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Our Strategic Plan

Our community’s first Strategic Plan was prepared in 2002 following a Public Workshop led by the Strategic Plan Steering Committee. That document served as a guide for Council, its appointed Committees and other community organizations, as to how Callander residents wished to see their community develop in the years ahead.

In early 2007, shortly after the municipal election of November 2006, Callander Council revived the Strategic Planning Implementation Committee. By the end of 2007, the Committee developed a renewed sense of direction and made ready for a Strategic Plan Revision Workshop held on January 23, 2008.

Facilitated by Jim Dyment of Meridian Planning Consultants Inc., the purpose of the Workshop was to engage Callander residents in an assessment of the Plan completed in 2002, and provide input into the revision process. Almost 100 residents attended and actively participated in round-table discussions. Following the event, Mr. Dyment noted that this was “”…an outstanding turnout for a municipality with a population of around 3,600.”"


What’s Important in 2008

The following summarizes the Action Items identified under Five Key Objectives in January 2008, by order of importance. These will serve as a guide for Council and its appointed Committees for ongoing development in Callander over the remainder of this Council’s term of office.


  • Maintain, Protect and Enhance Callander’s natural features
    • Maintain open and public access to the shoreline on Callander Bay.
    • Build and connect hiking and bicycle trails in the community.
    • Protect the Cranberry Marsh and provide public access to it.
    • Provide facilities for Ice Fishing.


  • Provide more services, facilities and amenities
    • Encourage a wider variety of housing development.
    • Provide recreational opportunities for youth.
    • Provide more medical facilities (or services).
    • Encourage waterfront commercial development.
    • Improve parklands in the community.


  • Beautify the community
    • Enhance the commercial core of Callander.
    • Provide landscape treatments to the Plaza and parking area.
    • Complete the Signage program at gateways to Callander.


  • Celebrate the community’s diverse culture and heritage
    • Provide enhanced support for the Museum and Library.
    • Encourage and support more celebrations, festivals and events.
    • Develop marketing programs based on famous people, etc.


  • Improve marketing and communication
    • Promote and encourage local shopping.
    • Increase communication within the community.
    • Increase marketing of sports and recreational opportunities.

Following the Workshop in January 2008, those who participated were also encouraged to forward written comments with respect to the 2002 Plan, and provide additional objectives or strategic actions that should be contained in the revised Strategic Plan.

A number of responses reflected the desire to maintain the rural portion of the community as a rural area and prevent urbanization from occurring in it. The Objective will be accomplished through the Municipality’s Planning processes and will be reflected in the next Official Plan Update currently underway with completion expected by the end of 2008.

Comments received also suggested that the urban area and the rural area cannot be treated exactly the same way, since some of the amenities in the rural area need different considerations; hunting and recreational trails were provided as examples. Numerous comments suggested that, while it is important to view the rural and urban areas as having distinct or unique differences, it is also important to view the whole community as one. The Strategic Plan Implementation Committee (SPIC) will continue to recognize this as an important consideration.

Economic Diversification was also a recurring theme in the written comments provided by participants. There is a need to ensure there is sufficient land available for industrial development, preferably service lands, to provide opportunity for new employment uses within the municipal boundary. Working towards a more sustainable community would result in new jobs closer to where people live. In theory, one could walk to work, reducing the environmental footprint while diversifying the economy. This action would also continue to build on and strengthen a sense of community, enabling young people to stay, live and work in the community from ‘cradle to grave’.

Under recently revised Provincial regulations, municipalities must now review and revise Official Plans every five years. Official Plan revision is a lengthy process requiring several stages of consultation with the community and a number of Provincial Government agencies with includes (but isn’t limited to) the Ministries of Natural Resources, Environment, Transportation, Municipal Affairs & Housing, and the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority. Our Official Plan revision began last summer and we expect it will be completed by the end of 2008.

To some degree, issues related to economic diversification and working towards a more sustainable community can be addressed in Official Plan policies. Economic development programs can also be considered within the Strategic Plan and Official Plan to ensure a consistent and positive path is provided. The Strategic Plan Implementation Committee (SPIC), the Sustainable Community Initiatives Committee (SCIC) and the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) will work together in planning and promoting development for Callander’s future.

Posted by: Councillor Doug Brydges, Chair, Planning & Development
(This page will be updated from time to time)