FOCA thanks us

Dear Limerick Waterways Ratepayers Association Board of Directors,

Thank you for your association’s continued support of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA)! I am writing you today to let you know about FOCA and the benefits of being members. Association benefits include tools and resources, a vote at the FOCA AGM and access to the FOCA member rate on Commercial General Liability and Directors & Officers Insurance. Your Association members can access all FOCA’s membership benefits, including the boat and cottage insurance program CottageFirst. Please see the attached document for all of FOCA’s current member benefits and offers. This letter should be shared with your members.Please see the following link in case you missed FOCA’s latest Elert:

FOCA represents the people who live at the waterfront in Ontario, whether seasonally or year-round. Our members are lake and road associations, some very small and some very large, and every size in between. FOCA is made up of more than 500 property Associations across Ontario cottage country – a total of 50,000 families. Our united voice carries weight on issues that matter.

FOCA members live within the landscape, and are an integral part of the rural community. Despite the sometimes humble trappings of lake meetings, and the casual clothes, folks in cottage country are dedicated and passionate, vested in the future and intimately familiar with the resources, special attributes and changes happening on our lakes and rivers.

FOCA acts as an information bridge between policy-makers and property owners on significant issues, including:

-The long-term environmental integrity of Ontario’s freshwater resources

-Fair property taxation

-Effective land use planning

-Risk management for volunteer groups

-Rural safety and emergency preparedness in the face of extreme weather developments in recent years

For over 50 years, FOCA has played a key role in waterfront Ontario. Please refer to FOCA’s Resources page ( for more information.

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, a not-for-profit organization representing volunteer associations and individual property owners all across Ontario. We are your provincial voice. Associations like yours help support FOCA’s vision to protect thriving and sustainable waterfronts across Ontario.

Once again, thank you for your support!

Take care,

Deanna Panitz

Membership and Programs Coordinator


Limerick’s Covid-19 response


89 Limerick Lake Road R. R. #2, GILMOUR, ON K0L 1W0

Roads: 613-474-0060

613-474-2863 (Phone) 613-474-0478 (Facsimile)




LIMERICK TOWNSHIP – The Emergency Control Group would like to take this opportunity to address and update residents and ratepayers on the response in our Municipality.

The Township of Limerick Emergency Management Group has enacted measures to address the situation, and is communicating constantly both internally and with adjacent Municipalities in an effort protect the health and safety of the community and to ensure continuity of operations. We will continue to provide the essential services required and will make every effort to support and assist our community partners.

The following measures have been in place to ensure that we follow the guidance of the Federal and Provincial governments;

1. AllMunicipaloffices,facilitiesandparksandplaygroundsareclosedtothe public.

Municipal staff may be reached by leaving a voicemail at 613-474-2863. Follow the prompts for the appropriate department.
You may also contact staff at various emails (preferred) found on the Municipal website. Departments are actively monitoring communications and will respond as soon as possible.

2. Wastesitehourshavebeenreducedasfollows; Saturday – 10 am – 1 pm
Sunday – 10 am – 1 pm
Wednesday – Closed

We will notify the public when regular hours resume.
3. There is no fire ban in place at this time, however please remember that

restricted hours start on April 1st, 2020.
4. The interim March installment has been postponed. Penalty and interest has

been deferred until April 30th, 2020 to assist ratepayers with this crisis.

89 Limerick Lake Road R. R. #2, GILMOUR, ON K0L 1W0

Roads: 613-474-0060

613-474-2863 (Phone) 613-474-0478 (Facsimile)


It is important to stress that this situation will be brought under control, but only if we all heed by the instructions of our Public Health Authorities and various levels of Government. Please, stay home if you can, use physical distancing strategies to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and contact Public Health with COVID-19 related concerns.

For our seasonal residents who have chosen to spend this time in our area we ask you to please self-isolate appropriately for 14 days. Remember, we are a unique Municipality with a vast senior population. Give your neighbour a call if you must leave home and ask if they are experiencing challenges obtaining food or medication, or just need a chat to keep their spirits up. Limerick Township now has a Facebook page so feel free to post an update, (negative responses will be removed) if you have resources or advice that others may benefit from. We also have wonderful lake associations such as Limerick Lake Ratepayers Association, Steenburg Lake Community Association and Tri-Lakes Cottage Association that do wonderful jobs posting to their respective websites.

Let’s all work together to keep this community safe. Stay home. Stay safe.

For up to date information about COVID-19 please visit:

Bancroft Community Family Health team website: Prince Edward Public Health: Health Ontario:

Limerick Township Emergency Control Group

Slater family mourning loss of Vern Elstone

Vern Elstone passed away at Peterborough Regional Health Center on February 5, 2020. Vern, a resident of Lakefield, was  in his 84th year. Beloved husband of Elizabeth Elstone (nee Orr).
Loving father of Jill Watson (Chris), Janet Slater (James), and Mark Elstone.
Dear grandfather of Liam Watson, Gordon Slater, Gregory Slater, Jacob Elstone and Ethan Elstone.
Vern is survived by his brothers Jim Elstone (Bernice), John Elstone (Mary) and his sister Mary Gardner (Don), Brother -in- law James Orr (Brenda) and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents George and Pearl Elstone, sister Margaret Dayholos (Ed), brother Richard Elstone (Rhonda), brothers-in-law Peter Orr, Paul Orr and sister-in-law Mary Orr.
A memorial service will be held at THE HENDREN FUNERAL HOMES, LAKEFIELD CHAPEL, 66 Queen St. Lakefield, on Saturday February 15, 2020 at 1:00PM. Visitation will commence at 12:00 pm. A reception will follow the service in the Heritage Room of the funeral home.
Inurnment, at Lakefield Cemetery, following the reception. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Society or St Luke’s Anglican Church, by visiting or by calling 705-652-3355.

FOCA : Electricity pricing etc.

FOCA Elert – December 2019
Advocacy & Policy Updates
Electricity Pricing

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is still considering their approach to the Seasonal Class of electricity customers, and is receiving written input until December 19, 2019. As an intervenor, FOCA is arguing against the elimination of the Seasonal Class, because the September 2015 OEB decision to move to an all-fixed delivery rate already accomplishes the stated goal of having low volume seasonal customers pay a fair share of costs. Visit FOCA’s webpage for background:

Lake Partner Program

As mentioned by FOCA’s Executive Director at the Fall Seminar, FOCA continues to work with the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to build on the tremendous success of the Lake Partner Program of long-term monitoring, with the aim to continue the program in 2020 and beyond. Our goal is to continue to engage our hundreds of volunteers, and build our collective knowledge about the province’s fabulous aquatic resources. Learn more, here:

FOCA weighs in on Bill 132
On December 5, 2019 the provincial government’s Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 (Bill 132) entered debate after third and final reading in the legislature. Amongst many other things, the Act proposes to amend the Public Lands Act, allowing docks or single-storey boathouses located on Crown land without the need for a permit or annual rent. Read FOCA’s comments on the proposed bill, here:
Flood Planning / Management in Ontario
image: MNRF 2014

As reported in our last Elert, in early November the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) announced that the final report from their Special Flood Advisor was complete. The report has now been made available and includes 66 recommendations for the Province, MNRF, Conservation Authorities, and other bodies on issues ranging from updated floodplain mapping to stakeholder communication protocols. FOCA has posted links to the 157-page report, and a 3-page executive summary, here:

Ontario Budget Cuts: A Cottage Country Perspective
Our colleagues at Cottage Life Media posted an online article in late November, titled “How are Ontario’s budget cuts affecting your cottage?,” that summarizes some of the implications of funding changes. Click to link to the online article.
FOCA’s Gold-level Sponsors

support our work!

Please, support them.

CottageLINK Rental Management
Event Summary: 2019 FOCA Fall Seminar
Thank you to everyone who joined us in person and by webinar for the FOCA Fall Seminar on Saturday, November 16th.
We had a full house at the Boulevard Club in Toronto with lively discussions on a variety of cottage country hot topics including short term rental, rural road issues, water quality and quantity, and septic re-inspection programs.

FOCA members can download the Event Summary, including links to the slide presentations of the day, here:

Don’t have your member web login? Send us an email identifying your affiliation with FOCA, and we’ll reply during business hours with your login.
Regional Notices & Upcoming Events
Haliburton Plant Resource

A new shoreline plant search tool is available on the website of the Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners’ Associations, a regional organization and FOCA Supporting Group. The plant tool has been in development since 2017. Choose the plant type, soil, water conditions, location and other criteria to receive a list of expert recommendations with a picture of the native plant and its information. This is a great planning resource for the winter months! Visit:

Muskoka Wood Ash Recycling Opinions Survey
As part of the Ontario Trillium foundation wood ash program being undertaken by the Friends of the Muskoka Watershed (FMW), Muskoka residents who heat with wood and are over the age of 18 are invited to participate in an online survey to assess your thoughts and experiences about wood ash recycling, and your sense of connection to Muskoka in general.
The survey is being conducted by the University of Victoria and FMW informs us that survey participants may enter a draw to win one prize of $100 or one of two prizes of maple syrup (1L). Click here to link to the online survey.
New Fireworks Bylaw

FOCA thanks our members at the Big Bald Lake Cottagers’ Association (BBLCA) for bringing to our attention that the Municipality of Trent Lakes is the latest cottage-country municipality to approve an Open-Air Burn & Fireworks By-law effective October 15, 2019. Fireworks are now restricted to a handful of specific days and times. Get a link to this, and other municipal fireworks by-laws, here:

FOCA’s Silver-level Sponsors
Cottage Life
Recent Events & Projects
CELA/FOCA webinar on Septic Re-inspections

One quarter of Ontario’s 1.2 million onsite wastewater systems are located directly adjacent to the lakes and rivers of the Great Lakes Basin. A late November webinar, hosted by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), provides an overview of the project recently completed by FOCA and partners to explore successes, challenges and lessons learned from existing municipal septic re-inspection programs across Ontario, including a review of the legal context for managing rural wastewater. Learn more and find a link to watch the webinar, here:

Septic Re-inspections: Municipal Responses

FOCA has now been informed of several more municipal partners who have read our report on Septic Re-inspection Programs in Ontario, and are considering (or proceeding to implement) local programs, including the City of Temiskaming Shores, the Township of Douro-Dummer, and the County of Hastings Highlands.

We encourage all our members and municipal partners to review this report, and to engage in local discussions to determine the best route forward in your own region. Download a free copy of the Report and infographic, here:
Waterfront Living
Boating Ontario AGM

In late November 2019, FOCA attended the Boating Ontario Annual General Meeting in Niagara Falls to learn about industry trends, challenges and opportunities. One of the featured speakers (pictured in the image at the side) was Pierre Béland, Canadian Chair & Commissioner of the International Joint Commission(IJC), who presented on flooding and the Great Lakes.

Boating Notes
Recent Canadian drowning statistics show a modest downward trend, but the data still points to a few key boating safety thoughts, to keep our families and ourselves safe on the water. Learn more here:
Though the lakes may be starting to freeze up across Ontario, FOCA keeps an eye on all things boating through the year. Next on the calendar: the meeting of Ontario’s Recreational Boating Advisory Council(RBAC), taking place during January’s Toronto International Boat Show. FOCA participates on RBAC which provides Transport Canada with advice on all matters related to the safety of recreational boaters, the safe operation of recreational boats, the safe and environmentally friendly use of recreational waterways, and other issues of related interest.
FOCA’s Bronze-level Sponsors
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Dock in a Box
Canadian Canoe Museum
E-news Delivery Update
From late October through mid November, FOCA heard from several of our colleagues and Elert subscribers that they had received e-notices from FOCA that were not intended for them. We recognize that your time is valuable, and FOCA works hard to limit and target the amount of messages we send to you. We uncovered that a tech problem occurred at the email software end, and have received the following explanation from Constant Contact, the company FOCA uses for our Elerts and e-messaging:
“This organization uses Constant Contact, a company that provides email and other marketing services, to send bulk email. The sender’s account has experienced an issue that occasionally causes emails to go to more contacts that were initially targeted. Constant Contact is researching the issue to look into the root cause and prevent it from occurring in the future. We apologize for any unexpected emails, and the impact that this has had on this organization as well as their contacts. We strive to help our customers succeed and send the right message at the right time, and will work with this sender to address the issue.”
FOCA hopes you will continue to elect to receive our messages! We have lots of cottage country information to share with you throughout the year. You can update your consent to receive FOCA e-news, here:
FOCA Member Benefits

In addition to FOCA’s ongoing work on behalf of waterfront Ontario, our members gain access to several specific benefits, offers and discounts from our partners and corporate sponsors. Review all the benefits, here:

Member Associations: Do all your members know about their FOCA benefits? Login to the FOCA website to download a copy of the benefits sheet that includes the access codes for all current offers, or contact the FOCA office for a digital copy that you can circulate in your next Newsletter or e-news.

What others are saying…
FOCA always appreciates your feedback. Here’s what one member wrote after we sent our November Elert:
“Just wanted to let you know that your news letters are always very informing and really helps me keep our group up to date. Well done.” 
~G.S. of Ivanhoe Lake Cottagers’ Association
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for over half a century    |    705-749-3622    |
Stay Connected with FOCA:
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our videos on YouTube
Didn’t receive this message in your Inbox? Join thousands of Elert subscribers:
FOCA believes everyone has the right to hear about issues that affect waterfront Ontario. 
Those who have an existing relationship with FOCA may receive email from us, based on principles of Express or Implied Consent in Canadian Anti Spam legislation.
You can unsubscribe from Elerts at any time, using the ‘Safe Unsubscribe’ link below.
Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations,#201 – 159 King Street, Peterborough, ON K9J 2R8 Canada
Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact
Try email marketing for free today!

Condolences to the Weller Family

A long standing family member on Limerick Lake, Adele Weller, passed away in Irondequoit on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.
Pre-deceased by her husband Bruce and son Glenn. Adele is survived by her children; Gordon (Bonnie) Weller, Debi (Rick) Wahl, daughters-in-law; Candi Weller and Linda Williams, grandchildren; Adam, Karen, Kristin, Lisa, Patrick and J.C., 5 great grandchildren, sister Barbara (Walt) Greenfield, brother-in-law, Donald Weller, also several nieces, nephews and friends.

Her funeral service was held Monday, December 9, 11:00 am. Entombment Riverside Cemetery. To share a memory or send the family a condolence, please visit

Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, 2019

Condolences to the Sheppard Family

PATRICK SHEPPARD Patrick passed away on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, age 76, with his wife Linda and nephew Owen at his side. Patrick is lovingly remembered by Linda, his daughter Victoria and her partner Jonathan Page, his granddaughter Nia and Nia’s father Charles Onyango, Patrick’s brother Brian and partner, Sheila Lacroix, Linda’s sister Nancy Cymbalisty and her husband Ron, Patrick’s nephews and nieces Owen and Emily Sheppard and Kevin and Lindsey Cymbalisty, Jonathan’s daughters Kara and Madison, and many friends and colleagues. He was predeceased by his dear sister-in-law Barbara Sheppard, mother of Owen and Emily. He will be missed by his cousin Tom and the extended Sheppard family. In spite of the rare degenerative brain disease-progressive supranuclear palsy-that so negatively impacted his life for the past six or so years, Patrick approached every day without complaint, was tenacious in his will to live, and welcomed all the visits and outings from his many friends and family. Born in Toronto on July 6, 1943, Patrick attended Jarvis Collegiate Institute in downtown Toronto and then went on to study at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, graduating with a law degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1969. Patrick spent three terms as a Toronto alderman (city councillor) before resuming his legal career with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and as Discipline Counsel at the Law Society of Upper Canada. In 1991, Patrick was appointed to the bench of the Ontario Court of Justice and sat in Newmarket and Scarborough before moving to the Old City Hall in downtown Toronto. Patrick’s contributions to the legal profession were numerous and significant. He saw his position on the bench as a platform from which he could not only uphold the rule of law but also improve the lives of Ontarians, particularly those most in need. He is best known for his landmark judgement R. v. Parker (medical marijuana), and for being one of the co-founders of Ontario’s Gladue Court, along with Justice Rebecca Shamai, Justice Brent Knazan, and Jonathan Rudin of Aboriginal Legal Services. The Gladue Court or Aboriginal Persons Court was established in response to the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Gladue that instructed courts to consider alternative sanctions to imprisonment, “with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders.” This first Gladue Court opened in Toronto’s Old City Hall in 2001, and there are now an additional seven courts serving self-identifying Indigenous persons across Ontario. In 2016, for his incredible passion and leadership, Patrick received the Champion of Justice Award from Aboriginal Legal Services, celebrating the Gladue Court’s 15th anniversary and Aboriginal Legal Services’ 25th anniversary. In a speech from that event, one of his dear friends and colleagues wrote in part: “That’s the way I suspect he’d like to be known and honoured: in all his humanity. The life of privilege, the compassion of everyman … an inspiration to all of us who think we can improve the system. It’s about the beating heart of a human being.” In addition to his dedication to his work, Patrick’s passion was travel. He and Linda travelled extensively, starting their married life in a Volkswagen camper van in Europe for nine months in 1969-70. With their daughter Victoria, they visited places like Uzbekistan in the former Soviet Union in the ’90s, when it was not a well-known destination, and they were able to shake hands with Nelson Mandela on a visit to South Africa in the year 2000. With his sister-in-law Nancy and brother-in-law Ron, Patrick and Linda had some momentous adventures sea-kayaking in Belize and surviving a blizzard on the floe edge on Baffin Island. Patrick and Victoria did some father-daughter bonding when they both became certified scuba divers when Victoria was a teenager. Not to be forgotten was Patrick’s great love for the cottage on Limerick Lake. He and Linda spent many weeks in summers there with friends and family, Patrick always the expert barbeque chef, and in his spare time trail-building on the hundred acres of water- access-only cottage land. When they were in their fifties, Patrick introduced Linda to the joys of overnight canoe trips, and for many years, they looked forward to planning their next summer excursion, just the two of them, often in Algonquin Park. The family wants to recognize the compassionate care that Patrick received from staff at his residence in Christie Gardens. They are also grateful for the dedication of loyal friends and volunteers, and for the organizing talents of John Sewell, all of whom continued to make Patrick’s life warmer and richer even when this became more and more challenging. The family welcomes donations in Patrick’s memory to the Canada-Mathare Education Trust (, founded by his daughter Victoria in 2006. CMETrust provides education opportunities to children from Kenya’s second-largest slum in Nairobi, Mathare. Patrick visited Mathare twice and was an enthusiastic supporter of CMETrust and so proud of the compassion and tenacity of everyone involved. A celebration of Patrick’s life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be forwarded through