Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday June 26, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Its official – it is summer. And as you can see below it is going to be a great one in the Town of Midland.

On Monday June 27th we start with the regular Council meeting.  The closed portion starts at 5:30 pm covering matters of litigation and personal issues. Then at 7:00 pm it’s a fairly short Council meeting including:

-       Three deputations

o    Terry Fox run

o    County services with Mark Aitken, Simcoe County CAO

o    An MPAC presentation

-       Public meeting (you may speak) respecting signs for home-based businesses

-       OMB appeal of our recent Second Suites by-law

-       A proposed exemption to the Midland 2-dog per household by-law

We will have Council meetings throughout the summer but General Committee meetings will only occur at the call of the Chair.  Check with the Town website before attending.

On to Wednesday the 28th. There will be celebrations across Town as the graduates from our two high schools receive their diplomas and no doubt indulge in a bit of partying. It’s also Midland Movie Night. Head downtown at dusk with the kids and the popcorn to enjoy Who Framed Roger Rabbit. At 8:00 pm the North Pandemic Groove plays at the MCC. Some fabulous jazz stylings from the winners of the Sapporo Jazz Festival.

Thursday June 30th will feature an SSEA Open House at our Library from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. David Philipps, everyone’s favorite meteorologist, will be the guest speaker. Also in Town is Leo Rautins, the renowned Toronto Raptor announcer.  He will be Fred’s guest for a Day in the Life at the MCC starting at 7:30 pm.

Friday July 1 – Canada Day – Time to celebrate.   The Town will be alive with all sorts of activities starting with a parade through Town at 10:30 am and then onto Little Lake Park for games, food, shows, culminating in fireworks in the Park at dusk. Please see the agenda (attached) to help guide you through the day.

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is hosting the Bagattaway Lacrosse Festival that will run on Friday and Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Admission fees $12.00 per adult, $10.50 per student and $9.25 for youth between 6 to 12 years.  For more information, please contact Sainte-Marie among the Hurons at (705) 526-7838.



A major residential development launches in Midland. The Official Grand Opening of The Seasons on Little Lake takes place from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm at their location off of Hwy 12. This is significant milestone for the developer and for Midland, so please drop in and help them celebrate – maybe meet some new neighbours.

Council Issues Update


After many years of debate, Council made the decision to move forward with the sale of our MPUC asset. This significant decision was driven by sector consolidation being orchestrated by the province plus our need to prepare for rapidly changing electrical technology, such as smart grid; co-generation and distributed battery storage. Council’s decision was founded upon the commitment that any sale arrangement would have to result in all MPUC customers being left better off.


Council has chosen a consulting company to assist in evaluating the OPP costing proposal. The work will take place over the summer with a decision likely this fall.


Great news about the provincial funding to expand our ER at GBGH. Now we just need a bit more provincial action to change the funding model for the 19 midsized hospitals in the province. Your mayors have been working to develop a solid understanding of the issue and what an acceptable solution may look like. Mayor Clarke (Orillia) will be hosting a fall conference at Lakehead University to finalize our position.


A book of condolences is available for you to sign at Town Hall for two weeks. The book will be sent to Orlando to show the solidarity of the people of Midland in the face of this horrific shooting.

Economic Development

The recent Manufacturing Conference brought together local industrial leaders and those who want to locate in Midland to discuss how to create new manufacturing opportunities in our area. The attendees enjoyed a new video of our area – take a look

Our newly minted North Simcoe Tourism group is starting to show their stripes. If you have seen the recent “Heart of Georgian Bay” adverts on CTV, you will know who is responsible. They have also launched their new website

And lastly, it’s nice to get some recognition of our progress. Look no further than the recent edition of Moneysense magazine that publishes the Best Places to Live in Canada. In

2014 – we were 197

2015 – we were 173

This year we moved up again to 167.

                                          ***** Now On With Summer *****

Some of the things you may want to include in your summer calendar.

Weekend of July 8th

Town of Midland's "Permit-Free Garage Sale Weekend" is happening again this summer on the weekend of Friday July 8th to Sunday July 10th, 2016

Saturday, July 16th 

Join us in Downtown Midland on from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm for our 1st Annual Downtown Midland Road Basketball Game!

Friday July 29th

Wendat opens its new residence in Penetanguishene at 1:30 pm, providing long needed low cost seniors accommodation.

August 9-11

The 2016 Ontario Seniors games come to Town. Hundreds of athletes and visitors will visit us, to see the action with 20 different sports. For more information

September 2-4

Our first annual RibFest comes to the Town dock. A great was to celebrate what is shaping up to be a fabulous summer

All summer

Music in the Park at Little Lake Park. In July it’s on Sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm; in August its Sunday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm 

-       July 3rd Georgian Bay Brass

-       July 10 Barrie Concert Band. This is a 50 piece band! Should be awesome

-       July 17 TBA 

-       July 24 A workshop concert of young artists from our area.

-       July 31 Huronia Hot Strings 

-       August 7  Sandra Goode Band

-       August 14. Blind Mary 

-       August 21 Penny Love 

-       August 28 TBA 

-       Sept 4 Passport at 2:00 pm 

-       Sept 4 Sensations 4:00 pm 

-       Sept 4 Souled Out 6:00 pm,  winners of the first Midland's Battle of the Bands

Midland Movie Night at the downtown parking at 509 Bay Street.

-       June 29th - Who Framed Roger Rabbit

-       July 13th - Men In Black

-       July 27th - Finding Nemo

-       August 10th - Frozen (Sing-A-Long Version) 

-       August 24th - Jurassic World

Dockside Tuesdays take place every Tuesday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm through July and August.  Listen to some great music at the Midland Town dock.


I am going to step back from News from the Town over the summer period to give you a chance to focus on enjoying this lovely place we call Midland. This year I will need a bit of a break as I deal with my cancer diagnosis. I want to thank all of the people who have stopped by to wish me well. It means more than you know. Prognosis is positive. Looking forward to getting back to work in the fall.

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday June 19, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Ahhhhh summer. School graduation around the corner and the Bay is abuzz with boats. Time to start thinking about kicking-back and relaxing.

Monday June 20th – summer solstice. At 7:00 pm you are invited to the quarterly public meeting of the Community Healthcare Steering Committee at the Oakwood Community Centre in Tay. The gathering will feature Jill Tettmann who will update you on the recent developments with the CCAC and the Penetanguishene Health Hub. Karen McGrath will be there to let you know what is happening with the operational review of GBGH. Then at 8:00 pm you are invited by Chigamik for a Summer Solstice Full Moon Ceremony with Elder Pauline Shirt in Edgehill Park.  Bring a lawn chair – soup and baked bread will be provided. Please register by calling Brian George at 527-4154 ext. 204.

Tuesday the 21st is National Aboriginal Day.  You are invited to celebrate the day at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is an entrance fee.  At 7:00 pm is a special meeting of Council.  It begins with a closed session to update Council on IBEW labour negations – should be relatively short.  Then it is open to the public for three items:

-       Selection of our consultant for the OPP costing process

-       Discussion of how we proceed with the sale or merger of the MPUC

-       Receipt of the Ombudsman’s report on two recent closed meetings

Also at 7:00 pm is the Lakehead Challenge at the MCC.  A captivating expert panel discusses the major issues affecting our society.  This evening’s topic is Migration, Identity and Belonging. Admission is $10.

Only one item for Wednesday the 22nd. At 6:15 pm cast off from the Town dock as the CLH volunteers enjoy a well-deserved boat cruise.

On Thursday June 23rd the County is holding an all-day conference at the Nottawasage Inn for municipal officials.  Its purpose is to explore new ways to increase cooperation amongst the many municipalities in the County. All in an effort to do things more efficiently.  At 10:30 am if you are down in Little Lake Park you may come across the Ontario Early Years Centre having a picnic with the young ones.  Takes you back.  And at 4;00 pm, GBGH is providing a Report to the Community in the hospital cafeteria. Reception to follow.

Friday the 24th sees the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre hosting its 5th Year Anniversary Strawberry Tea celebrating 5 years of offering support to local families facing cancer.  The tea is from 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm at the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre.  To purchase tickets please click:



-       Midland’s first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event starts at 10:00 am at the pavilion in LLP. Organized by the Ys-Men, all proceeds go to the Rosewood Shelter.   All men should be making their statement for ending violence against women. Please register at:

-       Set Sail into Summer Gala at the NSSRC starting at 6:00 pm. Our Lions Club is organizing a great night including the Georgian Bay School of Dance and dancing to Passport. For tickets call Ethel at 527-4115.

Council Issues Update


The Tuesday meeting this week will set the general direction of whether we merge or sell our MPUC. Council and the MPUC Board have both agreed that change has to occur to position our very small LDC for the future. Given the significant control exercised over all LDCs by the Ontario Energy Board – everything from setting the customer’s hydro rate, to monitoring service standards, to prescribing profit – there are just a few key areas where Council’s choice can make a substantive difference.  These are:

-       Protection of our financial investment and dividend stream

-       Control over our investments in any future (non-regulated) line of business

Should be an interesting discussion.


Three firms have responded to our Request for Proposal for expert assistance in costing our OPP pricing. Council should make a decision on which one we go with this month.

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday June 11, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Just back from the Butter Tart festival.  Another tremendous success even with the dampness in the morning. My congratulations to Angela and her team. I participated as a judge again this year so will be in sugar withdrawal for the next few days.

Monday the 13th sees two Town meetings.  At 6:00 pm there will be a closed meeting to deal with labour and personal matters. At 7:00 pm is the June General Committee meeting. A relatively short agenda including:

-       Discussion of using the Town parking lot at 509 Bay for more picnic/community gathering purposes

-       Direction on the Town providing insurance for the MCC

-       Consideration of a loan to our library

-       Review of the SSEA lease

Tuesday June14th starts at 9:00 am with County Council.  Then at 6:30 pm at that day is the fourth session in a lecture series of how start, grow and expand your business. The session is at the Library and will address the topic of succession planning.

On Wednesday the 15th, two items you will enjoy:

-       At 7:30 pm, A Day on the Life takes place at the MCC.  Fred will do a great job interviewing our intrepid Keewatin captain, Eric Conroy

-       At 8:00 pm, grab the popcorn and head downtown for the second Midland movie night.  Look for “Back to the Future” on the big screen at 509 Bay

Thursday the 16th is an important day for our community as we host the 2016 Prosperity Summit at the MCC. This event is organized by our economic development group, EDCNS, and brings together business leaders from our area and across southern Ontario to discuss business in North Simcoe. Our EDCNS is helping make business growth a reality in Midland.

Friday and the week-end is upon us.  Look for the Pearl Mist to be back at dockside. At 11:00 am our Midland Bay Landing steering committee meets at the Town to further advance our waterfront project. And then at 6:00 pm get ready to party as Party on the Dock returns to Midland. Rotary’s annual bash will be bigger and better. Tickets are available at Tripps Paint on King Street.



-       Our sailing club takes out the “Little” Brother and Sisters for a sail on the Bay

-       2:00 pm the Wye Marsh new boardwalk dedication at the Wye Marsh. You are welcome to attend.

-       8:00 pm a tribute to John Denver/Glen Campbell at the MCC

Council Issues Update


The Town is starting to move into its 2017 budget cycle. Look for Council to provide direction to staff on 2017 budget targets later this month.

Midland Bay Landing

The development side of the project is moving slower that we had expected.  Our partner is still living up to the terms of the contract. Staff has continued to complete the zoning changes that are needed to develop the property.  While we have not had the property formally appraised, the MBL site is now worth much more than what we paid for it.


In closing an opening - the Sammouna Restaurant, specializing in Mediterranean cuisine is now open at the Huronia Mall (in the old Quizno location). I recommend the Shwarma.

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday June 5, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Summer gets ever closer. It was good to see the Pearl Mist return to our harbor.  Butter Tart festival this week-end; Party on the Dock right after that – Great place this Midland.

A quieter week ahead. On Monday June 6th Council will hold a special meeting at 6:00 pm in the Town Hall to hear from Enbridge Gas, as their area service agreement comes up for renewal. You are welcome to attend.

On Tuesday you will want to see Team Midland get on the Big Bike in aid of cardio-vascular disease. The ride kicks off at 5:15 pm at the Town dock.

Thursday June 9th history will be made with the groundbreaking ceremony for our new area high school, Georgian Bay District High School. This new school, scheduled to open in 2018, will be home to students from all across North Simcoe. In particular it will welcome the students who would have otherwise attended Penetanguishene Secondary School, which will be closing this month. The ceremony takes place at MSS at 1:00 pm.

Friday the10th starts the closing activities for our own Midland Secondary School. On Friday students will participate in a number of activities - memorabilia sales, an art history walk, open mic/coffee house – as they say goodbye to MSS. The old MSS building will re-open next fall as the temporary location for the new GBDHS. At 5:00 pm you are invited to join the Alzheimers walk at NSSRC.  The actual walk takes place at 6:00 pm.  



-       Butter Tart Week-End. Lots to do as we welcome some 30,000 visitors to Town and look to sell 100,000 butter tarts. Check the schedule at

-       9:00 am to noon it’s the Kids Fishing Derby at the Town dock. Plus Midland Police  will be conducting their annual Bike Rodeo

-       MSS continues their closing ceremonies with a car wash at 1:00 pm, a garage sale and a drumming circle courtesy of Beausoleil First Nation.   At 2:00 pm the closing ceremonies and cake cutting take place. If you are signed up, MSS alumnae and friends will cruise on the Miss Midland at 7 pm. Come and celebrate our storied MSS.

-       Base Borden Air Show 9:00 am – 5:00 pm,  rain or shine


-       Base Borden Air Show 9:00 am – 5:00 pm,  rain or shine


Quest Art School and Gallery is looking for 1,000 giving individuals to make a small gift of $25 to their young artists’ programs. Children from around our area participate in Quest Art’s summer art camps, Saturday Art Club, after-school classes, March break camps, outreach programs in local elementary schools and a free Friday afternoon drop-in for teens. Please help all kids be creative by donating at:

You have likely heard by now that I have been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.  The good news is that it is treatable and the doctors at Sunnybrook are very positive about the outcome. That said I may have to slow down the pace a bit over the coming months. I will continue to do my best to keep you informed about all of the great things happening in our community.

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday May 29, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s not quite summer but there are already lots to get you outside. For example, today sees the wrap up of the CN Future Links Ontario Junior Golf Championship, showcasing the up and coming golfers in our province. Midland Golf and Country Club is the proud host for this major event.

Monday May 30th starts in Barrie at an Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) workshop to consider a better fiscal framework for municipalities. Municipalities are funded primarily through property taxes, which are both regressive and insufficient to fund many municipal programs. While change is some way off, this is an opportunity to get us started towards a better financial arrangement. Later on Monday I meet with a business interested in moving to Midland. Things are starting to happen.

Staying with the business theme, Tuesday the 31st is all about entrepreneurism. At 1:00 pm the Midland YMCA at 845 King Street is holding a “Boss Session” giving you all the information needed to start and operate your own small company. At 6:30 pm at the Library, the NSCFDC and Simcoe County present their third seminar on “Managing a Mature Business”.  Both events are free.

At 5:30 pm Council will attend the MPUC Annual General Meeting.  This meeting is not open to the public. It is expected to cover the receipt of financial information by MPUC’s sole shareholder (the Town) and a report about the results of MPUC’s discussions with other utilities about a sale or merger.

Wednesday June 1st is Tim Hortons’ Camp Day where they raise funds all across Canada to send needy children to summer camp.  Please drop by and show your support.  At 2:00 pm you are invited to Balm Beach in Tiny to see the installation of a “Mobile Mat”, allowing those in wheel chairs to navigate a sandy beach.

At 7:00 pm is PDC at Town Hall. The agenda includes:

-       Further consideration of the draft home occupation by-law

-       Site Plan for the Mountainview Mall redevelopment

-       Review of the Downtown Community Improvement Plan

And if you are looking for something a bit more exciting, at 8:30 pm the BIA screens the first downtown outdoor movie of the summer - Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  This free event takes place at the Town parking lot at King and Bay.  Come down and meet your neighbors.

Thursday the 2nd will see me in a philosophical frame of mind as I join the students at St. T’s for their Philosophers CafĂ©.  A challenging discussion as our young folk consider ways to change the world. At 6:30 pm you are invited to the Official Plan Steering Committee in the Council chamber.

At 7:00 pm Margaret Trudeau will be in Midland to tell us about her life challenges and experiences. The event is at the Highland Inn. Tickets are $150 with the proceeds going to Midland’s Guesthouse shelter.

And then it’s Friday. It starts with the four mayors meeting Patrick Brown to review area concerns. At 5:00 pm, summer kicks into high gear with the launch of the Georgian Bay In-Water Boat Show at Bayport marina. Your chance to see the best in boats and set yourself up for a summer on the water.



-       PSS will be holding its closing ceremonies at PSS this weekend.  MSS will hold its closing ceremony on June 10th, as all students prepare to move to the new regional high school to be located in Midland.

-       9:00 am to 5:00 pm the Georgian Bay In-Water Boat Show at Bayport Marina


-       9:00 to 5:00 pm the Georgian Bay In-Water Boat Show at Bayport Marina

-       2:00 pm Legion Drum Head ceremony at St. Margaret’s/St. Mark’s Cemetery

-       7:00 pm the Bombadils bring the best of Celtic music to the MCC

Council Issues Update


This week Council will receive the results of the survey conducted by the MPUC Board about possible partners for a sale or merger. This action has been taken as both the Board and Council recognize the increasing risk facing our small utility due to significant regulatory and technological change.

Council will meet about mid-June (in public) to decide its course of action. After that we will prepare the plan and resources to move our LDC asset to a better place. While change is stressful, Council is insistent on maintaining the key features that our citizens most value:

-       Stability of electrical rates

-       Quality of service

-       Being part of our community

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday May 22, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

One beautiful long week-end, tailor made for enjoying with family and friends. I will keep this short as my granddaughter wants me to go look for frogs.

Tuesday May 24th is a day of Council meetings. At 9:00 am it’s County Council in Midhurst. One of the reports that we will be receiving covers the waiting lists for County “rent-geared-to income” housing. The statistics are not good:

-       Families face a three year wait

-       Seniors face a 5.7 year wait and

-       Individual adults face a 5.8 year wait.

This reinforces the critical need to bring additional housing on stream so we can get our residents reasonably housed. At 11:00 am the County will hold a hearing on the allocation of 20,000 housing units made available to requesting municipalities in Simcoe County.

At 6:00 pm its Midland’s turn. We start with a closed meeting addressing three topics – labour negotiations, committee nominations and a personal matter.  At 7:00 pm it’s the Council meeting including:

-       Three deputations

o    Update on EDCNS, our economic development arm

o    Introduction to the new CEO of our Library

o    Status report on Little Lake brought to us by Keith Sherman, SSEA

-       Presentation of long service medals for our Fire Service

-       Decision on the second suite by-law

-       Discussion of the home occupation by-law

-       Review of a question of whether additional DC charges should be assessed against a developer on Aberdeen Blvd.

-       Finalization of our 2016 tax rate. The good news is that the Town portion is up by 1 percent and the overall tax rate that you will see on you bill is up by just 0.3%.  Given that inflation is in the 1.5% range, you will have a relative tax reduction.

Wednesday is Midland’s Rotary Club "Random Acts of Kindness Day" taking place all over Midland. Drop by the Town dock at 12:30 pm for a free hot dog lunch – and remember to pay it forward.

On Thursday the 26th at 5:30 pm you are invited to a Downtown Project Steering Committee meeting in the Council chambers.  Your chance to see what we have planned for the downtown.

Friday the 27th will have us welcoming the United Church Conference to Midland. This multi-day gathering will see hundreds of visitors in Midland, discussing matters spiritual and enjoying our beautiful Town.  Please give them a warm welcome.

That evening you are invited to a unique photography exhibition at 7:00 pm at the Museum.  Gunter Hille has been photographing Midland for 50 years and has some remarkable images of our community. Please come and enjoy an Evening of Photography. And at 8:00 pm Huronia Players stages their new production of Goodbye Piccadilly.  If you have never seen a Huronia Players production, now is the time.



-       10:30 am look to the harbor for a lot of sail boats as the Midland Sailing Club hosts its annual sail past

-       8:00 pm Jerry Lee Lewis tribute at the MCC

Council Issues Update


This past week Council hosted another public discussion on what should be done with the MPUC. There is a lot of information pointing to the increasingly risky environment our utility is facing. Council voted that the status quo was not an option. We have to make a structural change to our MPUC.

At the end of this month, Council will receive a report from the MPUC as to the sale and/or merger options they have discovered in their discussions with other utilities. Then about mid-June Council will reconvene to make its decision on where our MPUC is headed.


The date for Margaret Trudeau’s visit to Midland draws near. She will speak about her lifetime of experiences in support of The Guesthouse Shelter.  Here is a link to a recent interview with Mrs. Trudeau

The event will take place at the Highland Inn on Thursday, June 2nd at 7:00 pm. It promises to be a fascinating evening supporting an important local cause.

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016