by Mayor Nancy Peckford

This past year has been filled with ups and downs, to say the least. From multiple lockdowns, isolation, COVID scares, school disruptions, work from home challenges, poor rural broadband, and an unbelievably difficult environment for many local businesses which were forced to repeatedly close their doors (and who, once opened, have faced acute labour shortages), it’s a small miracle we are all still standing. The announcement of a provincial Correctional Facility last August was also, clearly, unexpected.

At the same time, North Grenville has reached new heights in 2021 with the incredible accomplishment of being crowned Canada’s Most Active Community, a truly grassroots efforts led by the Advisory Committee on Health, Wellness and Fitness.

Michael Bublé surprised us with a cameo appearance on Zoom, construction began for the widely anticipated expansion of Bayfield Manor, and we have nearly finalized all plans for the crucial improvements to County Road 43, which will start next year with the building of a new bridge. The renowned International Ploughing Match remains on track for September, 2022 – which will be hosted on Kemptville Campus and the provincially owned farmside lands. We are grateful for the leadership of the Grenville Ploughman’s Association, Harvex’s Harry Bennett, Hugh O’Neill, and a local volunteer recruitment committee led by Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan and Cathy Sheppard.

Council was also very pleased to announce that Habitat for Humanity will build fifteen 3-bedroom affordable homes next spring. They can’t come too soon. And we are on our way to seeing once-in-a-century upgrades to Riverside Park, including the establishment of an ice pad, splash pad, walking track, and four-season changerooms/washrooms, not to mention improvements to parks in rural hamlets.

So where do we go from here?

This past July, Council was excited to launch consultations for North Grenville’s five year Strategic Plan. It’s a critical opportunity for residents and businesses to tell us what your priorities are, where you want to see your tax dollars go, and how we manage a high rate of growth, multiple traffic concerns, affordability, recreational demands, etc.

There is no doubt that North Grenville is a dynamic place that is changing, and has been for 25 years. Our community – by virtue of our quality of life, connectedness, and urban rural blend – is increasingly attractive to many. Its strategic location, housing mix, small town feel, forests and waterways are unbeatable.

Managing the surge in demand for housing, and local amenities, is among Council’s and North Grenville’s greatest challenge, and our greatest opportunity. However, as always, the devil is in the details, and the way we grow as a community will define who we are, not just in five years, but twenty-five.

Amid the hustle and bustle of every day life, it can be easy to tune out municipal government, especially in the midst of a federal election, long overdue holidays, nice weather, and back to school preparations.

Here are three ways you can have your voice, and we want AS MANY VOICES as possible at the table for the development of this plan.

  1. Complete the 10 minute survey (online or on paper) – Help us understand what will make you proud to call North Grenville home five or ten years from now. Go to to find the link to North Grenville’s survey in English and French – or get a copy at the library or Municipality. We have set a goal of 2,000 survey respondents, and we are already at 1,500! Help us go the distance. Spread the word! This survey is easy to complete and will provide us with crucial guidance in developing this plan.
  2. Register for one of two Public Forms on Tuesday, September 14 at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Two town halls will be held at Heritage Hall (820 Heritage Drive) on the Kemptville Campus. Due to COVID public health protocols, pre-registration is required at We also expect to have a virtual participation option via Zoom for the evening meeting. Stay tuned!
  3. Stream our Tuesday Council meetings from home – or Come in Person! – Providing all goes well, Council will receive a copy of the draft plan in November, and we will be looking to you to tell us if we got it right. Council meeting are now streamed on YouTube, and we hope to keep it this way. Find meetings at and click the Governance tab.

We understand your time is very precious, but so is our community, as we all know. My council colleagues and I are grateful for your engagement on this five-year Strategic Plan. We recognize, as a growing community, that there are a myriad of demands and many voices, but we are optimistic that, with strong engagement and good debate, we can land somewhere remarkable together.


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