October 2, 2020
Hydro Rates to Increase for Seasonal Residents

Despite strong lobbying by the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations (FOCA), on September 17 the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) ruled that Hydro One must eliminate the Seasonal Rate Class and move all of their customers into one of their other, density-based rate classes. This will result in hydro rates increasing for certain seasonal rate class residents. 
Which class customers fall under depends on a range of factors including the population density of the area, and the cost of the infrastructure and equipment needed to service the customer.
One of FOCA’s strongest objections was that the incremental benefits of eliminating the seasonal class are minimal at best, while incremental adverse impacts on certain customers will be significant. 

In making their decision the OEB said “…the submissions of the parties (including FOCA) generally focused more on the bill impacts that would flow from the elimination of the seasonal class … The fact that there are impacts associated with the elimination of the seasonal class does not render the decision to eliminate the class incorrect.”
Hydro One will be filing an updated report on the elimination of the seasonal class by October 15, 2020. FOCA still holds status as an official intervenor with the OEB, and will inform LOBA if there are further opportunities for the public to weigh in. 
While this outcome is extremely disappointing, there is still a possibility that this change will not move forward.

LOBA Director Ian White sat on the FOCA Board of Directors for six years and was the FOCA Board representative on a Hydro One customer panel representing an assortment of customers groups and public interest organizations. In addition, Ian and FOCA Executive Director Terry Rees were the contacts for OEB to communicate about new applications and rulings on energy utility changes to their rates and services. Thanks for all your work on our members behalf Ian!
Director Ian Beverley now sits on the FOCA Board of Directors.
Blue-Green Algae Bloom in Ten Mile Bay RESOLVED

In mid-July the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) confirmed a small blue-green algae bloom in a shallow bay on the eastern end of Ten Mile Bay, Lake of Bays. On September 24 the Health Unit declared the bloom resolved.

Beginning in August 2019, Township of Lake of Bays staff were directed by Council to investigate the short-term rental of residential properties with no on-site management. Short-term rentals (STRs) are generally understood to refer to rental of a residence, or part of a residence, for short periods of time (a month or less).

A comprehensive community engagement process took place from January 14 to March 20, 2020. The results from this public feedback showed significant support for the regulation of STRs. After being presented to Council in August 2020, Council directed staff to investigate options for STR regulation and to conduct additional public consultation. This will help determine the approach the Township should take to regulate short-term rentals.

The Township is looking for your input regarding the most appropriate regulations for STRs in the Township.

Please visit to complete a survey. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will be available until November 9, 2020. Data collected through this survey will not be used for by-law enforcement purposes, and you may remain anonymous.


The District of Muskoka is asking residents (seasonal and permanent) to complete a survey on their plans for being in Muskoka this fall and winter. The results will help the District and business community make their plans, recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to impact where residents will be travelling and working. 

The District plans to secure a consultant to complete a broadband gap analysis and strategic implementation study for Muskoka.

Julie Stevens is the District of Muskoka's new chief administrative officer.

It’s been a banner year for gypsy moths
and that can cause big problems for Muskoka’s foliage

Invasive gypsy moths are busy laying eggs which will eat the leaves off your trees next spring. Egg masses 2 to 8 cm long are being stuck to your trees, and outdoor walls and furniture. You can stop these from hatching into thousands of hungry caterpillars by scraping off the egg masses into a pail of soapy water.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, gypsy moth outbreaks happen every seven to 10 years. Eggs hatch in the spring, and then dark, hairy caterpillars with rows of blue spots and red spots feed on our trees’ leaves into summer. During severe outbreaks, trees and shrubs are completely defoliated and the damage causes significant growth loss.

photo by Jane Surerus
The purpose of the Lake of Bays Association is to promote, sustain and enhance a clean and healthy natural environment, a well serviced community and a safe and peaceful Lake of Bays.

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