Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday June 29, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

The summer break looms but the Town will be busy. Recent media coverage of the newly purchased waterfront property gave the distinct impression that it was an unsavory piece of real estate - something the Town should not buy. I expect the Town to respond shortly with a balanced report to the residents of Midland that reads a lot less like a list of chemicals and provides more information that residents can use.  It may include Stantec’s main conclusion:

Based on the Pinchin Phase Two ESA and the Stantec Supplemental Phase Two ESA there do not appear to be any contaminants of concern that would prevent proceeding through the Ontario Ministry of the Environment Risk Assessment process for the site” Stantec Inc. - May 29, 2014

(The “Environmental Risk Assessment process” is used across Ontario for brownfield site development)


Monday June 30th – Yes, Town facilities are open today.

This summer twenty citizens from Markelo, Holland will be visiting Midland as part of the Frank Graham Cycle Liberation Tour.   Frank is one of the most endearing and decorated WWII legionnaires in our community. The tour committee will be raising funds through Midland’s Boston Pizza who will donate 10% of all food sales between the hours of 5:00 and 8:00 PM. Please come out and help the cause by having a dinner at Boston Pizza.

Tuesday is Canada Day. Please see the day’s schedule (attached).  The parade starts at 10:00 am and the fireworks are at dusk in Little lake Park.

Wednesday July 2nd sees the Town right back to work.  At 6:00 pm is a special meeting of Council to consider the Request for Expression of Interest that will be sent to prospective developers of our waterfront. To date we have had over six major developers express interest in developing Midland Bay Landing.   At 7:00 pm is the Planning and Development Committee including:
-       The OMB decision on the RSI recycling property and the submission of the RSI site plan for approval
-       Discussion of agreement with ADM (grain elevators on our waterfront) to share costs of a noise evaluation study
-       Update on our municipal Official Plan process.

Thursday is lighter fare with the Gryphon Trio's concert at 7:30pm at the Midland Cultural Centre.  Exceptional summer music through Brookside Music.

Friday July 4th will feature the11:00 am Waterfront Project steering committee meeting at Town Hall.  You are welcome to attend.


Georgian Bay Rowing Club Regatta at Little Lake Park starting at noon

Georgian Bay Rowing Club Regatta at Little Lake Park starting at noon

Farmers market – two locations: At Bay and King and at the Barber and Haskell lot starting at 10:00 am, all summer
            Rotary Music in the Park every Sunday at Little Lake Park at 7:00 pm


“News from the Town” will be taking the summer off. This not only gives the editor a bit of break but allows you to better enjoy your summer. If important items come up I will be sure to pass them along to you.

This is a municipal election year.  The election date is October 27th.  There will likely be lots of rumours this summer.   So if you hear any interesting ones, be sure to let me know.  On a more serious note, please visit to confirm and/or update your information so that the municipal Clerk can build the final Voters’ List.

Now some wonderful ways to enjoy summer in Midland.  

Friday July 11th to Monday July 21st
It’s Bike Week. Expect the rumble of motorcycles throughout the Town as biking enthusiasts are expected to visit our Town in the thousands. Their home base will be Little Lake Park. Please drop over and meet some very interesting and enjoyable folks.
Saturday July 12th
It’s the Library Garden tour from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Signs have been put up throughout the community pointing to the featured gardens. Tickets are available at the Midland Library.

Sunday July 13
The Midland Cultural Centre, in co-operation with the Consulate-General of Indonesia in Toronto, is presenting a fabulous program of the dance, music, costume and food of Indonesia at the MCC at 6:30 pm. A wonderful introduction to this tropical archipelago that supports unique floras and fauna including tiger, rhinoceros, orangutan, elephant and leopard.  Indonesia has about 300 ethnic groups, each with cultural identities developed over centuries, and that influences music, dance, fashion and cuisine. Please contact the MCC for your tickets.

Thursday July 17 to Sunday July 20
Festival du Loup returns to Lafonatine. Highlights of this celebration of francophonie include:
Thursday July 17 – Storytelling 7:30 at Ste Croix parish hall
            Friday July 18 – Kitchen party 7:30 at Pavillion du parc de Lafontaine
            Sat July 19 – all day fair, parc de Lafontaine
            Sunday July 20 – 10:30 am mass followed by a crepes brunch Ste Croix church

Saturday July 26
Georgian Bay Pops hosts its first fundraising event, The Prelude. This symphonic treat will be held at the home of Harry and Betty Campbell (122 Melissa Lane) in Cedar Ridge, starting at 3:30 pm.  Tickets at MCC

Friday August 22nd and Saturday August 23rd
The ever popular Tugfest returns with a proud fleet of trusty tugs to parade in our harbor on Friday night.   On Saturday, the Huronia Foundation for the Arts will be holding its creative ArtWalk festival on King Street in Midland – a showcase of artists, artisans, music and other great entertainment. Last year over 5000 visited the event.

So that’s it. For more information, please check the Towns new website at

Have a safe and happy summer.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday June 22, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s officially summer. The Butter Tart festival and Party on the Dock are in the books - both having been incredibly successful.  It’s now time to settle into the lazy hazy days of summer.  Feel the relief…..

Monday June 23rd starts with a closed meeting at 6:30 pm to discuss appointments to various Town committees. At 7:00 pm is the Council meeting.  A relatively short agenda including:
-       Two deputations:
o    Update on our source water protection
o    Tiffin residents concerned about the removal of development covenants
-       Information about the authorities for the Police Service Board
-       A by-law to require citizens to maintain their boulevards

County Council will be meeting on Tuesday June 24th, at 9:00 am in Midhurst.  An interesting agenda for Midland as it will deal with:
-       Establishing an economic development committee, complementing the one we now have in North Simcoe and
-       Launching a transit study to review and implement needed public transit systems in Simcoe County
At 3:00 pm the North Simcoe Housing Working Group meets at Town Hall – if you are interested in our housing future you are welcome to attend. And to close the day, at 7:00 pm the North Simcoe municipalities are hosting a public meeting to provide information for those who are thinking of running for public office in the upcoming municipal election. That’s at the NSSRC. 

Wednesday is a bit quieter.  You are invited to attend the Huronia Players AGM at 7:00 pm at the MCC – it’s an AGM but the Players always make it a fun time.

Thursday is just busy. You may wish to begin by attending the graduation ceremony for the Learning Centre at 10:30 am at the NSSRC.  Then at noon, the GBGH hosts its AGM at the MCC.  That afternoon at 2:00 pm will see the four municipalities meeting at the Tay Town Hall for the regular Huronia Economic Alliance meeting.  You are welcome to attend. 

At 4:00 pm the GBGH provides a “Report to the Community”. The meeting will take place in the cafeteria in the hospital.  The meeting is intended for the public and will bring you up to speed on the challenges facing our hospital.  At 7:00 pm its graduation night.  Both MSS and St. Theresa host their graduating ceremonies. (Do you remember your graduation ceremony? – excitement and energy)

And if you were to have wandered by the Town dock sometime during the day, you may have noticed the tall ship Peacemaker coming into harbor for visit. The Peacemaker and crew will be here until the 30th.

On Friday June 27th, Shelter Now is having a fundraising Car Wash from 12:00 until 6:30 in their back parking lot (850 Hartman Drive, just off of Yonge). For a minimum $5.00 donation and a food donation for the Midland Salvation Army food bank you can get your car sparkling shiny and even enjoy a hamburger, drink and/or a freezie while you wait!


            Come and visit the tall ship Peacemaker, in Midland harbor until June 30


Canada Day is just around the corner. Please take a look at the preliminary schedule (attached.)
Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday June 15, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

The day started cool but with 50,000 butter tarts it was bound to heat up. Truly one of the great tourism events in Midlands’s recent history. Visitors from as far away as Windsor and Ottawa.  His Honour David Onley served as one of the judges and truly enjoyed himself in the process. We all owe a great deal of thanks Barb Rowlandson who was the champion and driver for this great event.  I understand all 50,000 were sold by 3:00 pm. Next year - is 100,000 too many?

While lacking the public splash of the Butter Tart, Midland closed the purchase of the Unimin lands this week. The final purchase price was 3.4 million. On the business side this amount will be funded by debt that will be fully paid off as parts are sold to developers in accordance with our Town waterfront plan, over the next few years. On the community building front, the new “Midland Bay Landing” development will significantly improve the economic prospects for Midland while providing boardwalks and beaches for all of our citizens to enjoy.


On Tuesday June 17th at 6:00 pm the Town of Midland will attend the annual meeting of its solely owned utility, the Midland PUC. Then at 7:00 pm it’s the monthly meeting of Healthcare Innovators at ShopMidland.  At 7:30 pm you will want to be at the MCC where “A Day in the Life” welcomes acclaimed Canadian author and journalist Susan Swan. Susan was born and raised in Midland and as a teenager worked at the Midland Free Press.  She has devoted her recent career to writing novels and teaching creative writing.  Several of her novels have received nominations for prestigious awards and she is regarded as one of the finest fiction writers in Canada

On to Thursday June 19th when the County holds the second meeting of the Housing Advisory Committee.   The meeting will welcome new members from organizations like Community Housing and the Landlords Association. At 1:00 pm you are invited to attend the opening of the expanded emergency department at GBGH. And to close off a successful day, you may want to hear the musical tale of Enoch Arden, as presented by Brookside Music.  The event is at 7:30 pm at the MCC.  For tickets:

On Friday June 20th you are invited to the Waterfront Steering Committee meeting at 11:00 am at Town Hall.  And recognizing that the fun never stops in Midland, Midland Rotary invites you to its ever popular Party on the Dock, at the Town dock starting at 7:00 pm.


-       Its National Aboriginal Day (all weekend) celebrated at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons
-       The Georgian Bay Trails, Trail and Pilgrim Route opens with a ceremony at the St. Ignace site in Tay at 1645 Rosemount Rd.
-       Cruising Down the Clyde with the Midland Pipes and Drums.  This fundraiser will allow the band to travel to Normandy in 2015 to honour 70 years since the end of WWII.  Boarding is at 6;30 at the Penetanguishene dock.
-       Hot ticket – Born Ruffians at the MCC at 8:00 pm

-       Midland has two Farmers Markets open every Sunday morning – one in the Chamber parking lot off of Bay, the other in the Barber and Haskell parking lot off of King
-       Rotary sponsors Music in the Park (Little Lake) every Sunday at 7:00 pm 

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday June 8, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

Butter Tarts. This Saturday June 14th will see our 2nd Annual Butter Tart Festival. By all accounts this festival will bring Ontario to our doorstep. Some 50,000 (yes 50,000) butter tarts will be ready for the day – 5,000 plus visitors are expected. King Street will be full of entertainment and captivating vendors.  Celebrity judges, including the Honorable David Onley will be in attendance. Our first annual Town Crier competition will be held and much more.  This is your chance to invite family and friends up for a truly remarkable day. For further information click on

Monday June 9th will start in the dark.  Due to required work on the hydro transformer, the NSSRC will not have hydro and the usual telephone or internet/email service on Monday. All affected user groups have been informed. If you can hold off until Tuesday, it might be a good idea.

At 6:00 pm is a closed meeting covering committee appointments and the Unimin land acquisition.  Then at 7:00 pm is the regular General Committee including:
-       Presentation of the Towns Energy Management Plan
-       Discussion of the Huronia Museum lease
-       Release of the 2015 budget schedule and discussion of 2015 targets
-       Discussion of the $59,000 windfall from the Hydro One solicitation of the MPUC
Right after the General Committee is a special meeting of Council to change the Council appointment on the Midland PSB.

On Tuesday June 10th the County Council will meet at 9:00 am.  Then throughout the day you may catch glimpses of the Annual Big Bike Event for Heart and Stroke.  Midland Kelseys is the lead sponsor for this worthy cause.

Wednesday June 11th will feature a Rotary civic luncheon at noon at the Best Western.  Mr. Chris Mathers a renowned RCMP undercover agent will address sophisticated crime and criminal methods. Please get you tickets in advance at Terri’s Travel, Tripps Paint or Simply Country.

Wednesday at 6:00 pm at Town Hall is the first meeting of the Downtown Master Plan committee. Later at 7:30 pm is a tentative closed meeting to discuss the Unimin land acquisition.

All quiet until Friday June 13th at 1:30 pm when the newly reconstituted Audit Committee will meet at the Town Hall.  The agenda will include the consideration of the civilian member.

From 7:00 to 9:00 pm Quest Art School + Gallery will be hosting two opening receptions.  Quest Art’s Upper Gallery will be presenting The New Canadian Naturalist, an exhibition featuring multi-media artist and Victoria Harbour resident, Michael Farnan.  Georgian Perspectives, a community exhibition celebrating our local landscapes, will be on display in the Quest Art’s Atrium Gallery.  Both exhibitions continue to the end of August and as always, there is no fee to visit.  Quest Art is located within the Midland Cultural Centre.


-       Yes its Butter Tart day
-          Home Depot continues its Orange Door campaign in support of Community Reach Youth Services. Visit Midland’s Home Depot and enjoy:
o    June 14 BBQ
o    June 21 Lemonade stand
o    June 28 BBQ and fun day
-          The Children’s Community Choir will celebrate 20 years with a concert at St Pauls starting at 7:00 pm


Two interesting items for you:
-          Huronia Museum has prepared a series of historical plaques that will be placed at various locations around Midland. Be on the lookout for these and be prepared to use your QR reader (What is QR ? link to )
-          Ontario's 1st Zero Waste Conference will be held on August 10 and 11 at Lakehead University in Orillia.

And in closing – this last week saw a significant debate in Council regarding the Guesthouse moving out of its Knox Church location and into 522 Elizabeth St. While Council decided to permit the rezoning that would allow the move, many who live and work in the downtown remain concerned. Further consultation and work is needed. I anticipate the Town and the BIA will use this as a catalyst to take action to improve safety and social supports so that our important downtown can be enjoyed by all.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday June 1, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

The weekend weather was beautiful and Midland was out having fun on the water - our Midland Bay Sailing Club launched their season with a sail past; Bayport marina hosted its first in-water boat show; and Sunday I sailed the HMS Badger back to Penetanguishene dressed as Samuel de Champlain. We truly live in one beautiful place.

On a more serious note there were two major developments on the healthcare front this week.  GBGH announced it would be closing its Penetanguishene site within two years. The closure is seen as the only solution to deal with the 1.7 million dollar operating deficit at GBGH. In-patient programs will move to Midland within the next five months. The eight dialysis stations, the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre and Hospice Huronia will be moved to Midland by 2016.  Plans are already underway to ensure that the legacy of PGH will be remembered at the Midland location.

This past Thursday saw some 500 seniors gather to start the discussion about what we need in healthcare services in North Simcoe. Key healthcare challenges were introduced by Drs. Dan Scanlon and Marty McNamara. Karen McGrath answered questions about the recent hospital closure announcement. But most importantly hundreds of our seniors provided input on how they see the future of our healthcare in North Simcoe. This information will form the basis of a “healthcare charter” that the area mayors are pulling together. Look for further information in the day ahead.

Monday June 2 - a good day for giving. Best Western Highland hosts an all-day blood donor clinic. Blood donations become all the more critical during the summer season.

At 5:30 pm the Town will hold a closed meeting to discuss the pending purchase of the Unimin lands. At 6:30 pm is a GI Jane movie themed Zumba Class to support of the Midland Drive In as they convert to digital technology.  The event takes place at Victoria Harbour School, 1 Mackenzie Cr. Victoria Harbor. A suggested minimum donation is $10.

At 7:00 pm that evening the Guesthouse will host its own meeting at the NSSRC to better inform the public about its intentions for their proposed 522 Elizabeth Street location. 

Tuesday June 3rd will see Councilors attend an all-day strategy session at the County of Simcoe. At 6:30 pm the BIA hosts its June meeting at the Shopmidland location.

You will want to start your Wednesday June 4th at Tim Hortons in support of Camp Day. All funds will go to Tim Horton Children’s Foundation.  At 6:00 pm there will be a special Council meeting at Town Hall to vote on the Guesthouse re-zoning. Then at 7:00 pm is the regular Planning and Development Committee. Please check the website for the agenda as it was not available at the time of writing.

Thursday at 1:30 pm will see the Waypoint AGM at Waypoint. And lighter fare for the evening with the opening of Peter Pan at the Kings Wharf Theater.  Lots of local youngsters are involved – tickets are on sale.

Friday June 6th will feature a meeting of our Waterfront Steering Committee at11:00 am at the Town. The Vasey theatre group puts on an evening of entertainment at the Vasey United Church in Vasey starting at 7:00 pm.


Remember those days when there was nothing to do in Town?

-       Kids fishing derby from 9:00 am to noon at the Town dock
-       Bike rodeo from 9:00 am to noon at the Town dock
-       Blessing of the boats at the Town Dock at 11:00 am.  This event is organized by Parkbridge and Martyrs’ Shrine
-       Midland Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadets Review at 2:00 pm at the NSSRC
-       “Tango of Poetry” – a celebration of dance and poetry at the MCC at 7:00 pm
-       Doors Open returns allowing you to tour 25 unique area homes from 10:00 am to 4 pm.  Take a look at

-       Doors Open continues - 10:00 am to 4 :00 pm
-       Drumhead Ceremony at St. Margarets/St. Marks cemeteries at 2:00 pm


Penetanguishene is conducting a survey about a possible new transit service in Penetanguishene.  This service may connect to and help Midland residents traveling to/from Penentanguishene. If you wish to take the survey you can find it at     

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014