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.


SUBMITTED PHOTO Burl's Creek event grounds in Oro-Medonte Township are pictured.

OMB hearing into Burl's Creek wraps up

After 11 hearing days, approximately 70 evidence exhibits and countless objections, testimony in the Burl's Creek temporary zoning bylaw case in front of the Ontario Municipal Board has concluded.

PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES The third annual Roots North Music Festival is coming to Orillia later this spring, and for the second year, a mid-winter concert was organized to showcase the types of sounds soon to be heard. The concert took place Friday night in the basement of St. Paul’s Centre, featuring Bryan McPherson, Skye Wallace and Aurora Blue. At the show, organizers announced the headlining acts for the 2017 Roots North will be playing St. Paul’s Centre, in a larger room than the one available in the previous two years. The Geneva Event Centre is also joining as a venue for 2017. Pictured during their opening set are Gaby Taylor, left, and Ayden Miller of Aurora Blue.

Getting ready for Roots

The third annual Roots North Music Festival is coming to Orillia later this spring, and for the second year, a mid-winter concert was organized to showcase the types of sounds soon to be heard.

Canadian historian Ted Barris shakes hands with a likeness of Sir John A Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, before speaking at the 19th annual Sir John A Macdonald Celebration, Saturday night in Orillia.

Celebrating Sir John in Orillia

The Hermitage Ballroom at the Best Western Mariposa Inn was the room with the Sir John A view Saturday night.

PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES A large pool of slushy water sits at the bottom of Stone Ridge Boulevard and Emperor Drive.

Frustration over plowing piling up

Approximately seven feet (190 cm) of snow has fallen in Orillia since Dec. 1. Another foot, and the city will have matched its total average snowfall for an entire season.

Gord Michener

Gord Michener died recently at age 76

A naturalist. An astronomer. A pilot. A lawyer. A father and husband. Gord Michener was a modern-day Renaissance man who left his mark among many in Orillia.

Be aware of the signs of dementia

Dementia isn't a natural part of aging. But it's something that is impacting an increasing number of the elderly.

PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES Prior to Joe Roberts's appearance at the Orillia Mayor's Levee on New Year's Day, he took part in a presentation to the Lighthouse Soup Kitchen and Shelter. Beneath the Blanket presented approximately 30 blankets to the shelter, collected prior to Christmas. Pictured, from left, are David Watt and Michelle White, of Beneath the Blanket, Marie and Joe Roberts, of Push for Change, and Linda Goodall, executive director of the Lighthouse.

Joe Roberts spoke at the Mayor’s Levee on New Year’s Day

A sobering notion permeated through part of the the Mayor's Levee in Orillia on New Year's Day: while so many were ringing in the new year at our homes, far too many were out on the street with no place else to go.

Simcoe-North MPP and provincial leader of the opposition Patrick Brown, second from the right, speaks to a collective at his New Year's Levee Monday morning in Coldwater. Joining the conversation are, from the left, Margie Fisher, Doug Downey, Orillia Coun. Mason Ainsworth and Jill Dunlop. Both Downey and Dunlop have announced their intentions to run as Brown's replacement in Simcoe-North in the 2018 provincial election. PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES

Brown talks shop at levee

New Year's Day falling on a Sunday meant many people got to take Monday off as well, and several of those in Coldwater took the chance to talk with their MPP.