Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday December 1, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen

December 1, 2018 - and so it draws to a close.  The first “News from the Town” was published on January 28, 2007, over 11 years ago. It’s amazing how quickly the years slip by. Possibly a sign I am having too much fun.

I hope that you have enjoyed my weekly effort to keep you abreast of the happenings in our community.  Knowing what is going on in your neighbourhood is an important part of building our community. I think our new mayor, Stewart Strathearn, will be publishing his own newsletter.  If he goes that route I will certainly let you know.

One downside of leaving the mayor’s chair is that I will lose my source of information about many of our local community events. So I will be discontinuing NFTT is its current form.  There are other good sources of community events available to you – the Midland Mirror and the Town website calendar at

In 2019 I intend to continue with a different type of News from the Town.  I will use my vantage point as 8 years as your mayor to comment on civic happenings both locally and globally.  If you would rather not receive my musings, please send me an e-mail asking to be taken off of the distribution list.

And since it is hard to get an old horse out of harness, a few closing program notes:

·         Monday December 3rd at 6:00 pm at the Town Hall, you are invited to attend the swearing in ceremony for your new Council

·         And on Wednesday December 19th, the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre invites everyone to attend, free of charge, their Community Christmas Dinner. A full dinner is served from noon to 5:00 pm at their Yonge Street location

Good bye, I have enjoyed our time together.

Gord McKay

The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday November 25, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen

Its official - the Town has proclaimed the Christmas season. On Wednesday the Town Christmas tree was revealed in all its splendour. The Santa Clause parade paraded down King Street before the wondering eyes of hundreds of excited children.  Shoppers are bustling. Time to get out there and enjoy the festive season. 

The Week Ahead

On Monday the 26th the NSCFDC invites you to rise early to hear the last of their 2018 educational presentations – “Understanding Financial Statements”. The session is at the Library stating at 7:30 am. Please register at 

A closed meeting of Council will be held at 6:00 pm to address three matters including litigation, security of Town assets and a personal matter. And at 7:00 pm it’s the last Council meeting for this Council. A moderate agenda including:

-       Public Meeting (you may speak) regarding changes proposed for the procedural by-law that will apply to the incoming Council

-       A property boundary issue respecting the new Waypoint-Chigamik Healthhub

-       Public update on the recent cyberattack on the Town’s servers

-       Verbal reports from our Clerk on a number of matters including the Council calendar, our committee structure and municipal governance

I understand there will be a reception following the meeting in honour of the retiring Council. You are cordially invited to attend.

Tuesday 27th at 11:00 am the Red Scarf campaign takes to the streets of Midland to raise our awareness of the challenges facing those living with HIV/AIDs.  At 3:00 pm the North Simcoe Housing Working group continues its effort to bring more affordable housing into our area. And at 7:00 pm you are invited to Rotary Hall at the MCC for the last film in the Indigenous Film Series "The Road Forward".  The program is sponsored by Quest Art – no charge for admission.

Thursday it’s an evening affair.  At 7:30 pm at the MCC Dr. Keith Rose invites you to the “Our Health” presentation entitled “Hearing Loss – Dealing with the Sounds of Silence”. Dr. Rose will be joined by four experts; Dr. Greg Price-Jones, Otolaryngologist - Head and Neck Surgeon, Andy Audia, Hearing Instrument Specialist, Dr. Kevin Young, Geriatrician, and Ross Hart from the Canadian Hearing Society. You will learn about:

-       Causes, and tests to identify hearing loss

-       Relationship between hearing loss and risk of dementia

-       Support services available from the Canadian Hearing Society

Register at Admission is free. 

Returning for the second week, First Light runs from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm, November 29 to December 1.  A magical family evening as you are guided by 5,000 candles through historical Ste. Marie and the spirituality of Martyr’s Shrine.  Please note there are bus shuttles running from Downtown Midland to First Light and back.

On Friday November 30th the SSEA invites you to drop in for its annual Open House at the Wyebridge Community Centre. From 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., you will be introduced to the many projects our local environmental group undertakes to keep our area healthy and environmentally sustainable.  Robert Canning, SSEA Invasive Species Program Coordinator, will be presenting “Alien Invaders in our Backyard” at 1:00 p.m. For more information, please see: SSEA Open House Poster.

At 6:00 pm the Town employees hold their Christmas party at NSSRC. And First Light continues from 5:30 to 9:00 pm.

Week - End

Saturday December 1

-       10:00 to 11:00 am - Meet Santa at the Library for breakfast!  Enjoy delicious pancakes, listen to a Christmas story, and let Santa know what you want for Christmas this year. This is a FREE program, but space is limited so registration is required (705) 526-4216

-       11:00 am to 3:00 pm - Maker Place opens at the Library. A true revolution in how we use our library

-       5:30 pm to 9:00 pm - First Light at Ste. Marie

-       6:00 pm – A reminder that the Salvation Army Kettle Drive is underway. I will be ringing the bells at Canadian Tire, so do drop by

Sunday December 2

-       6:00 pm - Salvation Army Christmas Concert at 555 Dominion Ave. The event features the Salvation Army Barrie Citadel band and Tay Shores School Junior Choir. All are welcome. Please bring an unwrapped toy

Council Issues Update

Midland Bay Landing Development Corporation

The Town is now all set to start developing the Midland Bay Landing site. This past week the Town announced the 5 private sector individuals who will be appointed to the Board – an impressively talented group:

Robert Barber - is the Managing Partner of Den Bosch + Finchley, an award-winning design build development firm

Zach Douglas - Zach has led the start-up and ongoing development of the very successful McMaster Innovation Park (Hamilton)

Teena Fazio  - A Fellow in Board Governance, Teena has significant experience serving on private, crown and not-for-profit boards

William (Bill) Kernohan - a Midland resident with over 38 years of experience as an architect, developer, project manager and management consultant

John McIntyre B.A., C. Dir. - has extensive backgrounds in both public and private sectors, including real estate and development

The Board also includes mayor-elect Strathearn and a Councilor, yet to be appointed. They should get to work early in the New Year, delivering the people’s vision for the MBL property.

Gord McKay

The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sunday November 18, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (I still think the snow’s a bit early).  So… from November 15 to April 1 the overnight parking ban for our streets and municipal parking lots is in effect. Please make sure your vehicle is not parked on public property from 12.01 am to 7:00 am.

Now for those of you who are in the Christmas spirit and intend to shop downtown, the Town has a deal for you. The Town will be accepting donations of unwrapped toys from residents in exchange for a 3-hour Free Parking Pass that you can use throughout the month of December at metered spaces in the downtown. You can make your toy donation at the Town office (please go to the Building and Planning desk) or the Midland Public Library. For more information see:

The Week Ahead

Monday the 19th sees Midland’s entrepreneurs up at 7:30 am for the NSCFDC Money Management Monday presentation – The Top Five Common Start-Up Mistakes. This is a free education program taking place at the Library. Please register at .  At 5:30 pm at the Penetanguishene Museum, 13 Burke Street, our North Simcoe Big Brothers Big Sisters host their AGM.

Tuesday at 11:30 am, all veterans and their supporters are invited to the Askennonia Veterans Lunch at the NSSRC. Then from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm you are cordially invited to the Town’s Open House/Information Session for all of our public Committees and Boards.  Midland is a caring community and it only through the efforts of our volunteers that many of the services we cherish are available.  Please take this opportunity to come to Town Hall and find out about what each Board/Committee does and how you can get involved.  Applications for the various Boards and Committees are available here or at the Municipal Office.  The deadline for applying is December 12, 2018.

On Wednesday the 21st the Town holds its last Audit Committee meeting of this term of Council. It takes place in the Council chambers. The fun starts at 5:00 pm as we gather to light the Town Christmas tree. Please come down to Neezhoday Park to experience a magical evening of festive fun, hot chocolate, crafts, music and more.  Lighting of the tree will take place at approximately 7:00 pm.

Also at 7:00 pm, our Culture North Simcoe Awards take place at the Midland Cultural Centre.  You are invited to attend this special event and see the best in local talent honoured in each of four categories:

-       Emerging Talent

-       Education in Culture

-       Founders/Builders/Historical Contributors

-       Excellence in Culture

There is no cost to attend but you do need a ticket. Please obtain your ticket at:

On Thursday  NSCFDC is sponsoring a special presentation – Enhancing Respect in the Workplace.  Jane Barnett of SeeJane Consulting will be addressing the issue of how we interact in the workplace and its links to the Human Rights Code. That is at the Library from 7:30 am to 10:00 am. Please register at  No charge to attend.

Knox Presbyterian Church is holding its fourth annual Lasagna fundraising dinner.  Its well-fed and contented customers rave about the quality (and quantity!) of the food, the friendliness and speed of the servers, and the genuine Italian feel of the Dorothy Swallow Hall.  The dinner takes place at Knox Presbyterian Church in Midland at the corner of First Street and Hugel Avenue. Enter through the ground level Hugel Avenue entrance and go downstairs to the Dorothy Swallow Hall. Dinner is served from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

From 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm it’s the First Light Festival. This magical award winning event will take place during the evenings from November 22-24, from November 29-December 1 and from December 6-8.  Let the beauty of over 5,000 candles guide your way through the history of Ste. Marie Among the Hurons and on to Martyrs’ Shrine. This opening evening features the Community Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7:00 pm plus fireworks. More information at: 

Friday the 23rd - the start of the week-end. All things Harry Potter take place at the Library from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm – a great hands-on day of wizarding for all ages. More information at:

Friday also sees the start of the Silver Stick Tournament at the NSSRC. Midland plays host to Bantam and Midget hockey teams from all across eastern North America.

Week - End

Saturday November 24

-       All day - Silver Stick Tournament at the NSSRC

-       9:30 am to 2:00 pm – Harry Potter movie marathon at the Library

-       11:00 am – the Santa Claus parade, starting at Little Lake Park and proceeding down King Street

-       7:00 pm to 9:00 pm - First Light at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons

Sunday November 25

-       All day - Silver Stick Tournament at the NSSRC

-       1:00 pm to 4:00 pm - Chartwell Tiffin Christmas Bazaar & Craft Show, at Tiffin Place on Pillsbury Ave.

-       7:00 pm to 9:00 pm - First Light at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons

Gord McKay

The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday November 11, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen

The biting cold winds of this Remembrance Day are a chill reminder of the suffering endured by those who fought for our freedom.  Please take time to show your respect for our veterans and soldiers.

On a hopeful note, I am reminded that Norman’s Garden Gallery has some of the special “Frank Graham” tulip bulbs available. Dutch farmers created this commemorative bulb to honor Frank and all of our WWII veterans. Planting a few this fall will reward your garden with beautiful poppy-colored blossoms next spring.

The Week Ahead

Monday November 12 – the Town offices are closed for Remembrance Day.

On Tuesday the 13th at 9:00 am County Council holds its last meeting this term. One item of particular interest is Council’s direction for the future of the County’s “Municipal Advisory Table” (MAT). The MAT group was created to provide input from municipal leaders on major healthcare decisions being made by our LHIN. Two years ago our LHIN independently developed “sub-regional planning tables” that were also intended to allow greater local input on healthcare plans. The question for Council, “Do we still need the MAT?”

Tuesday sees Midland Council’s last General Committee meeting. Starting at 7:00 pm the short agenda will include items respecting the use of the proceeds received from the recent police auction and the sale of the MPUC.

Wednesday November 14 is “Take a Student to Work Day”. Look for younger faces at the office today.  At 7:00 pm at the Library, you are invited to experience “An Evening in India”.  Graham and Susan have returned from a trip to India with fascinating tales of the complexity, beauty, and energy of this infinitely diverse civilization. They’ll present their trip through photos, anecdotes and travel tips, covering everything from the visual magnificence of the marahajahs' forts and palaces, the breathtaking backwaters of Kerala to the timeless elegance of the Taj Mahal. Tickets are $10, available at the main desk.

At 7:30 pm at the MCC a Day in the Life features Peter O’Brian, Canada’s foremost filmmaker. He has described his work as “a mission to help create a popular home cinema based on stories and characters which reflect our own way of life”. It has been said of his films that they “should be considered part of our cultural heritage, just as much as award-winning books or paintings of the era”. He has served as Chair of TVO for 13 years and was a founding board member of the Canadian Film Centre. His father was a senior officer in the RAF and served as Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth II. Tickets are available at the MCC.

On Thursday at 10:30 am Georgian College hosts the formal opening of its new Advanced Technology Centre.  This facility is a significant resource for educating our future workforce on the latest in technology.  At 2:00 pm that day, the Human Resources committee meets a Town Hall. Labour negotiations will be on the agenda.

Friday’s are for fun and the 16th is no exception. At noon you are invited to Town Hall as we raise the flag for the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Kettle Campaign.  At 8:00 pm at the MCC Huronia Players launches its new play “Murder is in the Heir”. This murder mystery comedy is directed by Sue Cook, so you know it will be good.

Week - End

Saturday November 17

-       All day - Girls Holiday Event – A downtown fun shopping event organized by the BIA

-       9:00 am to 2:00 pm - Art Festivus – Art and craft show at the Huronia Museum

-       8:00 pm – Take it Easy - a tribute to the Eagles at the MCC


Our new County LINX bus service between Midland and Barrie is three months old and early reports on ridership look encouraging.

Month                          Expected         Actual

August                         2,297               2,943

September                  2,297               3,078

October                       2,297               2,544

Total                            6,891               8,565

If you haven’t yet taken the better way to Barrie, please try out our newest transportation link.

Gord McKay

The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday November 4, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen

November is always a reflective month.  The colors of fall have faded and the Christmas season is not yet present.  We take time to remember those who have fought and died to defend our country.  Please do take the time to attend one of the many remembrance events in our area and bear witness to our personal duty, never to forget.

You likely benefitted from the recent time change with an extra hour of sleep. You may want to use some of that time to check the batteries in your smoke/CO2 detectors.

The Week Ahead

Monday the 5th, bright and early, the NSCFDC hosts its second Money Management Monday featuring a presentation “Numbers are Hot Part 2 – What your business numbers mean and how to use them”. The event is free and runs from 7:30 am to 9:00 am at the Library. Please register online at . At 9:30 am the Library invites you to attend its grand reopening. Over the last few months the library was closed as they redesigned the entire lower floor in the old building, plus prepared for the new Maker Place upstairs. Come out and take part in re-opening your library.

Later that day I head to Toronto to meet with Victory Cruise Lines, to sell them on why they want to bring their ships to Midland harbor.

On Wednesday November 7th the Town will hold two meetings to inform the public and charitable organizations about how they can apply for municipal grants. Historically the Town has provided grant money to a number of local charities on a first-come-first-serve basis.  The new process will require charities to apply through a common process and demonstrate why they are the best use of limited municipal grant dollars. The new process will improve fairness and better direct funds to the areas of greatest need. You may wish to attend one of the two public meetings at the NSSRC, one at 1:00 pm and one at 5:00 pm.

The Spuds for Sistema fundraiser returns to the NSSRC from noon to 1:00 pm. $20 buys a spud with all the fixin’s including chili. Sistema is a youth charity that engages our young people through music. For tickets call John Vella at 705-937-0611 or at .  At 7:00 pm it’s the last Planning and Development meeting of this Council. Staff will provide an update on the many development projects currently underway in our community.

On Thursday I head over to Christian Island. The Beausoleil First Nations Veterans Association is holding their first Remembrance Day Ceremony.  You are welcome to attend on Christian Island. The recommended ferry leaves from Cedar Point at 10:00 am. At 7:30 pm Brookside Music presents DeBussy Portraitist and Fantasia – a concert with David Da Silva Clarinet, and Oliver Herbert-Bouchard piano.  Tickets are available through the MCC. The concert takes place at the Midland Alliance Church on Yonge Street. There will also be a pre-concert discussion at 7:00 pm.

Friday the 9th, 8:00 pm - Splash hosts its annual “Big Wigs” show at the MCC. Always an entertaining evening.

Week - End

Saturday November 10

-       10:00 am to 5:00 pm – Victorian Christmas Gift and Craft Sale at the NSSRC. All proceeds from this event go to the OntarioSPCA Midland & District Animal Centre to help them care for abandoned and abused animals in their care

-       8:00 pm - Splash events – Big Wigs at the MCC

Sunday November 11

-       Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph.  Please be there by 10:30 am

-       5:30 pm Legion Remembrance dinner at the Legion Hall on Queen Street

-       7:00 pm – Pavlo returns to the MCC – a great evening of Mediterranean and Greek music

Town offices are closed on Monday the 12th.


You should have received an electronics collection bag through Canada Post in early September. Please use that for the County’s annual Battery Collection occurring November 5th to 9th, 2018.  Put the bag containing the used batteries out beside your normal waste pick-up.

Gord McKay

The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday October 28, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen

The 2018 municipal election is in the books.  We have elected a new mayor and council that with a bit of organizing should be able to keep Midland on the path to becoming a welcoming prosperous community.

One aspect of the election was a disappointment for me - voter turnout was just 35%.  I expect that most of you who are reading this did vote, so no need for that lecture about democracy. But why aren’t most people willing to invest the 30 minutes every 4 years?  Access is not the issue – paper, phone-in, electronic does not seem to increase numbers.  We seem to be able to make the effort for the more distant federal and provincial elections.  What seems to increase participation is having a local controversial issue.  So should we really care about low turnout? And if we do care, how do we change future municipal elections?

The Week Ahead

On Monday October 29th NSCFDC hosts the first talk in its Money Management Monday series at the Midland Public Library.  The topic - Numbers Are Hot Part 1 – answering the question about what numbers you need to manage your business. The event runs from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. It is free but you should register at 

At 7:00 pm volunteers for Diabetes Canada are hosting a diabetes information night at the NSSRC. Doors open at 6:00 pm for meeting the vendors. The speakers start at 7:00 pm. Refreshments will be served and there is no admission charge.

On Tuesday the 30th you are invited to the MCC at 7:30 pm for an "Our Health" event. This fascinating evening will explore the relationship between technology and health. This program will be of special interest to the iGeneration (those who were born after the birth of the Internet, 1995) their parents and grandparents.   Access to the Internet and new technology has transformed the world of communication and health care. But, this proliferation of digital activity is not without negative effects! Cyber bullying, sextexting, and unwanted or unintended distribution of digital footprints and photographs can be dangerous. On-line users, particularly the iGeneration, are at risk of isolation, addiction tendencies including gaming disorders, anxiety and depression, all of which can lead to significant mental health concerns.  Register at Ticketfly.

Wednesday 31st - Hallowe’en.  An evening for spooky fun.  Watch for excited children out trick or treating.

Thursday  November 1st.  At 11:00 am you are invited to participate in the launch of Operation Heat at 283 Midland Ave. This OPP sponsored program is all about recognizing and supporting our youth in demonstrating positive actions, positive behavior and showing acts of kindness.

At 7:30 pm join Ted Barris at the Midland Cultural Centre.  Ted will regale you with the real life adventure of the “Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid against Nazi Germany”

Week - End

Saturday November 3

-          All day – Little Lake Park -  The Pan American Cyclocross Championships come to Midland.  The Cyclocross Championships competition will be open to cyclists from 44 nations within the Americas. It is the first Continental Championship to place the Elite Women’s event as the marquee race of the weekend.  The women will be the final competition on Sunday November 4.  It will also be the first ever Pan Am Cyclocross Championships hosted in Canada and the first-ever Pan Am Cyclocross Championships for Masters, athletes age 35 and above. All Championship races will be live-streamed, another first for the host event.

Over the weekend race organizer expect over 700 competitors from across the America’s to take the start, over two days, with thousands of athletes, support staff, cycling enthusiasts and sports-fans alike expected to spectate at the venue in Simcoe County.  Spectators are welcome free-of-charge and will find plenty to do with a demo area, kid’s event, beer garden and more.

Midland rocks.

Sunday November 4th

-       All day – Cyclocross at Little Lake Park


Last week the County of Simcoe conducted its first special collections for fabrics and electronics. With your help we recycled 107 tons of fabrics and 171 tons of electronics.  When we all pitch in we can make this happen.

Gord McKay

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday October 21, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen

The weather forecast is cool and breezy but that’s no excuse for staying indoors on Monday.  It’s our municipal election day.  By now you should have all the information you need about the candidates. Now it’s your turn to get out and vote. Please take the 30 minutes to decide Midland’s future for the next four years.

The Week Ahead

On Monday the 22nd (election day) the polls open at 10:00 am and close at 8:00 pm. All voting is at the NSSRC. Many of the candidates are offering free rides to the polling station. If you still need a ride to the polling station and have not made prior arrangements, let me know and I will try to help out.

One other note, the Culture North Simcoe Award Nomination deadline is today. This is your last chance to nominate our area’s best talent for well-deserved recognition.  Nomination forms at


Wednesday the 24th is an anniversary date for our Town.  On this date in 1878, 140 years ago, Midland first reached a population of 1,000 and was incorporated as a village.  At 8:30 am the OPP Central Region Sergeants and Staff Sergeants will be conferencing at the Quality Inn. This is the third major OPP event in Midland this year.   

Then from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm the OPP “RACE Against Drugs” event takes place at the NSSRC.  RACE (Respect, Action, Courage and Excellence) has been designed to reflect the character values and curriculum taught within the Simcoe County and District of Muskoka school boards. Grade 5 students from 22 local schools from Christian Island, Towns of Penetanguishene and Midland, Townships of Tiny, Tay and Georgian Bay will be attending.

On Thursday the Quest AGM will be held at 5:00 p.m. at Quest Art School + Gallery at 333 King Street.  The Keewatin continues with its Ghost Tours – a novel way to enjoy the spooky side of the ship. Dates and times at /

And on Friday another chance to get with the Hallowe’en vibe with Paul James’ Hallowe’en Rock and Roll dance party, 8:00 pm at the MCC.

Week - End

Saturday October 27

-       6:00 pm - A tribute and farewell for mayor Scott Warnock at restaurant Ste. Marie

-       7:00 pm – Ghost Tours on the Keewatin

-       Dusk - Pumpkinferno at Discovery Harbor

Sunday October 28

-       Dusk - Pumpkinferno at Discovery harbor

Council Issues Update


The election is upon us. The draft 2019 budget will not be presented to this Council but will be tabled with the new Council early in 2019. Look for budget meeting dates to be published early in the new year.


I often let you know about up-coming fundraisers but have not been telling you about the results. Time for a change.

Over 100 GBay Gals met at the PIE restaurant this past week to engage in an act of spontaneous fundraising – plus having some fun. They all contributed to the pot and selected Hospice Huronia as their local charity of choice.  They have just heard from Hospice Huronia that they raised $31,750!  From one evening!  The newly formed Gbay Gals is now over 200 STRONG – and this is just their second meeting!

The Guys Who Care met the same evening and also selected Hospice Huronia as their charity. They will receive over $17,000 from the Guys to help toward building their new facility.

A comment about the Gals versus the Guys seem appropriate, but suffice to say that we are fortunate to have both of these great groups helping those in need in our community.

Gord McKay

The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018