Surge in used mattresses an issue that won’t be put to bed any time soon: Orillia staff

Orillians appear to be giving their bedrooms a second look, and it’s having an impact in the unlikeliest of places. The municipality is reporting a surge in the number of used mattresses and box springs arriving at its waste diversion site, a trend that is in turn driving up costs associated with recycling these materials. Staff suspects the higher volumes are rooted in the pandemic, as people re-evaluate their furnishings while spending more time at home. “With home renovations and things like that, people are looking at their furniture and potentially upgrading it,” said Greg Preston, manager of environmental services. “And when stores have sales on mattresses, we certainly see upsurges of deliveries of used mattresses here.” Recycling mattresses and box springs is critical as these bulky materials are difficult to compact and would otherwise take up a large volume of space in a landfill, staff noted. “They don’t break down very easily,” Preston said. Roughly 80 per cent of mattresses received at Orillia’s waste diversion site are sent away for recycling, save for those that are overly soiled, damaged or contain bed bugs. Those sent for recycling are stored in a container and shipped to Toronto-based Recyc-Mattresses, where the metal, wood, foam and fabric are separated and recycled. Prior to 2020, the city would typically transport five tractor trailer loads of mattresses and box springs for recycling annually, with eac […]

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One-day road closure coming up Aug. 17 in Beeton for pipeline project

A one-day road closure is coming up next week in Beeton to accommodate the water pipeline extension project to Tottenham. Dayfoot Street will be closed between Main Street and Prospect Street on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. while construction crews work in the area. If there is bad weather, the closure will be moved to Aug. 18. While driveways to homes are expected to remain accessible during the closure, workers will be on-site to co-ordinate traffic in the event there are any temporary closures or disruptions. Drivers are asked to obey all traffic signage during the closure. The $17.64-million project has been underway since June of last year and is still on schedule to be completed by December. The pipeline won’t be brought online until the spring of 2022. Earlier this summer, Collingwood council passed an interim control bylaw to freeze new development due to capacity issues at its water-treatment plant, which will supply the pipeline. While the two municipalities continue to discuss this issue behind closed doors, New Tecumseth has said this will not impact its plans to supply water to Tottenham. For more details, visit .

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Six charts that show what’s been happening in your public health unit — and colour category — since Ontario started easing COVID-19 restrictions

In mid-February, when stay-at-home orders were lifted for most of Ontario, the province described the move as a cautious transition back into a “strengthened” framework for controlling . “We saw what happened before, and we don’t want it to happen again,” Premier Doug Ford said at the time. But three weeks later, there are once again signs of trouble, with many experts fearing a brewing third wave. New variants now account for 42 per cent of all cases, , and most public health units are once again seeing upticks in new infections. “There is still much danger ahead,” said Adalsteinn Brown, science table co-chair and dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “Twenty-four out of our 34 public health units have seen an increase in case rates over the past two weeks. “This growth sometimes is in very small beginning numbers, and so it does not represent huge numbers yet. But this growth isn’t random; it’s a function of how loosening public health measures, and growth in new variants come together.” Since the fall, the province has hinged its pandemic response on a COVID-19 “framework” that chops up Ontario into different colour-coded zones, each with its own set of pandemic rules: green, yellow, orange, red and grey (lockdown). Health units are moved along the colour spectrum when they hit certain thresholds of COVID-19 risk, with restrictions intensifying accordingly. For areas in green, for […]

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Voices from the vaccination line: Ontarians 80 and over on booking appointments, getting the first dose and what they look forward to the most

Eyes crinkling over their masks, many from Ontario’s 80 and over demographic emerged from receiving their first dose of the vaccine at a mass immunization site in Scarborough feeling happy and relieved. On Thursday, people walked right into the immunization site at Centennial College’s Progress campus, while a day earlier, long lineups left many waiting out in the cold — some for around two hours.. “We had hundreds of people showing up without having an appointment … that’s what created the line last night,” said Leigh Duncan, director of communications at Scarborough Health Network (SHN). While the goal was to administer 1,200 shots Wednesday, the site vaccinated an extra 150 people for a total of around 1,350 doses distributed, said Dr. Lisa Salamon, site supervisor and emergency physician. Once fully operational, the site will serve a maximum of 2,000 clients per day. Immunizations are currently available for people born in 1941 or earlier. Upon entering the building, people are ushered to a check-in area, down one of two aisles — one for those who are in wheelchairs or have other accessibility needs. Then they are led to one of eight registration tables, where they present a health card and consent to receiving the vaccine. After that, the much anticipated moment: each patient receives their first jab, a process that takes no longer than five minutes, in one of the site’s 22 vaccine booths. Finally, vaccinated individu […]

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‘HIGH RISK’: Major recall of curry sold at stores across Canada due to allergy fears that ‘may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction’

Both Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are warning shoppers about multiple curry products that are being recalled due to serious allergy concerns. Nomad Nutrition is recalling Nomad Nutrition brand Caribbean Curry from the marketplace because it contains undeclared mustard and split pea which are not declared on the label and Nomad Nutrition brand Kathmandu Curry from the marketplace because it contains undeclared mustard which is not declared on the label, the CFIA said in its People with an allergy to mustard or split pea should not consume the recalled products, the CFIA added. “Check to see if you have the recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased,” the CFIA said. “If you have an allergy to mustard or split pea, do not consume the recalled products as they may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction.” The products have been sold nationally and through Internet sales, the CFIA said. This recall was triggered by a consumer complaint. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings. The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled products from the marketplace. Here are photos of the recalled products:

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Rama blazes a trail with community-owned cannabis shop

Chippewas of Rama First Nation have entered Ontario’s emerging cannabis market with a community-owned and staffed retail store. Chief Ted Williams said the shop’s recent opening marked a new milestone for the band.   “Rama First Nation has historically demonstrated a willingness to travel new paths in entrepreneurship,” Williams said. “We are happy to have 18 community members employed and training in a new industry.” is located on Rama Road, near the casino, in a new building designed by Orillia architect Roderick H. Young. Touted as a luxury retail experience, the store’s offerings include edibles, vape liquids, oils, and topicals, with products aimed at both cannabis connoisseurs and first-timers, the band said. Due to the pandemic, access to the store will be restricted to a few customers at a time with COVID-19 protocols in place. “We’re very mindful about the health and safety of our community, particularly because we are a First Nation,” said general manager Tracy Beaver. “We’re taking every precaution possible to keep our community safe and protect our employees.” Beaver said the store was envisioned as a destination shopping experience. “Our Budmasters and Budtenders are trained to provide whatever level of service the customer is looking for,” she added. Plans are in place for several Budmasters to earn accreditation as cannabis sommeliers by the end of the year, Beaver sa […]

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‘Cosy and comfortable’: Green Apple Cannabis located in century home in Thornton

Thornton residents will not have to go far to buy recreational cannabis now that Green Apple Cannabis has opened on the main street.  Located at , Green Apple Cannabis is the first such store in Thornton.  Owner Sheri Norman said she was interested in hemp and the benefits of CBD before she got into retail cannabis to share those benefits with others.  According to the Ontario Cannabis Store, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that does not get people “high.”  Products for sale at the new store include flower, drinks, oils, edibles, and wellness items such as bath bombs.  “A large portion of people coming in from the community in our area are coming in for CBD strains,” she said. “The senior group is very comfortable with that; athletes use it (frequently).”  The AGCO authorized store is in one of the original century homes in Thornton, Norman said.  Hardwood floors, wooden beams and an original tin ceiling give the dispensary an authentic feel.  “We wanted it very cosy and comfortable,” she said. “We’ve kept it to fit the vibe of the town.” Norman said the store offers discrete parking in the back and a side entrance.  “Although many people use the product, there’s still a bit of a stigma, so we’re hoping to break that,” she said.  For more information, visit .

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‘Huge value for money’: Former Collingwood CAO says $8 million judicial inquiry gave town a ‘new direction’

Former CAO John Brown, whose efforts to get information on several controversial decisions made in 2012 led to the judicial inquiry, said Collingwood shouldn’t be “embarrassed” over the $8-million cost. “The culture and the system is one that did not serve the interest of this town properly,” he said at a March 9 council meeting. “You got huge value for money. You got a new town, a new direction, a new municipality out of it. That’s what you got and that’s worth the money in my book.” Brown was back in front of council speaking about the inquiry that was recommended months after he retired. He said he made several attempts during his four-year tenure, from 2013-2017, to get answers on the sale of the former utility company and purchase of two recreational facilities. Brown said the lack of records and information left the municipality in a very “precarious situation.” “There were lots of questions being asked and we didn’t have answers,” he said. “I’ve never experienced a shutdown in willingness to provide information.” Deputy mayor Keith Hull and others praised Brown for his work during his tenure and said the inquiry changed the community for the better. “The costs be damned, as a result of this inquiry, we have been able to close a chapter and open a new chapter,” Hull said. The inquiry resulted in 306 recommendations from Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco […]

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‘Hazardous conditions’: Nottawasaga conservation authority reminds public of spring dangers around waterways

The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) is reminding the public to stay well back from waterways, ditches, ponds and lakes this time of year. With spring-like temperatures arriving soon, unsafe ice and slippery banks already exist. The onset of spring will bring rain and melting snow, which will cause the breakup of ice along watercourses and lakes, as well as high stream flows. “These hazardous conditions can cause life-threatening injury if a person falls into the extremely cold water,” the NVCA stated in a press release. Residents are also being reminded to: • Keep family and pets away from the edge of waterways. • Supervise children and help them understand the dangers of playing near creeks and streams. • Avoid all recreational activities in or around water, especially near ice jams or ice-covered watercourses and waterbodies. • Do not attempt to walk on ice-covered waterbodies or drive through flooded roads or fast-moving water. The NVCA continues to monitor waterways and will issue flood messages as conditions warrant. For more information, call .

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Barrie’s push for more affordable housing clashes with tree protection

If century-old trees are destroyed in a bid to create affordable housing in existing neighbourhoods, should anybody care? The answer is a resounding yes for Barrie residents Arlene McCann and Cathy Colebatch. McCann woke up one morning in early July to find heavy machinery digging a hole for the foundation of a second house in a neighbour’s backyard. The William Street resident had no warning, despite the newly dug pit being within a metre of her property line, severing the roots of a 100-foot Norway spruce that now must be removed before it topples onto her Allandale property. The excavation has also severely damaged the roots of a century-old walnut tree on the grounds of nearby St. George’s Anglican Church. McCann said the work came as a surprise because the City of Barrie has yet to create sufficient regulations under a new provincial rule that allows second units on residential properties in a bid to create more affordable housing. “There was not a thing I could do to stop it,” she told city council Aug. 9. “I’m disappointed in our city’s lack of protection for both its citizens’ property and our tree canopy.” Since there was no protection for what McCann calls “heritage” trees, she and Colebatch, the vice-president of the Allandale Neighbourhood Association, fear for the city’s tree canopy on a much larger scale if builders of second units are not required to protect trees. “It’s like th […]

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