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New rules for Grape Island creating 'horrendous' situation

Long-time permanent island resident says it's a 'sad and pitiful situation resulting ... from trumped-up' city rules

OrilliaMatters received the following letter from Jim Mitchell, which is an open letter to Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke and council about their recent decision regarding Grape Island


Can you possibly imagine the ramifications of the horrendous situation resulting from the mandated stipulations you have placed on the seasonal and permanent residents of Grape Island?

I want you to think hard about your insistence that required delivery of materials by a commercial company to apply for a road occupation permit to do so.

When our dock installers applied for their permit at the Roads and Fleet Department, the staff had no idea of how to proceed and had never done this before. This follows our own investigation results which we related to staff and council in 2017 during a meeting in the Economic Development Department meeting room where we had asked five major construction material supply companies about the permit process and they had never heard of it nor had ever been required to obtain such a permit.

The result was that our mainland dock installer could not proceed with the installation of our dock at the end of Forest Avenue for this holiday weekend.

I am a permanent resident on Grape Island and have spent the last 66 years celebrating the 24th of May weekend with my family on the Island. Again ... can you possibly imagine my daughter and her family arriving and finding no dock in place to safely board a boat with my one-year-old grandson and thusly having to go back to their home and me spending my first May long weekend dinner by myself.

What a sad and pitiful situation resulting from some seemingly trumped up rules by you that you have never revealed the true reasons behind.

Mr. (Ted) Emond (Ward 1 councillor) once said to me that he sees his job as protecting the City of Orillia and pleasing its residents. None of the 200-plus seasonal or permanent residents of Grape Island are pleased!

I have been invited to a very special family birthday celebration dinner and party but cannot attend because I have been told by the city that I can't park my boat at the end of Forest Avenue after midnight. All because of a non-islander chaining his boat for a few weeks that made noise in inclement weather.

This curfew and all other restrictions are not indicated for nor endured by any other residents of this city.

If your response to my access issues is to ask a neighbour to give me a ride and pick me up, I put it to you all to ask your neighbours to do the same for you

Jim Mitchell
Grape Island