We would like to take this opportunity to thank our residents for their vigilance; for staying in isolation where required and staying home unless necessary. This is our best defence in keeping our community safe. While rural communities may be hit later than urban areas, we could be hit harder—with older populations, thinner resources and limited local health care access.
We would also, again, like to thank our essential service providers. This includes, but is not limited to, our municipal staff, public health workers, fire fighters, paramedics, clinic personnel, grocers, suppliers, retailers, food services, postal workers, highway maintenance, financial service workers and more; those who cannot stay home, but leave the safety of their residences and their loved ones to provide us all with necessary goods and services.
Sioux Narrows – Nestor Falls Council and Administration are continuing to communicate seven-days per week to map the way forward. This includes regular web conferencing with the Northwestern Health Unit, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, peer municipalities, district and provincial Chief Administrative Officers, Mayors, our Provincial Member of Parliament, local and regional Economic Development agencies and more.
Our offices and facilities remain operating on a modified pandemic schedule. Our municipal offices are open. There is a limit on the number of customers who may enter the buildings at one time. Our regular posted business hours remain in effect. You may also call our main switch board, reception, by calling 807-226-5241 ext. 201 or emailing [email protected], to discuss the service you require or to make an appointment.
October 26, 2020 – A Message from Municipal Council – Sioux Narrows – Nestor Falls Fitness Centres
Under current Pandemic conditions, the Sioux Narrows – Nestor Falls Fitness Centres remain closed. We cannot operate them under their previous model; membership only access, equipment wiped down by patrons, and entering and exiting on a self-managing, honor system.
There are centres that are open in the region, we know. The difference between these centres and ours, is that they are staffed. If there are public centres operating under different arrangements, without staff on site, we cannot speak to those. We can only speak to the protocols that we have worked with the department of public health to clarify. Self-cleaning before and after use by members is not sufficient, nor is voluntary cleaning or asking persons to not enter the centre and wait for a user to exit before another one enters.
As said, this cannot be carried out by members on a voluntary basis. Our agency is obligated, by the province and department of public health, to ensure these measures are being followed.
The cost implications of changing our operating procedures to permit use would dramatically change the schedule, the availability of use would be limited and, most of all, the user fees would have to increase exponentially.
As well, there are only a few allowable models of Pandemic safety; one that would require significant capital changes to enclose equipment in plexiglass booths, one that would require much equipment to be removed to ensure the required physical distancing between stations or one that would require seriously reduced operating hours and bookings so that only one person is scheduled/able to be in the centre at a time ~ all of these would still require onsite staff during all operating hours, not only to monitor usage and scheduling, but to sanitize the entire space between each use.
Council has determined, at this time, that they are not prepared to change the operating procedures, nor do they wish to increase the user fees to cover the costs of the changes such as would be required by us to open and operate according to pandemic guidelines. Changing the structure and fees would take away from the intent of the municipally operated fitness centres; not to compete with private sector services, but to offer a good quality, basic compliment of equipment at an affordable rate.
We understand how disappointing and frustrating this is to our loyal fitness centre members and we sincerely apologize for this. Our lives have changed dramatically and fundamentally due to COVID-19. We remain committed to public safety. We are looking forward to the time when we will be able to restore our municipal fitness centre services as soon as it is possible and safe to do so.
Thank you for your continued patience.
The Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls is located along the eastern shores of Lake of the Woods, nestled in Mother Nature. Lake of the Woods is one of the world’s largest inland, freshwater lakes with over 14,000 islands and 65,000 miles of shoreline. As a small municipality, we pride ourselves on community spirit, environmental stewardship, and forward thinking. Spend your summers on the lake, in the sun and on the water or cozy up to a fire in a rustic cabin enjoying our winter wonderland.
We are a full service community marked by a quaint and charming lifestyle while surrounded by an abundance of natural resources. There are over 60 customer service facilities offering a wide range of retail, hospitality, personal, financial and many other services.
The eastern shores of Lake of the Woods offer you a wide range of attractions and experiences that will help make your holiday a memorable one. Many of our area’s assets are tucked away on side roads or in scenic bays and woodlands that are just waiting for you to find and explore. Let this website be your guide to many days of discovering our natural playground. Our region is noted for its hiking trails, provincial parks, fishing, kayaking adventures, and our inland lakes and pristine beaches offer fun for the whole family.
In the early days, the lake was vital to the early settlers as it provided a means of transportation and livelihood. So, too, did the gold mines, fisheries, and woodlands. For decades, logging fueled the economy of this area as horse carts loaded with timber made their way to sawmills and paper mills affording the locals with the necessities of life.
Old logging roads made way for camps, cabins, resorts and lodges. We invite you to our quaint and small towns, and come see why we say “bigger isn’t always better”!