Opinion Editorial

Sports tourism a bit of an afterthought

This week, during budget deliberations, when talk inevitably turned to "sports tourism," Coun. Tim Lauer suggested the creation of a sports tourism committee. It was an idea that resonated with his colleagues as, following some discussion, it was decided two councillors and Mayor Steve Clarke would meet to determine how best to proceed.

Cost increase no surprise

At this week's budget session at city hall, councillors learned - not surprisingly - the costs to operate the new recreation centre are higher than expected. City staff initially estimated it would cost about $750,000 to operate the aquatic centre when it opens in 2018. This week, staff reported the operating cost, after expected revenues are talli


On to greener pastures – finally

In the end, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) got it right. But the lengthy, costly process that finally concluded Friday with a decision that allows Burl’s Creek to host large-scale concerts at its Oro-Medonte venue is a stark example of why the provincial entity is being overhauled.

From humble beginnings

In 1961, Orillia's Ruth Jones founded the Mariposa Folk Festival. It started humbly -- and peacefully. But in 1963, festival attendees outnumbered the population of the town and things turned ugly. Soon after, town council banned the fest from Orillia.

Grannies look to pass the torch

In the midst of the chaos that erupted at last week's G20 Summit in Germany, where even the most optimistic observer was hard pressed to find any signs of tangible progress, an enduring image emerged that, in a way, poignantly captures the essence of today's world in a snapshot.

Letter of the law versus spirit of the law

When work began on the new Fionn MacCool's Irish pub, and a new, eye-popping facade started to attract the attention of those passing by the emerging establishment near the waterfront, a sense of anticipation began to build apace with the construction.

Lacrosse program boosts athlete profiles

Earlier this week, under threatening skies and amid persistent showers, the popular Orillia Lady Kings house league girls' field lacrosse program wrapped up its 22nd season following several weeks of skills development, games, laughs and memories.

Sears shuttering part of a bigger retail shift

Last week, Sears Canada, one of the country's most iconic retailers, announced it had filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors. It unveiled plans to close 59 of its 225 stores and slash about 2,900 people from its 17,000-strong workforce as part of what it's calling a 'restructuring.'

Council ignoring expert advice becoming costly

We elect city councillors to make decisions on our behalf. We expect those decisions to be informed choices. That's why councillors routinely ask staff members, who have no political agenda nor any election-driven shelf life, to investigate matters that come to the council table. Councillors typically ask for background information, context, best p

True show of strength

In 2013, Patti Freeman, a teacher at Couchiching Heights Public School, unveiled a new running program for girls at the north-end school. It was all about providing the students an opportunity to learn about, among other things, the importance of fitness.

Keyboard warriors beware

The World Wide Web made its debut in 1990 and it's still a relatively young technology. Perhaps that's why it still resembles the wild west, where anything and everything goes.

Pay-to-park bylaw could deter tourism

The sun finally emerged this week and the temperatures, at long last, began to warm up. That meant lots of people were flocking to our waterfront to soak in the rays, to dip their toes in the chilly waters and relish the first moments of a coming summer.

Initiative shines a light on areas of need

The next time this municipality considers spending big bucks to hire an out-of-town consultant, perhaps they should give that decision some serious second thought because within this community reside many intelligent, articulate, passionate, caring people who have innovative ideas that could change the world.

An old-school mentality

Great news, folks. A successful, long- time local entrepreneur has decided to move into a vacant store in the downtown core. He is investing his hard-earned money into upgrading the space with new floors and better lighting; the enterprise will sport a dynamic sign crafted by local legend Ron Schell, who has created most of the downtown's signature

We can all play a part in honouring Jacob

A few months after his son died, Jeff Noble got a call from Mark Goode. He asked Jeff to bring his wife, Connie, and their two children, Kayleigh and Kaden, over to his house. “When Mark opened the door, standing behind him were two firefighters from Toronto and two firefighters from New Jersey, Bill Lavin and his daughter,” recalled Noble.

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