Membership facilitation

Dear Cottagers,

Thank you for your membership in the Limerick Waterways Ratepayers’ Association (LWRA) last year.  We would appreciate your support of the LWRA again this year.

 While this summer will look different from others on the social front, your LWRA Board of Directors continues to work on environmental issues that affect the lakes for everyone now and into the future.  We are investing in programs to prevent invasive species, maintain  the AED at Limerick Lodge and are monitoring the work being done on Limerick Estates.

In order to cover our fixed annual costs we need a minimum of 30 paid memberships.  Many of our members renew their dues at our social events so we hope you can consider renewing using electronic means even if we don’t see you in person.

Memberships can be renewed in a number of ways.

  1. Etransfer to    password “  limerick  “  (preferred method since transaction fee is nil)

  1. PayPal by credit or debit card.    Link:

  1. PayPal through our website at

If using PayPal on your mobile phone you may need to download the PayPal App

  1. Cash or cheque dropped off at Argue cottage (135 north shore) or at the Limerick Lodge store.

  1. Cheque mailed to  our Treasurer Mary Argue  (please respond to this email for the mailing  address)

Please encourage your cottage friends and neighbours to become members this year as well.

Enjoy the summer!

Best Regards,

Mike Douglas-Hecker

Tel: 647-290-1326

Email:  or

Welcome to Summer 2020

Dear Fellow Cottagers

This will certainly be a year to remember and we sincerely hope that our members and families have managed to avoid the Covid-19 and stay healthy. For our members that haven’t been able to reach the Limerick waters yet this year, please stay healthy and we look forward to your smiling faces when you do arrive. 

While we won’t be able to have our normal AGM, we hope to have one electronically.  Stay  tuned for an update in a few days.

We have not been able to have our usual get togethers but many of our members continue to contribute to the well being of our waters.  I will highlight a few


As reported by Ed Offshack the mining issue for the present is dormant. However we must be vigilant and act on known activities.  The group (which Ed is part of on our behalf) representing different area Cottagers’ Associations are still in contact with one another.


My recent discussions with the Regional Manager of Forest Lands indicates that due to Covid-19 there has been very limited activity and will be for some time. This organization has clearly indicated they will operate in a very sound, environmentally responsible way. As many may not know, this company is principally staffed at the headquarters level with personnel educated and trained to successfully manage a renewable resource.   

Invasive Species 

George Offshack and I attended the spring seminar of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) and what a scientific eye-opener it was. Little did I know there is a myriad of invasive species – plants, crustaceans, fish etc. that can adversely affect our water.  One action which resulted from that seminar through co-operation between the LWRA and Limerick Lake Lodge and Marina is that a boat wash was started up at the marina and a chained check-point was created at the boat launch to minimize boats foreign to our local waters launching without inspection or chemical cleaning. This builds on our LWRA signage at all boat entry points throughout our waters.  We have applied for a FOCA grant to offset some of the start-up costs.  Steenburg Lake Cottage Association is looking to follow suit as is Weslemkoon Lake Cottagers’ Association.  This is great news for us as Steenburg flows into Limerick. Please continue to encourage anyone bringing a boat to utilize the wash station.


As Jan Mackillican has reported this year was a successful “pump out year”.  Thank you Jan for your contribution and leadership and thank you to all of the participants in contributing to our well being.

Water testing – indications are that this is in momentary pause and I hope that we can fulfill this important effort in the years to come.


 Through discussions at the last 2 seminars of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) with scientists from Queen’s University and Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) there is interest in testing and examining our waters and sharing information with us on how we can help to further protect our waters.  This is another activity on hold but we will continue to pursue this in the future.

Turtles – update from Kelly 

Typically each year the turtles nest from mid-May to mid-July with June being the ‘peak’ month for nesting activity. After a slow start due to the erratic temperatures and weather patterns that accompanied spring the turtles are finally nesting and making up for the delay with a wave of nesting unlike past years. We are ‘NOW’ into the thick of turtle nesting season!

If you have known there to be turtle activity on your property be sure to check in the mornings and evenings for turtle visitors over the next couple weeks and into July. Should a turtle be observed nesting on your property you have the unique opportunity to protect the turtle nest with a nest protector and monitor the nest through the incubation period. Under your watchful eye this has the potential of contributing to species recovery efforts in your localized area by ensuring the hatchlings’ get the best possible start to what is hoped to be a long and fruitful journey. By selecting a location in the hatchlings intended body of water that has vegetation that will serve as protective covering as well as shallow and varying water depths for the little turtles to transition to as they grow this will significantly increase their chances of survival. This may seem like a small act but faced with the alternative being that hatchlings will instinctively head into open water where many predators are lying in wait and the survival rate is less then 1% your assistance could make a world of difference.

To read about helping nesting turtles, protecting nests, monitoring nests and other turtle related matters checkout the Think Turtle Conservation Initiative WordPress Blog or our Facebook page thinkturtleci. Thank you for engaging in efforts to help the Ontario turtles!

Local Government

As our Municipal Council nears their mid-term I would like to thank them for their continuing efforts to make Limerick a better place to live and play.

Limerick Lake Estates seems to be making progress. Our local Council is addressing this matter and making sure the developers are adhering to the covenants of the Building Code and the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) ruling. 

Summer Activities

We will discuss and seek input at our AGM on how we can have some summer fun while still meeting our social distancing requirements.  If anyone has ideas, please share with Mary who leads our canoe activities and Alan who leads our annual sailing regatta. Maybe a good summer to do something where we can help out our community while social distancing – i.e. a clean-up weekend of our roadways into the lakes.

Sailboat Races 

The 2020 Sailboat Races will take place on the Sunday of the long week in August just as they have in past years. The starter’s horn will sound at 2 p.m. sharp in front of Alan Coxwell’s cottage in the middle of the lake with two laps of the triangular course around the islands and two buoys. There are no classes in this race so if you have a sailboat you are welcome to join in. 

Social distancing should not be a problem, especially if Bob Bennett is as far behind as he was in the 2019 race. The trophy will be awarded somewhere shortly after the race is completed.  (Likely on Alan’s dock)


Member renewal is even easier than before- we now have paypal.  Please sign onto our blog and click on the paypal link in the top right corner. 

In closing – as we get ready to enjoy summer, please be safe and wherever you can help a neighbor – getting their groceries or meds or a small chore, so that we can minimize pressure on our local communities, while we are helping each other.

To all – have a great summer and Happy Cottaging!

Best Regards

Mike Douglas-Hecker

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,
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