On June 3, 2020, Council received Staff Report CS-2020-04, King St. Rejuvenation Project Time Capsule, and authorized staff to proceed with this project. Among the items to be included in the Time Capsule is a letter with a message from
Council. The Time Capsule will be buried in Neezhoday Park on September 25, 2021.
The Letter from Council will speak to what is happening in Midland today, providing a glimpse in time for those opening the Time Capsule in the year 2071.
Dear Midlanders in 2071,
This time capsule was buried on September 25, 2021, marking a significant time in the
Town of Midland’s history.
In 2020, the downtown was revitalized as King Street underwent a rejuvenation and reconstruction project with the installation of a new watermain, new sanitary and storm system, new road alignments and parking configuration, new traffic signals and pedestrian crossing, plus new streetscaping, landscaping and the installation of the public art piece, “Sown,” at King Street and Bayshore Drive. The majority of the water, sewer and storm sewers replaced in 2020 were originally installed in 1932, while some pipes from 1928, 1972 and 1974 were also found and replaced.
The fencing around the King Street construction provided the perfect opportunity to create an outdoor exhibition space when galleries and museums had to close their doors to visitors in 2020. The Town commissioned 38 original 2’x2’ paintings by area artists to be hung downtown throughout the summer in 2020. These paintings are now part of the Town’s art collection and will be installed in permanent locations in 2022.
A new technology-based parking system was installed in the downtown area during the summer of 2021 to mixed reviews. The expansion of paid parking using an app-based system was designed to provide convenience while allowing those visiting from outside of Midland to contribute to our infrastructure needs through their parking fees. The current fee is $1.00 per hour during specified time periods with a free first hour in lots, and first 15 minutes free for on-street parking.
Little Lake Park continues to be a place of attraction to residents and visitors alike and a number of improvement projects to rehabilitate aging infrastructure are planned. The abundant presence of geese continues to be a hot topic as well. In the Town aging playground structures were removed for safety reasons and a public consultation was completed to assist in selecting new structures which are scheduled for installation in 2022.
The next big project for the Town will be the development of Midland Bay Landing which will allow residents and visitors better access to beautiful Georgian Bay. As this letter is being written, a Demonstration Walkway is being constructed at Midland Bay Landing and in August of this year, the Midland Bay Landing Development Corporation unanimously supported a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of Midland and area becoming a UNESCO Global GeoPark. The analysis indicated that this area could be one of the most significant GeoParks in the world.
We are also at an important point in bridge-building with Indigenous communities and there is a strong focus on celebrating Indigenous culture and reconciling with Indigenous peoples. You will find items from Beausoleil First Nation and the Georgian Bay Métis Council included in the time capsule as symbols of their heritage and the years that Indigenous peoples lived, and continue to live and thrive, on these lands.
Weather patterns also continued to change and deliver challenges to some of our systems. On June 26, 2021, the Town received a month’s amount of rain in one day as a ‘25-year storm’ passed through our municipality. The Town saw 79mm of rainfall over 24 hours, including 57.8mm between 5 and 7 p.m. Water gushed from manhole covers and localized flooding occurred without significant damage thankfully.
Our Town committed to protecting pollinators and became a designated Bee City in 2021. As a Bee City municipality, the Town of Midland commits to provide pollinator habitat within its boundaries and to test the outcomes of No-Mow and Reduced-Mow Zones. This is being done to save resources, reduce pollution and create pollinator habitat.
Of most significance, the history books will show that the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March of 2020 and while we bury this time capsule, we are in the fourth wave and cases across the country are on the rise once again. The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives from how we work at the office and from home, visit and socialize, shop in person and online, travel, and spend leisure time. We have been fortunate to-date that the case count in our area has been relatively low compared to other parts of Ontario and that there has been good response in Simcoe County to getting vaccinated.
Midland responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by turning the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre into a mass vaccination clinic administering nearly 44,300 doses after Health Canada started to approve vaccines. Unfortunately, in-person events such as Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival were cancelled, but we pivoted and got creative with how events were organized. In addition to moving to virtual celebrations as we did for Canada Day 2020 and 2021, a reverse Santa Claus parade was held in December 2020 with families in their cars driving by stationary floats throughout Little Lake Park with great success.
It is our hope that Midland in 2071 is still as great a place to live as it is in 2021. In May of this year, the Town was ranked as one of the Top 100 best communities in Canada by Maclean’s Magazine and it fits with the Town’s motto of Persequi qualitatem vitae, meaning “in pursuit of quality of life.”
We hope you enjoy this glimpse back in time to 2021.
Mayor Stewart Strathearn
Deputy Mayor Mike Ross
Councillor Jim Downer
Councillor Jonathan Main
Councillor Beth Prost
Councillor Bill Gordon
Councillor Carole McGinn
Councillor Cody Oschefski
Councillor Cher Cunningham