Jack Charlebois, former two-term Councillor and long-serving member of Midland Police Service has passed away
On the evening of Sunday, December 27, former Midland Town Councillor and 30-year member of the Midland Police Service, Jack Charlebois, passed away.
"Jack Charlebois was a very community-minded person serving in the Midland Police Service for many years rising to the rank of sergeant. His dedication to the community continued in the political realm where he served two terms as councillor; one under Mayor Jim Downer and the second under Mayor Gord McKay," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. "Jack is well-known throughout our community for his service and support of residents in seeking solutions to their issues. Jack had many ardent supporters and will be remembered fondly."
"I wish to recognize Jack's longstanding service to his community, and on behalf of Council and the residents of Midland, I extend heartfelt condolences to Jack's family."
'Very community-minded person': Former Midland councillor, police officer, Jack Charlebois, dies after battling COVID-19 - Midland Mirror, December 28, 2020
December 23, 2020 – The Town of Midland Building Team has chosen to help two local food banks in need of support this time of year, by donating a $500 charitable donation prize evenly between The Salvation Army ($250) and St. Vincent de Paul ($250). The Building Team were the fortunate winners of an annual draw held by the County of Simcoe Chapter of the Ontario Building Officials Association. The draw normally awards one municipality with $100 to make a charitable donation, however with COVID-19 impacting all communities, this year the chapter awarded $500.
“Our team got together as a group and decided how best to use this generous prize, and the consensus was that the food banks could use it the most given the holiday season puts the most strain on their resources, especially this year with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting everyone," said Rob Elliott, Executive Director of Community Services. “Our team works hard to go above and beyond providing services to our community, and to win this prize and have the opportunity to help those in need was a great reward to end 2020 on a positive note."
The two donations were sent to the food banks in mid-November, ensuring that they could be put to good use in time for the holiday season to arrive.
The Building Team: Sarah McKeown, Mike Campitelli, Dan Canzanese, Robert Liberty and Terry Paquette (*Photo was taken pre-COVID)
Fire Safety Contest: You could win a Rink In A Box!
The Midland and Penetanguishene Fire Departments want to see your photos!
From December 22 until January 7, submit photos of your family practicing fire safety over the holidays and you could win a Rink In A Box (a full backyard ice rink kit).
One family from Midland and one family from Penetanguishene will win the ice rink kits.
How can you enter?
Simply email your photos to Fire Chief Paul Ryan.
Midland residents email: email@example.com
Penetanguishene residents email: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 15, 2020 – Midland Bay Landing Development Corporation (MBLDC) announced on Wednesday, December 9, that it intends to commission a study regarding pursuing a UNESCO Global Geopark designation.
UNESCO is a global network of expertise, experience, potential partnerships and investment that brings the power of 191 countries committed to the knowledge sharing ideals of UNESCO.
Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas of international geological significance that are managed holistically for protection, education, and sustainable development. Geoparks celebrate regional heritage and sustain local communities.
Joining the UNESCO global network of 161 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 44 countries will enable the exchange of ideas and experiences that will have valuable cultural, economic, and trade benefits for Midland and the region.
“MBLDC's mandate is to support economic development, community growth, and innovation. Having a UNESCO Global Geopark designation will act as the catalyst for branding and marketing MBL, Midland, and the region," said Bill Kernohan, Chair of MBLDC. “In addition, we believe it will enhance development and investment opportunities that will benefit the whole area by expanding tourism with new global tourists and inviting development of the kind we envision for this property."
One example of this is the Stonehammer Geopark in New Brunswick - North America's first Geopark. Since designation in 2015, tourism has blossomed in St. John, five adjoining towns, and the Bay of Fundy area, Geoparks are not only about geology, but it's also about people, society and culture. A UNESCO Geopark designation sends a strong message of excellence, research, culture and prosperity for communities like Midland who are aspiring to evolve into the new world economy and a changing planet.
The study that MBLDC is going to commission will develop a vision and positioning for a UNESCO Global Geopark and to outline the scope, process, stages, timeline, and budget required to obtain a Geopark designation through UNESCO.
Council unanimously approved MBLDC proceeding with the study.
Midland Bay Landing, through extensive public consultation, is planned as a 16-hectare mixed use commercial, retail, educational, and residential community adjoining a continuous waterfront promenade overlooking Georgian Bay and connected to new public parks. Connections to the revitalized downtown Midland and the deep-water harbour will create a destination for both residents and visitors.
Joint Release – Town of Penetanguishene, Town of Midland, Township of Tay and Township of Tiny
The Town of Penetanguishene, Town of Midland, Township of Tay, and Township of Tiny are reviewing services provided by each municipality. Service Delivery Reviews are a common exercise for municipalities to gauge their level of service across all business units and see where opportunities for efficiency and effectiveness exist.
An important part of Service Delivery Reviews involves providing members of the public the opportunity to participate in the engagement process. Over the next month, residents and businesses will be able to provide feedback on services they currently receive, and their expectations over the coming years.
In mid-December, the four municipalities will each be hosting virtual townhalls that will provide an overview of the Service Delivery Review engagement, and allow for participants to ask questions, provide feedback on current services, and offer their ideas on the future.
In an effort to promote public health guidelines associated with the response to COVID-19, these townhalls will be hosted through virtual methods. Information on each townhall's timing, and how to access them will be posted on the website of each municipality.
In addition to the virtual townhalls, the municipalities will make a survey available online, or by pickup from each Municipal Office. This community survey will provide an additional method for residents and businesses to provide input to the Service Delivery Review.
The virtual townhall and survey will both look to understand:
- Service delivery expectations;
- Strengths, and activities that each municipality should continue, and;
- Challenges faced by residents and businesses with respect to receiving services.
The services being reviewed at this time include:
- Human Resources/Health & Safety
- Information Technology
- Legal Services
- Land Use Planning
- Building Services
- Emergency Management
- Fire and Emergency Services
- Engineering Services
- Fleet Management
Input provided by the public will support the development of recommendations for future service delivery enhancements.
Specifically, the four municipalities are looking to explore opportunities to make it easier for residents and businesses to access municipal services in a consistent manner, processes to deliver efficient and effective local services, and possibilities to reduce unnecessary and duplicate processes, to be more cost effective.
Public Consultation Dates:
All meetings will be held electronically and begin at 7:00 p.m.
Town of Penetanguishene - Monday, December 21, 2020
Town of Midland - Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Township of Tay - Thursday, December 17, 2020
Township of Tiny - Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Additional information on the specific timing associated with each townhall will be posted to municipal websites along with the electronic meeting information in the coming days.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Tim Leitch, P. Eng.
Director of Public Works/Acting CAO
Township of Tiny
Chief Administrative Officer,
Town of Midland
Jeff Lees, CPA, CGA
Chief Administrative Officer,
Town of Penetanguishene
Chief Administrative Officer,
Township of Tay
Town of Midland Mayor Stewart Strathearn speaking about the success of the King Street Rejuvenation Project and thanking everyone involved, with Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, members of Council, staff and project contractors on hand for the ceremony.
November 27, 2020 – The Town of Midland celebrated the completion of construction for Phase 2 of the King Street Rejuvenation Project today at a road reopening ceremony held on King Street. The road is expected to be fully reopened to vehicle traffic on Monday, November 30.
The $14 million “big dig" project saw Midland's main street dug up from Yonge Street north to Bayshore Drive, to replace 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.
"This is a great day for the Town of Midland, in a year when we could really use some good news," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Over four years ago we set out to undertake this project, and through the hard work of our staff and contractors we're happy to say the construction portion of this project has been completed on time. More importantly, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this portion of the project has been completed safely, a testament to the protocols our contractors have put in place in order to continue with this project as planned."
The King Street Rejuvenation Project started in earnest in 2016 with design work and public consultation taking place over the following years. In 2019, the first phase of construction began, which was a proactive measure to complete the northern end of King Street at Bayshore Drive. By doing so it allowed Bayshore Drive, a major east-west roadway, to remain open in 2020 during Phase 2 of the project.
“This project has had a major impact on the town and will continue to do so as we move forward," said Andy Campbell, Executive Director of Infrastructure & Environment. “Our downtown businesses have been impacted by the closure of King Street, and even though we could plan for this project what we couldn't plan for was COVID-19. Successfully completing this portion of the project on time, during the pandemic will alleviate added impact on businesses next year. In addition, the town now has a modern underground infrastructure along King Street, which will operate much more effectively than the nearly century-old infrastructure it replaced."
In 2021 the King Street Rejuvenation Project will be fully completed with aesthetic and beautification work being done, consisting of tree and garden planting, bench installations and more.
“Thank you to our staff and our contractors, Arnott Construction Ltd, Tatham Engineering and Envision-Tatham, and their staff for their hard work over the course of this project. King Street has been the focal point of much of Midland's rich history, and this rejuvenated main street will help maintain that and provide a top attraction for visitors to our region for years to come, added Mayor Strathearn. “I would also like to thank our downtown businesses for their patience and cooperation throughout this process, and our residents for their continued support of our local businesses during both the construction and COVID-19 pandemic."
For more information on the King Street Rejuvenation Project, please visit EngagingMidland.ca/King-Street-Rejuvenation.
November 18, 2020 – Mid-Pen Transit riders can now reload their transit SmartCards from the comfort of their homes or on their mobile devices when they're on the go using the new Mid-Pen Transit Service Online Portal.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic still a concern, everyone is looking for ways to limit their risk of exposure, and the launch of this online payment portal not only reduces the reason to visit another public building, it also offers riders a digital alternative that they can use to reload their SmartCards wherever they are, and whenever they need to," said Shawn Berriault, Director of Community Services. “This online portal has been in the works for quite some time and we're pleased to finally be able to offer it to our riders."
The Mid-Pen Transit Service Online Portal will provide riders with the ability to:
- Create an online user account;
- Register their SmartCard to their account;
- Link more than one SmartCard to a user account;
- Reload their SmartCard online via credit card;
- Activate an auto-reload feature where the system will automatically load their SmartCard when your balance falls below your set threshold;
- Report a lost or stolen SmartCard to immediately deactivate the lost or stolen SmartCard and request a replacement; and
- Review usage history.
Other Features to Enhance the Experience for our Riders:
Live Transit Mapping Feature – Coming Early 2021
We are working to provide users with real-time transit updates so riders can track where the buses are, next departure times, and system alerts. This service will be available in early 2021 via the Transit App.
New Buses for both Routes
The Town of Penetanguishene has received their new bus, which is already in service providing a larger capacity for riders. The Town of Midland is expecting a new bus in the new year and will be used as the primary bus.
Route Changes – Penetanguishene (January 2021)
The Penetanguishene route will see several efficiency modifications for a trial period in January 2021. If there are no issues identified during this trial period, the changes will become permanent.
New Benches (2021)
Riders can expect new benches along the routes for added comfort while waiting for pickup.
“Many residents need the transit service in order to access work, shop for supplies, get to personal appointments, and to visit friends and family when safe to do so," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Thanks in part to funds received from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), we are pleased to provide these new service features to our riders to help ensure they can plan their travels more conveniently and accurately. Our thanks go out to Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop and the Provincial Government for continuing to support our efforts to improve our infrastructure."
“The Mid-Pen Transit service provides a convenient and affordable way for community members to travel within our municipalities. It is easy to see the benefit that this service provides, and we are pleased with the amount of community support for the service" said Mayor Doug Leroux. “With the impacts of COVID-19, we are proud to be able to offer an easy online payment option for community members. Thank you to our Provincial partners for this timely support in our Public Transportation."
To access the Mid-Pen Transit Service Online Portal visit midland.usetransit.com
Transit riders can continue to reload their SmartCards in-person at the following locations:
- Midland Municipal Office
- North Simcoe Sports & Recreation Centre (Midland)
- Penetanguishene Municipal Office
- Penetanguishene Public Library
Reminder, that transit riders are required to wear a non-medical mask when riding the bus, with exceptions given to certain individuals based on the Chief Medical Officer's instructions. Masks will be provided when boarding if you don't have one, and refusal to wear one will result in refusal of service and could result in fines ranging from $750-$1000 up to a maximum of $100,000.
As per the directive of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, exemptions will be made for: children under the age of two, and those under five who refuse/cannot be persuaded to wear one by their caregiver; those who cannot wear a mask due to their religious beliefs; and persons with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent a person from wearing a face mask.
For more information on the Mid-Pen Transit Service, please visit:
Midland.ca/Transit or www.Penetanguishene.ca/en/residents/Transit.asp
Joint Release – Town of Penetanguishene, Town of Midland, Tiny Township and Tay Township
October 27, 2020 – In early 2020 the Town of Penetanguishene, Town of Midland, Township of Tay and Township of Tiny were successful in receiving provincial funding to review services provided by each municipality. Service Delivery Reviews are a common exercise for municipalities to gauge their level of service across all business units and see where opportunities for efficiency and effectiveness exist.
The intent of the North Simcoe Service Delivery Review is to consider “who does what" in the context of what is best and meets the needs of North Simcoe residents and businesses looking ahead to the next twenty years. It is the goal of the four Municipalities to investigate service delivery improvements and to identify more efficient and effective ways of operating.
Specifically, the four municipalities are looking to explore opportunities to make it easier for residents and businesses to access municipal services in a consistent manner, processes to deliver efficient and effective local services, and possibilities to reduce unnecessary and duplicate processes, to be more cost effective. Addressing these opportunities will allow the four municipalities to maintain their individual municipal identities, while focusing on improving current delivery standards.
Phase 1 of the Municipal Modernization Program total project cost will fall within the $100,000 grant funding which has been provided by the Province of Ontario.
In early August, it was announced that Optimus SBR Inc. was awarded the project to undertake the comprehensive review of eleven (11) Municipal services and service levels, collectively agreed upon by the four Municipalities.
- Human Resources/Health & Safety
- Information Technology
- Legal Services
- Land Use Planning
- Building Services
- Emergency Management
- Fire and Emergency Services
- Engineering Services
- Fleet Management
Optimus SBR Inc. has experience working with public sector and government funded organizations in North Simcoe and have demonstrated a strong understanding and historical experience in community engagement and consultation techniques. These techniques will include engaging members of council, staff, municipal stakeholders, and members of the community. Members of the public will have an opportunity to engage with Optimus SBR Inc and municipal staff to provide their feedback on the proposed delivery review. The final report with recommendations will be submitted to each Council for review and consideration.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Midland
Jeff Lees, CPA, CGA
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Penetanguishene
Chief Administrative Officer
Township of Tay
Tim Leitch, P. Eng.
Director of Public Works/Acting CAO
Township of Tiny
Public Meeting - Future Site of Habitat for Humanity Homes in Midland
Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North begins fundraising for 2 homes in Midland
On Wednesday, October 21, 2020, Mayor Stewart Strathearn was on hand, along with Town of Penetanguishene Mayor Doug Leroux, Township of Tay Mayor Ted Walker, Township of Tiny Mayor George Cornell, and representatives from Simcoe North MPP Bruce Stanton's office and Simcoe North MP Jill Dunlop's office, to unveil the future site of two new, energy efficient homes, to be located at 808 Birchwood Drive in Midland.
The Town of Midland is proud to donate this land to such a great cause, and Council has approved a recommendation to waive the Planning Application fees for the project ($6,500).
A public meeting will be held at the November 18 Council meeting regarding an application to amend the Zoning By-law for 808 Birchwood Drive.
Notice of Public Meeting.
Media release from Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North.
Town of Midland welcomes new Executive Director of Corporate Services & Town Solicitor
Please join us in welcoming Tina Lococo to the Town of Midland as Executive Director of Corporate Services & Town Solicitor, effective October 26, 2020.
Tina joins the Town of Midland with over 15 years of legal and management experience as a strategic and visionary executive, in-house counsel, and former municipal CAO and publicly appointed board member. Tina is an excellent collaborator, communicator, and innovator who leads by example. She prides herself on being a down to earth mother, athlete, and outdoorswoman.
Raised in Northern Ontario, Tina has lived in small towns as well as large urban centres. Tina loves adventure (Machu Picchu trek, Tambopata River in the Amazon), travel (Galapagos Islands, Europe, and coast to coast in North America), sports (volleyball, swimming, kayaking) and each year challenges herself to learn to do something new (skydiving, surfing, hang gliding).
Tina's educational background includes:
University of Ottawa, B.A. Honours English
Dalhousie University, combined MBA (Finance / Human Resources)/ LL.B (Business / Environmental)
Gowlings Lafleur Henderson LLP, Toronto, summer student and legal Articles
"We’re all excited to have Tina join our team at the town," said David Denault, Chief Administrative Officer. "Her leadership and experience along with a love of the outdoors will help us continue to focus on council’s strategic direction and priorities."
Media Release: Quick actions help contain small diesel spill in Midland Harbour
October 6, 2020 – Late in the afternoon on October 5, Rick Dalziel, Harbour Master for the Town of Midland noticed a sheen on the water in Midland Harbour and the strong smell of diesel in the air. Acting quickly, Rick notified Town Staff and the Ontario Ministry of Environment Spills Action Centre were notified. The Coast Guard responded to investigate the potential size and spread of the spill, and the Town enlisted the services of a professional cleanup crew.
Absorbent mats were laid in the water by the cleanup crew to help extract the diesel fuel, and the Coast Guard surveyed the area by helicopter this morning looking for signs of diesel in other areas of the harbour. At this point, no other instances of a diesel spill have been located and the investigation has been closed.
“Our storm sewer system was investigated as a possible source, however there was no sign of any diesel fuel within the system, and the boats still in the harbour did not show any indications of being the source either," said Andy Campbell, Executive Director of Environment and Infrastructure. “The Coast Guard estimates this was approximately 5 to 10 gallons of diesel fuel. One litre of diesel fuel has the potential to spread over 3,000 square meters. Thanks to the quick action by Rick, this situation appears to be contained and the potential spread avoided."
Cleanup crews are expected to be on site for the remainder of the day to ensure the fuel is cleaned up.
Though the source of this diesel spill has not been identified, watercraft operators are reminded that in the event of a fuel spill they must report it as soon as possible to the Canadian Coast Guard by calling 1-800-265-0237 (in Ontario). You may also report marine pollution incidents by contacting a MCTS centre on VHF channel 16.
Town Councillor, and former Mayor, Jim Downer (left) and Mayor Stewart Strathearn (right) present Rick Leaney with his own personal Rick Leaney Way street sign.
Media Release: Long time Harbour Master recognized with street named in his honour
September 29, 2020 – Rick Leaney spent more than three decades with the Town of Midland, many of those years spent as Harbour Master in Midland Harbour. To recognize his dedication to Midland and all of his contributions over the years, a street was named in his honour today. The roadway that stretches between the Midland Harbour Office and the restaurant will now be known as Rick Leaney Way.
“For many years Mr. Leaney was the familiar face that greeted boaters and visitors to Midland Harbour, in addition to helping guide the large ships into port," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “His 35 years as Harbour Master was not his only contribution to our great town. Mr. Leaney was also one of the town's biggest promoters, being a mainstay at the Midland booth at the Toronto International Boat Show for 25 years. That in itself is worth honouring, but his dedication went to further lengths than that, and so today the Town was proud to unveil Rick Leaney Way to thank him for all he has done and continues to do for the Town of Midland."
For decades, Rick was the face of the harbour and assisted not only transient boaters, but the Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian naval ships, Tall Ships and cruise ships. In addition to his love of promoting the town at the boat show each year, Rick also created the Kid's Fishing Derby, an annual event that gives local children the chance to win prizes for catching fish in the harbour.
“I had the pleasure of working with Rick for over 25 plus years, and witnessed first hand the dedication he had for his work and for Midland," said Bryan MacKell, former Director of Planning, Economic Development and Harbour Committee Administrator. “I can't think of anyone who walked this stretch of road more in the course of his time as dedicated Harbour Master and town ambassador, ensuring visitors were greeted and taken care of, and it's fitting that it will now be known as Rick Leaney Way."
Media Release: New Accessible Transit Vans presented to Community Reach
September 25, 2020 – Accessible transit in our region received a large boost today, as the Town of Midland and Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop presented Community Reach with two new accessible transit vans. The vans will help Community Reach continue to provide access to barrier-free transportation for residents in North Simcoe.
The accessible transit vans were funded, in part, by the federal and provincial governments through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The Town of Midland received news in April 2020 that it had been approved for a combined $568,309 for two projects under the Public Transit stream, in addition to a $36,630 investment previously announced in August 2019.
“The Town of Midland is fully committed to ensuring our town is accessible to all residents and being able to purchase these new accessible transit vans goes a long way in furthering those efforts," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “The Town will add a new transit bus to our Mid-Pen Transit service next year, and work is currently underway on completing an online transit portal that will provide both accessible and conventional transit riders with access to scheduling, vehicle tracking, and online transit smartcard reloading. Combined with these new accessible transit vans, Midland will have a much more reliable and user-friendly transit service to get residents where they need to go."
“We are fortunate to have Community Reach provide critical transit services for people with accessibility challenges in the Town of Midland," said Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop. “The addition of these new specialized vans through ICIP funding, is an exciting project which will allow access for more people to move around the community."
“We have experienced some breakdowns with a couple of the aging Midland Accessible Transit vans so these new vans will be reliable and ultimately safer going into the winter months," said Cathy Greer, Executive Director of Community Reach. “Ride requests doubled from 7,072 in 2018 to 13,128 in 2019 so these new vans will be a great asset to help serve the increasing demand on our fleet."
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.
A playground structure with snow fencing around it, indicating it is 'Out of Service'.
Media Release: Residents urged to not use 'Out of Service' playground structures
September 11, 2020 – When the Town of Midland was permitted to move into Stage 3 of the Ontario Government's recovery framework in mid-July, many playground structures and equipment in Town parks were opened for public use. However, due to safety concerns, several playground structures have been cordoned off using snow fencing to prevent these structures from being used.
“An extensive inspection of our playground structures and equipment was completed earlier this summer, and while many structures were able to be reopened when Stage 3 arrived, several were found to be in need of repair and/or removal and are considered 'out of service'," said Dylan Flannery, Manager of Operations. “Unfortunately, over the course of the summer the snow fencing around some structures has been continually removed by park patrons in an attempt to use the unsafe structures."
A report went to Council in August outlining the inspection results, and efforts are currently underway to identify which structures can be repaired, which structures will be removed, and what may replace them.
“We understand that this may be a frustrating inconvenience, however we ask that residents respect the fact that these structures are not safe for use. Even if the structure looks safe and was used last year, circumventing or removing the fencing will put themselves and those who may use it afterwards at risk," added Flannery.
Many playground structures/equipment are in service and available for use at Bob Merkley Park; Cook Drive Park; Griffin Street Natural Park; Harbourside/Rotary Park; Little Lake Park; and Regent Park.
Playground users are reminded that these structures are not sanitized, and that physical distancing must be practiced when using them. Signage is posted at all structures advising of this.
Mayor Stewart Strathearn (holding Winter Layup) accepts the painting donation from local
artist Murray Van Halem (holding Baie Comeau at Night).
Media Release: Local artist donates two paintings to the Town of Midland
August 20, 2020 – Earlier this month, the Town of Midland received two beautiful paintings donated by Murray Van Halem, a local artist from Victoria Harbour. The paintings, titled 'Winter Layup' and 'Baie Comeau at Night', both feature the Baie Comeau bulk cargo vessel, a frequent visitor to Midland Harbor that has laid up in port many times for the winter season.
"The two paintings that depict the Baie Comeau in Midland Harbour are emblematic of this Georgian Bay community and the Midland Municipal Office is the natural home for these works," said Murray Van Halem. “I am delighted that they will be displayed here for years to come."
Murray has been active in the local arts community, with his home studio being a popular stop on the Coldwater and Area Studio Tour, and many of his paintings have been exhibited at the Quest Art School + Gallery in Midland. His art has also been featured at exhibitions in Toronto, Royal Victoria Hospital, Orillia Museum of Art and History, and the Collingwood Public Library.
Murry and his wife, Bayla Fishman, are moving to Dundas to be closer to their children at the end of the summer, which prompted the donation of the paintings to the Town.
“The Town of Midland has a beautiful harbour, complemented by the historic mural on the grain towers and the numerous vessels that visit our port," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Mr. Van Halem's paintings capture the beauty of our harbour at different times of the year and we're grateful and thank him for this generous donation. I look forward to displaying them in the halls at the Municipal Office for all to admire."
(Click to view larger images)
North Simcoe Treasure Days are back!
Treasure Days in Midland, Penetanguishene and Tay has returned. Here's your chance to snap up some unwanted items and vintage finds from fellow residents for free, or find new homes for your unwanted household items!
Treasure Days will be held on Saturday, October 17, and Sunday, October 18, 2020.
Items can be placed curbside starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 17. All unclaimed items must be removed from your curb by 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 18. Failure to do so could result in fines.
Make room. Find free, cool stuff!
With the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, we ask that all participants adhere to they physical distancing rule (2 metres/6 feet), wear masks when you can't ensure proper distancing, and follow the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's guideline for cleaning/disinfecting goods and surfaces.
Little Lake Park Beach and Boat Launch reopen as blue-green algae bloom dissipates
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has confirmed that a blue-green algae bloom that has been present at Little Lake since July 20 has now dissipated. As a result the beach and boat launch at Little Lake Park have reopened and are available for use.
More details on blue-green aglae. Stay up to date on beach water testing/swim advisories by visiting the SMDHU's dedicated web page.
Public Notice: Parking at Pete Pettersen Park Boat Launch for Midland residents only
July 22, 2020 – With the warm summer weather having fully arrived, boaters are reminded that parking at the Pete Pettersen Park Boat Launch is for Town of Midland residents only. Non-residents are permitted to use the boat launch at no cost; however, they must make alternative arrangements to park at nearby Bayport Marina.
Midland residents are required to obtain a free boat launch parking pass , which permits parking of vehicles and trailers in the parking lot area at the boat launch. Proof of residency is required along with the vehicle being used for transporting and launching boat. This permit must be displayed in the vehicle with your boat trailer and is valid only in designated parking areas. A maximum of two nights parking is permitted.
Free boat launch parking passes can be obtained from the Midland Harbour Office, between 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Vehicles not displaying a valid 2020 parking pass on their windshield will be ticketed and possibly towed at the owner's expense.
For more information, please contact:
Municipal Law Enforcement Officer
Town of Midland
575 Dominion Avenue, Midland, ON L4R 1R2
Little Lake Park Beach and Boat Launch closed due to blue-green algae bloom
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has confirmed that a blue-green algae bloom is present at Little Lake Park Beach. As a result the beach and boat launch at Little Lake Park will remain closed until further notice.
Public notice from the SMDHU.
Little Lake Park Beach Closed due to potential blue-green algae bloom
As of July 8, the beach at Little Lake Park will be closed until further notice due to a potential blue-green algae bloom discovered by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).
Below is the media release from the SMDHU:
Visitors to Little Lake Park in Midland cautioned about potential algae bloom
Midland — Beach goers and visitors to Little Lake Park in the Town of Midland are being cautioned about a potential blue-green algae bloom.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says illness can result from exposure to blue-green algae, whether for drinking, swimming, bathing, cooking, washing or through eating fish caught from the lake. Persons are being advised not to use the water for drinking or food preparation, including infant formula. Safe water sources include municipal water, bottled water or a well that is not affected by lake water.
Swimming and other water sport activities should also be avoided in areas where algae is visible. As well, do not allow pets or livestock to drink or swim in the water where an algae bloom is visible
The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks will be collecting water samples that will be analyzed to confirm if a bloom is present. Because wind and water currents can change the location of algae blooms, the caution is being issued around the entire lake. Blooms may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint.
Blue-green algae are capable of producing toxins that can be harmful to humans and animals. Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins, and home treatment systems should not be relied on.
Symptoms from consuming toxins from a blue-green algae bloom can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.
To learn more about blue-green algae visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.
Media Release: 2020 King Street Community Art Project now installed
July 10, 2020 – The construction fencing in downtown Midland now boasts a collection of original paintings created by 39 Simcoe County artists.
The 2020 King Street Community Art Project includes 2' x 2' paintings by artists from Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay, Tiny, Beausoleil First Nation, Orillia, Midhurst and Innisfil, ranging in age from 13 to some in their seventies.
“It was such a creative and uplifting project to undertake during this time of self-isolation and uncertainty," said Bridget Dewyze, one of the participating artists who incorporated her family when completing her panel. “Our whole family was able to participate in some way and find joy in the process."
The goal of the Town of Midland project is to beautify the downtown core during the King St. Rejuvenation Project and welcome shoppers back as stores and businesses begin to re-open and continue to provide curbside pick up.
“The paintings showcase the amazing talent that we have in our area and we thank all of the participating artists," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Given the long history of creativity and artistry in Midland, and with the current restrictions on accessing indoor spaces, the Town is very excited for this opportunity to bring art outdoors for our residents to enjoy."
The paintings will be on display until the construction fencing remains on King St. While the original intent was for a temporary art project, some panels may find a permanent home at the Harbour office at the Town Dock.
The complete collection of paintings, with artists' names, is available at:https://www.midland.ca/Pages/King-Street-Community-Art-Project.aspx
Media Release: Time Capsule to commemorate Midland's history and future
June 25, 2020 – In 2071, Midland residents will gain a glimpse of life in the early 2020's when they unearth a time capsule to be buried next year.
Upon completion of the King St. Rejuvenation Project in spring 2021, the Town of Midland will bury a time capsule and they are looking for ideas from the community on what to include. The time capsule will contain items relevant to the history and future of Midland.
“It has been a very long time since King Street was last reconstructed, and I think it's important to commemorate this historic project," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “Not only will this time capsule celebrate the completion of our King Street Rejuvenation project, it will also shed light on what life was like in Midland in 2021 for those opening it 50 years from now. For some it will be distant memories, and for others it will open a door to a time well before they were born.".
The Town of Midland is looking for ideas on what items should be included in the time capsule. Please note that the size and archival stability of suggested items will need to be taken into consideration. Those interested in suggestion items for the time capsule are invited to visit EngagingMidland.ca/Time-Capsule by Sept. 7, 2020. Those without internet access can mail their ideas to:
Town of Midland
Attn: Time Capsule Project
575 Dominion Avenue
Midland, ON, L4R 1R2
Final selection of the items for inclusion will be conducted by a jury of citizens. Those interested in being appointed by Council as a jury member can find the application form at EngagingMidland.ca/Time-Capsule. The final items selected will be announced in the Fall of 2020.
Media Release: Virtual Canada Day Celebration taking place in the Heart of Georgian Bay
Canada Day 2020 celebrations in North Simcoe are moving online.
June 16, 2020 – With current restrictions on large gatherings, Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny are collaborating to bring fun family-friendly activities to the community to enjoy online.
“Since we can't gather in person, we started to look at ways to engage the community online," said Nicole Major, Tourism and Special Events Manager with the Town of Midland. “We approached Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny, and together we have come up with some great family-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy safely from the comfort of their own home."
The festivities will include the national anthem with Emma Reynolds, an art lesson with Make A Mess, learning how to juggle with the Fire Guy, a Franco sing along with Michel Payment, Pioneer Crafts with the Penetanguishene Museum, an appearance by the Huronia Museum's Museum Man, Canadian Animals with the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, Story Telling with Star Otter Art, baking butter tarts with the Boys and Girls Club and much more.
All activities, with the exception of a performance by Dylan Lock, will be pre-recorded and available at www.culturealliance.ca from July 1 to July 31. This will allow community members to create their own Canada Day schedule and watch favourite videos multiple times.
Major noted that she is looking forward to Lock's performance, which will be the only activity streamed live that day, as well as the videos of the magicians, smoothie-making with MegaMindful Living and family yoga with Retreat Yoga and Wellness.
While all activities are free, the organizing municipalities ask that everyone consider making a donation to a local charity that is doing great work in our community. Those unsure of which charity to support, could consider a donation to the Huronia Community Foundation who will see the money directed to where it is needed.
There are also a few offline activities being planned and organized. Free cookie decorating kits will be available to the first 100 families from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the June 28 Farmer's Market in Midland. There will also be a Canada Day colouring page available for download at culturealliance.ca and everyone who emails a photo of their completed coloured page to CanadaDay@midland.ca by 4 p.m. on July 3 will be entered in a draw for a chance to win one of 10 prizes of $50 in Downtown Midland shopping dollars.
The 2020 online Canada Day festivities have been made possible through a grant from the Government of Canada.
Media Release: Province sees spike in fire fatalities since start of 2020
Fire Chief Urges Residents to Keep Fire Safety Top of Mind
May 5, 2020 – Since January 1, fire fatalities across Ontario increased by 65% compared to the same time last year, with 17 Ontarians dying in fires in March alone. Town of Midland and Town of Penetanguishene Fire Chief Paul Ryan wants to remind everyone how important it is to keep fire safety top of mind.
“I urge you to be vigilant in preventing fires in your home, especially now with so many people at home practicing physical distancing because of COVID-19," said Fire Chief Paul Ryan. “It's just as important that you test your smoke alarms and practice your home fire escape plan."
Between January 1 and May 4, 2019, there were 31 fire fatalities in Ontario. Over that same period this year, there have been 51 fire fatalities.
“Only you can make sure these types of tragedies do not happen in our communities," continued Fire Chief Paul Ryan. “You need to do everything you can to prevent a fire in your home."
There are simple things that you can do to prevent a fire from happening in your home and ensure that everyone knows what to do if a fire starts.
How to protect yourself and your loved ones
Reduce fire risks in your home:
- Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of home fires.
- Keep a close eye on anyone drinking alcohol and attempting to cook or smoke.
- Encourage smokers to smoke outside the home and outside the garage. Thoroughly extinguish all smoking materials in water or sand.
- Always blow out candles before leaving the room.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets. Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection. Avoid running electrical cords under rugs, which can damage the cords and cause a fire.
- Ensure items that can burn are at least one metre away from space heaters.
- Do not attempt to sterilize or decontaminate face masks for re-use by heating them in a microwave oven. Various fabric or metal components can overheat or create sparks and cause a fire if heated in a microwave.
Make sure your alarms work:
- Test smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Only working smoke alarms can give you the early warning you need to safely escape a fire in your home.
Practice your home fire escape plan:
- Ensure everyone knows two ways out of each room, if possible.
- All exits must be unobstructed and easy to use.
- Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults and anyone who needs assistance to escape.
- Choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for.
- Call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or a neighbour's home.
- Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.
- If you live in an apartment or high-rise building talk to the building superintendent to learn about the emergency procedures outlined in the building's fire safety plan.
For more information, please contact:
Fire Prevention Officer
Midland Fire Department
705-526-4279 ext. 2236
Deputy Fire Chief
Penetanguishene Fire Department
705-549-7453 ext. 707
Annual Uni-Directional Flushing program begins on March 30
Each year, the Town of Midland Water Wastewater Services conducts a Uni-directional Flushing (UDF) program. This process is one of the best ways to preserve high water quality and maintain the reliability of the water distribution system.
This year the UDF program will start on Monday, March 30, and run until completion of the entire distribution system.
The UDF method cleans the water mains through a network of flushing sequences with the water being discharged from a fire hydrant. A UDF program involves closing valves in a specific sequence to create water movement in one direction while opening specific hydrants at the end of that sequence. This technique allows higher water flow velocities by isolating certain sections of water mains. The higher water velocity allows for better scouring of the pipes and will use 30-40% less water in the flushing process than conventional flushing methods. Flushing pipes at higher velocities will dislodge and remove mineral deposits, biofilm and sediment that accumulate in the water mains.
In most cases, customers will not notice any changes to their water delivery during the UDF process. However, in some instances, homes may experience a temporary slight drop in water pressure and/or discolouration in cold water. There should be no disruption in serve.
Due to varying rates and directions of flow in the water distribution system, our customers may experience a slight discolouration in their water, which at times is unavoidable. Under most circumstances, you can run your faucets for a short time after the testing is completed and the water should clear at your residence. Discoloured water in itself does not pose a health hazard, however if the water does not clear up after running your tap for a few minutes please contact Water Wastewater Services at 705-526-4268 ext. 4207.
The Town has received reports from several residents that they are having issues making online payments for tax and utility bills. Town staff are currently working on the issue with our banking institution and an update will be provided once the situation has been resolved.
For those with questions/concerns you can contact our Customer Service at 705-526-4275 and press '0'.
June 13 won’t mark the sweetest day of the year for 2020.
Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival has been cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was not a decision that the planning committee undertook lightly or without great consideration, however cancelling now allows us to give fair notice to all involved with the multiple facets of the festival,” said Karen Mealing, Cultural Development Coordinator for the Town of Midland and festival organizer.
This would have been the 8th year for the award-winning festival which was slated to take place on Midland Ave in 2020 due to the King St. Rejuvenation Project.
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.
The festival is also working with an artist to create a colouring page which will be made available digitally. Photos of the coloured pages can be emailed to the festival and all participants will have their names entered in a draw for gift certificates from Minds Alive and for Downtown Midland BIA Bucks.
More information about the t-shirts and colouring page will be made available shortly.
In February the festival was named one of the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario for the second year in a row and in 2019 was included by Forbes in their top 12 list of Canada’s Best Summer Food and Drink Festivals. The next festival is scheduled for June 12, 2021
March 26, 2020 – With the early arrival of spring weather, The Town of Midland is pleased to announce that Phase 2 of the King Street Rejuvenation Project will begin on Monday, March 30, 2020. Continuing where Phase 1 left off in 2019, Phase 2 will see continued work along King Street to replace underground infrastructure, sidewalks, trees and lighting.
"We understand many downtown businesses are impacted by COVID-19," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn “Moving forward with this project now, as planned, we expect to complete the project this year avoiding any carryover and added disruption in 2021."
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Arnott Construction Ltd., the contractor on the project, is taking all reasonable precautions necessary in order to follow the most up to date industry best practices in order to fight the spread of the virus. Changes have been made to Health & Safety procedures and protocols, as well contingency plans have been put into place. The situation will continue to be monitored and changes will be implemented where necessary.
“In discussions with both Arnott Construction Ltd. and Tatham Engineering, a plan was developed permitting Phase 2 to continue as scheduled, with extra precautions in place given these ever-changing times," said Andy Campbell, Executive Director of Environment & Infrastructure for the Town of Midland. “We encourage the community to continue to support all of the downtown businesses during construction once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted."
Phase 2 will be done in one-block increments, with the first block of work being done from Bayshore Drive to Dominion Avenue. The project will continue south, with Elizabeth Street to Yonge Street being the final block. A work schedule and traffic control plan have been posted on Engaging Midland, and more updates will be provided throughout Phase 2. Visit EngagingMidland.ca/King-Street-Rejuvenation for more details.
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
Don’t forget on Sunday, March 8th, when you move your clocks ahead 1 hour, change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
At Council on Wednesday, March 4, the 2020 Heritage Award winners were honoured for their dedication to preserving and maintaining local built heritage and promoting awareness and appreciation of local history.
576 Dominion Avenue - Cherel & Melissa Martin (Cherel Martin accepting the award)
Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you for your dedication to preserving Midland's heritage!
During extreme cold weather, those in need can stay warm during business hours at the:
If you see anyone who might be at risk in this weather, please let them know where they can find warmth.
“The Regional Government Review and, previous to that, our Service Delivery Review helped us identify key adjustments that could be made to streamline our organization," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “These adjustments, building off the changes we introduced last summer, will help us meet the challenges that come our way, while continuing to improve the services we offer residents."
“These next steps not only align the corporation with Council's strategic priorities, they also provide a structure that allows for improved succession planning and employee retention," said Councillor Cher Cunningham, Chair of the Human Resources Committee. “With some key positions being recruited in 2020, implementing this reorganization now will allow us to be more successful in filling those roles and ensure we continue to move Midland forward."
(MIDLAND, ON) – On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, Council approved the 2020 Budget for the Town of Midland. The 2020 Budget will see the Town continue to address current and future infrastructure needs; support tourism, events and recreation; boost the quality of customer service and more.
With County and Education rates being factored in, residents will see an increase to their municipal property tax rate of 1.34%, well below the current rate of inflation. This equates to an approximate increase of $19 per $100,000 of property assessment. The final Tax Rate By-law will be approved by Council in May, once the County rate has been officially announced.
In order to maintain and proactively-plan for future infrastructure needs, Council, on December 18, 2019, approved increases to water and wastewater rates of 5% and 4% respectively. For a typical user, the impact will result in a $0.37/week increase on water bills and $0.35/week on wastewater bills.
“With this budget, Council has not only accelerated the budget process so that our annual budgets align with the beginning of the calendar year, we have also continued our commitment to being fiscally prudent while also moving forward with proactive saving for infrastructure needs," said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “This commitment to funding reserves, combined with the proceeds and investments from the sale of Midland PUC, will allow the Town to absorb the costs of current and future infrastructure needs with less impact to residents."
“Staff were given a target to work within by Council, and we are very pleased with the outcome of the 2020 budget," said Interim CAO, Amanpreet Sidhu. “Council and staff have managed to limit the impact this budget will have on residents from a tax levy-standpoint, while providing flexibility to continue moving Midland forward."
Purchase your dog tag(s) by end-of-day March 3, 2020, and you can save! Also, you now have the option of purchasing 1, 2 or 3 year tags!
On Wednesday, November 13, the Town of Midland launched our CivicWeb Portal, the Town's new online agenda management portal. This new portal will increase accessibility to information, while also providing residents/visitors with a user-friendly interface to access meeting calendars/schedules, agendas and minutes for Council. Boards & Committees meetings/agendas/minutes will migrate over to the CivicWeb Portal in the coming weeks as well.
The CivicWeb portal will also allow residents/visitors to subscribe to meeting updates, which will provide them with notifications via email alerting them when an agenda or meeting minutes package has been published, and provide direct links to them.
When viewing the agendas on the CivicWeb Portal, corresponding documents will be one click away, with links to staff reports and other documents appearing in the agenda.
On September 18, Council approved a series of transit fare increases. The first, which takes effect on Monday, September 23, 2019, is an increase to the electronic fare cards (i.e. Smart Cards) from $3.00/card to $3.25/card. New cards are now available that have a unique 14-digit card number which allows for more security for the user. In the event a card is lost or stolen, the card number can be used to look up the user's account in our system, and it can then be blocked/cancelled so that the user's pre-paid funds are not being used. Those funds can then be transferred to a new card.
This fall we also expect to rollout a new online transit portal, which will allow users to register their account, link their card, and reload their card online.