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Discover your Happy in Haldimand County with new guid

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON Haldimand County’s Economic Development & Tourism

division is launching a summer guide called, “Discover Your Happy Haldimand”, set to be mailed to residents at the end of June. This guide showcases local museums, restaurants, shops, and other attractions for both residents and visitors to explore. “Our government is committed to supporting Ontario’s small towns and rural communities by investing in important initiatives as part of the Rural Economic Development program,” said Minister of Rural Affairs Lisa Thompson. “In this particular case, I trust this beautiful guide will encourage both residents of and visitors to Haldimand County to shop local and support local businesses.”

The guide shines a spotlight on new businesses in the area as well as beloved establishments that have become landmarks in the county. Spice up your routine by visiting The Throw Down Chef, one of Haldimand’s newest restaurants, serving mouth watering authentic Jamaican cuisine. For history enthusiasts, a trip to the Ruthven Park

National Historic Site is a must. Delve into the Thompson family history and enjoy bird watching while strolling through the serene forest trails Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development & Tourism said, “When we set out to create this summer guide, our goal was simple: to capture the essence of Haldimand County in a way that would inspire exploration. From museums that breathe life into our rich history to restaurants that showcase our culinary prowess, every stop is an invitation to dive deeper into what makes Haldimand unique.”

“Discover Your Happy Haldimand” is more than just a guide; it’s an invitation to create lasting memories while experiencing the warmth and charm of the county. So whether you’re a resident looking to rediscover your hometown or a visitor eager to explore, make sure to grab a copy and start your journey today.

“Discover Your Happy Haldimand” is just a taste of what there is to explore in the area, for more ideas and listings visit

Additional copies will be available after July 10th at all Haldimand County Libraries.

Learn more about things to see and do in Haldimand County by visiting our Facebook or Instagram.

Haldimand County gratefully acknowledges that this project is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through a Rural Economic Development grant.

Haldimand Museums 18th Annual Car Show

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – Haldimand Museums are back this year with their 18th Annual Car & Truck Show, taking place Sunday June 23, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, at the Selkirk Community Park (17 Kent Street, Selkirk). Admission to the family-friendly event is by donation; a $5.00 entry fee applies to participating vehicles.

The popular gathering  provides a place for vintage and specialty car and truck enthusiasts from around southern Ontario to celebrate their love of all things automotive. “We had an excellent turnout last year with close to 150 vehicles and the show was fun for everyone,” says Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum Curator Dana Stavinga. “We are hoping the weather will be cooperative but, if we do have rain, the event will be postponed to the fall.”

While the show features classic cars and trucks, there will be much more to see and do! Visitors and participants can enjoy a silent auction, craft displays, entertainment by DJ Frank Vessero, tasty foods served by Shelly’s Family Dining & Catering Services of Kohler, door prizes for the drivers and a presentation of 25 trophies in a variety of categories at 2:30 pm.

For further information about the Car & Truck Show please contact Dana Stavinga at 905-776-3319.

Haldimand County Public Library announces the winners of 11th annual April Poetry Contest

The Haldimand County Public Library would like to thank everyone who submitted a poem to its 11th Annual April Poetry Contest. This year’s contest was a tremendous success with submissions received from individuals across the County.

Congratulations to the following individuals for their winning entries, which followed this year’s theme, “Growth”.

The 2024 Winners:

Deborah Beauchamp, 1st place adult category
Lindsay Polillo, 2nd place adult category
Ulrike Bachmann, 3rd place adult category
Marcel Sousa, 1st place intermediate category
Reed Holmes, 1st place junior category
Charlotte Snyder, 2nd place junior category
Alexandria Knox, 3rd place junior category
Ally Houwer, 1st place primary category
August Sholer, 2nd place primary category
Jayden Clint, 3rd place primary category

An awards ceremony and poetry reading will be held at the Caledonia Branch on Wednesday June 5th at 6:30pm. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

The Library would like to extend a special thank you to our local sponsors, whose generous donations helped make this contest possible: The Hagersville Lions Club, The Caledonia Lions Club, The Women’s Institute- Haldimand District, and The Friends of the Dunnville Library.

To read a copy of the winning poems, please contact the Haldimand County Public Library.

Haldimand County Ward Boundary Review project kicks off with Council workshop, community open houses

Haldimand County has retained Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. to conduct a comprehensive review of its ward boundaries and Council composition. This review is being undertaken to ensure an effective and equitable system of representation ahead of the 2026 municipal election.

A review of a municipality’s ward boundaries is typically undertaken every three to four election cycles to ensure the electoral system represents the principles of effective representation. Council established this review as a top priority for the 2022-2026 term to ensure communities have an equitable voice when it comes to decision-making processes and to reflect population and demographic changes.

The project kicked off on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 with an interactive workshop for Council facilitated by Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. Consultants highlighted the principles of effective representation and phases of the review process. Guiding principles for the review include:

  • Balancing present and future population distribution among the wards
  • Respecting established neighborhoods and communities
  • Respecting geographic features and defining natural and infrastructure boundaries

Following the interactive workshop on May 28, Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. will begin the research and information collection phase and hold preliminary community consultation. This phase is expected to last until fall 2024 when data and community feedback will be analyzed, evaluated and utilized to develop recommendations for Council.

Public consultation is an essential piece of the review process and will be undertaken through various channels. Members of the public are encouraged to attend one of three preliminary open houses to learn more and provide input:

  • In-Person Open House: June 25, 2024 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Haldimand County Administration Building, 53 Thorburn St. S., Cayuga.
  • Virtual Open House: June 27, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom (link to follow).

Residents who wish to learn more about the Ward Boundary Review project are encouraged to visit and follow the county on social media for the latest updates.

Submissions open for 2024 Volunteer Recognition Awards


HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – Nominations are open for Haldimand County’s annual Recognition Night, which celebrates the municipality’s amazing volunteers and the projects, events and activities they undertake to make the County a vibrant and engaging place to live.

“This year’s theme, ‘The Ripple Effect – Volunteers Making Waves’, emphasizes the vital and far-reaching contributions volunteers make to our communities and how it impacts us all in a positive way,” says Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley. “Council and the County appreciate so much the dedication of these community members and organizations, including the generosity of their time as they create bold and innovative projects, activities and events for the benefit of residents and visitors.”

Nominations are being accepted for the following award categories:

  • Volunteer of the Year;
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year;
  • Community Organization or Group of the Year;
  • Community Project Award;
  • Community Festival & Event Award;
  • Caring Haldimand Award;
  • Heritage Haldimand Award;
  • Community Culture Award; and,
  • Wall of Fame Induction (Caledonia, Cayuga, Dunnville, Hagersville, Jarvis).

Nominations may be submitted by filling out the appropriate form on the County’s website.

Anyone wishing to submit a nomination is asked to complete the application in full and provide as much detail and supporting documentation as possible. Nominations must be submitted online by 4:00 pm, Monday, July 1, 2024 and will be judged by an independent committee. If you have any questions, please email or call 905-318-5932, ext. 6370.

Seeking Input: Lower Grand River Visitor Experience

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON –Haldimand County is currently developing a Lower Grand River Visitor Experience Strategy. As part of the consultation process, Haldimand County is inviting community members to participate in an online survey to gather insights that will shape the strategic direction of tourism development in the region.

The Grand River is woven into the fabric of Haldimand County, having served as a vital artery for commerce, and recreation. It holds a deep connection to the area’s cultural heritage.  Celebrating its 30th year, in 2024, as a recognized Canadian Heritage River, the Grand River stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of Canadian history. The Lower Grand River Visitor Experience Strategy aims to unlock the river’s potential while ensuring that we are mindful of our local ecology, and sustainability and are in alignment with the needs and interests of the public.

The online survey is currently open for all members of the community including business owners, operators and community organizations. The survey closes June 7th 2024 and can be accessed at

“We are committed to ensuring that the tourism developments in Haldimand County are inclusive, innovative, and environmentally sustainable,” stated Lidy Romanuk, Manager Economic Development & Tourism Division. “The community’s contributions will play a vital role in shaping a tourism framework that shapes Haldimand’s vision for tourism and the Grand River moving forward.”

The development of this strategy was made possible with financial support from; Ontario’s Tourism Development Fund (2023), as well as the Haldimand County Business Development and Advisory Committee, Grand Erie Business Centre and Regional Tourism Organization 1 – Ontario’s  Southwest.

As the Lower Grand River Visitor Experience Strategy begins to take shape, it’s clear that a collaborative effort lies at its core. “The Grand River represents significant potential for Haldimand County’s tourism sector, drawing responsible visitors and creating unforgettable experiences. It’s through our collective efforts that we can maximize its allure and ensure sustainable growth for the region” said Joanne Wolnik, Executive Director, Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation.

Tauri Caputo, General Manager of the Grand Erie Business Centre, stressed the significance of community engagement in this endeavour.”We recognize that the voice of the community is paramount in shaping the future of tourism in Haldimand County,” Caputo affirmed. “That is why we are calling on residents, businesses, and organizations to share their perspectives and ideas as we begin to shape the strategy.”

Provide your feedback in our online survey.

For more information on the survey and to contribute to the Lower Grand River Visitor Experience Strategy, please visit or contact

Haldimand Museums puts out call for entries for Haldimand County’s 26th annual Juried Art Show

Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre in Caledonia is pleased to announce a call for submissions for the 26th Annual Juried Art Show.

This art exhibition is open to artists of all ages and experience levels who work in any medium including—but not limited to—painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, ceramic, sculpture and mixed media. While the theme of the show is open, this year there will be a special category to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Grand River’s Heritage River Designation, and artists are invited to submit pieces that depict any subject matter in any location,

Works of art completed within the last three years are eligible for entry and will be received at Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre, 80 Caithness Street East, Caledonia during regular business hours from Tuesday, May 7 through Saturday May 25. An entry fee of $25 per artist will be charged; up to three pieces may be presented for the jury’s consideration.

The Juried Art Exhibition, which always presents an extremely varied and interesting mix of styles, subjects and mediums from local and area artists, will run from Thursday, May 30 through Saturday, July 27, with an opening reception and awards presentation taking place Thursday, May 30 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

Entry forms are available online at  or from the Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre.

For further information, please contact Edinburgh Square at 905-765-3134, or by email at

Statement from Haldimand County regarding potential merger of Haldimand-Norfolk & Brant County Health Units

Statement from Haldimand County regarding potential merger of Haldimand-Norfolk & Brant County Health Units


In 2023, the Ministry of Health announced plans to strengthen the public health sector by offering one-time funding, resources and supports to local public health agencies that decide to voluntarily merge by January 1, 2025. Their goal is to better support communities through optimization of resources and better coordination of services.

The decisions of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) and Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) Boards of Health to pursue a potential merger were released publicly on April 26, 2024.

While a merger is voluntary at this point, municipalities have received clear indication that regionalization of Public Health Departments is a priority of this provincial government. If voluntary mergers are not considered, the potential for a merger to be imposed, and without the current funding, is a distinct possibility. This would bring Haldimand County back to the drawing board in terms of a revised governance model with direct Haldimand representation.

The decisions of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) and Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) Boards of Health to pursue a merger present a number of opportunities and benefits for Haldimand County and its residents.

These include:

  • An enhanced ability to build upon and strengthen existing public health services with a focus on addressing health inequities;
  • An opportunity for Haldimand to have direct representation on a new board of health;
  • An opportunity to access dedicated Ministry funding through the transition, putting money directly back into local public health unit services and enhancing public health capacity;
  • Responding to the request of Ministry to expand jurisdiction, in a responsible, manageable way; building on aligned services and existing synergies between Haldimand, Norfolk and Brant.

A number of options were considered beyond merging with Brant. A Joint Board Merger Working Group, including representatives from each health unit, worked with a consultant who facilitated a Feasibility Assessment Report to present various options and inform the Boards’ decision making.

Alternative options for Haldimand – including whether or not it was feasible to break apart from the existing Haldimand-Norfolk Board of Health and explore mergers with other neighbouring municipalities was considered – however, was not pursued for a variety of reasons, including lack of interest from these agencies.

Next steps are to submit a business case to the Province in consideration of this merger. No decision is final until authorized by the Ministry of Health. Council and the community will be kept informed about any changes as updates become available.

Quote from Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley:

“Access to high quality public health services is paramount to the overall well-being of our community and the opportunity to strengthen the critical services our residents depend on is very much welcomed. The potential for a merger between Haldimand, Norfolk and Brant speaks to the existing relationships between all agencies and common interest in providing responsive, accessible services that meet community needs. As both agencies work through next steps, Haldimand Council will continue to advocate for an independent voice within the governance model of a merged Board of Health to ensure the interests of Haldimand residents are heard and considered.” – Haldimand County Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley


Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County partners with City School by Mohawk to offer free post-secondary programming in Caledonia

Haldimand County, in partnership with City School by Mohawk, will be providing a free Landscape Construction course to community members 19+ with little to no post-secondary education this summer in Caledonia.

In the Landscape Construction course, Introduction to Decks & Fences, students will learn basic construction techniques to build projects relating to landscape construction including:

  • Learning how to interpret drawings;
  • Learning how to read a bill of materials and build projects of varying sizes and complexity;
  • Select appropriate tools and fasteners aligning with project requirements;
  • Develop skills to support the construction of decks and fences on a smaller scale to serve as an introduction to the trade; and
  • Explore landscape construction as a potential career.

This program will run from May 13 to June 13, 2024 from 3:00 pm -7:00 pm every Monday, Tuesday & Thursday in the City School mobile classroom in the parking lot at the Haldimand Caledonia Community Centre (HCCC) (100 Haddington St.).

“We are thrilled that City School by Mohawk is back in Haldimand County, providing access to post-secondary education to members of our community,” said Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development & Tourism at Haldimand County. “We are pleased to continue this valuable partnership with Mohawk College and encourage Haldimand residents to explore these local post-secondary offerings, various employment pathways, and embrace a commitment to lifelong learning.”

“We are so grateful for the partnership with Haldimand County, and the opportunity to increase the options Haldimand County residents have for entering, or re-entering, college education,” said Emily Ecker, Mohawk College Associate Dean, Community Partnerships & Learning, Community Access and Engagement.

Registration for the City School by Mohawk Landscape Construction course is now open and will close on May 9, 2024. You can register online at the City School by Mohawk website at Please note that registration is required, and space is limited.

Mohawk College has been providing a quality, higher education experience to students in Hamilton, Ontario and the surrounding area since 1967. The college educates and serves more than 34,600 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at four main campuses in Hamilton, and at learning hubs across Hamilton through City School by Mohawk. Mohawk is among the leading colleges in Canada for applied research. It has been named one of Canada’s greenest employers for 11 years in a row, and is home to the country’s largest net zero energy institutional building. More than 165,000 people have graduated from Mohawk since it was founded.

Ditch Burning

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – Over the last week, Haldimand County firefighters have responded to numerous fires resulting from the burning of grass and brush in roadside ditches. As the spring season unfolds and agricultural activities intensify, the Haldimand County Fire Department is highlighting the critical issue of fire spread dangers associated with burning ditches. While historically used for land clearing and waste disposal, this practice poses significant risks to communities, ecosystems, and property.

Burning ditches can quickly escalate into uncontrolled fires, especially under unfavourable weather conditions such as dry spells or high winds. Once ignited, flames can rapidly spread to surrounding vegetation, crops, and structures, endangering lives and property.

The indiscriminate burning of ditches poses direct threats to nearby communities, particularly those situated in rural or semi-urban areas. Embers carried by wind can travel significant distances, igniting fires in residential areas and causing property damage or destruction. Smoke from burning ditches can envelop neighbourhoods, posing respiratory hazards and reducing air quality, especially for vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

The Haldimand County Fire Department urges property owners to prioritize fire safety and adopt alternative land management practices to mitigate fire risks associated with burning ditches. The burning of brush or grass within ditches is not permitted within Haldimand County. In the event of a fire response resulting from the intentional burning of grass or brush, the property owner is subject to fines and/or cost recovery fees under the Open Air Burning Bylaw.

For more information, please visit or contact the Fire Department at 905-318-5932 ext. 6230, or email