President’s message 2019

Dear Cottagers,
Welcome to Summer 2019. Let’s look forward to sunny days ahead and black flies behind us!
  Thank you for your confidence in asking me to be president of Limerick Waterways Ratepayers Association (LWRA), allowing me to follow in the footsteps of many dedicated and energetic people, who have worked tirelessly to contribute to the wellbeing of our lake community since the inception of the LWRA.
There are many challenges we face as cottagers – including climate changing, rising waters, threats of local mining (more on that subject from Ed Offshack), Limerick Lake Estates, invasive species, water quality and environmental & ecological stewardship. Together we can continue to make our waters and shores one of the best places on earth.
We have seen a number of new faces in cottage ownership over the last few years – let’s make an effort this year to engage and welcome them to our lake community.
We look forward to an exciting summer with lots happening.
  We have our AGM scheduled for 10 a.m. on June 30th at the Limerick Lake Marina lodge (thank you George for your courtesy) and we hope to have some guest speakers and hand outs with information to benefit cottagers on fire safety, some new dump updates, updates on Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA)  and their benefits to our cottagers.
  On Saturday morning July 13th at 10 a.m., in partnership with Limerick Lake Marina, your LWRA will be jointly presenting a 2-hour training class in First Aid/ Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)/ Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in Limerick Lodge.

  Neighborhood activities: August 1 to 4 – Bancroft Rockhound Gemboree. Ongoing activities at the Bancroft Playhouse. Coe Hill Fair is usually late August. Limerick Centre – usually has several activities & suppers throughout the summer.
LWRA events
–  Saturday, August 3 – 10 a.m. at Frasers Beach, Limerick Lake canoe races (more info to follow from Mary)
– Saturday, August 3 from  3:30 to 6 p.m. our kids fun afternoon, followed by our Annual LWRA Picnic featuring a FREE Pot Luck Picnic on the grounds at Limerick Lake Lodge.
– Sunday, August 4th at 2 p.m. Annual sailboat races on Limerick Lake around the islands course. Anyone with any type of sailboat is welcome to join in the fun.
Please remember to update/renew  your membership. Your membership brings many advantages to you and please encourage your neighbors to do so as well, allowing us and generations to come to embrace the cottage life that we enjoy.
As always your input and assistance is welcome. If you would like to participate in the preparation of any of our activities please let us know, by email, phone, cottage visit or in passing.

Best Regards,

Mike Douglas-Hecker

Tel: 647-290-1326

First meeting of the season

The initial meeting of the Limerick Waterways Ratepayers’ Association (LWRA) for 2019 was held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 in the cottage of Ed Offshack and Kyle Kieper on Limerick’s north shore. Members present were: President Michael Douglas-Hecker (who stepped up to be President of the organization upon the resignation of Kim Carson, who has now taken a seat around the Limerick Township Council table); Treasurer Mary Argue; Secretary Alan Coxwell; Directors Melanie Hamilton-Porter, Kyle Kieper, Edward Offshack, Lexi Kindbom, and Sasha Vojnov. Members absent: Paul Clark, Alex Topitsch and Jillian O’Connell. Past LWRA President Jan Mackillican, who has also recently taken a councillor’s chair on Limerick Township Council, attended the meeting to brief members on recent happenings within the municipality. 

First for consideration was the status of the Limerick Estates Development which has been a primary concern of the LWRA since it was first proposed back in 1972. Upon the death of the original owner the 320 acre property, bordering on Limerick Lake and the creek to St. Ola, was turned over to his son and it has since been taken over by a financier named Dwight Powell. Councillor Mackillican says council believes three phases are planned to push the development forward, including hydro and proper road reconstruction, and that if and when this is done it is believed the project will be up for sale to another developer. One other condition applies, no matter who owns the property, and that is the road which allows some current cottagers access through the development property must always remain open to them. 

The other major recent concern is the McBride mining proposal, focused on mineral exploration to the northwest along Highway 620 to Coe Hill, which has not been declared totally dead yet, but the good news is their permit has not been renewed at this time. Exploration for other minerals in the watershed of the LWRA is of some concern as other mining proposals may be put forward in the future so your LWRA must maintain a close watch on other potential developments.

  For anyone driving into St. Ola this summer there will be construction to deal with as the “Road to St. Ola”, (which is the title of a book written by local author David Trumble) will be getting pavement for the first time in its history. This will probably take place in July and Limerick Lake Road may get pavement in 2020 if grant applications by Limerick Township receive approval.

Limerick Council is also considering mandatory inspections for all water and septic systems in the municipality. Recent surveys in area municipalities have shown that 47 per cent of the systems inspected needed remedial work and 17 per cent failed to meet standards. Grant money is also being sought to upgrade trails and washroom facilities near Steenburg Lake in the McGeachy Conservation Area, which the Crowe Valley Conservation Authority owns. Upon her departure from the meeting Councillor Mackillican was thanked for her input as she headed back out into the first sunny weekend of the season, leaving us to finish the bagels our new president personally imported from Montreal.

Another municipal topic we have become aware of since the meeting is of concern to those who own boathouses in the bay near the dam in St. Ola. A proposal by the Limerick Planning Committee concerning those floating boathouses, which are accessed from the shore in the municipal park, is under consideration. At the last Council meeting on June 17 the matter was sent back to the Planning Committee to consider having the boathouses become formally identifiable concerning legal ownership and then obtain proof of third party liability insurance. Council is also considering a leasing fee as they are either attached to or accessed from township land. Interested cottagers can attend the planning meetings and will find meeting times by either calling the township office at 613-474-2863 or accessing the website at:

Social activities organized by your LWRA took up most of the remaining time in the meeting. The traditional canoe races will be held at 10 a.m. at Fraser’s Beach on Saturday, August 3. On Sunday, August 4 at 2 p.m. sailors will be racing the island course for the coveted trophy which has spent way too many years on the Hannah cottage fireplace ledge. (Rumour has it Bob Bennett is back with a secret weapon after several years absence due to a demasting incident in a very high-wind race a few years back.)

For many years your LWRA has experimented with the timing and format of the annual cottagers’ picnic on the grounds of Limerick Lodge. This year the event will be a FREE Potluck Dinner. There will be no admission charge. In exchange cottagers are encouraged to bring their favourite dishes with enough to feed the number in their party. There will be an LWRA barbeque available for those who might like to cook something onsite. In the hope of a “Zero Waste” event to set an example for the young kids, cottagers are asked to bring their own plates and cutlery and handle any trash as they would at their own cottage. Games for the younger set will start around 3:30 and go to 4:30 with dinner starting around 5 p.m. In respect for the lodge guests, many of whom will be at the Bancroft Gemboree all day, our goal is to be cleaned up by around 6:30 so they may enjoy the quiet of Limerick after a busy day in Bancroft.

Any cottagers with an interest in the LWRA are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will be held in Limerick Lake Lodge at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 30th. Topics to be considered on that day include financial status of the LWRA, potential mining exploration in the area, fire prevention, the value of being a member of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA), municipal updates and possible inter-association meetings with other area lake associations. Memberships in the LWRA will be available at both the AGM and the picnic. At $50 per cottage your membership helps finance the LWRA for things such as insurance to cover all activities of the organization and FOCA membership. Perhaps more importantly your name on our membership list gives us “strength in numbers” when it comes to important issues which need to be addressed in order to achieve the objective of your LWRA, which is to protect and enhance the lake experience for future generations.      


FOCA May 2019 Newsletter

FOCA Elert – May 2019
Spring flooding 2019 – the aftermath
High Water Events and Response
It has been another extremely wet start to spring across waterfront Ontario. Reports from areas of Muskoka and around the Ottawa River in particular, suggest that flood damage to waterfront structures will surpass 2013 and 2017 high water events.
image of 2017 flooding levels on Stoney Lake
The Ontario Premier has toured some of the affected areas, and recently committed to strike a “Flood Resilience Task Force” and undertake a review of Muskoka’s water management. FOCA and our regional partners have been calling for many years now for a review of the 2006 Muskoka Water Management Plan, and we look forward to further developments.
In related news, FOCA’s partners at the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association recently posted a link to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s tips for what to do after a flood event, if you have a septic system.
For more on all these topics, including updates and useful links, visit:
Flooding and your Electrical Services

Hydro One will waive their connection fees/delivery charges for the disconnection period, for customers affected by flooding. Please call 1-800-434-1235 to have power safely disconnected. For information, visit:

Delayed Start for TSW Navigation Season

Due to unsafe boating conditions (high water levels and flows), Parks Canada has announced it is delaying the start of the 2019 navigation season for the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) until Friday, May 24, 2019. The TSW is closed to all boat traffic, and all forms of water-based activities are discouraged, to ensure boater safety and help to mitigate shoreline erosion and property damage experienced by local residents and businesses. More info:

Note: the Rideau Canal WILL be open for the season on-schedule, at 10:00am on May 17, 2019. More info:
Navigation Restrictions lifted in Muskoka
Effective May 15, 2019, Transport Canada has lifted its previous order that had restricted navigation on Lake Muskoka, the North and South branches of the Muskoka River and the Moon River. However, the OPP advise that waterways affected by flood conditions continue to have hidden dangers. Fast-moving water and unexpected debris floating on top, and just under the surface, of the water will continue to pose a serious risk. Get boat safety tips and links, here:
Cottage Opening and Safe Boating
Safe Boating Awareness Week starts this Saturday, so spend a minute with FOCA’s Executive Director, as he prepares his boat for the season. Also, find a link to additional cottage opening tips, in the video:
Boating Tips - May Long Weekend Update 2019
Boating Tips – May Long Weekend Update 2019

Advocacy & Policy Updates
FOCA’s Municipal Primer for Lake Associations

FOCA is proud to release a new resource for member Associations: “A Guide to Municipal Engagement” as a one-stop reference about:

  • the important role played by municipalities in issues that are key to waterfront residents
  • how, and why, to engage with your municipal partners, year-round
  • additional notes and partners’ tips and resources for public participation in municipal politics.
FOCA is sending a letter to the Council of each cottage-country Municipality, and we encourage your lake association to do the same with your local Council(s), to open or to reinforce a line of communication, and remind them of the importance of timely and appropriate public engagement. Find tips for your own letter in the FOCA Municipal Guide, available for download here:
NOTE: you will need to have your FOCA Member Login handy, to access the Municipal Guide, and other members-only resources on the FOCA website. Can’t find or don’t have your Login? Contact us by email, and we will reply during regular business hours. (The FOCA office will be closed for the May long weekend, from Friday 5pm, until Tuesday morning at 9am.)
FOCA’s Gold-level Sponsors:
CottageLINK Rental Management
FOCA Programs
FOCA’s Cottage Succession Seminar Series

Plan to attend an in-person event with estate lawyer Peter Lillico this summer at the 2019 FOCA Cottage Succession Seminars. Our first stops are:

  • Coboconk on June 1st – co-hosted by the Balsam Lake Association
  • Ramara on June 22nd – as part of the North Mara Beach Residents Association AGM
Other sessions this summer will take us to Buckhorn, Perth and Haliburton. For more details and how to register:
Lake Partner Program
FOCA is pleased to confirm that the Lake Partner Program (LPP) will be in full operation for 2019, and our many volunteers are encouraged to begin your sampling for this season. Many thanks to all the Associations and individuals who answered FOCA’s call to write letters and otherwise make their interests known to the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and to the Premier. The MECP decision to continue funding the program through 2019 was aided by the strong community support for this vital long-term monitoring program! Find out more:
LPP Volunteers are reminded to review FOCA’s sampling tips video:
Also, when you’re out sampling this season, FOCA and the LPP encourage you to bring along a daughter, son, or grandkids to help out and to learn a bit about what you’re doing, and why the lake matters to you.

Then, send a picture of your “Water Sampler Assistant” in action to to be entered into the running to receive a boating safety prize from FOCA! The prize draw will take place on the Civic Holiday weekend in August 2019.

Recent Events & Regional Notices
Muskoka Stewardship Conference
April 26, 2019 – Huntsville. FOCA was proud to once again participate and be a sponsor of this excellent event. This year’s theme was “Your Watershed: Connecting the Drops.” One of the day’s presenters was Emily Shapiera, FOCA’s Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator. A resounding theme of the Conference was the interconnectedness of uplands (forests, wetlands, streams) to the state of our water quality, aquatic environments, and biodiversity. Review the day’s slide presentations, here:
Kawartha Lake Stewards 2019 AGM
May 11, 2019 – Bobcaygeon. FOCA joined the great Kawartha Lake Stewards Association (KLSA) volunteers at their annual event at the Bobcaygeon Community Centre. The event featured “Lake Ice Dynamics and the Kawarthas: Climate Change at your Dock.” Click the image at the sideto download the full 2019 KLSA report (PDF, 72 pages).


Mapping Natural Heritage Systems

May 14, 2019 – Bridgenorth. FOCA has been one of the key stakeholders in the ‘Kawarthas Naturally Connected‘ initiative. The final product is an interactive map of natural heritage systems that span the Kawarthas region. Lake Associations and community organizations are encouraged to zoom in, apply the layers, and identify priority target areas for conservation near you! Get details and a link to the map, here:

FOCA’s Silver-level Sponsors
Cottage Life
Waterfront Living
Great Lakes Water Levels Predictions
On May 8, 2019, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) released their prediction that several Great Lakes water levels will reach record highs this year. Get details:
 (Great Lakes image reproduced from the NOAA website) 
Fish Information for your Lake
Find your local fish information, from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Fish ON-Line website by clicking here. Zoom in and choose layers to see where fishing is allowed and prohibited, to find public boat launches and local fishing regulations, as well as licencing information and links to local weather information.
Remember: if you are moving a boat between waterbodies, it is imperative to be part of the effort to PREVENT the spread of invasive species by cleaning and draining and drying your boat. Get more important information from FOCA here:
Upcoming Events
Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 – Toronto. FOCA will attend the CSBC Annual General Meeting. The CSBC was organized in 1991 to improve communications about safe boating issues between government departments and agencies servicing recreational boaters’ interest, and private companies and organizations in the field of recreational boating. Learn more:

Sustain Algoma

Saturday, June 1, 2019 – The Sustain Algoma Expo promotes exciting environmental projects, products, and services in the Algoma District. The event is family-friendly and takes place at the Johnson Township Community Centre, Desbarats, Ontario. Details are here:

Teeny Tiny Summit

Friday, June 7, 2019 – Haliburton. Join FOCA at this final event in the 2019 “Teeny Tiny Summit” series, which is focused on local issues, success stories, and networking opportunities. This event is titled “Unlocking the Potential of Youth.” Details and registration link are here:

Septic Savvy Seminar
Saturday, June 8, 2019 – Plevna. This event is being organized by the North Frontenac Lake Association Alliance, with support from FOCA and other regional partners. Details are in the event poster: click to download (PDF, 1 page).
Road Summit

Saturday, June 15, 2019 – Havelock-Belmont-Methuen. This meeting of local road associations will be the third gathering since 2013. Hosted by Belmont Lake Cottagers’ Association, the event will take place at the Round Lake Hall, north of Havelock. FOCA’s Communications Coordinator is on the agenda, speaking about preliminary results from FOCA’s 2019 Road Survey. Get event details, and how to register to attend (space is limited), by downloading this information sheet (PDF, 1 page).

North Kawartha Lakes Association Meeting

Saturday, June 22, 2019 – Northey’s Bay Road. Spread the word and plan to attend the NORKLA Spring Meeting at the Wilson Park Community Centre. The topic is “Lake Health: What you need to do.” Click here to download the event poster with speaker details (PDF, 1 page).

Safety & Risk Management
Lyme disease and Ticks

Click the image above to download the new 2019 Lyme Risk map (PDF, 5 pages of info)
Our partners at regional Health Units have been in touch with FOCA, to remind all outdoor enthusiasts about the risk of Lyme disease in Ontario. “Mosquitoes and blackflies aren’t the only pests,” to watch for in cottage country, said Bill Eekhof of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “Lyme disease can be a serious illness spread to humans by the bite of an infected blacklegged (or ‘deer’) tick.”
Public Health Ontario has updated the “risk map” for the province; click the map image above, to download an updated copy.

Also, our partners at Peterborough Public Health have brought to our attention a new website, which includes images to help the public identify ticks, tips for safe tick removal, and mapped data about tick sightings.

Get all this, plus links to your local health unit, and more information about Lyme disease, from FOCA here:
FOCA’s Bronze-level Sponsors
Dock in a Box
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Canadian Canoe Museum
On a light note…
Signs of Spring
This excerpt from the Weekly digest for Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol, on May 13, 2019 struck us as topical:
“Signs of Spring: the snow is almost gone from the Seven Generations parking lot on Veteran’s Driver, the trees are finally starting to leaf out, and Safeway has put the ‘take-a-number’ dispenser back up at the deli. Seriously. They only use it in the summer.”
Yes, it’s that time of year again!
Learn more about important events and programs in northwestern Ontario from FOCA member, Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association:
Association Tools
Planning your Association AGM or Newsletter?
FOCA can help with that.

Got an Association meeting coming up? Please include a quick update from FOCA for your members. Share information from the 2018 Year in Review, or 20/20 Vision: Strategic Framework.

Have a 5 or 10 minute spot on your meeting agenda? Show one of FOCA’s videos! Stream them on YouTube if you’ve got internet access, or contact us for tips on downloading to a laptop:

Need an article for your Newsletter? Consider reproducing an article from FOCA’s last Lake Stewards Newsletter on lyme disease, cyber safety, or other topics. Or visit the FOCA website to search for other articles, by topic:

Got some extra space in your Newsletter?Please include this little FOCA ad (click the image at the side to download a PDF – reproduce at 4″ width, maximum) to remind your members about our work and all the benefits they receive, as FOCA members!

Contact the office for any assistance with any of these materials or file formats.
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for over 55 years    |    705-749-3622    |
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Asking Hastings County Council for Resolutions on mining

by Monica Nikopoulos

Limerick Area Conservation Coalition (LACC)
Hello Community!
On Tuesday April 16, LACC along with First Nation Deputy Grand Council Chief Marsden for the S/E Region of Ontario for the Anishinabek Nation will be giving a brief power-point presentation to Hastings County Council to consider passing a similar Resolution as Limerick Township has, and for Hastings County to also consider passing a Resolution to oppose mining explorations citing environmental and socio-economic incompatibilities.
This monthly County Council meeting will begin at 9:30am at the County of Hastings Court House and Administration Building at 235 Pinnacle Street between Campbell and Patterson Streets.  Public pay parking is across the road.
There is limited parking and seating, perhaps only about 30 chairs. These county sessions are open to the public to attend and the media will be present. LACC welcomes a small showing of quiet support for those who can attend.
Please note, this is not an information session, this is a normal County Council meeting, which does not accept questions/answers from the public. It is a very formal, respectful, court-room type environment where First Nation and LACC will speak our concerns very briefly regarding the mining explorations with LACC respectfully requesting Resolutions.

Miner drops project in Limerick

Major victory to announce on the McBride Limerick Mine issue!

by Ed Offshack

This morning, PANCON, the company that had joined with Derek McBride, geologist and holder of mineral rights to a potential Nickel, Copper and Cobalt mining claim in Limerick Township, announced they were pulling out of the venture.

Their specific statement:

“…the Company has made the decision to terminate its Option Agreement on the McBride Project in southeastern Ontario.”

The geographic area of the exploration and claims is roughly bounded by Highway 62, Old Hastings Road, Highway 620 and Steenburg Lake North Road.   The land includes the watershed to Steenburg Lake and Dickey Lake (note Steenburg lake drains into Limerick Lake).

They discussed at length consolidating their exploration work in Northern Ontario, which they describe as a low risk environment with social licence to operate.

The implication (our words, not theirs, but a reasonable holistic interpretation of the news release), is that a metals extraction mine in Southern Ontario does not have social licence to operate (which is correct, the pressure campaign of LWRA and partner neighboring lake associations, and the LACC group, proves that) and thus is high risk to pursue.

Importantly… while this is a major victory, it’s only one battle.   Note that McBride retains the mineral rights in this area, and could still find other investors or exploration companies which want to try to pursue this.   So, LWRA in partnership with the neighboring Lake Associations will keep moving forward with our work, to make it clear that this land should be forever “off the table” for a metals extraction mining operation.

For those who had not heard, the lake association coalition prepared a resolution for Limerick Township council stating categorical opposition to metals extraction mining in the area… it was presented at the March 18, 2019 council meeting, and with minor changes, it passed with unanimous support of Limerick Township Council.   Thanks goes out to our township councillors and Reeve for their stated public opposition to the proposed mine.

Our President resigns

Hello Everyone,
In light of the fact that I now sit as a councillor at the Township of Limerick, any issue that involves LWRA would force me to declare a conflict of interest and I would have to remove myself from the room and voting on that topic.   There are new Municipal rules regarding conflict of interest for councillors and there are new Municipal rules with Integrity Commissioners roles as of March 1, 2019.
As I represent all ratepayers in Limerick it makes the most amount of sense that I resign as President of LWRA effective immediately.
As of this email, please accept my resignation as President of LWRA and any role on the executive.
I have enjoyed my time serving on LWRA and any documents or information that are in my possession I will happily provide to any other members or the new President once they are elected.
I wish you continued success in the future.
Kimberly Carson


Official Notice 
Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, Inc.
Notice to Members of Annual General Meeting
Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. EST
The Boulevard Club
1491 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M6K 3C2
  1. To approve the minutes of the FOCA Annual General Meeting held on March 3, 2018.
  2. To accept the audited financial statements of FOCA for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018.
  3. To approve the slate of Directors recommended by the FOCA Nominating committee.
  4. Any other matters that may come before the said meeting.
Called on behalf of the Directors of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, Inc.
by Marlin Horst, President
The FOCA Board of Directors:
  Terry Beettam         Lake Weslemkoon Conservation Association
  Jeff Clark                Go Home Lake Association
  Pat Drew                 Lake of the Woods Property Owners Association
  John Hickey            Indian Point Property Owners Association
  Marlin Horst            Baptiste Lake Association
  Terry Kennedy        Kennebec Lake Association
  Tony Lepine            Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners Association
  Wendy Sue Lyttle   Catchacoma Cottagers Association
  Daryle Moffatt        Otter Lake Ratepayers Association
  Bruce Moore          Canonto Lake Property Owners Association
  Bev Thorpe            Kennebec Lake Association
  Ian White               Lake of Bays Association
Note: The nominations slate will be presented for member approval at the meeting on March 2, 2019.
If you cannot access the linked PDF files above, please contact the office at
Any questions or clarifications required may be directed in advance to the Executive Director, Terry Rees at, or to the President of the FOCA Board of Directors, Marlin Horst at
More details about the 2019 AGM and Spring Seminar, and a registration link, can be found here: