FOCA Elert - November/December 2017
FOCA Event Recap
2017 FOCA Fall Seminar: Strong Associations for Future Generations
We had a full day on  Saturday, November 4th, 2017 in Toronto, for the latest and greatest edition of the annual FOCA Fall Seminar for Lake Associations! See a brief video overview:

FOCA Members can access an Event Summary and all the session notes, here:
Please share this information with your fellow members!

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


CottageLINK Rental Management
Cottage Life
Sponsors support our work. Please, support them!
Waterfront Living

For the love of Lake Associations: a video worth sharing! 
November 2017 - FOCA is extremely pleased to announce the launch of "Lake Associations," filmed and produced by Chelsie Xavier-Blower as part of the Environmental Visual Communication program, a joint initiative of Fleming College and Royal Ontario Museum.  Why do lake associations matter? What can they do for you? Find out in this beautiful short film:

Please share this video with others on social media! Here's the handy YouTube link:

Cottage Rentals
FOCA has been following several recent media reports about municipalities debating the regulation of cottage rentals. 
See links to news items, here:

Policy & Advocacy Updates 

Elections 101
In 2018, Ontarians will have a Provincial election in June, as well as Municipal elections in October, and FOCA will be providing updates throughout the coming year to inform waterfront property owners about the issues that matter. 
Here's a recent question we fielded from a member:  "If my family owns a cottage, will I be able to vote in that municipality?" FOCA has the answer for you, which differs for Municipal and Provincial elections!

In other election news, Elections Ontario has recently launched an e-registration portal, to "improve the accuracy of the voter list," and to target the attention of millennials. Use the portal to check, confirm, register or update your information: 

image: Friends of the Fraser Wetlan
Land Use & Planning Updates
On October 6th, FOCA received notice that the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued its long-awaited decision concerning an application to build on the Fraser property near Burleigh Falls. Result: development application DENIED. Get details, and see more land development news from Muskoka and the Kenora region, here:

New Great Lakes reporting; funding announcements
image from - credit:
On the heels of a report about the state of the Great Lakes from the International Joint Commission, governments on both sides of the border are contemplating their funding commitments to protect and heal the Great Lakes. Learn more:  


Ontario finalizes Provincial Land Tax (PLT) Reforms
Following up on the changes to the PLT for residents in Ontario's unorganized areas, which started in 2013, the Province has finalized the annual changes to residential PLT that will be phased in from 2018 to 2021. Get details here: 
Energy East Pipeline Plan Cancelled
In October, TransCanada announced it will not proceed with its pipeline proposal. Read the news posted by the  Globe and Mail. A map of the previously proposed route can be found on the  National Energy Board posting.  

Lake Environments

Changing Waterfronts - new article & new report
October 12, 2017 - While this article is focused on one particular Ontario region, it hits the highlights about what's happening on our waterfronts as a result of climate change and related developments. Read: " What's happening in our lakes and rivers?" (Peterborough Examiner).

November 2017 - As members of the Ontario Biodiversity Council (OBC), FOCA has worked with our colleagues on the challenge of effectively communicating biodiversity and climate change. The OBC has released a new report on the subject, that should be useful for everyone working on these important communications. Get a link to the report, here: 

Mapping Natural Features - an update for lake associations 
On December 1st, FOCA attended an update meeting about the project,  Kawarthas, Naturally Connected  (KNC).  End-products of this multi-stakeholder multi-year initiative include: detailed maps, a large database, and methods for obtaining or downloading these products, all of which can help stakeholders (including lake associations) interested in lake planning and policy, or to prioritize the implementation of stewardship projects. 
Wetlands, forests and riparian features are all elements of the natural heritage system identified in the resources. The maps and figures in the Phase 1 Report could add detail to your local lake plan! We encourage regional lake associations to use this information:  click here for details (PDF, 1 page), and then v isit  to access all the online resources.

Invasive Species Update: Emerald Ash Borer spreading
November 2, 2017 - the Simcoe County forestry department reports that the emerald ash borer has become a "worst case scenario" invasive species in the County, now present in 75 per cent of its municipalities - from Barrie, Innisfil and Bradford to Ramara, Severn and Tay townships. Read more online ( and get tips to help prevent the spread of invasives across cottage country, here: 

Upcoming Events & Regional Notices

Invite: Oceans Event at the ROM
Dave Ireland of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) spoke at FOCA's Fall Seminar earlier this month, and extended an invitation for all FOCA friends to join him at the ROM for the 2-day symposium "Canada's Oceans: Towards 2020," on December 4-5, 2017. For tickets and event details, visit: 

Naiscoot Lake Bridge - Notice of Study
November, 2017 - FOCA has been notified of a Detail Design and Class Environmental Assessment Study for the replacement of Naiscoot Lake Bridge on Highway 69, north of Pointe au Baril in the Township of The Archipelago. Read the notice by clicking here. (PDF, 1 page) Click the map image to enlarge the study area map.

Highway 400 improvements - Comment Period
November, 2017 - FOCA has been notified of a Transportation Envrionmental Study Report Addendum for improvements to Highway 400 from 1 km south of Highway 89 to the Junction of Highway 11 within Simcoe County, to incorporate future traffic projections. Review the Addendum online here (including a map of the study area), and comment by December 8, 2017. 

Highway 400 / 4th Line Update
November 17, 2017 - FOCA has been notified of the extension of a road closure for line bridge removal and replacement at Hwy 400 and 4th Line (Churchill Sideroad). Read the notice. (PDF, 1 page)

Sharing Cottage Dreams
Cottage Dreams
For over 14 years, Cottage Dreams has been helping cancer survivors and their families to share treasured time together. Over 10,000 families have been placed in cottage stays, generously donated by their owners. FOCA recently received the Cottage Dreams November Newsletter, which included a call for volunteer support of this wonderful organization. We encourage you to read the notice! (PDF, 2 pages)

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors

Recent Events

Lake Links Workshop
October 21st, 2017 - Perth. FOCA was pleased to sponsor and participate in the annual Lake Links workshop. This year's theme was, "Beyond the Shoreline: Science to Stewardship." Find links to download presentations from the event, here:  

Lake Pulse
November 7-8th, 2017 - Montreal. FOCA met with science partners at the NSERC Canadian Lake Pulse Network gathering. Together with partners across Canada, Lake Pulse aims to create new tools to deliver information to people who care about lakes (including scientists, managers, policymakers and citizens), and to build the first nationwide database of Canadian lakes. FOCA's Terry Rees presented about citizen science and the important role of volunteers in the Lake Partner Program and other FOCA projects. 

OOWA Regional Meeting
November 9th, 2017 - Peterborough. FOCA attended a regional meeting of the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association (OOWA) to get updates about best practices related to septic inspections, as well as a technical review of recent, upcoming and proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code (OBC). FOCA will continue to keep members updated, here: .   

People's Great Lakes Summit 2.0
November 13, 2017 - Toronto. FOCA joined fellow environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) at this event, hosted by the Canadian Environmental Law Association. The assembled group reviewed the state of Ontario freshwater policy, discussed recent developments, and planned for action on water issues as the 2018 Provincial election approaches. 

Ontario Invasives Awareness at Queen's Park
FOCA's Deanna Panitz & Terry Rees with Minister McGarry (far right)
November 15th, 2017 - FOCA participated with Minister McGarry (MNRF) and our fellow environmental partners in an information session at the Legislative Building in Toronto, about the ongoing efforts of our organization and others to prevent the spread of invasive species in Ontario. For more on this topic, and links to important resources for waterfront property owners, visit:

Latornell Symposium
November 23, 2017 - Alliston. FOCA participated in the annual Latornell Conservation Symposium with science, government and institutional partners. This year's theme was, "Succession: The Nature of Change." 

Pictured at right: Water Canada's editor, Katherine Balpataky, with FOCA's Terry Rees at the 2017 Latornell Symposium.
Cade's Corner

Snowbirds: Winterize your home for the time you are away this winter! Get tips and download a checklist, from our partners at Travelers Canada and Cade Associates Insurance Brokers.

CottageFirst is a group insurance plan created for cottagers, and available exclusively to FOCA members. Get a quote, and find out what you could be saving! 

Safety & Risk Management

Radon Awareness

As part of Radon Action Month, the organization "Take Action on Radon" reminds Canadians that the best time to test for Radon in your home is during the colder months.  Did you know that Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers? Radon is a radioactive gas in our environment that is colourless, odourless and tasteless. Get more information here: 
Partner Profile

GBA's Executive Director stepping down
Bob Duncanson (centre) with former Ontario Minister of Environment Jim Bradley (right) and FOCA's Terry Rees (left) at the announcement of the Great Lakes Protection Act, June 2012.
Georgian Bay Association's Executive Director, Bob Duncanson, has advised the GBA Board that he will be stepping down after 10 years as their ED. FOCA has seen first-hand Bob's pivotal role, guiding the GBA as they have tackled a wide array of issues impacting the Bay. 

FOCA thanks Bob for his many years of collegial support, and for all he has done for our waterfront community. We will miss his considerable expertise in public policy, and his thoughtful perspectives on our shared challenges!

The GBA is now seeking expressions of interest in the ED position, with an objective to have a replacement selected in time for the GBA Annual meeting (March 2018). A job description may be obtained by emailing:

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box


Cottage Dreams

Canadian Canoe Museum

Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Association Tools & Success Stories

ONCA Update
November 2017 - An update from Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO): "the Ontario government has passed the Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, that includes amendments to Ontario's Corporations Act and the Not-for-Profit Corporation Act, 2010 (ONCA)." Get details, as well as a members-only link to the recent developments that are likely to affect lake associations, and background
 about ONCA  here:

Member Benefits
Do your members know about all their FOCA benefits?  There are discounts, special offers and more! Review the full information online, here: download a  print version . (PDF, 2 pages)  

NOTE: to print a copy of the Benefits sheet that includes the  ACCESS CODES for these offers, you will need to use your FOCA web Login  on the Benefits webpage, or  contact the office for assistance.

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 50 years     |    705-749-3622    |  
Stay Connected with FOCA:
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube

Didn't receive this message in your Inbox?   Join 10,000 Elert subscribers:

FOCA believes everyone has the right to hear about issues that affect waterfront Ontario. 
Those who have an existing relationship with FOCA may receive email from us,  based on principles of  Express or Implied Consent  in Canadian Anti Spam legislation. 
You can unsubscribe from Elerts at any time, using the 'Safe Unsubscribe' link below.