Echo Essentials North Bay Edition

Feb 6, 2024

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Ontario Culture Days held an interesting webinar recently entitled “Artificial Intelligence: Problem Solver or Chaos Maker?” The event created a handy list of resource links for artists seeking options to protect their work, as well as studies, reports and analysis of potential AI impacts on people and the planet.

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Top Shelf

  • Zoning change request raises Premier Road eyebrows
  • Nursing service helps seniors stay in their homes
  • Small business video awards announced

Coffee Mug

Today’s Consternation

Ed Regan photo of Common Redpoll

The “winter that never was” is about to get soggy with a rainy forecast on Friday leaving many northerners second-guessing their life choices. The mood of this Common Redpoll, captured by photographer Ed Regan, appears contemplative and somewhat gloomy … matching how ice hut and tourist operators must feel missing out on fishing and snowmobile business this winter. See The Tomiko post on Facebook to get a hint of how hard this winter has become for some establishments. Check out the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority’s latest snow survey readings HERE.


Echo Essentials

Zoning change request
raises eyebrows
along Premier Road

At a special North Bay council committee meeting Monday night, Premier Road residents told elected officials they’d appreciate long-desired infrastructure investments on their busy, dead-end street before they approve additional developments. See the video of the full meeting HERE.

They were there for a zoning bylaw amendment request by Tulloch Geomatics Inc., on behalf of a local developer, who identified a fourplex proposal for property beside the entrance of the Premier Village condominium. They were seeking a zoning change from R1 to R6 to add a fourth unit because the existing zoning only allows a triplex. Council was told by both staff and the representative that adding one unit isn’t a big change worthy of protest.

Those in attendance were informed during the course of the meeting, however, that the zoning change isn’t actually for a planned fourplex, that was just an example of what could fit. Any new owner of the property could take advantage of whatever R6 zoning allows, which could mean six or possibly eight units. Such zoning also allows for a “rooming house” that could serve three to eight residents, plus staff.

On a positive note, the city’s 2024 budget deliberations include a project that would see road, sidewalk and other infrastructure renewal, if approved by council. The community services committee voted to approve the zoning amendment request for council’s consideration.

UPDATE WITH ADDITIONAL CITY INFO: The resurfacing of Premier Road and the installation of sidewalks, from Fowler Road to Champlain Park, is scheduled for this year, pending approval of the 2024 capital budget which will be tabled in the coming weeks. The remaining stretch of Premier, between Fowler Road and Lakeshore Drive, is slated for resurfacing as part of a larger project involving the installation of a new sewage pumping station to replace an existing pumping station near the Hollywood Street intersection. A Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Study initiated as part of this project is nearing completion. The work would begin in 2025 and would be completed in 2026.

Nursing service
helps families with
aging parents

Tonya Raymond, of Nurse Next Door, joins the To North Bay With Love show and host Lisa Boivin to talk about senior care that helps people stay in their homes longer, assisting both them and their families.

Tonya also talks about the current crisis happening in health care with nursing and how services like hers are changing the narrative.

– Tonya joins the show to talk about Nurse Next Door 2:00
– What was the inspiration to create this business? 9:30
– Tonya shares a neat wedding story 19:00
– Why are nurses leaving public health care? 26:00

Small business
video awards

The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound held its Small Business Video Challenge 2024 on Monday evening with a YouTube premiere available to watch HERE. There were 13 video submissions that were judged and given constructive criticism.

Taking first place was Gateway City Brewery, second Wild Astrology by Alexandra Albert and tied for third place, Alisha Audrey Visuals and Twiggs Coffee Roasters.

It was presented by Scott Murphy (Digital Main Street) and panelists Natasha Penn (City of North Bay), Ryen Veldhuis (Buzzmasters) and Holly Cunningham (Creative Industries), with the recoding and video produced by Echo’s Ben Sargent.

Today’s Zen Suggestion: If you end up on your back looking up at the sky over Lake Nipissing, it might be because you didn’t wear metal cleats on the bottom of your rubber boots while ice fishing. Glare ice with a skiff of rain on top is the perfect recipe for broken hips. P.S. Snowmobiles don’t like ice either, bring the ATV until we get some snow.


Thanks to our sponsor Services. Visit and mention “Echo Podcast” to get your first 3 months of your water heater rental free  *some restrictions may apply*

Echo Network

To North Bay With Love:

Lisa Boivin, host of Echo’s premier podcast, To North Bay With Love, will be recording an episode and meeting fans at the North Bay Home & Garden Show at Memorial Gardens Feb. 23-25. Boivin will be joined by Bill Steer of the Backroads Bill show, studio producer Ben Sargent and Dave Dale of Small Town Times/Back in the Bay Magazine, among others. A schedule of appearances and recordings will be posted in this newsletter closer to the date. See the BayToday story HERE.

Last week, Lisa and Bill break trail across a large swath of esoteric territory as they share ghostly tales in the To North Bay With Love podcast.

Echo Essentials Podcast:

The Echo Essentials Podcast launches Thursday, Feb. 8 with co-hosts Dave Dale and Scott Clark combining forces to shed light and share perspectives on the issues facing the city. The show features interviews with community builders and leaders, as well as commentary on news items.


Cogeco has the big tilt between Niagara and North Bay Battalion live on YourTV Thursday at 7 p.m. Rotary At Home TV Bingo is on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Lions At Home TV Bingo on Sunday’s at 7 p.m.

Backroads Bill:

In tomorrow’s Backroads Bill podcast, Bill and producer Ben Sargent are joined by Jeff Scott, Nippissing University Professor, and Larry Dyke, Professor Emeritus from Queen’s University and longtime member of the Geological Survey of Canada, to talk about giant holes that appear in nature coined “potholes”.

Larry explains how these are formed and that their existence is a good indicator of how the land has changed over time. Bill talks about his adventures to different potholes throughout Ontario with Jeff.

Last week’s podcast features The Georgian Bay Ship Canal, first proposed more than 150 years ago, and how it almost changed life as we know it in northern Ontario.

New podcasts drop Wednesday mornings. Listen on the Echo website HERE. You can also find the Backroads Bill podcast on Spotify, Apple, IHeart Radio, Spreaker, Google, and Amazon. Read the Backroads Bill column at

The Frontline:

The North Bay Mitsubishi After Action Report starts as soon as the Battalion (25-16-8) and Niagara IceDogs (24-20-4) get off the Memorial Gardens ice on Thursday evening.

The latest Powassan Voodoos podcast features former trainer and equipment manager JJ Johnson, who talks about the championship season that never materialized due to COVID sticking a fork in the 2019-20 season.

Cheap Seats:

Cheap Seats is an eclectic conversation between best friends, Drew and Nick, who love talking about movies and whatever else comes to mind. The Jan. 31 episode is their 31st show and it’s a mixed bag of topics, entitled: “Wha Happa, Running isn’t for everyone, How violent is the night?” Other topics are: Knives Out 3, Roadhouse, Spoilers and Movie death items.

Art People Podcast:

The Art People Podcast is a five-episode series produced by actor Joe Drinkwalter, with interviews with Michelina Beam of Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre, Brianna Lintner of BReal Studios, actor and director Rob McCubbin, singer and songwriter Hannah Grace, and Kelsey Ruhl, about the On the Edge Fringe Festival.


Events Echo

Tuesday, Feb. 6

  • Jazz at the Junction presents the Restoration Jazz Band at the West Ferris Legion, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., $15 members, $20 non-members

Wednesday, Feb. 7

  • Sponsored by Caisse Alliance, La Soirée des Arts presents varied works by local artists at the W.K.P. Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. Meet the artists with music by Shawn Sasyniuk and Yves Doyon. Part of the 61st Le Carnaval des Compagnons Feb. 4-10, 2024. See the BayToday story HERE.

Thursday, Feb. 8

  • North Bay Battalion host the Niagara IceDogs at Memorial Gardens, puck drop is 7 p.m.
  • Super Fun Time Trivia at Moose’s Cookhouse at 7:30 p.m.
  • Stef Paquette at New Ontario Brewing Co., presented by La Soirée des Arts and part of the 61st Le Carnaval des Compagnons Feb. 4-10, 2024.


(For more events further out on the calendar, check Tourism North Bay’s comprehensive events listing guide. On Facebook, check out Creative Industries North Bay or check out their December newsletter HERE.)

First-time reader? Sign up for this free newsletter HERE. We publish Tuesday and Thursday.

If you have something to add to the discussion or an idea for one of Echo’s podcasters or affiliates, email Content Director Dave Dale at [email protected].


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