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.


OSMH president and CEO Pat Campbell gets animated during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Integrated Medicine and Rehab Services unit at the hospital, with chief nursing executive and program director Kari Simpson-Adams and geriatrician Dr. Kevin Young in the background. PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES

OSMH unveils new rehab services unit

Most communities in Canada, particularly those with aging populations, would love to have a geriatrician nearby. Orillia is lucky enough to have two.

Decision to be ratified Tuesday at special council meeting

The city is changing lanes when it comes to who operates the Orillia Transit buses.Council committee recommended TOK Transit Limited take over the service from First Canada ULC effective July 1. The decision is set to be ratified in a special meeting of council Tuesday night.Six respondents submitted bids through the city’s request for proposal (RF

Dean Brody performing at Boots and Hearts 2016 in Oro-Medonte. Patrick Bales/The Packet & Times

Brody stops at Casino Rama May 5

Canadian country music fans are able to set their watches by when Dean Brody releases a new record.

Hollerado plays the Geneva Event Centre Friday night as part of Roots North Music Festival. Submitted

Hollerado takes the stage at Roots North

On Good Friday, Hollerado released their third official record, Born Yesterday. The day before, lead singer Menno Versteeg was about as calm and collected as he possibly could be.

A fire destroyed a significant portion of a home on Franklin Street in Orillia Tuesday morning. Patrick Bales/The Packet & Times

UPDATE: Fire deemed arson

Police have arrested one person in relation to a fire Tuesday morning on Franklin Street in Orillia.

There was a lot of rain falling while kids were picking up the Easter eggs downtown Saturday morning, and some even brought umbrellas, ideally to stay dry. But not Logan Moniz, right, and Philip Milligan. They used their umbrella to hold all the Easter eggs they collected.

Soggy Saturday doesn't stop the Easter fun in Orillia

After a beautiful and sunny Good Friday, there was hope the weather predictions would be wrong and the rain would hold off for Saturday morning Downtown Orillia Great Easter Egg Hunt. While the nice weather didn't stick around, the steady rain didn't keep hundreds of kids from heading out to the Orillia Opera House to search for eggs.

Raven Kanatakta of Digging Roots. Supplied photo/

Digging Roots prepares for Roots North

There's a week to go before Digging Roots headlines the second night of the Roots North Music Festival and there is still a lot to do.

Brothers Mackenzie, left, and Keenan Holmes, hold a picture of their parents, Dave and Mallory with sister Charlee on the day she was born. Charlee died in the NICU wing of OSMH and the Holmes family is hosting Charlee's Run to raise money for the hospital April 29. SUBMITTED

Charlee's Run takes place in Orillia on April 29

For the two hours Charlee Holmes was on this planet, she made her home at Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital. This year, on what would have been her sixth birthday, her parents are bringing the community together to help raise money for the hospital's paediatric/neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

A minivan rests precariously against a tree following a single vehicle collision Thursday afternoon.

Van crashes into tree in Hawkstone

A minivan rests precariously against a tree following a single vehicle collision Thursday afternoon. A male driver temporarily lost control of his vehicle on Ridge Road East, in Hawkstone at Line 11 around 4:40 p.m. The strength of the tree's roots in the ground prevented the van from traveling down the embankment into the yard of a Line 11 South r