FOCA Elert ~ April 2023
Make sure you see all the updates -
you're at the end when you see this image again.

FOCA Event - register now!
webinar: Cardiac Safe Communities & Your Association
Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at 12:00pm - is your cottage community prepared for cardiac emergencies? Join FOCA and the experts from Action First Aid for a "lunch and learn" webinar about the importance of automated external defibrillators (AED) and how to create a cardiac safe cottage community.
Highlights of this webinar session:
  • hear real cardiac arrest save stories
  • find out more about AEDs - when they are needed and why they are important
  • watch a quick AED demo, and learn how to take care of your AED
  • learn about 24/7 outdoor AED access options for a cottage community.
Registration is required for this one-hour event, but it is free to attend. Please share this webinar information with your cottage community.
Get your cottage ready with reliable and fast internet
Spring is here!

Stay connected at the cottage with powerful WiFi coverage and reliable Ignite Internet, powered by wireless home internet technology.

Visit to view packages and check availability at your address, or visit the Rogers booth at your nearest cottage show. See you there!
Bay of Quinte Home Show: Apr 28th - 30th
Trenton Arena, 240 RCAF Road, Trenton, ON K0K 3W0
FOCA Champions Safe & Affordable Rural Living
Water Levels: Monitoring Conditions
An early melt plus recent wet conditions mean water levels have been high across many parts of Ontario, and several regions are under Flood Watches or Warnings.

Pictured at the side: a screen capture of the Ontario Flood Map at April 24, 2023.
Meanwhile, Lake of the Woods water levels are rising but at moderate levels, still near the 50th percentile as snow continues to melt and warmer weather arrives in northwestern Ontario. This should be welcome news after last year's flooding, where the region saw over 300% more precipitation in April and May of 2022 compared to the previous year (2021 was the driest year on record since 1938). Read more from the Lake of the Woods Control Board (LWCB) about current conditions. (image: LWCB 'Before you Build' webpage)
Pictured at the side: the real-time hydrometric data for Lake Rosseau at Port Carling, to April 23, 2023. Source: Government of Canada Water Office.

For anyone located in the District of Muskoka, part of their Integrated Watershed Management Project includes new floodplain mapping, designed to better identify areas at risk of seasonal flooding. Learn more here.
Visit Conservation Ontario (source of the image at the side) for more about floodplain mapping, and how it can ensure public safety and prevent the costly impacts of flooding and erosion.

Finally, learn about being prepared, and get links to current flood messaging, on FOCA's Water Levels webpage.
related news: Wake Awareness
Higher spring water levels also mean potentially more severe damage from boat wake, which can cause damage to docks, swamp out nesting shore birds, and cause shoreline erosion among other impacts. Be aware of the size of your boat wake during displacement, transition and planing speeds. Learn more about how to Be #WakeAware.
Spring Burning
Despite the cooler temperatures, we need to be aware that spring burning (especially before the leaves are on the trees) can be particularly hazardous. Composting your leaves and brush is a safer alternative to burning them. Learn more and watch a spring burning video from FOCA on our webpage:
upcoming events: FOCA Cottage Succession Seminars
FOCA is thrilled to be on the road again with estate lawyer Peter Lillico, helping families plan for the intergenerational transfer of the cottage! We hope you'll join us at one of our 2023 events, or speak with us about becoming a host for an event for your member Association (a few 2023 spots remain). Here's the event calendar, so far:
  • Sat., June 3rd in-person for Hastings Highlands FOCA member groups including the Baptiste Lake Association, Diamond Lake Cottage Owners Association, Kamaniskeg Area Property Owners, Lake St. Peter Property Owners' Association, Mink Lake Property Owners Association, Papineau Lake Cottagers Association, and the Salmon Trout Property Owners Association
  • Wed., June 7th by webinar for the Bennett & Fagan Lakes Association
  • Wed., June 14th by webinar for the Severn River Association of Property Owners
  • Wed., June 21st by webinar for the Farlain Lake Community Association

Learn more about the topic, get registration details, or purchase access to a digital recording of a previous session, here:
FOCA's Gold Level Sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Advocates for Responsive Government
Short Term Rental developments
In March, Seguin Township Council rejected a proposed recommendation to introduce a short-term rental (STR) by-law and licensing program. Meanwhile, the City of Kawartha Lakes Council voted on April 18th to move ahead with their STR by-law, implementing a soft start to the program for 2023 that includes a yearly license, insurance requirements, and an annual fee of $1,200 for an un-hosted accommodation. Get links to these and related updates from FOCA's STR webpage:
Boat Noise Consultation Results Released
In early 2022 Transport Canada (TC) launched a “Let’s Talk” web portal to collect public comments about possible changes to small vessel (boat) noise emissions. This month (April 2023) TC has released, “What we heard: Small vessel noise emissions” outlining which of the options proposed was most popular with public respondents. Get a link to this and related materials on FOCA's Noise Pollution webpage. (image above from
FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
Virtual Meetings: Ongoing Flexibility
Our partners at Nonprofit Law Ontario reported earlier this month that the Ontario government introduced a bill on April 3, 2023 that includes amendments to several business law statutes intended to eliminate barriers and enhance flexibility for corporations and businesses to implement certain virtual processes. If passed, the proposed changes would replace the temporary legislative framework for virtual processes (which was enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is intended to expire on September 30, 2023). Member Associations that are incorporated in Ontario should note that the bill proposes that certain corporations may continue to hold virtual or hybrid meetings, and that voting (elections) may be conducted virtually or in hybrid form, unless the corporation's governing documents provide otherwise. Learn more here.
(image: a FOCA virtual Board Committee meeting from 2022)
FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
last call: Green Shovels - Invasive Phragmites Projects
Following successful projects by FOCA member Associations undertaken in 2022 with Green Shovels Collaborative funding, FOCA is pleased to issue a new call for funding proposals from our member Associations for on-the-ground projects focused on invasive Phragmites, to start this summer and be completed by February 2024. Apply by May 1st for up to $4,000 in funding. Access the application form on our webpage:
upcoming event: Water Canada Summit
June 7-9, 2023 - Ottawa. FOCA's Executive Director Terry Rees will be a featured speaker at the 2023 Water Canada Summit, themed "Water Connects". Learn more about the lineup of influential water voices scheduled to speak.
ASHMuskoka Reports Released
The Friends of the Muskoka Watershed have released their research reports related to the ASHMuskoka project that has been exploring the use of wood ash from residential wood stoves to restore damage that declining calcium levels have caused in Muskoka's forests as a long-term result of acid rain. Access the final reports and find out in a quick video message how much ash you would need to add to your own forest to help restore calcium levels.
Celebrating 60 Years of FOCA
Our Shared History
On January 7th, 1963, 125 people representing 40 cottage associations met and decided the time was right to form a provincial association. By the spring of 1963, the organization was called The Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations. Today, FOCA represents 50,000 families in more than 525 lake, road, river, camp, and residents' associations.
Were you involved with FOCA in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s?
We are looking for photographs from that era of our organizational history. If you have images of past FOCA events or directors, historic pictures of your own lake Association in action through the decades, or images that capture the essence of cottage country, please share them with FOCA this year!
YOUR ROLE: Upload your images to our community photo project: "Ontario Cottaging through the Decades." Please use this link and share it with other cottage country enthusiasts:

Each month throughout 2023, we'll share some of the submitted photos in the Elert.
Here's another amazing submission:
This image comes from a May 1985 article with the following caption:

"Begin self-help program" - The Manitouwabing Lake Community Association [MLCA] has formed a Pollution and Water Quality Committee. With the assistance of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the committee began a 5-year self-help water quality monitoring program on Tuesday, May 28th. The committee is shown at the Smith Pine Dock. (standing – from left): Wyn Ashwood, Jim Boyd, Boyce Jones, Committee Chairman Charles Scriver, (kneeling – from left): Association President Shirley Faryna and Clarence Hardie. At right, Environmental Officer Frank Driscoll demonstrates how members involved in the program should take samples. (Committee members absent from the photo are Barbara Booth, Linda Schofield, Sheila Hardie, Al Wright, Pat Wright and Len Pawlett.)

Yes, that's a secchi disk Frank is holding! Thanks to Jennifer Ghent-Fuller of MLCA for forwarding this image and others, from scrap books kept by Shirley Faryna, the founding President of MLCA.
There are many ways YOU can contribute to FOCA's 60th anniversary celebrations:

  1. submit pictures to our archival photo project
  2. hold the date & plan to join us for our 60th anniversary celebration event on Saturday, September 23rd in Peterborough, Ontario
  3. make a donation today to support the future of FOCA's work on behalf of waterfront Ontario
  4. PSSST! Pass it on. Be part of our campaign to refer a friend or an association to become a new FOCA Member, and you could win a prize this year.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Volunteers like you make this organization strong.
FOCA's Silver Level Sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
Partner Updates & Regional Notices
Funding for Environmental Projects
The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is accepting applications from incorporated organizations for the 2023 Ontario Community Environment Fund for community-based projects like shoreline cleanups, habitat restoration and tree planting in the Southwest, West-Central, and Northern Regions of the province. Learn more about eligibility and apply by May 30th, 2023.
Lakehead Region Birding Festival
May 27-28, 2023 - the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA) has announced that registration is open for the 2023 Dorion Birding Festival.

Join LRCA and expert birders for a two-day birding experience. Information and registration is here.
Eastern Ontario Cell & High Speed Internet
FOCA’s colleagues at the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) are progressing on their efforts to improve cell coverage and high speed internet across Eastern Ontario. Read more in this recent update from EORN, as reported in the Kingston Whig Standard.
FOCA's Bronze level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA is Building Capacity & Growing the Network
Welcome, Adam!
Please join us in welcoming Adam Edwards, FOCA's new Membership Coordinator. Adam is a graduate of Trent University with a degree in Sociology/Philosophy, and a graduate of Fleming College in Business Administration. He is passionate about fitness and outdoor activities.

Learn more about Adam and the whole FOCA team, on our website:
FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
TIP: Have you consulted these FOCA member resources?
FOCA wants volunteer associations to thrive! FOCA is the hub of a network of 525 member Associations with critical first-hand information about governance practices, engagement, success stories, and shared experiences. There is no need to “reinvent the wheel” when there are handy resources to be shared among FOCA members.
First, login on the FOCA Association Governance & Best Practices webpage for access to these materials and more:

  • digital download: Starting & Building an Effective Waterfront/Lake Association, or Starting & Building an Effective Road Association
  • webinar recording: how incorporated associations can comply with the Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act by the deadline in 2024
  • templates for creating a full Association Welcome Binder, or a handy one-page visitor etiquette and information sheet.

If you need assistance with the member login, contact us for help during business hours.
Final Thoughts
Earth Day Reflections
Earth Day was celebrated on Saturday, April 22, 2023. As we reflect on another Earth Day come and gone, let’s all remember that fresh water systems are among the most threatened ecosystems in the world. We all have a role to play to keep them healthy and resilient for all the benefits they provide – to our health, to nature, to our economy.

In other news: How big are Ontario's largest lakes? Check this out. According to the World Atlas, these are the 16 biggest lakes in the province. Did yours make the list?
Of note: among the many notable Canadian authors of this important paper about Emerging threats and persistent conservation challenges for freshwater biodiversity is Dr. John Smol of Queen’s University, a longtime friend of FOCA. Dr. Smol recently received the esteemed Vega Medal, a Nobel Prize-equivalent in geography, where he was lauded as: "unquestionably one of the most prolific scientists in paleolimnology, and certainly the most prolific regarding northern lake systems." (image: His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, at left, bestows the 2023 Vega Medal to Dr. John Smol, at centre) Congratulations, Dr. Smol!

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for the past 60 years.
Connect with our channels:
Find out more about YOUR ROLE, today.
Did someone forward this to you? Join 18,000 fellow subscribers:
Click here to get FOCA Elerts delivered to your inbox, monthly.

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.