Midland Harbour and Town Docks

**Note: Visitor’s will have to explore the Midland Town docks to find the 4 plaques at this location.

In the early 1900’s, Midland was a hive of activity. The shores of the bay were crowded with lumber mills, shelters, a grain elevator and a steel works, all of which required access to water for transport. The current town dock housed docks specific for shipping and receiving of lumber and coal. Mid-century, the town dock had transformed into a tourist destination for cruise and passenger ships sailing the Great Lakes. Currently, Midland Harbour is a winter berth for grain ships with the town dock being a tie-up for recreational vessels and the occasional Coast Guard ship.

Dog races in Midland Harbour, date unknown.

Dog races in Midland Harbour, date unknown.

2004 0083 0060 Midland town dock

Midland Town Dock, date unknown. Use is still mainly industrial. In the background is the 5-10 ton shipbuilding crane of the Midland Shipyards.

The Polar Bear Open, February 1992. The Harbour is a place of leisure and entertainment year-round.

The Polar Bear Open, February 1992. The Harbour is a place of leisure and entertainment year-round.

2004 0083 0050 town dock

The Midland Town dock as it was dominated by industry. To the left we see the Midland elevators and Copeland Flour mills.

1998 0061 1428

30,000 island boat cruises are conducted from the Midland Town dock. Cruises were run by PMCL (Penetang-Midland coach Lines), a locally owned and run family business.

1998 0061 1410

Construction of the covered pier at the Midland Town dock, c.1982.

1998 0061 1407

Aerial view of Midland Harbour, post-industry. We can see that the harbour is mainly being used here for docking of pleasure craft.

1995 0001 0006

Postcard of passenger ship ‘City of Detroit’ leaving Midland Harbour

1992 0023 0011 Tourist boat at town dock c1940

A tourist boat at the Town Dock C. 1940.

1991 0015 0036

Passenger ships in Midland Harbour. Midland Harbour was an important starting point to passenger tours and cruises of Georgian Bay (30,000 islands) and the Great Lakes.

Midland Harbour C. 1900. Lumbering was a very important industry to Huronia. The shores of Midland were dotted with numerous sawmills. Water was important to moving and storing logs, and shipping cut lumber out of the area.

1952 0014 0181 SS Leonard B Miller

The SS Leonard B Miller and others at winter berth in Midland Harbour.

1947 0306 0021

Ice cutting in Midland Harbour. Photo by J.W. Bald. Ice blocks were cut from the Bay before the thaw. They were stored in ice houses and used through-out the year for personal use in home ice-boxes, to keep food cold.

1947 0144 0015

Midland Harbour C. 1905. Photo taken by J.W. Bald.

city of dover scheduledule005

Brochure for boat tours leaving Midland Town Dock, on the boat, City of Dover.

city of dover scheduledule004

City of Dover boat cruises, 30,000 islands, leaving from the Midland Town Dock.

5 thoughts on “Midland Harbour and Town Docks

  1. The photo of the town dock with the crane in the background was taken between 1932 and 1937 as I can see the Brentwood in the background and she was laid up in Midland during that time period

    • The DS Pratt is also in the foreground and she was still in Midland until about 1937. The City Of Dover can also be seen behind the town dock.

  2. well done. Until now, I didn’t realize the crane in the first pix was part of the shipyards…always thought it was just used for coal. thanks

  3. Clifford Weatherell sailed on the City of Dover and after retiring from grain boats on the great lakes he sailed the Miss Midland for many years. Cliff and his sons sailed the boat owned by Jack Frame from Gananoque to Midland . His son Steve can give testemonial to this.

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