Living North of 7

Bancroft, one of the most beautiful and most talented areas!


Bancroft is having an election (a real one)!

bancroft-ontario-crestThat’s right folks we are having an election now as I have been informed that two new candidates are throwing their hats into the ring. Barry McGibbon has already filed in Dungannon Ward and another will file this morning in Bancroft from my understanding. This has taken us from an acclamation to an election.

What does this mean for us? We have been given a democratic right to make a choice … before it was just status quo. Now we have an opportunity for change (that is if you want change). The Town of Bancroft has had its challenges to say the least for a few years now and maybe just maybe having new blood will bring new perspectives, new skill sets to the table which I feel that would be beneficial to our community.

Like the rest of you, I will need to listen and hear what all candidates have to say. I do not know them (although have met a couple of them briefly at town functions) except for one incumbent with whom I had the pleasure of working alongside with regards to our public transit system the TROUT.

For a list of the present candidates click here

We have been handed a real opportunity here and I hope that all members of the community will take the time to first get the information you need to make an informed decision and secondly VOTE.

The deadline to file is Friday and who knows maybe we will get another surprise candidate.

Urban Girl xoxo

Urban girl: Why I live here in photos


This gallery contains 15 photos

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Urban Girl: Mayor Jenkins “Forded” at Bridge St. Grand Opening

As I walked home I was chuckling to myself as Mayor Bernice Jenkins had just been “Forded” by an older adult regarding what was going to happen to our public transit system the TROUT. I have to give it to the Mayor Jenkins as she responded eloquently and appeased the community member.

The question still remain to what exactly is going to happen to our very unique public transit system.

But to the real reason we were there, the grand opening of our new bridge. I for one am ecstatic that it was completed on time as Station Hill was getting to be a pain…literally. Being a walker that shops daily for supplies … going the long way home was becoming a pet peeve.

Mayor Jenkins opened the ceremony thanking the contractor, and the Engineering Firm ,Project Manager, Town Staff and the Manager of Public Works…yes kudos all around.

Even though the bridge was closed new ideas came from it. Bancroft now has a defined “Theatre District” thanks to the hard work and creativity of Barb Shaw. Barb had been hired as the Event Co-ordinator that pulled together different weekend events to keep the customer traffic flowing in the area.

All said and done…great job by some very great individuals that came together to keep our community growing.

My own shout out to our community media who do the “real” reporting…Hughie, Louie and Dewey ( said with the greatest respect).

Urban Girl xoxo







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Trottage Life

Camp-Red-Eagle-Coehill-BancroftAs cottage costs soar and entry level retreats steal your time as repairs reveal themselves one nightmare at a time, more and more families are looking to Trottage life as an option.

The Trottage – otherwise known as the trailer – has come a long way.

Trailer parks are plentiful in this region but if you’re looking for a seasonal site – meaning you are in one location for the whole season, May 24th through Thanksgiving – then you might want to check out The Red Eagle Family Campground on Wollaston Lake.

The first thing you notice when you arrive at Red Eagle is the big sandy beach. It’s only for folks in the park and it has a great sandy bottom and deepens gradually. Outside of the swim area there are lots of boats and there is even a fishing dock!

The park has a big store for essentials and extras like ice cream and penny candy, there is an on-site laundromat and a huge pavilion for activities like bingo, talent shows, dances and live music. There are playgrounds and horseshoe pits as well.

Everywhere you look in this park you will see people out for a stroll or packs of happy kids running around, riding bikes and having great adventures. This is a great community for kids. It’s safe and everyone knows everyone.

And it is a community. People have been coming here for years. And each year the trailers seem to get nicer, the gardens get bigger and the park just seems more like the perfect cottage alternative.

Nice “park model” trailers can cost $100,000 and they are full of luxury upgrades. Full kitchens, air conditioning, bathrooms with tubs and showers, multiple bedrooms and many are on waterfront sites with stunning views. There are also more entry-level units available and a large assortment of used trailers that are ready to help a new family create the perfect summer adventure.

Trottage life is for the social. Campers enjoy activities together in the day and then at night it’s time for cocktails and campfires. Everyone knows everyone and because of that – there’s always something to do.

If you’re not sure that you’d absolutely love Trottage life, Red Eagle has a luxury unit that they will rent out by the night to give you an idea of what life is like in this special park.

So for those who want to be at the lake, with lots of great adventures, social activities and no huge long list of chores to do – Red Eagle is the place to check out.



For additional details:

Barbara Shaw








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Faces Living North of 7: What was your most interesting dig?

“What was your most interesting dig?

“I would say my most interesting dig would have been when I excavated a Mayan Temple at the archaeology site “Baking Pot” in Belize.”


Bancroft, Living

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RE: Do we really need a publicly funded transit system in North Hastings?

rural public transit, bancroftIn response to the personal opinion article in the Weekly News last week with regards to the TROUT Transit Service we have here in the county, I must respectfully disagree with the writer.

The question raised was if we really need a publicly funded transit system in North Hastings? To this I must say the answer is a resounding yes. I agree that as a nation we rely too much upon Government funding in general. However, I disagree that filling TROUT gas tank creates more greenhouse gases. Public transit reduces CO2 emissions by 37 million metric tons annually.

Public transportation not only provides individuals a way to reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions it also provides an affordable alternative to driving. Doing so saves the average household over $6,000 per year when using public transit.

Perhaps being a woman, I have a different perspective on hitch hiking my way to the grocery store. Perhaps if you are a single North Hastings Bancroftmale with a bike and have the physical ability to commute long distances, this way is feasible to travel in this manner. As a single mom in the past, I biked many places with my child riding in the back bike seat with 4 grocery bags hanging off both bike handlebars. Let me tell you, doing such going uphill is nearly impossible to do safely nor is it possible in the winter months.

I would not feel safe sticking out my thumb for a ride by myself or with my kids, nor would I want my mother or grandmother to do this either. With 90% of the TROUT being used by women it allows us the freedom to go places safely. If one relies upon getting to a doctors appointment by hitch hiking you may find many appointments missed.

One must look at the larger picture with regards to revenue and public transit. If a person is “stuck” at home and unable to travel then no revenue is being generated at all. However if public transit is made affordable and available to our residents then money is spent in businesses that would normally not see that foot traffic.In providing public transportation you also will require the services of a skilled mechanic, also a driver and support staff thus creating jobs and revenue.

To all the volunteers, a huge thank you for all you do! One day we may all find ourselves in the position where public transit is our only option. Having this wonderful service in our community will then be something we are grateful and supportive of rather than a service to complain about.

Nicole Duncan, Bancroft


Originally published in The Bancroft Times.

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Urban Girl: Katie’s Run Epilepsy Fundraiser tomorrow in Haliburton

Katie’s Run a fundraiser for epilepsy is taking place tomorrow at Sir Sam’s Ski & Bike in Haliburton, Ontario.

The original inspiration was  Katie Woudstra  (read her story here). But I think we all at one point in time have met, have family who are living with epilepsy and all its challenges.

Katie’s Run raises funds to continue with research with the ultimate goal of everyone being able to live seizure-free.

Take a moment and watch the video and if you have an extra bit of cash you can just go to the site and donate online.


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Roosman mural installed in Bancroft

Bancroft, Arne Roosman

Photo Credit by Barbara Shaw

Burke Chamberlin says that he always imagined the wall of his Bridge Street building as an artist’s canvas and almost a year after Chamberlin approached local painter Arne Roosman in the grocery store with the idea, both men watched as it was mounted on the side of Chamberlin’s downtown building for everyone to enjoy.

“I didn’t want to be so direct so, when I saw Arne in the Foodland I asked if he knew anyone that might be able to do a mural,” Chamberlin says as he and Roosman watch the panels being attached to the building.

Roosman, as it turned out, knew the perfect artist for the job.

Roosman’s mural is delightfully huge and it chronicles the history of its location on Bridge Street.

“This is history as seen from this building, from this location,” Chamberlin explains. “This is the history of the York River. This is the history of this corner.”

Roosman and Chamberlin started working on the concept together and Roosman still has the paper with the first notes scrawled on it. It’s part of a show that is being opened to the public on June 26 from 10am to 8pm at 23E Bridge Street West. The show will include early sketches and all of the historical research that Roosman completed for the piece.

Arne Roosman Bancroft

Photo Credit by Barbara Shaw

“The sequence of this is all in a plastic bag,” Roosman says as he points to a stack of papers that are bulging out of their packaging. “All this happens as you go and it doesn’t seem so elaborate.”

But it is an elaborate process. It took six months of work which at times was physically painful. Roosman worked on the massive panels by climbing up and down on scaffolding. When he worked from the top down his shoulders hurt and when he worked from the ground up his knees took a beating.

He jokes with Chamberlin about the toll it took and when asked if it took five years off his life Roosman says it probably added years,

Chamberlin and Roosman are joined by Dianne Eastman. She’s helping put together the pop-up show for June 26 and she’s been trying to get a group of artists and art supporters together to form a cooperative that will operate out of Chamberlin’s building. They’re working under the name “A Place for the Arts” and they’ve had some meetings, elected a steering committee and they’re now working on a structure to operate and pay for the space.

This is something that Chamberlin and Eastman have been working on together. Chamberlin sees the building as a good space for artists while Eastman says this is the best space in Bancroft for the arts. There is gallery space at street level with creative space upstairs.

“The bigger picture here is to have an arts centre for the community,” Chamberlin says.

Eastman hopes it will happen and says that those who have already shown an interest are looking to teach workshops, offer demos and to run a gallery. The building has so much potential and now with the huge new mural on the side and a beautiful boardwalk that winds people along the river – the space is inspiring.

Chamberlin says he wants to see a café operating with seating along the river and lots of artists working together to make this a space bursting with creativity.

The mural, commissioned by Chamberlin, is just one piece of a bigger vision and  Roosman says it is a great credit to Chamberlin.

Aren Roosman

Photo Credit by Barbara Shaw

Chamberlin laughs saying that he wanted the building to be an arts centre so he figured he had to put-up or shut-up.

“I’m trying to lead by example,” Chamberlin says.

The example is a great new piece of public art that looks equally stunning from across the river or from the boardwalk in front of the mural. The detail is magnificent and this is certainly a piece of art that will draw attention for years to come.

The Bridge Street Mural is now installed and for those interested in seeing the process, the conceptual sketches, working drawings and small scale paintings; these will be on display on June 26 from 10am to 8pm.


For additional details:

Barbara Shaw


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Faces Living North of 7: What was the hardest thing going from urban to rural?

“What was the hardest thing going from urban to rural?”

“The hardest part was not having anyone to look after all our animals while our family wanted or needed to go anywhere. So I made my own business that would do that for people. Solved getting a job, meeting people and also hiring staff. Farm Assist rules”

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