New Honey Harbour library opens for curbside service

·2 min read

Georgian Bay’s Honey Harbour Public Library is reopening at their new location, but only for curbside pickup, on Tuesday, Dec. 1 following its pandemic-related closure earlier this year.

They’ll be open four days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Currently, the library is only handling drop-ins and contact-free pickups at their other locations in Georgian Bay, at the MacTier and Port Severn branches. On Dec. 1, all their locations will transition into curbside service only.

The new library is located inside the Honey Harbour Public School at 2586 Honey Harbour Road. Tracey Fitchett, the library’s CEO, said she’s “really excited” to finally be operating out of the new facility, even though the public can’t come in.

Official talks about relocating to the public school from their old location began last year. Fitchett said renovations began in fall 2019. Staff were in the midst of moving their things to the new location when public schools were closed provincewide on March 14.

Until Friday, Nov. 27, their plan was to open the facility to the public, but they changed their plans out of fear of contributing to the spread of the coronavirus.

“The numbers are so high every day and with other areas being in lockdown and potentially a lot of people from the red and grey zones will be coming here to stay at their cottages,” she said. “It’s just added risk to the staff and the people that come into the library.”

Georgian Bay falls under the jurisdiction of the Simcoe Muskoka Public Health Unit, currently in the orange zone. No more than ten people can gather indoors under these rules.

Curbside pickup will operate the same way it does at the other library locations in Georgian Bay. People can reserve books or movies online or over the phone, then the library will take either a day or up to two weeks to acquire the materials. Renters can then come pick up the materials during open hours and drop them off at the drop box.

“It’s a beautiful space,” Fitchett said about the new library. “It’d be nice to have the community be able to come in again.”

Zahraa Hmood is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering the municipalities of Muskoka Lakes, Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Zahraa Hmood, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com