FOCA Elert - August 2018
Safety & Risk Management

Forest Fires
Forest fires have prompted evacuations in parts of northeastern Ontario near Killarney (see media coverage from the past few days),  and large parts of the province remain under fire restrictions as this Elert is being sent out. In the past 24 hours, the FOCA office received this email update from one of our member groups, the Carlyle Lake Cottagers Association:
... our association is in the direct path of forest fire Parry Sound 33. Although we are 40 kilometres from the fire, our access via highway 69 may be closed within a day or two. If that happens, owners who live in the GTA may not be able to get home. We are monitoring it closely, and I can provide updates for you...
Fire Map July 31, 2018 1:05pm

Visit Ontario's Forest Fire Info Map for fire updates and burn restrictions, and please, respect all fire bans in your area this long weekend.   

Program Update

Aquatic Invasive Species
FOCA has distributed funding and resources to the selected Association participants of our 2018 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program, and work is underway!  Our AIS biologists are connecting with our member groups across the province for site visits and species inventories.  For more about FOCA's AIS Program, visit:
FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


Cottage Life
CottageLINK Rental Management
Sponsors support our work. Please, support them!
Citizen Science

Lake Partner Program
Spend two minutes with FOCA's Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator, talking about the importance of the work being done by our citizen science volunteers across Ontario, through the Lake Partner Program:
Learn about the Lake Partner Program
Learn about the Lake Partner Program

PS - In the interests of "sun safety" this video was filmed through UVA+B protective lenses. (Kidding. It was just a setting issue. We know it's dark.)
FOCA Publications

2018 Lake Stewards Newsletter
The annual Newsletter was mailed last month to all the executives of our Member Associations. This year's edition is packed with environmental and policy updates, as well as success stories from your fellow Associations.

Please share the digital version of the Newsletter with everyone. It is available for free download here: 
Policy Updates & Government Affairs

Vote for your Future
FOCA reminds members that municipal elections take place this October. 

Step 1 : make sure you are registered to vote. Check online now:

What is your association doing this summer, to spread the word and get-out-the-vote? FOCA has a Vote Toolkit of resources you can use to fill a display table at a local event, plan an all-candidates meeting, make social media posts, and remind your members that they can vote in a municipal election wherever they own property. Contact the office for your copy of the Vote Toolkit.

Now is the time to plan for this Fall!  Get all the details from FOCA, here:

Meeting with the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
FOCA's Executive Director was part of a small round table discussion and reception with the Lieutenant Governor, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, in the City of Kawartha Lakes on July 19th, talking about strong regional economies. Click the image at the side to see the LG's Twitter post about the day's events.

Algonquin Land Claim - Recent Media Coverage
FOCA's Terry Rees was interviewed by TVO for a June 29th posting about treaty rights and cottage country. Link to the story, here: 

Real Estate Values and Foreign Ownership
Terry was also interviewed by TVO for a discussion about foreign-ownership of cottages. Link to the story, here:  

Waterfront Property Owners & Local Economies
We have been inundated with requests for digital copies of FOCA's newest Report on Waterfront Property Owners and Rural Economic Development. Contact the office for your copy.

There have also been radio interviews and newspaper coverage, and lots of online articles.  Here are a few highlights, in case you missed them:
We are posting links to all coverage related to the FOCA Report here: - see "Media Coverage" half-way down the webpage. 

Please help us continue to share this news with others in your rural community! The main message: waterfront property owners can be an important part of the economic revitalization of our rural communities, through volunteerism, mentorship, investment and business creation.  Special thanks to our colleagues at the   City of Kawartha Lakes  who have been widely sharing news of the study, and the opportunities for cottage country entrepreneurship.

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors


Lake Environments

Great Partner Resources!
We're loving the poster identifying " Muskoka's Least Wanted" species, created by the Muskoka Watershed Council (MWC) and the Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program. Take a good look, and be certain you're not welcoming any of these invaders on your cottage country property:

click the image to download a PDF copy

Watershed Report Card
Also this month, Muskoka Watershed Council released its fifth Muskoka Watershed Report Card, which provides a variety of 'health' and 'threat' factors for the region every four years. Get detailed information about your subwatershed, including infographics, story maps, and the background report, published online here: 

Poll confirms Importance of Great Lakes Protection
The International Joint Commission (IJC) released results of a new binational poll showing a rise in concern about protecting the Great Lakes from a variety of threats, including pollution and aquatic invasive species. 

88% of respondents said it is "essential" to protect the Great Lakes, up 3% since the 2015 poll. Get details from the IJC, by clicking here

Events - Recent & Upcoming

FOCA on the Road at Member Events
June 30, 2018 - FOCA's Executive Director, Terry Rees, spoke in Apsley at the AGM of our member Association, the  Looncall Lake Cottagers Association.

June 30, 2018 - FOCA's past President, Terry Kennedy, spoke in Parham at the AGM of our member Association, the Long Lake Property Owners Association.

July 7, 2018 - FOCA's Vice President, Daryle Moffatt, spoke at the AGM of our member Association, Lake Bernard Property Owners Association

July 14, 2018 - FOCA participated in the AGM of our member Association, the Lake Kasshabog Residents Association.

If you have an upcoming Association meeting, FOCA can provide you with a slide show or a handout to share about your member benefits, our current files and priorities, and other updates. Contact the office for details!

FOCA Cottage Succession Seminar Series
July 14, 2018 - the final summer session of FOCA's Cottage Succession Seminars was held in the Kawarthas, hosted by the Cavendish Community Ratepayers Association. 
Estate lawyer Peter Lillico gave a talk titled:  "Targeting Tax: Cottages and Capital Gains."   

DVDs are available from FOCA for two of Peter's talks: Keeping the 'Family' in the Family Cottage (the introductory seminar about Cottage Succession), as well as his in-depth discussion on creating a Cottage Sharing Agreement.  

Want to host one of these in-person events with FOCA and Peter Lillico in your region next summer? Now is the time to open up the conversation! 
Find out more, here: .  

Phragmites Removal in Georgian Bay
The Georgian Bay Land Trust invites you to, "be a conservation hero and help us remove this invasive reed from Georgian Bay's wetlands and shorelines!" Join at either location: August 8+9 at 10am each day at Giant's Tomb, and August 10 at 10am at Sandy/Ingersoll Islands

Ontario East Municipal Conference
September 12-14, 2018 - FOCA will be presenting at the Ontario East Municipal Conference about our completed research project, "Waterfront property owners as economic development contributors in rural Ontario." As described above, we
 have had a flurry of media coverage about the results of our report, which identifies waterfront owners as an important part of the future for rural communities. Find out more, here:

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - the  FOCA Fall Seminar for Lake Associations will be held in Toronto at the Boulevard Club. Feature topics will include: 
  • cottage country preparedness in the face of extreme weather, and what you can do at your own waterfront property to prepare
  • an overview of septic inspection programs in Ontario
  • and a Lake Partner Program update.
This seminar is an annual event where lake association representatives can connect with one another, hear expert speakers and collect valuable information.  Mark your calendars; registration details will follow later this summer!

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors

Dock in a Box

Cottage Dreams


Nature Clean New Logo 2013


Canadian Canoe Museum
Regional Notices

Septic Re-inspection Program Open House
Thursday August 2, 2018 - the Township of Sewlyn invites residents to review details of the planned municipal septic system re-inspection program for systems that are 10 years old or older. You are urged to attend and provide your feedback at a public open house from 6-8pm on August 2, at the Council Chambers of the Municipal office at 1310 Centre Line, Selwyn.

Learn about your environmental rights
CELA (the Canadian Environmental Law Association) is holding two free sessions on environmental issues and the ways local residents can get involved in environmental decision-making. Plan to attend! Click for details:



To Muskoka - without the Road Rage?
starting Friday, August 3, 2018 - A pilot program has been launched for August 2018 weekends, through a collaboration between Metrolinx and Ontario Northland. The route utilizes rail travel  from Union Station in downtown Toronto  to Barrie , then transfers to bus to Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville, ending in North Bay. Details, timing and (surprisingly affordable) prices are here:  

Kahshe Craft Show and Sale

Sunday, August 5th, 2018 - the Kahshe Lake Ratepayers' Association (KLRA) reminds residents that the Association will have a booth at the craft show at Rockhaven, so you can easily renew your membership! There will be a Book and Bake sale on the veranda, and donations to each are welcomed. Photo Contest entries will be on display, and winners announced and prizes distributed from the stage at 12:00 noon. Click here for the KLRA web notice.



Lake of the Woods Water Quality Meeting

Wednesday, August 15, 2018, Kenora -  Public meetings will highlight "science to action" and efforts to protect and restore Lake of the Woods water quality.  You are urged to attend this meeting to engage directly with the government officials and scientists, including the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board of the International Joint Commission, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Environment and Climate Change Canada. Download 1-page notice (PDF).

Help protect water in Mississippi & Rideau Valley watersheds
Apply by August 27, 2018 - The Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection Region (MRSPR) is seeking Source Protection Committee members interested in protecting municipal drinking water sources in the Mississippi and Rideau Valley watersheds. The MRSPR Committee, established in 2007 as a result of the Province's Clean Water Act, guides local efforts to protect drinking water at the source, and is made up on 1/3 municipal, 1/3 economic and 1/3 public sector representatives.

The Committee is looking for 2 reps to liaise on behalf of industrial, commercial or small business interests, as well as 2 public sector reps to liaise on behalf of general public, environmental, First Nations and non-governmental organization interests.  "If you have experience and knowledge in one of these two sectors and have an interest in protecting drinking water sources we hope you will apply," said Brian Stratton, MRSP Project Manager. Click here to find descriptions of roles and responsibilities, and an application form. 
Association Tools

Member Benefits
Do your members know about all their FOCA benefits? In addition to FOCA's ongoing work on behalf of waterfront Ontario, members have access to discounts, special offers and more! 
Review the details online: 
or download a print version. (PDF, 2 pages)

NOTE: to print a copy that includes the MEMBER ACCESS CODES for these offers, you will need to use your FOCA web Login on the Benefits webpage. Don't have your Member Login? 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    |  
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