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Posts Tagged ‘Town of Smiths Falls’

Anecdotal evidence suggests a healthier town

Monday, June 1, 2015 @ 12:06 PM
posted by admin

cycle Lanark map

BY: HOWAIDA SOROUR-ROBERTS

It almost seems there are more fitness facilities in Smiths Falls than there are people. Besides the golf arenas, the walking concourse and trails, the skateboard park and the ball diamonds, parks and beaches there are at least six fitness businesses in addition to the martial arts offerings, and active play facilities.  It all suggests there’s at least some interest in fitness in Smiths Falls.

“I know that I started out with a group of runners and there were eight of us some seven years ago, now there are tons of us and they’ve branched out to form other groups and take up other pursuits,” says Wendy Hillier, Century 21 broker and Spring Fling organizer.

This year the Spring Fling saw 400 registered runners for a Sunday morning run and the majority of runners were from the Smiths Falls and Perth area.

Most of the fitness businesses agree that there seems to be a shift happening in Smiths Falls, towards healthier lifestyles.

“I get a sense that there are more people worried about their long term health outcomes,” says Amanda Fournier, Insanity instructor with CardioFit 4 Life.

Most of the businesses contacted said they were seeing a lot more clients with health issues that they wanted to work on or correct.

“We see quite a few clients who are borderline diabetic or at onset who have been told by their doctors that exercise can reverse or stabilize their condition,” says Mark Leach, co-owner of Good Vibrations Gym.

Several other businesses agreed, they’re seeing more of that group and there are other health related issues that people are now turning to fitness to correct.

“I see people of all different age groups and a lot of people with health issues, like knee problems, back problems and lots of muscular imbalances.  I work with clients who suffer from osteoporosis, and I do see more people seeking better health outcomes,” says Natatia Gemmell, owner and chief instructor at One-on-One Fitness.

It isn’t just exercise that’s driving people.

“I’m seeing people become a lot more aware of the benefits of nutrition and understanding that they can’t outrun a bad diet,” says Caroline Foster, owner and instructor at CardioFit 4 Life.

Although most people agree that weight loss remains the biggest motivator, most of the businesses are noticing that attitudes regarding fitness are changing in Smiths Falls.  There also seems to be a new fitness demographic emerging, and one that is quite encouraging.

“I’m seeing a lot of younger men and older women,” says Kerri Maidment, proprietor of Generation Fitness.  “I don’t see as many middle aged and older men.”

Maidment isn’t the only one who’s noticing that mix.

“Most of the men who come in here want to work independently and they’re usually between 16 and 25 years old, while we see women between 25 and 60 who get involved in more group classes,” says Brian Paquette, owner and chief instructor at Zendragon.

Even the Hub Community Pool is seeing a slight shift in demographics with more young clients coming in, although the clientele still remains more focused on the older, heavier adults with weight bearing concerns.

“I have noticed some younger people starting to come here recently,” says Bonnie Bulmer, chief instructor and Hub Community Pool supervisor.

Then there’s all the fitness events, including Canada’s oldest Triathlon, The New Years’ Run, The Spring Fling Running Thing, the Healthy Living Festival, Paddlefest and this year there’s the Hospital Foundation’s Gauntlet coming up in the fall.

Organizers of the festivals agree the events are growing from year to year.

“This is the third year for the Healthy Living Festival and in our first year we had between three and four thousand, last year we had between four and five thousand and this year the interest just among vendors suggests it will bigger still,” says Tracey Pankow, a Healthy Living organizer.

True the festivals are designed to bring people into Smiths Falls, but the energy that they generate and the town’s exposure to all that health focus seems to be rubbing off on the town because the bulk of participants are still from Smiths Falls and immediate surrounds.

Now that the town of Smiths Falls has also been awarded a Bronze medal for walkability and is adopting United Leeds and Lanark Food Charter, there seems to be unlimited ways for everyone to jump on the bandwagon – at least this one is geared towards longevity.

HUB poolBY: AMY HOGUE

Smiths Falls’ council will be diving into the Hub pool issue at a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on June 8, where councillors will discuss the merits of further contributions to the pool.

The 2015 budget has $30,000 set aside for the Hub, and it’s not yet clear if those funds will be released until further debate takes place at the council table.

Board of Directors’ Chair, Kathy Gilligan, made a presentation to council at a May 11 COW meeting, outlining the strides forward the pool has made since their last visit to council.  Local resident, Tom Foulkes, who has been assisting the Hub board of directors with their business plan revision, was also on hand for the presentation to council.

Since they last met, the Hub has worked to revise their business plan and responding to community and council concerns, Gilligan said.  Since January 2015, the Hub has also seen an increase in membership of more than 25 per cent, something Mayor Shawn Pankow considers to be a good sign, in light of the financial uncertainty of the pool.

“Earlier in the year things looked pretty desperate, this time I think it’s good news,” Pankow said, pointing out that because the municipality is using taxpayer’s dollars, it’s important to ensure the money will fund something that will succeed.

That said, Pankow stressed he “recognizes we have a really valuable asset here that doesn’t cost us a lot of money.”

News of a further debt to the Hub’s service provider was a surprise to council.  Councillor John Maloney said when the Hub last appeared before council, that information wasn’t presented to them.  Gilligan responded that the decision was made to handle that debt on their own, and it wasn’t included in the presentations to council.

“In retrospect, that was a mistake,” Gilligan acknowledged, but stressed that “we should have a new agreement with the service provider soon” that will be more favourable to the Hub financially.

Councillor Chris Cummings pointed out he would like to see a Terms of Reference before entertaining contributions beyond those the municipality has already made.  Cummings said in his view, the Hub’s business plan is flawed.

“Until I have a Terms of Reference and understand what the obligations are going forward, I’m not willing to put other money in,” Cummings said, “There’s still a lot of things that have to go on here.”

At a subsequent meeting on May 25, council agreed to revisit the Hub pool issue at the June 8 COW meeting to make a decision on whether or not the town will be making future funding commitments.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Release #4 – FROZEN SERVICES
Mar. 6, 2015

To: All Residents/Businesses of the Town of Smiths Falls,

Staff continue to work on frozen services throughout the town. Everyone is asked to keep a tap turned on at a flow of a diameter of a pencil or 1/4” stream and leave it running until further notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Water bills for this time period will be based on estimates from previous billings.

Concerns can be directed to the Town Hall at 613-283-4124 (messages will be checked throughout the weekend). After business hours emergency for water/roads/sewer can be directed to (613-284-1430)

The Town of Smiths Falls will be updating the public regarding frozen services via local media outlets or you can keep up-to-date by following the town on Twitter, Facebook, or by checking our website www.smithsfalls.ca. Residents are encouraged to share this information with their friends, family and neighbours.

As the weather gets milder, frost can potentially be driven deeper, putting your pipes at increased risk of freezing! DO NOT turn your faucet off until the Town provides direction to do so.

We thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Source: Town of Smiths Falls

Community Potluck at the Ivy on William tonight at 5

Friday, February 27, 2015 @ 12:02 PM
posted by admin

Don’t forget to whip up your favourite dish and come out to the Ivy on William for an inclusive event to celebrate wonderful food and the warmth of our welcoming community. Don’t forget, this is a free event! All welcome. Tell your friends, bring your family, and invite your neighbour from across the street.

The Ivy on William is the venue this time around and it’s located at 42 William St. W.

The doors open at 5:00 p.m. and dinner will begin at 5:30!

Revenue Neutrality may not be the goal for town facilities

Saturday, February 7, 2015 @ 02:02 PM
posted by admin

By Howaida Sorour-Roberts

He’s looking forward to moving into the community but for now he’s commuting from Kingston to Smiths Falls until he finds a suitable home. Art Manhire arrived in Smiths Falls last November to take on the role of Community Services Manger.

“Quality of life is important to me, so settling into the community is important to me and my family,” says Manhire.

His new role means that he’s responsible for the recreational, cultural and community facilities that contribute to residents’ experience of the town.

“Part of my job will be to help people understand the connections between the various services,” he says.

His is a diverse file and includes childcare, town cemeteries, the library, museums, arenas, parks and basically all town facilities.

“Community services is one of the softer areas of governance, but it encompasses things that contribute to quality of life in the community, so it’s one of those things that are more fluid,” he says.

Having said that, he points out that revenue neutrality is not always the goal for community facilities.

“Part of my job s to look at the operations and bring more efficiencies to the service but to offer the same level of service, so revenue neutrality may not be the goal,” he explains.

At this stage, he’s just familiarizing himself with Smiths Falls, its services, and facility operations until he gets direction from council and the town’s residents.

“Direction will come out of the Strategic Planning process which we’ll be engaging in over the next month or so, and our direction will come from consultations with the people that live here,” says Manhire. “I’m here to provide leadership and guidance to leverage the best experience we can for the community with the facilities we have. Ultimately the bricks and mortar are tools and it’s all about what kind of experience we can create using those tools” he explains.

Manhire comes with considerable operational experience. He worked in senior management for more than 20 years with the YMCA in both Toronto and Ottawa, running YMCA units. He’s also worked in public health and housing with the city of Ottawa in community partnership and capacity building.

“I’ve always been in operations, and now I’m in strategic operations, but I’m never been far from the operational side,” he says.

Most recently he managed programs and facilities for the city of Whitehorse in the Yukon.

“They had built a recreational facility for the Canada Games in 2007 and I was recruited to make that facility work for the community,” says Manhire.

His strategy there, was to encourage community involvement and relationship development and create opportunities for people to get involved to realize a better, healthier community.

Born and raised in Montreal, Manhire has since travelled and lived in a range of Canadian communities in Ontario, the Yukon and Alberta. He says he’s really enjoying his Smiths Falls experience so far.

“It’s even better than I every thought it was going to be. There really is a very welcoming energy about this town,” he says.

His schooling was in physical and health education and he’s an avid outdoorsman who enjoys paddling, fishing and cycling. He played rugby of years and delights in target shooting and archery.

“I played hockey for the first time yesterday,” he admitted last Thursday. “I have to work on my skills but I enjoyed it.”

Manhire now occupies Rick St. Denis’s former office located at the Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre at the heart of one the town’s major assets.

“I’m very excited to be here,” he concludes.

Community Potluck at the Ivy on William Feb. 27

Saturday, February 7, 2015 @ 11:02 AM
posted by admin

On Friday, Feb. 27, whip up your favourite dish and come out to the Ivy on William for an inclusive event to celebrate wonderful food and the warmth of our welcoming community. Don’t forget, this is a free event! All welcome. Tell your friends, bring your family, and invite your neighbour from across the street.

The Ivy on William is the venue this time around and it’s located at 42 William St. W.

The doors open at 5:00 p.m. and dinner will begin at 5:30!

Smiths Falls Waste and Recycling Guide

Read HERE: Smiths Falls Waste Guide ... Read More









Posts Tagged ‘Town of Smiths Falls’

Anecdotal evidence suggests a healthier town

Monday, June 1, 2015 @ 12:06 PM
posted by admin

cycle Lanark map

BY: HOWAIDA SOROUR-ROBERTS

It almost seems there are more fitness facilities in Smiths Falls than there are people. Besides the golf arenas, the walking concourse and trails, the skateboard park and the ball diamonds, parks and beaches there are at least six fitness businesses in addition to the martial arts offerings, and active play facilities.  It all suggests there’s at least some interest in fitness in Smiths Falls.

“I know that I started out with a group of runners and there were eight of us some seven years ago, now there are tons of us and they’ve branched out to form other groups and take up other pursuits,” says Wendy Hillier, Century 21 broker and Spring Fling organizer.

This year the Spring Fling saw 400 registered runners for a Sunday morning run and the majority of runners were from the Smiths Falls and Perth area.

Most of the fitness businesses agree that there seems to be a shift happening in Smiths Falls, towards healthier lifestyles.

“I get a sense that there are more people worried about their long term health outcomes,” says Amanda Fournier, Insanity instructor with CardioFit 4 Life.

Most of the businesses contacted said they were seeing a lot more clients with health issues that they wanted to work on or correct.

“We see quite a few clients who are borderline diabetic or at onset who have been told by their doctors that exercise can reverse or stabilize their condition,” says Mark Leach, co-owner of Good Vibrations Gym.

Several other businesses agreed, they’re seeing more of that group and there are other health related issues that people are now turning to fitness to correct.

“I see people of all different age groups and a lot of people with health issues, like knee problems, back problems and lots of muscular imbalances.  I work with clients who suffer from osteoporosis, and I do see more people seeking better health outcomes,” says Natatia Gemmell, owner and chief instructor at One-on-One Fitness.

It isn’t just exercise that’s driving people.

“I’m seeing people become a lot more aware of the benefits of nutrition and understanding that they can’t outrun a bad diet,” says Caroline Foster, owner and instructor at CardioFit 4 Life.

Although most people agree that weight loss remains the biggest motivator, most of the businesses are noticing that attitudes regarding fitness are changing in Smiths Falls.  There also seems to be a new fitness demographic emerging, and one that is quite encouraging.

“I’m seeing a lot of younger men and older women,” says Kerri Maidment, proprietor of Generation Fitness.  “I don’t see as many middle aged and older men.”

Maidment isn’t the only one who’s noticing that mix.

“Most of the men who come in here want to work independently and they’re usually between 16 and 25 years old, while we see women between 25 and 60 who get involved in more group classes,” says Brian Paquette, owner and chief instructor at Zendragon.

Even the Hub Community Pool is seeing a slight shift in demographics with more young clients coming in, although the clientele still remains more focused on the older, heavier adults with weight bearing concerns.

“I have noticed some younger people starting to come here recently,” says Bonnie Bulmer, chief instructor and Hub Community Pool supervisor.

Then there’s all the fitness events, including Canada’s oldest Triathlon, The New Years’ Run, The Spring Fling Running Thing, the Healthy Living Festival, Paddlefest and this year there’s the Hospital Foundation’s Gauntlet coming up in the fall.

Organizers of the festivals agree the events are growing from year to year.

“This is the third year for the Healthy Living Festival and in our first year we had between three and four thousand, last year we had between four and five thousand and this year the interest just among vendors suggests it will bigger still,” says Tracey Pankow, a Healthy Living organizer.

True the festivals are designed to bring people into Smiths Falls, but the energy that they generate and the town’s exposure to all that health focus seems to be rubbing off on the town because the bulk of participants are still from Smiths Falls and immediate surrounds.

Now that the town of Smiths Falls has also been awarded a Bronze medal for walkability and is adopting United Leeds and Lanark Food Charter, there seems to be unlimited ways for everyone to jump on the bandwagon – at least this one is geared towards longevity.

HUB poolBY: AMY HOGUE

Smiths Falls’ council will be diving into the Hub pool issue at a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on June 8, where councillors will discuss the merits of further contributions to the pool.

The 2015 budget has $30,000 set aside for the Hub, and it’s not yet clear if those funds will be released until further debate takes place at the council table.

Board of Directors’ Chair, Kathy Gilligan, made a presentation to council at a May 11 COW meeting, outlining the strides forward the pool has made since their last visit to council.  Local resident, Tom Foulkes, who has been assisting the Hub board of directors with their business plan revision, was also on hand for the presentation to council.

Since they last met, the Hub has worked to revise their business plan and responding to community and council concerns, Gilligan said.  Since January 2015, the Hub has also seen an increase in membership of more than 25 per cent, something Mayor Shawn Pankow considers to be a good sign, in light of the financial uncertainty of the pool.

“Earlier in the year things looked pretty desperate, this time I think it’s good news,” Pankow said, pointing out that because the municipality is using taxpayer’s dollars, it’s important to ensure the money will fund something that will succeed.

That said, Pankow stressed he “recognizes we have a really valuable asset here that doesn’t cost us a lot of money.”

News of a further debt to the Hub’s service provider was a surprise to council.  Councillor John Maloney said when the Hub last appeared before council, that information wasn’t presented to them.  Gilligan responded that the decision was made to handle that debt on their own, and it wasn’t included in the presentations to council.

“In retrospect, that was a mistake,” Gilligan acknowledged, but stressed that “we should have a new agreement with the service provider soon” that will be more favourable to the Hub financially.

Councillor Chris Cummings pointed out he would like to see a Terms of Reference before entertaining contributions beyond those the municipality has already made.  Cummings said in his view, the Hub’s business plan is flawed.

“Until I have a Terms of Reference and understand what the obligations are going forward, I’m not willing to put other money in,” Cummings said, “There’s still a lot of things that have to go on here.”

At a subsequent meeting on May 25, council agreed to revisit the Hub pool issue at the June 8 COW meeting to make a decision on whether or not the town will be making future funding commitments.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Release #4 – FROZEN SERVICES
Mar. 6, 2015

To: All Residents/Businesses of the Town of Smiths Falls,

Staff continue to work on frozen services throughout the town. Everyone is asked to keep a tap turned on at a flow of a diameter of a pencil or 1/4” stream and leave it running until further notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Water bills for this time period will be based on estimates from previous billings.

Concerns can be directed to the Town Hall at 613-283-4124 (messages will be checked throughout the weekend). After business hours emergency for water/roads/sewer can be directed to (613-284-1430)

The Town of Smiths Falls will be updating the public regarding frozen services via local media outlets or you can keep up-to-date by following the town on Twitter, Facebook, or by checking our website www.smithsfalls.ca. Residents are encouraged to share this information with their friends, family and neighbours.

As the weather gets milder, frost can potentially be driven deeper, putting your pipes at increased risk of freezing! DO NOT turn your faucet off until the Town provides direction to do so.

We thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Source: Town of Smiths Falls

Community Potluck at the Ivy on William tonight at 5

Friday, February 27, 2015 @ 12:02 PM
posted by admin

Don’t forget to whip up your favourite dish and come out to the Ivy on William for an inclusive event to celebrate wonderful food and the warmth of our welcoming community. Don’t forget, this is a free event! All welcome. Tell your friends, bring your family, and invite your neighbour from across the street.

The Ivy on William is the venue this time around and it’s located at 42 William St. W.

The doors open at 5:00 p.m. and dinner will begin at 5:30!

Revenue Neutrality may not be the goal for town facilities

Saturday, February 7, 2015 @ 02:02 PM
posted by admin

By Howaida Sorour-Roberts

He’s looking forward to moving into the community but for now he’s commuting from Kingston to Smiths Falls until he finds a suitable home. Art Manhire arrived in Smiths Falls last November to take on the role of Community Services Manger.

“Quality of life is important to me, so settling into the community is important to me and my family,” says Manhire.

His new role means that he’s responsible for the recreational, cultural and community facilities that contribute to residents’ experience of the town.

“Part of my job will be to help people understand the connections between the various services,” he says.

His is a diverse file and includes childcare, town cemeteries, the library, museums, arenas, parks and basically all town facilities.

“Community services is one of the softer areas of governance, but it encompasses things that contribute to quality of life in the community, so it’s one of those things that are more fluid,” he says.

Having said that, he points out that revenue neutrality is not always the goal for community facilities.

“Part of my job s to look at the operations and bring more efficiencies to the service but to offer the same level of service, so revenue neutrality may not be the goal,” he explains.

At this stage, he’s just familiarizing himself with Smiths Falls, its services, and facility operations until he gets direction from council and the town’s residents.

“Direction will come out of the Strategic Planning process which we’ll be engaging in over the next month or so, and our direction will come from consultations with the people that live here,” says Manhire. “I’m here to provide leadership and guidance to leverage the best experience we can for the community with the facilities we have. Ultimately the bricks and mortar are tools and it’s all about what kind of experience we can create using those tools” he explains.

Manhire comes with considerable operational experience. He worked in senior management for more than 20 years with the YMCA in both Toronto and Ottawa, running YMCA units. He’s also worked in public health and housing with the city of Ottawa in community partnership and capacity building.

“I’ve always been in operations, and now I’m in strategic operations, but I’m never been far from the operational side,” he says.

Most recently he managed programs and facilities for the city of Whitehorse in the Yukon.

“They had built a recreational facility for the Canada Games in 2007 and I was recruited to make that facility work for the community,” says Manhire.

His strategy there, was to encourage community involvement and relationship development and create opportunities for people to get involved to realize a better, healthier community.

Born and raised in Montreal, Manhire has since travelled and lived in a range of Canadian communities in Ontario, the Yukon and Alberta. He says he’s really enjoying his Smiths Falls experience so far.

“It’s even better than I every thought it was going to be. There really is a very welcoming energy about this town,” he says.

His schooling was in physical and health education and he’s an avid outdoorsman who enjoys paddling, fishing and cycling. He played rugby of years and delights in target shooting and archery.

“I played hockey for the first time yesterday,” he admitted last Thursday. “I have to work on my skills but I enjoyed it.”

Manhire now occupies Rick St. Denis’s former office located at the Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre at the heart of one the town’s major assets.

“I’m very excited to be here,” he concludes.

Community Potluck at the Ivy on William Feb. 27

Saturday, February 7, 2015 @ 11:02 AM
posted by admin

On Friday, Feb. 27, whip up your favourite dish and come out to the Ivy on William for an inclusive event to celebrate wonderful food and the warmth of our welcoming community. Don’t forget, this is a free event! All welcome. Tell your friends, bring your family, and invite your neighbour from across the street.

The Ivy on William is the venue this time around and it’s located at 42 William St. W.

The doors open at 5:00 p.m. and dinner will begin at 5:30!

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