Airmen of Muskoka Project (LAMP) film.

For more Information, contact: Angela Ghikadis Municipal Heritage Committee Liaison 705-687-3412 ext.246.

The Murdoch’s great old stone residence was among the 2018 built heritage recipients.
Gravenhurst Municipal Heritage Committee members, aboard the Wenonah II, celebrated another great year.