Siding's safe, KDSB

The Kenora District Services Board is paying close attention. Chief administrative officer Henry Wall says they've been following the findings, after a social housing unit caught fire in London, England.

"I think it's an eye-opener for housing providers across the globe," he said. "We're being very mindful of what materials are being used, during the construction of multi-residential buildings."

Wall emphasizes the service board units -- including Parkview in Kenora -- are made from different materials. He added the buildings also have measures in place to contain a fire, should one ignite.

Media reports from England suggest more than 600 social housing buildings are being inspected. At least 79 are feared dead, after siding at the Grenfell Tower caught fire.


Councillor defends OPP costing

Dryden councillor Marty MacKinnon says it's long overdue. He says it's finally time they got the numbers for hiring the OPP.

"We have to be able to look at what our police costing is, and what is offered other places, just to see if we're in the ballpark. We wouldn't be doing our jobs as councillors, if we didn't look at everything," he said.

MacKinnon adds they're also looking into changes at the fire service, such as closing the Barclay Hall.

The city's facing significant cashflow problems, as council looks to manage their short and long-term debt. 

"This will resolve an ongoing issue in our community for the last -- probably -- 20 years," he said. "It's been talked about. It's been passed off. It's been put down."

In addition, the community is facing a significant infrastructure deficit, like many others across the country. MacKinnon emphasized the costing process isn't a reflection on the quality of service they're receiving from the current police service.

Following last week's vote, where councillors took under 20 minutes to unanimously vote in favour of the costing process, a letter will be sent to the province to formally request the review. Members of the committee overseeing the process will include Coun. Mary Trist and Coun. Norm Bush, as well as the city's chief administrative officer, Ernie Remillard, and the police service chief, Doug Palson.

A member of the police service committee is also expected to join. Together, they will make a decision about using a consultant, as part of the process.

A final decision on the process is expected in 12 to 18 months. A municipal election is set for Oct. 22, 2018.

For more information:

OPP costing approved

City of Dryden - Council to consider OPP costing

OPP Costing process manual

Johnson chosen for exhibit

Kenora's abstract expressionist artist, Pippi Johnson, has been chosen.

She's part of the Canada 150th exhibit at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

Perspectives from Here: 150 Artists from the North runs into September. It will also include work from Woodlands style pioneer Daphne Odjig, among the 150 artists in the exhibit.

Johnson has been based out of Treaty Island for most of her career. However, a recent workshop took her on a cruise aboard the QE2.

Her work can also be seen closer to home on market days at the Whitecap Pavilion.

(Chris Stones, Chop Canadian, 2009, courtesy Thunder Bay Art Gallery)

For more information:

Pippi Johnson

Perspectives From Here

Norman Drive paving

mapnormandriveThe west portion of Norman Drive in Kenora will be under construction beginning tomorrow until July 17.

During this time sections of this area of Norman Drive will be reduced to a single lane and flag personnel will be on site to direct traffic.

Delays will occur and motorists should consider alternative travel routes whenever possible.

For more information:

Kenora Beaches and Trails Plan (2016)

2017 Capital Plan Budget


Dryden road closures

Dryden residents are advised that Union Gas will have Van Horne Avenue closed to vehicular traffic at the intersection of Parkdale Road Monday, starting at approximately 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 at night for gas valve repair.

As well, please be advised that Union Gas will have Duke Street closed to vehicular traffic from Colonization to Whitney Avenue on Tuesday, during the same time frame for gas valve repair.

Motorists in Kenora will note the road work beginning on Norman Drive Monday morning.

For more information:

City of Kenora - Public works

Garrow leads by example

Cierra Garrow's happy to give back. The Kenora native helped lead the Ride Don't Hide event at Garrow Park today in Kenora.

Looking fit and trim in a cyclist's jacket, she looks every inch the poster child for the fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Without asking, you might never guess the courage behind the bright smile and free-flowing red hair. From her own admission, Garrow survived three suicide attempts, before completing high school.

"I have lived experience with mental illness," she says bravely, not beating an eyelash.

From a young age, growing up in a small town, Garrow has battled with anxiety and depression. Over the years, she says it's been a struggle to find resources to help.

"Going through my childhood and university, it was a very big struggle in Kenora to have access to mental health resources," she added. "At a very young age, I decided I wanted to be the change in my community. I wanted to give back. I wanted to change how everything was functioning here, and be able to make sure no child ever felt the need to end their life, to be able to get help.

Garrow has said her recovery has included more attention to diet and exercise, noting mental health will be an issue for her for the rest of her life. She has also noted big changes in resources for youth over the last five years, although more are needed.

After earning her undergraduate degree, Garrow is hoping to return to university for a master's degree in counselling.

Last year's event raised close to $16,000. Funds raised went towards programs in the community for mental health.

Across the country, this year's event has raised just under $1.5 million.

For more information:

Make a donation

Kids Help Phone - We're here for you

Police looking to bring mental health and social work onto the street

Kenora police having success reducing the risk with runaways

OPP aims to help at-risk youth runaways

Hospital advocating for local 24/7 youth crisis response service

Patient volumes 'often exceed capacity' for youth in crisis, says local health network

Garrow talks about recovery after depression

Students inspired by Clara's Big Ride

Kenora welcomes Clara Hughes

Dancers invited to Couchiching

If you don't mind going for a drive, today's powwow is at Couchiching First Nation. The community is neighbouring Fort Frances on Rainy Lake. All are welcome to attend.

Over the Canada Day long weekend, drummers and dancers are invited to Onigaming First Nation on Sabaskong Bay.

In two weeks' time, they're welcome at Whitefish Bay.

For more information:

Treaty 3 Powwow Calendar

Help for kitties

Our furry friends include felines. Kathleen Fitzgerald says she has been supporting the Cat Shelter in Kenora with proceeds from garage sales.

"They're cuddly. They're so independent, and very funny at times," she said.

The shelter has about 80 cats and kittens. While this is down a bit from previous years, more kittens have been dropped off lately.

Volunteers are welcome to help with their care. Saturday's sale raised about $250 despite the rain.

For more information:

The Kenora Cat Shelter - Ways to help

Sophie joins torch relay

The drizzle didn't dampen the spirits of Chad and Sophie English. They were part of the Canada Summer Games torch relay today in Kenora.

"How did it feel Soph?" asked her dad.

"Really good," she said, with a shy grin.

Sophie English, 6, has been learning to walk on her own with help from staff at Valleyview School. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, when she was just a year old.

(video includes footage from Roger Horton)

Elder Richard Green was the first to carry the torch at the Lake of the Wood Discovery Centre, leading a group of nine Indigenous youth torchbearers. Local residents and visitors cheered on the 40 torchbearers who travelled along 29 legs on scenic Lakeview Drive to Whitecap Pavilion.

torchrelayThree generations of Skeads took part in the relay Saturday: Chordyn, Caidence and Sage all carried the torch this morning, with support from Christopher and Magi Skead. (Submitted)Among the torchbearers was local Canada Games alumna Katie Lockhart, who attended the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George as part of Manitoba’s Biathlon team.

The torch relay is meant to usher in the atmosphere of the games, as the rowing events are set to start at Rabbit Lake at the end of July.

Visitors to Garrow Beach will be seeing lots of last-minute preparations, as the country's best scullers get ready to descend on the venue.

When they begin, it'll bring to fruition years of dreaming, not to mention hard work by volunteers.


For more information:

Kenora torch bearers announced for the Canada Summer Games

Rowers take over Rabbit Lake

One year away event for Canada Summer Games

Northwest International Rowing Association - 2016 Regatta information

Kenora rowers excel at Tops 'n Bottoms

Mantario rowdown a preview for Summer Games

Hats off to Eagles!

High school graduates are on their way. Over the last week, there were ceremonies across the district, including Friday's at Dryden High School.

For those unable to attend, or who would like to see them again, we've posted video footage of the ceremonies courtesy of DHS:

Read more: Hats off to Eagles! is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.