May 15, 2020
The Victoria Day weekend is here and many seasonal residents will be coming to their cottage. If you choose to come to cottage-country, 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;
  • self-isolating and getting tested 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.

More Information

District Chair and Muskoka Mayors letter - Muskoka District Chair John Klinck and local mayors penned a letter of solidarity to permanent and seasonal residents. Read it here .

Township of Lake of Bays media release - May 13; COVID-19 Update: May Long Weekend Reminders. Read it here .

Marinas - As announced by Premier Ford yesterday, marinas may open for recreational use as early as Saturday May 16. Read more here .

Fire Ban - A total fire ban remains in effect.

Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations (FOCA) - Watch a new video update from FOCA's Executive Director and Dr. Rosanna Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, Peterborough Public Health. Watch the video here .
FOCA has also created a FAQ sheet about staying safe at the lake. Read it here .

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit - Medical Officer of Health, Charles Gardner has provided some tips to limit your impact when coming to the cottage. Read more here .

Links - For local information and updates:

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. 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.
Reading and links

Township of Lake of Bays

Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations

Friends of the Muskoka Watershed

Safe Quiet Lakes

Rick Stronks, Chief Park Naturalist with Algonquin Park talks about the benefits of minimal Spring clean up

Lake of Bays church makes move down the road

What COVID-19 teaches Muskokans about dealing with climate change
photo by Pamela Bowen
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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