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Gravenhurst Council Highlights - June 20, 2023

Director receives professional designation

Council congratulated Kayla Thibeault, director of legislative services and clerk for the Town of Gravenhurst, on receiving her Accredited Ontario Municipal Clerk (AOMC) designation.

The Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario says the accreditation certifies a clerk on their education, experience, and professional contributions.

Learn more about the accreditation.  

Mayor Heidi Lorenz thanked Thibeault, a staffer with the town for a decade now, for her contributions to the municipality and formally presented her with a certificate recognizing her AOMC designation.

Watch the presentation.

Community health hub update

Lorraine Johnston of Cottage Country Family Health Team presented an overview of the team’s plans for a community health hub in Gravenhurst.

She said the intent is to establish an integrated, collaborative, community health hub, providing expanded services for residents.

The plan is to base the hub in available space at the team’s 5 Pineridge Gate location.

Watch the presentation to learn more.

Review the slide deck from the presentation.

District investing in Gravenhurst with major infrastructure project

District of Muskoka representatives provided council with an overview of a significant infrastructure project that will happen along Muskoka Rd. 169 in Gravenhurst.

The work will involve full reconstruction of water, sewer, road and storm sewer infrastructure between Gull Lake Rotary Park and Steamship Bay Road.

The existing infrastructure is at the end of its lifespan.

Design and tender work are underway.

District officials plan to start the three-year construction project in the spring of 2024.

The district is planning to host public information sessions regarding the project so residents and businesses can learn more.

Project information will also be available through the district website and on social media.

Watch the presentation to learn more.

Review the slide deck from the presentation.

Council calls for wider use of speed cameras

Council passed a resolution calling on the province to allow municipalities to locate automated speed enforcement cameras permanently or temporarily on any road under municipal jurisdiction.

Under the current regulations, these devices are limited to community safety zones and school safety zones.

Council received for information a similar resolution from the City of Cambridge.

Councillor Hunter named to housing task force

Council appointed Councillor Christina Hunter to the Muskoka Housing Task Force 2.0.

The task force is an advisory group to district council and the district’s Community and Planning Services Committee.

Learn more about the task force and its work.

New land lease agreements OK’d

Council members authorized staff to enter the town into two new land lease agreements.

The agreements involve the continued use of municipally owned assets.

One of the agreements is with Denne’s Marina at Kashe Lake for the use of three finger docks.

The other agreement is with Golden Muskoka Developments for the use of an outdoor patio area abutting land at 916 Bay St.

Read the related staff report.

Animal control bylaw repealed

Council members repealed Animal Control Bylaw 2006-13.

Council passed the bylaw in 2006 to regulate the care of animals.

With the enactment in 2019 of the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act (PAWS), the 2006 bylaw is no longer needed.

Read the related staff report.

Council supports establishing attendance report

Council approved a resolution introduced by Councillor Erin Strength that calls for an annual report on council members’ attendance at official meetings of Council.

The intent of the attendance report is continued openness and transparency with the public.

Watch the related discussion.

Read the resolution.

CAO Lucas verbal update to council members

Scott Lucas, chief administrative officer, provided council with a verbal update on a variety of municipal initiatives.

The briefing included details on staff recruitment efforts, staff training, new technology initiatives, communication projects, as well as the town’s strategic planning exercise.

Watch the CAO’s update to learn more.

Hospital funding update

Council members received an update on funding discussions regarding the two new hospitals in Bracebridge and Huntsville.

CAO Scott Lucas provided the update.

Review the related staff report.

Watch the update and listen to the discussion.

Council received the update for information.

In addition, council passed a resolution directing staff to provide a report on funding options to support the hospital projects.

Staff are to present council with the options before September, when Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare needs to finalize the issue of ‘local share’ contributions so it can submit an information package to the province.

Town finances in good shape

Council received for information the 2022 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements Report.

Deputy treasurer Theresa Trott prepared the report and noted the statements, “reflect a healthy financial position.”

Review the report to learn more.

Tourism Destination Plan update

Manager of economic development Amy Taylor updated council on the implementation of the Tourism Destination Plan.

Watch the update.

Review the related staff report.

Council approved the plan in May 2021 and since then staff have worked on several short and medium-term items.

This includes the following:

  • Tourism micro site
  • Promotion of trails
  • Development of a Municipal Services Map
  • Taste of Gravenhurst Guide
  • Development of digital marketing campaigns

Next items for implementation include:

  • Wayfinding signage
  • Cycle tourism programming
  • Visitor surveys
  • Industry specific training and skills development

Town moving ahead with road improvements

Council awarded a $2.7-million tender for roads rehabilitation and roads resurfacing work to Fowler Construction Company Ltd.

The town received two bids for the work with the lowest bid coming from Fowler.

Construction work is slated to start at the end of June with the bulk of the work complete by mid-September.

Due to tender prices being higher than budget allocations, council also approved increasing the budget allocation by $850,00 to be funded through the 2023 Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund.

See the staff report to learn more.

Muskoka Watershed Council update

Councillor Peter Johnston provided an update on activities of the Muskoka Watershed Council.

Watch the update.

Learn about the watershed council.

Mayor Lorenz Monthly update

Mayor Heidi Lorenz provided her monthly update.

Watch the update to learn more.

Council Highlights

Council Highlights is prepared as an overview of the council meeting. For the official record, please refer to the agenda and minutes on the town website at

Watch the meeting:

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