Haldimand County celebrates the sounds and stories surrounding Lake Erie with community-created art installation, INHERITANCE

In the first exhibit of its kind for Haldimand County, INHERITANCE brings the captivating energy of graffiti art paired with melodic recordings of Lake Erie to the Dunnville Farmers’ Market on Tuesday, September 17th. Award-winning Haldimand Artist, Lacie Williamson will unveil INHERITANCE—an array of dynamic voices and stories showcased through a collaborative mural comprised of hundreds of fingerprints and graffiti art—with the help of Mayor Hewitt and Councillor Tony Dalimonte

“Lacie’s understanding of participatory art processes are exceptional as they push past the performative, to an immersive level where participants not only gain new technical knowledge, but the opportunity for personal discovery.” – Christopher McLeod, Creative Director, Great Art for Great Lakes

Part of the Great Art for Great Lakes initiative is to celebrate our magnificent waters. In this spirit, INHERITANCE was created by award-winning artist, Lacie Williamson with help from members of the Haldimand community using wood-burning irons where each line and mark is unique to each make to create the effect of worn hands. This, together with the graffiti element of the project, involved layering of simple objects to create depth to give the work of art a more natural and organic feel, telling a story of Lake Erie both past and present.

“Facilitating this project has been very eye opening for myself and participants and I’ve heard from many after the workshops saying they think about water differently now. I was very pleased to see so many local community members engage, but was even more impressed by the large number of people who travelled from Six Nations, Hamilton and Niagara regions to participate and learn about new art techniques.” – Artist, Lacie Williamson

An exemplary instance of connecting art with the public to promote action for a better tomorrow, INHERITANCE will remain on permanent display at the Dunnville Farmers’ Market, showcasing the ecology – and grandeur – of Lake Erie. The unveiling and future visit to INHERITANCE is free of charge. For more information about the project, please visit

Dunnville Horticultural Society, Ducks Unlimited Canada And Haldimand County Celebrate Restoration Of Thompson Creek Park & Wetland

In 1993, a group of conservation-minded volunteers from the Dunnville Bio Region Association (DBA) hosted a workshop to create a sustainable development plan—related to social, economic and environmental concerns—for Dunnville. One of the action items proposed was to build an outdoor education facility by restoring Thompson Creek, the Wetland and Tallgrass Prairie and plant a Carolinian Arboretum.

While that goal wasn’t entirely realized at that time due to changing resources and partners, on Wednesday, September 25 the new project partners—Dunnville Horticultural Society, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Haldimand County—will celebrate the completion of the vision with the opening of an Eco-Centre at Dunnville Thompson Creek Park.

“We are so excited to have been able to help re-start this project and get it done,” says Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) Past-President Debbie Thomas, who co-chaired the project with volunteer Dan McKay, the original President of the DBA and now a DHS member. “This was a wonderful project when it was started more than twenty years ago and, although it stalled somewhat due to unforeseen circumstances, we are so happy to have been able to work with the volunteer who had a lot to do with the original vision—Dan McKay—and build on it with our Ducks Unlimited Canada and Haldimand County partners.”

The event begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs until 2:00 p.m., with an official welcome at 11:00 a.m. Volunteer tour guides and guest educators will give visitors an opportunity to explore the Park’s revitalized wetlands and tallgrass prairie, as well as the Carolinian arboretum, and learn about the history and significance of the Park from an ecological and conservation perspective. As well, the Park is now home to a Heritage Tree, estimated to be more than 250 years old and newly-designated by Forests Ontario.

DHS’s request to complete the original vision of the DBA was a project approved through Haldimand County’s Community Partnership Program, including grant funding of 35% from the municipality.

As well, for more than twenty years, the County had partnered with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) to manage the parklands. For the new restoration DUC provided resource funding to support wildflower replanting—for the next five years—of the grassland area. This work was initiated in spring 2019 following a controlled burn of the area arranged by DHS.

Other work undertaken by the partners during the past year to help prepare the site for the restoration included the spraying late last year for invasive phragmites, removal of dead and unsafe trees in the arboretum, brushing of overgrown areas, creation of a new naturalized pathway around the wetlands and tallgrass prairie, a controlled burn to rejuvenate the area intended for wildflower replanting and installation of educational signage along the Eco-Centre pathways.

“It has been incredibly gratifying to have the opportunity to work with the Dunnville Horticultural Society and its wonderful volunteers to realize the Dunnville Bio Region Association’s original vision for this Park,” adds Dan McKay. “I am excited by the community’s interest and engagement in the new project, and feel confident this is only the beginning of the ongoing conservation of this ecologically-significant Park.”

2019 ‘Neighbour Nights’ Will Bring Caledonia Residents Together At Haldimand County Public Library

Haldimand County Public Library’s popular ‘Neighbour Nights’ program is returning to Caledonia this fall. The monthly social and educational program – hosted out of the Caledonia Library – is geared towards new Caledonia residents, newly retired individuals, new parents and residents with a desire to learn more about their community.

Each Neighbour Night session is themed and centres around various aspects of Caledonia’s vibrant community. The overarching goal of Neighbour Nights is to create and cultivate social connections between community members and local organizations, service clubs, agencies and businesses for the purpose of increasing community engagement and public awareness of programs, services and business.

The 2019 Neighbour Night schedule is as follows:

Thursday, September 26: Lifelong Learning

Thursday, October 24: Volunteering

Thursday, November 21: Local History & Culture

“Neighbour Night is a great opportunity to learn more about the vibrant offerings in Caledonia and Haldimand County,” noted Lindsay Thomas, Community Outreach Coordinator at Haldimand County Public Library. “Neighbour Night, and the library as a whole, provides a comfortable atmosphere for making connections – whether those connections be with fellow residents, information or community services,” she added.

All Neighbour Night programs takes place at Haldimand County Public Library’s Caledonia Branch from 6 to 8 p.m. All community members are welcome to attend the free program, mix and mingle with fellow residents and learn about what’s offered locally. Registration is not required.

Organizations, service clubs, agencies or businesses interested in participating are encouraged to contact Lindsay Thomas, Community Outreach Coordinator, at 905-318-5932 ext. 6118 or Additional information about Haldimand County Public Library

programs, resources and events can be found at and on the library’s Facebook page.

Fall Museum Programming Kicks Off At New Cayuga Library & Heritage Centre

The new, state-of-the-art Cayuga Library & Heritage Centre (CLHC) opened to the public on August 6. All library and museum services are now co-located and available at the 19 Talbot St. W location, including popular heritage & learning programs.

Museum staff have announced their September lineup of heritage-focused workshops, which will continue to be offered year-round. The September schedule is as follows:

Heritage Series: Tales from the Grand River – September 10 (6:30 pm to 8:00 pm)
At this heritage talk, participants will learn about the history of the magnificent Grand River, its people and communities. Museum staff will highlight tales from the past and shine a light on the pre-contact era, the Underground Railway & the area’s earliest settlers. This talk is suitable for all ages. Cost is $5/person. Code: 10277.

Adult Workshop: Finding Your Roots – September 11 (1 pm to 3 pm)
This hands-on workshop will show how participants how to navigate microfilm, historical archives and other digital resources to find elusive relatives. Museum staff will explain how to look in unusual places to find items that will help unlock family history. Attendees are encouraged to bring their most difficult genealogy-related questions for museum staff to assist with. Enrollment is limited to 15. Cost is $10/person. Code: 10376.

Heritage Series: British Home Children in Canada – September 18 (1 pm to 3 pm)
From the late 1860s right up to 1948, over 100,000 British children believed to be orphans were emigrated to Canada to be used as indentured farm workers. This talk, led by museum staff, will focus on some of these children’s Haldimand stories. This talk is suitable for adults. Cost is $5/person. Code: 8371.

Culture Club: Historical Jeopardy – September 24 (6:30 pm – 8 pm)
Spend a fun evening exploring Haldimand’s past through a series of historic Jeopardy questions. Put together a team and learn all about Haldimand’s communities and their stories. Cost is $5/person. Code: 10229.

Historically Speaking: Life & Times of Jane Austen-September 25 (1 pm – 3 pm)
This afternoon is dedicated to author Jane Austen who was ahead of her time and one of the earliest women on the fringe of the suffragette movement. Homemade scones, tea and sweet treats will be provided during the talk. Cost is $10/person. Code: 8372.

Pre-registration is required for all paid events. Registration may be completed online at or at any County office using the code provided. For more information about
museum programs and events, contact

Haldimand County – Mohawk College Partnership Lets Residents Try College For Free

This fall, Haldimand County residents will be able to give college a try for free at the Dunnville Library. College 101 – presented by Mohawk College City School in partnership with Haldimand County Public Library – helps adults 19+ who are not currently enrolled in school prepare for success in a college environment. Participants who complete the 12-week program will earn a free general education credit towards their post-secondary studies at Mohawk.

College 101 will run two afternoons per week for 12 weeks at Haldimand County Public Library’s  Dunnville Branch beginning September 25. The program covers topics like what to expect in college, how to study and how to manage time/deal with stress. Participants will learn how to think critically, prepare an education/career plan, and how to be an adult student (while juggling work and daily life).

“In communities with limited local access to post-secondary education, the HCPL – Mohawk College partnership provides an opportunity for individuals to experience college programs in-person without the financial and personal stresses of jumping into post-secondary education full force,” says Lindsay Thomas, Community Outreach Coordinator for Haldimand County Public Library.

“Partnership programs like College 101, which the library plans to offer twice per year in various communities, and other programs like the Skilled Trades Awareness & Readiness Training, provide community members the building blocks they need to pursue their career dreams,” Thomas added.

Anyone interested in registering for College 101 may contact Mohawk College directly at 905-575-2489 or For more information about this and other learning opportunities through Mohawk College, visit Mohawk College’s website.

Haldimand County Named 13th Best Place To Live In Canada By Maclean’s Magazine

On Thursday, August 8, Maclean’s magazine released its list of Canada’s top 25 best communities to live in. Haldimand County – for the first time ever – made the top 25, taking spot #13 on the nation-wide list.

The annual ranking, compiled by Maclean’s, gathers data on 415 communities across the country and calculates which cities and towns offer the best quality of life. Communities were ranked after receiving points based on the following 10 categories: wealth and economy, affordability, health, weather, crime, commute, taxes, demographics, culture and community, and amenities.

“For all of us who live in and appreciate Haldimand County, this recognition is a testament to what we already know. Our proximity to nature, incredibly dedicated citizens, cultural & heritage assets, low tax rates, economic development potential and extensive recreation opportunities all contribute to the exceptional quality of life we’ve been recognized for,” stated Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“This achievement wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of County staff and all of the residents and businesses that make Haldimand County such a vibrant & welcoming place. On behalf of Council, thank you,” he added.

Maclean’s full list of community rankings can be found on the Maclean’s website.

New Cayuga Library & Heritage Centre Opening To The Public August 6th

On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, the new Cayuga Library & Heritage Centre at 19 Talbot St. West will open to the public. All library and museum services will be available on this ‘soft-open’ date, however, visitors should note that minor finishing touches (such as accent lighting, paint touch-ups and landscaping) will be ongoing for a few more weeks. A more formal ‘ribbon-cutting’ ceremony is being planned for a later date.

Construction on the new 6,455 square foot library and heritage centre in the heart of Cayuga’s downtown core began in June 2018. The new, fully integrated and accessible building is now home to both library and museum collections and programs as well as research services, which will provide visitors with an extremely unique learning and cultural experience.

Both library and museum staff and their respective Boards are excited to be able share this leading edge facility and have been working hard to ensure the new space is welcoming, warm and enriching for all ages. The first heritage exhibit on display, titled Back to Our Roots, features a number of artifacts from Haldimand County’s very first museum exhibit dating back to 1933 – which was located in a 22 square foot room within the existing Cayuga Courthouse.

Community consultations regarding the future of the old library & museum site – which will be developed into public parklands – will continue into the fall. Further opportunities to provide input into their design and development will be communicated to residents in the coming weeks.

More information on the new Cayuga Library & Heritage Centre, including hours of operation and services offered, is available at

Council, Staff Taking Steps To Deliver County-Wide Broadband Internet Service

Haldimand County Council is moving forward with its commitment to bringing affordable, reliable high-speed internet service to all residents. On July 16, 2019, staff released a Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) to short-list internet service providers capable of installing broadband infrastructure and facilitating County-wide internet services.

The Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) is an invitation by Haldimand County to prospective bidders to submit proposals outlining their qualifications and experience. In order to make the RFPQ short list, bidders must demonstrate their ability – across multiple evaluation criteria – to facilitate County-wide internet services in the long-term. Bidders who meet the requirements outlined in the RFPQ and receive a passing score will be allowed to progress to the final selection stage.

It is anticipated that at the conclusion of the RFPQ process, staff will report back to Council and seek direction to initiate a Negotiated Request for Proposal process (NRFP) with a shortlisted number of proponents. Ultimately, negotiations will result in the selection of a successful bidder to install and facilitate internet services throughout all of Haldimand’s communities.

“This is an important step in making affordable, reliable high-speed internet available to all residents,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “A reliable internet connection is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. Everyone in Haldimand County deserves access to this vital and basic service, whether it’s to stay connected with family, take care of day-to-day tasks, complete an online course or sustain a business,” Hewitt noted.

Community consultations will take place as the project progresses to obtain resident input, assess needs and address questions or concerns related to broadband internet service.

“We are committed to finding a financially sound, practical solution that makes internet connectivity attainable and sustainable for all. We’ll keep the public informed and engaged as the project moves forward,” added Mayor Hewitt.

The approximate project timeline – as listed in the RFPQ – is as follows:

Key MilestonesEstimated Commencement DateEstimated End Date
Issue RFPQJuly 16, 2019August 16, 2019
Evaluate RFPQ ProponentsAugust 19, 2019August 22, 2019
Issue NRFP to qualified biddersSeptember 24, 2019October 29, 2019
Evaluate NRFPOctober 30, 2019November 4, 2019
Enter Negotiations with shortlisted three (3) proponentsNovember 5, 2019November 26, 2019
Report to Council for approval of recommended bidderDecember 16, 2019December 16, 2019
Construction*Spring 2020*January 2025


*Timelines are established based on a tentative contract execution date of January 2020 and are subject to change.

Project updates will be posted on the County website and social media accounts as they become available.

A Fresh New Look: Haldimand County Council Approves New Corporate Logo And Brand

In April 2019, Council reviewed a proposed new logo and brand as part of its approved Economic Development Strategy. After deliberation and some suggested modifications to the concept, Council additionally approved staff recommendations to adopt the logo for corporate use.

Creating a new brand and logo to market the County was identified as a priority in 2017 following the development of comprehensive economic development & tourism strategies. The Council-approved strategies outlined the need for a strong brand to raise the County’s profile and differentiate it in the minds of prospective investors, visitors and businesses to foster economic growth.

In 2018, the County received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Rural Economic Development Fund to conduct the brand strategy. Hamilton-based consultants CQNS were retained to lead the brand strategy’s development, which included multiple stages of research and stakeholder engagement including online/telephone surveys, the formation of a brand steering committee and public meetings held within each community.

During the development of the new Economic Development & Tourism brand, an opportunity to update the Haldimand County corporate logo was identified. For the past 18 years, the County has had a Coat of Arms (used for formal business) as well as a logo (used for marketing and communication purposes). The County’s corporate logo usage policy – instituted in 2001 – acknowledged that the logo would have a limited lifespan and require periodic updating.

The new logo provides a fresh new look for Haldimand County and portrays the county’s natural beauty while symbolizing its potential as a great place to live, work and play. “A cohesive, contemporary corporate identity helps portray the benefits of our community to residents, businesses, investors and visitors,” said Don Boyle, Haldimand County’s Chief Administrative Officer. “Haldimand County has evolved significantly since 2001 & the new logo reflects our community’s increased vibrancy, dynamism & potential,” he added.

Part of the re-brand involved the creation of a new tagline that celebrates what makes
Haldimand a unique destination for both visitors and prospective investors. The new Economic Development & Tourism tagline – Real. Potential. – speaks to two key elements of Haldimand County’s character: authenticity and opportunity.

Real is just how we live. It is about authentic and sincere experiences with people who are proud of who they are and what they have created.

Potential is our promise. We want to show people what Haldimand County is – a place where you can create a new business, have unique experiences and make a real impact.

“This is an exciting change and marks a turning point in the way we communicate the benefits of the County,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “While our commitment to the business community in Haldimand will not change, there is incredible potential to grow. Cities and surrounding regions throughout Ontario are marketing themselves directly and in defined, refreshed ways; the new branding puts Haldimand in a position to compete for those opportunities,” he continued.

The new logo will be rolled out incrementally. Replacement of roadside and building signage, as well as updates to County publications bearing the old logo, will occur gradually over time to minimize costs. The majority of County assets and materials will be updated as they are re-ordered, re-printed or replaced.

For more information about the new logo and brand visit

Funding for the brand strategy was provided by the Government of Ontario’s Rural Economic Development Fund.

Ward 2 Community Vibrancy Fund Grant Will Help Construct New Playground At J.L. Mitchener

On Thursday, June 27, Ward 2 Councillor John Metcalfe presented J.L. Mitchener Public School principal Mark Finochio with a $6,000 grant from the Ward 2 Community Vibrancy Fund for the purpose of constructing new playground equipment for students and neighbourhood children.

J.L. Mitchener Public School’s Parent Committee was able to fundraise $27,000 of the estimated $34,000 playground equipment cost. Councillor Metcalfe introduced a motion to provide a CVF grant for the remaining $6,000 and it was approved at the June 24th Council meeting.

Under the Community Vibrancy Fund agreement established in 2011, renewable energy companies with projects in Haldimand County are required to contribute to the Community Vibrancy Fund annually for 20 years. The distribution of CVF funds to geographic areas of the County are based on the proportion of wind/solar power and transmission infrastructure in each ward.

Council approved a number of principles and prioritization criteria to govern the use of CVF funds and ensure they are appropriated to directly benefit residents. As per the CVF principles, funds may be utilized for: land stewardship initiatives, developing/constructing County recreational facilities, enhancing community and protective services, improving roads/public municipal infrastructure and other community-focused activities.

Principal Mark Finochio expects that construction on the playground will begin mid-July and be complete by September 2019.

Photo (left to right): Haldimand County CAO Don Boyle, J.L. Mitchener Public School Principal Mark Finochio, Ward 2 Councillor John Metcalfe.