Posts in Making Our Town Better
Registration Open for Annual Turkey Trot Run

Each Thanksgiving weekend, Fenelon Athletics and Nutrition organizes a fun run for the community: choose to walk or run a chip-timed 1 km, 5 km, or 10 km distance on Saturday, October 12th.

This is a family-friendly event, beginning at Garnet Graham Park. All proceeds raised from the event are donated to Santa Day - so if you enjoy Santa Day in November, this is an easy way you can support the event as an individual and contribute to its success again this year.

Time to lace up your runners and get training! You can register for the Turkey Trot at

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100th Anniversary of Horticultural Society

“Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years.” - unknown 

There must be some truth to this quote because 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society. On August 26th, the FFHS gathered to rejoice in this very significant milestone. There were speeches and presentations from MPP Laurie Scott, CKL Mayor Andy Letham, and Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie. MP Jamie Schmale sent his congratulations but was unable to attend. The honoured guests presented official certificates to commemorate the anniversary. The party concluded with Kawartha Dairy ice cream donated by Slices N’ Scoops and cupcakes donated by Maryboro Lodge. 

Taken by Dan Burnie. Click to view larger.

Current FFHS President Kathy Armstrong summed up the society’s 100th year, in part, with these comments; 

This has been a tremendous year. We started our 100-year celebration with a return to the Santa Day parade … and were second place winners. In May, the Spring into Gardening Plant sale was a huge success even with the rain. In July, we had a delightful public garden tour. Plus, our regularly monthly meetings have been very interesting. 

We have undertaken new gardening projects. The Rain Garden near the museum is doing its job of filtering runoff plus looking very colourful with native plants and grasses in bloom. The Terrace Garden now has new stairs and railings. 

The club has had its ups and downs over the years but still carries on. Membership is now over 100. We are wrapping up our anniversary year by hosting all 17 societies in our district of the Ontario Horticultural Association … and Paul Zammit from the Toronto Botanical Gardens will be the keynote speaker. 

As part of the year long celebrations, Janet Scott, a FFHS member spent countless hours researching and writing a history of the club: how the members and activities are woven through the fabric of Fenelon Falls itself. Over the past 10 decades the village of Fenelon Falls and its gardeners have faced the challenges of war, unemployment, and drought, but through it all they found solace in their gardens. Their love of gardening extended well beyond their own patch of soil and into their beloved village. During difficult times they sought to bring joy and hope through the simple beauty of plants, trees and flowers. Throughout the village you’ll find numerous flower beds and installations that have been years in the making. So, next time you walk downtown, along the locks, to the museum or the beach park take time to stop and enjoy this 100 year labour of love. 

Thank you to the many past and current FFHS members who don’t mind getting a little dirty, giving of their time, talents and energy to make Fenelon Falls a picturesque place to live.

Thank You Tourism Ambassadors!

This week our intrepid Tourism Ambassadors are wrapping up their tenure in town.

You’ve probably seen them around in their bright blue shirts giving people directions, promoting local businesses, spreading the word about local attractions and events, and helping the Horticultural Society with public garden maintenance. A few times I even saw them collecting litter in Garnet Graham Park!

The Tourism Ambassadors are leaving us with a few more goodies - stay tuned for the “TA Takeover” of the Town Crier newsletter next week, and keep playing along with the Puzzlers at the end of the Town Crier.

But for now, we’d like to say a special Thank You to the Tourism Ambassadors for their efforts around Fenelon Falls this summer. If you see one of them in their bright blue shirts tomorrow, feel free to say thanks and best wishes!

[Media Feature] Simcoe Days in Fenelon Falls are back

Written by Niki Anastasakis for Global News

There was no shortage of things to see and do at the second annual Simcoe Days celebrations in Fenelon Falls this weekend.

The mid-summer event was created by long-time community member Bob Pennock. The idea is to educate people about how Fenelon Falls was settled and about the important influence of John Graves Simcoe on Canada’s history. Simcoe was a British army general and was named first lieutenant-governor of Ontario in 1791.

“We wanted to be able to give Water Street and the town an area where community groups could come and have a platform and they come and sell their wares, and tell their stories, and it would be free,” said Beverly Jeeves, chair of Simcoe Days.

This year’s celebration is being held in honour of Pennock. He passed away in April at age 83.

Fresh Ingredients for Fenelon Food Bank - The History and Accomplishments of Fenelon's Victory Garden

Submitted by Alex Tan

After last years successful harvest consisting of hundreds of pounds of fresh produce donated to the Salvation Army’s food bank the Fenelon Falls Horticulture Society are gearing up for round two. The Victory Garden is located at 50 Oak Street in Fenelon Falls, right on the north side of the historic Maryboro Lodge - Fenelon Museum. The garden consists of ten elevated planters that grow a plethora of herbs, fruits and vegetables. From butternut squash to dill, the garden grows over 20 edible species of plant. 

Below is the Victory Garden at the beginning of summer followed by a picture just a month later. 

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As I talked to the organizers and community leaders working on this amazing project I learned a little bit about the history of Victory Gardens and how that vision has been scoped to tackle modern issues. 

First a bit of context. The term victory garden was first used to describe the mobilization of Canadians as they used rooftop gardens, planter boxes and a converted flower gardens to grow food to feed the brave Canadians and their allies fighting in WWI. It was seen as a leisurely way to be patriotic on the home front. This grassroots movement supplied food for the war effort while boosting moral across the country. This practice continued through the Great Depression and found a resurgence in WWII.

The spirit of victory gardens pushed everyday Canadians to turn their rooftops, vacant lots and balconies into a force for positive change. Today, Fenelon’s Victory Garden is taking on another war. The fight against hunger is being attacked head on as members of the Horticulture Society harvest pounds of fresh produce for the food bank. The Salvation Army receives 3 to 4 kgs of food each week and that number grows every week. If you wish to get involved with this amazing project, you can visit the Fenelon Falls Horticulture Society on Facebook or visit their website

The food bank would also like to thank the many individuals, other community gardens and local businesses that are so generous in donating fresh produce.

Beat The Heat and Prostate Cancer at the 2019 Telus Watercraft Ride for Dad

Submitted by Michael Robson

Summer is in full swing and it has been hot here in Fenelon Falls. The sun and humidity have been perfect weather for water fun and this weekend, there is an event that helps you cool off and contribute to a good cause. 

This Saturday, the Fenelon Falls Marina will be hosting the 2019 Telus Watercraft Ride for Dad. The event will start at 1 pm at Fenelon Falls Marina and will take participants on a scavenger hunt on Cameron and Sturgeon Lakes. All pleasure craft are welcome and encouraged to join in the hunt. Upon completing the hunt, families may return to the Marina by 4 pm for a chance to win great prizes and enjoy dinner together at 5 pm.

Ride for Dad is a national mission to help end prostate cancer by supporting research and raising awareness. All across Canada, people are fundraising and participating in rides on ATVs, Motorcycles, Snowmobiles, and Watercraft. The proceeds of each ride are donated to the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation.

One in seven men in Canada will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Cancer does not just affect those individuals but also the people they love and those around them. The Watercraft Ride for Sight provides a way to help fight for a cure for prostate cancer to help those who are diagnosed and their friends and families while enjoying time together and having fun on the water. 

Come on out on Saturday to cool off and support a great cause. To pre-register, visit or email

Welcome to Fenelon Falls!

Submitted by Marylee Boston

Fenelon Falls is a destination for day trippers, cottagers and local tourists alike and sometimes they need a little help making the most of their visit. The goal of the summer Tourism Ambassador program is to welcome, inform, direct and have fun with visitors so their time here is memorable and those great memories that will bring them back time and again. 


The Tourism Ambassador program launched in the summer of 2018 with only two Ambassadors. Last summer was a success and showed that there was opportunity to expand and grow the concept so this summer there are 5 Tourism Ambassadors! The TA’s are local students who bring their own experience, enthusiasm, tech smarts and hometown knowledge to the job. You will see them all around downtown Fenelon Falls, at the museum, the beach park, and the locks in their bright blue uniforms. They are also helping the Horticulture Society volunteers take care of the many beautiful gardens in the village. 

Whether you have family coming to visit, you’re a long time cottager, or a local; the Tourism Ambassadors can help you find restaurants, accommodations, attractions and event information. They can also be convinced to give clues to help you solve our summer Mystery Adventure - The Hunt for the Jewel of the Kawarthas. Their home base is the Tourist Info Centre on Oak Street in Fenelon Falls. The Chamber of Commerce is excited to promote Fenelon Falls and area with the help of our Tourism Ambassadors. Please say hello when you see them around town.

Schmale Pleased with Decision to Help Close Gaps in Rural Internet

Submitted by Dylan Robichaud on behalf of the Office of Jamie Schmale, MP

OTTAWA, ON – Local MP Jamie Schmale welcomes today’s announcement by the Government of Canada to contribute $71 million in funding to develop the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) mobile broadband project.

“I have been talking about the need to fill the gaps in internet and cellular coverage since being first elected in 2015 as people and businesses in rural communities struggle with reduced access to vital connectivity,” said Schmale. “While today’s announcement is a positive step forward, it also is met with frustration, as the government has had the EORN project application on their desk for over two years with little-to-no movement.”

“Despite what seemed like endless amounts of meetings to talk about this much needed investment, it appears that on the eve of an election, with sagging poll numbers and seats in Eastern Ontario in jeopardy, the government has finally decided to take action.”

Today’s announcement will support a Dual-Phase Project, which is mandated to first build 317 new telecommunications towers and an additional 32 local Internet access points to improve overall mobile coverage for residents of Eastern Ontario. The second phase will identify the capacity gaps that result from heavy user-traffic, upgrade equipment to reduce network overloads, and improve service quality in rural communities.

In addition to federal dollars, the Province of Ontario committed months ago $71 million and two years ago, the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus earmarked $10 million towards the initiative, with private partners providing the rest of the funding.

“Residents and businesses in Eastern Ontario would benefit from improved access to online services which allow people to connect with friends, family, business, and community organizations. Most importantly, this proposal will save lives by ensuring cellular access to emergency services in remote areas and improving public safety by connecting all first responders on a dedicated network,” said Schmale.

For more information, please contact:

Office of Jamie Schmale, MP,

Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock

(705) 324-2400 or (866) 688-9881

Groundbreaking Ceremony for a Seniors’ Play Park in Fenelon Falls

Submitted by Mike Perry

Fenelon Falls – On Thursday morning, the Hon. Laurie Scott, MPP participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for Ontario’s first Seniors’ Play Park, which is about to be built in Fenelon Falls. Thanks to the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team receiving a $121,600 Capital grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation earlier this year, the park is on its way to becoming a reality.

“I am pleased that the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team has been awarded a $121,600 grant to build the first Play Park in Fenelon Falls,” said MPP Scott. “By providing a free and accessible recreational space for seniors, this is an investment in the promotion of social and active lifestyles.” – Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock

The creation of a Seniors' Play Park for Fenelon Falls is the initiative of local resident Penni Holdham. The basic idea behind designing outdoor gyms and play areas for older adults or those with mobility challenges is to help improve people’s overall health and fitness and reduce isolation. The park, located at the Lloyd Kelly Parkette behind the Red Apple, will provide 24/7 outdoor space with activity stations that have no barriers to access. 

"We are very proud to deliver the first Seniors' Play Park in our area, generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Penni Holdham.  

The most recent population data available indicates that 50 per cent of people living in Fenelon Falls are over 55 years of age. Seniors Play Parks are designed for older adults looking to safely maintain their flexibility, agility and mobility through use of low-impact equipment geared for gentle exercise while enjoying time with friends. It’s expected that the park will be an outdoor recreational space where seniors can engage in a range of stretching and balancing activities using the onsite, fun and easy-to-use activity stations. There will be no fees or set hours to use the park and all activities are self-guided.

“We are pleased to help provide opportunities for local seniors to stay active and socialize,” said Mike Perry, Executive Director of the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team. “There are great health – and health care cost savings – benefits to keeping active and this kind of park really has great potential.”

The City of Kawartha Lakes municipality approved the park to be used for this purpose and will be taking care of its maintenance for the coming years. The park is scheduled to open this fall.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $108 million to some 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.  For more information, please visit:

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Photo 1: (L-R) Construction Team Liam Brierley & Kevin Strybosch; Mike Perry, Executive Director, City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team; Penni Holdham, Fenelon Resident/Project Manager; Mike Barkwell, Vice-President, Fenelon Seniors’ Club; The Hon. Laurie Scott, MPP; Deputy-Mayor Doug Elmslie (Councillor Ward 3).

Media Contact:                       

Mike Perry, Executive Director      

City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team

55 Angeline St. North, Lindsay, ON, K9V 5B7

Ph: 705-328-9853 

Simcoe Days 2019: Reach Into History

Press Release Submitted by Bev Means-Jeeves

Last year, Fenelon Live (a group which holds membership to the Kawartha Works Community Co-Operative, Inc.) put on a new event in Fenelon Falls: Simcoe Day The event was a huge success, with over 4,000 people attending. This year, we want to dedicate the event and its growing success to Bob Pennock, our Chair who passed away in April. Bob was a leader and believer in community, and Simcoe Days 2019 “Reach Into History” is a community event open to all.

The first weekend in August in Ontario is “Simcoe Days.”  This year organizers are expanding our event’s profile and reach by promoting awareness of the settlement of Fenelon Falls, and Simcoe’s influence in Canadian history before, during, and after his role as First Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. This year represents the “UN Year of Indigenous Languages” and settlers to Upper Canada and Lord Simcoe would have met many First Nations people.

In honour of the U.N. Year of Indigenous Languages, Kawartha Lakes Art Council (KLAC) will have an interactive display of Mississaugas of the great Anishnaabeg (uhnish-nahbe) nation.

The “Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada” will again have an 1812 encampment that will operate and be set up at Lock 34 of the Trent Severn Waterway the evening of August 2nd. On August 3rd there will be three 1812 re-enactments and cannon exhibition/firing to coincide with the Peterborough Concert Band’s playing of “Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture.” At the conclusion of each, there will be children participation within the encampment. This year the encampment will be open on Friday night to allow visitors to see and participate in setting up and living in an encampment of 1812.  

The Fleming College Varsity Lumberjack team will be putting on various displays in woodcarving, axe throwing, competitions, and pole rolling both on Lock 34 island and also at the beach at the end of Oak Street.

There will also be exhibits and interactive activities with Kawartha Settlers Village, Maryboro Lodge; the Fenelon Museum, Minden Fur Harvesters, TSW Youth Group, and Lindsay Legion. There will be free ice-cream from Kawartha Dairy from 2:00-4:00 pm, apple pressing, and bee pollinating. The Fenelon Museum will be hosting an exhibit on renowned local artist Anne Langton and will host children’s activities. A shuttle bus will be provided from the parking lot located off Helen Street.

There is also a social media campaign called “Reach Into History” to collect and emphasize Fenelon’s rich cottage history on the water, cottaging and events.  We would love to share your stories on social media on our Facebook page “Simcoe Days 2019, Reach Into History”  For stories, advertisement or sponsorship, please contact Bev Jeeves at or call 905-431-5394 for more information.