Welcome from the Mayor

portrait of Mayor Rick WoodcockWe welcome you to the Township of North Kawartha, "our little piece of heaven". We are situated about 2 hours north east of Toronto, along Highway 28 between Peterborough and Bancroft.

The Township is a year-round vacation paradise, especially for those who enjoy the outdoors. We have numerous lakes, which support a large number of permanent and seasonal residents. Many of our lakes have public access including a number of public beaches. As one might expect, water sports are very popular within our Township. We encourage you to visit two of our beautiful Provincial Parks, the Petroglyphs with heritage status and the Kawartha Highlands, a Natural Environment Park and the largest park in Ontario south of Algonquin.

There are excellent resorts, golf courses and many businesses scattered through the Township such as grocery stores, hardware, pharmacy, LCBOs, restaurants and unique shops located in the villages of Apsley, Glen Alda, Woodview and Big Cedar. We offer a Medical Centre, libraries, Community Centres and arena in Apsley which is hosting the Knights, Junior C Hockey team.  

With its wide variety of recreational activities, one might argue that there is never a bad time of year to visit North Kawartha, but the autumn is exceptionally beautiful when the leaves begin to change colour. Picturesque is often an understatement! To see a deer, moose and beaver is commonplace.

North Kawartha is a "business friendly" community where we encourage anyone looking for a new location, to consider setting up or re-locating in a Township which offers endless opportunities for growth and success. The population of North Kawartha is roughly 1/3 permanent and 2/3 seasonal residents, but the number of people calling North Kawartha their permanent or perhaps retirement home is ever-increasing as they continue to discover the beauty and tranquility of our lakes and forests.

The people, resorts and lodges along with many businesses of the Township of North Kawartha invite you to visit, stay, and share our glorious landscapes of lakes, streams, forests, and rocky barrens and, above all, experience our warm hospitality.

We all welcome you to spend some time with us.

Rick Woodcock
Mayor, North Kawartha

February 2018 Update

I will start by thanking staff for addressing a heavy work load with a sense of commitment and dedication. Staff have been faced with many new challenges while at the same time experiencing several vacant positions. I appreciate their desire to address the needs of the community during challenging times.

I will commence this report with an item which has caused significant unrest for many in North Kawartha over the past few months.

  • North Kawartha Health Centre: There is great news, that by this time, you may have heard about Dr. Paul Hasson, Family Physician, being recruited by the Peterborough Family Health Team, to fill the position previously held by Dr. Rayes for some 42 years. Thanks once again to Dr. Rayes for his commitment.

Dr. Hasson currently has a busy practice in downtown Toronto, but decided like many of us in North Kawartha that he is seeking a more peaceful life style. In order to take time to make arrangements for his Toronto patients, he will join us on a part-time basis commencing March 1st, 2018 evolving into full-time as the practice fills. He will start seeing patients on a date to be announced.

I must stress that we are very fortunate recognizing there is an extreme shortage of Family Physicians in Ontario at this time. There are approximately 8500 people in Peterborough County alone who do not have access to a doctor, depending upon walk-clinics, emergency departments etc. for primary care.

Thanks go out to the Peterborough Family Health Team and especially Lori Richey, CEO; we are fortunate to be in a position to make this announcement.

To those who have berated me for not doing more to attract a doctor, all I can say is that the Township and the Family Health Team have been very busy, doing everything possible to attract a physician. I now trust that you appreciate our achievement!

  • What is happening? with Burleigh Street: Moving forward with improvements to Burleigh Street has been a struggle at every corner. As many know, it has been my goal to make appropriate improvements which will improve safety for our residents and especially for our children. We are in a very unique/unusual position with having mountable curbs and (technically according to the County) no sidewalks. The fact that our school children must frequently walk around vehicles into a lane of traffic is unacceptable.

You have noticed that we have worked with the County to install radar speed signs in both directions; one near the Library and one north of the school. These signs are now a constant reminder to drivers that their speed should be limited to <50km/h. I have a goal to convince the County that the limit should be reduced to 40km/h, thereby allowing enforcement to be worthwhile.

The County plans to re-surface Burleigh Street in the summer of 2018. Township Council is requesting quotations with respect costs for:

  •  sidewalks on the west side (Post Office side) and throughout the village        
  •  Non mountable curbs to encourage no parking, and
  •  Cross walk(s)

Hopefully this work will be the first phase in continuous improvements to the Apsley downtown.

  • Upgrades to Chandos Beach: In the upcoming months, many will appreciate the work undertaken by our Roads and Parks & Recreation Departments to make improvements to a beach which has been “sliding away” over recent years. The beach will now be many times larger and it is hoped that Council can continue to find funds to provide further upgrades over the next few years.
  • Meetings of Council are now available on YouTube for viewing 24/7. Residents may now watch the entire meeting or portions  whenever one wishes. This is a pilot project which intends to add to Council’s goal to be more transparent and make our work/decisions more available to the Community. With a limited budget for this project, we will continue to work to improve the quality. Please let us know your thoughts.
  • A new Deputy is coming to town: I wish to thank Deputy Fire Chief Martin McCrae who helped our Fire Department move forward on several operational and quality issues. Martin retired in November 2017. I am pleased to report that Chief Jesse Lambe has announced that Troy Windibank will be joining the Department in the near future. He joins us with broad experience and much enthusiasm.
  • Operating and Capital Budgets: Faced with continuous forced cost increases such as hydro, fuel, wage increases as per Bill 148, Provincial Government expectations and downloading and the cost of infrastructure repairs and upgrades, preparing balanced budgets is a challenge. The result of Council’s work for the 2018 budget year has concluded with a:
    • 5.5% increase for operations
    • 2.61 % tax rate increase (note that the property tax increase for a house assessed at $100,000 will be $9.07).      
    • The Capital Budget includes a new snow plow purchased at a net cost of $230,246 and Fire Department tanker upgrade of $175,000.

Update on other issues:

  •  A decision has been received from the OMB with respect to the Burleigh Bay Development application. The OMB ruled against the application which means that the
  • proposed development will not proceed. The future of the property (in terms of development is currently unknown).
  • A decision from the OMB is yet to be received with respect to the proposed In-Water Structure Bylaw. There is no news as to when this decision will be issued.
  • The proposed Expansion Enlargement Bylaw will return to Council agenda on March 6, 2018 for further discussion and potential endorsement by Council.

The intention of the proposed Bylaw is to bring clarity to the issue of setback distances from the high water mark for applications requesting expansion/enlargement and allow staff to address such decisions within the framework without requiring frequent referrals to Council. 

If I have failed to address an issue that you wish to learn more about, please send me a note or contact the CAO or 705- 656- 4445 X236.

I trust that my next message will be written on a much warmer day…. looking forward to Summer 2018!

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