Town of Midland’s Bee City mural #2 on display in the lobby at the Municipal Office.
This mural will be installed in Little Lake Park in Spring 2022.
December 17, 2021 – Combining its status as a Bee City and reputation as a mural community, the Town commissioned two Bee City murals to highlight its commitment to protecting pollinators and pollinator-friendly habitats.
The first mural, which included public participation, was installed in David Onley Park in the fall and the second mural, completed by area seniors and students, will be installed in Little Lake Park in the spring.
“This mural is an exceptional intergenerational project that beautifully reflects the community's appreciation of pollinators and recognition of our need to protect them," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “We truly have some talented artists in our area."
Melissa Ives, Activationist at the Georgian Manor, and Alison Oldfield, the Executive Director of King Place, led the project.
Residents from the Georgian Manor and King Place who participated include Lloyd Weaver, Marion Taylor, Lyndsey Stacey, Helga Eidner, Marilyn Bumstead, Betty Gillham, Joyce Templeton, Anne Leblanc, Mary Graham, Heather Graham, and Norma Turner.
The high school and elementary school students who contributed to the mural include Bella Visco, Keiryn Ives, Liam Ives, Raine Oldfield-Traviss, Asher Totman, and Violet Ives
While the mural won't be installed outdoors until spring, it will spend the winter on display in the lobby at the Town of Midland Municipal Office for visitors to enjoy.
For more information about Midland's Bee City initiative, please visit Midland.ca/Midland-is-a-Bee-City, and Midland.ca/BeeCityMurals for more on our Bee City Murals.
The Town recognizes financial support received by the County of Simcoe to assist with some of the costs associate with this project.
2022 Tree Seedling Distribution Program
Severn Sound Environmental Association and the Town of Midland are working together to provide residents with reasonably priced, native tree and shrub seedlings for planting in early spring 2022.
Tree seedlings must be pre-ordered. The deadline for ordering is Friday, January 14th, 2022.
Program details are available at the municipal office and online at:
December 14, 2021 – The Town of Midland will gratefully receive $935,354 in infrastructure funding toward Town infrastructure initiatives in 2022 from the annual Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF). This is an increase of 105% from funding received in both 2020 and 2021. The OCIF is a provincial program that provides support for local infrastructure projects in communities with populations under 100,000. For the 4 North Simcoe municipalities this much-needed funding results in over $3.6 million for Midland, Tiny, Tay and Penetanguishene.
“I met with the Minister of Infrastructure this Fall, along with our senior staff, to ensure that they appreciate the needs of Midland as well as the opportunities. We certainly agree with the Premier that smaller municipalities will be at the forefront of building Ontario's future," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Midland always has been and will continue to be an important hub for North Simcoe, but we require assistance to keep pace with aging infrastructure and to invest in new projects for recovery, growth and sustainability. For quite some time our residents have funded most of this work through our local taxes and it is refreshing to see more funds come our way and a commitment to revisiting the funding formula."
Over $14 million in funding will be allocated in our Simcoe North riding, including $5,289,462 to the County of Simcoe, and $3,268,167 to the City of Orillia. Closer to home, $3.6 million in funding will be allocated in North Simcoe, with Tay Township receiving $1,061,297, Midland receiving $935,354, Penetanguishene receiving $837,563, and Tiny Township receiving $783,094.
“Thank you to the Government of Ontario, Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma, and Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, for your continued support of our local community infrastructure improvement efforts," added Mayor Strathearn.
In 2021, approximately $200 million in OCIF funding was allocated to 424 small, rural and northern communities. Funding allocations are based on a formula that recognizes different economic conditions and community needs in Ontario.
December 9, 2021 – On Wednesday, December 8, 2021, the Draft 2022 Budget was presented to Midland Town Council at its final Council meeting of 2021. The budget process was accelerated this year so that the Draft 2022 Budget could be presented to Council in December, two months earlier than the previous budget.
“Each year staff put months of work into creating the draft budget to present to Council, and now its Council's job to review this impressive document and prepare for the deliberation exercise near the end of January," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Council and staff will work to make adjustments to the draft budget so that the budget that is ultimately approved will minimize the tax levy impact on residents while continuing to build upon the services we offer."
Highlights of the Draft 2022 Budget:
- Estimated Tax Rate increase of 3.53% ($37 increase/per $100,000 of property assessment) to support Town Services (before: Council/Committee Requests, Agencies/Boards/Commissions, and Sustainable Capital Levy)
- Estimated 2.85% blended tax rate increase ($42 increase per $100,000 or property assessment)
- 5% increase in Water rates = $21.16 increase/year for a typical user ($0.41/week)
- 4% increase in Wastewater rates = $19.58 increase/year for typical user ($0.38/week)
“I want to thank all of our staff for working so diligently to get this Draft 2022 Budget done two months earlier than last year, while still managing to continue their day-to-day tasks. This really sets the stage for Council and staff to hit the ground running in January," said CAO David Denault.
CFO Michael Jermey indicated “There are many options presented in the Draft 2022 Budget for Council to consider, and I know the public will have many questions. We look forward to continuing the budget process in January and working towards an approval near the end of that month."
The 2022 Budget process will continue in January with the following schedule:
- January 13, 2022 – Agencies, Boards & Commissions Presentations
- January 19, 2022 – 2022 Budget Public Meeting
- January 26-28, 2022 – Budget Deliberations/Approval
The Draft 2022 Budget and Draft 2022 Budget Presentation are both available at Midland.ca/Budget.
Town of Midland launches “Midland.ca Makeover" Survey
December 1, 2021 – The Town of Midland has launched a new “Midland.ca" Makeover Survey, looking for feedback from the community on their thoughts about the current Town website, www.Midland.ca, and what they would like to see in a new site.
“The current Town website has been in existence since early 2014, and although it went through an extensive template redesign a few years ago to update the look of the site and provide easier access to information, it is still the same website," said Deputy Mayor Mike Ross. “A new, modernized website is long overdue, and we're excited to get started on this project and hope the community will get involved and help us determine what this new site will offer."
The “Midland.ca" Makeover Survey is the first step in the Town's new website project, a project mainly funded by the Municipal Modernization Program, and will ask participants to provide details on what browsers and devices they currently use; their opinions on the current Midland.ca site; what experiences they've had with current site features; elements they would like in a new site; and examples of any other municipal sites they'd recommend Midland take a look at.
The “Midland.ca" Makeover Survey is open from December 1, 2021 to January 14, 2022, and the community can participate in the survey by visiting EngagingMidland.ca/Project-Website-Makeover
Funding for the Town of Midland's Municipal Modernization Program Project is provided in part by the Province of Ontario. The views expressed in this publication are the views of the Town and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.
November 22, 2021 – The Town of Midland continues to modernize our services and offer more convenient ways to support our residents and businesses safely and efficiently.
The Town's Building Department is excited to announce the soft launch of e-permitting software on November 30, 2021, with full launch on January 1, 2022. The new Cloudpermit system will allow homeowners and industry professionals the ability to submit building permit applications online at Midland.ca/Building.
The switch to a digital permitting system is very exciting for both staff and the community. It provides a more efficient and sustainable approach to our operations, bringing valuable new tools to our community. In March of 2021 the Town of Penetanguishene launched Cloudpermit and the Township of Tiny is also implementing Cloudpermit in 2022.
As of January 1, all applicants are encouraged to use the new e-permitting system online. If residents have a paper-based application, they can still come to the Municipal Office for assistance with the online application.
“The cloud-based permit software is a one-stop shop for professionals or homeowners looking to build in Midland," said Terry Paquette, Chief Building Officer for the Town of Midland. “It provides each user their own portal for application submissions, inspections, and approvals, as well as integration with Building Department staff, scheduling, and online billing."
For staff, the ability to use the mobile tool to conduct site inspections, upload images and reviews to the project remotely, further provides efficiencies within the entire application process.
Building Department staff are excited to conduct community training sessions in the new year. Interested individuals are encouraged to follow the Town of Midland on social media (@TownofMidland on Facebook, @MidlandON on Twitter) for future announcements of specific training dates, or connect with email@example.com to be added to an email list.
Media Release: Significant Weather Event Update
December 9, 2021 – The Significant Weather Event declared the morning of Tuesday, December 7, 2021, has come to an end. With the additional snowfall last night, Operations crews have continued working to keep the roads and sidewalks clear and safe.
With current resource levels, the Town will have all roads and sidewalks cleared by 5 p.m. today and is confident in its ability to meet the Minimum Maintenance Standards. Overnight crews will remain focussed on snow removal on busier roads as well as plowing all sidewalks to clean up any remaining snow.
“The amount of snow that fell in Midland varied depending on the area you live, however all areas received significant levels, some reaching nearly 40cm," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Our Operations team has been working around the clock to clear the roads and remove snow, and also working to clear all sidewalks while facing equipment challenges, and I thank them for their hard work and dedication."
Declaring a Significant Weather Event as it relates to Ontario's Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways means an approaching or occurring weather hazard has the potential to pose a significant danger to drivers and pedestrians. When a Significant Weather Event is in effect, municipal roads and sidewalks are considered to be in a state of repair until the event has ended. During such times, the traveling public are encouraged to use caution and only venture out if absolutely necessary.
Media Release: Midland continues to deal with Significant Weather Event - December 8, 2021
Media Release: Town of Midland declares Significant Weather Event - December 7, 2021
October 21, 2021 – Midland has added to its mural collection.
Combining its status as a Bee City with its reputation as a mural community, the Town commissioned two Bee City murals to highlight its commitment to protecting pollinators and pollinator-friendly habitats.
The first mural, led by artist Shandelle McCurdie with members of the community invited to help paint the mural, was unveiled in David Onley Park this morning. Shandelle's design concept allowed for community members of all ages and all artistic levels to participate in this project.
“We are proud to be a Bee City and to feature our community's commitment to protecting pollinators through these beautiful new murals," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Midland is known as a mural community, and it's wonderful to unveil this new mural that the community helped create."
The second Bee City mural is an intergenerational endeavour with residents of Georgian Village, King Place and local high school students working together to complete the painting. It will be installed in Little Lake Park in spring 2022.
The Town recognizes financial support received by the County of Simcoe to assist with some of the costs associated with this project.
October 21, 2021 – Today, the Town of Midland buried a time capsule to commemorate the completion of the King Street Rejuvenation Project as well as Midland's history and current time we live in. It will be unearthed by residents in 2071.
The community was invited to provide suggestions for what to include in the time capsule and items were selected based on their relevance to the history and future of Midland, size, and archival stability.
Among the items included in the time capsule:
- A letter from Council speaking to current-day events including:
- King Street Rejuvenation Project;
- The COVID-19 pandemic, and
- Plans for future projects and developments.
- A 3D-printed butter tart;
- Items from Beausoleil First Nation and Georgian Bay Metis Council;
- Items recognizing milestone anniversaries, and more!
“When future Midlanders unearth the time capsule, they will gain a small glimpse into this eventful time in Midland's history," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “And it is our hope that Midland in 2071 is still as great a place to live as it is in 2021."
The time capsule is buried at the intersection of King Street and Bayshore Drive, connecting it to the King Street Rejuvenation Project and the Harbour. A large rock (seen beside the time capsule in the attached photos) has been placed on top of the time capsule burial location, and a plaque will be installed on the rock in the coming weeks.
Friends of Brian Williams, along with Mayor Stewart Strathearn (far left) and Fire Prevention Officer Ken Corriveau (far right) help unveil the Brian Williams Fire Safety Station.
October 8, 2021 – Midland resident Brian Williams was a big fan of the Midland Fire Department. Brian would occasionally stop by the fire hall and have a Diet Coke and a chat with the firefighters and was thrilled to hear about what was new with the department. Unfortunately, in 2019 Brian was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
“Brian Williams was a super-fan of all emergency services, and especially Midland Fire. When he was first diagnosed with a terminal illness in 2019, he and his CLH direct support staff made a bucket list of “experiences of a lifetime"," said Deb Duval, Senior Manager Adult Services with CLH Developmental Support Services. “Midland Fire Prevention Officer Ken Corriveau learned of this, and he and the entire Midland Fire team created a fire hall visit to remember for Brian. This meant the world to him! In appreciation for their kindness and for the vital work they do for the community, Brian left a bequest to Midland Fire."
Using that bequest from Brian, this week the Midland Fire Department unveiled the Brian Williams Safety Station, a new fire safety station that will be used on public education sessions for children and visitors of all ages for years to come, thanks to his donation and love of the fire department.
“Brian touched the hearts of the firefighters he met," said Midland Fire Chief Paul Ryan. “The donation and the new fire safety station named in his honour will continue an appreciation Brian had towards Midland Fire and will allow the fire department to continue to provide public education to the residents and visitors to the Town of Midland. We are grateful to Brian and CLH Developmental Support Services for this wonderful donation and example of community spirit."
“The entire CLH Developmental Support Services community is beyond thrilled that Brian is being honoured through the new Fire Safety Education Station," added Duval.
To watch a video of Brian's last visit with the Midland Fire Department please visit: https://youtu.be/EDOYBV6Xmmk
October 8, 2021 – Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Midland has been committed to providing a safe environment for Town employees and members of the public, and finding ways to safely offer all the services permitted during the various restriction stages. That commitment continues today with the announcement of the Town of Midland COVID-19 Vaccination Procedure for employees.
Under this new procedure, which was presented to staff on October 7, employees are required to disclose their vaccination status by October 15, 2021. Employees who are fully or partially vaccinated, must provide proof of vaccination or documented bona fide medical and human rights exemptions by November 1, 2021. Employees who are not fully vaccinated or who choose not to disclose their vaccination status, must complete an Educational Program approved by the Town of Midland by November 15, 2021, to ensure they are adequately informed about the COVID-19 vaccines and the risks associated with not being immunized.
“The Town of Midland strongly encourages all employees who can to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a measure to protect their health and the health of their coworkers and the public," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “The Town is committed to providing safe work environments for our staff, and for the visiting public, and implementing this new procedure will help ensure that is possible."
Starting November 1, 2021, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated employees will be required to provide a valid current negative COVID-19 test result (antigen screening test or equivalent) prior to attending any work location. This test result must no older than 72 hours. This testing will be done on the employees' own time and at their own expense.
“Our staff have done an outstanding job of adapting to continuous change throughout the past 18 months," said CAO David Denault. “This procedure is another change, but I am confident that our employees will adapt and work together to ensure we continue to offer the services our residents expect, while keeping our coworkers and visitors safe."
The Town of Midland COVID-19 Vaccination Procedure was created through consultation with the Medical Officer of Health, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, legal experts, municipal partners, as well as recommendations from the Human Rights Commission, and an internal employee survey.
The Town of Midland will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide updates on our website at Midland.ca/COVID-19, and we encourage residents to follow our social media channels for updates as well, @MidlandON on Twitter, and @townofmidland on Facebook.
For more information on the state of COVID-19 in our area, please contact the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 or visit their website at simcoemuskokahealth.org.
October 6, 2021 – There are over 30 rainbow crosswalks in Ontario, and today the Town of Midland proudly added to that growing list by unveiling the Town's first ever rainbow crosswalk at an event held at the intersection of Bay Street and First Street.
"Fierté Simcoe Pride suggested the intersection in front of Grounded Coffee as a potential location for a pride crosswalk due to our history with the business," said Colin Nelthorpe, President of Fierté Simcoe Pride. “Grounded Coffee was one of the first businesses to put up a rainbow flag in the Town of Midland shortly after Fierté Simcoe Pride was founded. Since the beginning, they have reached out to offer support to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and provided members of the community with a safe space to gather."
Rainbow Crosswalk Colours
Given the evolving nature and spirit of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and society, the modern pride flag was chosen for the crosswalk as it integrates many of the pride flags into one. The colours each represent an idea that resonates with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community: Red for life, Orange for healing, Yellow for sunlight, Green for nature, Blue for peace, and Purple for spirit. The black and brown stripes represent people who are living with or who have died from HIV/AIDs, LGBTQ indigenous and people of colour. The crosswalk also incorporates baby blue, pink and white stripes to represent the transgender community. The arrow in the crosswalk design symbolizes the forward movement and the progress that still needs to be made.
“This is a great day for the Town of Midland," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Thank you to Colin Nelthorpe and Amy Miller, a member of Midland's 2SLGBTQIA+ community, for participating in the event to unveil our new rainbow crosswalk which is a symbol of Midland's proud commitment to embracing diversity, equality, and inclusion."
Members of Midland Town Council along with Colin Nelthorpe, President of Fierte Simcoe Pride, hold the ceremonial ribbon, while Amy Miller, a member of Midland’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community, cuts it.
From left to right: Councillor Jonathan Main, Mayor Stewart Strathearn, Colin Nelthorpe, Councillor Carole McGinn, Amy Miller, Councillor Bill Gordon, Councillor Cody Oschefski, and Deputy Mayor Mike Ross.
October 1, 2021 – The Town of Midland wants your feedback! Today the Town launched its 2022 Budget Survey, seeking input from the public on financial matters to help identify key priorities for Council and Staff to consider during the 2022 Budget exercise.
“This is the third year we have a run a budget survey and given the pressures municipalities face to ensure they balance their budget, it's important that the public gets involved in this process," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “I encourage all residents, business owners and visitors to our town to take the survey and help ensure your views are considered before the 2022 Budget is approved in January."
The 2022 Budget Survey gives participants the opportunity to rank what services/programs they feel should receive higher portions of funding, rank the most important local issues/service gaps, their level of satisfaction with various services, and more.
“We want to hear from as many residents as possible. This is your time to weigh in on the upcoming 2022 Budget before it goes to Council," said CFO Michael Jermey. “We know many residents have views on where the Town raises revenues, supports the community and how we spend the budget. This survey is another opportunity to ensure those perspectives are shared. There will be a public budget meeting in January, but it's important to take advantage of all opportunities to have your voice heard."
To participate in the survey, please visit: Surveymonkey.com/r/2022_Budget_Survey
For more details on the 2022 Budget please visit EngagingMidland.ca/2022-Budget
The 2022 Budget Survey is open until end-of-day on Friday, October 29, 2021.
Results from the 2022 Budget Survey will be used in preparation of the 2022 Draft Operating and Capital Budgets, both of which will be presented to Council at the December Council meeting. The 2022 Budget review exercise will continue through January with budget request presentations by Town-supported Agencies, Boards and Commissions; the public budget meeting; and debate, leading to the 2022 Budget finally being ratified in late January.
September 30, 2021 – This morning the Town of Midland observed the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, by lowering the Every Child Matters flag to half-mast at the Town Municipal Office.
“The Town of Midland recognizes and seeks to raise awareness about residential and day schools in Canada," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “We all join together in the spirit of reconciliation to honour the victims, the survivors and the lived experience of Indigenous Peoples".
All staff and Council were encouraged to wear an orange shirt as flags at all Town facilities were lowered to half-mast, and a moment of silence was held to honour the survivors, the many children who never made it home, and all who continue to be impacted by former Indian Residential and Day schools.
All flags will be raised to full-mast on October 1st, and the Every Child Matters Flag will continue to fly at the Municipal Office until October 22, 2021.
All residents are encouraged to visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website (www.nctr.ca) for further learning and education and to continue truth and reconciliation efforts.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.
Orange Shirt Day
Orange Shirt Day, held annually on September 30, is an Indigenous-led commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation. When arriving for her first day of school wearing a new orange shirt, the shirt was taken away from her, and is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
Joint Release – Town of Penetanguishene and Town of Midland Fire Department
The Town of Penetanguishene and Town of Midland Fire Departments will be conducting simulation training activities utilizing the empty building at 51 Dunlop Street, the former Penetanguishene Secondary School.
This training will consist of wall breaches, smoke movement and ventilation utilizing theatrical smoke, and search and rescue stimulations to practice victim extraction and forcible entry through walls and doors.
“This is a great opportunity for the two fire departments to train and work together to hone their skills to better serve the residents of both municipalities. Midland and Penetanguishene fire departments work closely together under the County Fire Mutual Aid agreement," says Fire Chief Paul Ryan. “This type of situation training is important for our crews to practice when provided the opportunity, making our response and continued cooperation that much better."
Training will spread out over the next few weeks. The Town of Penetanguishene and Midland Fire Departments advise residents that this is not an emergency, and there is no concern to the public during these stimulations.
For questions or concerns regarding the training, please contact:
Paul Ryan, Fire Chief
Midland and Penetanguishene Fire Departments
705-549-7453. ext. 706
Media Release: “Bee" part of the Buzz!
September 16, 2021 – A new Bee City mural is being created and the community is invited to “bee" part of the fun!
Community members, including individuals and households, can pre-register for one-hour time slots to work with mural artist Shandelle McCurdie to help paint one of Midland's newest murals.
The community painting day will take place on September 22 from 1 to 8 p.m. at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre (NSSRC). Participants will be pre-screened, required to provide their contact tracing information, and wear a mask. In addition, participants must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 along with photo ID to enter the NSSRC, following the provincial requirements that come into effect on that date. The only exemptions permitted for this activity are for unvaccinated people with medical exemptions and people under 12 years old. Individuals who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions will be permitted to participate with a doctor's note until the medical exemption can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate.
McCurdie has designed the concept for the mural and will have paint and brushes ready for those who are scheduled to help paint the mural's bees, pollinators and pollinator-friendly plants and flowers.
“We are a mural community and what better way to celebrate our status as a Bee City than by creating vibrant, colourful new murals," said Karen Mealing, Cultural Development Coordinator. “These murals will be installed around Midland so residents and visitors can enjoy them for years to come."
No special painting skills are required, and all ages are welcome.
To register for a spot, contact Karen Mealing, Cultural Development Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-526-4275 ext. 2200. Registrations will be accepted until 4 p.m. on September 21, unless all available slots are filled before this date.
The Town recognizes financial support received by the County of Simcoe to assist with some of the costs associated with completing this project.
September 9, 2021 – Beginning on Monday, September 13, 2021, Midland Avenue will be closed to through traffic from Yonge Street to Hugel Avenue so that this portion of road can be resurfaced. The roadway is expected to be closed until end-of-day on Thursday, September 16, weather permitting.
Sidewalks and municipal parking lots will still be open, and all businesses will be accessible. Residents and business owners will have access to enter their properties, however there may be some delays and we ask that patrons to avoid this area.
Transit Route Detour
Due to this road closure the Mid-Pen Transit stop that is currently located on Midland Avenue, halfway between Elizabeth Street and Yonge Street, will be temporarily relocated to the northwest corner of the Midland Avenue and Elizabeth Street intersection.
The Mid-Pen Transit bus will pick riders up there and continue west to King Street, then proceed south on King Street to Yonge Street, to meet back up with the usual routes.
This temporary detour will be in place until the resurfacing of Midland Avenue is completed and the road closure is lifted.
For more information, please contact:
Quinton Kenney, C. Tech.
1099 MacDonald Road, Midland, ON L4R 0G3
From left to right: Councillor Jonathan Main, Seniors Council member Bryde Desroches, Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton, Mayor Stewart Strathearn, Councillor Carole McGinn, Transit Operator Gary Wencher.
August 16, 2021 – The Town of Midland is pleased to announce improvements to the Mid-Pen Transit Service that will provide a more reliable and more accessible service for residents in Midland. The Town purchased a new transit bus that is already in service and is launching the new Seniors on the Move pilot project that will provide free transit service to seniors in Midland.
Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton was on hand in Midland today for these improvement announcements.
New Midland Transit Bus
The new transit bus was funded, in part, by the federal and provincial governments through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Over the past two years, the Town received $604,939 in federal and provincial funding through ICIP, that has been used towards the purchase of two new accessible transit vans in 2020, now operated by Community Reach, and a new Midland transit bus in 2021. This investment has upgraded the Town's fleet of transit vehicles to provide a more reliable service for all residents.
“Ensuring that our transit service runs smoothly and reliable is a continuous challenge for a small municipality," said Shawn Berriault, Director of Community Services. “This funding goes a long way in helping ensure our fleet doesn't age out, and that we can continue to meet the challenge of getting our residents where they need to be. We thank both the federal and provincial governments for their continued commitment to fund transit improvements for municipalities."
Seniors on the Move Pilot Project
Seniors in Midland will enjoy free transit rides over the next several months thanks to funding received in part from the Government of Canada through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
The $25,000 grant provides complimentary transportation on our buses to those ages 65 and older, including 'Free Ride Days', ride passes and reloadable transit SmartCards through the Seniors on the Move project. The pilot project will run until March 31, 2022.
“We thank the Government of Canada for their support, and our Midland Seniors Council for their dedication in creating this pilot project, which will allow our senior residents to reach their medical appointments, shop, visit family and friends, volunteer in the community, and more without incurring transit costs," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “The Town has implemented many public safety measures to our transit system during the pandemic and we want seniors to feel comfortable and safe accessing services and programs in the community."
“Facilitating intergenerational initiatives is part of Council's Strategic Plan for a Safe, Sustainable, Healthy Community," added Strathearn. “We are proud to launch this new pilot project to help seniors have easier access to our community."
The Seniors on the Move pilot project launches on Monday, August 16, with two options for seniors in Midland to participate:
- Free Transit Packages containing 6 free transit passes are available for pickup at the Municipal Office, Midland Public Library, North Simcoe Sports & Recreation Centre (NSSRC), Chigamik Community Health Centre and the North Simcoe Family Health Team. Subsequent passes can be picked up at these locations; or
- Free SmartCards preloaded with 6 free transit rides can be picked up at the Municipal Office, Midland Public Library, and NSSRC. SmartCards can be reloaded at these locations.
In addition, a series of Free Ride Days for Midland Seniors (no passes/SmartCards required) will be held between now and March 31, 2022, kicking off with a week of Free Ride Days for Midland seniors from August 23-28, 2021. Visit www.midland.ca/transit for Tra details.
Those receiving the Free Transit Packages or preloaded SmartCards will be asked to provide their name and contact information to allow members of the Midland Seniors Council to follow up with participants to evaluate the pilot project.
The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is a federal-provincial cost-sharing program which includes up to $30 billion in federal, provincial and other partner funding over 10 years. Ontario's share per project will be up to 33.33 per cent or about $10.2 billion spread across four streams: 1. Rural and Northern, 2. Public Transit, 3. Green, 4. Community, Culture and Recreation.
The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program that provides funding for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and their communities.
A video of today's announcement is available on our YouTube channel.
July 28, 2021 – In an effort to improve safety in neighbourhoods and on roads in the municipality, the Town of Midland has launched a new Traffic Calming and Monitoring Program. This program will see a combination of calming measures, engineering, educational and enforcement tools used to address identified issues in areas around Midland.
“Over the past two years, the Town has been gathering data and information on traffic issues in Midland, both through our Traffic Monitoring Trailer and feedback from residents," said Mitch Sobil, Manager of Engineering. “From this we have developed a Draft Traffic Calming Policy to address identified issues. There are advantages and disadvantages to these traffic calming initiatives, and we invite residents to participate in our upcoming Public Information Session to provide their feedback."
Advantages from traffic calming measures can include:
- Reduced vehicle speeds;
- Reduced traffic volumes; and
- Reduced number of cut through vehicles.
Disadvantages could include:
- Potential increase in emergency vehicle response times;
- More difficulty getting in and out of your neighbourhood each day; and
- Traffic could be shifted/diverted onto neighbouring roadways.
“We have read and heard the feedback and reviewed the data collected, and residents should be confident that the traffic calming measures the Town employs will improve the safety of our roadways," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “The King Street Reconstruction Project is a great example of how traffic calming measures, such as traffic lights, curb bump outs at corners, and crosswalks, can make our roads safer and more accessible for all forms of transportation, and the Traffic Calming and Monitoring Program will ensure we can all enjoy safer roadways throughout Midland."
The Public Information Session is scheduled for Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 7 p.m. The location/format for this meeting will be determined by August 13. The COVID-19 restrictions in place at that time will determine whether this session takes place in person or virtually on Zoom. Updates will be provided on the Town's website, EngagingMidland.ca and on social media.
For more details on the Traffic Calming and Monitoring Program, residents can visit EngagingMidland.ca/Traffic-Monitoring-Program to view the Draft Traffic Calming Policy, Draft Traffic Calming Guide, Traffic Reports from 2019-2021, and more. Residents can also suggest locations where our Traffic Monitoring Trailer should be stationed throughout town.
July 27, 2021 – The corner of King Street and Bayshore Drive will soon be the home to a new public art installation.
“Sown," an artwork conceived by local artists Holly Archer and Camille Myles, will be placed in its new home in downtown Midland this summer. The piece is being fabricated by Lafontaine Iron Werks with Toque Innovations of Midland as the technical designer. The inspiration behind “Sown" is the rich industrial history of Midland, with elements of the design representing the five fingers that built this community (logging, shipping, the railway, agriculture and manufacturing) as well as the five bays from the foundational Indigenous legend of Kitchikewana.
“Developing vibrant public spaces and promoting a beautiful Midland is one of Council's current strategic priorities," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “This installation will complete the work on King Street, and we thank the Rural Economic Development program for their grant to assist with this project's streetscaping, including the commissioning of this new work of art. I also want to thank the local artist and fabricators for crafting this piece to pay homage to the unnamed, unsung community members who have been instrumental in building Midland to where it is today."
The artist team responded to a call for proposals that the Town issued in early 2021. “Sown" was selected based on the Town of Midland's Public Art Policy, criteria outlined in the request for proposals, and the installation site.
“The Town of Midland recognizes that art and culture have been and will always be integral parts of our community," said David Denault, Midland's Chief Administrative Officer. “We are very proud of our town and our beautiful new main street and are excited to showcase all that we have to offer to both residents and visitors."
The artwork is being funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, through the Rural Economic Development program, and the public can learn more about this artwork as it's being created. Visit EngagingMidland.ca/Sown-Public-Art-Installation for artistic descriptions of the artwork, concept boards and details on the elements of design.
We wanted your feedback, and we got it! Successful Consultation leads to Request for Proposals for new playground equipment
In Spring of this year, the Town of Midland sought feedback from residents to help staff determine priorities in location, design styles and features/themes for new playground equipment. Thanks to the tremendous amount of feedback received, a Request for Proposals (RFP) has been created and issued, which aligns with the comments received from our residents.
The RFP closes on July 21, 2021, and the contract (which includes the design, site preparation, supply and installation of equipment and safety surfacing) is expected to be awarded by mid-August, with construction work to begin in mid/late September of this year. This phase of the playground replacement project is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2022.
Based on the input received from residents and keeping in line with the budget available for 2021, new playground equipment geared towards both the 18 months – 5 year old age group, and 5-12 year old age group will be installed in Little Lake Park, Pete Pettersen Park, and Bayview Park.
Thanks to the feedback of residents, we can also determine what locations will be considered for future budgets as we move forward on a program that ensures our playground equipment remain safe and relevant in all our Midland parks.
The online consultation was held on Engaging Midland and more information and updates are available on the Playground Replacement & Restoration Project page.
June 29, 2021 – Last year, the Town of Midland received approximately 89 millimetres (mm) of rain for the entire month of June. This past weekend, the Town received almost that much in one day as a ’25-year storm’ passed through our municipality. On Saturday, June 26, 2021, the Town saw 79mm of rain fall over 24 hours, including 57.8mm between 5 and 7 p.m.
“The level of intensity we saw during this storm, and the amount of rainfall within that two-hour window pushes this closer to a ’100-year storm’ based on the Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) curve in our region,” said Mitch Sobil, Manager of Engineering. “Several sewer mains connect at King Street and Bayshore Drive, so it’s not surprising we saw a large surcharge there. However, the work conducted during the King St. project installed additional storm mains which gave us much more capacity to deal with the situation. With 2 inches of rain falling during a two-hour window and an inch alone falling between 6:00-6:15 p.m. we’re pleased the system performed very well as it was designed to do. The Town also reported a sewer discharge event which occurred as a result of the overwhelming amount of water overflowing from one chamber.”
Click to view larger image
Sewer systems are designed to contain up to a 5-year storm level of rainfall. In a two-hour window this would equal approximately 34mm of rain. Anything above that could result in a surcharge overland, which is what occurred on Saturday. However, the amount of surcharge was mitigated considerably thanks to the King Street Rejuvenation project.
Town Operations crews were out putting down sandbags during the storm to divert water and limit washouts in neighbourhoods and have since repaired most damage incurred along roadways. Crews are further investigating some problematic areas to help avoid flooding during future storms.
“This truly was a significant rainstorm, and the improvements to our sewer system helped prevent worse damage being done,” said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “The King Street Rejuvenation was a giant improvement in our ability to deal with events like this. As we continue similar work throughout Midland and the continued removal of combined sewer systems, our infrastructure should be even more prepared for the next 25-year level storm. I’d like to thank our staff in Operations, our Water and Wastewater team, and our first responders who managed the situation and events professionally and expediently.”
The Town of Midland Operations Team created a Bee City-Pollinator Week display
at the corner of Highway 12 and County Road 93 in Midland
June 21, 2021 – This June, the buzz is about the bees, butterflies, bugs, and birds pollinating plants and what we can do to help protect them. To recognize the important services provided by pollinators, the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) and the Town of Midland are bringing awareness to National Pollinator Week, happening June 21-27. To kick-off Pollinator Week, Mayor Stewart Strathearn has proclaimed the Town's support for this important celebration, and Midland staff designed and built a display at Highway 93 and 12 to commemorate this!
“The Town of Midland is proud to celebrate our first Pollinator Week as an official Bee City," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “We have established “no-mow" zones throughout the town where mowing will no longer take place to provide suitable areas for pollinator habitat to be created, and I encourage all residents to get involved and learn more about what we can all do to help ensure pollinator populations thrive in our region."
Pollinator populations have been declining at an alarming rate due to habitat loss, misuse of pesticides, and climate change There are nearly 1,000 different pollinators in Canada alone, and not only do pollinators provide us with the food we eat but they also help sustain our ecosystems by helping our native plants reproduce. In turn, these healthy ecosystems can absorb greenhouse gases, prevent soil erosion, protect water quality, and offer habitat for many important plants and animals.
The Town has made a commitment to helping and supporting pollinators as a designated Bee City municipality and our Municipal Climate Change Action Plan. As a Bee City, Midland is taking on-the-ground action, including piloting a strategic mowing project, planting new pollinator habitat, and working with SSEA to plant native trees and combat invasive species. Visit Town staff at the Midland Summer Market, 526 Bay Street, Midland on Sunday, June 27 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. to pick up free wildflower seeds and learn more about how you can protect pollinators.
Here are some simple things everyone can do in their back yard to help bees, butterflies, and other pollinators:
- Plant native flowers or trees. Our native pollinators have evolved along side our native plants, so they are better matched as food sources for them than cultivated or non-native species of plants.
- Pledge to not use chemicals in your garden. Rather than chemical herbicides, planting mint, thyme and marigolds attract beneficial insects that will prey on typical garden pests.
- Education is the best tool in a gardener's pocket! Check out Pollinator Partnership Canada's website at www.pollinatorpartnership.ca and follow SSEA's Sustainability and Climate Action Project Team on social media for more tips to be 'bee-friendly'!
- Read more about Bee City Canada or take the 'Pollinator Pledge'. Visit www.beecitycanada.org.
Follow the SSEA's Sustainability and Climate Action Project Team on Facebook: @sustainablesevernsound or Twitter: @sustainsevsound, or learn more about the programs led by Team SSEA at @ssea_ssrap and Instagram @severnsoundea.
Full details on the Town of Midland's Bee City initiative, including maps identifying “no-mow" zones in the municipality, can found at: Midland.ca/Midland-is-a-Bee-City.
Learn how you can get involved in Pollinator Week, visit: https://pollinatorpartnership.ca/en/pollinator-week-canada
To find out more about the Bee City Canada Program, and to access pollinator information and resources, visit: https://beecitycanada.org/
June 16, 2021 – On July 1, 2021, the Town of Midland will be launching its new paid parking system for parking spaces downtown and in all municipal parking lots, including Midland Harbour. The new “Pay-by-Plate" system will allow drivers to simply pay at the new meters, enter their licence plate number, and continue on their way. There is no need to display tickets on the vehicle dashboard.
“Our new pay-by-plate parking system is really the finishing touch to our King Street Rejuvenation project," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Not only do we have a fresh, beautiful looking downtown main street, we now have a modernized parking system. Replacing the 350 old meter machines with 70 of these modern pay-by-plate meters not only provides more convenient payment options for drivers, but it will also allow us to maintain our accessible and flexible streetscape."
Highlights of the system that will be in place on July 1:
*Update - June 17,2021*
- 15 minutes of parking will be complimentary for all street parking; or
- 1 hour of parking will be complimentary for all municipal parking lots.
Complimentary parking may be used once per day (either street parking or lot parking, not both), per licence plate. Drivers will still be required to register at the parking meters.
- 25 cents/15 minutes.
Hours of Operation
Paid parking will be in effect using the following schedule:
- Downtown streets & Municipal Lots: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.
- Harbour Lot: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
- Overnight parking remains free from April 1 to November 15.
The new machines offer convenient options for payment. Coins, debit/credit card, Apply Pay and Google Pay will all be accepted.
ParkedinTM Mobile App
Using the mobile app customers enjoy:
- Paying by simply scanning a QR code with their phone at the parking meter, or at parking signs throughout municipal lots.
- Receipt email upon successful payment.
- Email alerts at 10 minutes left on your session.
- A link in the receipt and email alert to extend/top up the parking session.
Full details on the app can be found at ParkingSupport.ca/Precise-ParkLink-Parkedin.
Permit Parking through IPASS
Parking permits can now be obtained using the Interactive Parking Access Subscriber System (IPASS). The IPASS system allows users to register for permits on a monthly or annual basis, $30/month or $99/year.
Through IPASS, customers can register, pay and manage their accounts at any time – no need to visit the Municipal Office to acquire permits. For full details on IPASS, please visit: ParkingSupport.ca/Precise-Parklink-IPASS-Monthly-Parking-Support.
Customized Event and Holiday Parking
The new parking system will allow for the Town to create custom parking options around events and holidays, taking advantage of the new flexible streetscape along King Street, while still providing parking options for drivers.
Updated Parking Web Page Coming Soon
In the coming weeks, an updated parking web page with customer support/FAQs will be added to Midland.ca, with an instructional video on how to use the new Pay-by-Plate parking meters.
Have Your Say – Online Engagement
Make suggestions on how we can customize the parking system to best suit residents, businesses and their staff at Engaging Midland. The online engagement is available now and will continue through July. Residents are encouraged to submit their feedback and help shape the parking system as we move forward. To participate, please visit: EngagingMidland.ca/Midlands-New-Parking-System.
Joint Release – Town of Penetanguishene and Town of Midland
May 28, 2021 –Town of Penetanguishene and Town of Midland Council members approved changes to the current fare rates for the Mid-Pen Transit Service. As of June 14, 2021, the fare rates for all riders will increase to the following amounts:
Cash Fares – $3.00/ride
Reloadable Smart Card – $45.00/20 rides
Senior (65 years and over) & Students (ages 7-17):
Cash Fares – $2.50/ride
Reloadable Smart Card – $40.00/20 rides
Child (ages 6 and under):
Free for all services
These fare increases also apply to the Accessible Transit service in Midland.
Mid-Pen Transit riders are reminded that they can reload their transit SmartCards online using the Mid-Pen Transit Service Online Portal, or by appointment at the Town of Penetanguishene and Town of Midland Municipal Offices.
Access to the portal can be found here: midland.usetransit.com.
The Town of Penetanguishene and Town of Midland remind passengers to limit public transportation travel for essential purposes only. If you must use public transportation, please remember it is mandatory to wear a mask while on the bus and to sanitize your hands when boarding the bus.
For more information regarding the Mid-Pen Transit system, please visit the Town of Penetanguishene Transit Webpage or the Town of Midland Transit Webpage.
May 14, 2021 – Throughout the Town of Midland, there are over 90 kilometers of sewer pipe infrastructure, helping deliver wastewater from homes and businesses to our Wastewater Treatment Centre on William Street. Clearly, it is important to ensure that this infrastructure is in proper working order and maintained to not only provide the services residents expect, but to also reduce the potential for sanitary sewer overflows.
Until recently, the inspection of sewer infrastructure was a time-consuming process, not to mention the health and safety risks involved with sending staff down into the sewers. Thanks to innovations in technology, our Water & Wastewater Services department can avoid those risks, and inspect sewers safely and more efficiently from above ground, using the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool (SL-RAT®).
The SL-RAT® is an acoustic pipe inspector that uses acoustic inspection technology to determine if there is clear flow through each section of sewer pipe or if there are blockages/obstructions. By measuring the sound energy through the airspace between the wall of the sewer pipe and the flow of sewage, a blockage assessment can be made up to 20x faster than using CCTV, at a fraction of the cost.
“This technology is allowing our team to inspect our sewer infrastructure so much more efficiently than in previous years. Assessments for each section of sewer pipe (maintenance hole to maintenance hole) can be made in three minutes or less. In past years this would be costly work, requiring specialized cleaning and camera (CCTV) equipment to determine potential problems within the pipe," said André Pepin, Acting Manger of Water & Wastewater Services. “Not only is this innovative technology helping to save an immense amount of time, it's also saving a considerable amount of resources, allowing us to shift those to other projects."
In over 230 municipalities, including the City of Toronto, City of Vancouver and City of Victoria, the SL-RAT® technology has provided more than one hundred million feet of sewer line assessment. We can soon add another 296,000 feet to that impressive total!
A Town of Midland Water & Wastewater Services team member shows the ease of use and efficiency involved with using the SL-RAT® technology. Another team member would be located at the next maintenance hole, and combined the units inspect that section of sewer using acoustic inspection technology. The units are lightweight, can be operated by one team member per unit, and results of the acoustic inspection are available within three minutes, and they can move on to the next section of sewer.
May 13, 2021 – Adam Farr joins Town of Midland as the Executive Director of Planning, Building and By-Law effective June 21, 2021.
Adam joins the Town with a wide range of experience as a professional planner, in Alberta and Ontario. Adam has managed a number of diverse portfolios including but not limited to downtown revitalization; community engagement; Official Plans; heritage area zone design standards; advisor to First Nations Chief and Council on land management and economic development issues; performance based approaches to Industrial Land Planning; customer service; and continuous improvement projects for building and planning services.
Adam is a Registered Professional Planner with a Master's in Environmental Studies, Environmental Planning and Management from York University and Honours Bachelor of Arts in Policy Analysis from Western University.
The last two (2) years Adam has played a key role with the Town of Collingwood, as Director of Planning, Building, By-Law and Economic Development. Previously Adam held positions of: Manager of Development Review for City of Brampton and Town of Halton; Principal planner, City of Edmonton and Land and Resources Management Coordinator for Woodland Cree First Nation, Alberta.
May 4, 2021 –According to Maclean's Magazine's most recent assessment of 415 communities in Canada, Midland is ranked #98 - making the Top 100. This is a significant improvement from the 2019 assessment where we were ranked #247.
The MacLean's Best Communities list considers several different categories, determining scores based on how each community compares to its peers. Midland had a number of top features highlighted including “Community involvement".
“It's fantastic news to see our community ranked among the Top 100 Best Communities in Canada," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “As people and businesses continue to re-evaluate what is important to them through this pandemic, we are finding much more interest in communities like ours. To be highly ranked in the country reinforces the hard work the entire community has embraced to make this a special place. We live our motto of Persequi qualitatem vitae, meaning "in pursuit of quality of life" and welcome this recognition."
To visit MacLean's bi-annual Best Communities list visit Macleans.ca for the full ranking list and details on the methodology used to rank the 415 communities.
April 19, 2021 – Midland Council's Task Force on Affordable Housing has launched its public consultation project. Engaging Midland, the Town's engagement website, is hosting the online consultation, providing a virtual forum for all residents to participate in understanding Midland's need for more affordable housing. In addition, the site provides information on the housing situation in Midland along with updates on measures being taken to build additional housing.
Council's Task Force on Affordable Housing is looking for opportunities to increase the number of affordable housing units available in Midland. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reports that over the period from 2015 to 2019 the vacancy rate for rental row-housing and apartment units declined from 3.3% to 2.0%. The Task Force wants to see this trend reversed.
Launched in June 2020, Council's Task Force was directed to seek options for addressing Midland's affordable housing needs. Its objectives include encouraging new accessible and affordable housing. This mandate reflects Council's recognition that the lack of such housing presents challenges to the wellbeing of our residents and economy.
The County of Simcoe has legislative responsibility for housing and manages many programs targeting social housing. Accordingly, the Task Force will focus on the segment of the affordable housing market known as “attainable housing" – housing not eligible for government social supports. This segment of the market is often referred to as the 'missing middle". The Task Force will coordinate its work with the County of Simcoe.
The Task Force's initial work involved reviewing municipalities across Canada to understand how they addressed their housing challenges. All municipalities stressed the importance of active participation from residents. The launch of the public consultation on Engaging Midland starts this outreach process. In addition to information on the housing situation in Midland, links to resources that Council's Task Force is using and updates on housing activities will be provided, and residents are encouraged to submit questions. The public consultation project will also include housing surveys and Town Hall meetings in the near future.
For full details please visit EngagingMidland.ca/Councils-Task-Force-on-Affordable-Housing
For media enquiries, please contact:
Chair, Council's Task Force on Affordable Housing
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Town of Midland
Annual Street Cleaning ahead of schedule in 2021
Town of Midland Operations staff have had an early jump on the spring sand clean up. Look out for the sand clean up crews as they work through cleaning up every Town street no matter the size. Main and high trafficked streets are nearly completed and crews will soon turn their focus to side streets and subdivisions.
Once all main streets have been completed, to ensure equal servicing for all residents, clean ups are scheduled in varying orders of sequence from year to year so look for the crews coming by your neighbourhood soon!
Operations Department launches Park Playground Replacement Project
March 30, 2021 – With the 2021 Budget approved we are anxious to get our new playground equipment on order so we can all enjoy them this year, but we need your help.
During the summer of 2020, several playground structures in Town parks were cordoned off following an extensive inspection that identified several pieces of equipment needing repairs and/or removal. A frustrating time for residents looking to enjoy the outdoors just as COVID-19 restrictions were being relaxed.
Today, the Town of Midland's Operations Department is launching the Park Playground Replacement Project, a project that will see new playground structures installed at up to four popular parks in Midland.
What will be installed? That's a decision we invite residents to play a part in!
“We want the public to help us decide what kind of playground features we install this year," said Dylan Flannery, Manager of Operations. “To do that we have launched a project on Engaging Midland, where residents can review structure options and themes for all four proposed parks, then complete a survey to help us narrow down the choices."
The four playgrounds recommended by staff for replacement are:
- Little Lake Park East Playground;
- Pete Pettersen Park Playground;
- Bayview Park Playground; and
- Tiffin Park Playground.
There are a variety of options available in different themes and styles, structures for ages 18 months old to 5 years of age, 5 to 12 years of age, and potentially some outdoor workout equipment.
“There are a lot of options out there and we want to maximize our approved budget for the project," said Flannery. “We also want to ensure these playgrounds are inclusive for people of all abilities, and offer physical and sensory play, including visual, tactile and auditory elements. We want all children to be able to enjoy these new structures."
Once the survey is completed Town staff will review the results and issue a request for proposals for equipment/structure installation.
The Park Playground Replacement Survey is open until Friday, April 16, 2021. To participate, visit EngagingMidland.ca/Park-Playground-Replacements-Restorations and browse the style and theme proposals for each park, then take the survey to help ensure we are building inclusive playgrounds for everyone to enjoy for years to come.
March 17, 2021 – When David Denault joined the Town of Midland as the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the Town, like much of the country, was in the middle of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Municipal Office was closed to walk-in service, offering only by-appointment services, with many staff working remotely. A challenging way to start a new position, to say the least. Despite all of this, David hit the ground running and has not only led Town staff through a challenging time of change, but he has also stepped in and helped make an impact in our region.
During this time, CAOs in Simcoe Muskoka formed a partnership that began having weekly meetings with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) for guidance and advice on facing the challenges posed by the public health crisis. This partnership has not only helped ensure Simcoe Muskoka municipalities are working from the same playbook on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has also opened regular lines of communication between CAOs, greatly assisting in these efforts and other initiatives.
On February 25, 2021, David and the team of CAOs were recognized for their efforts at the Ontario Municipal Administrators' Association (OMAA) Awards Event with a special OMAA achievement award for their commitment to this partnership and to the SMDHU in responding to the challenges our region has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“David, along with his Simcoe Muskoka team members, was nominated by a fellow CAO colleague and recognized in front of members of the Ontario Municipal Administrators' Association at a recent online Award event. The Association considers it a real honour for one member to take the time to nominate their peers," said OMAA President Gayle Jackson, CAO for the City of Orillia. “During the time of the pandemic, CAOs have demonstrated leadership in their communities and shown through professional management how they, their staff and colleagues are able to develop innovative approaches to new challenges while sustaining municipal service delivery."
The OMAA works to enhance good government by promoting professional management in local government and leadership for Ontario municipalities. This year awards celebrated milestones, innovation, professionalism, and exemplary leadership by CAO members.
“It's been a pleasure to work with David over the past year as his experience and leadership has helped guide both staff and Council through this challenging time," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “It's a difficult task to step in and not only lead an organization through a pandemic, but also the day-to-day operations of a municipality, primarily through virtual means. David's management style is focussed on the power of a team effort. This award is a great example of what that can accomplish."
“We're proud to share this news and congratulations to David and the team of Simcoe Muskoka CAOs, from Council and staff!"
March 8, 2021 – The Town of Midland has committed to protecting pollinators as a designated Bee City. A Bee City municipality commits to provide pollinator habitat within the municipalities' boundaries.
As part of this commitment, the Town is starting a pilot project to test the outcomes of No-Mow and Reduced-Mow Zones. These Zones are areas of Town land that will either no longer be mown or will be mown less. This is being done to save resources, reduce pollution and create pollinator habitat. As the watershed's leading environmental agency, the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) will support the Town in this initiative.
By allowing these areas to grow, the Town is creating sustainable landscapes, saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and limiting noise from mowers. No-Mow Zones reduce storm-water runoff, protect water quality are a safe place for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
As a member of the Sustainability Committee which prepared the Town's Climate Plan, Midland Councillor Jonathan Main was keen to have the Town join the Bee City Canada program. “Municipalities influence up to half of Canada's GHGs, making local action key to the success of the climate fight. This effort helps to mitigate the Town's carbon emissions by developing green and vibrant public spaces that protect and expand our pollinator habit and biodiversity," said Councillor Main. According to data from the Government of Canada, a gasoline powered lawn mower emits about 48 kilograms (106 lbs) of GHGs in one season. Gas-powered lawn mowers are inefficient and produce a lot of air pollution.
In 2019 the Town invited residents to have their say on the future of the municipalities' management of their 26 plus parks and trails. The updated Parks and Trails Master Plan includes comments from stakeholders that the Town's program was not cost effective, and that staff needed to find ways to reduce those costs. Recommendations included limited mowing and naturalization of some park areas to realize environmental benefits and reduce costs, as unnecessary mowing uses staff time, equipment and fuel. The Town will continue to mow most areas with only select areas designated as No-Mow or Reduced-Mow Zones. The sites will not interfere in any way with the enjoyment of the Town's parks and trails.
Mayor Stewart Strathearn, Town of Midland:
“The Town of Midland is committed to applying a 'sustainability' and 'climate-lens' to our corporate decision-making process. The No-Mow and Reduced-Mow Pilot Project will allow our team to assess the opportunities in our parks and public spaces to develop aesthetically pleasing pollinator habitat which will also provides valuable environmental services, not only for pollinators, but for the ecosystem as a whole. The decline in pollinator populations requires action, and as a member of the SSEA Services Board, the Town is responding in an efficient and fiscally-responsible manner while utilizing the knowledge and science-based services of the SSEA Team."
Andy Campbell, Executive Director of Environment and Infrastructure, Town of Midland:
“The Town's decision to commit to the Bee City Canada program has given our staff a platform to investigate alternatives to traditional turf-management through learning and sharing of best-practices for pollinators among the other Ontario and Canadian Bee City municipal program members. The resources available through the Bee City program combined with the valuable services of the SSEA will ensure our actions are effective and that the results are evaluated to justify the Town's efforts."
Julie Cayley, Executive Director, Severn Sound Environmental Association:
“By supporting the Town of Midland in their membership to the Bee City Canada program, the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) is supporting the health of our important pollinator species. Our collaborative efforts will contribute to a healthy and resilient environment, and establish long-term, pollinator habitat. We thank the Town for this demonstration of their commitment to sustainable land management and to the implementation of their municipal Climate Change Action Plan."
To find out more about the Bee City Canada Program, and to access pollinator information and resources, visit: https://beecitycanada.org/
To learn more about the actions and recommendations in the Town of Midland's Climate Change Action Plan, visit www.sustainablesevernsound.ca.
To view the Midland's Parks and Trails Master Plan, visit https://www.midland.ca/Pages/Parks-and-Trails-Master-Plan.aspx.
You can also check out the Town of Midland's Bee City Canada Designation web page.
March 4, 2021 – June 12th won't mark the sweetest day of the year for 2021.
Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival has been cancelled again this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sadly, this year we will once again not be able to hold our renowned butter tart festival in downtown Midland. Even though vaccinations are being delivered as supply increases, this serves as another reminder that we are not out of the woods yet with COVID-19," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “In order to provide fair notice to all involved with the festival, the decision has been made to announce the cancellation of the Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival now. That does not prevent you from enjoying butter tarts while staying home, staying safe, and saving lives."
Pending public health guidelines, Ontario's Best Butter Tart Contest may take place so bakers watch for details.
This would have been the 9th year for the award-winning festival which was slated to take place on our newly renovated main street.
The festival website will host a list of confirmed vendors, with links to their websites to encourage would-be festival visitors to reach out to downtown Midland merchants and festival vendors for online ordering and curb-side pick-up options.
Town of Midland will miss welcoming butter tart lovers in June and we encourage everyone to stay home and stay safe so we can hopefully enjoy butter tarts together on June 11, 2022!
February 24, 2021 – After three full days of budget deliberations beginning February 22, 2021, Council approved the Town's 2021 Operating and Capital Budgets today, on the final day of deliberations. Highlights in the 2021 Capital Budget include addressing current and future infrastructure needs; while replacing playgrounds in some local parks, aged-out capital assets; and building upon the services offered to residents.
With County and Education rates being factored in, residents will see an increase to their municipal property taxes in 2021 at a blended rate increase of 2.5%. This equates to an approximate increase of $36 per $100,000 of property assessment. The blended tax rate includes the portion allocated to the Town's Agencies, Boards and Commissions. The final Tax Rate By-law will be approved by Council in May.
Council has also approved increases to the water and wastewater user rates of 5% and 4%, respectively. This approval continues Council's dedicated effort to build infrastructure reserves to replace aging water and wastewater infrastructure in the future. For a typical user, the impact will result in a $0.35/week increase on both water bills and wastewater bills.
“Each year Council and staff work to approve a budget that will continue to enhance our community's way of life and build upon the services we offer, while also trying to minimize the tax levy impact on our residents," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “We faced a new challenge this year in the COVID-19 pandemic, something that has impacted us all. With that in mind Council tasked staff with developing a budget with a 2.5% tax increase or less, and I'm pleased to say we have achieved this goal while preserving our services and the additional community support contained within."
“The 2021 Budget not only delivers value for the taxpayers, it also continues the course correction efforts of this Council to build our community through growth and improvement of our services and those provided by our Agencies, Boards and Commissions."
“2020 has been a challenge for everyone, with COVID-19 forcing all of us to change the way we live and work. With many changes internally, staff took a new approach to the 2021 Budget, led by our Chief Financial Officer, Michael Jermey," said David Denault, Chief Administrative Officer. “This was our first budget under his guidance and through his hard work and the hard work of all staff, we managed to prepare a comprehensive and transparent draft budget and meet Council's goal of a 2.5% tax increase."
2021 Budget Highlights include:
- Gross Operating Expenditures of $31,585,011, including:
- $29,385,598 for Municipal Operations,
- $2,099,413 for Agencies, Boards, and Commissions, and
- $100,000 for Council request in support of Affordable Housing.
- 2021 Capital Budget of $9,218,680; and
- Water & Wastewater Operating Budget of $7,050,911.
For more details on the 2021 Budget, please visit www.midland.ca/Budget.
We want to hear from you: North Simcoe Community Safety and Well-Being Plan Survey
The Town of Midland, in partnership with the Town of Penetanguishene, Township of Tay, and Township of Tiny, are joining together to develop a North Simcoe Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) Plan.
Throughout the County of Simcoe, eight (8) community safety and well-being priority areas (areas of risk) have been identified. After a comprehensive prioritization process that was informed by current data, the North Simcoe CSWB Plan will focus on the following three (3) areas of risk:
- Mental Health and Addictions
- Attainable Housing
- Education (with a focus on skilled trade)
We are looking for your assistance in advising us on what you believe, or have experienced to be, any challenges, obstacles or gaps in addressing the above issues.
We welcome your thoughts or ideas on how best to create solutions to the above areas of risk.
To take the survey please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/northsimcoeGMG
Clearing snow from roadways and cutting back snow banks, an ongoing process for Town of Midland Operations Team
Due to recent significant weather events, that included heavy snowfalls, the Town has seen a rise in high snow banks Town-wide. The Operations Department is well aware of this and is performing snow removal duties beginning in high priority areas and locations such as school zones, collector roads, and high traffic intersections.
Once priority areas have been addressed, and if there is no additional snowfall, the Operations Team can begin removal in other less priority areas. This includes road and sidewalk clearing as well as cutting back/down snow banks along roadways and on corners to ensure safe travel for residents.
For more information on this and other winter operations, including some FAQs, please visit our Winter Operations & Snow Removal web page.
Check out the photos below for a glimpse at how our snow removal operation works:
Snow Dump" located behind the Operations Centre.
As the snow is delivered/dumped at the "Snow Dump", a front loader snow blower blows the snow onto an already substantial mountain of snow that has already been cleared from Midland roadways this winter.
January 12, 2021 – The Town of Midland has successfully secured a grant in the amount of $250,000 through the Rural Economic Development (RED) Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream. The funds will be used to assist with streetscaping costs for the King Street Rejuvenation Project and will include items such as street furnishings, trees and plantings, and a public art installation to reinvigorate Midland's distinctive and memorable downtown.
The RED program, which is administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), provides cost-share funding that supports activities that create strong rural communities in Ontario, and helps increase rural economic development.
“The construction phase of the King Street Rejuvenation Project was completed in 2020, on-time and on-budget through the COVID-19 pandemic, providing Midland with a modern, fully-accessible main street. This funding will help ensure that the remaining beautification work to be completed in the spring will result in a beautifully enhanced and vibrant downtown, where residents will want to shop, live, work, be entertained and more," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “The Town of Midland has a rich history and as a focal point, King Street plays a large role in this. This rejuvenation project will help maintain this history and solidify Midland as a leader in Simcoe County and a top tourist destination."
“Supporting local jobs and removing barriers to investment and economic growth in rural communities is more important than ever," said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “Investments in the Rural Economic Development program will have a very real impact for communities like Midland and across rural Ontario."
Community consultations during the development of the 2015 Downtown Master Plan and Community Improvement Plan identified a desire to make King Street more pedestrian-friendly. By improving the greenery and street furniture and adding public art, the Town will enhance the pedestrian experience within the downtown and create a liveable space enjoyed by residents and visitors. The beautification improvements will enhance existing events and provide a backdrop for year-round visitors and cruise ship passengers who visit Midland each summer, contributing to our thriving tourism economy.
A call for public art proposals will be announced later this year.
“Thank you to the Government of Ontario, Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman, and Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, for your continued support of community improvement efforts," added Mayor Strathearn.
The $14 million King Street Rejuvenation Project saw Midland's main street dug up from Yonge Street north to Bayshore Drive, to replace century-old underground infrastructure (storm/sanitary systems, and watermains), create a new road alignment that allows for a flexible configuration along the street for parking and events, and to make the roadway completely accessible with mountable curbs and upgraded traffic signals.