Happy Holidays!

Family having fun in winterOn behalf of Regional Council and staff, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and wonderful holiday season!  The holidays give us a chance to reconnect with family and friends, participate in festive traditions and create memories for years to come

Over the holidays, all our essential and 24-hour Regional services will remain available. If you require assistance from Halton Region during this time, please visit halton.ca or dial 311.

thinkstockphotos-621597666-halton-ca

Some public facilities will be closed from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 23 until 8:30 a.m. on Monday, January 2. For more information about holiday hours at our public facilities, visit halton.ca/closures.

If you are staying in town for the holidays, there are so many great things to see and do in Halton. Family-friendly events and activities take place throughout the winter season in Halton’s local municipalities—Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville—and at Conservation Halton parks. Click on the links to find out more details.

It is my wish that your holidays are filled with peace, joy and good company. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Hitting the road with Halton’s updated cycling map

In Halton Region, we are fortunate to have a beautiful natural environment with the Niagara Escarpment, Lake Ontario and an abundance of creeks, rolling hills, open spaces and trails. Many people like to get outside and enjoy nature by hiking or cycling.

If you want to cycle within Halton, we now have an up-to-date map that can help. The 2012 Cycling in Halton map is an easy to use map that not only includes a bird’s eye view of the entire Region, but also recommends seven loop rides.

The loop rides (in Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville) are suggested routes that include urban areas and nearby scenic, rural roads suitable for cycling.

Riding your bike can be much more than a fun, healthy, recreational activity. You can also use it to get to the grocery store or to work. Did you know that 1/3 of all trips by car in Halton are less than 5 km? Imagine how many cars could come off our roads if some of those trips were taken by bicycle instead.  Not only will it help you be more physically active, but cycling is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transportation. Visit your municipality’s websites for more information on bike lanes and paths in your neighbourhood.

Recently Smart Commute Halton hosted several Bike to Work Day events around the Region, including the First Annual City Wide Bike to Work Day Breakfast in Burlington. It was wonderful to see so many people putting their feet to the pedal and engaging in active transportation, making the most of our infrastructure.

Whether you’re cycling along our waterfront in Oakville and Burlington or more northerly in Milton and Halton Hills, there’s something for everyone who wants to get outside and stay active.

We starting work to develop Halton’s first Active Transportation Master Plan and I’d like to encourage you all to participate in its creation. This plan will help make it easier to walk, bike and roll across Halton and input from you will be critical.

For a copy of the Cycling in Halton Map is, please dial 311, email accesshalton@halton.ca or come in to the Regional headquarters at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.

I hope you enjoy cycling in Halton. You will see why Halton Region is such a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

Municipal cycling web pages:

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

New High School for Milton

On October 14, I had the pleasure of attending the official groundbreaking ceremony for a future high school in Milton.

In a community growing as fast as Milton, it is important that the necessary infrastructure is developed to meet the needs of the many growing families in the community.

This ceremony was especially significant because we were celebrating both the construction of a new school as well as the continued successful development of Milton and Halton Region.

In many ways, a school is more than a building or a collection of classrooms. It is a place to inspire and be inspired; a place to meet new people and make new friends. It is an office for teachers to practice their vocation, and a forum for parents to get involved with their children’s education. It is a venue for student performances, and a gathering place for community events.

This high school will provide our youth with a safe, comfortable, and supportive learning environment. In this positive space, every student can take full advantage of their learning opportunity and work with their teachers to expand their knowledge of the world.

As mentors, instructors, and role models our teachers make up the foundation of our schools, new and old. Their diligence and hard work encourages students to believe in themselves. They provide the learning and caring that will help students be successful in life.

I look forward to the ongoing development of this new school. This exciting project truly demonstrates that as Halton Region grows, it continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”