April 17, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of the Lake of Bays Association,

We recognize and acknowledge the legitimate health and safety concerns every person is experiencing right now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the short term, every community in Canada is focused on preventing the spread of the virus. The clear message from our federal and provincial health officials is to stay home, specifically in your primary residence. 

We also understand that some of our members may have already been at their Lake of Bays home when the crisis escalated in March and have stayed put. Others have opted to self-isolate at their cottage. Our best advice, which is consistent with current medical advice, is to stay home—wherever you are—and to practice social distancing. Each of us is personally responsible for ensuring that our actions, wherever we are residing, are not responsible for spreading the virus.

If you are not currently residing at Lake of Bays, think carefully before travelling to your cottage. Do not come if you have any symptoms. If you are visiting your property bring sufficient provisions and do not stop and shop along the way. If you choose to come to Muskoka for an extended period of time, self-isolate for 14 days before shopping locally. 

Our Muskoka hospitals are there to serve anyone who comes through their doors to the best of their ability, but they have limited capacity. It should be understood that if you develop symptoms or other health concerns your best access to health care resources will be where your primary residence is. These are extraordinary circumstances and none of these accommodations are long-term solutions.

While it is unlikely that it will be “business as usual” this summer, LOBA will be looking for guidance from health care officials and politicians in the coming weeks and months. Our hope is that firm resolve now will be rewarded with a return to normal sooner rather then later. In the meantime, we all (permanent and seasonal residents) need to act responsibly with a view to ensuring both our personal safety and all others we may interact with.

Please stay safe and keep well.

Mary Ann Peden

Ian Beverley
Past President

Wendy Gibson
Vice President, Chair Communications
Important Updates

Fire Ban - Effective April 3, 2020 the Provincial Government announced that there is a Restricted Fire Zone in our area. This ban applies to all open-air fires including, campfires, cooking fires and fireworks. 

Marinas, boat launches and contractors - All marinas are closed, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (essential workplaces) , unless the marina is necessary to enable individuals to access their primary place of residence. Public boat launches in the Township of Lake of Bays and Town of Huntsville are available for use and are being monitored. Some municipalities have closed public boat launches. Contractors are limited to essential services and this does not include work to open seasonal residences.

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.

MPAC - The Ontario government has announced that the 2020 Assessment Update has been postponed. They have indicated that property assessments for the 2021 property tax year will continue to be based on the fully phased-in January 1, 2016 current values. This means your property assessment for the 2021 property tax year will be the same as the 2020 tax year, unless there have been changes to your property.

Short Term Rentals - Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act , short-term rentals are banned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Links - For local information and updates:
Reading and links

Township of Lake of Bays

Ice is out on Lake of Bays

Muskoka Watershed Council, Spring 2020 Downstream newsletter
First Robin of Spring at Lake of Bays
March 30, 2020
photo by Joan Bendon
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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