New Rules for the Road in Ontario

September 1st, 2015

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has released new rules, effective today.

Distracted Driving: $490* fine and three demerit points; minimum 30-day suspension for novice drivers (* Fine as listed is set fine including Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs)

Dooring a Cyclist: $365* fine and three demerit points (* Fine as listed is set fine including Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs)

Passing Cyclists: Drivers must leave a one-metre distance when passing cyclists or face a $110* fine and two demerit points; $180* fine and two demerit points for failing to leave a one-metre distance when passing cyclists in a community safety zone (* Fine as listed is set fine including Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs)

Improper lighting on bicycle: $110* fine (* Fine as listed is set fine including Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs)

Slow Down, Move Over: Slow Down, Move Over requirement now also includes tow trucks stopped at roadside to assist; $490* fine for violation (* Fine as listed is set fine including Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs)

Additional Changes from Bill 31 - Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act

Effective January 1, 2016
•Drivers must yield the whole roadway to pedestrians at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers.

Expected Spring 2016
•Municipalities will have enhanced ability to charge out-of-province individuals caught by red light cameras.

Expected Fall 2016
•New penalties for drug-impaired driving that mirror penalties for alcohol-impaired driving.
•Extending remedial measures and ignition interlock requirements to any accumulation of alcohol/drug impaired driving under the Highway Traffic Act.

Expected Spring 2017
•Expansion of licence plate denial for drivers who do not pay Provincial Offences Act fines for offences such as speeding, improper lane changes, illegal turns, driving without insurance and careless driving.
•Extending the Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program to repeat offenders.

Hot Summer Market

August 13th, 2015

Statistically speaking, this has been a banner summer for real estate sales in the Bancroft Area. In June, volumes topped 10 million, an all-time high... and over 60% higher than June 2014. Average sale prices were up a smidgen over 25% from June 2014, too.

That said, it really isn't a "Sellers' Market". The typical signs are simply not all there.

Typical signs of a Sellers' Market are:

1/ Historic sale prices are lower than active listing prices. Well... okay, this is true.
2/ There is less than six months of inventory on the market. X There's quite a bit more for sale.
3/ Inventory is a lot lower than previous months or years. X There's lots to choose from.
4/ Average prices are up.X In some categories.
5/ Sold signs are going up just days after the for sale sign. X Not really, Buyers are still taking their time.
6/ Real estate ads and signs are getting smaller. X They're actually getting bigger in some cases.

So what is the bottom line? The current market shows us that Buyers believe the Bancroft Area is a good place to invest.

Easily Kept Illusions

August 3rd, 2015

When I think of Al Purdy, I remember his wit and his bittersweet reminiscences that managed to avoid the trap of sentimentality and romanticism.  He was real.    I loved him immediately and spent far too little time with the man.  For some reason I am thinking of him, today.  Remembering dinners at Spinnackers, Harbourfront and that gravel dusted voice... contrary perspectives- just because.

Back then, I was a just a young woman from the city with family ties to the county where Purdy honed his craft. 

Much has changed.  Now, I've had twenty-five years in the area and recognize the importance of place as it calls from all of Purdy's poems, perhaps most notably in "The Country North of Belleville".  It's been a long time.

Bush land scrub land-

Cashel Township and Wollaston

Elzivir McClure and Dungannon

green lands of Weslemkoon Lake

where a man might have some

opinion of what beauty

is and none deny him

for miles-

Yet this is the country of defeat

where Sisyphus rolls a big stone

year after year up the ancient hills

picnicking glaciers have left strewen

with centuries' rubble

days in the sun

when realization seeps slow in the mind

without grandeur or self deception in

noble struggle

of being a fool-

A country of quiescence and still distance

a lean land

not fat

with inches of black soil on

earth's round bellly-

And where the farms are it's

as if a man stuck

both thumbs in the stony earth and pulled

it apart to make room

enough between the trees

for a wife

and maybe some cows and

room for some

of the more easily kept illusions-

And where the farms have gone back

to the forest

are only soft outlines

and shadowy differences-

Old fences drift vaguely among the trees

a pile of moss-covered stones

gathered for some ghost purpose

has lost meaning under the meaningless sky

- they are like cities under water and

the undulating green waves of time are

laid on them-

This is the country of our defeat and


during the fall plowing a man

might stop and stand in a brown valley of furrows

and shade his eyes to watch for the same

red patch mixed with gold

that appears on the same

spot in the hills

year after year

and grow old

plowing and plowing a ten acre field until

the convolutions run parallel with his own brain-

And this is the country where the young

leave quickly

unwilling to know what their fathers know

or think the words their mothers do not say-

Hershcel Monteagle and Faraday

lakeland rockland and hill country

a little adjacent to where the world is

a little north of where the cities are and


we may go back there

to the country of our defeat

Wollaston Elzevir Dungannon

and Weslemkoom lake land

where the high townships of Cashel

McClure and Marmora once were-

But it's been a long time since

and we must enquire the way

of strangers

 — "The Country North of Belleville," Al Purdy

Gearing up for Wheels, Water & Wings

July 3rd, 2015

This year marks the 4th anniversary of Bancroft's Wheels, Water & Wings event.  The schedule of activities has something for everyone and promises a weekend of great family fun.

Opening night always begins with the Classic Car show which closes down the main street... over a hundred vintage cars will line Hastings Street between Flint Ave and Station Street.  This year, we have Splash'N Boots coming to perform and Rita Carrey & No Strings Attached- yes, she's sister to Bancroft's favourite funny-man, Jim Carrey.

While you're in town, be sure to pick up a historical walking tour guide at one of the shops.  Bound to become a collector's item, the brochure includes tid-bits of information about the town's history, which co-incides with the historical banners hanging throughout the main shopping district of our beautiful little town.

More information about these early families is available on Bancroft's BIA website.

Featured on this banner is Henry Taylor.  The youngest of 10 children, brought into the world in the family's cabin near the Conroy Marsh in 1904- his grandmother serving as the midwife.  Henry worked for 42 years with the Department of Lands & Forests (now known as the Ministry of Natural Resources) as a forest technician.  His positions included, towerman, timber scaler and fire ranger.  After his retirement, he continued to work, scaling for various local lumber companies. 

Henry was an accomplished, master canoe-builder.  Following native tradition, it has been said that he built some of the best birch-bark canoes ever assembled by a non-native person in Ontario.  Working with pioneer tools, Henry fashioned shingles and paddles and became a noted craftsman of beautiful woven baskets and primitive-styled wooden carvings.  In the 1970's, using the very same broad axe, Henry felled, scored and hewed the timber to replicate his grandfather's 1860s log cabin and bunks. 

For some 15 years, Henry was Santa for the local Lions Club's annual Santa Claus Parade.  In 1999, Henry Taylor was named Bancroft's Citizen of the Century.   He passed away in 2006 at 102 years of age. 


Got Allergies? Come to the countryside.

June 14th, 2015

The number of allergy sufferers has been practically doubling every decade and scientists feel that climate change is to blame.   With longer and more intense spore and pollen seasons, there is a noted increase in financial and social costs associated with allergies.


Some experts feel that this year, as many as  33% more people may be hit by allergies- because of the longer pollen season and increased load of some types of pollen that was brought about by the unusual weather we have experienced this year.  


It isn't unusual for the same people who have allergies to tree pollen, to have a reaction to grass pollen as well.   The allergic trigger is protein in the pollen- the same proteins can also be present in our food.   Some of the most offending trees are alders, ash, birch, cedar, elm. maple and oak.  Oak being the worst.  In species where there are gender specific trees, it is the male tree that produces the pollen.


Generally, pollens from grasses begin to affect us in June and July.  The worst offenders here areBermuda,Kentuckybluegrass, timothy, fescue and sweet vernal.  Pollination runs longer for grasses, meaning that the symptoms will be prolonged. Plants like ragweed seem to be multiplying heartily and they are known for their allergy-irritating pollen.


Ragweed allergy is often called hayfever.  It is twice common in urban areas, because of air pollution.  Pollens stick to airborne particles of pollution, increasing the chances that someone will ingest them. Good weather often means an increase in the pollution index, intensifying symptoms- even affecting people who have never experienced allergic symptoms.  Aside from higher levels of pollution, cities are often warmer than the countryside and the higher temperatures increase the production of spores and pollens.


Itchy eyes are most common to grass allergy sufferers.   Some mould spores cause allergy- two of the most common are found both indoors and outdoors.  Some are found on carpets and window frames, others outdoors on plants and in the soil.  Still others grow on rotting vegetation, logs, in compost or on grass and grain.


Fungus likes moist surfaces.  When your indoor humidity goes over 50 percent, the probability of fungus growth is increased substantially.  This can have serious consequences for people with allergies or asthma.