Clifford Really is Open for Business

July 8, 2018
Submitted by Bonnie Whitehead

How did you fare during the first month of construction and closed roads in the Clifford Diggin’ 2018 project? Did you manage to stop at the stop signs or roll on through, unless the O.P.P. were watching? Did you drive on the closed roads unsure of your insurance coverage? Were you able to access your driveway? Did you continue to shop downtown and support your local businesses?
   Those involved in the Clifford We’re Diggin’ It downtown revitalization project met at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 25 at Gramma Jo’s Restaurant in Clifford.
   On Site Inspector Jeremy Gibson noted in Section 2A the storm sewer main line was installed, the catch basins are being set in place, and the road will be rebuilt. TM3 will be on site to lay hydro ducts. Hydro poles will be realigned behind the sidewalks at the south end of the village. When Westario Hydro switches from overhead to underground hydro service, you may experience some power interruptions. The traffic lights will be reconnected later in the day.
   The seriousness of slumping sales for local shopkeepers in the downtown core held the interest of those gathered. The business community has noticed a decline in the number of customers, the number of sales, and the number of people who enter their shops. Concerns about limited access to the stores’ front doors was presented by Leonard’s General Store owner Leonard Underwood to Town of Minto Mayor George Bridge, Economic Development Manager Belinda Wick, Water Foreman Wayne Metzger, Roads Foreman Mike McIsaac, Triton Engineering Project Manager Chris Clark, On Site Inspector Jeremy Gibson, Moorefield Excavating Owner Jerry Roubos and Engineer McKenzie Cressman. His sentiments were echoed by RBC’s Wendy Albrecht and Simran Rajput , Miller Insurance’s Tracey Rae, Wightman’s Hope Reidt, Hearth & Leisure’s Craig Thompson, and Gramma Jo’s Jim and Jo-Anne Weltz and Jenn French.
  They discussed strategies to attract more business by increasing signage, offering coupons and social media deals, and promoting the passport program. Reassure patrons that whether there is a concrete sidewalk to the front door or not, the shops are open for business. The side streets are accessible, but this whole main street is under construction, be cautious. If business does not improve, there is a real threat of businesses closing. Find ways to make sure you don’t let that happen. If you are concerned and want to see your neighbourhood businesses flourish during these construction months, then continue to take advantage of their construction specials.     
   Clifford, Your Stop Along The Way! Think of new ways to stop and shop more often!

June 25 Construction Meeting

Those involved in the Clifford revitalization project noted the sobering effect on local business at the We’re Diggin’ It update meeting held Monday, June 25 at Gramma Jo’s Restaurant in Clifford. Left to right – Craig Thompson, Hearth & Leisure; Simran Rajput, RBC; Wendy Albrecht, RBC; McKenzie Cressman, Moorefield Excavating; Mike McIsaac, Roads Foreman; On Site Inspector Jeremy Gibson; Chris Clark, Triton Engineering; Wayne Metzger, Water Foreman; Town of Minto Mayor George Bridge; Economic Development Manager Belinda Wick-Graham, Jerry Roubos, Moorefield Excavating

Construction Photo

Moorefield Excavating continued construction on the storm sewer catch basin on Wednesday, July 4 at the intersection of John Street and Elora Street in Clifford.
Photos by Bonnie

Respect the Zone

June 26, 2018
Submitted by Bonnie Whitehead

Please, respect the zone – the construction zone in the Clifford Diggin’ It project.

Many seem eager to check on the construction as they follow the D1 detour to downtown parking and shopping. They must have seen the ‘Clifford, Your Stop Along the Way’ sign and decided to take a look and shop at Leonard’s General Store, Nick’s Rooster’s Perch, or Ho and Karine’s Village Variety, buy pizza at Clifford TakeOut, eat at Gramma Jo’s Restaurant, buy flowers at Northern Flora, get a quote at Miller Insurance or a pellet stove at Hearth and Leisure, bank at RBC, or visit Wesley’s West Meadow Press and Art Gallery. There are also signs directing traffic to Jemstone’s Bar & Grill, Demerling’s Garage, W.C. Smith Wholesale, and Wightman’s Telecom. Follow the signs to the recreation fields, library, and post office. Stop and shop and bring your diggin it  passport to be stamped and for a chance to win prizes.

Residents who live along the construction zone are allowed to drive on Elora Street to access their driveways. However, it is getting a little tougher for those who live between Park Street and Allan Street. This past couple of weeks, they are dealing with the removal of the old storm sewer system and the installation of the new storm sewers.

Town of Minto Economic Development Manager Belinda Wick-Graham hosts construction update meetings every other Monday at 8:30 a.m. at Gramma Jo’s. Staff from Triton Engineering and Moorefield Excavating inform on the week’s proposed plan, consider ways to limit confusion, and remedy a situation when concerns arise. Follow the project at 

Pick a ‘c’ that suits for Clifford construction – caution, common sense, courtesy, calm. Recall the town meetings, revisit the draft plans, and visualize the eventual outcome of this six month project.

Over the Canada long weekend, Clifford is expected to become home for 150 to 200 truck drivers and trucks as the Great Lakes Truck Club hosts their 10th Annual Antique and Classic Truck Show on Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30. The arena will be full of vendors selling crafts and one-of-a-kind items. The Clifford Rotarians will be cooking breakfast Saturday and Sunday and serving burgers and fries Saturday afternoon. Friday, June 29, the Knox United Church volunteers will be serving dinner at their annual fish fry and silent auction. Sunday, July 1st will be a day to relax and celebrate Canada’s 151st birthday.

Clifford - follow D5 around the village or follow D1 to the heart of the community. The traffic lights are still MTO approved and operational. Respect the zone. We’re diggin’ it!

Open for Business

Clifford is Open for Business – just follow the signs and detour around the construction workers who are removing the old storm sewer system and installing new storm sewers seen here on Friday, June 8.

Clifford's Big Dig Set to Begin May 28, 2018

Submitted by Bonnie Whitehead

Signs are posted and items are being removed from the main street in Clifford as the due date for the Big Dig approaches. The bulletin board, bicycle rack, benches, and garbage cans were unbolted and taken away to be refurbished on Wednesday, May 16.

Soon the trees will be uprooted along with the hydro poles, decorative stone work, sidewalks, and asphalt. The finished product will be well worth the four to five month wait for the big reveal.

Main street will be closed to traffic from May 28 to mid October, but open for business. Just follow the detour signs to find your way to the bank, stores, and restaurants. For those who were getting a little disgusted with the roadway, they won’t need to worry for a while because they won’t be able to travel on highway 9 throughout the duration of the reconstruction process.

The detour route will follow along from the Redwood corner to the Lakelet Road, left to the water tower, left onto Park Street and right back out on highway 9 to Harriston. Jim and Rita Measures take incredible lengths to beautify their property, so please be mindful of your wheels as you take your turn around the corner at the bridge. 

Triton Engineering is trying to find solutions before there are any problems for those directly affected by the loss of a sidewalk and a street. Notices were handed out to residents along the main street alerting them to the fact someone from Moorefield Excavating Ltd. would help them get their garbage and recyclables to the curb for pick up from County Waste Management. No worries.

The Town of Minto encourages residents and visitors to pick up a Clifford, We’re Diggin’ It Passport. It offers discounts and services from 15 local businesses and chances to win prizes in monthly draws leading to the grand prize draw on October 9. The Minto Chamber of Commerce encourages you to ‘get caught shopping downtown’ to win a Flash Give-Away of a $10.00 gift certificate from a local merchant.

Before you call the town office at 519-338-2511 looking for information regarding the big dig, try accessing to learn about the actual work and the latest updates.

Economic Development Manager Belinda Wick-Graham notes, ‘We are all in this together – residents, merchants, Town of Minto, Minto Chamber of Commerce, Triton Engineering, and Moorefield Excavating’.

So, settle in for the long haul, take your valuables off the walls, and be prepared for no through traffic just dozers, excavators, high hoes, back hoes, rollers, dump trucks, and back up beeps from sun up to sun down. It will be exciting, challenging, and a real impact on local businesses. So continue to shop Clifford – your stop along the way. Hmm, may have to change that tag line for a few months. 
Clifford We’re Diggin It

Hydro crews, tree trimming crews, and the Big Dig crews were working through early spring to prepare Clifford for the Big Dig.

April 3, 2018 Hydro Work

Amidst the snow and cold on April 4, crews erected a new and taller hydro pole at the corner of Allan St. E. and Elora St. N. in Clifford.

April 23 hydro work

On April 23, new hydro wires were secured to the new hydro pole at the corner of Allan St. E. and Elora St. N. in Clifford.