FOCA Elert ~ February 2023
Make sure you see all the updates -
you're at the end when you see this image again:
FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
Last call to register: in person registration closes this Friday!
FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar on Saturday, March 4, 2023 - In person at the Bayview Golf & Country Club, and by webinar (image below: Andy Metelka)
Join us for FOCA's 60th anniversary Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Spring Seminar for Member Associations, as we "come out of our shells" this year and return to more in-person events.

2023 Spring Seminar topics:
  • FireSmart principles for your waterfront community, by the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services branch of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • "Tick Talk" - tracking the spread of ticks that carry Lyme disease in Ontario, by the Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network
  • Land use planning in a Bill 23 world - what it means for cottage country, by the Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association
  • Property resilience in the face of climate change, by the Director of Flood and Wildfire Resilience of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation
  • Biodiversity and resiliency: a Call to Action for Nature, by the Chair of the Ontario Biodiversity Council.
  • FOCA priorities, programs, and hot topic updates; and we will present a member Association with the 2022 FOCA Achievement Award.

NOTE: in-person registration is limited and closes February 24th at noon.

About the AGM: The AGM will be held at 10:00am. Each current Member Association is encouraged to send a representative to vote in the AGM, either in-person or by webinar participation. Official notice of the Annual General Meeting was sent by email to all titled Member Association representatives with a current email address on file as of February 2nd, 2023.
FOCA's Gold Level Sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
Welcome our newest sponsor:
Incinerating Toilets Inc.
FOCA welcomes Incinerating Toilets as our newest Gold Sponsor. Come and speak with them at the sponsor displays at the upcoming FOCA Spring Seminar on March 4th (see event details at the top of this Elert).
Incinerating Toilets Inc. provides a world class, waterless, environmentally friendly, propane and electric toilet solution by Cinderella Eco. The Cinderella incineration toilet is an easy to use, easy to install, plumbing-free solution. It can be used year round with little maintenance.

Whether you are living on or off the grid, this is the best alternative to a septic or composting toilet solution.

Only ash remains; roughly one cup of ash for one week of use by a family of four. Learn more here.
FOCA 2022 Year in Review
Read the 2022 FOCA Year in Review for our reflections on the year that was, and also about FOCA’s enduring role in waterfront Ontario:

2022 FOCA Year in Review (download PDF, 12 pages)

We encourage our member Associations to share this information with everyone at the waterfront! Print copies will be available to pick up at the FOCA Spring Seminar on Saturday, March 4th.
FOCA Advocates for Responsive Government
Underused Housing Tax Form
As an update on our January Elert notice about the Underused Housing Tax (UHT): the UHT tax form has finally been posted by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). If you owned residential property in Canada on December 31, 2022, and are neither a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident, you will need to determine if you are exempt or affected by this tax. According to CRA's website: "Even if your ownership of the property qualifies for an exemption and you do not owe any tax, you still must file a return" by April 30th each year, which may involve applying for a CRA individual tax number. Get information and a link to the tax form on FOCA's webpage:
Bill 23 Implementation
This update was circulated this week by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority:
"As of January 1, municipalities can no longer seek advice from conservation authorities (CAs) to determine if planning applications may impact water quality in local lakes and rivers. Planning applications will still be circulated to CAs to get important advice on impacts to flooding, erosion, wetlands and unstable soils (known as natural hazards) but, provincial regulations now prohibit CAs from providing additional advice on ecological impacts to the watershed, even if requested by municipalities. CAs are working with municipalities and applicants to help them transition, and moving forward, CAs will continue to work with individuals, developers and municipalities to assess natural hazard risks and how to mitigate them. To learn more about [RVCAs'] regulations and responsibilities visit"

For more about "Land Use Planning in a Bill 23 World" register for the FOCA Spring Seminar (at the top of this Elert) to hear from the Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association.
FOCA Champions Safe & Affordable Rural Living
Proposed Lifejacket Regulations: Public Comment Period
At the most recent Ontario Recreational Boating Advisory Committee meeting, FOCA heard from Transport Canada that by April 2023 they will begin seeking public opinion on the proposal for mandatory wearing of PFDs (personal flotation devices) on recreational boats. The public review will take place through the Let's Talk Transportation website. Look for more details in coming editions of the FOCA Elert!
Cottage Country Crush
What are the implications for rural communities when more folks stay in Ontario cottage country for longer than in the past? FOCA is quoted throughout this article, "Cottage country populations are booming. Are rural areas ready for the wave of new residents?" In case you missed it in the newly-released March/April edition of Cottage Life Magazine, you can read it online here.

FOCA wants to help new-to-rural waterfront folks to get oriented and connected to their communities; please share our video resources and tips, posted to our webpage:
FOCA's Silver Level Sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
Ontario's Biodiversity Needs Your Help!
As longstanding members of the Ontario Biodiversity Council, FOCA works tirelessly to inform our thousands of followers about the importance of nature to our communities, our health, and our economy. Our Council is seeking your input to ensure that Ontario’s Biodiversity Strategy (OBS) and plans reflect your perspectives. Find out more, and provide your input on the OBS by March 27, 2023 here:
Low Great Lakes Ice Cover
Satellite images show before and after record-low levels of ice cover, likely due to higher air temperatures in the Great Lakes region. See the story, and the accompanying imagery (toggle side-to-side to see the change) here:
Partner Updates & Regional Notices
2023 Spring Cottage Life Show
March 23-26, 2023: Cottage season can't be that far behind when we have the annual Spring Cottage Life Show around the corner. Plan to join FOCA and hundreds of exhibitors at the International Centre for the event.

We would like to give you the gift of a $3 discount on the General Admission ticket price! Use special code: FOCAS23 when you buy your tickets online ahead of time.
Quinte Shoreline Renaturalization Program
A natural shoreline is an investment in water quality and biodiversity, and helps to prevent erosion. As part of Watersheds Canada's Natural Edge Program, Quinte Conservation is offering a subsidized shoreline planting program to residential property owners in their region, who want to restore their shorelines with native species plantings. Learn more from QC here, and apply today!
Communities Fight to Save OPP Detachment
Feb. 21, 2023 - French River/Noëlville - French River mayor claims OPP were preparing to close detachment without consulting (CBC News - Sudbury)
Early Bird TSW Lockage Permits
If you boat through the locks of the Trent Severn Waterways, you'll want to access reduced pricing on your 2023 seasonal lockage permit - purchase by March 31st.
Short Term Rentals: CKL Survey
The City of Kawartha Lakes (CKL) announced it has completed its Short-Term Rental (STR) survey with over 1000 submissions, one of their top engagement results! Results are posted on the CKL website, and a Public Information Session has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, 2023. Get links to this, and related STR news, from FOCA's webpage:
ROM Wildlife Photo Contest & Offer
On view through April 23, 2023, visit the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to see the exhibit "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" with breathtaking new photographs of the natural world.

Save 15% off ROM admission until April 30th, with the special promo code: FOCA

Also, share your own images in the ROM Wildlife Photo Contest that closes March 12, 2023. You could win a camera kit courtesy of Henry's, and more.
FOCA's Bronze level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA is Building Capacity
Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator
Please join us in welcoming Gavin Vance, the new FOCA Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator who will be working in Dorset assisting with the Lake Partner Program!

Learn more about Gavin and all our FOCA team here: and learn more about the Lake Partner Program on our webpage:
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"! Among the earliest issues discussed were: water quality and water safety, taxation, municipal election voter rights, land use planning and (the lack of) by-law enforcement.

Today, FOCA represents 50,000 families in more than 525 lake, road, river and residents' associations across Ontario.
Were you involved with FOCA in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s? We have few 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 photos 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 photo submission:

This picture was taken in 1975 at Limberlost on Lake Solitaire (Township of Lake of Bays) by Tom McDonnell. Can you spot the small happy hour visitor on the table? Click here to open a larger copy of the image.
There are many ways you can help FOCA celebrate our 60th anniversary:
  • submit your pictures to our photo project (immediately above)
  • join us at one of our 2023 events (register for the AGM & Spring Seminar at the top of this Elert)
  • make a donation in support of FOCA's ongoing work on behalf of waterfront Ontario!
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.