Midland’ population remained relatively stagnant until the 2020 census which showed a 5% increase. Many said Midland was the best kept secret in Ontario! Growth numbers suggested the many were right, yet financially it certainly wasn’t a positive. The reality of costs escalating with inflation and infrastructure wearing out meant additional financial burden on existing residents. This in turn limited the ability to develop or even maintain those things that make Midland a great place to live. Data collected at County support these observations on growth.
For some, growth presents a conundrum: grow and lose Midland’s unique character or
remain small and bear the inexorable fact of increasing costs.
Midland’s official plan recognises that conundrum and lays out a path to retain Midland’s unique character yet encourage growth. Not just any growth but the right growth that ensures a great place to live without a heavy financial burden. The mix of housing is important to ensure that it captures the needs of all segments of the community.
3,500 Housing Units Coming
Midland has approximately 3,500 housing units in the planning stream which, depending on the rate of build out, could reduce the tax rate by anywhere from 25% to 50 % while recognizing an actual annual 5% municipal only increase in taxes.
And there is a conversation with other developers interested in building up to 3,000 more homes in Midland.
All this growth, while maintaining Midland’s character, is achievable yet requires continuing changes in how the municipality does business and careful attention to two-way communication as this growth unfolds.
Midland is seeing new businesses locate here and there are industries looking to Midland as a possible location. Balancing age distribution in the population is top of mind and the County’s Municipal Comprehensive Review population and jobs growth allocations reflects this fact.
We are Being Proactive
Achieving this required a restructure of Town Hall staffing, policies, and procedures. Midland has increased planning and engineering staff to accommodate this new growth while dealing with issues from the previous planning regime including appeals to the Official Plan. New digital processes for building and planning applications are being initiated to expedite submissions and approvals. Harmonizing processes and fee structures with Penetanguishene ease the burden in both municipalities and helps with expediting approvals and inspections.
Recently ranked in top 100 in Maclean’s best Canadian places to live Midland is on the right track.
Changes being made at Town Hall will ensure we continue to grow. The County’s growth allocation recognises Midland’s potential yet does not fully understand that we are at the beginning of an era of prosperity. Together we will achieve prosperity through growth while being true to our identity.