Monday, July 31, 2017

Midland Ontario

July 2017 - Toronto ON

Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, this area was home to the Huron/Ouendat nations, who were considered one of the most advanced nations in North America. The Jesuits arrived in the 1600s, and the British followed shortly thereafter.

The links below will take you to some stunning places to visit in the area. They will take you back to the times of the Hurons. We visited these last summer.

We drove to Midland on Sunday, about a two hour drive north. 

In November of 1871, the Midland Railway Corporation of Port Hope, Ontario, selected Midland as its western port and terminus. Adolphe Hugel and George Cox formed the Midland Land Company and purchased most of the acreage in the area from various farming families. In 1872, they had Peter Burnett survey the new village site, complete with large lots, wide roads and big plans for the future. They named the new community "Midland City." In 1875, the Chew brothers established a grist mill.

Flowers arranged for Canada's 150th birthday this year.

Until 1999, the Guinness Book of World Records repeated the popular misconception it was 1,896 km (1,178 mi) long, and thus the longest street in the world; this was due to a conflation of Yonge Street with the rest of Ontario's Highway 11. Yonge Street (including the Bradford-to-Barrie extension) is actually 86 kilometres long.

This time it was to see the incredible murals dotted around town. The murals will require several posts but I'll give you a sample.

King St. I think every town in Ontario has a King St. Toronto certainly does.

Three murals here, a boy fishing, first in-store advertisement for Benjamin Moore Paints and a view of the Wye Marsh as well as the Martyrs' Shrine in the background.

The building currently occupied by the Midland Public Library was constructed in 1913 as a Federal Government building, serving as a Post Office, Customs Office, and Steamship Inspection Office and Licensing facility. It served these functions until 1967 when it was renovated and opened as a library.

Interesting preserved buildings with a glimpse of a mural on the side of this one.
The Jeffery Block, as this building is known, was completed in 1901 and housed the hardware business of F. W. Jeffery & Sons. The second storey of the building was the home of the local Y. M. C. A., while the top floor was outfitted for the Odd Fellows Lodge meeting rooms. The third floor was also used for a time as the High School quarters until the completion of its building in 1904.

The lower part of King St., near the intersection with Hugel Avenue. The Jeffery Block is on the left side of the photo. Jeffery’s Hardware occupies the lower floor of the block.

This building originally served as the Western Bank of Canada Building from 1872 to 1890. It has also been known as the Burton Block, built by the Burton Brothers of Barrie. Later it housed the T. Eaton Company, which was the largest department store north of Toronto.

The mural shows the general store that was in this building in the early 1920's. There was originally three storeys, but the third storey collapsed in 1928.

Here it is with the third floor.

We headed down to the harbour for lunch and a spectacular mural.

David Onley was born in Midland and went on to become the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2007 until 2014.
I have fond memories of him as a television journalist. He worked primarily for Citytv as a weather reporter, before moving on to cover science and technology stories. Later on, he worked with the 24-hour news station CablePulse 24 as a news anchor and host of a weekly technology series, Home Page. A published author, he was founding president of the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada.
As the province's first Lieutenant Governor with a disability, He battled polio from the age of three, Onley said he would use his vice-regal position to help remove physical barriers to Ontario's 1.5 million people with disabilities, as well as focus on other issues affecting the disabled, including obstacles to employment and housing. 

My photographer,  vying for the best angle for the largest outdoor historical mural in North America, quite a mouthful!

Georgian Bay

We had a delicious lunch in the sunshine (yea)! We strolled around the harbour and came across this lovely creature.

Originally native to Ontario, the Trumpeter swan's extinction from eastern Canada over 200 years ago was primarily due to hunting pressure and habitat loss.
Biologist Harry Lumsden began a provincial reintroduction program in the early 1980's to re-establish the Trumpeter swan in its former habitat and range.
With prime wetland habitat, and archaeological evidence confirming the historical presence of Trumpeters in the Wye Valley, Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre became a co-operator in the restoration of this magnificent species in 1989.


The heaviest living bird native to North America, it is also the largest extant species of waterfowl with a wingspan that may exceed 10 ft (3.0 m).

We headed back up King St. to find more murals.

In English this is called Runner of the Wood shows fur traders (left) meeting and working with the Hurons (right). Note that the rocks are similar to those in the Canadian Shield. Growing up we would have used the French expression coureur des bois.

Once back in the car we used the GPS to track a few more down.

Originally this property was known as Stewart’s Garage, and stored cars for island cottagers.

This mural was a reproduction of the oil painting done by Norman Rockwell. A real wooden frame was created to help the painting stick out.

I'll end with one more mural!

These are two famous photographers, both were important in recording the history of Midland. The gentlemen to the left is Budd Watson- known for his photographs of Georgian Bay. The individual to the right is J.W Bald, majority of the murals are based on photographs by Mr. Bald of Midland in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

1 comment:

  1. Terrific shots! I've never gotten into the Midland area. Just drove past the turn off signs from time to time.


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