Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday December 20, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is almost time for the sound of eight tiny reindeer. In keeping with the season the Town offices will close about noon on Thursday the 24th and re-open January 4th.

On Monday the 21st at 7:00 pm the Town will host the last Council meeting of the year. (Deputation Only). A relatively short agenda with an interesting variety of items:
- a deputation by Mike Breslin on the Midland Family Paintball operation
- a deputation by Rotary on the trail system
- consideration of a by-law recognizing the seepage of wastewater from the property on which the County transfer station resides
- the building permits report will tell us that our building activity is back to the level we had in 2001
- consideration will be given to nominating Vern Sweeting and the book “Midland on Georgian Bay” for Ontario Historical Society awards

After that things get quiet. Two items for the future:
- do not miss the historic Olympic Flame Run though our Town, highlighted by the ceremony at the NSSRC at 12 noon Tuesday December 29th.
- election season kicks off when nominations open on January 4th. Will be interesting.

And lastly let me wish each of you a very Merry Christmas – enjoy these special days. See you in 2010.

Gord McKay

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday December 12, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

The snow blower is definitely getting a good workout. Hope you have all made it through the first winter stress test safely.

Monday December 14th starts with a very special event – the YMCA’s Christmas Gifts to Give. It takes place at the NSSRC with residents bringing good used gifts in in the morning (10:00 am) and recipients showing up in the afternoon (2:00 pm). A wonderful example of the caring Midland community.

The Town’s formal business starts at 6:00 pm on Monday with a closed meeting. At 7:00 is General Committee (Written Input). A moderately long agenda including:
- discussion of the rules of the road for our Rotary Trail system
- notice that the battle for Georgina Bay (tall ships) will return in August 2013
- a vote on how the Town will deal with the Arch restaurant access at 8th Street

Wednesday the 16th at 9:00 am at the County Council Chambers in Midhurst, the future of what happens with your garbage will be discussed. There are some fairly major changes afoot at both the provincial and municipal level, including a rethink of the Blue Box.

Now get out and enjoy the season.

Gord McKay

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday December 6, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

With December comes the snow. I will keep this short to give you extra time to go out and shovel.

The Town will be pretty quiet this week with;
- Heritage meeting Tuesday at 7:00 pm; nothing too contentious on the agenda
- Committee of Adjustment on Thursday at 4:30
- Library Board on Thursday at 7:00 pm

An interesting presentation on Wednesday December 9th at 7:00 in the Town of Penetanguishene. Doug Ewen of the Economic Development Association of North Simcoe (EDANS) will be presenting a private sector view of where our local economy should be headed.

Recognizing that Christmas is getting closer, two events you should know about:
- Severn Sound Environmental Association will hold a reception on Thursday December the 10th at 7:00 pm at the NSSRC
- Midland Area Reading Council has its open house on Friday at 10:00 in their offices at 67 4th Street

And lastly, The Southern Georgian Bay Physician Recruitment Program has launched an on-line survey, challenging us with the following question:

Do you believe that the municipalities of Midland, Penetanguishene, and Tiny and Tay Townships should contribute in a fair and equitable manner (with your tax dollars) on a per capita basis of $2 per person, per year?

The poll is at

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday November 22, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Seasonal insight for male readers – its easier to put your Christmas lights up when it’s not snowing. Let’s hope it continues.

A relatively light week, sparkled with some important meetings

Monday November 23rd at 7:00 pm at the Town sees our Council meeting (Deputation Only). The relatively light agenda includes:
- a deputation by John Lister on the latest developments for our Arts Centre
- presentation of a petition on the Eighth Street – Arch restaurant situation. Council should make a decision on the matter later in the evening
- the creation of a new Traffic Sign Committee
- a recommendation by staff that the Town defend its proposal to designate the Drummond Wall as an historical asset

On Wednesday the 25th, the County will launch its new waste management committee. Expect to hear mare about Zero Waste in future.

Later that Wednesday, at 5:30, the Town will hold its final scheduled budget meeting. At the last meeting the Town appeared to be closing in on a Town tax rate increase of just over 4%. The Mayor underscored the seriousness of our financial situation by proposing a wage and hiring freeze for 2010. You may wish to attend.

On a more seasonal note:
- First Light starts at Ste. Marie on the 26th – a beautiful event
- Midland’s Tree lighting ceremony takes place at the Town dock (note the change) on Friday November 27th at 7:00 pm
- Also on the evening of the 27th, the Quest Art School and Gallery proudly opens their new gallery on King Street in Midland – a wonderful addition to our downtown

And lastly a call for volunteers. The Town needs your help to welcome the Olympic Torch on December the 29th – everything form parking lot assistance to dressing up as the Olympic mascot. If you are interested, application forms are available at the Town office and the NSSRC.

Gord McKay

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday November 14, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Well if last week was light, this is the busy one.

The Town’s week kicks off early Monday morning November 16th at 10:30 am in Board Room B. (You May Not Speak) It’s a special meeting to discuss the Eight St. intersection and the Arch restaurant. Then at 6:00 pm your Council meets in closed session. And at 7:00 it’s our Poverty Committee meeting in the Council chambers (Speak at Discretion of the Chair). Also that day, Royal Bank will be celebrating its Olympic Torch Relay program with a reception at 1:00 pm at their branch on King Street.

Tuesday the 17th is budget day. Your Council will meet at the Town at 5:30 pm to receive the second draft (You May Not Speak). This draft should bring together all operating and capital costs, and give us some clearer direction on the 2010 tax rate.

Tuesday also gives you the opportunity for input to the Police Community Based Strategy – 2:00 pm at the NSSRC. If that is not convenient you have a second chance on Thursday the 19th at 7:00 pm at the NSSRC.

The Midland FACE (Forum of Accountability in a Circle Experience) will celebrate its grand opening on Thursday November 19th at 4:00 pm, at its offices at 317 Midland Ave. FACE provides a alternate approach to dealing with offenders. A great program.

Friday the 20th at the Best Western is the Rosewood Gala, to support the good work of our women’s shelter. You should have your tickets already, but if not call Joyce Campbell at 526-3221.

And lastly, please note the attachment on the “Gifts to Give” event taking place in our community on December 14th. The YMCA is to be commended for organizing this thoughtful program for all who are having a tough time this year.

Gord McKay

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday November 8, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

A beautiful day outside – so I will keep this short.

Council’s week starts with a closed meeting at 6:30 pm on Monday the 9th of November. Then at 7:00 pm is our Committee meeting (Written Input) at the Town. A fairly uncontroversial agenda including:
- Public Works will report on its projects. For those of you on Gloucester St. the paving and curbing should be done this November; and our new water tank in Sunnyside should also be ready.
- Building permit fees are proposed to rise
- Get ready for our Olympic torch ceremony on December 29th at the NSSRC

On Tuesday the 10th at 7:00 pm your Heritage Committee (Speak at Discretion of Chair) will discuss the Drummond Wall, as it moves towards official designation as a historical landmark.

Wednesday is Remembrance Day. Our area will honor our men and women in uniform at the 11th hour at the Cenotaph. Please arrive early.

Our MPP Garfield Dunlop is inviting area residents to the Highwayman Inn in Orillia at 10:30 am on Thursday the 12th to discuss affordable housing solutions.

And lastly two other items of interest:
- A special committee meeting will be held on Monday Nov 16 2009, 10:30 am to discuss the Eight St. intersection and Arch restaurant. Its in Board Room B. (You May Not Speak)
- The Police Services Board is holding a public consultation on its Community Based Strategic Plan. Your opportunities to input are Tuesday Nov 17th at 2 pm or Thursday Nov 19th at 7:00 pm at the NSSRC. (Welcome to Speak)

Gord McKay

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday November 1, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

With Hallow’een out of the way we can now turn our attention to getting ready for winter.

A very quiet week on the Town’s official calendar.

Midland and Penetanguishene will be visiting Queen’s Park this week to plead our joint economic future. This meeting should help the Province decide our share of future population growth and jobs. A very important meeting.

On Wednesday November 4th your Public Works Committee will be meeting at the Town at 3pm to discuss the matter of the Town servicing Doral Marina (located in Tay). Then at 7:00 pm is the Planning Advisory Committee Meeting (Speak at Discretion of Chair). A short agenda anchored by the report on the situation of parking in our downtown (Apparently it is in good supply)

Over the past month, your Council has been meeting to craft the 2010 budget. This year it is proving difficult to close the gap between the money needed to deliver Town services and setting a reasonable tax increase. The recession has cut back on Town revenues significantly while labour costs are climbing. There are two more regular budget sessions ahead:
- Tuesday November 17th at 5:30 pm – Second Draft
- Wednesday November 25th at 5:30 pm – Final Revisions
If you have something to say about the budget, now is the time.

Gord McKay

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday October 24, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

The weather cannot make up its mind and apparently neither can our stores – some are decorated for Halloween others for Christmas. Keep shopping.

This Sunday October 25th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm the Midland Area Reading Council holds its book sale at the Honda dealership on King St. Time to pick up those fireside books for winter.

On Monday the 26th the Town kicks into gear. At 6:00 pm Council meets to determine who will build your to-be-refurbished Town Hall (You May Not Speak). Then at 7:00 pm is the regular Council meeting (Deputation Only). Could be a long meeting with four deputations including:
- a presentation on the Drummond Wall
- an introduction to Zero Waste and how it may affect Midland
Then later in the meeting your Council will:
- honor Councillor Jeffery for 25 years of service as Councillor
- review our annual Christmas Tree ceremony, proposed for Nov. 27th at the Town harbour
- decide on who will be providing our closed meeting investigation services

Tuesday starts at 9:00 am with County Council (in Midhurst) meeting to discuss where our waste will be going over the next few years. Then at noon, the Chamber of Commerce hosts a Trade Show at the Best Western.

Wednesday gets us back to the budget debates (You May Not Speak) starting at 5:30 at the Town. This meeting will include presentations by the Police Department and the Library. Much work remains to get our budget figures in line.

Mike Osborne has been appointed as your new Chief of Police. Well deserved. Mike’s appointment will be effective January 1st, 2010.

And one final note from my clippings file. This week’s Toronto Star reports that the Skyline development taking place in Port McNicoll will invest $1.6 billion over the next 10 years. To put that in perspective, Midland’s total building permits over the last 10 years (1998-2007) has been some $0.25 billion. Keep watch to the east.

Gord McKay

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday October 18, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

A very busy week ahead. Nothing like a nice sunny week-end to get you moving.

This Monday October 19th at 6:00 pm your Council will meet to consider the design firm for the reconstruction of our municipal offices (You May Not Speak). We will hear from 5 different firms about how they will approach the $4 million project.

Tuesday the 20th at 7:00 will see the Council meet again to discuss poverty (Speak at Discretion of Chair). The Council should use this meeting to set its future direction. At the same time at the Elmvale Community Hall, 33 Queen St., Elmvale, Zero Waste Simcoe will be holding its first of three public meetings on the future of Zero Waste in Simcoe County. Your chance to learn about and comment on how our waste practices will have to change.

Wednesday starts with early morning fellowship at the annual Christian Breakfast. Doors open at 6:30 am, breakfast at 7:00 am at the NSSRC. Then at 5:30 that evening, your Council meets to discuss the operational budget for 2010 (You May Not Speak).

For the rest of the week, a number of interesting items:
- Local Business Week is hosting a breakfast on Friday at 7:30 am at Inn at Bay Moorings
- Friday evening at 7:00 features the environmental film Blue Gold taking place at OnlyGreen on King St. in Midland
- Saturday at 6pm is the Huronia Hospital Foundation gala at Best Western

And lastly some information about our electricity system in Midland:
- The new SMART electricity meters that are now being installed will permit “Time Of Use” billing to occur. (You will save money if you use electricity off-peak.) TOU should be active in Midland in 2011.
- Our MPUC will allow small home generators (solar, wind) to be connected to the grid under the micro Tariff Feed In Program. Contact MPUC for further information.

Gord McKay

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday October 12, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

The Thanksgiving turkey is cooked and --- what is that ---- snow on the window?

A short week and a busy one. Tuesday October 13th starts out with a closed meeting at 6:00 pm at the Town (You may Not Attend). Then at 7:00 pm is the regular Committee meeting (Written Input). Lots of small items:
- Discussion to adjust the traffic signal timing at Yonge and King – seems some people are getting frustrated.
- Tender for paving the Tiffin Trail from the end of the Captain’s Cove area to the CN bridge, this fall.
- A $30,000 natural playground at Mac McAllen Park. (A natural playground includes rocks and logs)
- A proposal for a dog park in Midland
And finally Bryan Peter will tell us about a cruise ship company that is thinking of using Midland as a base of summer operations.

On Wednesday morning at 9:00 am at Midhurst, County Council’s Corporate Services Committee will discuss our future waste options – landfill, incineration or possibly Zero Waste. Later that Wednesday the Midland Police will be holding a public demonstration in community justice. Called “Take Back the Wall” it will have a number of youngsters removing the graffiti from the wall next to Edwards Mall. Starts at 3:00 pm.

On Friday October 16th, the YMCA will hold its Poverty Pledge ceremony at 12:30 pm.
Saturday October 17th will feature the Murals Symposium at the Best Western. It includes a tour of our murals conducted by our own Bill Smith.

And finally, the corporation wanting to build the new LCBO on Cranston Crescent has stopped its appeal to the OMB. We get to keep our existing LCBO.

Gord McKay

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday October 4, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Last night I picked the last of my tomatoes. Summer is over! But over at the Sports Centre, ladies hockey was in full swing. Love this place.

A quiet week coming up.

On Monday October 5th at 5:15 pm, Council has been asked to meet with the Huronia Museum Board to discuss their re-development and fundraising.

On Wednesday October 7th at 7:00 pm a Public Meeting is being held at the Town (You are Encouraged to Speak) Two items on the agenda:
- Zoning by-law amendment to permit a full time dwelling on Snake Island (Trivia: Snake Island is the only island administered by the Town)
- Zoning by-law amendment for the development at 938 Yonge St. to annex additional lands to assist stormwater management and land use.
Following the meeting is Planning Advisory Committee (Speak at Discretion of Chair). Should be a short meeting, including a discussion about renovating a property at the corner of Midland and Elizabeth.

Gord McKay

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday September 26, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Fall has arrived and with it shorter days and apparently a busier schedule for your Council.

Your Council meets on Monday September 28th first in a closed meeting starting at 5:30 pm and then onto the regular Council meeting at 7:00 pm ((Deputation Only). Could be a long evening with:
- A deputation concerning the difficulties with the Everton Road re-construction
- A deputation on the proposed extension of 8th Street into Little Lake Park
- A deputation to bring the Farmer’s Market downtown
- A By-Law to ban smoking within 10m of a playground
- A By-Law to raise fines to $105 for those putting snow on municipal sidewalks or roads
- A recommendation that the Town fight the appeal to the OMB by the corporation seeking to have a new LCBO on Highway 12
- A recommendation to “designate” the Drummond wall as a heritage property
And if time permits we may even discuss the costs associated with the library construction.

On Wednesday the 30th, Hillcrest Village is welcoming all to the 1:00 pm Open House for its new addition called Heritage Place. Also on Wednesday at 5:30 pm at the Town your Council will start the annual budget process by looking at the capital spending for our departments (You May Not Speak)

On Friday at 7:00 at the NSSRC is the dinner and tribute for Paul Hamelin, our retiring Chief of Police.

Lastly, remember the power outage on the morning of Sunday September the 27th. It will affect all of Penetanguishene and the Hwy. 93 corridor through Midland.

Gord McKay

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday September 20, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer seem to keep on going. Enjoy them while you can.

On Monday September 21st at 7:00 pm, the Council Poverty Committee will meet. (Speak at Discretion of Chair). The Committee will get down to defining the poverty needs in our community after a quiet summer.

Tuesday the 22nd sees the vote on whether to terminate Site 41 or not. The discussion takes place at County Council in Midhurst starting at 9:00 am.

On Wednesday the 23rd, Midland Area Reading Council holds its AGM at the Honda Showroom on King St. at 7:00 pm.

Thursday September 24th at 11:45 is the special luncheon of the Huronia Communities Foundation at the NSSRC recognizing their retiring President John Gammell. An RSVP is required.

Nothing for Friday!

Two closing notes:
- The Town has received a notice of Appeal to the OMB respecting our recent decision on the rezoning affecting the proposed liquor store.
- The SSEA is installing a water level gauge in Midland harbor. You can access hourly readings through the internet at or by phone (705) 526-6413.

Gord McKay

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday September 13, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Fall is about to get started and so to News from the Town. It is good to be back for a third year. I will try to keep you informed of the many interesting things going on with your Town and Town Council. If you have topics that you would like to see reported, let me know.

You Council meets this Monday September 14th at 6:30 in Boardroom B to discuss a property acquisition matter. (You May Not Speak). Then at 7:00 we move to the Council Chamber for the Committee meeting (Written Input). Some of the more interesting items are:
- A proposed By-Law to prohibit smoking within 10m of playgrounds or sports fields
- A By-Law amendment that recognizes Farmer’s Markets in Midland
- A proposal to increase fines to $105 for downtown business owners who fail to clear snow from their sidewalk and residents who pile snow on municipal sidewalks and roads
- An update on our recently cancelled SOS program
- A review of the Tiny Township resolution to abandon Site 41 and to withdraw the related Certificate of Approval. (Note: The County will vote on this matter on September 22nd)

This Thursday September 17th, the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation will meet at 7:30 am to continue its work on an economic strategy for our area.

If you want to attend an enjoyable event this Saturday the 19th, consider the Huronia Foundation for the Arts fundraiser at 5:00 pm at NSSRC. Good art, music, food and it supports your local artists.

And lastly, Sunnyside Drive will be closed at Vindin Street for Monday, September 14, 2009 from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to permit repaving of the roadway

Gord McKay

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday June 28, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Its summertime…and a lot is going on in the Town.

Your Council meets this Monday June 29th, first at 6:00 pm for a closed meeting and then at 7:00 pm for Council (Deputation Only). A number of items of interest:
- A brief mention of the withdrawal of our leaf vacuuming service. (Councilors have been asked to get your input before August, so talk to your Councilor soon)
- The Town will receive its 2008 audited financial statement. These reports usually make for dry reading so a few facts of interest. Compared to fiscal 2007 the Town’s:
o operating expenses were up by 5.8%
o capital expenses were up by 29%
o town tax levy for everyone up by 5.6%
- We will review a request by the County to manage “impacted groundwater” flow under Wilson Road from landfill Site #24
- The Town will describe its new dress code

On Wednesday July 1, you should be at Little Lake Park for our annual Canada Day celebration. The weather looks to be damp but the party will be awesome.

Thursday July 2nd sees two meetings. At 7:00 pm is the Public Hearing (You May Speak) into the land use change for the HPP property at the corner of King and Hwy. 12. It is being considered for an LCBO. Later on that evening (at least 7:10 pm) is the PAC meeting (Speak at Discretion of Chair). The agenda includes:
- A discussion of the Report of Site Condition issue affecting Tiffin Pier
- Reports recommending a number of new fees for planning services and sign by-law variances
- An initiative to organize a response to the Province’s call to restrict Midland’s growth and employment prospects

Mark July 15, 2009 for an interesting meeting, especially if you have children. Bryan Peter is going to host a 4:30 pm meeting at NSSRC to tell you about the new “natural playground” planned for Mac McAllen Park.

I could not end this missive without recognizing the passing of a great citizen of our Town, Rev. Cliff Pendlebury. He has touched so many of us. He will be remembered forever.

As I said its summertime. News from the Town is going to get a bit more sporadic for the next two months as vacation gets in the way. I will try to keep you as up to date as I can. Get out and enjoy this wonderful place we know as Midland.

Gord McKay

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday June 20, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

What a Town! Last night you had your choice of choral music at St. Pauls or Party on the Dock; tonight a tribute to John Arpin or a Lobsterfest (just outside of Town). Summer is here.

Monday would normally be the date for our Council meeting. That has been moved to next Monday the 29th.

Tuesday June 23rd at 12:00 noon the Huronia Hospital Foundation presents an information session about health services in our area. It takes place at Hillcrest Village, 7 Harriet Dr. Please pre-register with Shelly at especially if you want lunch.

On Wednesday June 24th at 7:00 pm the Town will hold a public meeting (You May Speak) on the matter of rezoning Tiffin - Phase Three to correct a site filing issue.

On Thursday the Georgian Queen sets sail out of Penetanguishene at 7:00 pm (You May Party). The musical cruise is sponsored by the Huronia Foundation for the Arts and the Midland BIA to raise funds for a street festival planned for later this summer. If you want to enjoy a great evening on the water, please contact participating King Street merchants or myself.

Friday June 26th features the grand opening of the new Shelter Now facility on Hartman Drive. Presentations start at 1:30 pm. Well worth seeing this new housing facility.

And lastly on Saturday at 10 am, the Township of Tiny will be telling the public about its development plans. If you want to know more about our near neighbours, the presentation will take place at the Wyebridge Community Centre.

Gord McKay

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday June 14, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

The weather is gorgeous and the Town is getting into that “its summertime” frame of mind. A little bit of something for everyone this week.

First of all a comment on two items from last week:
1) On Wednesday last your Council created a new Poverty committee. Made up of Council and civilian members the Committee will develop a made-in-Midland poverty strategy. Look for more information in the fall.
2) On Thursday came news that the Council of Canadians may take Simcoe County to court over Site 41. This issue has important implications for our water and what we will do with our waste.

On Monday June 15th at 6:00 pm the Town will receive the annual financial report from our hydro utility, MPUC (Speak at Discretion of Chair). Your chance to find out more about your Town-owned utility. Following that at 7:30 pm Council will review the submissions from the recent “Town Logo Contest”. Midland may soon have a whole new look.

Tuesday June 16th sees a special meeting at 7:00 pm at the Simcoe County Council Chambers in Midhurst about locally grown food. The Food Partners Alliance of Simcoe County will tell us how we can gain better access to locally grown foods.

Thursday the 18th starting at 2:00 pm and then again at 6;00 pm the Town will hold its Official Plan Open House at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre. Come out and see how the Town is planning your future.

Friday - get ready to party. If you are down on the Town dock at 11:30 am you can join the Chamber of Commerce for its annual BBQ. And then at 7:00 pm its our annual Party on the Dock.

Welcome to summer.

Gord McKay

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday June 7, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

If this keeps up we will be able to tell our grandchildren about the summer of “09 – the summer that never arrived. My poor tomato plants!

The week starts off with a special meeting at 6:00 pm on Monday June the 8th (You May Not Speak). We will be reviewing the conflicting information on two major tendering projects, and hopefully making a decision.

Then at 7:00 pm is the Committee of the Whole meeting (Written Input). A full agenda with lots of items including;
- Discussion about phasing out the fall leaf vacuuming services
- Presentation of a financial analysis of the increasing cost of our roads maintenance operations
- Proposed plan for building trails on our Town
- Discussion about charging fees for people with boat trailers who park at Pete Peterson Park.
- The Mayor will update the SOS program funding
- And lastly a number of financial matters including guidance that will affect your tax rate for 2010

Wednesday June 6th at 6:00 pm, Councillor Charlebois will lead the first meeting of the new Poverty Committee (Speak at Discretion of Chair). This is a formative meeting so is likely to deal with organizational issues.

The arts community is working with the downtown BIA to host an innovative arts event in August – “ArtWalk”. To help with the financing they are hosting a June 25th boat cruise that will feature music on the water from local artist Carla Crawford. Tickets are available form many downtown merchants including Valu-Mart, Georgian bakery….. or just let me know.

Please remember we have a start-up farmer’s market in Town, every Sunday at 8:00 am behind the Huronia Mall.

Gord McKay

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday May 31, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s on a day like this that you start sympathizing with the weatherman – can you believe snow in Orillia! But you should see my rhubarb crop.

On Tuesday June 2nd Mr. Barry Monaghan, interim CEO of the NSHA, will be hosting a meeting to discuss our hospital’s budget and projected staffing cuts. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm in the cafeteria of Huronia District Hospital.

Then on Wednesday at 7:00 pm the Town holds a Public Meeting on Planning Matters (You May Speak). The meeting covers three zoning amendments: 1) The Tiffin Marina, 2) Hugel Loft’s application respecting the old YMCA building, 3) A residence conversion at 537 King St.

Following that at 7:20 pm is the monthly PAC meeting. (Speak at Discretion of Chair). A relatively short meeting, including an application for rezoning the HPP property on Cranston Crescent to allow for retail use.

Thursday sees Town Council meeting with Elcan for a special meeting at 5:00 pm. Then at 7:00 pm the North Simcoe Community Futures Corporation presents the findings from their recent economic study of the area. The public is encouraged to attend and comment. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm at Brian Orser Hall, 61 Maria Street in Penetanguishene.

And lastly, I am attaching an announcement of an interesting conference that will tell you all about the management of our local beaches and shorelines.

Gord McKay

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday May 24, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

As I write this e-mail the sun is shining and my garden beckons. I will keep it short.

The main meeting of the week is the Council Meeting (Deputation Only) on Monday May 25 at 7:00 pm at the Town. A number of interesting topics:
- A deputation on the staff and services cuts affecting our hospital alliance
- A deputation by the arts community regarding the proposed arts centre at the Regent School property
- A deputation by Mr. Sherk concerning his tender applications with the Town
- A vote on a special development charge affecting “to be built’ properties at Tiffin by the Bay
- Formal acceptance for the site plan of a new (large) LCBO at 877 King St. (King and Hwy 12)

I have had many inquiries about the recent decision by the Town for heavy garbage pick-up. I attach the official Minute for your information.

And this Friday, a workshop on Drinking Water Source Protection will take place at the Brooklea starting at 9am. Please contact the Town if you wish to participate.

Gord McKay

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday May 17, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

A heavy frost tonight. With temperatures changing this quickly it’s hard to decide if you want the lawnmower or the snowblower!

On Wednesday the 20th at 5:00 pm at the Town, the Planning Advisory Committee will meet in a workshop to review progress with the Town’s Official Plan (You May Not Speak). If you like planning it may be an interesting one to drop in on and observe. The public will get its chance to comment at the Official Plan Open House on Thursday June 18th.

On Thursday May 21st, two items of interest.
- At 6:00 pm, the Midland Area reading Council holds its AGM and recognition dinner at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre.
- At 7:00 pm, Zero Waste Simcoe is hosting a public meeting also at the NSSRC. The meeting features the director of Waste Management from Markham Ontario, who will tell us how their municipal operation is cutting its waste by 95%. Also, ZWS will present the facts that show why we do not need Site 41.

Huronia Players “Murder by the Book” starts this week at their playhouse on William Street. If you like good theatre, you have to come and see Huronia Players. Tickets are available at the box office at the NSSRC.

Enjoy your weekend.

Gord McKay

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday May 10, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Not sure about this spring weather. It was cool enough to put my winter coat back on this morning.

Luckily things are warm at the Town. Monday the 11th starts with a flurry of activity. At 5:30 there is a closed meeting to discuss a water main project. Then at 6:00 a general meeting (You May Not Speak) to receive the Business Retention and Expansion study from the North Simcoe Community Futures Corporation. (This survey asked some 140 area business what they needed in the area to be succeed). Then at 7:00 pm a fairly busy General Committee (Written Input) including:
- A return to the road allowance sale issue at Regent School
- A discussion of the downtown parking situation. The meeting will review a recommendation not to waive the $7000 BIA parking fee
- A proposal to have Town staff go door-to-door in 2010 to collect dog license fees from all dog owners
- Heavy garbage pick-up will be brought back for a decision
- A recommendation to realign the Little Lake Park Rd. exit to meet up with 8th Street
- A proposal for a Farmers Market to take place at Harbourfront Park. The Farmers Market is proposed to include up to 200 vendors and run every Sunday from the end of May to October.
Should be interesting.

Friday May 15th is Midland’s Safe Communities Event at Little Lake Park. It runs from 10am until noon and will feature a wide number of safety demonstrations plus a chance to see an Olympic torch. Great for the whole family.

And not wanting to end on a negative note, but I am attaching an information sheet on your Town taxes. Your Council will be voting on this shortly.

Gord McKay

Saturday, May 2, 2009

saturday May 2, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Spring is rushing to green up the Town but it is still cool out there.

Monday is great day for a walk. The Walk for Site 41 starts at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Elmvale,106 Yonge St (parking) Highway 27 north of main corners, at 3:30 pm. If you want to be part of our history, this is an important event. (There will be shuttle buses available so you will not have to walk back from Site 41 at the end of the walk.)

On Wednesday the 6th, two items. The PAC meeting is at 7:00 pm (Speak at Discretion of Chair). It should be a very short meeting with only two items on the agenda:
– A zoning by-law amendment for the Bayport development respecting the number of model homes
– A zoning by-law amendment for Tiffin Pier to reconcile that development being split into three parts

Also on Wednesday is the Candlelight Ceremony at the Cenotaph. This tribute to our soldiers takes place a 7:30 pm. You should arrive early.

On Friday you are invited by the Quest Art School and Gallery to their Juried Art Show and Awards Event at 7:00 pm at the Village Square Mall in Penetanguishene. A great opportunity to meet some of the real art talents in our area.

A final note. Mr, Paul Heinrich is the new Chief Executive Officer of the NSHA. Mr. Heinrich is currently with the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance where he is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He will join the NSHA on June 22, 2009.

Gord McKay

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday April 26, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Monday April 27th starts quietly enough with a closed meeting at 5:30 pm. This is followed by a Public Meeting (You May Speak) at 6:00 pm to allow you to comment on proposed changes to Town development charges. Then at 7:00 pm the monthly Council meeting (Deputation Only). A long meeting with a number of key items:
- We start with a number of deputations including a petition by Jan Galaski to have our heavy waste pick-up reinstated.

If you permit me a brief editorial – heavy waste pick-up seems to have quickly become a defining issue across much of Midland. The recent decision of Council and the views of many citizens appear to be at odds. Lets hope we can all come to a proper resolution to this issue.

Back to the Council meeting:
- The Town is contemplating two land sales
o The laneway behind 520 Hugel (YMCA)
o College Street right-of-way through the old Regent School property
- We will be updated on the Town’s success in getting funding for SOS
- The Mayor will talk about funding for Midland Area Reading Council
- We will review a request by the Y’s Men for parking permits for their festival
- And a discussion of a trail along the old Penetanguishene road allowance
As I said, a long night.

Paul Hamelin is resigning as our Police Chief at the end of 2009 after a career spanning 34 years in uniform. He will be going onto the next stage of his policing career. He will be sorely missed.

Friday May 1st at 7:00 pm will see a special opening of the Carriage House Gallery, 372 Midland Ave. The gallery is featuring a show by the popular artist Donald Petit. A special feature will be a display of his painting of Site 41 - without the landfill.

And remember that this is yard waste collection week. Please have your yard waste at the curb in a suitable container. Please refer to your County Collection brochure for more information.

Gord McKay

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday April 19, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Here I am inside, faithfully writing to you while my garden and sunshine waits outdoors – I will keep this short.

Tuesday the 21st is the Town “Pitch In” day. If you want to help clean-up litter from our lovely Town environment come to the Town dock at 1:30 pm. You can join a group of Town staff and officials as we get ready for spring.

Wednesday the 22nd has a pre-Council meeting (in-camera) at 6:00 pm followed by a Special Council Meeting at 7:00 (Written Input). The second meeting will discuss which projects will be selected for the Town’s bid on new infrastructure funding from the government – we can propose at least three projects. There will also be a discussion around the Kaitlin Group relationship that may go in camera.

The BIA is busy this week with two activities;
- Dinner and AGM at St. Pauls church starting a 5:30 on Thursday the 23rd
- A Downtown strategy planning session at the library at 10:00 am on the 24th

Also on the 24th at 8:00 pm at the Windrifter Restaurant (on Vinden) musicians from across the Georgian Bay area will gather to play some music and have a good time. If you want to show your talent or just listen, do drop in. For further information call Neil Lefaive at 528-0810.

And lastly, Saturday April 25th features the Stephen Ogden Defence Fund dinner. We get to roast Stephen so it should be a lot of fun. Its at the Wyevale Community Centre starting at 6:00 pm. Tickets at the door are $15.

Gord McKay

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday April 11, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

A lovely Easter weekend is upon us. I hope you are all successful in your Easter egg hunts.

The holiday will delay our Town Committee meeting until Tuesday April 14th at 7:00 pm (Written input). A reasonably long agenda with a number of interesting items:
- Review of recommendation not to put No Parking signs on George St.
- Discussion of a land sale to assist the development of the new art centre
- An update by the Mayor on the Shelter Now development charge situation
- Huronia Museum is going to ask the Town to support its request for a $1.5 million grant from the Province
- The Library will be also asking the Town to support its bid for a $600,000 grant from the Province
- And lastly the Town will react to the recent letter from the BIA expressing concern about the downtown parking situation

Other than that a reasonably quiet week. Out of the Cold will wrap up its season on Thursday with a volunteer Pot-Luck dinner and a thank-you to all the residents of Penetanguishene, Tiny, Tay and Midland who make this program possible.

Gord McKay

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday April 4, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Snow! A not so subtle reminder that spring can be elusive.

A relatively quiet week.

Monday April 6th will see a meeting at 7:00 pm at the Town to again review the funding of the downtown street-worker program (SOS). It does not appear that any new funding is on the table. Without new funding the program is set to wrap up in May.

And a note about a fundraiser to help Mr Stephen Ogden, the individual who has led the campaign against Site 41. If you want a good spaghetti dinner and a chance to hear Stephen roasted, mark you calendar for Saturday April 25th at 6:00 at the Wyebridge Community Centre.

Enjoy the Easter break.

Gord McKay

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday March 20, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Raining outside – snow is melting – spring is happening.

A quiet week in the Town.

Two meetings on Wednesday April 1st. The first starts at 5:00 pm and deals with changes to our development charges (You may not speak). A public meeting on development charges will be scheduled for later on.

Then at 7:00 pm the regular PAC meeting (Speak at discretion of Chair). Much of the meeting will address issues covered in recent Public Meetings – rezoning for Bayport, the Pratt lands and a draft plan extension for Tiffin Pier. One interesting item is a plan to work with the County to redevelop the section of Highway 93 between Yonge St. and the Canadian Tire store.

And for those of you worried about taxes, our representatives to County will be discussing redistributing the municipal tax burden between the different tax classes – residential, commercial etc. This discussion will affect the taxes you pay. Contact your Councillor.

Gord McKay

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday March 22, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

A bit delayed in sending out this News from the Town. It has been a busy March break. But back to reality.

Your Council will meet on Monday March 23rd at 5:30 pm for a special closed meeting. (You can view the agenda on our Town website at under Meetings) Then at 7:00 starts the regular Council meeting (Deputation Only). It could be another long meeting with some of the more interesting topics including:
- A letter regarding Midland accepting leachate from Site 41
- Changes to our Notice By-Law
- The Mayor addressing the issue of poverty

The new restrictions on pesticides come into effect on April 22nd. Please refer to the attached notice from AMO.

And lastly this Saturday, your Council will meet with its “Counselor” to see if we can work out some of our process issues. And later that day, please remember that Vox Huronia will be presenting its “Requiem and Revival” concert at St. Pauls United Church at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $12.

Gord McKay

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday March 8, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

My first walk in my garden today. Gotta love those warm temperatures and sunshine.

A busy week in the Town. It starts off on Monday the 9th at 6:30 pm with a closed meeting. At 7:00 pm its the monthly Committee meeting (Written Input). This will likely be a long meeting so come prepared. Some interesting agenda items:
- Report on the 2008 remuneration paid to your Councillors. Your chance to find out who is the most parsimonious member of Council
- You will hear that Midland residents will pay some $1.1 million to the County in 2009 for your waste services. It’s definitely time to shift waste costs from the taxpayer and back to industry
- Fee increases. Dog tags are proposed to go up from $15 to $30.
- The development charge issue for the Shelter Now project will be discussed again

Midland’s Heritage Committee will meet at the Town on Tuesday March 10th at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be considering a request to petition for more heritage education in our high schools. (Did you know that more than half of Canadians between ages 18 and 24 could not name our country’s first Prime Minister?)

The Simcoe County District School Board will hold its last Accommodations Review meeting on Wednesday Mar 11th at 7:00 pm at the Penetanguishene Secondary School, 51 Dunlop St. The meeting will consider how many high schools are needed in our area, given our declining number of students.

Gord McKay

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday February 28, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Last day of February! Fish huts off the ice next month – can spring be far away.

The week starts off with an interesting meeting. On Monday March 2nd at 7:00 pm at the Town, we will receive the results of our transit study (Speak at Discretion of Chair). This meeting should cover how much public transit we need, where the bus routes should go and do we need a link to Georgian College.

On Wednesday March 4th at 7:00 pm the Town will hold Public Hearings on two matters (You May Speak):
- Pratt Lands Development – A zoning bylaw amendment to remove the holding status and allow minor adjustments to lot sizes and frontages
- CMRI Lands on Fuller Ave. – A zoning bylaw amendment to confirm reduced density for the proposed CMRI residential development

And right after that meeting will be the Planning Advisory Committee meeting (Speak at Discretion of Chair). A couple of interesting items:
- An agreement has been reached on the Town’s Home Occupation by-law. (A citizen had appealed to the OMB to have our proposed bylaw changed). The meeting will discuss if it accepts the agreement
- The possibility of new wireless communications facilities in the area. The three wireless service providers (Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus) have to consult with our municipality. The meeting will discuss the form of that consultation

And lastly, the Arts Center consultation has wrapped up its public meetings. Some 140 people attended the four meetings. Lots of good ideas. This information will now be used to craft a statement of what the artists and arts communities from our area want in their Art Centre.

Gord McKay

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday February 21, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

A quiet week, with a number of Council and staff attending the ROMA (Good Roads) conference in Toronto. That is why the Council meeting, which would normally have been this week, was held last Wednesday.

Starting with a non-Town matter, the Arts Centre Consultation will kick into high gear this week. Artists and the public are invited to voice their ideas about what should be in our new Arts Centre. Please consider attending one or more meetings:
- Musical Arts – 2 pm Sunday Feb 22 at Le Caron HS in Penetanguishene
- Francophone (All Arts) – 7 pm Sunday Feb 22 at Le Caron HS in Penetanguishene
- Performing Arts – 7 pm Monday Feb 23 at NSSRC in Midland
- Arts Community (non-artists) – 7 pm Wednesday Feb 25 at Huronia Museum in Midland

You may want to attend the last Simcoe County District School Board public meeting discussing the number of high schools needed in our area. It will take place on Wednesday March 11th 7 pm at Penetanguishene Secondary School, 51 Dunlop St. Penetanguishene. The Accommodations Review Committee is looking to finalize its report by March 31st so they are getting close to making recommendations.

The week-end is here and the Penetanguishene winter carnival is on. Enjoy the snow before it is gone.

Gord McKay

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday February 15, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

Even with the Family Day holiday on Monday things are very busy – and not necessarily at Town Hall.

I have just returned from the first Arts Centre consultation. Some 35 visual artists gathered to exchange views on what should be in our new Arts Centre. The next consultation is for the Musical Arts at 2:00 pm on Sunday February 22nd at Le Caron high school in Penetanguishene. For further information take a look at

Monday February the 16th will see a full slate of family activities at Midland’s YMCA. Its their Strong Kids Campaign. It starts off at 10:00 am with an Open Swim and concludes at 4:15 with something called “Family Zumba”. All activities are free.

On Tuesday February 17th the Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce will have its AGM and dinner – tickets are $55.00. Awards will recognize our business leaders in the area.

Wednesday February 18th at 7:00 pm is the Council meeting at the Town (Deputation Only). A rather quiet agenda. The heavy pick-up voucher system will be voted on. Also, yours truly has a motion to be voted on that will ask the County to require industry to pick-up 100% of the Blue Box costs by Jan 2010.

And finally on Monday March the 2nd at 7:00 pm Council will meet to review the Transit Study recommendations – where will our transit busses run (Speak at Discretion of Chair). Should be interesting.

Gord McKay

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Februay 7, 2009

Hard to believe its now +9 outside. Winterfest is on and my favorite Royal Newfoundland Regiment is stealing the show with their “Candy Cannon”.

The week will start on Monday the 9th with our Committee meeting at the Town at 7:00 pm (Written Input). A very demanding agenda including:
- Simcoe County District School Board is talking with the Town about making surplus classroom space more available for rental (less costly) to the public
- Discussion of how the new heavy pick-up voucher system may work
- Possible launch of a search for a new Town logo
- Preliminary discussion of whether the Town wants to be a treatment centre for Site 41 leachate
- Possible elimination of the advanced green into Bowling Green, off of King St.
- Changes to the entrance to the Arch restaurant, off of Yonge St.
- Plus a number of environmentally sensitive issues that will get Council debating

Tuesday the 10th at 6:30 pm at the NSSRC will see the last of the visioning exercises (You must Speak). The public is most earnestly invited to attend.

Wednesday morning at 10:30 at the Library will be the ceremonial kick-off of the construction for the new addition.

And get ready for Sunday the 15th when all those interested in art and culture will start the discussion around what we want in our new Art Centre. More details at

Gord McKay

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday January 31, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

I know we all love winter but really…….enough snow!

A busy week. On Monday February 2nd Garfield Dunlop will be holding his economic consultation at the Brooklea Golf Club starting at 9:00 am.

On Tuesday, the Town will hold its second “visioning” session at 6:30 pm at the NSSRC. I understand this will further develop the ideas from the first session. All are welcome.

Wednesday the 4th at 7:00 at the Town will see the Planning Advisory Committee meeting (You May Speak at Discretion of Chair). There will be a couple of interesting items:
1) The developer of the “Pratt Lands” (open area between St. Theresa H.S. and TRW) is bringing forward a draft plan of subdivision. It includes 196 dwelling units including single family and town-homes.
2) The Home Occupation By-law is back. Apparently some wording issues are still unresolved.

On Thursday February 5th at 7:00 pm an important meeting will be held by the Simcoe County District School Board at MSS. The meeting will discuss the declining enrolment at some of our high schools and how the Board should organize its school resources.

And on Friday – get ready for all the Winterfest activities on Saturday and Sunday. Should be the best festival ever.

Gord McKay

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday January 25, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen

I hope that you are staying warm. We have had three “Cold Weather Alerts” at the Out of the Cold shelter over the last two weeks – so you know its cold.

This past Saturday saw the first of three Visioning sessions conducted by the Town – what will Midland be like in 2031? About 40 people attended. The session was well organized with much discussion about the future for our quality of life, economy and waterfront. The next two sessions are Tuesday February 3rd at 6:30 pm and Tuesday February 10th at 6:30, both at NSSRC.

The main Town meeting this week is Council on Monday Jan 26th at 7:00 pm (Deputation Only). Should be a relatively short meeting. Some of the items:
- The annual building permit report will be presented:

Permits Total
Issued Dollar (M)
2008 460 27.9
2007 514 67.2

Change -11% -58%

While the decline in total dollars is large, 2007 was an exceptional year. 2008 is much more in line with where we were in 2003-2004.

- The Drummond wall will be discussed. The debate continues whether it should be protected in situ or moved.
- And we will be updated on the construction that has started on our library addition.

Gord McKay

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday January 17, 2009

A quieter week coming up for the Town. Must be the cold.

You should plan on attending the “Unbottle It” event taking place on Wednesday January 21st at 7:00 pm at the Midland Secondary School – free admission. The event will feature Maude Barlow, Sid Ryan (and rumour has it, yours truly) speaking to the topic of what is happening with your water.

This Saturday January 24th at 9:00 am will see the first of three workshops to develop the “vision” for the Town. The workshops are organized by the Town to get your input into what Midland should look like by the year 2031. Will be interesting.

Keep warm.

Gord McKay

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday January 10, 2009

Winter is back. Cold outside! Luckily things are starting to heat up at the Town.

First of all remember to take in Garfield Dunlop’s levee at the Penetanguishene Legion on Sunday January 11th at 1 pm.

This Monday January 12th your Councillors will first gather for a closed meeting at 6pm and then proceed to the Committee Meeting at 7 pm (Written Input). Some of the interesting items on a long agenda:
- We will hear the results of the bus transit survey recently conducted in Midland
- Penetanguishene has asked us if we agree with them on the proposed alternate highway route to Midland, identified in the County Official Plan
- Shelter Now will ask Council if it will waive development fees on their affordable housing project as the County has made this a condition of the County doing so
- A recommendation will be tabled to start fining any retailer who is open in contravention of the Retail Business Holiday Act

Wednesday at 7pm will see the first Planning Advisory Committee of the season. I am not sure if you will be allowed to speak as Stephan Kramp is your new Chair. A fairly light agenda. One of the more interesting items is a report on the recent visits by the Mayor and CAO with many of the major employers in Town.

I wish to recognize Dennis Brabant who after 17 years of devoted volunteer service has announced that he is leaving the downtown BIA Board. Dennis exemplifies the many dedicated volunteers who make our community work.

And finally mark Winterfest on your calendar for February 6th and 7th. A list of activities is attached.

Gord McKay

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday January 3, 2009

Happy New Year.

The Town offices open after the holiday break this Monday. It will be a pretty quiet week as we catch up. A number of committee meetings are scheduled including the Committee of Adjustment and Library Board.

If you want to do something you can participate in Bruce Stanton’s consultation on the economy taking place at the Penetanguishene Town Hall at 7 pm on Monday January 5th – and yes you may speak.

Gord McKay