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See all about it: Midland’s history, artistry always on display

Midland's murals provide a welcomed glimpse into the region's past heart and soul

You see them all over town in Midland — murals. 

From every direction, there are works of art, like the one depicting the Brébeuf Island Lighthouse from the 1900s that served to guide ships from Giant’s Tomb to Midland Bay. This mural at the corner of King and Bay streets is mixed media and incorporates a real window in the lighthouse.

There are works that show a train at the rail-yard. In a truly meta-artistic fashion, there’s a piece that portrays what a butcher shop would have looked like in the early 1900s painted over the outside wall at Meatland: Midland’s Best Butcher Shop.

There's also the large, colourful mural welcoming boaters to town that can also be viewed from shore. And like many of the others, it was created by artist Fred Lenz.

Painted on a massive grain elevator is an impressive mural depicting Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and a Jesuit priest meeting an Indigenous person.

They depict everything from a Norman Rockwell recreation, at Bay and Second, to a regular day at a sawmill in the 1900s, located at the bottom of King Street.

The lumber industry helped make Midland and the area what it is today, and there is more than one mural dedicated to that part of the town’s history. Until the Bay in Penetanguishene was remediated and Rotary Champlain Wendat Park was created, you could still see massive logs in the Bay leftover from the busy days of the local logging and lumber business.

There are genuine pieces of historical significance like the depiction of Thomas Gladstone, Midland’s first postmaster which celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Midland Post Office. It’s located at the corner of Dominion and Borsa.

The retail merchant helped establish the town after it was settled in the 1840s by farmers. He became the postmaster after building the general store in 1871.

There are also paintings that show the sailing and shipping culture that have shaped the area, including a detailed rendition of the Bee, a schooner that sailed Georgian Bay. A replica ship is docked at Discovery Harbour in Penetanguishene.

Local artists' paintings cover the walls of downtown Midland making the view one that offers glimpses of the area’s past, and provide the talent in the area a place to showcase their work.

The murals offer a small piece of the many and various places that make this area so beautiful.

Located at King and Elizabeth streets, a mural showing a view of the Wye Marsh with the Martyrs' Shrine in the background is a reminder of the natural beauty that surrounds the town.

Another nod to the natural beauty of Midland is the mural of two local photographers of note.

In fact, J.W. Bald’s photography is the basis for the majority of the murals that show what life was like in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Budd Watson is another cameraman known for his photographs of Georgian Bay.

You’ll find the mural dedicated to their memory on Midland Avenue between Hugel Avenue and Elizabeth Street.

A 1920s-era piece located near the docks shows large cruise ships docked in Midland. Detroit-based company Georgian Bay Lines ferried tourists from Great Lakes cities to quiet picturesque waters around the bay and beyond when the port in Midland was a bustling and busy place filled with incoming and outgoing ships.

Whether you’re interested in the history, or the artistry that went into creating these large scale pieces of art, take a walking tour of Midland today, and see what it was like back then.