Cornwall and the Counties Tourism, has over 2,000 kilometers of cycling/motorcycling routes mapped and is getting reading to ‘peddle’ this region as a destination for cyclists of all kinds.
Morrisburg will serve as a hub of this activity.
“We are in the process of creating a paper map,” said Linda Wilson, executive director of Cornwall and the Counties Tourism, who had a draft copy of the map and its routes here in Morrisburg on November 29.
The 28 routes are organized as loops, from 40 km in length to 230 km in length. The recommended routes for cyclists, are considered safe and have water/food amenities available along the way.
The loops include two Quebec entry points as well as entry points from Ottawa and Brockville.
“Our plan is to have the map ready for the end of this year,” said Wilson, who plans to take it to the Vélo show in Montreal in February among other high profile cycling shows in 2013 and to the outdoor and leisure shows in Ottawa in the coming year.
Wilson is also working with GPS technology to push the loop maps to Garmin.
The other side of making the maps work is proper roadside signing of the loops.
That will come in partnership with the Counties of SD&G.
In partnership, the two will apply for funding for the signs, and if successful the signs will be installed, on existing posts by the counties road crews.
“The signing will happen, at least partially, if we get the funding, early in the summer if possible,” said Wilson.
Each loop will be marked by a different colour, making it easy for cyclists to navigate.
As part of the loop system, Wilson has selected areas across the region as ‘hub’ sites where people can drive to, park and unload their bicycles to cycle some of the loops.
Morrisburg is one of those hubs that are located across the region.
“Much work is being done at the county level, but there is still work to be done at the local level to support the initiative,” said South Dundas economic development officer Nicole Sullivan.
She suggests investing in some infrastructure such a bike racks and possibly working with businesses to help educate them on becoming cycle-friendly and cycle-ready.
The final notice has been received and the Helping Hand, a mission of the Pentecostal Church, has until October 17th to vacate its location in the old Morrisburg High School, where it has been a source of clothing for those in need for the past 11 years.
Unfortunate, but true, the Helping Hand used clothing depot, answers a very big need in South Dundas and the surrounding area with an average of 2000-2,500 visitors benefiting from it each year.
The fact that the Helping Hand has to vacate is not a surprise as they were put on notice way back in 2009, that they were in their location on a monthly basis. With the upcoming renovation to the historic high school building to house an expansion to the St. Lawrence Medical and the South Dundas Municipal offices, the monthly basis has ended and the Helping Hand is closing.
The problem is that since they were put on notice of the eventual loss of their location they have been unable to find a new location that would be rent-free, or at the very least, very cheap.
“We have a lot of people not happy about it,” says Pentecostal minister, Rev. Duncan Perry. “But we can’t afford to go somewhere else. We have a couple thousand dollars (donations) a year coming in, but that is not enough to rent.”
“We don’t want to locate in the mall, and the only other building in town is the former St. Lawrence Parks building.”
According to Rev. Perry, that building is in such poor shape it is no longer an option, and he understands the Food Bank will replace the County Library in its lower level arena location should the library move to the high school, once renovated.
“I was really hoping they (municipality) would give us half of the bottom of the arena,” says Rev. Perry. “But I understand that it is going to the arena staff for a workshop/storage. It would have been a perfect fit for us.”
“We’ve been open for 11 years, and we are averaging 2,000 to 2,500 people a year. The $2,000 we receive in donations (goodwill donations from those who benefit from the Helping Hand, and donations from the community) is put back into the community.”
Recently, money was donated to the Breakfast Programs at Seaway High and Morrisburg Public Schools. “We’ve also given a lot to the Food Bank over the years.”
“People have come to us and told us that if we weren’t (Helping Hand) here, they didn’t know what they would do. The clothing donated to us is top notch and we made a decision at the start, that if we wouldn’t wear it, it wouldn’t be used.”
“One lady has been using it over and over through the years to clothe her children.”
“Those are the kind of stories we hear every week.”
“It is really amazing what we have done locally, and we’ve sent truckloads of clothes overseas when we couldn’t handle it all.”
The Helping Hand is run by volunteers and there is no charge for the clothing, although visitors can make goodwill donations.
“We have helped people from all over. We wish we could keep it open, we really do. It’s too bad, and I understand the town doesn’t have the money for a building.”
“I do believe the number of working poor is getting larger. It’s unfortunate we need a place like this but we do. If there was a place found, we wouldn’t even think about shutting it down. If they would reconsider letting us share with the Food Bank that would be ideal.”
That, however, according to Rev. Perry, is not an option at this time, and the Helping Hand is preparing to close by the October 17 deadline. Arrangements have been made for representatives from Agape in Cornwall to visit the facility, with the hope that they will be able to take the clothing.
Located at 40, Fifth Street West in Cornwall, the Agape Centre runs a Food Bank, Soup Kitchen and Thrift Shoppe.
South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds says he is appreciative of the service the Helping Hand provides to the community. “It’s unfortunate, but hopefully they will find somewhere in the community.”
Byvelds confirmed that the long-term plan is for removal of the former Parks building. “That building is done, and we are only spending what we have to, to keep it going.”
He says there has been some discussion of moving the Food Bank to the arena location, but the discussions are very preliminary and nothing is decided and nothing can or will be decided until the final plans are in place for the high school.
Those plans, are for the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic to occupy the first floor (ground level) and the municipal offices to occupy some or all (if necessary) of the second floor. Once these two entities are accommodated then the remaining space, including the third floor, will be considered.
March 4, 2013, Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, recognized Tyler Barkley’s heroism through the following statement in the House of Commons:
“Mr. Speaker, last Friday I received a call from Ivan Whitteker of Williamsburg telling me about his ten year old neighbor, Tyler Barkley, who should be recognized as a hero in the riding of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
That’s correct Mr. Speaker, ten year old Tyler Barkley is responsible for saving the life of Elsie Knight. Due to his keen hearing, Tyler heard Elsie’s cry for help after she had fallen outside her home and was exposed to subzero weather for 30 hours with a broken leg.
Because of his Boy Scout Training, Tyler sprang into action, summoned his father, and together they saved Elsie. His proud parents are Rick and Carolyn Barkley. His equally proud grandparents are Rick and Greta Roberts and Sylvia Barkley.
And I, Mr. Speaker am Tyler’s proud Member of Parliament.”