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Prince Edward County Decade in Review – highlights from 2016

As we welcome a new decade in 2020, celebrates its 10th anniversary taking a look at highlights of the past 10 years.


Joy looks the same in all languages.
“You can see the glee on their faces. It is extraordinary,” said Robin Baranyai, a member of PEC Syria, who visited Picton Kiwanis Club members to update the club on the progress of the Syrian family since they arrived Oct. 29. Approximately 150 volunteers have joined the PEC Syria organization since it was formed last September following a Facebook post by founder Carlyn Moulton asking if anyone would like to help. PEC Syria welcomed Abdel Malek, his wife Sawsen, their 10 children and grandmother, to make a home in the County. PEC Syria has now formed four new groups of volunteers to faciliate the arrival of families – two in Wellington, one in Picton and one in the Carrying Place or Trenton area. – Sue Capon photo Click here for story

Rotary President Rob Leek with Paul Harris Fellow recipient Sarah French and Rotarian Bob Bird. – Sue Capon photo

When a Picton woman and her friend wheeled out plans to raise $150,000 to help rural women in Africa, they didn’t even imagine it would result in a multi-million dollar contribution.
Sarah French and her friend Mary Fehr biked their way across the country last summer and were thrilled to have raised more than $320,000 for the GROW – Greater Rural Opportunities for Women – project.
French, reporting on her adventure to Picton Rotary Club members, said that with matching contributions added in from various Canadian government initiatives, $3.2 million will help “grow” business opportunities to empower female soy bean farmers in Ghana, Africa.

White Pines Wind Inc (wpd) began clearing trees at sites for the 27-turbine project on the south shore of Prince Edward County. – APPEC (Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County) photo

An appeal of wpd’s White Pines Industrial wind turbine project has been upheld in part and supporters are “cautiously elated”. The tribunal found the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to Little Brown Bats and to Blanding’s turtles. Later in the year, Prince Edward County Field Naturalists celebrated the lapse of a 30-day notice to appeal the decision to revoke the REA for the nine-turbine project at Ostrander Point.

County Road 49, Prince Edward County reached number one in the CAA’s annual ‘Worst Roads in Ontario’ campaign.
In February, Mayor Robert Quaiff was photographed with three large chunks of concrete he came across on Highway 49 while travelling to a meeting. He added this evidence to previously stated concerns to Transportation Minister Stephen Del Duca. Last April was when he first showed a video of the crumbling highway. The County was denied a funding request by the province for repairs to the road because it “didn’t meet the component of ‘critical health and safety’ factor.

Bob Fleguel and Erin Roughan, of Harinui Farms, moved more than 2000 sheep from Royal Road to Waupoos over the long weekend. The County’s Darlene Shantz captured the fascinating flow in photographs on her Point of View Photography Facebook page. – Darlene Shantz photo

Council approved a ‘Major Heritage Permit’ to allow Alexandre Fida to continue his restoration of one of the County’s most historic homes at 1 Walton Street, in Picton (edge of Sobeys Plaza). Historically, the house is known as ‘Grove Place’ aka JP Downes House, named after Capt. John Pepper Downes. It was built c1858 and bought by Capt Downes shortly thereafter. He was a Clerk for the County Court as well as a well-known artist for his pencil sketches. It is also known as The Falconer House as they were the last family to live there. Fida is adapting the original home and shed to operate a bed and breakfast and create a commercial space.

Inside Picton’s new LCBO store on opening day. – Sue Capon photo

The first sale at the grand opening of Picton’s brand new LCBO was a six pack and two coolers, but the County wines, ciders, spirits and other favourites were quick to start flowing along packed check-out lines on the morning of April 20. Click here for story and photos 


A ceremonial groundbreaking for Picton Main Street’s construction launched the  project involving replacement of water mains and sewer services, new sidewalks, curbs, lighting and crosswalks. Construction was shut down for the summer tourist season and re-started in September.

Plans for a new youth centre were unveiled during the Recreation Outreach Centre’s third annual showcase of talented County youth. The Roc ‘n Revue at The Regent Theatre featured youth performing with community coaches including: Miss Emily, The Reasonettes, Jamie Stever, Janet Kellough, Peter Rea, Kim Inch, Sarah Williams, Chris Bonham-Carter, Brenda Cunningham, Rick Zimmerman, Sharalee Foster and John McFarlane. – Sue Capon photo

The fire department took delivery of the $1.2 million Pierce Ascendant 107-foot aerial ladder fire truck at its new station on McDonald Drive. The department is making its move to the new station – just in time, as the facility on King Street is too small for the state-of-the-art truck. The new truck was taken to various events and parades for the public to view. – Sue Capon photo

Prince Edward County sent the first Canadian team ever to row at the 2016 Skiffie Worlds championship in Strangford Lough, Ireland. The County’s Ayle of Quinte six-member team of Sandy Pratt, Elyse Graff, Jane Dean, Marilyn Kennedy, Tony Dean and Bob McKittrick will be competing in the 50+ mixed, men and women, as well as 60+ mixed men and women events. They’re shown here at the send-off with Mayor Robert Quaiff and South Marysburgh councillor Steve Ferguson.

Prince Edward County firefighters contained fire damage at Picton’s Royal Canadian Legion building to one first-floor room, but some artifacts inside were damaged. – Sue Capon photo

Hundreds of people gathered at Wellington Park and filled every available spot at the Mustang Drive-In Saturday night to witness a live-stream performance by iconic Canadian band The Tragically Hip and its beloved frontman Gord Downie on a final tour. The part-time County resident was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer. He died in 2017. – Sue Capon photo Click here for story and photos

The cutting of a piece of fire hose marked the official opening of Prince Edward County’s new $4 million Fire and Rescue Station 1 and Hastings Quinte Paramedic Services Facility at 8 McDonald Drive. The public streamed in to enjoy a barbecue dinner and tour the 17,319 square foot facility. – Sue Capon photo

A thunderstorm Sept 11 did include a tornado of the lowest possible level associated with wind up to 100km/h. At the storm’s peak, some 1,500 residents were without hydro. An EF Zero (on scale of 0-5) waterspout came in offshore at West Lake and moved about 3.5kms. Damage was mostly related to trees and was considered “straight line damage” and not from the tornado. This waterspout was photographed off West Lake by R. Halsey.

Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs had no funding to offer, but lent a sympathetic ear to challenges Prince Edward County farmers are facing because of drought conditions not seen here since the 1940s. – Sue Capon photo Story here

Prince Edward Collegiate Institute’s Senior girls basketball team made school history in Windsor competing at the AA Ontario Federation Secondary School Athletics Association (OFSAA) championships.
The team is the first (girls or boys) to qualify for the prestigious tournament in the school’s history. They raised the bar going 1 – 2 picking up PECI’s first ever OFSAA win in basketball.

More than 120 people came to hear what the newly-formed citizens group ‘Save Picton Bay’ had to say about pollution, salt storage and Picton Terminals, a deep marine dockage on White Chapel Road, that was issued more than a dozen work orders by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change related to contamination of water, air and land.

Six of the County’s eight schools are affected in proposals for closures and changes to be discussed by the Hastings Prince Edward District School board.
student enrolment and capacity committee meeting of the Hastings Prince Edward District School board. The student enrolment and capacity committee proposed an accommodation review for the County’s schools with a final report to the board on June 19, 2017 for the consolidation of Pinecrest, Queen Elizabeth, Sophiasburgh, CML and Kente public schools. There are no changes proposed for Athol South Marysburgh and Massassaga Rednersville public schools.

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