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Haldimand County developing Archaeological Management Plan, seeking preliminary public input

Haldimand County has retained Archaeological Research Associates Ltd. (ARA) to develop the county’s first Archaeological Management Plan (AMP) and has launched an online survey to obtain community feedback.

The County has commenced this 18-month long project to develop a new framework and strategic direction aimed at preserving local archaeological resources and further strengthen planning and policy processes.

Key deliverables to be produced as part of the Archaeological Management Plan include:

  • A comprehensive research and background review to compile a comprehensive County history, gap analysis of existing policy and procedures, and roles and responsibilities, and establish initial AMP objectives based on best practices.
  • A comprehensive set of Geographical Information System (GIS) based mapping that documents known archaeological resources and identifies areas of archaeological potential;
  • Development of a robust engagement program with First Nations and Indigenous communities, partners, the general public, and;
  • Proposed new protocols, policies, roles and responsibilities, and management strategies to be integrated into the County’s Official Plan and planning framework.

Engagement with partners and the public will occur throughout the project to provide opportunities for information sharing, feedback and education.

The preliminary public survey will remain open until January 27, 2024 and may be completed online at

For more information on the Archaeological Management Plan, including a project timeline, visit the project web page.

Haldimand County Public Library announces holiday and winter break program lineup, invites residents to get into the festive spirit

Haldimand County Public Library’s holiday and winter break program features a wide range of programs for all ages.

Highlights include:

Holiday Card Stamping Workshop
Nov 28, 6 p.m. (Cayuga Branch) & Nov 29, 6 p.m. (Hagersville Branch)

Participants will be guided through the process of creating handmade, festive greeting cards by local maker Annette Ball. Cost is $10/person with all proceeds benefitting the library. Individuals can register in-person at the library or by phone at 289-674-0400.

PAWS to Read Open House
Nov 29, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Cayuga Branch)
This innovative program partners children with certified therapy dogs to improve their literacy skills. Reading to a non-judgmental listener fosters self-confidence and a more relaxed, pleasurable reading experience. Open House attendees will get to meet some of the dogs, their handlers and learn how to get involved in the 2024 program. There is no cost to attend and no registration is required.

Cayuga Light Up Night Festivities at the Library
Dec 1, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Cayuga Branch)

Residents are invited to stop by the Cayuga Branch on Light Up Night to check out their collections, learn about library programs and create a special holiday ornament to take home. There is no cost to attend and registration is not required; just drop in.

Local Author Book Signing – Beau Johnson
Dec 2, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Caledonia Branch)

All are welcome at the Caledonia Branch to meet local author Beau Johnson and celebrate the release of his latest book, The Abrum Files: A Bishop Rider Book. Attendees can bring their own copies of Beau’s work to get signed, or purchase other titles for $20/each. There is no cost to attend and no registration is required.

Children’s holiday break/winter programming & storytimes
Registration opens December 4 (All Branches)
Registration for children’s holiday break programs, including LEGO clubs, craft parties, BINGO, and Storytimes opens on December 4. In-person registration is required; start dates and costs for each program vary and are posted at local branches and on the library website.

Registration will also begin on December 4th for the winter sessions of Storytime, Tales for Twos and Baby Storytime. The winter sessions will begin in January 2024, the exact start dates and costs for each program can be found at each of the library branches or on the library website. Registration is required and must be done in person at the library branch.

One Book One Haldimand Author Visit: Brad Smith – Rescheduled
Dec 7, 6:30 p.m. (Dunnville Branch)
All are welcome to join local author Brad Smith for a discussion on his latest book (and Haldimand County Public Library’s 2023 One Book One Haldimand title), Copperhead Road. Participants will enjoy a short reading, a book talk and a Q&A session facilitated by library staff. Copies of Brad’s work are available for loan in print and digital formats; they can be requested by calling 289-674-0400. There is no cost to attend and no registration is required.

For more information on library programs and services, visit or follow Haldimand County Public Library on Facebook.

Construction underway on new Caledonia Fire and EMS Station

Construction is now underway on the new Fire and EMS Station in Caledonia. The new facility – located at 270 Argyle St. N – will replace the fire hall currently located on Caithness St. W. It is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Planning for the new, combined 15,640 sq ft Caledonia Fire and EMS station has been ongoing since 2014 in response to projected growth and urban intensification.

The new station’s design was developed by architectural and engineering consultants G.D. Vallee Ltd. and the construction is being managed by Reid & Deleye Contractors Ltd.

The fire portion of the building is approximately 6,372 sq ft which includes four (4) drive-thru style bays, a decontamination area, offices, lockers, washrooms with showers, laundry facilities, storage and maintenance space.

The EMS portion consists of approximately 1,432 sq ft and two (2) drive-thru style bays, an office, lunchroom/crew quarters, locker area, washrooms with showers and a stock room.

There is approximately 7,836 sq ft of space to be shared amongst Fire and EMS staff, including a large training/meeting room, storage, a universal washroom and space for the display of an antique fire truck.

The facility was designed with the potential to be transformed into a Net Zero building and will have the ability to be equipped with solar panels in the future.

Once the new Fire and EMS station is complete on Argyle St. N, the south side station on Kinross St. will remain in service with one fire pumper. The ambulance bay will only be used in the case of a major event.

“I appreciate the time and attention to detail that went into developing the design of this new facility,” said Haldimand County mayor Shelley Ann Bentley. “I’m thrilled to see shovels in the ground and look forward to seeing this much-needed project in its final state,” she added.

Jason Gallagher, Haldimand County’s Manager of Emergency Medical Services/Fire Chief, noted the significance of the project for the community and first responders. “This new facility is an important addition to the community and the dedicated first responders who serve it,” Gallagher stated. “It’s another important step in planning for the long-term protection of our county.”

Rendering of Caledonia Fire/EMS Station

Above: A digital rendering of the new Caledonia Fire and EMS station currently being constructed on Argyle St. N.

Haldimand County launches Holiday Wish Book campaign to highlight local products

Cover of 2024 Holiday Wish BookHaldimand County launches annual Holiday Wish Book campaign to showcase bespoke, artisan crafts, and unique gifts from local shops to encourage Haldimand County residents and visitors to shop local for the holidays. The campaign includes a printed Holiday Wish Book that will be mailed to homes across Haldimand County in mid-November, as well as an online page complete with comprehensive listing details at

Highlighted products include one-of-a-kind pieces from local artisans and craftspeople that vary from handcrafted woodwork and pottery to custom jewellery. For those who prefer shopping from the comfort of their couch, an online marketplace is available on the Tourism Haldimand website by clicking on the shopping cart on the top menu bar.

“The holidays are the perfect time to shop local and keep the holiday spirit bright for everyone in our communities,” said Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development & Tourism. “Not only will you be supporting local businesses, but you’ll also be giving a gift that is meaningful.”

For more information, please visit, or visit Tourism Haldimand on Facebook or Instagram.

Haldimand Museums kicks off the festive season with Holiday Market on November 23

Haldimand Museums is hosting its first ever Holiday Market supporting local artisans and craftspeople on Thursday November 23 from 2 – 8 p.m. in the Haldimand County Administration Building’s atrium lobby at 53 Thorburn Street South, Cayuga, ON. This family friendly event is free to attend with free parking available in front of the building and next to the Cayuga Memorial Arena.

Enjoy festive decorations, carollers and local handcrafted products and food perfect for holiday gifts. Featured products include glass art, holiday decorations, dog bandanas, raw and roasted hazelnuts, knit and crocheted goods, 100% soy candles, handmade jewellery and handcrafted Canadian wood products.

Be sure to take your photo in front of the County Christmas tree, and stop by the Haldimand Museums table to learn about upcoming programs and workshops, and purchase historical holiday cards.

For additional information about this event, please contact Geneva Gillis at 905-318-5932 x 6613 or

Emergency Management Exercise

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – On October 12th, 2023 Haldimand County Emergency Services partnered with Genesee & Wyoming Inc. to conduct a full-scale tactical exercise involving the railway. Fire, Paramedics, Ontario Provincial Police, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., and Woodstock Police joined together to learn, train, and practice a simulated event.

This year’s Emergency Management exercise was in the Jarvis area and simulated a truck versus train collision, in which one train car was leaking and another was on fire. The purpose of the yearly exercise is ensure compliance with policies and procedures, test inter-agency communication, as well as ensure both first responder and public safety.

We are pleased to advise that this year’s exercise was a great success. Please see the attached photos.


November programs at Haldimand County Public Library

The Haldimand County Public Library has a variety of activities coming up for November for the community to enjoy.

Author visit with Brad Smith

The Library will be hosting an in-person author visit with Dunnville’s own Brad Smith, author of this year’s ‘One Book, One Haldimand’ selection, Copperhead Road, on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Dunnville Branch. The visit will be approximately an hour in length with a short reading, book discussion and Q&A session. No registration is required.

Copies of Copperhead Road are available at Haldimand County Public Library branches in print format and from the library’s CloudLibrary and Libby digital services in e-book and e-audio formats. Visit the library in person or online to borrow a copy or call 289-674-0400 to reserve one.


Crafternoons are adult-only craft sessions held at various branches of the Haldimand County Public Library with a different craft each month. Participants in the November Crafternoon sessions will be making adorable Santa Paint Brush decorations. All sessions cost $2 per person, supplies included, and take place at 1 p.m.

  • Jarvis Branch – Monday, Nov. 20
  • Hagersville Branch – Wednesday, Nov. 22
  • Dunnville Branch – Thursday, Nov. 23
  • Cayuga Branch – Friday, Nov. 24

Holiday Card Stamping workshops

Residents are invited to join Annette Ball from Stampin With the Bee’s to make three beautiful holiday cards to send to family and friends. The registration fee is $10 with all proceeds going to the Library. To register, visit the library branch or call 289-674-0400.

  • Jarvis Branch – Monday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m.
  • Cayuga Branch – Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m.
  • Hagersville Branch – Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m.

CO Awareness Week

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – Join us from November 1-7 in celebrating CO Awareness Week! Haldimand County’s Emergency Services members will be spreading awareness regarding Carbon Monoxide safety, and our fire fighters will be our boots on the ground handing out information to local residents. Don’t be shy and say hi! This will be prime time to ask questions, get advice, and meet your friendly neighbourhood fire fighters!

The Fire Department has a limited supply of Carbon Monoxide alarms that will be distributed to local residents in need, free of charge. To receive an alarm, please contact the Fire Department at (905) 318-5932 ext. 6230 or email Complimentary CO alarms are available on a first come, first served basis.

Carbon Monoxide is known as the “Silent Killer”. It is colourless, odourless, and tasteless. It can be present in any home with a fuel fired appliance. As it is undetectable by human senses, the only way to ensure the safety of you and your family is to have working CO alarms! You can also have all fuel fired appliances inspected regularly by a certified technician and, of course, DO NOT leave vehicles or generators running indoors.

  • Ontario law requires that a working carbon monoxide alarm be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in homes that have a fuel-burning (i.e. wood, oil, natural gas, propane) appliance, fireplace or an attached garage.
  • In a condo or apartment building with a service room, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all condo/apartment units above, below and beside the service room.
  • In a condo or apartment building with a garage, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all condo/apartment units above, below and beside the garage.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms in rental units must be tested by the landlord annually and after every change in tenancy.
  • In Ontario, more than 65 per cent of injuries and deaths from carbon monoxide occur in the home.
  • A Canadian certification mark ensures that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms meet the appropriate Canadian standard; only alarms with the Canadian certification mark should be purchased and installed.

Paddles of the grand a finalist for Tourism Innovator of the Year award

Haldimand County is pleased to announce that Paddles of the Grand is a finalist for a Tourism Industry Award of Excellence in the category of Innovator of the Year from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO). This award recognizes an organization or individual that created a new, innovative product, policy or service to promote and enhance tourism in their local community, region or the province of Ontario.

Paddles of the Grand developed as an extension of the PATH (Paddle Art Tour Haldimand), a 2021 municipal initiative involving both the Community Development & Partnerships and Economic Development & Tourism Divisions at Haldimand County, with a grant from the Tourism Relief Fund. Earlier this year, Paddles of the Grand was also a finalist for a 2022 Innovator of the Year award from Ontario’s Southwest Tourism Corporation.

“We are so proud of Paddles of the Grand and their continued growth, and are glad they are getting well-deserved credit for their hard work,” says Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development & Tourism at Haldimand County. “It is an incredible honour to be recognized as a finalist amongst all the tourism experiences in Ontario.”

“What started as a COVID recovery project has grown into an unstoppable community initiative,” says Katrina Schmitz, Manager of Community Development & Partnerships at Haldimand County.  “We are so proud to have been able to partner with paddle art creator Gina McIntee—and many other local artists—on the original PATH project and see how the community’s interest in the paddles has grown and expanded throughout Haldimand County, including in store windows in our communities.”

The Innovator of the Year award winner will be announced at the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario’s conference during the gala awards on October 25, 2023.

Haldimand Museums looking to preserve the community’s past through oral history project, seeking interviewees

Haldimand Museums is embarking on a special project to preserve local history through the voices, memories and perspectives of people who have lived, worked or visited the county throughout history.

Staff are currently seeking individuals with unique stories or recollections of Haldimand’s past who are willing to be interviewed and videotaped for this oral history project, which will eventually become part of the museum’s permanent collection and viewable for generations to come.

Oral histories play an integral role in many cultures and take many forms, including (but not limited to) songs, stories, folklore, allegories and traditional one-on-one interviews – either audio or video.

Oral history can provide a fuller, more accurate picture of the past by augmenting information provided by public records, statistical data, photographs, maps, letters, diaries, and other written-word historical materials.

For Haldimand Museums’ oral history project, staff are hoping to capture accounts of what life was like in different areas of the county, at different periods in time.

“There’s so much more to local history than the artifacts or records we have in our collection, and what’s published in history books. We want to hear from people that have had unique experiences in Haldimand County over the years, remember certain events or recall circumstances that occurred while they were living or working in the area,” said Anne Unyi, Supervisor, Heritage and Culture.

“The interviews we conduct will shine a light on our community’s past that may otherwise be forgotten. It’s important we capture these untold stories so we can teach future generations about where they came from and the events that shaped life as they know it,” Unyi added.

Individuals who are interested in being interviewed for this oral history project are encouraged to contact with their name, contact information and a few brief details on the stories or perspectives they wish to share. Museum staff will follow up with individuals to coordinate interviews, which will be conducted in-person at either the Cayuga Heritage Centre or Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre over the coming months.