Read Doug Crosse coverage on MyMuskoka now here.

Here’s our full press release:

VOTE TO STOP residential waterfront subdivisions on commercial resort properties and Save Muskoka.

Join Friends of Muskoka in Wallace Bay, Minett on Lake Rosseau SATURDAY AUGUST 25 at 2:00 pm for a demonstration to stop residential waterfront subdivisions. We are calling on 500 boats and jet skis to float together, vote together and bring our community together, to Save Muskoka, and to protect the environment from misguided politicians approving high-density residential waterfront subdivisions that will damage our lakes forever.

NB: Please arrive AND depart with NO WAKE, and check your boat for required safety equipment. No drones please.

We are gathering to demonstrate how crowded the lake may become if developers are allowed to build up 3,600 multi-story and freestanding residential homes and resort units in this small bay. Residential subdivisions are normally not permitted in the Township of Muskoka Lakes. Developers are trying to take advantage of special densities allowed on commercial resort properties to subvert these rules. Normally a residential waterfront property must have at least one acre of land and 200 feet of lakefront. What has been envisioned in Minett is over 3,600 units on 4,000 feet of lake front, an average of one foot of waterfront per unit, at densities of up to 25 units per acre. This could be more than all the cottages on Lake Rosseau and Joseph combined.

Friends of Muskoka encourages development that brings full-time jobs and sustained economic benefit to Muskoka. We are against high density, residential waterfront development that only benefits the developers, will not create long-term local employment and threatens to destroy Muskoka’s greatest asset, its lakes. There are over 100 waterfront commercial properties in the District of Muskoka that could become residential subdivisions.

Friends of Muskoka is very concerned about the environmental effects of this type of irresponsible shoreline development. Shoreline development is one of the main contributors to deterioration in water quality. That is why we have shoreline buffers, setback requirements and reasonable density limits on waterfront properties. Science is telling us that the quality of our water in Muskoka will deteriorate with the advent of more frequent storm events and warming temperatures. Excessive shoreline development will only make things worse. As the occurrence this week of a blue-green algae bloom in Three Mile Lake and the Clark Falls area in Lake Rosseau demonstrates, our water quality is already suffering. We should take a very cautious approach to development. 3,600 homes/resort units in Minett is not a cautious approach – it is dangerous and irresponsible.

The environment is the engine of our economy in Muskoka. If we destroy our lakes, we destroy Muskoka.

Our current Mayor and some Township Councillors are in favour of residential waterfront subdivisions. We must elect a Mayor and Councillors who will put the Environment First and protect Muskoka’s lakes for all of us and for the benefit of future generations.

Friends of Muskoka is a group of dedicated volunteers working to protect and to preserve the natural environment and unique character of Muskoka by promoting responsible use and development of its land and lakes. We are a registered not-for-profit corporation. For more information, contact us at or Janet Griffin at 416 409-2929