Resources

Home / What we do / Resources

Check back here often to get information on our next writing campaign or survey. Subscribe to our Waves Newsletter and stay current on all the major news, important meetings and other developments in Muskoka.

NEW: Ask Council to pass by-laws that will help protect Muskoka

On May 12th, the Township of Muskoka Lakes Planning Committee debated the merits of several important changes to two by-laws designed to protect what is special about Muskoka – our trees and our shoreline. 

Following a survey which garnered over 300 responses, staff recommended several changes to the Tree Conservation By-law and the Site Alteration By-law. We support the following significant improvements:

  • Increase the area subject to the by-laws on residential waterfront properties from 200’ from the water to 300’, and all of small islands. Currently, property owners can clearcut their land behind 200’ from the shore and unfortunately several are starting to do so. Increasing the area under control is particularly important for stormwater management and views from the water in areas of steep slopes. There’s no change to what you can build on your land – it’s just that more land will be subject to review and controls because of impact on lake health and water quality.
  • Prohibit pre-clearing of a site before permits and approvals are granted. This language, if enforced with meaningful sanctions, will prevent exactly what happened on Sugarloaf Island on Lake Joseph and has happened in numerous other locations. 
  • Trees that are diseased may be removed without a permit, but the Township may request an arborist report confirming they were diseased. This is in reaction to several properties where owners have removed multiple trees between their cottage and the water, suggesting they were diseased, whereas no neighbouring trees seemed similarly afflicted. 
  • Dead trees and trees dangerous to structures and people can still be removed without restriction or a permit. Director Pink clarified this for Mayor Harding several times during the May 12th Planning Meeting when the Mayor suggested otherwise. 
  • Require sedimentation control measures and provide for the ability for the Township to require a Sedimentation Control Plan and/or a Tree Preservation Plan as part of a complete Permit application.
  • Increase maximum fines for infractions from $10,000 to $100,000 and allow the Township to levy set fines of $1,000 for minor infractions. The hope is to encourage by-law adherence.

Please ask Planning Committee to pass these by-law amendments during this term of office. There are several great changes that will allow better control over tree clearcutting and more effective enforcement on waterfront properties, without being onerous for property owners. 

Click here to send your email today! It is easy to customize if you have a personal message for Committee. This item will next be discussed (and hopefully approved) at the 9 am June 16 Planning Committee Meeting.

For more details on the by-law amendments, visit engagemuskokalakes 

We often make submissions to various levels of government on behalf of our community. Some of the more relevant ones are available below.

Our past submissions

Federal MP
Parry Sound / Muskoka

Scott Aitchison
Scott.Aitchison@parl.gc.ca

Ontario MPP
Parry Sound / Muskoka

Norm Miller
norm.miller@pc.ola.org

District of
Muskoka

John Klinck (District Chair)
jklinck@muskoka.on.ca

Cheryl Mortimer
✉️ Email
Township Clerk
Phil Harding
✉️ Email
Mayor
Ruth-Ellen Nishikawa
✉️ Email
District and Township Councillor Ward A/1
Donelda Hayes
✉️ Email
Township Councillor Ward
Glenn Zavitz
✉️ Email
Township Councillor Ward A/1
Glenn Zavitz
✉️ Email
District and Township Councillor Ward B/2
Susan Mazan Township
✉️ Email
Councillor Ward B/2
Gordon Roberts
✉️ Email
Councillor Ward B/2
Frank Jaglowitz
✉️ Email
District and Township Councillor Ward C/3
Barb Bridgeman
✉️ Email
Township Councillor Ward C/3
Peter Kelley
✉️ Email
Township Councillor Ward
Graydon Smith
✉️ Email
Mayor
Chris Wilson
✉️ Email
Bracebridge Ward Councillor
Mark Quemby
✉️ Email
Monck/Muskoka Ward Councillor
Rick Maloney
✉️ Email
Deputy Mayor, District Councillor
Archie Buie
✉️ Email
Draper Ward Councillor
Barb McMurray
✉️ Email
Oakley Ward Councillor
Steve Clement
✉️ Email
District Councillor
Andrew Struthers
✉️ Email
Macaulay Ward Councillor
Don Smith
✉️ Email
District Councillor
Paul Kelly
✉️ Email
Mayor
Penny Varney
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 1
Jo Morphy
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 2
Steven Klinck
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 3
Terry Pilger
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 4
Graeme Murray
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 5
Sandy Cairns
✉️ Email
District Councillor
John Gordon
✉️ Email
District Councillor
Heidi Lorenz
✉️ Email
District Councillor
Ann MacDiarmid
✉️ Email
Mayor
Daryle Moffatt
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 1
Art Coles
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 2
Rod Osborne
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 3
Terry Fellner
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 4
Ted Collins
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 5
Gail Finnson
✉️ Email
Councillor of Ward 6