9th Annual Uniquely Haldimand Photo Contest Running October 15 – December 1, 2021

The County’s annual Uniquely Haldimand Photo Contest – now in its 9th year – will be accepting entries from October 15 to December 1, 2021. Residents and visitors are invited to submit photos of Haldimand’s beautiful environment, architecture and vibrant community life for a chance to win some great local prizes.

With 87km of gorgeous Lake Erie waterfront, the Grand River, sprawling countryside and charming towns, Haldimand County is one of the most picturesque destinations on Ontario’s southwest coast. Its abundance of outdoor recreation options, scenic lookouts, community events, historic sites and culinary experiences make it an incredible place to live, explore and photograph.

To be eligible, photos must depict a scene within Haldimand County. They must be original, digital high resolution photos no more than two years old and not previously published. Participants may submit their photos via the online submission portal at photocontest.haldimandcounty.ca.

Photos must be submitted by Wednesday, December 1 and comply with all rules and regulations.

A panel of judges comprised of county staff, community members and local media will closely examine all submissions in December. Four winners will be announced prior to the end of 2021 with 1 Grand Prize, 1 Second Prize and 2 Honorable Mentions awarded.

Prizes include gift certificates for unique culinary experiences and local shops.

Winning photographs will be featured in an exhibit within the new Cayuga Library + Heritage Centre and displayed permanently on the County website.

Residents Invited To Learn More About Future Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre At Community Open House

Haldimand County is inviting residents to attend a community open house to learn more about plans for the future Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre.

As part of the planned replacement of the Hagersville Public Library and in recognition of the need for more accessible public spaces given the community’s significant growth, Council has authorized staff to initiate a community capital fund-raising campaign and proceed with community consultations/other activities to support the construction of this new multi-purpose facility.

Hagersville has been identified as the second-fastest-growing urban community in Haldimand and has a shortage of accessible public buildings for recreation, leisure and community socialization. The current community hall is approximately 100 years old and has challenges associated with accessibility and functionality.

The existing Hagersville Public Library, while enjoyed by residents since 1945, is limited in terms of accessibility, programming, services and parking.

The new, integrated facility is intended to be located in Hagersville’s Grant Kett Park, a large downtown green space which already includes the arena, three ball diamonds and a natural amphitheatre used for events. Construction is expected to begin in 2024.

Residents are encouraged to register and attend one of four open house sessions to learn more about the project and provide input into the design of this new community asset.  

Four half-hour sessions are being held on Wednesday, October 20 at the Hagersville Community Centre (62 Main Street South) from 6 to 6:30 p.m., 6:45 to 7:15 p.m, 7:30 to 8 p.m. or 8:15 to 8:45 p.m.

In keeping with provincial and public health guidelines, registration will be limited to 25 participants per session, and proof of vaccination will be required in accordance with provincial guidelines.

Interested residents may register online at HaldimandCounty.ca/hagersvilleALC or by calling 905-318-5932 ext. 6370.

Haldimand continues to grow. By 2041, the population is expected to increase to approximately 68,000 and by 2051, that number is likely to climb to 77,000. In order to meet community needs resulting from this growth and anticipated demographic changes, Haldimand County Council has also directed staff to undertake a Major Community & Recreation Facility Needs & Implementation Strategy.

Separate from the Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre, this feasibility study/analysis will be conducted to identify and prioritize additional community wellness and recreation needs associated with the County’s 20+ year growth forecast, including locations and components.

Watch for upcoming opportunities to share your thoughts and input into this important process.

Heritage Centre launching sports history exhibit, offering ghost walks and more this October

The Heritage Centre in Cayuga is hosting three special events in October, including the launch of its newest exhibit, “For the Love of the Game” which highlights Haldimand’s sporting past.

Mark your calendars and join museum staff on Wednesday, October 13 at 1:00 pm for the opening of “For the Love of the Game” and a special presentation featuring photos, sports memorabilia and an opportunity to learn about Haldimand’s NHL stars, gold medal winners and Olympians.

Just in time for Halloween and those who like a spooky tale or two, “Ghostly Tales of Haldimand County” offers in-person exploration of haunted locations throughout the County including the: Cayuga Courthouse, Haldimand’s famous “ghost town” Indiana, Caledonia’s nine-span bridge, the Grand River and more. This presentation takes place Wednesday, October 20 at 1:00 pm and again at 2:30 pm.

On Tuesday, October 26 at 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm, the popular “Ghost Walk Walking Tour of Cayuga” takes participants on a stroll through the village’s most ghostly haunts. Stories of murder, mayhem and ghost sightings will have shivers running down your spine!

Due to reduced capacity limits and in order to accommodate other visitors to the Heritage Centre, a maximum of six (6) patrons will be admitted for each presentation, and pandemic-related protocols remain in place.

Cost is $10.00 per person and pre-registration must be completed online at www.Link.HaldimandCounty.ca or in person at the Haldimand County Administration Building (53 Thorburn Street South, Cayuga).

Programs take place at the Cayuga Library + Heritage Centre, located at 19 Talbot Street West, Cayuga.

For more information, contact the Heritage Centre at 905-318-5932 ext. 6613 or e-mail: museum.archives@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

The Cayuga Library and Heritage Centre building with a metal roof and brick exterior.

Registration now open for fall/winter 2021-22 arena programs

Registration is now open for fall/winter 2021-22 programming at Haldimand County arenas. Programs begin on Tuesday, October 12 and include preschool skate, adult skate, child’s hockey skate, shinny programs, public skate and open figure skate.

The program schedule is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/recreation-facilities. Registration may be completed online at link.haldimandcounty.ca or by calling 905-318-5932.

Before visiting a Haldimand County arena, residents are asked to review provincial vaccination regulations and COVID-19 safety protocols in effect at county arenas and  community halls.

Please note that County staff have no ability to make exceptions to provincial vaccination regulations and associated protocols, and anyone unable to provide proof of vaccination will not be permitted to enter the facility. Visitors are asked to be respectful of staff implementing these provincial requirements.

Programs will be running with reduced capacity in compliance with public health measures and residents are encouraged to pre-register early to secure their spots.

While fall/winter programs offered by the county are free of charge, residents are reminded that financial supports are available for children who wish to participate in local organized or club sports but cannot due to economic barriers.

For additional information, visit HaldimandCounty.ca/recreation-facilities.

Fire Department asks residents to Get Loud! and “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety™” ahead of Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week runs from October 3-9, 2021 and the Haldimand County Fire Department is urging residents to Get Loud! and “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety™”.

By law, every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. Sadly, far too often do fatal fires occur in homes where there were no working smoke alarms.

Testing your alarms is the only way to ensure they are working and that you and your family can be alerted in the event of a fire.

Testing alarms produces a beep, the sound of alarms in an emergency. Replace the batteries if the alarms do not sound when the test button is pushed. If the alarms still don’t sound, replace the alarms.

“Knowing the different sounds your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make, can save you, your loved ones, and your home. Get Loud! by testing your alarms every month to learn the sound they make and to ensure the batteries work,” said Haldimand County Fire Chief Jason Gallagher.

“Take immediate action if your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms sound. If the alarms beep, get everyone out of the home. If your alarms chirp, replace the batteries or alarms immediately,” Gallagher added.

For more fire safety/prevention tips and learning resources, visit the Fire Department’s website.

Provincial vaccination regulations in effect at county arenas, community halls

As of September 22, the Province of Ontario requires members of the public to be fully vaccinated to enter all indoor meeting, sports and recreation facilities, including county arenas and community halls (O. Reg. 645/21), with limited exceptions.

By provincial law, to enter any County recreation or community centre, visitors and participants must provide proof of vaccination as well as identification (e.g. driver’s license or health card), unless they meet exemption criteria identified below.

Proof of vaccination is two (2) doses of vaccine, with the second dose administered at least 14 days prior.

A copy of the vaccine receipt received after a second vaccination — or obtained through the Province of Ontario website (https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/) — will be accepted as proof of vaccination.

County staff have no ability to exempt or make exceptions to this policy, and anyone unable to provide proof of vaccination will not be allowed to enter the facility.

Visitors are asked to be respectful of staff implementing this provincial law. Arguing with, harassing or trying to intimidate staff is not acceptable and may result in being banned from the facility. In the event of harassment or threats of acts of violence, law enforcement will be contacted.

Haldimand County will continue to provide updates about the proof of vaccination regulation as required.

To further explain how this regulation will affect members of the public visiting county arenas and community halls, a comprehensive FAQ has been developed.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does this law impact children and youth (e.g. those under 18 years of age)?

All children under 12 years of age are exempt from showing proof of vaccination to enter County recreation and community facilities.

Unvaccinated youth aged 12 to 17 years of age can enter recreation/community facilities if the purpose of their visit is only to participate in an organized sport, in accordance with guidance published by the Ministry of Health.

Youth aged 12 to 17 years of age who are not participating in organized sport will be required to show proof of vaccination.

How is ‘organized sport’ defined?

Organized sport is defined as activities governed by an association or organization requiring formal registration and includes training, practice sessions and games or matches (e.g. minor hockey).

How does the regulation impact coaches, officials, trainers and volunteers supporting organized sport?

Although the provincial regulation does not require these individuals to be fully vaccinated, Haldimand County Council has made the decision to require coaches, officials, trainers and volunteers to be fully vaccinated. Although this goes beyond the Province’s regulation, it is within the municipality’s authority and is intended to be consistent with the requirements for all other adults and volunteers accessing recreation and community centres for other activities (e.g. walking track, meetings, etc.) and better protects the health and safety of the public, participants, staff and volunteers at these facilities.

Given this County requirement, coaches, officials, trainers and volunteers supporting organized sport will be given until October 31 to become fully vaccinated.

How does the law impact participants attending registered drop-in programs (e.g. shinny, indoor walking, Sit to be Fit, etc.)?

Proof of vaccination is required for all participants 12 years of age or older.

How does the law impact spectators and guardians?

By law, anyone accompanying the athlete as a spectator or guardian must show proof of vaccination and proof of identify if they are 12 years of age or older.

What is the definition of fully vaccinated?

Under the law, a person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if,

  • they have received,
  • the full series of COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines;
  • one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada; or,
  • three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada; and,
  • they received their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before providing the proof of being fully vaccinated.

What if I don’t want to disclose my vaccination status?

No one is obligated to disclose their vaccination status. However, should you make the decision not to divulge this information, you will not be permitted to enter Haldimand County recreation and community facilities.

Is anyone exempt from showing proof of vaccination?

Children under 12 years of age and youth aged 12-17 years who are actively participating in organized sport are exempt.

Persons who provide a written document—completed and supplied by a physician or registered nurse in the extended class (e.g. nurse practitioner)—that sets out the medical reason for not being fully vaccinated and the effective time period for the medical reason are exempt.

Patrons entering an indoor area solely for the following purposes: to use a washroom; to access customer service or pay a bill; to purchase admission; as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.

Will I have to show my vaccine certificate and personal identification every time I come to an Arena?

In accordance with the law, Haldimand County will not retain any vaccination or personal information shown prior to a visit. This means that proof of vaccination and personal identification will have to be shown for every visit.

By October 22, the Province of Ontario plans to have available an enhanced vaccine certificate and verification app (QR code) to provide a more secure and convenient way to show—when required—that you have been fully vaccinated.

How does the law impact rentals of meeting rooms/event spaces and community halls?

By law, anyone 12 years of age and older attending an event in a meeting room or at a community hall must show proof of vaccination and proof of identity.

The only exemptions are anyone entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space for the purposes of attending a social gathering associated with a wedding service/rite/ceremony or a social gathering associated with a funeral service/rite/ceremony—on or after September 22, 2021, but before October 13, 2021—as long as the patron provides, to the person responsible for the establishment, the results of an antigen test administered within the previous 48 hours establishing that the person is negative for COVID-19.

What effect do the policies of other organizations (e.g. Ontario Minor Hockey Association, Ontario Women’s Hockey Association)–including exemptions—have on facility access?

The policies of other independent organizations have no impact on facility access and do not replace or supersede any part of the Province’s regulation, which is what the County is bound to and must administer.

I believe I am eligible for an exemption for health and safety purposes to ensure the safe access of my child. Why isn’t the County accepting this exemption?

While the provincial regulation does allow an exemption as necessary for the purpose of health safety, this is limited to access by Police, Fire and Emergency Services personnel.

I believe I am eligible for a religious exemption as part of my human rights. Why isn’t the County accepting religious exemptions?

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has indicated that, while receiving a COVID-19 vaccine remains voluntary, mandating proof of vaccination to protect people at work or when receiving services is generally permissible under the Human Rights Code (the Code) as long as protections are in place to ensure people who are unable to be vaccinated for Code-related reasons are reasonably accommodated. While the Code prohibits discrimination based on creed, personal preferences and singular beliefs (e.g. religious beliefs) do not amount to a creed for the purposes of the Code. The duty to accommodate does not necessarily require an individual be exempted from vaccine mandates. The duty to accommodate can be limited if it would significantly compromise health and safety amounting to undue hardship, such as during a pandemic.

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

Haldimand County Council approves COVID-19 vaccine policy for staff, volunteers

On September 21, 2021, Haldimand County Council approved a COVID-19 vaccination policy for municipal employees and volunteers.

The policy applies to all representatives of Haldimand County including all existing staff, elected officials board/committee appointees, volunteers, volunteer firefighters, the Haldimand County Library Board and its staff and volunteers.

Grandview Lodge staff and Paramedics are covered by separate policies, introduced earlier this year, as mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Health. Council amended these policies at the September 21 meeting to require mandatory vaccination for all staff in these high risk settings by November 17.

The new policy aims to fulfill the county’s commitment of providing a safe working environment and has been implemented to protect the county’s workforce and members of the public from the hazards of COVID-19.

The policy is in alignment with provincial directives and subject to limited exceptions in accordance with the Human Rights Code (Ontario), consistent with public health policy.

Existing county representatives will be required to disclose their vaccination status by no later than Monday, October 18, 2021. New employees, or employees entering into a new employment contract internally (i.e. transferring positions) must be fully vaccinated or produce an eligible exemption, as a condition of the new employment agreement.

As of Tuesday, October 19, 2021, employees who indicate they are “not fully vaccinated” or “medically exempted” must participate in regular rapid antigen testing until such time as they are considered fully immunized.

For additional details, please refer to the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy (No. 2021-02).


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

Haldimand County announces re-opening of walking tracks, provides update on fall arena programs

Haldimand County programming and facilities staff are working diligently to transition from summer to fall programming at all three arenas.

The Caledonia Arena (HCCC) and Dunnville Memorial Arena walking tracks are currently open to the public from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. to facility close Monday to Friday. On weekends, they will be open from 8 a.m. to facility close. Facility closing times vary and are dependent on bookings, but are typically between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The vaccination clinic at the Cayuga Memorial Arena has closed and relocated, however, due to required facility maintenance, the walking track will remain closed until September 20, 2021. As of September 20 the Cayuga walking track will be open during the same hours as Caledonia and Dunnville tracks.

All visitors must complete COVID-19 screening upon entering arenas and all pandemic-related protocols remain in place. Visitors will be required to wear a face mask and physically distance while on site.

Staff are currently in the process of planning safe arena programs for the upcoming fall and winter season, with a projected start date of October 12, 2021. Pre-registration for programming will be required to ensure capacity limits and physical distancing requirements are met. Additional details on scheduling and registration will be released later this month.

Staff are excited to offer fall/winter programming and ask that visitors remain patient and respect the safety protocols in place.

For more information about walking tracks and fall programming, visit HaldimandCounty.ca/recreation-facilities.

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

Haldimand County Public Library hosting award-winning author for virtual visit

Award-winning author and former Dunnville resident Carolyn Huizinga Mills will be joining Haldimand County readers for a virtual author visit on October 5, 2021 at 7pm.

During the October 5 visit, Huizinga Mills will discuss her newest book The Good Son. Already an award-winning children’s author, Huizinga Mills’ latest venture into adult fiction has similarly been met with critical acclaim.

The Good Son is a psychological thriller following Zoe Emmerson as her world is turned upside-down when, after thirty years, the murder case of her six-year-old neighbour is re-opened.

At the time of the murder, Zoe didn’t share information indicating that her brother may have been involved as she was young, scared and unsure of what exactly she saw. But the knowledge has always haunted her and now, as her past and present collide, she is forced to face a difficult truth.

Individuals who wish to participate in the virtual author visit are encouraged to register by calling their local library at 289-674-0400 or e-mailing kkrupicz@haldimandcounty.on.ca. A link to the virtual author visit will be provided to all registrants.

Copies of The Good Son may be picked up for borrowing at all Haldimand County Public Library branches.

County-Alzheimer Society partnership program, Sit To Be Fit, returns to in-person classes

Haldimand County, in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Haldimand Norfolk, has announced the return of in-person Sit to be Fit classes starting September 14, 2021.

The Sit to be Fit program is designed to promote health and fitness for seniors and those wishing to increase strength, balance, flexibility and endurance.

Classes will be held in the Remax Room at the Haldimand County Caledonia Centre from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Pre-registration is required and may be completed by calling the Haldimand Abilities Centre at (905) 768-4488.

All pandemic-related protocols remain in place and participants will be required to wear a face mask upon entering the facility. Face masks may be removed at the discretion of the instructor, only if social distancing is maintained and only during exercises.