Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday July 2, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

July is upon us and it is time for a summer break.  News from the Town will also be taking a break over the next two months, returning after Labour Day.  I have changed my format for this blog to make it easier for you to locate the many the good things happening in Midland this summer. And if something important crops up over the summer I will be sure to send you a special notice.

The Town office may slow down a bit but as you will see in the section “Council issues Update” there will still be a lot going on.  Both the regular Planning meeting and the General Committee meeting will only be held at the call of the Chair. The Council meetings should take place at their normal times. To make sure a meeting is taking place, please check before attending. 

On a more summery note you can look forward to:

-       Dockside Tuesday - Local live music at the Midland Town Dock every Tuesday night in July and August from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm “rain or shine”

-       Midland Movie Night in Downtown Midland every second Wednesday starting May 31st. All movies start at dusk (approximately 9:00 pm). Bring your own lawn chair

-       Music in the Park every Sunday at the Rotary stage in Little Lake Park

Starting at 6:00 pm

o    July 2                     Georgian Bay Brass 

o    July 9                     Barrie Concert Band

o    July 16                    to be determined 

o    July 23                    Jim MacMillan and Scott Cooper

o    July 30                    Rock'n the House 

Starting at 7:00 pm

o    August 6                 to be announced 

o    August 13               Penny Love Band 

o    August 20               Winnie Brave

o    August 27               Sandra Goode Band 

o    Sept 3                    Passport /Souled Out /Huronia Hot Strings

The Month Ahead – July

July 3 – A very important Canada 150 blood donor clinic.  The clinic will be held at the NSSRC from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. I will be there at 4:00 pm. Your help is urgently needed.

July 7 – Georgian Bay Blast Around the Bay displays the fastest boats on the Bay at our Town dock starting at 4:00 pm. Then on Saturday the week-end fun run starts will all proceeds going to our hospital.

July 7 to 9 – Midland Rib Fest. If you like mouth-watering BBQ ribs come down to David Onley Park (next to the Town dock) this week-end and meet some the best rib chefs in the country.  

July 8 - Airport Fly-In at the Huronia airport from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Come out for a great display of vintage airplanes, antique cars and take a guided tour of the airport.

July 8 – Georgian Bay Garden tour all day. Supporting the GB Cancer Support Centre. More information at

July 12 to14 - Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association host their Sweet Ontario Summer Tour and AGM at the Quality Inn & Conference Centre. More information at

July 13 to 16 – One of our great area events, Festival du Loup, takes place in Lafontaine.

July 14 - A free Phragmites workshop is being held by Georgian Bay Forever and the Severn Sound Environmental Association at the NSSRC from 5:45 pm to 8:00 pm. Please register at

July 21 - More than 30 people, comprised of Indigenous, Jesuit, English and French Canadian paddlers will embark on a month-long, 850-kilometre canoe trip starting at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons.  In response to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Canadian Canoe Pilgrimage will begin at Midland, travel up Georgian Bay, across the French River, Lake Nipissing, the Mattawa and Ottawa Rivers, and end near Montreal. Please check for times.

July 21 – At 7:00 pm board the Miss Midland for a Brookside fundraiser and cruise featuring Jessica Lalonde, Leslie Dawn Knowles on violin and the Huronia Hot Strings. There is no better music on gorgeous Georgian Bay.

July 21 to 23 - Ontario 150/Feast Fest!  Gather up your family and friends to explore and enjoy The World’s Largest Rubber Duck (and duck-themed games), Rhythm of the Nation Dancers, the Lumberjack shows, thrilling midway rides and of course Feast Fest - over 200 vendors, craft beer tent, amazing live entertainment and fireworks.  The legendary Canadian rockers Honeymoon Suite will be performing a FREE concert to cap off an already amazing line-up of 150 fun! 

July 22 – Township of Tiny's Canada 150 Celebration and annual Community BBQ take place from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in Perkinsfield Park.

July 22 - Join us for the Downtown Midland Road Basketball Game at the Midland Town Dock from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Free pizza provided by Poppas Pizza.

July 22 – The Live Art music event takes place at 509 Bay Street from 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  The best in local music, food and of course “live art”.

The Month Ahead – August

August 5 – The third annual Floatie Fest will take to the Rotary stage in Little Lake Park from 10:00 am to midnight.  This free and barrier free event will have live entertainment all day, vendors and a waterfront movie at dusk - “Jaws 2”.

August 12 – The 4th Annual Georgian Bay Pops takes place in Tiny. All funds raised go to the purchase of a much needed CT scanner for our Georgian Bay General Hospital.  Tickets are available through the MCC -

August 18 to 20 - Farm Fresh Food Fest is taking place in the Township of Tiny. Your chance to experience all the foods grown and prepared locally. More information at


August 19 - The Second Annual Zucchini Mania in beautiful Little Lake Park.  It’s a family-friendly festival with activities designed to engage kids of all ages!  You will experience the shaded market, live entertainment on Rotary Stage, horse-drawn wagons transporting you into the Park, zucchini tastings, a bigger BBQ, Chef’s demonstrations, additional buskers, amazing flying dogs show, gigantic bubbles, Zucchini Contests and more. Admission is free but Askennonia Senior Centre will happily take a donation at the entrance!

August 25 to 26 – The magic of Tugfest is back.  Come down to the Town dock to see the parade of tugboats on Friday evening. Then on Saturday the boats participate in contests of strength and agility that only tugboats can do. More information at:

August 26 – Artwalk.  Throughout our downtown you will see a colorful display of the works of our many local artists.

August 26 - Cycle Camelot 2017 comes to Rotary Park in Penetanguishene. This annual cycling event supports the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre.

Council Issues Update

Service Delivery Review

Over the summer the Service Delivery Review Steering and Advisory Committees will be meeting to review all of the Town’s operations to determine how to improve our level of service to Midland residents. The committees should have a report to Council in the fall.


The consultant’s police service costing report is due the first week of July. These results should be made public shortly thereafter and I expect a public input meeting will follow.  Council will then take your comments plus the costing information and make a decision on our future policing service by September the 8th.

Midland Bay Landing

Last month Council directed staff to complete the four main environmental studies for the site.  This work will take place over the next few months.  This fall the search for a new development partner should pick up. 


With the sale complete, the matter now proceeds to OEB for their review. Expectations from both sides are that we will have the OEB’s approval before year’s end. At that point we will be joined with our neighbours in Tay-Newmarket in providing power to the citizens of Midland.

Downtown Health Clinic

The project is still experiencing delays within the Ministry of Health despite consistent support from local municipalities, healthcare partners and our NSMLHIN. That said, work on the site is expected to start this fall.


Lots happening at GBGH. The GBGH Board has just announced the new hospital CEO, Gail Hunt. Last year GBGH received additional base funding from the province. As a result our hospital is now starting to achieve annual operating surpluses. Work continues on the emergency room expansion with completion expected next year. The hospital’s next major project is to move 20 acute care mental health beds from Waypoint to GBGH.  GBGH’s Penetanguishene site, earmarked for a healthcare hub, still has not received provincial funding despite a positive business case for the hub being developed.


The public portion of the 2018 budget process will start in September.  While this year’s tax rate came in at 1%, challenges in funding infrastructure – roads, buildings, equipment, etc – will make it difficult to keep future increases at or below the rate of inflation.

Official Plan Review

The public input portion of the Official Plan is about to start. Expect the consultation schedule to be published after the July Council meeting. Your input is critical as the Town plans out what Midland will look like over the next decade,

Microbrewery – Barnstormer

The site environmental review has been completed. Council will receive a report at the July Council meeting detailing the future of this project.


A safe and happy summer to you and your family.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday June 25, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Summer is officially here and the excitement is building around our upcoming Canada Day festivities. It’s going to be a great summer for getting out with a planned Ribfest, Feast Fest, Tug Fest and Floatie Fest to name just a few special activities. Invite your friends up and introduce them to Midland at its best.

The Week Ahead

On Monday the 26th at 10:00 am the OPP Transaction Team meets to receive an update from our consultant on the costings for the OPP and the MPS.  At 5:30 pm Council holds a closed meeting at Town Hall to review three items; 1) labour negotiations; 2) committee appointments; and 3) disposition of land. This is followed at 7:00 pm by the June Council meeting including:

-       Presentation to the Midland Mystics – Division 8 Provincial Basketball Champions

-       Three deputations:

o    Request for a heritage district on King Street by Ms. Scarth

o    An update on the Rosewood “Operation Grow” by K. Willis

o    Presentation on the upcoming Terry Fox Run

-       Recommendation for fencing around the Tiffin storm water management pond

-       Request to complete the technical studies required for the Midland Bay Landing property

-       Proposal to create a Municipal Services Corporation to manage the Town’s land assets

-       Recommendations to help our Town staff serve you better

On Tuesday County Council meets at 9:00 am; the last meeting before its summer break. The meeting will take place at the County museum and considers some of the longer term financial and operational issues confronting the County.

Two interesting items on Wednesday the 28th. The property at 118 Main Street (old Brule Hotel) in Penetanguishene is going through a dramatic internal refurbishment. Through the efforts of some 15 community agencies and local companies the building will be brought up to modern residential standards.  This project brings 29 affordable housing units to our area. While the media tends to focus on new builds, it is the improvements to our existing housing stock that will solve our affordable housing shortfall.

At dusk come on down to 509 Bay St. (the parking lot at King St) and enjoy the Midland Movie Night screening of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure". Bring your own lawn chair.

On Thursday I attend a full day meeting in Orillia on coordinating the healthcare initiatives taking place in Simcoe County with the municipalities and residents.  This education day prepares the mayors to work with the LHIN and the province to better guide the changes that are occurring to our healthcare system.  At 7:00 pm both GBDSS and St Theresa’s hold their 2017 graduation ceremonies. Then at 7:30 pm Buffy St. Marie plays to a sold out house at the MCC.

Friday the 30th and the Town offices are closed. If you are looking for something to do, our Library invites you to join them at 2:00 pm to celebrate their 50 years on King Street.  

Week - End

Saturday July 1 – Happy Canada Day

-       An all day celebration.  Check out the program at

-       Some of special Canada Day items:

o    10:30 am Civitan Parade down King Street

o    11:30 am unveiling of the Midland mural at NSSRC

o    Pickleball tournament at Tiffin Park. It starts at 9:30 am until 3:00 pm. Bring a chair

o    Fireworks at our neighbours in Penetanguishene

Sunday July 2

-       6:00 pm Music in the Park at the Little Lake Park Rotary bandshell.  The music plays every Sunday until September with July shows starting at 6:00 pm and August shows starting at 7:00 pm

Council Issues Update


The Town OPP Costing Committee should receive the cost analysis from the outside consultant this week. That will give us the long awaited “apples to apples” comparison of the costs of an OPP service versus an MPS service. The costing will cover many financial aspects including wages, benefits, transition costs, government grants, etc - and project those costs over a number of years so that the full impact can be seen. I expect the content of the report to be made public in short order.

Midland Bay Landing

Council will be asked to authorize a number of environmental studies that were to have been completed by our previous development partner.  Fortunately we have $250,000 from our previous partner that can be used for this purpose. Combine that with anticipated funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and we should be able to complete all outstanding studies with no cost to the Midland taxpayer.  With that done we will be fully ready to negotiate with future development partners.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday June 18, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

The official total is in - nearly 50,000 people attended the 2017 Butter Tart Festival. This past week the cruise ships Victory and the Pearl Mist both visited Midland bringing some 200 passengers each to our area. To make the summer complete all we need now is a 60 foot tall yellow rubber ducky.  

The Week Ahead

In keeping with the summer theme, Monday the 19th will see a meeting on developing the cruise ship industry for the port of Midland.  While we have enjoyed rapid growth with some 13 cruise ship visits this season, the potential exists for 80-100 annual visits. Before that occurs some changes are required to our port facilities and the regulations for passenger shipping in the Great Lakes. Midland will be working with other cruise ports such as Parry Sound and Chicago to ensure we have an attractive offering for our cruising visitors.

On Tuesday June 20th the Town will hold its regular Emergency Planning meeting at 11:00 am at the Fire Hall. Then at 3:00 pm at Town Hall our North Simcoe housing group meets to continue developing affordable housing for Midland.

At 7:30 pm the “Our Health” series brings you the Hunger Games - From the Freedom of Foodies to the Destruction of Eating Disorders. The panel, including Wendy Preskow, a parent, advocate and the Founder of the National Initiative for Eating Disorders; Brittany Stewart, a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator; and Anita Federici a PhD Clinical Psychologist from Midland who specializes in eating disorders. This event takes place at the MCC

Wednesday June 21st is National Aboriginal Day. Askenonnia invites you to join them for a BBQ at Little Lake Park starting at 11:00 am.  At 1:00 pm the Downtown Safety Committee meets at the Town to ensure that we continue to enjoy a safe environment for all in our community.

On Thursday June 22nd at 9:00 am, Waypoint starts a day-long session about healthcare planning at its location. At 11:00 am the Ontario Early Years Centre takes to Little Lake Park for its annual picnic. Then from 1:00 to 4:00 pm the Severn Sound Environmental Association invites you to its 20th Annual Open House event at the Wyebridge Community Centre (8340 County Rd 93, Wyebridge). And finally, Georgian Bay General Hospital holds its 2017 AGM and Report to the Community. That takes place in the hospital cafeteria at 4:00 pm.

Friday the 23rd features another in the series of “manufacturers’ roundtables”, taking place at TRW. The series, sponsored by our economic development group EDCNS, brings area manufacturers together to help support each other’s business interests. The good news is its working. Most of our manufacturers are growing and looking for additional staff.

Later that afternoon, Tay Township starts its Canada Day celebrations at Oakwood Park in Victoria Harbour.   At 8:00 pm, Ashley MacIssac plays at MCC. This energetic east coast fiddler will have you up and dancing to some great Celtic and modern tunes. A sample at:

Week - End

Saturday June 24

-       10:00 am at Little Lake Park, please join the Global Water Dance.  Sponsored by the Healthy Kids Community Challenge of North Simcoe and Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre, the event intends to “cultivate a new generation of socially aware artists, and to use dance to inspire solutions for our planet and people”. Everyone is welcome.

-       1:00 pm to 3:00 pm the Strawberry Tea in support of the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre takes place in the Courtyard at the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre (old PGH).  Enjoy an afternoon of music, draws for gift baskets and delicious scones, home-made clotted cream and strawberries.

Sunday June 25

-       11:00 am the Metis Aboriginal Day celebration at the Brian Orser arena in Penetanguishene

Council Issues Update

Service Delivery Review

The organization for the municipal Service Delivery Review (SDR) project is well underway. Three committees have been established – the SDR Steering Committee, made up of staff and Council members; the SDR Advisory Committee, made up mainly of members of the public and two Council members; and the Governance Committee, made up of Council and staff.  These Committees will undertake a complete assessment of what services we deliver to you and how they should be changed. I expect recommendations for more municipal service delivery online.  Over the summer look for further announcements of meetings and how you may participate.  The initial reports from the Committees should be ready for the fall.


Due to some health issues, the initial costing report will not be delivered until the end of the month. The OPP Costing Committee will receive the costing assessment, make any needed adjustments and then release the results to the public. At that point Council will be in a position to consider the question of whether we should move to the OPP or stay with the MPS.

Midland Bay Landing

The arrangement with our previous partner is now terminated. Council will be asked to use the $250,000 environmental deposit that we had received to finish the preparatory site work. With that work done, the Town will have the MBL site as ready as it can be for development.


Happy Father’s Day

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday June 11, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Butter Tart Festival 2017 is behind us and another resounding success.  I am still awaiting the official total but 50,000+ visitors seem quite reasonable. The Butter Tart Festival has had a tremendous impact on Midland not only from the direct dollars generated but also in introducing Midland to the rest of Ontario and beyond. While walking the street I met people who had come from Windsor, Montreal, Ottawa and Nova Scotia just for our Festival. My congratulations to the Butter Tart committee and especially Angela Bird for making Midland proud.

The Week Ahead

At 10:00 am on Monday June 12th I receive the students from Bayview School for a tour of Town hall. At 3:00 pm you are invited to celebrate the opening of the new Guesthouse shelter at 522 Elizabeth Street.  The Guesthouse is moving out of their current location at Knox Church and into a modern shelter facility that will be able to better serve our homeless.  This move signifies a major step forward for our communities in being able to help those who are challenged in life to have a better future.

At 7:00 pm is General Committee of Council. Lots of decisions being made to approve operational expenses seen in the 2017 budget. In addition:

-       Approval of the Enbridge gas franchise agreement for Midland

-       Establishing a new Governance Committee , as part of the Midland Forward initiative

-       Discussion on Floatie Fest in Little Lake Park

On Wednesday the 14th the County will be hosting a food security forum at the County museum.  This all day event will review the actions and plans to ensure that the County remains a food producing region for the foreseeable future. That evening at dusk Midland Movie Night is back! Catch a FREE movie - E.T. Extra-Terrestrial - under the stars at 509 Bay Street.  Movies are every second Wednesday throughout the summer.

Thursday the 15th sees the start of the two day Zero Waste Ontario conference at Orillia’s Lakehead University. The keynote speaker is the honorable Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Environment and Climate Change.  For further details please see

And Friday its back to celebrating the summer with Party on the Dock starting at 7:00 pm at the Midland waterfront.  A perennial favorite of all those who want to celebrate summer.

Week - End

Saturday June 17

-       10 am to noon at Midland Town Dock – Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, in support of Rosewood Women’s Shelter. Registration and pledge sheets at

-       2:00 pm – The official opening of “Along the Healing Path” in Waubaushene. The ceremony is by Pine Street near the beach.

-       8:00 pm – Zepology, a tribute to Led Zeppelin at the MCC. A must attend for all Led Zeppelin fans

Council Issues Update

Service Delivery Review

This major Council project will examine all aspects of the Town’s service delivery. It will not only examine efficiency but also ask the questions about what services the Town should be providing.  The process will be led by a Steering Committee including 6 staff and 2 Councilors and is co-chaired by Town Engineer Andy Campbell and Amanpreet Sidhu, Head of Corporate Services.  There will also be an Advisory Committee that currently has 6 public members and 2 Councillors. The project will be supported by a consultant from WSCS consulting. For more information on this key project and to find out how you can participate please visit


In closing, two items from the County.

1)     The County of Simcoe wants residents to feed your green bin not your garbage. To encourage greater participation in its green bin program and raise awareness about proper waste disposal techniques, the County launched its #GreenBintoWin contest running June 1 through August 21, 2017. The social media contest offer green bin “feeders” a chance to win prize packs and a grand prize consisting of a weekend for two adults and two children at Fern Resort.

How do you enter? Simply take a photo showing "How You Feed Your Green Bin" Post/share it and follow/tag us on Twitter @SimcoeCounty and/or Facebook @CountyofSimcoe. Use the hashtag #GreenBintoWin

In addition to the social media contest, County staff are hitting the road with the #GreenBintoWin tour in neighbourhoods across the County in search of some of the region’s best green bin users. A happy green bin is a full green bin and some of the area’s most generous “feeders” will receive County merchandise in recognition of their efforts.:

2)     An advisory about the Emerald Ash Borer affecting our ash trees in Midland.  Please see attached item.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday June 4, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s been a busy week in Midland. This past Thursday the details of the sale of our MPUC to Newmarket-Tay Hydro were announced.  While attendance was light at the public meeting those who were there enjoyed meeting the Board and senior staff from Newmarket-Tay.  We are going to get along well.  For more information from the meeting please visit Council will now turn its attention to how to best manage the $22M we have received from the sale.

This past week we met with two companies who are thinking of making major investments in Midland. Also I expect the manufacturer who will be taking over the Pillsbury plant to be announced next month.  It seems that our economic development work is starting to pay off.

And lastly if you were down in Little Lake Park this past week and noticed some fantastic artwork on the sidewalks, that was courtesy of the students from GBDSS, Bayview, Mundy’s Bay, and Huron Park.

The Week Ahead

The busy part of the week starts on Tuesday June 6th. Big Bike for Heart and Stroke is coming back to Midland. If you want to join the ride that starts at our waterfront at 10:00 am please contact Councillor Jon Main at

Our Library will be the centre of action for June. They are introducing three new events all starting on June 6th.

1.     Like A Boss – From 3:30-4:30 pm students get to think like an entrepreneur.  From business plans and finances, to taxes, to market research – there’s a lot to think about! Tap into ongoing workshops and mentorship, plus a shot at $1000. To register, email

2.     Paws for a Story – Every Tuesday this June from 4:30-5:30 pm help your child embrace the love of reading while enjoying positive experiences with animals. Call to register your child, aged 6-10, for a 15 minute reading session with a registered therapy dog.

3.     Makers of Midland – From 6:00-7:00 pm join other creators and creative crafts-people and share your projects and tips. Hear their stories and maybe learn a new skill! Bring a project you’re proud of or are currently working on.

Contact Amanda at the Midland Library 705-526-4216.  

At 6:30 pm you are invited to the BIA AGM taking place at Shopmidland, the corner of King and Hugel.  At 7:30 pm it’s A Day in the Life at the MCC featuring Steve Paikin. Steve is a host of TVO's flagship current affairs program The Agenda. He is a journalist, author and documentary producer. He recently authored Bill Davis: Nation Builder, and Not so Bland after All. Tickets are available online at or at the Box Office at 333 King St., Midland.

On Wednesday June 7th at noon please join our seniors at NSSRC for a lunch and learn. The topic is “Protecting your Nest Egg” presented by retired Justice Bob Main and Mr. Steve Reynaud.  At 6:00 pm you are invited to take the stage as Midland Has Talent struts its stuff at the MCC. Also at 6:00 pm Council is likely to hold a special meeting. Please check the Town website for details as the agenda has not yet been published. Then at 7:00 pm it’s Planning and Development Committee at Town Hall. The agenda includes:

-       A Public Meeting (you may speak) on Second Units

-       Site Plan for a new Montana’s restaurant (at Mountainview mall)  

-       The Source Protection Plan implementation study

On Thursday June 8th at 6:00 pm at NSSRC the County, Midland and Penetanguishene are hosting a Public Information Centre on the redesign of Highway 93 through Midland and Penetanguishene. The discussion will feature the problematic intersection of Hwy 93 and Vinden. Later that evening Drayton launches its 2017 season at Kings Wharf with the Terry Fox inspired Marathon of Hope.

And to help you ease into a busy weekend, you should take in Friday’s Jazz & Blues Festival at the Library.  From 3:00 to 6:00 pm enjoy rhythm and blues at the Library with this week’s featured artist Jo Gravelle. This free concert is part of the Barrie Jazz & Blues Festival .

Week - End

Saturday June 10

-       8:00 am the Butter Tart Trot, featuring 1.0, 5.0 and 10.0 km runs at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons

-       9:00 am - Butter Tart all day. 40,000 visitors, 150,000 Butter Tarts – what more needs be said – have fun

-       6:00 pm – The County hosts the Wardens Pace at Innisfil Raceway

Council Issues Update


Council will now turn its attention to the proper stewardship of the funds received from the sale of the MPUC. The public will be invited to actively participate in the discussion. An announcement of upcoming meetings on this topic should be made shortly.


The County has introduced a new social program to our area – the Circles Program. It is based on an innovative approach to poverty reduction. The program avoids lecturing individuals about how to avoid poverty but rather works with them intensively as a partner who joins them on their journey to beat poverty. I have already spoken to a few individuals who have experienced the Program and they say it has changed their lives.  For more information take a look at the County’s Circles website at Simcoe County Circles Website.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017