Town of Minto making room for additional doctors

Council decision paves way for 1,150-square-foot addition at Harriston medical centre

HARRISTON – The Lions Medical Community Centre is getting closer to having 1,150-square-feet of additional space to accommodate two physicians, a reception area and nursing station as well as waiting, procedure and exam rooms.

Originally established through the Harriston Lions Community Medical Centre Corporation in 1978, the clinic has been operated by the Minto Municipal Services Corporation (MMSC) since 2015.

The town owns the facility through shares in the corporation and several councillors sit on its board of directors.

The MMSC board previously agreed to take on a mortgage to finance the addition, expected to cost around $550,000, in order to facilitate local physician recruitment efforts.

A dentist and chiropractor are now occupying the current building on residentially-zoned land at 16 John Street North.

But given the building’s age, its continued medical use has been permitted under “legal non-conforming use.”

For the expansion to go ahead council needed to permit further non-confirming use and allow for an exception to rules requiring six metres (19.7 feet) of setback for an exterior side yard.


The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, which is able to comment on the minor variance application under the Planning Act, requested a path be constructed outside of the building that connects to higher elevations of Arthur Street allowing for ease of mobility over a lower-lying area in the event of flooding.

Council approved the minor variance requests.

Mayor and adjustment committee chair George Bridge gave council “a lot of credit” for moving ahead with the project, noting that due to Harriston’s growth “we’re going to certainly need a doctor fairly soon.”

“This was brought to us by our doctor recruitment committee and you’ve worked on it and expedited it really well, so thank you very much for your support on this,” Bridge said.

— With files from Patrick Raftis