Sep 012017
FOCA Banner people at lake
FOCA Elert – Labour Day Long Weekend 2017
Register now!
2017 FOCA Fall Seminar for Lake Associations:
“Strong Associations for Future Generations”
Saturday, November 4th, 2017 in Toronto

With a focus on finding and engaging new & younger lake association members, we encourage all our members to bring your success stories from the past summer, as well as your burning questions, for some peer-to-peer review.

We are very excited to announce our keynote speakers: Alex and Tyler Mifflin, “The Water Brothers.” They will share stories of their acclaimed eco-adventure documentary series, their time as Georgian Bay cottagers, today’s water challenges, and the essential role of young people to implement emerging solutions over the coming generation.

Get more details about the event, and link to the online registration page, here:
Some comments from last year’s attendees:
What did you like most about the event? > “Like-minded people with similar concerns and interests, coming together to share and grow.” … “In-person connection with other associations and the FOCA staff and Board.” …

What would you tell another member who might consider attending? > “I don’t know of another forum where I could connect to other committed cottagers and learn together, for the benefit of all, and our lakes.” Last year, 36% of attendees said it was their first time at a FOCA event. Have you been thinking about attending? This should be your year! Register now…

FOCA’s Gold-level Sponsors
CottageLINK Rental Management
Cottage Life
Recent Events
Live Action

FOCA’s Terry Rees and videographer Chelsie Xavier-Blower have been on the road attending member events this summer, to capture imagery and comments about what makes lake associations great. Here, they are pictured near Faraday (Trout) Lake, where Terry participated in the Association’s Annual General Meeting, on August 5th.

Chelsie, a graduate student with Fleming College’s Environmental Visual Communications program, will launch the video result of all her recent efforts at the FOCA Fall Seminar on November 4thPlan to attend!
Climate Change in Muskoka: A Workshop about Extreme Weather and Shoreline Property
August 8th, 2017 – At this event in Huntsville, Dan Sandink of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction outlined how increased damage to boats and related equipment was linked to the extended periods of time that waterfront properties were left unattended. As we head into the late summer season, consider your own plans to be at your property, and what measures you should take to secure it when you’re not there as often.
To see Dan’s presentation from the event, and others from Muskoka Watershed Council, Environment Canada, Risk Sciences International, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and FOCA, visit:
Partners in Invasive Species Prevention
August 16, 2017 – FOCA was with the Ministers of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), along with other key program partners at a media event in Peterborough, celebrating our long-standing partnership on invasive species prevention and awareness. “FOCA encourages every cottager to have an action plan to prevent the spread of invasive species to our precious lakes and rivers,” said Terry Rees. Get more information, including a link to YOUR action plan, here:
Pictured L to R: Terry Rees of FOCA, OMAFRA Minister Jeff Leal, MNRF Minister Kathryn McGarry, Tracy Cooke of the Invasive Species Centre, Angelo Lombardo of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and Ken Towle of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council. (Image courtesy MNRF.)
Environment Council for Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lakes

August 25, 2017 – Crowes Landing, Stoney Lake. Along with our colleague Jacob Rodenburg from Camp Kawartha, FOCA helped to lead a discussion about engaging communities in stewardship, and getting the next generation(s) involved. The Environment Council has a long history of leadership in the region, and is looking for exciting new ways to keep their important work effective, relevant and broadly accessible.


Cottage Succession

August 26, 2017 – FOCA’s Cottage Succession Seminar series with estate lawyer Peter Lillico was hosted by the Halls & Hawk Lakes Property Owners Association, talking about keeping the family in the cottage for the next generation.

“Many thanks to the FOCA team for arranging Peter Lillico’s presentation and Terry’s participation. We had 57 HHLPOA members in attendance, and it was very clear that the presentation and the information was very important, and all were appreciative of the information conveyed.” (from Peter Dadzis, President, HHLPOA)
This was our final in-person event for the year. Are you interested in bringing this popular seminar to your area next summer? Contact the FOCA office!
Safety & Risk Management
Extreme Weather in Cottage Country 
Environment Canada confirmed that a tornado touched down in early August near Lake of Bays, and on Fairy Lake near Huntsville. Images and video from the area can be found here:
Storms in cottage country over the past weeks caused tree damage and structural damage in several locations, and led to extended periods without power at many cottages. FOCA encourages everyone to prepare for extreme weather and power outages at the cottage. Make a plan, build a kit, and stay informed. Learn more, here:
Cottage Fire Investigation 
In early August, investigators with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office reported that the cause of a fire last Christmas at a cottage near Stoney Lake remains undetermined, but the location of smoke alarms in the building may have played a role in the tragedy that took the lives of the family of four. In particular, we note this quote from an investigator, as reported by CP24:
“…the take-away for the community is that smoke detectors should be located close to sleeping areas, with consideration of the structure taken into account. They should also be tested once a month and batteries should be completely changed at least once a year.”
FOCA’s Silver-level Sponsors
Policy & Advocacy Updates
Hydro One proposed new Distribution Rates – Have your Say

On September 26, 2017 Hydro One will make a presentation to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) decisions-makers, in which it must address the issues raised by customers during the 10 community meetings held this past summer. If you’d like more information in relation to Hydro’s One’s 2018-2022 distribution rate application, visit FOCA’s webpage on the issue:


Changes to Land Use Planning, and the Ontario Municipal Board

The Ontario Government is proposing significant changes to the way land use planning decisions are made in Ontario, including the possible establishment of new Local Planning Appeal Tribunals to replace the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Learn more about the proposed changes and see FOCA’s comments to the OMB, here:

New round of Consultations for the Algonquin Land Claim

Ontario is seeking comment on their Draft Environmental Evaluation Report (EER) from August 28, 2017 through October 17, 2017. They will also be conducting 9 open houses between September 20 and October 11. Learn more here:

Lake Environments
Algae Survey – Have you taken the survey yet? 
FOCA and our partners at the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Queen’s University and others, have been circulating information about a province-wide survey about algae on Ontario lakes. (FOCA Lake Stewards would have received an email from us about this, earlier in the summer.)
At this time, more survey responses are needed, to ensure this study collects a broad range of data. This information will be compared to results from a similar survey conducted 30 years ago, to see how perceptions about algae may be changing over time.
Please be part of this project! Participation is voluntary and anonymous.
You can access the survey here:
Upcoming Events & Regional Notices
Muskoka Lakes Association Food Drive
Until October 9th – As the summer winds down, and you clear out the cottage pantry, MLA encourages you to take the time to support your cottage community, and donate during the fifth annual food drive! For information and drop off locations, download a one-page poster about the event. (PDF)


Dysart Septage Plan
The Haliburton Municipality of Dysart et al recently launched a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) project for their proposed Septage Management Strategy. (An overview can be found, here:
image courtesy OOWA

This project is a follow-up to the municipality’s master septage plan, which is a process that FOCA believes is crucial to the responsible and sustainable management of our on-site wastewater in rural Ontario. Learn more about FOCA’s interest in septage management, including a link to our 2015 article for the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association (titled “Where’s the Plan?“) and other links, here:

FOCA’s Bronze-level Sponsors
Dock in a Box
Cottage Dreams

Canadian Canoe Museum
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Association Tools
Member Benefits
Do your members know about all their FOCA benefits? There are discounts, special offers and more, including:
  • 30% off online Coleman product purchases
  • a free one-year membership to the Canadian Canoe Museum (that’s a $40 value)
  • a substantial discount on Cottage Life magazine subscriptions
  • access to the CottageFirst group insurance program, and more…

See all your FOCA benefits online:, or download a printable copy by clicking here. (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.
Cade’s Corner
Things you might not have told your Insurance broker about… but should
Read the blog from Cade Associates Insurance Brokers, who administer FOCA’s

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