“I Grew Up in Midhurst Ontario” is a worthwhile Facebook group.

January 8, 2016

Midhurst is not alone in +200 years of Ontario community building in Springwater Township.
Grew Midhurst


There are important lessons from the past for those currently charged with cultural stewardship.

Posted as well on SpringwaterParkcc.org and DemocracyWatchSimcoe.ca.

An example of a post:

Comment ownership

The Margaret Atwood anti-sprawl Midhurst petition challenge is shattered!!

March 30, 2014

It will be a pleasure to welcome Ms. Atwood and perhaps some of her friends to our just-right sized, 3,500 population, nearly 200 year old community.

MCC SPCC sign 1

Midhurst Community Centre, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, Annual Meeting, January 26, 2014.

The cancer-like urban sprawl plan threatens farmland, the Minesing Wetlands,  Springwater Park, forced hook-ups for sewer and water for all Midhurst and out-of-sight tax bills for all Springwater Township residents for decades into the future.

As reported by AWARE Simcoe on March 26th, Yes! Midhurst petiton tops 5.000:

Final push joined by Atwood in Twitter feed
Today, the 5,000th person signed the petition to save the village of Midhurst (population 3,500), preserve the 756 hectares of surrounding farmland and stop the proposed effluent discharge into the Willow Creek and the internationally treasured Minesing Wetlands.

And the count of those opposed to the Midhurst Secondary Plan, which would expand the Midhurst population to 28,000, continues to rise.

The final Twitter push from Save Midhurst Now proclaiming that only 13 signatures were needed was re-tweeted in the early hours today by author Margaret Atwood, who has pledged to visit Midhurst and do a workshop at a nearby high school if 5,000 people sign the petition.

The Midhurst residents’ group has unveiled a new video and song in support of the cause. Click here to view it.

Sign the petition

Congratulations to everyone, especially to Ms. Sandy Buxton and Margaret Prophet and all their talented members at the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association.

Midhurst Community Centre iLoveMidhurst.ca 2

Posted also on FranchiseFool.com and SpringwaterParkcc.org.

Who benefits with the premature death of the Midhurst Historical Society?

July 25, 2013

Are there many benefits for an economic and political alliance in having everyone forget the past?

Pioneer history

Pioneer History of Midhurst, The Midhurst Historical Society, 1975.

The past provides context to judge the recklessness of the proposed Midhurst Secondary Plan.

A History

A History of Vespra Township, The Vespra Township Council, Allan Anderson & Betty Tomlinson Anderson, Editors, 1987.

Destroying or burning the books would be raise too much of a stir with the staff. Much better to throw out the original research because “no one cares about history”.

  • Such truly ignorant rubbish…proven false in 99% of the world.

Such hubris. Quotes:

History is a vast early warning system. Norman Cousins 1915 – 1990

History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man. Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822

Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. Heinrich Heine 1797 – 1856

Cross-posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.

The past is always a rebuke to the present. Robert Penn Warren

Heritage does Matter: Tree nursery, Springwater Park and, then, the Vespra Boys cenotaph

October 11, 2012

Alive communities rise to challenges.

An important article entitled Pine Forests and a Park [Word pdf] appeared in the Springwater News today.

Ruth Byers suggests how our community has dealt with big challenges. This one was the total clear-cutting of the forests in the then-named Vespra Township  and Simcoe County in the late 1800s:

In the early years of the 1900s, the Ontario Government established a tree nursery and began to distribute trees for reforestation. About the same time, E.C. Drury a farmer at Crown Hill and E.J. Zavitz, a forester, began a project to help recover the land denuded of trees. They toured the ‘sand plans’ around Midhurst and Orr Lake.

In a quote from A History of Vespra, they described one of their trips:

‘We walked across the field, and came on a spring of fresh, clean water, bubbling out of a sandy bank. The stream wasn’t very wide, but seemed to have a good strong flow.’

This was the beginning of the Midhurst Tree Nursery. And eventually, Springwater Park.

The devastation of The Great War (WWI) provoked another communal, local response,  logically centred on the tree nursery and park:

Located in Springwater Park is a cenotaph built of stone by Veterans of Vespra Township. Harvey Spence and Robert Mills did the actual construction. Remembrance Day services were held her for many years, including members from Scouting and Guiding.

How will our community respond to the current challenges to our social, environmental and cultural equities?

Leadership vacuum demands Midhurst Plan must be altered

April 27, 2012

Just how out-of-focus is Linda Collins’ Springwater Township administration?

You decide:

**  April 16, 2012 — +200 township residents during dinner on a Monday night, respectfully attend their first council meeting with a 1,400 person petition asking for a dialogue


** April 19th — council responds not to their voters but by trying to “spin” the story via the Barrie Examiner.

After professionally waiting for a direct reply from their leader (re: good faith conversation), former councillor Dr. Paul Fleming is forced to respond in a letter to the editor: Midhurst plan must be altered [Word pdf] on April 26, 2012.

The president of the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association explains  how many in the township feel they were duped:

The problem for Midhurst residents is that most of the previous public meetings did not include the number of people expected in the new development.

Instead the impression was created that Midhurst would grow by about 1,000 to 2,000 people over the next 20 years.

It was only a month before council approved the secondary plan that two critical public meetings revealed the true scope of the township’s plans for enormous growth in Midhurst.

Both of these meetings were slipped in near the end of summer of 2008, on Aug. 28 and Sept. 9 [2008].

Lack of Big-Picture Thinking on Residents’ Part?

An additional…

  1. 1,000, or
  2. 2,000, or
  3. 30,000 more people in 20 years?

Is it any wonder why over 200 people showed up to the Midhurst Community Centre on November 29, 2011 and again to their township chambers on April 16, 2012?

What delineates innocent “fuzzy thinking” (incompetence) from intentional electoral misrepresentation [then and now] once the current administration was informed 5-6 months ago?

— see Media stories archive on iLoveMidhurst.ca.

Will time show Barrie annexing Midhurst by way of the Midhurst Secondary Plan?

April 20, 2012

Don’t take my word for it.

These are the individuals and groups that provided exhibits to the Ontario Standing Committee on General Government in 1984. Ontario’s Bill 142, Barrie-Vespra Annexation Act was the the result: a unilateral annexation decision by the provincial government which was financially devastating to the then-Vespra township (now Springwater).

Ask these almost 200 people and groups who they trust the most and trust the least in annexation matters.

264434 Ontario Ltd., John Adams, Roy Adams, J. Adams, Paul Alexander, Linda Alexander, Angry Ratepayers of Vespra Against Annexation Group, Anonymous, E. Atkinson, S. Atkinson, City of Barrie, Lillian Barrowclough, D. Barsky, Shirley Bates, B. Bentley, J. Bentley, “B” Group Barrie, Mrs. L. Bigham, B. Bonnell, M. Bonnell, Bruce Bonnell, Lillian Bowderg, Ernest Bowderg, T. Brown, K. Brown, Carson Road Group, Centre Vespra Women’s Institute, Anne Channen, M. Cleary, V. Cleary, (RAVE), C. Cobman, Evelyn Cochrane, Craighurst Ratepayers Association, Craighurst Residents of Vespra, Craighurst Women’s Institute, M. Crich (RAVE), Crown Hill Women’s Institute, Lloyd G. Cumming, Dalston Women’s Institute, D. B. Group, Marlene Dee and R. Dee, William Dee and Marlene Dee, Del Corp. Ltd., R. Dempster and A. Dempster, Doran Road and Vernar Drive Group, Joyce Draper, Orville Draper, M. Draper, W. Draper, Gordon Dunsmore, Edenvale Women’s Institute, Heather Ellwood, R. Ellwood, Euchre Club, Fasken & Calvin, Fasken & Calvin for C. Di Paola, Finley Rd. Ratepayers, M. Ford, Marie Frankcom, Cecil Frankcom, William J. Garfat, E. Gervais, A. Gervais, H. Gibson, Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce, H. Hammers, Tim Henshaw, J. Henshaw, C. Hickling, E. Hickling, H. Howe, H. Howell, F.H. Jones, E. Jones, F.H. Jones, D. Judd, F. Judd, Douglas Judd, Christopher R. Kells, J. Kells, M. Kells, Marjorie Kells, P. Kells, Stephen Kells, B.J. Kelly, D.P. Kelly, Lakeside Group, Vespra Township, B. Land, B. Lang, Little Lake Conservation Committee, Little Lake Ratepayers Association, Tomas Lom, Lower Grenfell Group, Don MacLennan, Lynn MacLennan, Maguire Apiaries, Fred Mayer, A. McCartney, F. McCartney, J. McKee, Robert McLamb, Laurie McLamb, Mary McLean, The McNabb Families, B. McGregor, Little Lake, Mr. Merrett, Mrs. Merrett, “M” Group, Barrie, Midhurst Historical Society, Irene Milles, G. Mimms, Minesing Concerned Citizens Group, Minesing Sideroad West Community Group, Minesing Women’s Institute, B. Money, H. Money, Ross Money, Sid Money, Jean Money, L. Moore, D. Moore, Mr. Roland Murray, Mrs. Roland Murray, North Barrie Developments Ltd., P. O’Neill, Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Court Decision re Annexation, M. Ozolins, A. Ozolins, R. Ozolins, Ernest Partridge, I. Partridge, B. Partridge, June Pearson, Pineview Group, Jack Ploeg, Wendy Ploeg, D. Priest, G. Priest, R. Rathay, Residents Against Vespra Annexation, Residents Against Vespra Exploitation (RAVE), Richard Reynolds, W. Rodd, V. Rodd, M. Rodgmer, Santree Estates Ratepayers Association, D. Scerns, M. Scerns, Graham A. Scholes, E. Scott, Seven Acorns Investments Ltd., Seventh Concession Ratepayers Association, “S” Group Barrie, L. Shilp, County of Simcoe,Simcoe Centre Provincial Liberal Association, Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture, R. Sinclair, M. Sinclair, B. Smith, R. Smith, R. Snider, D. Snider, South 13 Vespra Group, L. Spearin, Erik J. Spek, Alice Stewart, Colin Stewart, L. Travis and R. Travis, Julianna Treasure, Edward Treasure, Paul Tremblay, “T” Group Barrie, Tri-Neighbour Group of Little Lake, (V) Group, Barrie, R. Van Brederode, H. Van Brederode, Township of Vespra, Vespra Centre Businessmen’s Association, Vespra Ex-Reeve Association, Vespra North 11th Concession, Vespra Township, “Little Lake”, Vespra Valley Group, Peter Walpole, Karoline Walpole, Margaret Watson, Stanley Watson, R. Watson, S. Watson, S. Wellwood, T. Wellwood, G.E. White, Mr. E. Wolfenden, Mrs. E. Wolfenden, Women’s Institute of Vespra, Gordon Wright

Springwater council needs more dialogue and town hall events

February 2, 2012

Needs Improvement: Town Hall Meetings — No regular ward meetings with council to discuss local issues

Good points by Bill French in his January 27th article I picked up from AWARE Simcoe: Springwater council should follow the wishes of most residents and control the growth.

I commented previously that our local council has the full authority to approve the way it wants the township to grow. The Amendment confirms that. They must take control and not be overwhelmed by developers, planners, engineers and lawyers with ideas that may be counter to the health and welfare of Springwater.

Springwater could amend their Official Plan and restrict development to the 6,400 people that the Province has proposed. Springwater is not a primary residential growth area or urban node. So if the council of Springwater does their job, they will follow the wishes of most residents and control the growth in our communities. The large developments around Midhurst are not envisioned in the growth plan as most of the criteria are not met as outlined in the Growth Plan for the Golden Horseshoe.

A pretty pragmatic approach to deal with all growth.

How are they doing in general?

Overall I would give this council a passing grade. Most councilors do their home work and are truly interested in making Springwater a better place for all of us. We do have some on council that need to pull up their sox and be better informed of matters on the agenda so they can make improved decisions with township matters. I do see a disconnect between what communities want to see and some of the council’s direction and decisions. More dialogue and town hall events could easily correct that flaw.

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