Midland Harbour Mural

By Terri Hodgson

The Heart of It all

As an attractive destination for sailors and cruisers alike, Midland Harbour doesn’t really have to try hard to impress; the waters of Georgian Bay attract yachts of all sizes from all over the globe. With a history steeped in lumber and boat manufacturing, Midland Harbour today is an integral part of a thriving town, boasting the largest freshwater marina in the world amongst its offerings. The hometown of Sarah Burke, Glen Howard, Adam Dixon and David Onley to name a few, Midland is the heart of the North Simcoe area, the centre of the neighbouring Georgian Bay communities.

Founded in 1871 the town’s main industry was lumber manufacturing at the Playfair Mill which dominated the town’s waterfront until shipbuilding took over, beginning with Dobson’s Shipbuilding and later as Midland Shipyards.  Ships were built for both WWI and WWII, with a lull in production during the Great Depression and continuing with commercial building until 1954 when shipbuilding operations were centralized in Collingwood, ON.


Midland Harbour is tucked into the southern end of Georgian Bay, smack in the middle of the 30,000 Islands and home to a UNESCO world biosphere reserve (http://ow.ly/Iyufv).  With a nominal year round population, Midland and the surrounding Penetanguishene, Tay, Tiny and Honey Harbour communities swell to over 100,000 during the summer season. This extended area, which has been known as North Simcoe County, Southern Georgian Bay and Huronia as a tourist destination over the past years, has recently come together to rebrand itself with one cohesive voice and is now to be known as The Heart of Georgian Bay (GoGBay.ca)

Midland Harbour Shipbuilding Docks

The downtown area is adjacent to and accessible from all of the Midland area marinas and yacht clubs.   From Bayport Yachting Centre, Midland Sailing Club and Central Marina, boaters can walk right into the downtown core, with grocery stores, LCBO, restaurants and all other services right at hand.  From Canada’s largest fresh water marina, Wye Heritage, yachters can make their way into town via a short dinghy ride, bicycle or car ride as well.

World class dining is ready available on or just off of the main street, steps from the marinas,  with the top rated dining at the Explorer’s Café as well as the Library Restaurant, MC Sushi, Bo’s Authentic Thai, and many more.  For those in search of a great selection of beers and ales then Cellarman’s Ale House Pub is a necessary stop, with a robust selection of hops, a full wine cellar and a nice, casual but tasty menu.  Shopping and eating locally are themes which are becoming more integral in Midland Harbour;  specialty food shops such as Ciboulette et Cie and the Midland Cultural Club offer diverse and locally sustaining offerings. For a not-your-average-cuppa-joe and baking stroll along the main street to The Grounded Café, The Elegant Gourmet or Georgian Bakery and immerse yourself in non-franchised deliciousness. Spring 2015 will see the opening of Grounded Café’s sister store, The Grounded Natural Foods Co, featuring locally grown and produced foods combined with organic and Italian products.  Midland Harbour’s main drag is becoming a foodie’s dream destination and is not to be missed when you venture off the dock and up King Street. 

Yearly harbour-centric events that draw crowds of boaters include the Tug Fest, Party on the Dock, Artwalk and Ribfest and the Kids’ Fishing Derby. Local attractions like the Martyr’s Shrine, Wye Marsh, Cultural Centre, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and the famous Murals of Midland are all worth visiting, but the real attraction in Midland Harbour is the boating itself.  The 30,000 Islands oasis on Georgian Bay is any boater’s dream.  The waters are clear, the beaches stretch long and lush, there is no end of anchorages to explore and even though the area is a mecca for summer cottagers and tourists you never feel crowded or cramped, with the Bay stretching out to its enormous expanse of open waters as well as offering the inside channel full of coves, islands, lighthouses, fishing, swimming and unique geology to explore.

Midland Harbour Adamant 1

If you are planning a cruise to the Midland Harbour you can check out the competitive prices for overnight dockage at the Midland Sailing Club, Bayport Yachting Centre, Central Marine, Wye Heritage Marina and the Midland Harbour docks.  For cruising in the 30,000 Islands bring your binoculars, a swimming suit and most importantly your charts and GPS to navigate the fascinating but heavily-shoaled waters throughout the area.

 

Photo Captions and Credits:

Photo 1 - Cheroka, a beautiful Bayfield 36, docked at Midland Harbour’s town dock in view of the waterside murals that great all boaters as they enter. Credit:  John Jamieson

Photo 2 - Midland shipbuilding docks with coal docks in background circa 1880. Credit:  Huronia Museum

Photo 3 - Midland Sailing Club, July 2014, with Lynn and Pat Lortie’s Adamant in the foreground. Credit:  Terri Hodgson

Historical photos provided by Huronia Museum

 

 

Midland Harbour Shipyard 1917 Midland Harbour War Fiend Launch Midland Harbour Boat works Midland Harbour Fairmile Midland Harbour HCMS Midland launch

Thornbury on Georgian BayJennifer Harker

To borrow a line from Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different”.

Normally, our boating adventures are spent weaving our way amongst the picturesque backdrop of the 30,000 Islands of eastern Georgian Bay aboard our Sea Ray Sundancer 268. This time we’ve traded power for sail as friends welcome us aboard their 38-foot Irwin for the Canada Day long weekend.

We’ve set our sights on a decidedly different destination for this journey, charting a course for Thornbury. This small town, located in the southern reaches of Nottawasaga Bay, is an oft-overlooked area of Georgian Bay - but it shouldn’t be. Although we’ve explored this shoreline on countless road trips, this will be our first visit from the waterside.

Read more about the Thornbury on Georgian Bay...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...
Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta imagined it and how Cruisers Yachts has executed it. The idea is that you just come on board, unlock the glass doors, fire it up, cast off, and enjoy - alone, with a spouse, or with a huge group.

Since the first Cantius model was introduced, Cruisers Yachts has continued to refine the concept for ever-greater convenience, more clever and innovative features, and also greater performance.

Read more about the Cantius 46...

 

 

 

 

Sun Odyssey 410By, Zuzana Prochazka

The revolution continues – with a twist

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp will make you say, “Wait, what?”

 Last year, Jeanneau turned the sailboat deck layout on its ear with the introduction of their Sun Odyssey 490 and 440, and the concept of the ‘walk-around deck’.

Read More about the Odyssey 410...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Electrical ground is a term used to describe the reference point in an electrical circuit from ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...

Ask AndrewAndrew McDonald

Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods needed to make connections between components and wiring.

When planning out electrical work, one of the more common questions that I address is on the set-up, installation and sizing of breakers and fuses.

Fuses and breakers are collectively called ‘overcurrent protection’ – and these come in many different shapes, styles and sizes. Their purpose is the same: to prevent a situation where a larger than intended electrical current is running through the circuit, which puts the circuit at risk of overheating, fire and damage to equipment. 

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...
Making it’s global debut at the Toronto International Boat Show the new Mercury 5hp Propane ...
Most of us have heard of fuel additives, whether it be for gasoline or diesel. But which one to ...
While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be ...
Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, ...
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...