Home News Council UPDATED: Council Takes Aim At Midland Lawn Bowlers
UPDATED: Council Takes Aim At Midland Lawn Bowlers

UPDATED: Council Takes Aim At Midland Lawn Bowlers


Updated (see below). The idea that there appears to be a number of “money grubbers” on council that would like to stiff Midland Lawn Bowling Club is mean-spirited. From young teens to those in their 90’s the lawn bowling club on King Street looking over Little Lake offers one of the top greens in Canada. Well tended, the club is open daily. And almost yearly the club house and deck are enhanced when needed. Add to that night bowling under the lights. Local teams compete, there are invitational and often nationals. Local members have competed and brought home the gold within Ontario and beyond.

To suggest that the town could use the property for “something better” is borderline criminal but certainly insulting. Next to the lawn bowling club is the town’s local shuffleboard rink. Before council decides to stiff the club to help pay off some of the town’s $1.5million debt, it would be wise for every member and municipal employee  to visit the club and try their hand at bowls, a game centuries old.

Remember local sponsors  host many annual club  events during the season. Did council know that? Probably not.  They are local businesses  annually supporting  a very active lawn bowling club with decades and decades of memorable sports history to its credit.

Our Lawn Bowling Club welcomes Community Living residents once a week as well as brain injury bowlers. In the past Probus Members from Severn Sound have enjoyed a game of bowls as well as teaching sessions.  Much in same way that Council thumbed their noses at our local special olympians by refusing to offer a price break on practice space rentals before competition, they continue to appear to be out of step with a good sense of what the “right thing to do” is.   If you are so inclined, you may want to contact Deputy Mayor Ross and Council and let them know how you feel.


Every since Midland council started talking about stiffing, not their words but ours,  Midland Lawn Bowling Club there has been quite the uproar. The club, one of the oldest in the province is perched on one acre of town owned land, not 12 acres or 11.1. Some of the town owned land is under water at Little Lake just to add to the saga. Thanks to John Todd for the research.

The green at our lawn bowling club is probably one of the top three in Canada. Well tended to, the green/lawn reminds visitors of indoor-outdoor carpeting. With well over 100 members from teens to those in their ’90s, Midland and District Lawn Bowling Club is truly a gem in the middle of Midland.

Observations like, wait until they find out what we will charge them, or along those lines, adds nothing to any kind of negotiations. Confrontation will never succeed in resolving a long term leasing arrangement between lawn bowlers and the town. Wouldn’t you agree?


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  1. The Midland Lawn Bowling Club, in their July 14 letter, asked Council for a new 5 year lease so that the Club can apply for a New Horizons Seniors Grant for much needed improvements to their building. According to the lease ending soon, the Club did not pay any rent on the land.

    This is the link for the July 25th Council Meeting. The section on the Lawn Bowling Club’s request is between 1:05:00 to 1:16:13.


    I feel that Council has been doing due diligence, on behalf of the taxpayers, to look at all their costs and possible income streams. I find the first sentence of the article quite harsh.

    The Town has been reviewing its municipal leases with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. This background information came from a May 15, 2015 report to Council:

    ” Over the years, the Town has entered into a number of leases with various organizations. Some of these organizations are not-for-profit and others are considered to be for-profit organizations. Many of these organizations provide services to the residents of the Town and surrounding areas….. By partnering with [these] organizations, the Town was able to provide a more cost effective model.

    As previously indicated by the Director of Parks and Recreation, each of the leases that the Town has entered into over the years is a little different. Some leases include buildings which have been erected and are owned by the tenant. Other leases require the lessee to pay property taxes. The terms and rental rates vary as well based on the lessee and their financial circumstances.

    …. staff did contact the other municipalities within the County to determine how they handled their leases. It appears that there is currently no consistent policy being followed by any of these municipalities with respect to their leases. The responding municipalities indicated that they consider each lease on an individual basis.

    … numerous partnerships for the provision of service have been created through lease agreements. These partnerships have assisted the Town as we are not required to provide specific services and we are able to provide our residents with a large range of recreational opportunities that a number of municipalities either provide themselves or they just don’t have them available at all.”

    Should a non-profit organization such as the Midland Lawn Bowling Club be charged rent for the land on which they provide a very important recreational service for players of all ages? Could the Town provide this service at a lower cost? Would this recreational service disappear if the club could not remain financially sustainable?

    At 1:12:30 of the video, Councillor File talks about the important role the Club plays in providing a recreational service for many age and ability groups.

    At 1:14:40 of the video, Deputy Mayor Ross notes that the Club, through its lease, has control not only on their small parcel of land containing their building, lawn bowling ‘rinks’ and 4 shuffleboard courts but a total property of approximately 12 acres, much of it being covered by light bush. Deputy Mayor Ross wondered if the Club needed to keep all that land or whether most of the unused land should be given back to the town to be put into their ‘land bank’. Mayor McKay added that he thought the town probably had a better use of the Club’s “unused” land.

    Several programmes provided by the Club are well outlined in the article. Does the Club need a little more land for expansion of their recreational services or new recreational opportunities?

    How do you feel about the Town negotiating with all the groups using town-owned land? Should all groups be treated equally? Should the groups be separated into for-profit and not-for-profit groups? Should rent be charged for the not-for-profit groups?

  2. Putting parkland back in their “landbank” scares the hell out of me. They have shown and willingness and a propensity to declare valuable parkland as surplus and then rezone it for commercial use, all without ever bothering to seek and publish a valuation (Edgehill Park for example). This move by an emboldened Ross (who is eyeing the Mayor’s seat in 2018) and the general adversarial approach that Council seems to be taking with the various organizations who have been in affordable lease arrangements for decades is disturbing to say the least. I don’t find this article harsh at all, but I do appreciate the background you provided in your comments.

  3. The approximate 11.5 acres of leased land to the Midland Lawn Bowling Club that was discussed at the recent Council meeting is not parkland. It is zoned R1 – H (Residential – holding). It is not part of Little Lake Park as seen on the County of Simcoe assessment map.


    By clicking on the park, its area will be outlined and shows an assessed value of $800,000. Of course we know the value of the park is priceless! By clicking on the Club’s 11.5 acres of vacant treed property adjacent to King Street and across from Lakeview Cemetery, the area is outlined and valued at $854,000. By enlarging the map and clicking on the actual Lawn Bowling facility, its area is outlined including the long road from King Street. Its assessed value is $685,000.

  4. Wow another dick move by town counsel. Big surprise. I wish someone that actually had the town’s best interests at heart and weren’t outnumbered McKay’s friggin buddies was running things. Then maybe the town would have a chance at not going to hell for once. So far everything is going down the crapper and counsel is sitting idly by while it happens. I sincerely hope things change for the better sooner rather than later.

  5. I’m having difficulty understanding exactly how much property is currently leased to the Lawn Bowling Club. Is it 11 some acres or is it 1 acre? I also wonder about the importance of recreational activities versus any other use. If it is not for profit and provides so much benefit to the community, why not support with assistance to get a Seniors grant. Or do we just say seniors and others using this Midland treasure, go elsewhere. The whole business seems petty. Surely Midland has more creative ways to increase revenues other than forcing established recreation facilities to abandon their efforts through some form of intimidation or lack of support.

  6. Perhaps the town of Midland has a plan, and maybe its quite different from the “official plan”. Most importantly, it might not contain you or your best interests ? Talk to your planner, hes the proffessional. Include your CAO.After all, who is the planners boss ? The CAO alone makes a healthy wage. Make them earn it. Write everything down, mail your letters and that will generate written respones, and keep files. Anything else will be useless in your plight(s). The staff is who runs your town. Unless someone else has a better idea that is. Just saying’……

  7. I would argue that there are three good eggs on our current Council. They had no affiliations to a certain lobby group and don’t block vote. Their reasons for voting the way they have are clearly articulated and make sense to me, even if I don’t fully agree all the time. I won’t be naming names but suffice to say that three of nine is not enough to push back against agendas and block voting 🙁

  8. The movie director said, ” ACTION”, enough time was spent talkinhg about it. The time for action is always now. It does not take one child to fall into an uncovered well and drown to have people construct a lid to prevent further drownings. One ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Brad, you are correct.

  9. I let this sit for a few days Brad, and I want to ask you a question. When the going gets tough, where did all the tough go ? A little piece of mind here. There are men in this world and there are sheep. I wanted to see how many would step up. As you can see, its not how big the fight is, it doesnt matter if its the right thing todo, there are times, and there are many, the only one true person to back you up, is yourself. I have a history of doing this. Im in one now, well 2 really. Everyone knows about them, yet I stand alone. Learn how to read and write, and start a file of paperwork. Do not speak to people, write them, when they dont respond, keep writing. People in power like to feel important. You would be surprised how fast you can compile important information. Like a cop, carry a note pad. Fight back with the same ferocity as your foe. People will call you stupid and say its fruitless. Thats when things happen.

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UPDATED: Council Takes Aim At Midland Lawn Bowlers

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