Opinion Editorial

Attempting reconciliation

Just as the decommissioned decorative cannons at Couchiching Park are symbols of a militaristic past, a recent push by city council to reorient the offending relics of the past symbolized, to many, a council that had lost its way.

Be proud, Orillia

As a parent, when your child is about to perform in a play or captain the team in its championship game, you almost want to hold your breath. You feel yourself alternately bursting with pride and joy while tamping down that niggling fear that it won't go quite as planned. It's like walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls.

Symbolic cannon move should be shot down

Being a city councillor is, perhaps, the most intense elected position in the political realm. When you toil in provincial or federal politics, there is a certain level of separation from your constituents. Not so in municipal politics.

Bylaw changes not worth the time, money

Cleanliness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder -- especially to a homeowner. Some people see a wood stove as a cozy necessity; others believe it turns a home into a smelly fire trap. Some love perfectly manicured gardens on landscaped grounds that resemble a golf course; others prefer a more natural look where wildflowers are allowed to po

Vets’ dinner becomes increasingly important

Sometimes, an absence can fill a room. In the midst of reminiscing and remembering and amid laughs and tears, it felt a little like that at Saturday night’s 13th annual Take a Vet to Dinner event. It was the first time in the event’s history there were more willing hosts than surviving veterans.

City dropped the ball on OPP detachment

Ask anyone at city hall, and you'll be told the forward-thinking, ambitious Downtown Tomorrow report provided a well-laid-out, albeit expensive, blueprint to help maximize our waterfront and provide better links to a revitalized downtown core.

The Target store at Orillia Square mall, shortly before it closed. (PATRICK BALES/PACKET & TIMES FILES)

RioCan taking Orillia for a ride

Fortune has not shone on the Orillia Square mall in recent years. When Zellers closed, things looked bleak as the mall lost its anchor tenant for the second time in a decade.

Cat control is up to shelter and residents

After years of struggling in a rudimentary shelter operated from a tired, old house that had seen better days, the Comfie Cat Shelter, thanks to a large donation, was able to build itself a new, purpose-built, modern home. Things were looking up. Briefly.

Cooler heads prevail in monument discussion

There is a massive breach in the landscape of Couchiching Beach Park these days -- a strange, empty spot of disturbed earth where the prodigious monument honouring Samuel de Champlain had stood since it was unveiled to the delight of thousands of rapt citizens in 1925.

Levels of bureaucracy

When you're in the transportation business, every second counts. For taxi companies, that means answering the call for a cab with speed and efficiency. Unfortunately for local taxi companies -- and the many customers they serve -- speed and efficiency don't seem to be watchwords at city hall.

It’s up to consumers to ask questions

Visiting the Orillia Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning is a time-honoured tradition. It is one of the region’s longest-running civic gathering spots with roots that date back to 1842, when farmers first descended on the waterfront to sell their wares.

Housing money well spent

This week, we learned the province will ante up nearly $10 million to create 37 new supportive housing units in Simcoe County - including 20 much-needed units in Orillia. The cynical among us can't help but tie the announcement and the pile of cash to pure political opportunism; they will tell you the Liberals are trying to buy a return to power.

Not much will change come collection day

During a lengthy city council committee meeting Monday night, one of the items up for discussion was the municipality's anti-scavenging ordinance. The issue landed on council's radar because a citizen expressed a concern about the bylaw that allows enforcement officers, for example, to fine a person $200 for picking an empty wine bottle out of a re

Central School looks to be in good hands

Through its patient and prudent handling of the fate and future of a historic school building in the heart of the downtown, Orillia city council has conducted a master class on how to capitalize on an opportunity.

Neglect the cause of sidewalk problem

Over the past several municipal elections, at the very least, it would be difficult to remember a single candidate not espousing the importance of the city's downtown core. Under constant pressure from big-box stores and the explosive growth of west Orillia, candidates have, ad nauseum, vowed to protect, enliven, improve, animate -- you pick the wo

Cheap shots for political points

Ralph Cipolla was Orillia's youngest- ever city councillor when he was first elected in 1977. Today, he is serving his second term as a councillor for Ward 2 and while there have been some big gaps in his lengthy tenure of public service, Cipolla is the city's most seasoned politician.

Preserving history

When Donald Porter resurrected the distinctive vertical neon sign after he purchased the former Geneva Theatre a few years ago, it was a little like turning back the clock. It reminded people of a bygone era when the West Street movie house was 'the' place to watch a movie.

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