A vital piece of the Kawartha Chamber for many years, has been a third-party contract with the provincial government for issuing of driver and vehicle licences, currently known as Service Ontario.
The Chamber office has moved to various locations throughout the Village of Lakefield over the years. The present location of ServiceOntario is on Water Street in Lakefield, across from Cenotaph Park.
In 2005, the Chamber outgrew this small building, and the business and tourism portion of the organization relocated to Queen Street, under the clock tower, a building which was once Lakefield’s post office. Licensing staff remained at the Water Street location.
This office now conducts transactions related to driver and vehicle licencing, Ontario Health Cards and registering as an organ and tissue donor. The Kawartha Chamber operates the office on behalf of ServiceOntario. Although government employees do not staff it, Service Ontario’s stringent rules and regulations are strictly followed. Conducting your licensing and health card business at this location supports the work of the Kawartha Chamber in your community.
An excerpt from the Commerce to the Kawarthas – Celebrating 50 Years, compiled in 1997 to celebrate the Chamber’s 50th Anniversary, indicates what conditions were like in earlier years.
“It wasn’t larger than a good-sized garden shed with just enough room for two or three to work in… it was reasonably warm inside until the end of the first week in January when the end of the Licence-Plate issuing season was finished.”
The excerpt goes on to say that in 1973 when the province began issuing permanent license plates, the Chamber had to change its hours to remain open year-round.