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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2008, 1:34 AM
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Woolwich Township Developments & Small News

Woolwich's $32-million makeover


(By Kevin Swayze, THE RECORD, Monday December 22, 2008)


Woolwich Township Mayor Bill Strauss sits in the council chambers of the township’s new municipal offices.



A new Floradale fire station and an Elmira recreation centre with twin rinks and a pool, set to open in September, are among facilities being built in Woolwich Township.


Woolwich Township staff moved into newly renovated offices in November.


ELMIRA


After years of being crammed in an old post office, township workers are stretching their legs in a big, bright new home.

Floradale firefighters have a big, new station that replaced a substandard shed. There's an elevator in the Elmira library, a new community centre in Maryhill and more changerooms in the St. Jacobs arena.

Work continues on a new recreation complex with a twin-rink and pool in Elmira and work should start in the spring on the first phase of a community centre in Breslau.

Woolwich Township is more than halfway through a three-year, $32-million construction blitz. So far, officials report projects are coming in at tender costs, with no big surprises uncovered during renovations.

"It's beautiful," Mayor Bill Strauss said as he stood under skylights in the new township hall on Church Street.

On Nov. 15, 35 employees moved from an old red brick landmark on Arthur Street into a $3.8-million home in a renovated credit union.

"For the first time, we finally have room for our employees. I was upset they were in the basement and in cubby holes," Strauss said.

The new building is 21,000 square feet, three times the space in the old building.

There's room to add more staff if needed, Strauss said.

And, for the first time, township offices are fully handicapped accessible.

"It's a building that every township resident can be proud of," Strauss said.

Work on the $23.3-million Woolwich Memorial Centre on the old Elmira fairgrounds started last year and is slightly ahead of schedule. Along with two hockey rinks and an indoor pool, it will have youth, seniors and fitness centres, along with an indoor walking track. It's due to open by September.

The new Floradale fire station cost $1.3 million.

Maryhill's community centre in Heritage Park cost $663,600.

Changeroom expansion at the Woolwich Township arena in St. Jacobs will cost $466,792, and be done by fall.

The elevator in the Elmira library cost $183,750.

Money for the construction blitz came from a variety of sources and will leave the township in debt, said chief administrative officer David Brenneman.

Funding came from money set aside by the township for specific projects, development charges on new construction, fundraising, donations, a partial cashout of the debt the township held as part of its ownership share of Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro (Duke: whoops, I think they meant to say Waterloo North Hydro here...), a $2-million provincial grant (towards the twin rinks) and future sales of surplus township land and buildings.

"Ultimately, we would be looking at a total debt of $2.38 million," Brenneman said.

Before the construction started, Woolwich had no money owing. The construction plans should average out to $186 in debt for each of the township's 21,500 residents.

The new debt is easily manageable, Brenneman said. Getting overdue community projects done gives township council flexibility to deal with rebuilding roads, sewers, watermains and bridges in years to come, he said.

"We certainly didn't mortgage the future away."


http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/462283

(Photos from THE RECORD, December 22, 2008 by David Bebee)
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 3:44 AM
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Milo Shantz transformed St. Jacobs

(By Michael Hammond, THE RECORD, Wednesday January 7, 2009)



Entrepreneur Milo Shantz known for his community building efforts, died yesterday.


Milo Shantz (left), seen with his brother Ross Shantz in 1977. Milo Shantz first rose to prominence in his early 20s through a turkey-breeding business he and his brother started near Baden.


ST. JACOBS

Entrepreneur Milo Shantz, who transformed a crumbling country village into an international tourist attraction, died early yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

Shantz, 76, will be remembered as a community builder, whether on King Street in St. Jacobs or Daniel Street in Kitchener.

He was best known for his work in kickstarting what would become a multimillion-dollar tourism economy in St. Jacobs in 1975 with the creation of the Stone Crock Restaurant.

But it was Shantz's work with Habitat for Humanity, including its 1993 project to build 10 houses on Daniel Street, that shows the true measure of the man, friends said.

"This was a man who believed in putting his faith into action," said Ken Freeman, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region. "It was not just words."

Shantz, who was born in New Hamburg in 1932, was instrumental in establishing the house-building charity not only locally but also in Canada.

In 1993, he helped attract former U.S. president Jimmy Carter to Kitchener, which led to 10 homes being built in two weeks for families in need.

"You could see it in his eyes," Freeman said of Shantz.

"He had a deep-seated belief that you had to give back to your fellow man."

Shantz often credited his Mennonite parents for instilling in him a strong work ethic and desire to live his faith through actions.

At the time of Shantz's investment in the Stone Crock, St. Jacobs was struggling, and people were suspicious of revitalization schemes.

But six years after the restaurant opened, Shantz established Mercedes Corp., a property management company that developed a number of tourism attractions in the village.

That company now owns the St. Jacobs Farmers Market, Waterloo Farmers Market, St. Jacobs Factory Outlet Mall, Ontario Livestock Exchange and St. Jacobs stockyards as well as seven other rental and retail properties in the village.

It also owns retirement homes in the region and several other towns.

Besides its numerous craft and clothing shops, St. Jacobs boasts a Home Hardware history exhibit, a detailed model train layout of the village, maple syrup and quilt museums and dozens of other attractions.

The development of St. Jacobs into a tourist draw has not been without its detractors, particularly among those who feared it would exploit the region's Old Order Mennonites.

But Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr, who worked for Shantz's companies for more than a decade beginning in 1969, said Shantz was always careful not to exploit Mennonites.

"He was very deliberate and said it was important that not only did he not want to exploit the Old Order, but that he wanted there to be opportunities for people to explore the faith without it being a circus."

Mercedes Corp. recently invested $250,000 to revamp its Mennonite Story Visitors Centre in the village.


The centre was established in the late 1970s to discourage curious tourists from crowding around Mennonite churches and gatherings, which were once common in the area.

Larry Martin, president of the St. Jacobs Country Inn and a former Mercedes employee, said Shantz won over a number of skeptics who initially opposed the transformation of the village economy.

"I think, today, people appreciate what he's done," he said.

"I think the detractors today are very few. It's sad to lose a visionary."

Regional Chair Ken Seiling put it simply.

"His fingerprints are all over the north end of the region."

From a very early age, Shantz and his brother Ross saw business opportunities where others didn't. Shantz bought and sold hogs at age 13. By 21, he had bought 500 turkeys. He first rose to prominence through a turkey-breeding business that he and Ross started on a family farm near Baden.

The business became Hybrid Turkeys, one of the top three turkey-breeding companies in the world when it was sold in 1981.

In 1977, The Record said Hybrid Turkeys helped Kitchener earn the informal title of Turkey Capital of Canada. The business is still based in Kitchener.

Through the Shantz's MerSynergy Foundation, he donated to a number of charitable causes in the region, including Mennonite Economic Development Associates, where he was chair for 10 years.

Those who worked in Shantz businesses were encouraged to become shareholders. Twenty-five per cent of the Stone Crock, for example, is employee-owned.

Shantz's philanthropy and business achievements earned him an honorary doctorate from Wilfrid Laurier University and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.

Shantz is survived by his wife Laura and his children Sandra, Jenny, Marcus, Margaret and Christine.

Visitation at the Waterloo North Mennonite Church on Benjamin Road will be held today from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. as well as 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The funeral will be held at the same church Friday at 2 p.m.

http://news.therecord.com/News/Canad...article/468070
(Photos from THE RECORD, January 7, 2009. Source: The Record file photos.)
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2009, 2:30 AM
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Township hopes to secure title with hockey marathon


(Record Staff, THE RECORD, Monday, January 12, 2009)

WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP

The township that wants to be the next CBC Hockeyville will host a 26-hour hockey blitz this weekend. Hockey action starts at 7 a.m. Saturday at the Elmira arena and continues until 9 a.m. Sunday. One game will include the Wang family, who have eight children in minor hockey. Organizers will also host an all-Mennonite game, as well as a game played only by people with the last name Martin. There will be a celebrity game against Elmira Sugar Kings alumni at 8 p.m. The top 10 Canadian communities in the running for Hockeyville will be announced this Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on CBC. After that broadcast, voting opens to determine the top five. For more information on Woolwich Township's bid, visit www.woolwichhockeyville.ca.


From Woolwich Hockeyville website:

What's at stake?


The winners get the following:

1st Place

* $100,000 from Kraft to upgrade the home arena endorsed by the winning community.
* An NHL® pre-season game hosted in the community arena.
* A CBC Hockey Night in Canada broadcast from their community.

The top four remaining communities are awarded:


* $25,000 from Kraft to upgrade the home arena endorsed by the community.
* A CBC Hockey Night in Canada broadcast from their community.


http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/470562
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2009, 4:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke-Of-Waterloo View Post
One game will include the Wang family, who have eight children in minor hockey. Organizers will also host an all-Mennonite game, as well as a game played only by people with the last name Martin.
That is hilarious. I wish them well.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2009, 5:47 AM
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From the website:
Quote:
How many Mennonites can we get on the ice?
Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

Seriously, I wish them well too. It'll help get the region on the map.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2009, 8:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunkalunk View Post
From the website:


Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

Seriously, I wish them well too. It'll help get the region on the map.
Hey! I'll be one of those Martins out there! It's for any Martin who ever played hockey (minor, Junior, etc) in Elmira. Apparently they're going to have a sweater for every one of us that has the name "Martin" on the back of it.

Is there a Guinness category for this?
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2009, 4:01 PM
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I'm tempted to make a wise-crack about the prevalence of a single last name in Elmira, but I think it would be best for me to hold my tongue.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2009, 7:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambridgite View Post
I'm tempted to make a wise-crack about the prevalence of a single last name in Elmira, but I think it would be best for me to hold my tongue.
Very wise!

And being a Martin, I've heard them all!

To see evidence, pick up the phone book and look to see how many Martins there are in Elmira. Of course, there's quite a number of us in the rest of the region too.
We've been here a long time!
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2009, 3:26 AM
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Woolwich advances in CBC's Hockeyville contest


(By Record Staff, THE RECORD Web Edition, January 14, 2009)


ELMIRA

There's only nine other towns standing in between Woolwich Township and the title of Hockeyville for 2009.

The top 10 list of contenders to be named Hockeyville -- Canada's ultimate hockey community -- were revealed at 8 p.m. tonight on CBC-TV. Viewers now have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday to cast their votes to get their town into the top five.

At stake is a chance to host an NHL pre-season game and $100,000 in arena upgrades. The other four get $25,000 for their rinks.

Residents of the township, which includes Elmira, have been posting their thoughts on why Woolwich should be named Hockeyville.

Votes can be placed on the Hockeyville home page. Or, to vote directly for Woolwich, visit www.woolwichhockeyville.ca or phone 1-866-533-8066 or text message 222111 with the community name (Woolwich). Standard text rates apply.

The five community finalists will be announced on Hockey Night In Canada on a series of Saturday broadcasts -- Jan. 31, Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 21 and Feb. 28 with Hockey Night broadcasting from each of the five finalists' towns. Audiences will then vote, until March 4 at 5 p.m. eastern time, for the ultimate champion



So fellow SSP:Local Waterloo Region Forumers, you know what this means:
VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE
(there's no limit to how many times you can vote!)


http://news.therecord.com/News/article/471911
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Old Posted Jan 17, 2009, 12:04 AM
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Anyone know when the Wal-Mart opens? Not that I'm looking forward to it or anything...
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Old Posted Jan 17, 2009, 12:07 AM
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Anyone know when the Wal-Mart opens? Not that I'm looking forward to it or anything...
Haha, LIES! The truth comes out. You shop at Wal-Mart. SSP scorns you.
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Old Posted Jan 17, 2009, 12:13 AM
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timely article....

Wal-Mart opens next week, other tenants in the works
January 16, 2009 By: Marc Miquel Helsen


More than a decade after planning began, the Wal-Mart store south of St. Jacobs will open for business on Wednesday. It’s the first to begin operation at the 305,000-square-foot power centre on Farmers’ Market Road.

Mark’s Work Wearhouse and Dollarama stores will follow.

The 125,000-sq.-ft. Wal-Mart is the project’s anchor. With it in place, the site developer expects other spaces will begin to fill. Along with the announced tenants, there are a number of proposed stores in the works, said
Peter Nikolakakos, land development manager for SmartCentres.

The site allows for a restaurant and a range of retail options.

Despite the economic downturn, interest in the power centre has not diminished, he said.

“Considering the economy, I think we’re doing quite well, and we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to lease out the rest of our sites shortly. Typically, these are phased developments,” he said.

The size of each retail or service store will depend on the applicant’s configuration and nature of its business.

“The market will dictate what comes,” said Nikolakakos, noting that developments of this size typically take between four to five years to complete.

Elmira residents can also expect to see some additional retail development this year, as plans move forward for a Canadian Tire store adjacent to the Foodland site in the south end of town.

The retailer is currently working through this process with the township, said John Scarfone, Woolwich Township’s manager of planning.

Developer Forecast Inc. is seeking a zone change to reshape some of the commercial parcels on its eight-acre site to accommodate the Canadian Tire store, which would sit on approximately three acres.

The 35,000-sq.-ft. format, smaller than the new megastores the company has been building in urban areas, is a new prototype aimed at moving into smaller markets. The site will also house a garden centre and gas bar with convenience store.

Forecast has not decided yet what will be done with the rest of the site, which could be sold off or leased for other development. A sign on the property advertises the future construction of a Shoeless Joe’s restaurant.

As for what will become of the former Foodland location at Church and Arthur streets, Sobeys Inc., which has a five-year lease on the building, has no plans to report, a spokesperson said this week.


http://observerxtra.com/2/news/wal-m...-in-the-works/
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2009, 4:34 PM
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It's already open. It's official opening is Wednesday.

/hates wal-mart
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Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 3:35 AM
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FYI everyone:

CBC has a show on tonight at 11 PM (Sunday night) on all communities in the race for the Hockeyville title. Phone voting has been extended until tomorrow, so keep those votes coming in! To vote via phone, call 1-866-533-8066. Woolwich is option #6.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 3:36 PM
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Woolwich is a step closer to being named Hockeyville 2009

Sunday, February 08, 2009 - 09:48 AM 570 News

Woolwich Township is one of the top five finalists in the Kraft Hockeyville 2009 contest.

They were announced as a finalist after last night's CBC Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.

A finalist will be announced every Saturday until February 28th and after the final weekend, Canadians can vote for their favourite.

The winning town will be announced on Hockey Night in Canada on March 7th. They'll receive $100,000 for arena upgrades and will be featured in a CBC broadcast. Each of the top 5 finalists will get $25,000.

So far Terrace, B.C. and Harbour Grace, Newfoundland have also been named as finalists.

http://www.570news.com/news/topstory...08_094827_9132
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 5:39 PM
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Waterloo market's days are done



(February 07, 2009, THE RECORD Web Edition)

Debbie Witmer, left, and Sheri Maziarz talk with regular customer Stephanie Airley at their tupperware stand inside the Waterloo Farmer's Market.

Saturday was the final day of existence for the market. It will be closed to make way for an antique store.


http://news.therecord.com/News/article/484171
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Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 5:23 AM
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Hockeyville voting starts Saturday




February 26, 2009, RECORD STAFF

WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP

Woolwich is urging everyone to vote -- and vote often -- as the campaign to choose Canada's Hockeyville enters its final days.

Voting on the coveted title begins at 11 p.m. Saturday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, March 4.

Woolwich made it into the final round of the national competition, along with Terrace, B.C., Harbour Grace, N. L., Humboldt, Sask., and Thetford Mines, Que.

There are three ways to vote for Woolwich: call 1-866-533-8066, text "Vote Woolwich" to 222111 or vote online at

www.woolwichhockeyville.ca.


Voting is unlimited.

The winner of the Kraft Hockeyville title will be announced live on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada on March 7.

The community chosen as the ultimate hockey town gets $100,000 in arena upgrades and will host a pre-season NHL game.

Runner-up towns get $25,000 each.

A CBC film crew visited Elmira for a weekend earlier this month to shoot footage of Woolwich for broadcast during Hockey Night in Canada. The other competitors have also been showcased.



http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/494507
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Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 3:21 PM
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2009, 2:16 AM
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Town bids arena fond farewell


By Brent Davis, THE RECORD, Tuesday April 14, 2009

ELMIRA


It has been a part of Darcy Campbell's life since he was little.

Lacing up his skates in its dressing rooms at the age of five or six, resurfacing its ice in his college years, refereeing games in its chilly confines.

"The generations, from old to young, it's something that they've all got in common," Campbell says.

An arena has stood on Elmira's Snyder Avenue, in one form or another, for nearly six decades.

Physically, it's changed over the years -- a new roof, new stands, new cooling systems. But it has kept its footprint, some of its walls and all of its memories.

"It's become more than just a spot for hockey. It's sort of become a heartbeat of the community."

Now, as the new twin-pad Woolwich Memorial Centre takes shape next door, Campbell and the rest of the community are preparing to say goodbye.

Before it is torn down, the old arena will throw the doors open Saturday, April 25, for a farewell bash featuring family activities, a video dance and displays highlighting a sports heritage that includes hockey, curling, figure skating and ringette.

Two area Lions Clubs -- the Elmira club, of which Campbell is president, and the Woolwich Community Lions CLub -- are joining forces to present the event.

"It is an end of an era," said Denise Witmer, president of the Woolwich Community club. "It's just kind of nice to say goodbye to something that's been there for so long."

Money raised at the event will go toward the new multi-use complex. More than $5 million has been raised by the community for the $23-million facility.

And although the hockey-mad town is eagerly awaiting the start of the Junior B Sugar Kings' first season in the new complex this fall, sports fans know it will take some time for the Memorial Centre to establish its own legacy.

After all, a lot of NHL names honed their skills in the old barn: Darryl Sittler, Ric and Rod Seiling, Cam Stewart, Dennis Wideman, Dan Snyder.

"There's a rich history in that arena," Campbell says.

No one knows that better than Regional Chair Ken Seiling.

He isn't as sentimental about the building as some -- his fondest memories are of the arena in its original form, before all the changes were made.

But his connections to it, on both the personal and professional level, are extensive.

His grandfather Albert served on the committees that raised the money and saw the arena built. His family lived next door and sent four sons -- Ken, Ric, Rod and Don Jr. -- onto its ice.

His own children played hockey and ringette there and saw their father return to the arena to coach and play old-timers' hockey.

He sat on an arena-improvement committee in the early 1970s, and was mayor of Woolwich Township, less than a decade later, when the rink received one of its biggest makeovers.

"I guess I was in the arena from day one," Seiling says.

The April 25 event will have refreshments and family activities from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets will be sold for food, drinks and games, but admission is free.

The memorabilia displays will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., when Memory Lane will be licensed.

The dance for adults 19 and older starts at 8 p.m.; $12 tickets are available in Elmira at Pampered & Polished and Brown's Menswear.

"It's going to be sad . . . but at the same time, it's going to be pretty exciting to have the puck drop in a new facility," Campbell says.

"We're looking forward to making new memories there."



http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/520092
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Old Posted May 19, 2009, 3:30 AM
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Visitor centre opens for tourists


Laurel Davies Snyder (left), the township’s economic development and tourism officer joined tourism counsellor Dorothy Roberts this week as the visitor centre opened for the season.


By: Steve Kannon, OBSERVER XTRA, Friday, May 15, 2009

With the opening this week of the visitor information centre (VIC) in St. Jacobs, the township has kicked off another tourism season.

Dorothy Roberts is the new tourism counsellor who’ll staff the facility four days a week until mid-October. Her first day was May 12.

“Dorothy has a great knowledge of the township and is looking forward to helping our visitors find their way and discover new things. She has also worked at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, so has a lot of experience working with the tourist crowds in one of our most popular areas, Woolwich’s economic development and tourism officer, Laurel Davies Snyder, said in a statement.

While the township had considered expanding the hours of operation at the St. Jacobs VIC, budget constraints and the economic downturn put an end to that idea for this year, explained chief administrative officer David Brenneman.

The centre will be staffed Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., essentially coordinating with market days. Under a deal with Mercedes Corp., since 2005 the township leases the so-called “yellow house,” a refurbished farm home at 844 Weber St. N. adjacent to the farmers’ market.

New this year will be Internet access for visitors. When the building is staffed, the counsellor will be available to help tourists plan and map out their visit to the township and the wider area.

“This is a continuation of the process that started in 2005,” said Brenneman, adding services at the VIC will be more integrated with regional tourism efforts. The township is a partner in the Waterloo Region Tourism Marketing Corporation (WRTMC).

The township will also soon begin looking for community groups that might be interested in leasing the building that once housed the Elmira VIC. That facility was closed down when statistics showed it made sense to concentrate on the St. Jacobs location, taking the Elmira services in-house at the municipal building on Church Street.

Making the First Street building available could help out a community group or two while providing the township with some additional revenue, said Brenneman.


http://observerxtra.com/2/news/visit...ourist-season/
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