banner image_ FOCA May Long Weekend Elert
Waterfront Property Owners & Rural Economic Development

FOCA is very pleased to release our new report about the significance of waterfront property owners (WPO) as vital economic contributors to rural communities in Ontario! The report summarizes the survey FOCA conducted last year, highlights the ways WPO in eastern Ontario are participating in their rural communities, and identifies enthusiasm to develop more rural economic initiatives. 

Read case studies about your peers who have already made the move to working from their waterfront community. Visit our project webpage for more information  or contact the office for a digital copy of the 56 page report.

Waterfront Living

Cottage Opening Tips
The ice is off the water, and the cottage season is in motion! See FOCA's tips webpage, for some important reminders about cottage country re-entry:

Cell Project Announcement
On April 23, 2018, the Province announced a $71 million commitment in support of the project to tackle cellular dead zones across eastern Ontario. Read the County of Peterborough news release about the announcement. The related infographic below was provided to FOCA by the Eastern Ontario Regional Network:


Rural Broadband Services in Southwestern Ontario
SWIFT is a not-for-profit, collective broadband initiative that is funding the construction of an affordable, open-access, ultra high-speed fibre-optic regional broadband network in Southwestern Ontario. To overcome the region's broadband infrastructure gaps, SWIFT has developed a long-term plan to help more than 3.5 million Ontarians connect and keep pace in a changing digital world. 

SWIFT partners with the University of Guelph  Regional and Rural Broadband Project  to assess internet user experiences and test performance at a range of locations, including waterfront properties. Run an internet speed test and then report your results through the online survey tool: . Regular updates on the build out of the broadband network in Southwestern Ontario will be posted to SWIFT's website. In other areas of Ontario, SWIFT recommends property owners contact their municipalities about internet servicing; in Eastern Ontario, EORN is working on a similar broadband network build out. Visit: 

Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program
Landowners with more than 4 hectares (~10 acres) of forested lands on their property may be eligible to receive property tax relief under the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) voluntary program for woodlot owners. Under the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program, property tax savings can range from 75-92% on eligible lands, depending on a variety of property-based variables. Landowners must have a multi-year Managed Forest Plan prepared and approved by an authorized Managed Forest Plan Approver. The deadline for new applications is June 30th each year, for consideration for the following taxation year. Get information and a list of plan approvers, here:

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


Cottage Life
CottageLINK Rental Management
Sponsors support our work. Please, support them!
Policy & Political Updates

Provincial Election - Get Ready to Vote on June 7th 
Ontario's rural and northern residents contribute significantly to the economic well-being of this province and to the communities where they live. FOCA encourages every voter to ask your candidates what they would do to support sustainable and affordable rural living, particularly with respect to several priorities FOCA has outlined in an Election Priorities document (PDF, 2 pages) that  we encourage you to download and share

Remember: in a provincial election, you may only vote once, in the electoral district that you consider home. Get more details on the FOCA Provincial Election webpage:

Planning Ahead for the Municipal Election - October 22nd 
FOCA has created an elections info kit for member Associations interested in getting out the vote in rural Ontario this fall! The Vote for your Future campaign encourages you to get involved, and to pledge to VOTE at your rural municipality. To learn more about FOCA's "Vote for your Future" initiative, and order your local toolkit, visit:

Remember: in a municipal election, you may vote wherever you own property. See for more information.

Lake Environments

Lake Partner Program
Welcome to the newest member of our team: Emily Shapiera is the new Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator for the Lake Partner Program (LPP). Emily is working out of the Dorset Environmental Science Centre (DESC). She holds a degree in biology from Queen's University, and she recently completed the Ecosystem Management Technology Program at Fleming College. We look forward to her contributions to this important citizen science initiative!

LPP volunteers will have recently seen an email update from DESC.  If your lake is not already participating in the program, you should know that May is an important sampling time because it is often when the lakes are fully mixed and the water chemistry should be uniform from lake surface to lake bottom. To find out about getting involved in the LPP, contact or  

Funding Opportunities

FOCA 2018 Aquatic Invasive Species Program
Remember to apply by June 1st! 
On May 1st, FOCA sent an email notice to our member Associations, about 2018 funding for aquatic invasive species (AIS) projects. Remember to submit proposals to FOCA by June 1st for funding consideration. Didn't receive the notice? Contact us for details.

For information about association AIS projects that were funded in last year's program, see page 10 of the latest FOCA Year in Review.

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors


Partner Survey Reminder

Lake Pulse - Supporting lake management - Have your Say!
Terry with Yannick of Lake Pulse at the FOCA AGM, March 2018
Lake managers, municipalities, lake associations, governments and non-governmental organizations all need access to lake data, especially to support decision-making and guide policies. The members of the Lake Pulse initiative will produce considerable data about lake health across Canada, and provide interactive maps on the health of Canadian lakes and on regional threats.

By participating in the Lake Pulse Survey, lake associations can help to create online tools that suit their needs for lake health and water quality data. Please add your voice by taking the survey:

Safety & Risk Management

Spring Fire Safety
Although spring has barely sprung, already some parts of the Province are experiencing extreme fire hazard conditions. (Check current conditions here:

The time before "green up" can be particularly dangerous for outdoor burning, and local restrictions are often in place - especially for daytime burning - throughout the spring and summer seasons. Check with your local municipality. For more about fire safety, visit: and review the video "FOCA Firesmart tips for spring burning" below:


National Safe Boating Awareness Week  
May 19-25, 2018 is Safe Boating Week. As you begin another boating season, here are 5 key reminders from the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) of which FOCA is a member:
1. Wear a PFD or lifejacket.
2. Don't drink & boat.
3. Take a boating course.
4. Be prepared, both you and your vessel.
5. Be wary of the dangers of cold water immersion.

Also, the CSBC is participating in the LCBO's Provincial Donation Box Program during the month of May 2018. Visit your local LCBO by May 26th, and make a donation to support CSBC in this fundraising campaign to help make Canada's waterways safer. Download the 1 page notice from CSBC, here.

Being Prepared for Extreme Weather
Natural disasters and severe weather can happen quickly and without warning. That's why making sure you're ready for an emergency is so important. During Emergency Preparedness Week (May 6-12, 2018) FOCA posted tips and reminders on social media about ways to be emergency-ready in cottage country. 
As remote and rural residents, we are used to being self-reliant. We may find ourselves and our families without electricity, phones, road access or other extended emergency conditions. Learn more about how to prepare: 

Also this May, the Alert Ready Emergency Alert System was launched across Canada, albeit with several hiccups and gaps, particularly for those not on LTE networks. The Alert is intended to work on digital devices such as your cell phone, to send messages from emergency management officials to warn of imminent threats such as tornadoes, floods, fires, Amber alerts, and water contamination. Find out more about the Alert Ready System, here: 

Events Attended

Kawarthas Naturally Connected
April 25, 2018 - Peterborough. FOCA participated in this regional partnership discussion about the natural heritage mapping tool created by the Kawarthas Naturally Connected (KNC) Collaborative in recent years, and to plan next steps to circulate this information among stakeholders, including waterfront property owners. Check out the amazing mapping tool by clicking here, or visit the KNC webpage for alternate map formats and more information about the project:

Strengthening Stewardship Networks
May 2, 2018 - Bradford. FOCA is part of the Steering Committee for the  Lake Simcoe Watershed Stewardship Network Advisory Committee that met most recently on May 2nd to review a social network analysis and recent survey responses about regional priorities, connections and needs.  
[click slide images at side, to enlarge]

Upcoming Events & Regional Notices

Zebra Mussel Blitz - Bancroft Area
image ISAC twitter feed April 19 2018
On May 18-19, our partners at the Invading Species Awareness Program will be helping the Bancroft Area Stewardship Council to clean, drain & dry boats as part of their Zebra Mussel Blitz. If you're out on Hay Lake or Jacks Lake, they invite you to stop by for your FREE boat wash.


Muskoka Summit on the Environment
May 24-25, 2018 - Bracebridge. FOCA will be at the upcoming Muskoka Summit on the Environment, themed, " Restoring our relationship with the natural world." Register here:  

"Septic Savvy" Lake Networking Event
May 26, 2018 - Perth. Learn about why a properly functioning sewage system is integral to a safe drinking water supply AND to a healthy lake. Featuring: a local septic system re-inspection program success story, expert panel discussion, displays and networking. For details and contact RSVP email, click the image at the side to enlarge. 

Cottage Succession Seminar Series
FOCA is on-the-road again this summer, with estate lawyer Peter Lillico, helping your family start the conversation about how to "keep the 'family' in the family cottage." 

June 2, 2018 - Our first Cottage Succession event of 2018, being held in Haliburton, is already all booked up! Get more information about the other  event dates and locations, here:  This event is FREE to FOCA Members!

Lake Stewardship Planning Event 
June 2, 2018 - Plevna. Your Lake, Your Community: A 1/2 day seminar on Lake Stewardship Planning. Clar-Mill Hall, Plevna, 9am-12pm. For lake associations in North Frontenac Township, featuring presentations from Twp. of N. Frontenac, FOCA, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, Canonto Lake Property Owners' Association and N. Frontenac Lake Association Alliance members. Contact to RSVP by May 28, 2018. 

Septics & Invasives Information Session
June 23, 2018 - Poop Talk & Aliens! Hold the date for this Hastings Highlands event, where FOCA's Executive Director and others will speak about the value of protecting clean water, proper septic system maintenance, and preventing the spread of invasive species.

Fisheries Management Zone 15 - input welcomed
The fisheries advisory council for Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15 includes FOCA representation. FMZ 15 comprises a large area of south central Ontario (see map). Find out more about the process and how you can provide input, by  downloading this FOCA update. (PDF, 1 page)

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors

Dock in a Box

Cottage Dreams


Nature Clean New Logo 2013


Canadian Canoe Museum
NEW Member Benefits & Offers from our Partners

Action First Aid offer
The FOCA-member price for an AED just got even better: now, Action First Aid offers the Philips Home Defibrilator for $1365 (+ tax), to FOCA members. That's over 18% off the retail price. Details are posted here: 

DockinaBox offer
FOCA members get 10% off a dock or boat lift from DockinaBox. They have dock solutions for all kinds of unique locations. Get offer terms and conditions, here:

InvisiRail offer
FOCA members get 7.5% off glass railings from InvisiRail. Plan a beautiful view for your home, or cottage. Details are available, here:  

Coleman products offer
As a result of FOCA's membership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, all FOCA members get a 30% discount off any Coleman Canada online purchases in 2018, using the Offer Access Code available to FOCA members. This includes Stearns PFDs, tents, sleeping bags, coolers and all sorts of outdoor camping gear, and Sevylor inflatables. Details of the offer are here:

Other ongoing FOCA Member offers include: 
-discounts on Cottage Life Magazine subscriptions; 
-a 1-year free Individual membership to the Canadian Canoe Museum
-exclusive access to the CottageFirst group insurance program;
-and more
All the current offers are posted online, here:
Member Associations: make sure all your members know how to access their FOCA benefits! 

Association Tools

Planning your 2018 AGM, or preparing your Newsletter?  FOCA can help with that.
Do you hand out printed information at your association meetings? Please share some FOCA materials with your members! Contact the office for print copies of FOCA's 2017 Year in Review, or the abbreviated 4-page summary containing an overview of our latest programs and accomplishments.
Have a 5 or 10 minute spot on your AGM agenda? Show one of FOCA's newest videos
Stream them on YouTube if you've got internet access, or contact the office for a DVD copy instead!
Want to give a presentation about "What FOCA does and why we're members"? Contact the office for a short slide presentation.
Got a little space in your Association Newsletter? Please include this FOCA ad to remind your members about their benefits and our work. Contact the office for a PDF of the image at the side.

Get your Vote for the Future local elections toolkit. Contact the office!

About FOCA

Your Board of Directors
FOCA is privileged to have such talented and dedicated individuals from across our membership take on leadership roles within the organization.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Terry Kennedy (Kennebec Lake Association) for his leadership and his thoughtful and steady presence, chairing the FOCA Board of Directors as President for the past two years. We look forward to Terry K's continued advice and support as Past President.

Succeeding Terry K as President of the FOCA Board of Directors is Marlin Horst (Baptiste Lake Association), who has recently been a particularly valued member of the Board Executive on the Governance and Nominations, and Human Resources Committees. Congratulations to Marlin!

Also recently joining the FOCA Board are Pat Drew (Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association) and John Hickey (Indian Point Property Owners' Association).  See the full Board list, here:

We look forward to working together to serve the interests of our waterfront community, together. 
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 50 years     |    705-749-3622    |  
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