Who owns the Midhurst Community Centre?

Should the Midhurst Community Centre stay in the village or move to the tree nursery lands?

A recurring question.


The first hall was built in 1854 on a site east of the Anglican Church quite close to Mr. Sneath’s house, store, and post office. This land was donated by Mr. George Sneath. The land around the hall was turned into a park. More recently this land belonged to Jim Pierce. The Townships of Vespra, Flos, and Sunnidale met here at first. In 1855 they split and Vespra alone had this hall was the only one for a large area and naturally was in use for many purposes. All the religious organizations met here until the churches were built. Concerts, dances and parties used this hall. Once a year a grand ball for the whole area, including Barrie was put on. It was a great success. They sang, they ate, they drank until the wee hours. Whisky bottles were gathered up in Piles the next day. A temperance society “Canadian Templars” met here from about 1869-1870. This hall was used for 81 years and was torn down. Some of the timbers were used in the new hall built in 1927 at it’s present site which was purchased from Mrs. Thos. Spence.

Two groups had a see-saw battle as the most suitable site for this hall. One favoured The Reforestry Station as the ideal site, and another wanted it in the village where it stands. Of course the villagers won the battle. A poem written in the first edition by Arthur Garvin gives a humourous account of the meeting to decide the site.

In the seventies and early eighties the Independent Order of Good Templars had a strong lodge here and quite a clever dramatic club was connected with it.

The Township of Springwater has 6 community centres (Midhurst, Grenfel, Minesing, Anten Mills, Hillsdale and Elmvale) and 3 libraries (Midhurst, Minesing and Elmvale).

Oro-Medonte has 6 community centres and lists them prominently on their website under the Community tab here.

 — Pioneer History of Midhurst, The Midhurst Historical Society, 1975, p 36-7.


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