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Renaming of Millennium Lookout honours former mayor James Taylor

Friday’s naming ceremony of the James A. Taylor Millennium Lookout was attended by his wife Mary, many family members, council members and MPP Todd Smith.

The Millennium Lookout above Picton at Prince Edward Heights has been officially named the James A. Taylor Millennium Lookout in honour of the first mayor of the amalgamated County and instigator of the project in 1999.

Jim Taylor

Taylor died in 2020 at age 92 and following many decades of service to Prince Edward County and beyond.

In 1971 Taylor served as MPP for the riding of Prince Edward Lennox and served in the legislature for 17 years; was a cabinet minister for Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Energy. In 1998 he took office as the first mayor of the newly-amalgamated Prince Edward County and served two terms before retirement in 2003.

The Millennium Lookout project was proposed by Taylor as a project of lasting community interest and celebration of the then, coming millennium.

“It’s only fitting that the lookout now bear his name,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson at Friday’s dedication ceremony. “But renaming this lookout represents more than simply recognizing the man who suggested the idea. James Taylor gave back to this community in countless other ways over many years.”

After taking office as mayor in the newly formed Prince Edward County in January 1998, he was the architect of the original administrative and governance structure, to handle the amalgamation of 10 previous municipalities into one.

“Those were challenging times,” added Ferguson, “But Mr. Taylor was particularly well-suited for the job given his wealth of experience and broad understanding of local government administration, both in Ontario and around the world. ”

Taylor, he added, cared deeply about local issues, but also brought a global perspective from his years travelling abroad and serving on numerous trade missions.

“He was committed to helping Prince Edward County grow and prosper. Mr. Taylor played a key role in helping build the strong rural economy that we still enjoy today and is the envy of many communities across Ontario.”

Current and future generations will be reminded of his many contributions through the new lookout plaque and renaming.

The location, with its panoramic view of Picton, was designed to incorporate the 10 municipalities with plaques, one which notes the lookout project was managed by the Mayors Millennium Committee and constructed with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation and updated in 2019 by the County Parks department. The original construction was completed by Doug Lester who donated his time, energy and resources.

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