Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday October 22, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Quite something when it’s October 22nd and people are out in shorts and sea-dooing on the Bay. But beneath it all is that feeling of apprehension – must be snow out there somewhere.  The reality of living in Canada.

The Week Ahead

A good start to Monday the 23rd with the official groundbreaking for the new downtown health centre at 11:30 am. You are invited to join the ceremony at Edge Hill Park, close to the corner of Manly and Bayshore.

At 5:00 pm Council goes into a closed meeting to discuss the sale of municipal property, security of municipal property and personal matters. At 7:00 pm you are invited to attend the October Council meeting. The meeting will include:

-       Two deputations;

o    Update by Sharon Vegh of EDCNS on what they have accomplished

o    Update on our North Simcoe Tourism initiative

-       Proposed tribute to Gord Downie scheduled for Little Lake Park on October 28th

-       Recommendation for heritage protection of the “Grand Mansions``  district on King Street

-       Interim report on the results of the Service Delivery Review project

-       A number of proposed changes to the Town`s financial arrangements, specifically reserve allocations and internal loans policies

Tuesday the 24th starts with County Council in Midhurst at 9:00 am.   The most interesting agenda item is the proposal to have all residents of Simcoe County use a standard sized garbage container. At noon Grandmothers Hands Huronia invites you to an afternoon of learning about their mission to the third world and celebrating their success -

12:00 pm. - African luncheon (Donations accepted)

1:00 pm. - “Powered by Love” book launch presentation and introduction of guest Grandmothers from Africa

2:30 pm.  Close of launch event

All this takes place at the Midland Legion Hall - 196 Queen St.

Wendat invites you to its AGM and social at 6:30 pm at its new residential location, 44 Dufferin Street in Penetanguishene.

Thursday October 26th the County starts its budget deliberation at 9:00 am. Midland is not expecting to start our own public budget process until January. At 5:30 pm Quest host a special evening for the whole community -

            5:30 pm – Dinner. Please call to reserve your spot at 705-526-2787

            6:00 pm – AGM and business meeting

7:15 pm - Screening of the 20 minute documentary of the North Simcoe Canada 150 Mural Project

8:00 – Screening of the French version of the documentary

This free-entry event (except for dinner - $20) is open to all at the Midland Cultural Centre at 333 King Street.

Also on Thursday at 6:30 pm, the County of Simcoe honors its newcomers with a series of awards. That  takes place at the Tangle Creek Golf and Country Club in Thornton.

Friday the 27th sees the Grand Opening of the Brick at 9:00 am in its new location on Hwy 12 in the Walmart plaza. That evening at 7:00 pm Sharon Mackinnon invites you the opening of her new exhibition in the Quest Art gallery at the MCC.

Week - End

Saturday October 28

-       9:30 - 3:30 pm - Simcoe & District Maple Syrup Producers Association meets at Peter & Anne Lorriman's Windlee Farms Maple Syrup farm in Tiny to discuss maple syrup

-       2:00 – 9:00 pm - Proposed tribute to Gord Downie at Little Lake Park

-       6:00 pm - Midland Lions Club celebrates 80 years with a dinner at the Midland Legion

Sunday October 29

-       7:30 pm - Blues singer Suzi Vinnick graces the stage at the MCC.  Ms. Vinnick is a  10-times Maple Blues Award winner, 3-times Juno Nominee and finalist in the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis 

Council Issues Update

Downtown Health Clinic

Now that Council has approved the health centre`s site plan construction should start this fall.  They are looking to open by December 2018.


Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday October 15, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Cooler weather and color in the trees - starting to look like fall. Spooky decorations are eerily arising all over Town. And if you want a real treat for the Halloween season check out Pumkinferno at Discovery Harbour - a seasonal “must see”.

The Week Ahead

On Monday the 16th our Premier will be visiting the area to find out about the many great things happening in North Simcoe. That morning I will get a sneak preview of our newly built Operations Centre out on MacDonald Road.  The Centre will officially open later this fall and be the home of Town Operations and Parks. Look for an Open House announcement shortly.

At 6:00 pm the Guys Who Care will be meeting at Lot 102. This “flash charity” event should raise about $20,000 in one hour, to be donated to one charity selected that same evening. If you are a guy and have $200 to help a local charity, please come and enjoy the event.

Wednesday will see me in Orillia for a meeting of the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN, Simcoe County and a number of area mayors. We will be discussing the development of local healthcare and raising issues important for residents. Then at 2:00 pm the Town’s Service Delivery Review Committee meets to continue the discussion on improving the services we provide to Midland residents.

At 5:00 pm you are invited to a special event at the Boys and Girls Club, located at 527 Len Self Blvd. (the NSSRC). The Open House will take you through a “Day in the Life of an After-Schooler”, showing you all the challenges and creative activities that our children have in store.

Thursday October the 19th sees us in the middle of Small Business Week. The NSCFDC is honouring the week with a breakfast and presentation featuring Sami Jo Small, Canada Women’s Hockey Team goalie and 3-time Olympic medalist. The event starts at 7:00 am at the Quality Inn. You must preregister at

Later that day Shelter Now will bring a group of interested individuals together to discuss their new affordable housing project. Shelter Now has serviced land available on Hartman Drive and will look for partners to help make this much needed project a reality. At 6:30 pm you may wish to attend the King Street Rejuvenation Committee discussion taking place at Town Hall. 

Friday starts at the County where we meet to discuss affordable housing. Then from 5:00 to 7:00 pm you are invited by the ladies of the Legion Branch 80 to come down for one of their famous fundraising spaghetti dinners.

Week - End

Saturday October 21

-       5:30 to 7:30 pm - Penetanguishene Museum hosts its 50th Anniversary celebration and fundraiser. The event will take place at the Penetanguishene Legion and features music, a silent auction and a fish fry.  For more information call 705-549-2150

-       All day – The Silver Goose Cyclo-Cross Race in Little Lake Park. The event features 275 high performance cyclists from across Canada and the US. Your chance to see some great cycling

-       7:30 pm - The Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation Gala takes place at the MCC. This year’s theme is Moonlight Masquerade - An Evening in New Orleans

Sunday October 22

-       1:00 pm at the Midland Public Library – mayor Gerry Marshall is going to formally announce his intention to seek the nomination for the provincial Liberals

Council Issues Update

Midland Bay Landing

This past week Council started the process to look at forming a “municipal service corporation” (MSC). An MSC is a corporation entirely controlled by the Town that allows for greater flexibility and efficiency in dealing with private sector partners on complex projects.

It is proposed that the MSC will take on the task of being our management face when dealing with the development of the Midland Bay Landing property. This multi-year and complex project will require a better form of management than referring the many development decisions back to the Council table. The MSC will bring together a skills based group of local residents and councilors to guide the development.  The MSC is in turn guided by Council developed policy and represented by individuals selected by Council.  A public meeting will be called shortly to give you a more complete background and answer questions about this management tool.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday October 8, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

It was an amazing week for healthcare in North Simcoe. First of all the Ministry of Health visited GBGH to make two announcements:

-       Funding will be provided to transfer 20 acute care mental health beds from Waypoint to GBGH.  The funds will be used to construct a new wing at GBGH

-       Go ahead for the Waypoint/Chigamik downtown health center.  The sod turning is scheduled for October 23rd

Both of these announcements come after years of work by many different stakeholders – the hospitals, the North Simcoe LHIN, the province and all North Simcoe municipalities. A major step towards effective mental health care in our community.

The second development was Council’s support for the new Jarlette long term care and geriatric centre.  This project will both upgrade long term care in our community and build a geriatric centre of excellence, bringing together many of the services needed by an aging population. The facility will also undertake research on how to improve care for the aged. A significant development for Midland’s future. Look for a public meeting on the Jarlette project to be announced shortly.

The Week Ahead

October 8th to 14th is Fire Prevention Week.  This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts - Plan 2 Ways Out”.  Our Fire Fighters are setting up all sorts of opportunities for you to come out and get your questions answered:

-       Thursday October 12th Fire Fighters will be at McDonalds at both Hwy 93 and Walmart locations from 5:00 to 8:00 pm

-       Friday October 13th at Huronia Mall from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

-       Saturday October 14th at Midland Home Depot (Hwy 12) from 9:00 am to noon. Activities for the kids and a chance to try your hand with a fire hose

On Tuesday the 10th, County Council holds its regular meeting at 9:00 am. Then at 7:00 pm it’s our October General Committee meeting including:

-       Consideration for forming a “Municipal Services Corporation” – a corporate entity that would allow the Town to better manage the development of its Midland Bay Landing asset

-       Proposal to expand the BIA boundaries to include such areas as the Boathouse and the Midland Bay Landing property

-       Discussion on having free parking downtown in December

-       Proposal for a new committee to review the Towns’ property standards bylaw.

At 7:30 pm at the MCC Dr. Keith Rose presents a discussion on Bridging the Gap – Navigating the Youth Mental Health System.  Please preregister at:

Wednesday the 11th sees me at Lakehead University in Orillia at 5:00 pm for a special business innovation event. This open ended discussion speaks to how business can be more entrepreneurial and better able to take on new ideas to significantly grow their business,

On Thursday  October 12th Askennonia's Seniors Health & Active Living Fair takes place at the NSSRC from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Fair features a variety of presentations by Dr. Richard Thomas, Pharmacist Mike Tolmie and Sarah Orr-Shaw RN. They will address the topic of

opioids and their impact upon seniors. Also look for 35 vendors showing you all the latest in services and products for seniors.

Week - End

Saturday October 14

-       6:00 pm - Civitan Annual Recognition Dinner at “The Place” in Balm Beach

-       6:00 pm – Fundraiser for Wye Marsh’s famous Sonic the Turtle. Nick Howell ( a great local musician) will be entertaining at the Hidden Agenda nightclub on Hugel

-       6:30 pm to 8:30 pm - Wye Marsh by Moonlight paddle series

Council Issues Update

Service Delivery Review

The process is starting to get into gear. I have been personally impressed with how Town staff have risen to the challenge and are now taking leadership of the change initiative. Council should receive a second report at the October Council meeting giving us a better insight into some of the improvements we can expect to see over the next few months.

Downtown Health Clinic

With the announcement from the province it’s all ahead full.  The sod turning is set for the 23rd and work on the site may be as early as the 24th.


Three items in closing…

The Guesthouse has a new CEO.  Mr. Steve Pelletier will be replacing Robert Sykes effective immediately. Steve has been involved in many homelessness prevention programs including the County’s Alliance to End Homelessness. He is a faculty member of Georgian College’s Indigenous Studies and Vice President of our local FACE organization. A big thank you to Robert Sykes for all he has done over the years and welcome to Steve.

Karen Mealing will be taking over as the Town’s Cultural Development Coordinator. Karen’s responsibilities will include managing our Butter Tart festival and developing exciting cultural attractions for our area. If you thought the summer of 2017 was fun, wait ‘til 2018.

The 2017 Terry Fox Run proved to be very successful.  886 participants braved hot weather to run, walk, cycle and horseback ride in raising more than $71,000. Over 1,000 local organizations helped out with goods and services. The run, first taking place in 1983, is now closing in on $2M in total donations.  A wonderful testament to Terry, our community and the many volunteers led by Don Chapman who make this happen.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday October 1, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

The halcyon days of summer were brought to a sudden end with a vicious wind storm this past Friday. While many parts of the Town fortunately escaped, the western arm of Midland Bay was hit with 2 meter swells that ripped out many of the docks. A significant amount of destruction.  Fortunately no one hurt and the attitude of the homeowners is “we will get through this”.

The Week Ahead

Monday October 2nd features a book launch by local author Jackie Gautier. Jackie has a fascinating personal background including eloping with a South African paramedic she met while on an aid trip to South Sudan. Her first book “The Gift of an Elephant”, is now followed by “Twenty Eight Elephants and Other Everyday Miracles” that together tell you about life, love, Africa and creating the life YOU want. The launch is at 7:30 pm at the MCC and is hosted by Fred Hacker. 

On Tuesday I meet with mayors from around the Great Lakes to plan the development of the cruise ship industry. This past Saturday Midland saw the M/V Victory at the Town dock, our 15th cruise ship visit of the year. The mayors want to make sure that this welcome industry continues to grow in the years ahead.

On Wednesday the 4th, the Sisters in Spirit Walk takes place at 6:00 pm. Organized by the Georgian Bay Native Women's Association, it starts at their building at 562 King Street and ends at Neezhoday Park, beside the library.  At 6:30 pm Council has a closed meeting to discuss a matter of Town property.  Then at 7:00 pm it’s the Planning and Development Committee.  The agenda includes:

-       Two public meetings (you may speak):

o    Zoning Bylaw Amendment for 536 Dominion, concerning the change of use for a lower floor

o    Official Plan Amendment for the Jarlette property at 658 King Street

-       Review of the Waypoint/Chigamik site plan for their new downtown healthcare hub

-       Start of the zoning amendment process for the Hanson development on Hwy 12 to address storm water management  ponds

Also that evening at 7:00 pm, the Guesthouse is hosting a special meeting at St. Pauls (308 King Street) in their upper room.  The meeting will announce their new Guesthouse CEO and discuss the Guesthouse mission.

Thursday the 5th sees an internal meeting about the Town’s ongoing Service Delivery Review project. This project is reviewing all of the Town’s operations to improve overall efficiency.  At 12:30 pm, Georgian College celebrates their 50th anniversary at their Barrie campus. And finally at 4:30 pm Council holds a closed meeting to discuss personal issues.

On Friday the 6th you are invited to a very special presentation.  At 11:00 am we will receive the first shipment of the commemorative Frank Graham tulip. Frank Graham is a World War Two vet who has developed a special bond between the veterans in Canada and the people of Holland. The “Canada Committee of The Netherlands” has organized many tours between our two countries and has now commissioned a special tulip produced to honour Frank. This honour is normally only given to politicians and famous Dutch citizens.  The Frank Graham tulip is red with a black centre (much like a poppy) and will available for a short time at Normans Garden Gallery 830 Yonge Street. The tulips are $7 per half dozen, $12 per dozen. Please join us at Norman’s to celebrate Frank and an unbelievable friendship.

At 8:00 pm MCC hosts the legendary Andy Kim. Remembered for songs such as “How’d We Ever Get This Way?”, “ Rock Me Gently” and “Sugar, Sugar”, Andy has earned the country’s top music industry honor twice, the JUNO Award for outstanding achievements in the record industry, as well as the “Indie Award” for Favorite Solo Artists in 2005. Andy Kim rocks Midland.

Week - End

Saturday October 7

-       The start of Thanksgiving weekend. Drive safely and enjoy the turkey.

-       6:30 pm - Wye Marsh by Moonlight paddle series

Council Issues Update

Downtown Health Clinic

The long discussed Chigamik/Waypoint Health Centre site plan is before Council this week. Council has approved the Centre’s location on Bayshore and will now ensure that its design fits into the neighborhood and serves to improve healthcare for many citizens located in our downtown. Once the site plan is approved the ground work should start later in the fall.

Official Plan Review

This past Wednesday approximately 100 people met at NSSRC to hear about the “Natural Heritage System” (NHS) feature of the OPR. A number of attendees were concerned that the “NHS” designation would deprive them of their right to develop their property. The NHS is provincially mandated process that requires municipalities to systematically and scientifically look at all their natural heritage features – trees, wildlife, water, etc. While the Town has included natural heritage in its Official Plan for many years, this year the province has mandated new control requirements.  In summary, if your property is currently zoned for a use and you stay within the meaning of that zoning there is no impact.  If you are considering a development that is not contemplated in the zoning, you will have to conduct a study to see how that change affects the natural heritage. If you have questions about the NHS and your property, please contact Wes Crown at the Town.


The Town Hall is closed on Monday, Thanksgiving Day.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday September 24, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

With this lovely weather I expect that all thoughts are about enjoying another day in the sun.  But businesses in our area have been busy.  This past week-end I visited IFM in Penetanguishene to celebrate their expansion. Business has grown significantly for them. This Thursday I will be at the Streit manufacturing facility (the old Pillsbury plant) as they start production. This manufacturer of armored cars is bringing over 100 quality jobs to our area.  Another indicator of economic health is that almost all of our large manufacturers are hiring.  Spread the word – Midland is the place to be.

The Week Ahead

Monday the 25th is a day of Town meetings.  At 2:00 pm the Official Plan Review Steering Committee meets, mainly to prepare for the public session this Thursday.  At 5:00 pm Council goes into closed session to discuss a number of personal matters respecting staff and committee nominees. Then at 7:00 pm the September Council meeting takes place. A very busy agenda including:

-       Two meetings to hear from the public about removing the “Holding” symbols on the properties at 226/230 Queen and at 281 Lakewood Dr.

-       Three deputations:

o    Presentation on the Town’s Service Delivery Review process

o    Review of Quest Art’s Canada 150 mural program

o    Update on Culture Midland

-       Request by Jarlette Healthcare to start site work at their new King Street location

-       Selection of a consultant for the Town’s Parks and Trail master plan

-       Confirmation of the new bus transit link between Barrie and Midland. The fare will be $7 including the transfer to/from the Midland bus system

-       Response to recent Ontario Municipal Act changes including developing a Code of Conduct and identifying an Integrity Commissioner

-       Updates on a number of internal projects:

o    Midland Forward

o    Implementation of Council strategy

o    Service Delivery Review

On Tuesday I head to County for a Council meeting at 9:00 am. The most interesting item is the start of a trial for a standardized garbage container.  Currently each household provides its own.  The County intends to move to a “one size for all” program with a standardized 80 litre container.  At 3:00 pm the North Simcoe Housing Working group resumes its schedule at Town Hall with an update by the County on affordable housing in our area.

Thursday September the 28th it’s the Huronia Community Foundation “Caring Counts Charity Showcase”. From 11:00 am to 2:30 pm at the NSSRC you will see exhibits from local charities and be entertained by Evan Hadfield, the person behind Col. Chris Hadfield’s musical sensation “Space Oddity”.  At 1:00 pm I am at Streit Manufacturing as they start operations in Midland. Commendations to Town staff and EDCNS in helping bring this international company to our community. At 4:00 pm you are invited to the Hospice Huronia launch for their new facility and capital campaign. It takes place at 25 Jeffery St. in Penetanguishene.

That evening you have a choice of two special events. At 6:30 pm you are invited to the NSSRC for a public meeting to discuss the Natural Heritage System, a new (to Midland) feature of the Official Plan process. This change will affect many properties in Midland. At 7:00 pm Huronia Historical Parks launches the return of its popular Pumpkinferno at Discovery Harbor in Penentanguishene.

Week - End

Saturday September 30

-       Treasure Day in Midland. Put reusable items out to the curb by 8:00 am and take them back in by 5:00 pm. Helping us help each other.

-       Big Brothers Big Sisters “Showcase of Homes”.  From 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Take a self-guided tour of 6 spectacular homes plus lunch at Restaurant Ste. Marie.  Tickets at Simply Country, Tripps Paint, Cabin Boy or at

-       12 noon - Feast of the Martyrs mass at Martyrs’ Shine

-       4:00 pm - OPP Pedal for the Past at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons.  A fund raiser for the OPP museum

-       6:30 pm to 8:30 pm - Wye Marsh by moonlight, a paddle series

Sunday October 1

-       Treasure Day in Midland. Put reusable items out to the curb by 8:00 am and take them back in by 5:00pm.

-       10:00 am – The first annual Julianna Matyas memorial golf tournament at Brooklea. For reservations contact Liesje at

Council Issues Update

Service Delivery Review

This staff-led process is looking for better ways to deliver our services to you. With the assistance of a consultant, internal and external surveys for all our operations have now been completed and initial recommendations for improvement are coming in. The Council report this week should give us some early indications of adjustments we need to make.  More to come.


A lot of financial work is underway at the Town. We have just completed our 2016 audit. The finance department is still going through the exercise to fully allocate administrative costs to the respective operating departments, plus Finance is preparing a comprehensive statement of our municipal reserves, debt and capital assets. With all this work the Town will not get around to starting its budget process until January – the last budget that this Council will pass.


Our new GBGH CEO Gail Hunt, has arrived. Ms. Hunt led the Chapleau Health Services unit for the last 15 years.  Please take the opportunity to welcome her to our community.


Midland, together with our fellow North Simcoe communities, is getting ready to implement high-speed internet throughout the area.  The first challenge is to figure out who has what type of access right now.  Our Community Futures Development Corporation has contracted with a network company to sample the speed of the connection to your computer – and we need your help. Please go to  which will bring up a page with a map. Fill in your postal code, confirm your street location, click start and that’s it – thirty seconds tops. This information will go into an anonymous database (no one will see your individual result) to be used when we talk to the telcos about where the need for high speed internet is greatest.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday September 17, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Just back from the Terry Fox run. Must have been 400-500 people - running, cycling, walking, horseback riding -  from babes-in-arms to great grandparents. We are regarded as the 14th most successful run in the province in terms of fund raising. A great testament to Terry, the event organizers and to our community. And was it warm - summer is back with a vengeance.

The Week Ahead

Monday the 18th starts with our Fire Department being recognized by Enbridge Gas for their excellent service. A ceremony will take place at 10:00 am at the Fire Hall on Bayshore.  At 11:00 am Big Brother and Big Sisters raises their flag at Town Hall. Then at 6:00 pm you are invited to join them for a social hour at Brooklea as they celebrate the many volunteers who help the children of our area.

On Wednesday September 20th the Service Delivery Review committee meets at Town Hall at 1:00 pm.  The Committee is going through the operations of every municipal department to see if there are better ways of serving our customers and/or for improving efficiency. This process is part of the Midland Forward strategy adopted by Council and led by staff.  A “change champion”, one from each department, will make sure that recommendations are based on insights from our staff. Look for a formal report to Council in October/November.  

Thursday the 21st sees the Heads of Council meeting at 5:00 pm in Tiny. This gathering of the mayors and deputy mayors of the four municipalities reviews issues that affect all of North Simcoe. At 6:00 pm you are invited to attend that Gateway AGM, taking place in the Quest meeting room at MCC.

On Friday the 22nd Bruce Stanton and Patrick Brown are inviting all seniors to their Seniors Day at NSSRC. The event starts at 9:30 am and features a seniors oriented trade show, presentations and complementary lunch. At 7:00 pm Quest Art invites you to witness their 2nd annual Art Slam. This creative event will feature 24 artists who are given a theme and 30 minutes to create a work of art. A crazy good time.

Week - End

Saturday September 23

-       9:00 am - Mental Health in Motion, a run to support the work of Waypoint. The run is at Waypoint with registration open at 8 am and runs of 5K, 10K and a 5K walk starting at 9:00 am

-       6:00 pm - Tiawenk dinner hosted by Martyrs’ Shrine at the Quality Inn.  Proceeds will help renovations at the Shrine

-       6:30 pm - Wye Marsh by Moonlight, paddle series at the Marsh. Come out and get acquainted with the beauty of nature

Sunday September 24

-       2:00 pm - Fewer and Knox bring you the music of Bach on violin and harpsicord. The concert is organized by Brookside at St. Pauls

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017