May 7, 2020
With warmer weather and the Victoria Day weekend approaching, many seasonal residents are wondering whether they can or should visit their cottage. Earlier this week, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Charles Gardner, sent an email to cottage associations asking that we suggest members remain at their primary residences. Premier Doug Ford and cottage country mayors met yesterday and confirmed that there will be no restrictions on people travelling to their second homes in cottage country, but emphasized the need to remain vigilant and discouraged day trips and tourists. Read more here .

If you choose to visit your cottage please remember that you must continue to adhere to all the same COVID-19 public health measures that apply everywhere in the province, including:
  • physical distancing of at least 2 metres from other people;
  • staying at your home/cottage as much as possible;
  • limiting visits to the local community for essential shopping only;
  • no gatherings of more than five people unless they are all from the same household;
  • practicing proper and frequent hand-washing and cough hygiene, and;
  • return to your permanent residence if you develop symptoms.

We would further recommend that you bring sufficient food and medications to last your entire stay. If you plan on staying longer than two weeks and need to shop for essentials locally, please refer to the interactive Lake of Bays Open for Business map to find out what products and services are available and how you can safely support local businesses. Call ahead to make sure businesses are willing and able to serve you.

This Victoria Day weekend and potentially much of the summer will be challenging and unusual. We cannot blend households, invite guests nor visit with neighbours. There is a total fire ban in effect. The issue of seasonal residents accessing their cottage properties during the pandemic has emerged as a divisive issue in waterfront communities throughout Ontario and Canada. Our Association membership is comprised of both seasonal and permanent residents and we recognize that both populations depend on each other for Lake of Bays to thrive, both economically and socially. The guiding principle for our behaviour and interactions should be based on mutual respect, care, concern and safety – between neighbours, friends, relatives, local merchants, contractors, seasonal and permanent residents. Let’s all approach this situation with common sense, adhere to public health protocols and treat each other with respect and kindness, so that we emerge together with positive bonds in a stronger Lake of Bays community.
More Information

Marinas - As announced by Premier Ford, as of May 4, “Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.” Read more here .

Boat launches - Public boat launches in the Township of Lake of Bays and Town of Huntsville remain open. Watch Mayor Glover's video about this .

Ridout (Dorset) transfer station - The Ridout (Dorset) transfer station reopened on April 30. Read more here .

Reporting preventative measures complaints - If you are concerned about others not adhering to public health protocols, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has a list of who to call. Click here .

Municipal taxes - The Township of Lake of Bays has waived the penalty on unpaid interim taxes for the April 27, 2020 installment for a period of two months to June 30, 2020. The Town of Huntsville has waived the penalty for the 2020 interim tax installment for the two-month period from April 1 to May 31, 2020.

Hospital Foundations - Both the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation and the Huntsville Hospital Foundation are appealing for donations.

Links - For local information and updates:
Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation presents the Dr. Cathy Charles, Stay-at-Home Spring bird count this weekend (May 9 and 10)

Normally they would host the bird count at the Marsh’s Falls property, but this year it will be a stay-at-home count, guaranteed to be fun and rewarding. Read more details here .
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
photo by Rick Stronks
The Lake of Bays Renewable Energy Co-op announced the first winner of the Brooks White Youth Environmental Leadership Award: Noah Gonthier of Baysville. Read about Noah’s photo and discussion of shoreline erosion here .
Reading and links

Have Some Fun While Staying at Home, Caroline Konarzewski has compiled some suggestions

Lost and Found

Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations

Township of Lake of Bays
photo by Madelaine Fulford
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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