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Waterfront Living

July is around the corner, and is deemed "Lakes Appreciation Month" by the North American Lake Management Society, of which FOCA is a member. 

Planning to spend the long weekend at the waterfront? FOCA wishes you a very happy and safe Canada Day holiday! Spend "Two minutes with Terry" in this video blog, reflecting on Canadians' love of the outdoors:

FOCA Publications

A Shoreline Owner's Guide to Invasive Species
FOCA is pleased to release a NEW guide for waterfront property owners, created together with our partners at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on the subject of invasive species identification and prevention in Ontario cottage country. 

Please access the digital post of this Guide by clicking the image.

Members may contact FOCA now, to pre-order print copies when they become available!

You are invited to reproduce FOCA materials! Please credit FOCA as the source and include our web address ( where possible.
FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


CottageLINK Rental Management
Cottage Life
Policy & Advocacy Updates 

In May 2017, after more than a year of advocacy efforts on this issue, FOCA provided input into a proposed revision to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Public Lands Act, to enable certain occupations of public land without the need for a permit, lease, or license of occupation.

FOCA is pleased to be able to announce that, effective June 1st, 2017 , Ontario Regulation O.Reg.161/17 came into effect. The important changes now mean that a person can occupy public lands without an MNRF permit - subject to some conditions , and only if allowed by municipal bylaw or Federal statute - for boat lifts, boat ramps, marine railways and docks, single-storey boathouses, swim rafts, ramps, jumps and slalom courses. Link to the full decision, and get further information from FOCA, here:  

OMB Update
Public comment is invited until August 14th, on the  proposal to replace the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) with a new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. There are implications for members interested in local planning decision-making. Read more, and link to the EBR posting, here: 

High Water - the Aftermath
In early June, FOCA wrote the Ontario Premier about emergency flood support for seasonal residents. Read the letter, and follow this issue, here: 


Flying Lanterns Update
A bylaw has been amended in the Municipality of Hastings Highlands to ban the use and sale of flying lanterns in the municipality. Follow this issue, and link to the notice about the bylaw update, here: 

Lake Environments

"Hooked on Lifejackets"
This initiative runs from July 1-9, and is aimed towards encouraging lifejacket use to reduce the number of boating fatalities in Ontario. As members of the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), FOCA reminds b oaters at the start of the busy season to always follow safe boating practices. Wear a lifejacket. Leave alcohol at the dock.  Every year, over 16 million Canadians take part in recreational boating, and in Ontario alone, 35 people drowned due to boating accidents in 2013. 88% of these individuals were not wearing a personal flotation device, and 40% of the accidents were related to alcohol consumption. Learn more, here:  

Lake Ontario Management Plan
Interested parties can have a say in the latest plan for Lake Ontario. Get information and a link from FOCA's webpage:  (under "Current News" - June 2017)

BioBlitz Canada 150
How are you celebrating Canada this summer? Why not find a community BioBlitz event near you, or host one! 

Get details here: or click the map to download a 2-page notice about upcoming events in Ontario and across the country.
FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors

Safety & Risk Management

Lyme Disease across Ontario
June 2017 - Public Health Ontario has published an updated map of "Estimated Risk Areas" for Lyme Disease. Visit FOCA's webpage for a link to download the map, and prevention tips:

Pesticides at the Cottage? No thanks.
FOCA has heard from numerous members about an increase in the use of broadcast spraying (e.g., against mosquitoes) in cottage country, even near the water's edge. This is a most unfortunate approach to "enjoying nature"! 

FOCA's perspectives on avoiding the use of pesticides, and fertilizers, are long-established, and are spelled out in this Docktalk video about pollution prevention: 

Preventing bug bites and associated risks can be accomplished in many ways that are not harmful to our waterways and our wildlife! Visit: 

Lake Association Tools

Permission to Email under CASL
FOCA reminds our member Associations for a final time that the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) comes into full effect on July 1, 2017. As of that date, you may continue to send "Commercial Electronic Messages" to current members, partners whose email addresses are published conspicuously in the public domain, or past members within certain timelines.   Have you sent a message to your association contacts, asking for "Express Consent" to keep sending to them?  That consent does not expire, unless they later choose to unsubscribe. FOCA Members may access details about CASL compliance, here:

(NOTE: You will need your FOCA Member website login to access this material.)

IMPORTANT: Have you provided your consent to FOCA, so we can continue to send Elerts to you? Please do so now:


Need a presentation for your AGM?
We have a ready-made talk you can use, with information provided by FOCA's Executive Director, 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 working with Partners

Environmental Economics 
As a practical extension of the Environmental Economics workshop series that FOCA's Terry Rees completed in 2015, the Sustainability Network has connected grad students from York University's Faculty of Environmental Sciences (FES) program with organizations to explore applied projects. 

Find out more about FOCA's role in rural communities:

Pictured at the Evergreen Brick Works (Toronto) is Terry Rees of FOCA with Trisha Cao of York's FES program, who is researching the economic impacts of inland lakes water quality, on behalf of FOCA. 

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box


Cottage Dreams

Canadian Canoe Museum

Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Recent Events

FOCA at the Canadian Water Summit
June 22, 2017 - Toronto. FOCA participated in this annual event, to connect with Canadian leaders in water policy management and technology. This year's Summit was titled Collaboration to Action. 

Pictured: Terry Rees with Environmental Lawyer Anastasia Lintner, and Hank Venema the Director of Planning for the Prairie Climate Centre / IISD and the 2017 Canadian Water Summit Chair.

NORKLA Regional Meeting
June 24, 2017 - Apsley. FOCA participated in the NORKLA (North Kawartha Lakes Associations) Stewardship meeting, which featured presentations about septic system health, and healthy shorelines. 

For more information from FOCA on these significant topics, visit: and read the Shoreline Owner's Guide to Healthy Waterfronts!

Clear Stoney White Lake Alliance Meeting
June 24, 2017 - FOCA's Terry Rees was a featured presenter at this regional meeting of associations, convened to share common issues and initiatives, and to discuss building strong alliances for the future.

Ontario's Biodiversity Council
Ontario Biodiversity Council
FOCA participated in the late June meeting of the OBC at the University of Guelph, Ontario, to discuss Ontario's proposed Climate Change Strategy, and pollinator health issues. For more about the importance of biodiversity, visit: 

FOCA at the Teeny Tiny Summit
June 29, 2017 - Havelock. Part of FOCA's commitment to rural and northern municipalities is staying connected with our municipal partners, along with thought-leaders, experts and other resources. Waterfront property owners are significant stakeholders in the economic, social and community aspects of several hundred rural municipalities in Ontario. Stay tuned for this continued conversation about making our communities sustainable and successful in every way! For more about the Teeny Tiny Summit, visit: 

Upcoming Events

FOCA's Cottage Succession Seminars
Peter speaking at our June 3rd event in Bobcaygeon
Plan to join FOCA at one of our popular in-person seminars featuring  estate lawyer Peter Lillico . Learn  what your family should do THIS YEAR, and what can wait for later. Upcoming summer sessions with FOCA and Peter include:

>Sat. July 8th - with the Cavendish Community Ratepayers Assoc. (Kawarthas)  "Cottages at the Crossroads" = comparison of succession vehicles: direct ownership / trusts / corporations

>Sat. July 15th - with the Crane Lake Assoc. (Parry Sound) - "Keeping the 'Family' in the Family Cottage = cottage succession overview talk

All event dates, locations and registration info (open to all, and FREE for FOCA Members!) can be found here: .  

Regional Lake Management Plan Stewardship Summit 
Sat. July 15, 2017 - Cambray. Kawartha Conservation invites the public to a half-day event about plans for lake management implementation projects and priorities for the region. Read the notice. (PDF, 1 page)

Additionally, the Community Advisory Panel and Kawartha Conservation seek community feedback on implementation projects through an online survey. Result will be shared during the Summit on July 15th. Community residents are invited to add your voice to their survey: 

Understanding Water Quality Data Workshop/Discussion
Thurs. August 3, 2017 -  Perth. The Lake Networking Group of eastern Ontario has announced a summer workshop, to assist lake associations in interpreting and truly understanding what their water quality data actually means in terms of the health of their lakes. Read the notice sent to FOCA (PDF, 1 page), and RSVP directly to the organizer as soon as possible.

Climate Change in Muskoka: A Workshop on
Extreme Weather and Shoreline Property
Tues. August 8, 2017 - Huntsville. Mark your calendars, and attend to hear from FOCA and other experts at this event, brought to you by the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources. Click the image at right to download details (PDF, 1 page), or register online here

Jack's Lake Film Festival
Fri-Sat. August 11th+12th - Apsley. Plan to attend the screenings at Forest Glen Boat Barn, Jack's Lake! Tickets are on sale at local marinas.  Download details (PDF, 1 page) from the Jack's Lake Association. Revenues will be used to fund future wetlands inventory and assessment around the lake. FOCA wishes you good luck with this fun event/fundraiser!


Hastings Highlands Stewardship Day 
Wed. August 2nd, 2017 - Maynooth. The second annual event, sharing resources to help us be better stewards of our favourite natural spaces. Details to follow.


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 registration details later this summer.

Regional Notices & Opportunities

TSW lock and dam at Port Severn
Open Season for TSW & Rideau Canal
Despite a delayed start to the navigation season on the TSW (Trent Severn Waterway) and the Rideau, due to high water levels and flows in mid-May, Parks Canada confirmed all lock stations on the TSW open, at June 2nd. FOCA wishes you a happy and safe boating season!

Comments on Fisheries Management
FOCA is represented on the Public Advisory Council of Fisheries Managed Zone (FMZ) #15, which covers much of south-central Ontario cottage country, by Board Member Steven Kerr of Jack Lake Association. The Ministry (MNRF) and the Council are working toward a management plan over the coming years. Currently, FMZ #15 is considering the future desired state of walleye, with other species to follow. Click the map to link to online information about FMZ #15. FOCA members can forward their comments to Steve, via the FOCA office.

Show Support for Cell Coverage in Eastern Ontario
The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) is seeking federal and provincial support to fill gaps in cellular coverage, proposing a public-private partnership to improve reach and quality of cellular data services. EORN's business case includes a dedicated, public safety broadband network to connect first responders region-wide. EORN invites you to write your MP and MPP in support of the plan. Read the media release. (PDF, 2 pages) 

FOCA Member Benefits

NEW! Coleman products discount
FOCA recently joined the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) as an organizational member. C SBC members, and now all FOCA members, are entitled to access a 30% discount on all Coleman Canada products , and there are many to choose from! 
Get details about how to access this online offer, here:  

Remember: All your FOCA member benefits are posted online, here: Association members: please print and circulate this information to your members! It's a great answer to the question, "So, what do we get from FOCA?"

Cade's Corner

Simplify the cottage life with an insurance bundle.

CottageFirst is a one-stop shop for all your personal insurance needs. We can insure your cottage on its own, and our comprehensive packages can bundle together your cottage, home, watercraft, recreational vehicles, and automobile policies.

CottageFirst is exclusively available to members of FOCA. If your local association is a member, you already qualify!

When will you get your quote?
Cade Associates Insurance Brokers  

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