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Parking concerns at new Powassan apartments, Trout Creek sidewalk maintenance before council

Objections to raising driving age also addressed at Powassan council
Aug. 11, 2021
Laurel J. Campbell

Powassan council reconvened in-person meetings this month in the Maple Room at 250 Clark St. with three members of the public in attendance.

Here are three items of discussion from the Aug. 3 meeting.


A rezoning application for the building on the corner of Main and Clark streets calls for the creation of seven parking spaces at the rear of the multi-residential structure, but neighbours and some councillors feel that is an unrealistic concept.

“I have concerns that putting seven vehicles in there just isn’t going to work,” said Coun. Randy Hall, with Coun. Debbie Piekarski suggesting that the property owner should rethink the renovation plans for the building to include two two-bedroom apartments to decrease the number of parking spaces needed. The current plan is for all units to be one-bedroom accommodation.

“Cars coming out of that property are going to be a huge issue,” she said.

Three neighbouring residents were also on hand to express their concerns, with council agreeing to send the issue back to the planners for further scrutiny.


“Less than 50 per cent of the sidewalks in Trout Creek are being maintained,” said Hall, who asked that a sidewalk plan be created that would see improvements made next summer and before the October 2022 municipal election.

Hall said doing the work during this council term would help relieve a new council of the budgetary concerns. “Next year is the last year before the election, and I don’t want to dump something like this on the incoming council,” he said.

While this work is not covered in the current budget, Hall said that “If we get a plan through public works to start looking after those sidewalks, we would be ready if (government) money for such projects should come along.”

“It bothers me that, in the winter, certain people in houses on Hwy. 522 can only get to town by walking on the highway, even though there are sidewalks there,” he said, adding, “This is the first issue people in that area of Trout Creek bring up when you speak with them.”


Powassan council voted unanimously to joint with Machar Council in opposing a proposal by the City of Vaughan that would see Ontario raise the legal driving age from 16 to 18.

Indicating the importance of Northern Ontario municipalities speaking out against the age increase, Mayor Peter McIsaac said, “This is fine for Vaughan, with all kinds of public transit options for 16-year-olds to use, but it doesn’t work here.”

In a letter to be sent to Premier Doug Ford and associated ministries and agencies, Powassan concurred with Machar Council, which passed a similar motion at its July meeting, saying that driving is the only means of transportation in many rural communities, especially in the North, and having a driver's licence is a requirement to most youth employment positions in non-urban communities.

“We need to make this argument on behalf of Northern Ontario,” McIsaac said.