Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday May 28, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Summer weather – at long last. And as if to prove the point, this week sees the start of our cruise ship season. On Sunday June 4th the Pearl Mist makes the first of her 9 visits to Midland. On June 14th, the MS Victory visits Midland, one of its four port calls. Going to be a great summer.  

The Week Ahead

Monday the 29th sees the start of operations of the Guesthouse in there new location.  Our shelter for the homeless has been operating out of the basement of Knox Presbyterian for the last 8 years.  This new location provides much better accommodation for the guests and brings in specialized services, such as addictions counselling and housing support,  that will allow the homeless to move on to a better life. Look for a public launch about mid-June

At 10:30 am you are invited to GBGH for a cheque presentation from the County to help our hospital with the funding for its Emergency Department renovations.

On Tuesday May 30th at 3:00 pm, the NS Housing Working Group meets at Town Hall to advance its affordable housing project.  Then at 5:00 pm the Citizens Healthcare Steering Committee meets at GBGH.  Their main agenda item is to discuss how the Committee will work more closely with the NSMLHIN in representing the citizens of North Simcoe.  You are welcome to attend.

Wednesday May 31st is Camp Day at Tim Hortons. The proceeds from all coffee sales plus donations will be used to help low income families send their kids to camp.  I will be at their Hwy 12 location at 8:30 am, so do drop by. At 6:00 pm at Town Hall, Council holds a special meeting to receive the draft Official Plan Review report.  While this is not a public input meeting, you are invited to attend to gauge Council’s first reaction to the document.

A Day in the Life takes place at MCC at 7:30 pm featuring Duncan McCue.  Duncan is the host of CBC Radio's Cross Canada Checkup. He's a journalist, educator, author and public speaker. He has worked and volunteered with indigenous organizations across Canada.  He is the author of The Shoe Boy: A Trapline Memoir. pm).  Tickets are available online at or at the Box Office at 333 King St., Midland.

And at 8:00 pm at Bay and King Streets, it’s our first outdoor movie of the summer.  So grab the kids and some lawn chairs and come out to see Rogue One – A Star Wars Story under the stars.

Thursday June 1st starts at 5:45 am at the paramedic station in Midland. The reason – the Paramedic Push for Cardiology.  Paramedics from across Simcoe County will take turns pushing a gurney all the way from Midland to Midhurst. Their objective is to raise awareness and funds for heart disease, the second leading cause of death in Canada. So come out and cheer them on. The gurney leaves Midland at 5:45 am and arrives in Midhurst about 4:00 pm.

At 6:00 pm at the NSSRC is a public information meeting on the recent MPUC sale. This is your chance to find out more about the sale and get your questions answered. Much of the information is online at

On Friday at 1:30 pm Waypoint invites you to its AGM at Waypoint.  If you are looking for a boat, you will want to be at the Wye Heritage Marina starting at 4:00 pm for their annual In Water Boat Show.  The show goes all weekend.

Sistema is a special charity that helps underprivileged children get involved in learning how to play music. . They invite you to come out to their 50s/60s Dance Fundraiser and have some fun while supporting a great cause.  The event takes place at the Mt. St. Louis Parish Hall, at the Corner of Mt. St Louis Rd and 4th line of Oro Medonte, starting at 8:00 pm. Tickets available from John at   

Week - End

Saturday June 3

-       9:00 am - Kids Fishing Derby and Bike Rodeo at the Town dock

-       10:00 am – The In Water Boat Show at Wye Heritage Marina

-       11:00 am – The grand opening of Triple Tech at 713 Vinden

-       1:30 pm – 724 Midland Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets annual review at NSSRC

-       8:00 pm - Take It Easy – The Story of the Eagles, a musical tribute at the MCC

Sunday June 4

-       8:30 am – The Pearl Mist makes her first visit to Midland. She will be on dock all day

-       10:00 am – In Water Boat Show at Wye Heritage Marina

-       2:00 pm - Drumhead service at St. Margaret’s/ St. Marks cemetery  

Council Issues Update


Council gets its first look at the draft Official Plan Review report this week. This is a very important document for the Town as it will lay out the planning framework for the Town of Midland for at least the next 5 years. It also affects you.  The province has included a number of new features in the Plan including a “Natural Heritage” designation that is likely to apply to many properties in our community. Take a look at the information at   and make sure you are fully informed.  There will be additional meetings in the near future to allow you to provide input on the draft OPR.


It has been publically quiet on this front for the last two months. What has been happening is that soil samples have been taken, a normal development step, and are being evaluated by Barnstormer’s before the final terms are settled. More information shortly.


Our 2017 budget has been put to bed. Included in that budget is a small item for $12,000 that may have escaped your attention. These funds will be used for a “gap analysis” of the broadband coverage in our Town. Essentially to find out what type of digital communication is currently available for you.  When the gap analysis is completed this fall, we will be ready to participate in the roll-out of the SWIFT fibre optic network being planned by the Ontario government. The goal is to have fibre available to every home/business in North Simcoe. High speed connectivity is essential for Midland’s continued growth in becoming a player on the world stage.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday May 21, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Warmer weather may be proving elusive but things are heating up in Midland. My discussions with a number of folks in the real estate business indicate the home prices are up by about 30% year over year in Midland. The Pillsbury property has now been sold to a manufacturer. The sale will close in July at which time we will have more information about who is moving in and how many jobs are being created. Also this week I met with a manufacturer from the city who is thinking of relocating to our area. Midland is the place to be.

The Week Ahead

Monday 22 – Town Hall closed for Victoria Day.   

On Tuesday the 23rd it is back to work (for some). At 9:00 am County Council will deal with a number of items that affect our area. Good news on the housing front as the waiting list for rent-geared-to-income housing has decreased by 3.5% since last year.  At 6:00 pm is a closed meeting of Council to discuss two items: 1) Appointments to the Community Service Advisory Committee; 2) disposition of land. Then at 7:00 pm is the May Council meeting. A short agenda with some interesting items:

-       Council will start the discussion on how to manage the proceeds of the sale of our MPUC. The principal amount received from the sale is about $22 million

-       Finalization of your 2017 property tax rate. Expect an average tax increase of 1% for residential property owners over 2016

-       Discussion of acquiring a service to help locate grants for the many charities in our community

Wednesday May 24th is Rotary’s Random Acts of Kindness Day – a chance for each of us to show our fellow citizens a little compassion.  Rotary is hosting a free BBQ at the dock at 12 noon, while the Town invites you to drop by Town Hall for a coffee and a chat. At 1:00 pm is day one of the Culture Grows Here conference taking place at MCC. For more details, please see

Starting at 3:00 pm the Mental Wellness Ambassadors at Georgian Bay District Secondary School are hosting a Wellness Fair.  Students from GBDSS, Tay Shores Public School and James Keating Elementary Schools invite you to drop by the event at Little Lake Park and see how today’s schools have embraced the challenge of mental health. Also at 3:00 pm is the MCC AGM, taking place in the Town’s Council chambers. Later at 5:00 pm you are invited to visit the County’s skilled trades expo at the Wyevale Community Centre.

Thursday, a quieter day with the Culture Grows Here conference continuing at the MCC.

On Friday the 26th I attend an all-day County conference to discuss the coordination and sharing of services amongst the County and its municipalities.  Over the last four years Midland has successfully shared resources and services with Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay.  Seems the County wants to take this even further.  Friday also sees the 93rd Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada. The church conference, hosted by St. Pauls, will bring about 350 visitors to our area.

From 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm the Midland Legion is hosting another one of their famous spaghetti dinners.  Then at 8:00 pm Brian Neale, the lead singer of Northern Harbour, returns to Midland’s MCC with his “Livin’ the Life”, concert featuring Jimmy Buffett songs, Brian’s own original compositions, and the hits of Neil Diamond, Elton John, James Taylor and others.

A fun way to “kick off summer”!!  

Week - End

Saturday May 27

-       10:00 am to 12 noon, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe is hosting an “Every Day is Earth Day- Litter A Thon” to clean up our communities. Youth aged 6-18 are encouraged to participate (parents are encouraged to attend as well). Participants must pre-register through the Big Brothers Big Sisters office (705-526-5051).  Once the 2 hours of collecting litter are complete, participants will return to the BBBS parking lot at 67 Fourth Street for prize awards and a treat

-       11:00 am the Midland Bay Sailing Club launches its 2017 season with a sail past. Look for lots of sails in the harbour

-       8:45 pm Wye Marsh holds its Marsh by moonlight paddle series at Wye Marsh

Sunday May 28

12:30 pm is the Hospice Huronia Walk, starting from the curling club in Penetanguishene

1:00 pm – the Midland Lions guide dog walk starts at the Town dock

2:00 pm - GB Garden Tour hosts a launch evet for its July Garden Tour

8:00 pm - Huronia Hotstrings Gypsy Jazz at MCC featuring our own Jessica Lalonde

Council Issues Update


The 2017 budget and tax rate should be finalized this week with a tax rate increase of 1%. The 2018 budget process will start shortly with the first public meeting likely in the early fall. 


Two general items in closing.

1)     Midland Seniors Council is hosting its annual luncheon on Wednesday June 7th at the NSSRC. Featured speakers this year are retired Justice Bob Main and Bob Reynaud.  They will give you all sorts of advice on how to protect your retirement nest egg.  Get your tickets early at the NSSRC ticket office, the GBGH Gift Shop or at Askennonia

2)     Pickleball is coming to St Theresa’s and Georgian Bay District Secondary Schools. St Ts starts play this month with GBDSS in September.  This up and coming sport serves all age groups. For further information contact Garry Morehouse at

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday May 14, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Spring may be taking its time getting started but a projected high of 28 degrees C next week has to get you thinking about summer.

Statistics Canada has released the second round of data from the 2016 Census of Population. It provides a more information about the age distribution and housing style of Canadians, including Midlanders . Use this link and enter “Midland”  Census Profile

The Week Ahead

Monday the 15th is a busy day.    At 9:00 am the Friends of Wiidookdaadiwin are hosting a full day of learning at the Simcoe County Museum focused on the relationship and issues affecting First Nations and Simcoe County. Then at 6:00 pm it’s the Guys Who Care meeting at Lot 102. This semi-annual gathering raises thousands of dollars for a selected local charity. All men are welcome to attend. Just show up with a blank cheque for $200 and be prepared to vote on the charity of your choice.  A good social time as well.

Also at 6:00 pm is a public information session on the proposed “road diet’ for Yonge Street.  The Town intends to paint new lines on Yonge Street between First and Eighth. The repainting will add new bike lanes and reduce the car travel lanes from four to three, with the centre lane being a left turn lane. This meeting gives you the opportunity to hear further details and allows you to provide comments. The meeting is at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre

On Tuesday at 3:00 pm the mayors gather with the NS Community Futures Development Corporation to start bringing improved broadband access to all of North Simcoe. Following that the mayors meet again at 5:00 pm in Penetanguishene to discuss issues that affect all four municipalities.

At 7:30 pm “A Day in the Life” hosts Frank Iacobucci (former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada).  Mr. Justice Iacobucci served as a Justice of the Supreme Court from 1991 to 2004. He formerly served as Dean of the University of Toronto Law School, as a Deputy Minister of Justice and as Interim President of the University of Toronto. The event is at the MCC.

Friday the 19th starts at 9:00 am at the County with the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.  This committee is working with the Town to meet our own affordable housing target of 90 new affordable units by 2024. The good news is that we have created over 30 new units over the last three years, well ahead of our target.

At 12 noon the union at the CNCC in Penetanguishene holds a rally at their facility to make the government more aware of upcoming contract talks. Then at 4:00 pm the fun begins at MCC. “Uke Fest” returns with all its noisy exuberance. I attended this event two year ago and was treated to room full of people all playing their ukuleles in harmony. The Fest is on all weekend – you are most welcome to drop by.

Week - End

Saturday May 20

-       Marsh by Moonlight paddle series at Wye Marsh starting at 8:45 pm

Sunday May 21

-       2:00 pm – the grand opening of Midland Indoor Playground at Mountainview Mall

-       Remember Monday May 22nd is the Victoria Day holiday. Town offices are closed.

Council Issues Update


The consultants are just about finished their cost analysis and expect to have their draft report to Council by the first week of June.


To wrap up I have three items that you may want to put on your calendar.

1)     Soccer is beginning at the Midland soccer fields behind Lot 102 every Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m.  All interested adult players between the ages of 16 and 100+ are welcome. If you are interested, you can come out any Thursday evening or visit

2)     On June 15th and 16th it’s the Zero Waste Ontario conference at Lakehead University in Orillia. The 2017 Conference features Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, who will outline the new Waste Free Ontario Act. The theme of the conference is making Simcoe a “Circular Economy”. Please register today by going to the website,

3)     Summer time is coming and the need for blood will be greater than ever. Canadian Blood Services is hosting its “Canada 150” donation drive on Monday July 3rd at the NSSRC from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. They have challenged Midland to deliver 150 donations at this clinic. Your help is needed for this very worthwhile cause. Please consider giving the gift of life this summer to someone in need.


Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday May 7, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am just back from a 13 day visit to the Netherlands with the Frank Graham Cycle Liberation Tour. Frank, as many of you know, is a Midland resident and veteran of WWII. In particular he was wounded in the battle for Nijmegen, which forced him out of active combat.  To this day the people of the Netherlands have never forgotten the sacrifice of our Canadian soldiers and of Frank.

In 1985 the Dutch government was in contact with the Mayor of Tay to start an exchange program called Operation Friendship.  On a rotating basis, citizens and veterans from one country would be welcomed by host families from the other. It started slowly but over the years there have been over 10 such exchanges. And a strong bond of friendship has been established.

Unfortunately time is catching up with the participants and there are fewer and fewer veterans each year. So in 2010 it was decided to actively engage the youth and the Frank Graham Cycle Liberation Tour was born. Some 50-60 youth from both Canada (Midland-Chatham) and the Netherlands have cycled through Europe following the trail of the liberators. This year was the third cycling tour and will likely be the last. The good news is that maintaining that bond of friendship has now been turned over to the youth from both countries. We along with Frank look forward to seeing what our young people will come up with to uphold our commitment never to forget.

With air travel I have been up now for over 18 hours. I will keep this week’s edition very short.

The Week Ahead

On Monday May 8th is the General Committee meeting at 7:00 pm at Town Hall.  A very light agenda including decisions on administrative support for our many summer events such as the Butter Tart Festival and ZuchinniMania.

Tuesday at 9:00 it’s a full day with County Council.  The main item is a public meeting on the proposed County waste processing facility.

Wednesday the10th at 7:00 pm is our Candlelight Tribute to our soldiers and veterans at the Cenotaph. Please arrive early.

On Thursday the OPP Costing Committee will be meeting to further discuss the costing analysis for the policing of Midland.

Friday gives you two options for a fine meal. At 5:30 pm the Huronia Museum Heritage Dinner takes place at the NSSRC. And from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm the Township of Tay hosts a fundraising lasagna dinner at the Oakwood Community Center in support of the Wye Marsh.

Week - End

Saturday May 13

-       Treasure Days in Midland. Have your gently used items at the curb by 8:00 am and back in by 5:00 pm

-       The Model Train Show is at the NSSRC from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

-       8:45 pm - Enjoy a moonlight paddle series at Wye Marsh

Sunday May 14

-       Treasure Days in Midland. Have your gently used items at the curb by 8:00 am and back in by 5:00 pm

-       The Model Train Show is at the NSSRC from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017