banner_ FOCA May Long Weekend Elert 2017
Waterfront Living

The May Long Weekend is almost here! 
Watch a quick video from our Executive Director, about the weekend we've been waiting for: 

And, of course, you can review cottage opening tips from FOCA posted here: 

Safety & Risk Management
F.Wilbur - Stoney L.

High Water
As Spring water flows have continued, we have all been mindful of water conditions on and around our lakes, the perils of unpredictable and high water flows, and the dangers of cold water immersion.  For links to current flood watches and warnings, and important tips for waterfront property owners, visit:  


Emergency Response: FOCA asked, the Coroner will (finally) answer
Since hearing of a tragic boating incident near Sudbury in 2013, FOCA has remained concerned about the state of emergency response in remote parts of Ontario. A special joint coroner's inquest has now been announced, and will put the 911 system under scrutiny. The inquest will examine the events surrounding these tragic boating deaths and hopefully provide enhanced understanding of the coordination of emergency responders in rural and remote areas. FOCA will be watching for recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths. See more: 

"Your Worst Nightmare" - Emergency Preparedness Planning
In early May, FOCA participated in a regional emergency management simulation event, and also learned that Ontario is putting into place a modern geospatial alerting system (via cell phone/text) for community emergencies. Learn more, here: 

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


CottageLINK Rental Management
Cottage Life
Policy Updates from FOCA

Electricity Pricing
Many questions are circulating about the 'fairness' of Bill 132, the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan Act. "Average savings" claimed will vary widely between customer classes, and between low- and high-volume users. Some waterfront property owners will still be much worse-off. The long term impacts will be considerable for all.  Get updates about electricity pricing and links to recent news, here:  

Dock and Boathouse Permits - Nearly Resolved?
image: Wendy Sue Lyttle, Catchacoma Lake
FOCA and our members have been concerned and confused over the past year about the MNRF (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) permitting obligations related to docks and boathouses. FOCA has made official comment on proposed new regulations posted by MNRF to the EBR, and now a resolution may be near. Follow the latest developments:

OMB Reforms will dramatically change Land Use Planning
The Ontario Government has proposed changes to the way land use planning decisions are made in Ontario, including the establishment of new Local Planning Appeal Tribunals to replace the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). This news will be especially important for residents in small and waterfront municipalities! Learn more: 

Fisheries Management: Bait Policy 
MNRF has released a draft Strategic Policy for Bait Management in Ontario, with implications for the bait fish industry, as well as impacts on recreational anglers (including  restricting bait movement to proposed zones, no overland transport of personal harvest of bait, and other considerations). Read the  draft Policy on  the EBR posting  (#012-9791); p ublic comment is invited until June 27, 2017.  

Is Ontario Prepared for a Nuclear Emergency?
Over 40 public interest organizations (including FOCA) are concerned that gaps in Ontario's nuclear emergency plans leave people vulnerable in the event of a nuclear accident on the Great Lakes. Learn more & have your say by July 14, 2017:

Lake Environments

Biodiversity & BioBlitz
Monday May 22nd is the International Day for Biological Diversity, and BioBlitz Canada 150 is hosting a " virtual bioblitz" across the nation, all day. Grab your phone, get outdoors wherever you are, and share photos of all the species you find! (Use #BioBlitz150 on social media posts.) Learn more: 

Be aware of ticks - do you live in an "at risk" area of Ontario?
Preventing Lyme disease is possible, if people have a plan. Educating the public on how to avoid being infected remains a challenge. FOCA believes local lake Associations have an important role to play. Learn more, here:

Lake Partner Program News
With early season sampling well underway across Ontario's inland lakes, FOCA is pleased to welcome Rebecca Rossi to the Lake Partner Program team at the Dorset Environmental Science Centre. Rebecca takes on the position of FOCA Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator, recently vacated by Christie Davies who has taken a new position in the Muskoka region. Welcome, Rebecca, and all the best to Christie in her new endeavours!  Learn more about Rebecca and the rest of the FOCA team, here:  

Pictured: Rebecca Rossi and Deanna Pantiz, FOCA Membership & Programs Coordinator, at the "50 Shades of Green" algae conference, Muskoka (May 2017).
FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors

Recent Events

50 Shades of Green: Muskoka Stewardship Conference 
FOCA was in attendance, along with science partners and local lake association representatives, at the May 12th conference held in Port Carling. This year's focus was algae, in all its forms! 
(event image:  @muskokawatershd)  
Get details about the day's events, here: 

2017 Lake of the Woods AGM a big success!
FOCA was pleased to be involved and participate in the latest Lake of the Woods Cottage Show & 55th Annual General Meeting, held in early May in Winnipeg. The Show typically hosts over 600 visitors and this year had a record number (over 90) of exhibitors. 

The AGM was chaired by LOWDPOA President (and long-time FOCA Board member) Nancy Salmijarvi, and featured many highlights including the screening of " Lake of the Woods: a History by Water" (Part One), and a preview of Part 2 by the film's host, Sean Kavanagh. 

Upcoming Events

FOCA's Cottage Succession Seminars
Cottage Succession Havelock 2012
June - August 2017 - Plan to join FOCA at one of our popular in-person Cottage Succession Seminars this summer, featuring estate lawyer Peter Lillico talking about ways to keep the 'family' in the family cottage.  Find out what your family should do THIS YEAR, and what can wait for later. 

Our first cottage country seminars of 2017 will be:
     > Sat., June 3rd in Bobcaygeon (North Pigeon Lake Assoc.)
     > Sun. June 4th in Muskoka (Skeleton Lake Cottagers Assoc.)
All event dates, locations and registration info (open to all, but FREE for FOCA Members!) can be found here:  

FOCA Fall Seminar for Lake Associations 
Saturday, November 4, 2017 - Toronto - SAVE THE DATE for the FOCA Fall Seminar. This is our annual gathering of lake Association representatives for a seminar day filled with tips, best practices and inspiring stories from your peers across Ontario. Plan to join us. We will be back in touch with details later this summer.

Cade's Corner
Get more cottage opening and renovating tips from Cade's Bulletin Board posts.

Is it time to review your cottage insurance coverage? Members from over fifty member Associations have already taken advantage of this FOCA benefit: access to the CottageFirst group insurance package.  When will you get your quote?

Regional Notices & Opportunities
F.Wilbur - Burleigh Falls

Trent Severn Waterway & Rideau Canal Opening DELAYED
news release - May 17th: High water levels and flows caused by extreme amounts of precipitation have resulted in unsafe boating conditions across both waterways. For safety reasons, Parks Canada has delayed the start of the 2017 navigation season for the TSW and Rideau Canal by one week to Friday, May 26, 2017. Download the news release by clicking here (PDF, 1 pg).

Open House: Gravenhurst Pipe Replacement
June 3, 2017 - TransCanada will be hosting a public open house in Severn Bridge for the proposed Gravenhurst Pipe Replacement Project. Construction activities are expected to commence in late summer 2017, and be complete in spring 2018.  Click here to download the notice with map. (PDF, 2 pages)

Boating Safety Videos
Safe Boating Awareness Week starts this Saturday, May 20th! Access quick video tips about required safety equipment, PWC safety, calling for assistance, and much more. Visit the Canadian Safe Boating Council: 

Lake Health Seminar 
June 24, 2017 - Apsley - Join FOCA and other participants at this seminar series sponsored and organized by the NORKLA (North Kawartha Lake Associations) group. The event is open to all property owners interested in learning more about their septic systems and healthy shorelines. Featuring local contacts, along with knowledgeable and interesting speakers. Click the image at the side, to download (PDF, 1 page) the event poster and how to register.

Car/Deer Collisions 
FOCA was recently contacted by Haliburton County OPP about an ongoing initiative to reduce car/animal collisions. Annually there are almost 200 collisions reported in the County, most involving deer, and many more collisions go unreported. The OPP representative has offered to  give presentations at area lake Association meetings about the main factors contributing to these collisions, to increase public awareness. Contact FOCA to be put in touch with the OPP Sergeant.

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box


Cottage Dreams

Canadian Canoe Museum

Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
About FOCA

We know that lake associations run on volunteer power! 

National Volunteer Week was April 23-29th.  In celebration, FOCA shared some of the cottage stories of the great volunteers on our Board of Directors, on social media. 

Read their stories by scrolling down on our Facebook page to the series of entries posted in late April.  Find out about all the members of our fantastic Board, here:

Your Role:
If you are a volunteer with your local Association, FOCA wants to hear from you!   Send us a picture of you at the waterfront, and your own  cottage story, including how you got involved with your lake Association and the good work being done there. Send your story to: and please indicate if you agree to let us share your story online!

Lake Association Tools

Need a presentation for your AGM?
We have a ready-made presentation you can use, with information provided by FOCA's Executive Director, Terry Rees, outlining what we can expect to see in cottage country as a result of our changing climate. This is a version of the talk he gave on the Cottage Life Main Stage in March 2017. 
Contact the FOCA office for a PDF of the slides, and a script from Terry!

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 50 years    |    705-749-3622    | 
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