Mayor's Message - March 4, 2018

Posted on Sunday March 04, 2018

Good morning, Bonjour


Well March came in like a lamb, I guess we will all wait with baited breath to see if it goes out like a Lion. Given our Main Street Re-Construction is about to commence at the end of March I have to admit to hoping that March will also end like Lamb !


Kudo’s to Waypoint for another successful gala. It was another sold out crowd that saw a fun evening that included hearing a great message from comedian Jessica Homes. Her message included being aware that you need look after yourself and make time to ensure your personal mental health priorities are looked after. The gala was as much about supporting mental health as it was about connecting with old friends and making new ones . A big congrats to all who made this a special night .


As Jan and I drove to gala we noted the signs placed in neighbouring yards of the proposed Queens Court subdivision by those that are opposed to the subdivision being built. The signs reminded me that the impact of councils pending decision to (approve / not approve / alter) this subdivision will not be localised to just the near neighbours, our council decision will resonate beyond the property lines of the subdivision and those of the near neighbours, as it has implications that will affect our entire town.


Given the issue is coming before council at our next council meeting I thought I would chat about the issue in today’s message.


What is in front of council is a subdivision and rezoning application to build 89 single family units and 28 Townhomes in the Queens Court Subdivision. The subdivision lands are located between Fox, Church and Broad Streets  and would see the continued extension of Beck Boulevard through to the intersection with Jury Drive and Broad Street.   There is a portion of the Beck Boulevard extension which was constructed in the Village at Bay Moorings.


As is the case with most issues there are plenty of data points and inputs that need to be considered when making this decision. My personal review and decision making process sees me thinking about, pondering and taking into consideration the following


Near neighbours’ concerns being expressed include

A reduction in existing property values,

Loss of habitat, trees and wildlife

Increased traffic on Hunter Road and through the Village at Bay Moorings

Where access is to be given to and from the subdivision,

losing our towns look and feel and character

possible flooding of existing basements,

connection from Church Street to Fox Street to create access to Huronia Park

Town should own and maintain the greenspace on the east hill side of the subdivision.

Protection of the Town’s aquifer

Social benefits such as mental health benefits to living near nature


The Developer’s Input

Current designation of the lands is for a residential subdivision and a future road (Beck Boulevard)

Discussion of conformity and compliance with Provincial Legislation and local policies,

Application meets all environmental protection criteria with the possible exception of removal of bat habitat, which is an Ministry of Natural Resources decision (not the Towns)

The density of the subdivision is “low density” and represents intensification/infilling

Efficient use of land and infrastructure

Using land in Town instead of expanding into rural lands



89 Single Family Dwellings plus the 28 Townhomes would see the Town receive $1,475,000 dollars in Development Charges.

At an average price per home of $300,000  would see the town would collect an additional revenue stream of $350,000 per year.

Utility consumption of $150 per quarter, per home, would result in $70,200 per year in additional water/wastewater revenues.

$740,000 is identified in the capital plan to upgrade the Fox Street Sewage Treatment plant.

Cash in lieu of parkland  -  the town can collect 5% of the market value of the subdivision, calculated as of the day before any approval of the subdivision.


Town Housing Stock

75 new homes were constructed in  2016

105 new homes were constructed in 2017

Shovel ready lots, a limited supply of 30 lots, comprised of vacant lots that are remnants of old subdivisions (for instance a few in the Hill top area)

Lots in Draft Approval, realistically there are 140 possible lots requiring Town approval, that is, provided that a willing developer existed to take them through to registration/build them.   


The Provincial Growth Plan

The plan sees a town population of 11,000 people by 2031

The plan sees 6000 people employed in our Town by 2031


Upcoming Housing Demand

To meet the 2031 population density target over the next thirteen years the Town needs approximately 1,000 new homes to be constructed

Run rate demand  = 1,000 new homes divided by 13 years = 77 new homes per year, each year, for 13 years.

Including the Queens Court application we have a just under 300 new homes in the queue, leaving us with a new housing shortfall of approximately 700 new homes.    


Working through issues such as Queens Court is not an easy nor simple task, there is much to consider, especially when the issue has both immediate and long term, town wide impacts. This is what makes being on council so intriguing !  


I look forward to hearing the views/opinions of my fellow council members and to reading the planning report, that is to clarify, for council, the issues/concerns raised by residents during the public meeting that was held.


The planning report will be released this coming Friday (available via our Town Website). The matter will come before Council for discussion/debate on Wednesday March 14th at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.


Things to take note of

Thursday March 8th the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Employment Service is hosting a Job Fair at Midland Cultural Centre from 1:00-4:30 p.m. Register now! Call 705-528-0845 or email Anna at


Saturday and Sunday March 17th and 18th the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre presents the 27th Annual Sweetwater Harvest Festival: Not Your Average Maple Syrup Festival. Come out and celebrate a uniquely Canadian tradition in a distinctively Canadian landscape. Escape to a time when maple syrup was made over an open fire, experience our history and explore nature at its best. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, family (2 adults and 2 children) $30.00 and members and children under 3 are free. You can also enjoy the all-day pancake breakfast for $5.00 per person. The Sweetwater Festival runs from 10:00-4:00 both days.


The 3rd Annual March Mudness in support of the GBGH Foundation takes place on Saturday March 24th at the Rotary Champlain Wendat Park in Penetanguishene. Walk, run, climb or crawl through an exhilarating obstacle course. To register visit


My week to be



Our police services board meets, I speak at the Kiwanis Club in Orillia to update them on County of Simcoe undertakings and I connect with staff to review an upcoming business attraction trade mission.



Our seniors council meets, I complete a radio interview with PEAK FM before catching the ferry to head over to Christian Island for an update meeting with the Beausoleil Island First Nation Council, and I attend a county team meeting.



I meet with the City of Barrie and County Staff to discuss  the pending trade mission to Germany, I meet with Collingwood General Marie Hospital for a board update.



Sees me connect with the team driving our local  fibre broadband initiative.



I attend three different meetings, one for an update on our Environmental Resource Recycling Centre, one to discuss the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport and the third, to review the upcoming county council agenda.


I hope you enjoy this beautiful day, for Jan and I we get to do one of our favorite things, a sleepover babysitting assignment with our littles, there is nothing better !!


That’s it until next week, keep well,


Mayor Gerry

Gerry Marshall

Warden County of Simcoe,

Mayor Town of Penetanguishene,

County (705) 726-9300 Ext. 1260

Town (705)-549-7453


This e-mail is sent to citizens of Penetanguishene for their information on my personal thoughts, upcoming meetings and activities in Town.  The views expressed in the Mayor's Message do not necessarily represent the views of Council.    Agendas and minutes for Council and Committee meetings can be found in the Digital Library on the Town's website at  If you wish to be removed from the mailing list, please send an e-mail requesting removal to  and I will be happy to do so.