The Town of Midland has successfully secured a grant in the amount of $250,000 through the Rural Economic Development (RED) Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream. The funds will be used to assist with streetscaping costs for the King Street Rejuvenation Project and will include items such as street furnishings, trees and plantings, and a public art installation to reinvigorate Midland’s distinctive and memorable downtown.
The RED program, which is administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), provides cost-share funding that supports activities that create strong rural communities in Ontario, and helps increase rural economic development.
“The construction phase of the King Street Rejuvenation Project was completed in 2020, on-time and on-budget through the COVID-19 pandemic, providing Midland with a modern, fully-accessible main street. This funding will help ensure that the remaining beautification work to be completed in the spring will result in a beautifully enhanced and vibrant downtown, where residents will want to shop, live, work, be entertained and more,” said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “The Town of Midland has a rich history and as a focal point, King Street plays a large role in this. This rejuvenation project will help maintain this history and solidify Midland as a leader in Simcoe County and a top tourist destination.”
“Supporting local jobs and removing barriers to investment and economic growth in rural communities is more important than ever,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “Investments in the Rural Economic Development program will have a very real impact for communities like Midland and across rural Ontario.”
Community consultations during the development of the 2015 Downtown Master Plan and Community Improvement Plan identified a desire to make King Street more pedestrian-friendly. By improving the greenery and street furniture and adding public art, the Town will enhance the pedestrian experience within the downtown and create a liveable space enjoyed by residents and visitors. The beautification improvements will enhance existing events and provide a backdrop for year-round visitors and cruise ship passengers who visit Midland each summer, contributing to our thriving tourism economy.
A call for public art proposals will be announced later this year.
“Thank you to the Government of Ontario, Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman, and Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, for your continued support of community improvement efforts,” added Mayor Strathearn.
The $14 million King Street Rejuvenation Project saw Midland’s main street dug up from Yonge Street north to Bayshore Drive, to replace century-old underground infrastructure (storm/sanitary systems, and watermains), create a new road alignment that allows for a flexible configuration along the street for parking and events, and to make the roadway completely accessible with mountable curbs and upgraded traffic signals.
Source: Media Release / Town of Midland