Skip to content

LETTER: Midland throwing away chance to create waterfront that'd be 'great source of pride'

Town should fire development board and create a park, 'not a commercial concrete blight,' reader says
2020-07-29 ap
Reader says town could make a huge mistake when it comes to developing Midland Bay Landing. Andrew Philips/MidlandToday

MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor at andrew@midlandtoday.ca. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). This letter concerns a recent column by Community Editor Andrew Philips regarding the future of Midland Bay Landing.

Dear Editor,

The town could squander that “once in a forever” opportunity to make this pristine area become one for all and for all time!

Development is such a nasty and misguided phrase. If you never “developed” an inch, Mother Nature in time would make it very beautiful. But in today's context, time is a factor though it all too often is done in a rush.

Put in some 'formal' gardens, plant a few little trees, make cement or tar walkways, a few 'creations,' some unimaginative commercial buildings and for good measure some highend condos for the uber rich. No ! No! No! This approach is so very wrong for this magical space!

The people of Midland effectively own this valuable property. It is not a Committee nor this council that owns it.

A “Board” is frequently, as you point out, made up of “out-of-towners” and yes, some maybe with even vested economic connections, (Sh! Sh! Sh!) and a budget timeline.

Firstly, there should be no rush to develop what really could be a more natural creative plan. Council must safeguard the future of this valuable asset. They must see it as a truly unique opportunity that should not be missed.

This process cannot be a hurry-up election issue.  Present and future park users will hold whatever Council, accountable and hopefully in a proud and thankful light.

Midland, though beautiful, has virtually no  “natural” waterfront lands for all to enjoy. Hard to imagine sitting as it does on the magical shore of Georgian Bay!

How shortsighted of Midland's forefathers and mothers! Industry and money were the driving force then and now. But public pressure and constructive leadership can demand and help create a better future land use plan.

Orillia and Barrie (through reclamation) are far more people-park friendly. Penetang has made great progress in their waterfront park development. Collingwood  squandered the redo of the shipyard lands. They definitely sold out to developers for the most part.

So, Midland residents and Council should think critically and hard about the Midland Bay Landing Development Corporation’s board and their plan. Frankly, if that rendition of a use plan is the best they could create, they should all be fired. Now. Full stop.

Midland Bay Landing should be a Midland treasure NOT a commercial, concrete blight. Such efforts will hopefully create a park area that will always be a great source of Midland’s pride!

Respectfully sent,

Jim Wilgar

Retired MSS teacher and longtime Georgian Bay boater