Newsletter June 2014

Trail Talk

I live in a small community in Norfolk County. In recent years I have experienced problems with walking. When I’m outside I use a wheelchair and need someone to push it for me. I’m a quiet person but enjoy getting out in my community to shop, attend events, or just go along one of the trails the county has to offer. It can be difficult for someone in a wheelchair or with mobility problems.

On May 27 I attended an event at the new library in Port Dover to celebrate National Access Awareness Week. The key note speaker was Victoria Nolan, a Paralympian rower. There were exhibits by local groups and it was great to be a part of this event.

There are things changing in my community to make it easier for me to get around. I have been out for walks on the paved trails in the urban area and many buildings are wheelchair friendly. The area in Port Rowan that looks over the bay is a great place to spend the afternoon, looking over the lake or watching the cars go by. I can even take the ramp that goes down to the pier.

Norfolk County is a great place to live and explore. Much has been made barrier free and I’m looking forward to seeing even more of my community

Submitted by Bob Williams for Bob Sayer

Ride Norfolk

Public transportation has now been available in Norfolk County for over two years. Since 2011, the Ride Norfolk Transportation Committee (RNTC) has been working to address the transportation needs for residents of Norfolk County. Transportation continues to be one of the major barriers to accessing service in Norfolk County and throughout rural Ontario. Recognizing that Ride Norfolk does not currently address the transportation issues for everyone within Norfolk, RNTC believes that the progress made to date is moving in the right direction.

Ontario has a Dedicated Gas Tax Program, whereby a tax of 2 cents per liter is applied to fuel purchases made at the pump. Funds are then distributed to municipalities providing public transportation. Ride Norfolk allows Norfolk County to access a share of this fund that would have otherwise been distributed to another area. (85% of the Dedicated Gas Tax Fund is distributed to the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area). This represents a significant source of funding for municipal transit services in Ontario.

Norfolk County received $241,807 in the first year of eligibility. This money is used to offset the cost of operating the service and lessen the burden on the municipal tax levy. Due to the increased funding from the province, increasing ridership and revenue, the proposed tax levy impact in 2014 for the operation of Ride Norfolk is $41,500.

Active transportation is closely related to public transportation services. The two can work together in order to encourage more economical and healthy living. Ride Norfolk operates on a fixed route. This means that stops are fixed in their location and the bus runs on a regular schedule. Riders can choose to walk or bike to a stop to catch the bus. Ride Norfolk staff is currently working with other county departments to place bike racks at some of our stop locations in an effort to encourage a blend of active transportation within our bus service.

Throughout the public transportation industry Ride Norfolk is being viewed as one of the leaders in Rural Transit and has been invited to be part of education, information and planning discussions throughout Ontario, Canada, and even Internationally. Ride Norfolk will continue to improve and enhance our service in efforts to create a healthy, inclusive, and accessible community.

“We all pay property taxes either directly through home ownership or indirectly as renters. These taxes pay for municipal services,  including roads. Since auto ownership is a surrogate of income, it means that the lower income resident who cannot afford a car is paying taxes to support a higher income resident who owns a car. Yet if there is no transit service then the higher income resident does not support the low income resident through the taxes needed to support a good level of transit service; herein lies the unfairness.” – Right-Sizing Transit: What Is a Reasonable Level of Transit Investment?

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding Ride Norfolk’s service please feel free to contact the public transportation coordinator at 519-428-3178 or [email protected].

Popular Cycling Routes

As the weather gets warmer, our thoughts turn to summer outdoor activities. Interested in road cycling? There are 10 new routes outlined on the Norfolk County 2014 Official Map for you to try. 

These ‘preferred’ cycling routes have been modified from earlier routes to take advantage of the more scenic roads, points of interest and less traffic. There are also three completely new routes to try. Routes range in length from 40-120kms and can easily be shortened by turning back earlier or lengthened by taking a longer detour. Feeling ambitious? Try connecting more than one of the routes together. 

Feel free to send us your thoughts and feedback on the new cycling routes. Maps are available at any Norfolk County office, library branch or museum as well as Visitor Information booths.

So get your bicycle out of storage and perhaps have a safety check and tune up at your local bike shop. Please ride safely and follow the rules of the road. Don’t forget your helmet!

Submitted by Dave Cameron

Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club

The 2014 mountain bike season has begun and the trails are riding great!

Cycling Exchange
In 2014, TPMBC will participate in a “Home and Away” ride exchange program. Each cycling club will play host to other clubs and will provide a BBQ and refreshments after the ride. The clubs participating are: TPMBC, Shorthills Cycling Club (Thorold), Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club (Barrie), Woodstock Cycling Club, and Western New York Mountain Bike Association (Buffalo).TPMBC will be hosting clubs at our Annual Fall Ripper.

Annual Fall Ripper – September 20th and 21st 2014
TPMBC is planning a two- day event this year. We have added a Saturday ride and camping will be available at Turkey Point Provincial Park. A night ride and other activities are planned and we can only hope for good weather. More details to follow on our website:

New Trails 
This spring the club successfully completed 4.1 kms of new trail on Norfolk County Lot C8. The signature trail is called Motorhead (there’s an abandoned straight six engine block beside the trail). Wild Turkey is a technical trail and will satisfy the expert riders out there. Fortunately, we have included a 1.1 km connector trail that is for beginner riders and also a great trail for hikers and birders.

The trails have four bridges and took 600 hours of volunteer labour to complete. Congratulations and thanks to all our club members – great teamwork!

Ladies’ Ride Night

We have a weekly ride, specifically for women, with guides to lead groups with different skill levels through the trails. When: Tuesdays at 5:30pmWhere: Meet at Mole RoadContact Meg Palermo for more information:   [email protected]

Submitted by Rob Luke

Waterford Heritage Trail Association

It is Spring/Summer and we are all on the trail again enjoying the weather. So long polar vortexes!

Some things to take note of when on the trail are the 14 maple trees, donated by David Hockley and planted by Gord Pennington, from Thompson Rd south for two concessions. Thanks.

Something else to note is that we have a lot of milkweed plants along the trail and this will encourage Monarchs to increase their numbers. We are registering two sites, one on the Shadow Lake Trail behind On Golden Pond, and one on the home trail at the Thompson Rd gate, with the Monarch Watch Organization. We may soon be known for our butterflies as well as our Black Bridge. Let’s hope.

The Shadow Lake Trail will be lengthened to the Mini Black Bridge. While walking the trail you will notice the increased access to the shore line (thanks to our volunteers), our third memorial bench and an offshoot of the Port Dover Silver Lake Rowing Club who will bring their craft and dock to Shadow Lake. You might also see long boarders out on the ponds alongside fishing boats. We are hopeful that the Ontario Trillium Foundation will finance two new docks. We’ll soon need a harbour master! Busy, busy.

Trail traffic is also on the rise as everyone has realized that our trails are part of Norfolk’s recreational treasures. People are on the move and, believe it or not, it is called “active transportation” and Provincial and Municipal governments are setting aside funds for this very thing. We have witnessed our trails transform from a famine to a cornucopia of offerings in a decade. This is great news.

So let’s get out there and enjoy… and don’t forget to stop and talk to someone because you both have something in common – us.

Submitted by Frank Woodcock

Election Candidates Project

P4P is exploring the possibility of hosting a series of all candidates’ information sessions in the various wards and for the mayor’s post. We would develop a format to include the issues relating to health and the well-being of the people of Norfolk. The time frames we are looking at are late August and early September. 

In the meantime, we are meeting with the declared candidates to ask what they see as the issues and how they relate to our mandate. We would appreciate your thoughts on Active Transportation issues, as they relate to P4P. We only get this opportunity once every four years.

Look for more information as to the location, date and times in your area, as your attendance would be appreciated.

Submitted by Steve Irwin

Upcoming Events

Discover Norfolk Walks – Norfolk County Community Services department offers organized walks throughout Norfolk County each Thursday from May 1 to October 16, 6:30-7:30 pm. These FREE walks are held at a different trail/location each week and are open to all skill levels. Participants are encouraged to bring bug spray, water and wear appropriate footwear.

What a great way to explore Norfolk County and meet new people! For more information, please contact: Ingrid Zyma-Irvin at 519-426-8866 Ext 2303. 

8th Annual Le Tour de Norfolk – On July 19th and 20th, over 1000 participants are expected to arrive in Delhi prepared to cycle the quiet roads and to discover the quaint villages of Norfolk County. For more info:

The Grand Tour Desjardins – Velo Quebec’s annual tour is coming to Norfolk County in August. More than 2000 cyclists will travel some 600kms in seven days, from Hamilton, through Brant, Norfolk, Haldimand and Niagara region. Cyclists will be setting up camp at the fairgrounds in Simcoe August 3rd, 4th & 5th.

Two-wheel Tourists – Cycling and motorcycling tourists are quickly discovering the beauty of Haldimand and Norfolk counties. And when they do, they are looking for places to eat, sleep and visit. 
That is why Norfolk Pathways for People is working with staff from both counties to offer a workshop for area businesses to learn more about catering to these two-wheel visitors. Businesses will learn just what this group is looking for and what others are doing to accommodate them.

Coming November 2014, stay tuned for more information on Two-wheel Tourists… Cycling and motorcycling as business opportunities.

Let’s go for a walk!
Join Norfolk Pathways for People to explore Hastings Drive in Long Point
Sunday, June 22nd at 1pm
Park at the Causeway Restaurant at 12 Erie Blvd (see poster)

The Lynn Valley Trail Association – President`s Message: Our Silent Helpers

We all know how invaluable our volunteers are in maintaining our trail systems.  I have discovered a few of our ‘silent’ helpers who go about their business assisting with work on our Lynn Valley Trail as well as other local trails.  They ask for no thanks and contribute their time and labour to keep our trail maintained and operational.  It’s time to pat a few of these dedicated people on the back.

Barb Oakes and Rob Laurie of Port Dover live near the trail entrance on Prospect Street.  They have been cutting the grass and cleaning this area for the past twenty years plus.  A few years ago they purchased and placed a bench in a lovely shady spot at this entrance and now stain and varnish their bench every spring.  Check out this small oasis on the trail, a neat and tidy spot, with a lovely place to rest.

Marv Dickenson from Simcoe often walks the trail with his dog.  He is another silent helper who has placed garbage containers in several locations between Victoria Street, Norfolk Street and Lynn Valley Road – a long section of trail.  Marv empties them regularly and helps keep these areas of the trail neat and tidy for all users. Marv also assists by trimming trees and has ventured under the bridges to clear out log jams.  Marv’s brother, Tom Dickenson, has made several bird houses and installed them along the trail towards the Blue Line Road area.

Gord Pennington stopped by last week looking for some buckets so that he and Frank Woodcock could go out onto the Waterford Trail and water fourteen newly planted maple trees.  Dave Hockley of Hockley’s Landscaping and Tree Service once again has donated trees to our trail system from his maple plantation.  I was able to provide Gord and Frank with several watering buckets thanks to Jacqueline Champagne of County Corks in Port Dover.  Thanks Gord and Frank for keeping those trees alive.

Jay and Audrey Roxborough of Simcoe have been cleaning garbage on the Simcoe end of the trail for the past five years.  Jay hangs up garbage bags in various locations in the Brook Conservation Area as well as on the Lynn Valley Trail and collects the garbage every Friday morning as he walks his dog. Sometimes Marv has beaten him to it and already picked up the garbage so we have a great tag team here keeping this end of the trail clean.  Jay says the litter on the trail has gone down considerably since he and Audrey started their campaign to provide garbage bags.

There is no doubt that there are many more volunteers and ‘silent’ partners out there helping us improve our trail.  All of you make it a better and more enjoyable place.  Thanks to all of our silent helpers!   Please give me a call if you have a volunteer story.

Submitted by Paul Beischlag

Trail Project Update

The Lynn Valley Trail Association has spent the last year working diligently on the Bridge and Trail restoration project. The plan to replace 26 bridge supports on the Burt and Robinson bridges and the resurfacing of two kilometers of this portion of the trail has been completed. 

As we head into summer, the Trail Executive and Directors are now focusing on the few remaining projects of minor improvement to the trail.

The Port Dover end of the trail from the fountain at Silver Lake to Prospect Street was recently resurfaced with limestone screenings and widened in certain areas to improve traffic flow.

The trail’s nine existing gates were removed and replaced with 39” standard openings, which allow easier access for wheelchairs,scooters and child bicycle trailers.

Currently sign upgrades are being reviewed, with interpretative signage being considered as a means to enhance public knowledge of the trail’s rich history, including information about the railways. Other sign improvements that will also be considered include kilometer markers, road intersection warnings and improved location identification at intersections.

Due to the efforts of many volunteers and generous donations, the Lynn Valley Trail is now safer and more accessible for all trail enthusiasts. Gail Bouw, President of the Rotary Sunrise Club of Simcoe, accompanied by Nancy Sherwin, chair of the environmental committee of the Sunrise Rotary Club, recently met with Lynn Valley Trail, President Paul Beischlag and Treasurer Peter Munzar, to offer a cheque for $3000.00 to the Bridge and Trail Resurfacing Project.

This was the final contribution to the immense project that began in early 2013. The Norfolk community, including residents and service clubs, showed tremendous support by donating to the Trail Association and the project was completed on time and within budget.

As well the Lynn Valley Trail Association has paired up with Bachmann Law to coordinate a Bike Helmet Safety event which will be held at Silver Lake Park, at the Port Dover entrance of the trail on June 7th.  Bicycle enthusiasts will share information about how to properly wear a helmet. Bachmann Law is donating new helmets to attendees. It promises to be a fun filled family event.

Submitted by Kerstein Mallon