Midland, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Midland, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Midland is located on the southern end of Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands about ninety miles north of Toronto.

Huronia was named for the Huron Nation and consists of the areas around southeastern Georgian Bay which include Midland and Penetanguishene.  The area was visited by French Jesuits traveling with the Voyageurs to the Wye River in 1639.  They were welcomed by the Huron tribe who traded furs and skins for metal goods and clothing from France.  They built a settlement named Fort Ste. Marie which thrived for ten years until it was burned to the ground in 1649 by the Jesuits themselves after repeated attacks from Iroquois who were in league with the English who wanted the French share of the fur trade in North America.  Some of the priests were martyred.  The Sainte-Marie among the Hurons site was discovered in 1947, excavated and rebuilt to its original form by archeologists from the University of Western Ontario.

The Jesuits attempted a second site on St. Joseph’s Island, currently Christian Island, and named it Sainte Marie II.  They carried many of their goods by raft to this second site.  After a winter of terrible hardship and starvation, the Jesuits decided to abandon their mission and returned to Quebec in 1650.  Christian Island was later declared a native reservation by the Canadian government.

In 1871 a group of the principal shareholders of the Midland Railway, headed by Adolph Hugel, chose this location as the northern terminus of their line which they ran from Port Hope to Beaverton.  The town site was surveyed in 1872-73.  The railway line was completed in 1879 and soon attracted settlers to the area.  The new community, Midland, achieved its early growth through shipping and the lumber and grain trade.

In and around the center of Midland there are a number of murals most of which were painted by now deceased artist Fred Lenz.

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

320 King Street – The impressive Romanesque style limestone structure which now houses the library was built in 1913 as Midland’s first post office, with customs and excise offices on the second floor. – mansard roof, high central gable, imposing corner porch, and tower; 2½ storey building composed of even course cut stone, with a belt course that goes around the entire building; metal roof has a decorative stone fascia; some semi-elliptical windows, and a corner entrance. In 1963 the post office, needing more space, moved to its new home on Dominion Avenue and the beautiful limestone building sat empty for three years. In 1967, the library moved to the old post office. Setting your watch by the clock tower would be inadvisable as the four faces do not always agree. – Midland Book 1

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

234-236 King Street – Jeffery Block – 1901 – Romanesque Revival style – large number and regular rhythm of windows; extend brick corner quoins and varied brick courses on the window lintels – The Crow’s Nest Pub and Restaurant is now where the hardware store was; second floor YMCA; top floor Odd Fellows lodge meeting rooms

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

203-207 King Street – two storey, flat roofed commercial building – Burton Block, built by the Burton Brothers of Barrie – exterior of the building is made up of board and batten, stretcher brick, poured concrete, and sheet metal siding; frontispiece and decorated panels; brick keystones above windows; blind transom above door. The original stone carvings of Greek gods are still intact above the Taxi Stand door.

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

213-219 King Street – Second Empire – mansard roof, dormers, dichromatic brickwork

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

437 King Street – exterior is stretcher brick with a cut stone foundation; medium hipped roof and two second storey balconies; brick voussoirs; decorative brick below some windows; sidelights; open verandah with open railings and wood piers

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

431 King Street – full basement; low gable roof with a double gable on the façade with a molded fascia; exterior is finished with log; main entrance has an ogee shaped opening with a plain pediment roof above and wood piers on sides

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

414 King Street – late 1800s – 2½ storey brick, Gothic Revival – dichromatic brick patterns, roof gables and dormer with rounded roof, various window shapes and sizes, mixed design verge boards and verandas

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

409 King Street – Palladian window in gable roofed dormer; two-storey bay window; second floor balcony above closed in porch; varied roofline

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

318 Third Street – 1900 – Victorian – irregular layout; medium gabled roof; double gable on façade; fascia and soffit are molded metal; exterior is stretcher brick and vertical plank board; two balconies; brick voussoirs; 4-over-4 window panes; blind transom; open porch with wood posts and pediment – Midland Book 2

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

70 Fifth Street – built 1900, square layout and a wing on the left side; exterior is stretcher brick; upper storey balcony; medium hipped roof has an offset gable end on the façade and a molded frieze; semi-elliptical window on the left; open wooden veranda with decorative railings and support posts

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

613 Dominion Avenue – built in 1900 – Vernacular – irregular layout and several different types of roofs, including flat, medium gable, and medium hipped, a decorated fascia; exterior is stretcher brick and poured concrete; upper storey balcony; windows with brick voussoirs; transom window; open platform veranda with decorated open railing and decorative trim along the roof line; wood piers to support the roof

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

695 Dominion Avenue – built 1890, exterior of panel wood, broken course cut stone, stretcher brick, and terra cotta; medium gable roof, with decorated fascia and several gable ends with half timbering and gabled dormers; brick voussoirs; bay window on second storey; open veranda with open railing, stone, support pedestals, and Ionic capitals

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

657 Hugel Avenue – The Dollar House is the former residence of two of Midland’s leading historical figures: James Dollar and William Finlayson (lawyer, cabinet minister). Decorative gable ends, bracket roof trim, bay windows; medium hipped roof with several gables and gable roofed dormers; window voussoirs; two chimneys

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

423 Hugel Avenue – The Captain’s House Heritage Bed and Breakfast – built 1900 – Edwardian Classicism style, low gabled roof, siding and brick façade, numerous windows and a stone foundation; large bay window

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

401 Manly Street – 2½ storeys; stretcher brick and wood shingle exterior; pyramidal roof with two cross gables; two balconies with open railings and decorative supports; brick voussoirs; Palladian windows in gables; wraparound veranda with stone supports, decorative piers, and open railings