Patrick Bales, The Orillia Packet & Times

Patrick Bales is a reporter with The Packet & Times. A native of Bradford, Ontario (Ontario's Salad Bowl), Patrick's interests include writing, rock and roll, hockey and history - not necessarily in order. He likes the Bruins, the Hip, jukeboxes, Instagram, oxford commas and irony.


PACKET & TIMES FILES Orillia Museum of Art and History

More money for Orillia museum

A further $25,000 in upgrades will be undertaken at the Sir Sam Steele Memorial Building by the end of March, thanks to funding from the federal government.

Jenna Schick admires some of the art on display during the opening of the 21st annual International Women's Day art show in Orillia, Saturday at the Orillia Museum of Art and History.

Celebrating women in art at OMAH

There's still four more weeks of winter, but Saturday's balmy temperatures certainly had folks feeling Wiarton Willie's prediction of an early spring may come to fruition.

Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans, centre, has been named the new principal of the Lakehead University Orillia campus. He is seen at the announcement Friday, flanked by retiring principal Dr. Kim Fedderson, left, and Dr. Brian Stevenson, Lakehead University president and vice-chancellor. PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES

New principal named at Lakehead

A new maestro is set to conduct the orchestra that is Lakehead Orillia, as the university enters the next phase of its evolution.

Thomas Caldwell

Caldwell lived a full life

Now that he’s gone, there’s debate as to whether Thomas Caldwell ever really worked a day in his life.

Orillia city council has determined that 95 North St. E. cannot legally be converted into a three-dwelling residential unit. PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES

Bylaw zoning amendment denied

A plan to convert a residence on North Street East into a triplex has been shot down by city council.

Waterfront development to move forward

A $17-million project got the green light from council Monday, one that could be the game changer for the waterfront that has been promised for years.

Midland Police Chief Michael Osborne

Midland weighs policing options

A long-awaited costing proposal from the OPP for the Town of Midland was presented to councillors Wednesday night.

PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES A row of new homes in Orillia, which helped grow the city’s population 1.9% over the past five years, to 31,166.

Census figures released this week show Simcoe County population increasing overall

Initial census figures released by Statistics Canada this week show Simcoe County’s population has grown 7.5% in the past five years.There are 479,650 people living in Simcoe County, compared to 446,063 in 2011. The county’s population grew at a faster rate than both the national and provincial averages.That’s thanks in-part to municipalities in th

PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES An illegally parked car in west Orillia.

Boulevard parking policy received

Further changes to the city’s parking policy are not forthcoming.Orillia council committee received as information a report from the engineering and transportation department on a possible pilot project allowing lower driveway boulevard parking on private property at its meeting this week.The report stemmed from a request made by Coun. Jeff Clark l