Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday February 26, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen


A big week ahead. Midland Council will be making a major decision about the future of our downtown. A business person has come forward proposing to invest $3 million in a new microbrewery to be located in our parking lot at 526 Bay Street. The proposal brings new industry for our downtown, new jobs and a major boost to area tourism. It also aligns fully with our approved Downtown Master Plan. If this development goes forward, it will be the largest private investment in our downtown in the last decade.

You are invited to make your views about the project known to Council at a public meeting to be held this Monday. Later in the meeting Council will make its decision. If Council agrees to go forward with the microbrewery, you can expect some preparatory work on the parking lot as early as this coming week.  Parts of the lot will be blocked off for soil tests. The parking lot will still be accessible during this work.

The Week Ahead

Monday February 27th starts off at 7:00 am with a NSCFDC sponsored Breakfast and Learn Simulcast, taking place at Georgian College, Midland.  The event features Greg Taylor and the story of Steamwhistle Brewery. Register at

Later that morning I will make a presentation on behalf of the County to Lakehead University, as they celebrate their Research and Innovation Week.

At 5:00 pm Boston Pizza will be the scene of a second fund raiser for the Frank Graham 2017 Cycle Tour. If you dine between 5:00 and 8:00 pm a portion of your bill will be given to the cycle tour. Also starting at 5:00 pm, the Community Healthcare Steering Committee meets at GBGH to discuss recent developments impacting your healthcare.

Then at 6:30 pm Council goes into a closed meeting to discuss two matters: 1) Appointments for the Huronia Airport Commission 2) Staffing in our Finance Department.  At 7:00 pm it’s the February Council meeting. The meeting features:

-       Heritage award presentations to Mr. Ron Hunt and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Graham

-       Deputation on the GBGH Foundation

-       Four Public Meetings (you may speak) respecting:

o    Proposed sale of the property at 344 Gloucester St.

o    Fees for Town facilities and programs

o    Proposed sale of 787 Vinden St.

o    Proposed sale of the parking lot at 526 Bay Street

-       Appointment of two part-time parking by-law officials

On Tuesday the 28th at 1:00 pm the North Simcoe Housing Working Group meets at Town Hall to further develop its “Housing First” affordable housing pilot. Housing First is a proven method to help house the homeless based upon two key principles:

-       Provide the person stable housing as the first step

-       Provide the supports needed for them to remain housed

At 2:00 pm you are invited to the Villa Health Care Centre “Aloha Party”. Get ready for a Hawaiian treat with a photo booth, Tiki Bar and information about leading a long and healthy life. That’s at the Villa location, 689 Yonge Street. Later that day I head down to Queens Park to participate in the Lieutenant Governor’s 150 Stories Collection – authored works honouring Ontario in Canada’s anniversary year. Please see 

Wednesday is the first of March. I will join our economic development group, EDCNS, in meeting with the prospective owner of the Pillsbury property. We will discuss how to ensure that the facility remains a part of our manufacturing base for years to come. At 7:00 pm the Planning and Development Committee meets at Town Hall to consider:

-       Two Public Meetings (you may speak):

o    Application by the Plaza Retail REIT to use the rear interior of Mountainview Mall for storage

o    Conversion of the property at 438 Hugel from a duplex to a triplex

-       Proposed resolution of the Second Units discussion, recommending limitations be placed on unit size

-       Extension of our Building Services cooperative arrangement with Penetanguishene

Thursday the 2nd at 7:30 pm at the MCC - Midland Reads is back! The event is based on the CBC national debate, Canada Reads. This year panelists have chosen a book from the CBC's long list. They will be defending their book based on this year's theme "What is the one book Canadians need now?"

Week - End

Saturday March 4

-       10:30 am the Spelling Bee returns to challenge area children at the MCC

-       6:00 pm Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Dinner at Maitre'D Restaurant in Penetanguishene,  A special event as the script is by our own Brendan Main and directed by Christine Killing. Reserve tickets at  All proceeds to We Are the Villagers

-       7:00 pm the Wye Marsh presents A Night with Frank Sinatra, performed by the Sophisticated Swing of Burlington.  That is at the MCC

-       Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe present Bowl For Kid's Sake from 7:00 to 11:00 pm at both Bayshore Bowling Lanes (Midland) and Knight Haven bowling (Penetanguishene).

Council Issues Update


The costing process has started. Our consultants have developed their work plan which will be presented to the OPP Costing Committee shortly.  Should see an initial indication from the Committee by the end of April.


The Town should get some indication next week as to the level of interest generated by our sale RFP.  Interested parties have until mid-March to file their paperwork.  After that the intensive interviews will start.


Staff has completed most of the preparatory work for the 2017 budget. This year’s budget will have a different format. It will present financials on more of a “functional basis” as opposed to the historical “departmental basis”.  This change is expected to improve transparency and assist Council in making its decisions.  The first budget meeting date is March 10th starting at 1:30 pm.  This meeting will receive the budgets from our Boards and agencies and well as the departmental operating budgets.

The second budget meeting is set for March the 22nd starting at 3:30 pm. The meeting will receive the capital budgets from all areas. The third budget meeting is the public input meeting. This is your chance to respond on what you are hearing about the proposed 2017 budget and make comments directly to Council. That meeting is March 30th, starting at 7:00 pm.

Depending upon how the meetings have gone to this point, there may be additional budget meetings scheduled or the budget may go to General Committee for passage at the April Council meeting.


The popular Mayor’s Mac N Cheese dinner is back for 2017. This charitable event in support of We Are the Villagers sees the four mayors and the children of the Village entertaining and serving you with some of the best Mac N Cheese in Ontario. Please reserve your supper hour on April 3rd for one of the three sittings -  4:30, 5:45 and 7:00 pm - at Lot 102. If you need a ticket, let me know.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday February 18, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

North Simcoe is about to make a splash. Our economic development corporation, EDCNS, is telling Ontario what a great place we have in Midland. Using a combination of promotional advertisements in municipalities such as – Barrie, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Windsor - and a CTV Barrie short film series (airing February 28 to March 2) we tell our story of economic growth and the many employment opportunities in our area.  A great way to spread the word about good things happening in North Simcoe

The Week Ahead

Monday is Family Day.  Whether you are working or have the day off, take some time to be with your family.

From 6:30 to 8:00 pm Quest Art School + Gallery invites you to help them paint the Town’s Canada 150 Mural.  Our first community painting takes place tonight. Additional dates for painting are February 22nd and March 7th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The mural is being painted in Quest Art’s Classroom 1, on the second level of the Midland Cultural Centre. All ages welcome and no painting experience is necessary as the project coordinator and assistant are there to help.  

On Tuesday the 21st please join the Pregnancy Resource Centre at noon as they open their new location at 522 Elizabeth Street, second floor. Later that day the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” committee gets together to plan this year’s walk in Midland.

Wednesday the 22nd sees the second round of painting for the community mural at Quest from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Thursday the 23rd starts with a planning session for the Physician Recruitment Team at GBGH at 9:00 am. Also at 9:00 am the NSCFDC speaker’s series presents “Shifting Your Perspective” an entertaining workshop by Heather Wilson on management techniques for small business. That takes place at the Brian Orser arena in Penetanguishene from 9:00 am to noon. Please book ahead at

At 4:30 pm at our Library introduces a very special program.  Midland Public Library is launching the “tween” space called The Back Corner. Back Corner kids are young adults between 9 and14 who need special resources and their own safe space. This new space for tweens was made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Midland Public Library and their efforts in The Book Cellar Used Bookstore.

On Friday February 24th our museum hosts an art exhibit devoted to the works of the late Midland resident, Dennis Milton. Exhibits of Dennis’ work have taken place across Ontario.  Trained in graphic design, Dennis is known for his flair for colour and abstract motifs.  He has painted with acrylics, latex, liquid tempera and most recently focused on landscape collages.  The exhibit runs until Friday, March 10th at 7pm at which time the pieces will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the museum and local churches.

And at 8:00 pm at the MCC is Quartette featuring songstress Sylvia Tyson.  Your preview

Week - End

Saturday February 25

-       CLH fundraising gala with Kim Mitchell takes place at the Quality Inn at 6:00 pm

-       Coldest Night of the Year Walk starting at Robert and Main in Penetanguishene between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. A light meal will be served to all walkers and volunteers.

Council Issues Update


The Town has set the date for its first 2017 budget meeting - March 10th at 1:30 pm at Town Hall. Get ready for an intensive meeting as it expected to last until 8:30 pm 


In closing, an unusual event.  On March 10th at 8:00 pm at the Boathouse Eatery, our Huronia Players presents Mono Locos.  This is a monologue contest and super social.  The mood will be light, the attitude uproarious. The laughter and compelling drama will overflow with impunity.  Huronia Players has 12 spots available for budding monologue stars in search of their big break.   RSVP as soon as possible to Holly Archer to sign up (

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday February 12, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

This past Wednesday saw the OPP present their policing proposal to Council.  The meeting was attended by some 60-70 persons, the majority of whom were police officers and individuals from other municipalities that are also making policing decisions.

The OPP provided their year one all in cost of some $5.8 million. Council referred this number to our OPP Costing Committee to evaluate and make a fair comparison to the Midland Police Service cost – not a simple task. The Costing Committee will take at least 3 months to make their evaluation. For regular updates on what information has been presented and answers to your questions, please visit

The Week Ahead

Monday the 13th starts with a number of Town meetings.    At 2:00 pm the Midland Bay Landing Steering Committee meets at Town Hall for further discussions about our development partner. At 6:00 pm Council goes into a special closed meeting to consider labour relations, disposition of land and a personal issue. Then at 7:00 pm is the General Committee meeting. On the agenda:

-       Council will receive its Annual Safe Drinking Water report

-       A review of proposed user fee increases for the NSSRC, Parks and our Harbour.  Most fees are set to go up by 5% in 2017 and 2% per year thereafter

-       A request for the removal of two large trees in front of the Public Library

-       Discussion of whether we should move to telephone/online voting (instead of a paper ballot) for the upcoming election

Tuesday the 14th is a quieter day with only County Council at 9:00 am on the agenda.

On Wednesday at 6:30 pm the Midland BIA has asked the Town to meet with them to discuss parking issues in the downtown. That meeting is at ShopMidland.

Thursday the 16th sees two interesting meetings. From 10 am to 11:30 am our Library is hosting a Social Media Drop in Centre – everything you wanted to know about using social media. Please register at  . Then at 12:00 noon at the downtown ShopMidlnd location is an information session about how to start a business in our downtown. Sponsored by the BIA, the event will cover how to get started: benefits to opening up a business in downtown Midland; space availability and much more.  Please RSVP by at or call (705) 527-7246.

On Friday our Legion helps with the fundraising for the 2017 Frank Graham Cycle Liberation Tour. The Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary is hosting one of their renowned spaghetti dinners from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Week - End

Saturday February 18

-       10:00 am its “Makers & Breakers: What’s On the Inside?” at the Public Library. Geared for the younger set, ages 5 and up, this is your chance to explore ‘What's On the Inside’ of some common devices by busting them open and taking a look! They’ll look at things like lasers, magnets, and circuit boards. What do they do? How do they work? This month’s featured tech is computer hard drives. Register at the Library, 705-526-4216 

-       Winterama weekend in Penetanguishene. The parade starts at 10:30 am.


Three items in closing:

1.     North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM LHIN) is accepting applications for the positions of Board Chair and Director for current and upcoming vacancies in 2017. These postings will remain open until February 21, 2017.  Please see

2.     An electric vehicle charging station is coming to Midland. The station should be in place by March 31, 2017 and will be at our Tim Hortons on Hwy 12 - a great way to get a coffee and a charge at the same time.

3.       For all of us who have missed the insightful reportage of Doug Glynn, I am pleased to say he is back. Doug feels he has recovered enough to write again.  So he is launching his own blog.   I have always enjoyed Doug’s perspective and fairness in reporting local events. I think you will too.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday February 5, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

This past week has been one of “coming together” with our families and neighbors. On Thursday nearly 100 citizens attended a memorial service to remember those senselessly killed in the Quebec City mosque shooting. A time for Midland to reflect on those who died and to recommit to our Canadian principles of compassion and tolerance.

Then on Saturday a more happy and snowy gathering for our annual Winterfest. The tobogganing was fast, the chili piping hot and Tuxxie was a delight to her (his) retinue of worshipping children.  A great day to be out enjoying Midland.

The Week Ahead

Monday starts with my meeting with Andre Desroches to discuss the Sweet Ontario conference coming to Midland this July.  Your reminder that maple syrup season is but a month away.

On Wednesday the 8th, there will be two Town meetings. At 4:00 pm the Midland Youth Committee meets at the NSSRC. Then at 6:00 pm, a special Council meeting takes place at Town Hall to receive the OPP costing proposal.  Council started this process some four years ago. A consultant, at that time, indicted that there were significant cost savings with using an alternative policing service such as an OPP. Council agreed it would be good to understand what the cost difference would be and requested the costing.  Council will now receive that information and then likely refer it to its OPP Costing Committee. They will analyze the proposed cost and service level, and make recommendations to Council as to whether they should consider the OPP any further.

Thursday February 9th  sees a very special gathering at our Library at 9:00 am – the “Midland Think Tank”. The program is for those who want to start a business or just improve your business skills. The Think Tank is sponsored by the North Simcoe CFDC. Please register at

Also starting at 9:00 am is an all-day waste workshop at the County Museum. County Councilors will be considering what our waste and diversion targets should be for the next 5 years and the changes to be made to the County’s many waste collection and diversion programs.

On Friday the 10th  you are invited to attend an employment Fair at the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre. Running from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm the Fair will feature a number of educational sessions to help individuals find work plus allow them to meet prospective employers. At 7:00 pm the Swing Series returns to the MCC. Come and enjoy your favorite melodies as Brenda Brown sings her Swing Standards and Love Songs.

Week - End

Saturday February 11

-       9:00 am Valentine’s Breakfast at St. Marks

-       7:30 pm Serenata Choir Cabaret and Silent Auction at Restaurant Ste. Marie. For information call Midland Optical at 705-526 -6800

Sunday February 12

-       8:00 pm Michael Kaeshammer comes to MCC. Michael is an award winning Canadian jazz and boogie-woogie piano player. A sample of his work at:



Three additional items for your consideration.

1.     Huronia Players production Aberhart Summer is now underway at MCC. Not your typical HP presentation, it melds themes of politics, foreshadowings of war and a murder into an engaging ride for the audience. And if you enjoyed John Leclair in previous productions, this is for you.

2.     The Simcoe County Museum is providing Snowshoeing by Lamplight.  Snowshoeing takes place Tuesday evenings in February from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

3.     Our North Simcoe Tourism group has just launched their 2017 Heart of Georgian Bay Discovery Guide.  To view the guide online  Looking good!

And for your calendar.

Paul Henderson, one of the most famous hockey players in history, will be the guest on A Day in the Life on February 15th at 7:30 pm at the MCC.  If you want a ticket you will want to get it early.

We Are the Villagers is hosting a Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Dinner, on March 4th at the Maitre'D Restaurant in Penetanguishene. This is a very special “murder” as the script is written by our own Brendan Main and directed by Christine Killing. A small number of tickets are available at

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017