Harley group looks to Essa as host site for annual rally,
Posted July 4,
The Harley Owners Group (HOG) Huronia Chapter has requested permission
from Essa Township to host the 28th Ontario Regional Rally July 18-20,
2019 at the Essa and District Agricultural Society fairgrounds in Ivy.
It would be the second time the event has been held in the region, the
first at Georgian College in Barrie, in 2009.
In a letter to the Township, Wendy Clark, Director of the Huronia chapter, said
they were awarded the event for next summer, and along with its
sponsorship dealership, Barrie Harley-Davidson, have determined the
Essa fairgrounds "is a great location" because it is central for the
region. Ms. Clark estimates between 600-800 participants from across
the province, U.S., and internationally.
"One of the events that will take place is a parade that will showcase
the various HOG Chapters with their flags," she wrote. " The parade
would be about one hour long and details are being worked out to what
the start and end location will be along with the
acknowledgement/assistance of local law enforcement offices."
Colleen Healey, Essa's Manager of Planning, in her report to council on
tonight's agenda, advises the rally would not be permitted with the
zoning of the property. A 2011 OMB hearing set a site specific zoning
which allows for agricultural related shows/fairs, farmer's market, and
short term historical re-enactments.
Ms. Healey suggests temporary zoning shouldn't be employed because the
Township has received similar requests for outdoor weddings and events,
but turned them down.
"The use would appear to conflict with Essa's aim and interest for the
area - an
agricultural area in amongst prime agricultural lands. To-date, the
Township has ranked
its agricultural community with great importance. The Township's OP
aims to maintain
support for the agricultural community. Even an event on a temporary
"In fact, the last convention/rally was held at Georgian College in
Barrie, which this office would suggest is a more appropriate location
given that the College is within a settlement area and is well equipped
to handle large numbers and events."
Ms. Healey's recommendation to council is to "take no further action at
"There may be a cost to providing services to address issues if the
event is allowed. Other municipalities which have permitted large
events should maybe be consulted, to learn of issues and potential
costs (ie Wasaga Beach or Oro-Medonte)."