Membership

  • Your membership dues and donations help us advocate for your interests  

    In addition to our recreational programs, the successful MLA Advantage Card (which offers discounts with restaurants and retailers throughout Muskoka) and our insurance program, our role is to mind the store when you’re not there:

    • In 2014, we played a thoughtful role in Muskoka’s municipal elections, evaluating candidates and ensuring cottagers’ voices were heard and respected.
    • We led an OMB appeal of a troubling land use decision with precedent-setting implications for every waterfront property owner in Muskoka.
    • We monitor developments and issues of concern to waterfront ratepayers at the District and Town/Township levels.
    • And finally, we operate one of the most successful, citizen science based water quality testing programs in North America.
  • To join the Muskoka Lakes Association, simply click here and you’ll be redirected to our online registration form.

    If you have any questions about joining the Muskoka Lakes Association, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at 705-765-5723, or at admin@mla.on.ca

    If you have any questions for me, I’m only an email away: president@mla.on.ca

    Bob Ensor
    President, Muskoka Lakes Association

    Join the MLA

Frequently Asked Questions about the MLA

  • What is the MLA?

    The Muskoka Lakes Association is a non-profit organisation that was created in 1894. It is a member-based association lead by a volunteer Board of Directors. Its mission is to promote the responsible use, enjoyment and conservation of the unique Muskoka environment.

    The MLA is itself a member of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Association (FOCA).

  • What does the MLA do?

    Our efforts are concentrated in four areas:

    1. We protect and promote water quality – The MLA operates the most comprehensive water monitoring program of any lake association in Canada.  Known as the Water Quality Initiative, this program focuses on the near shore, where members access water near their residences.  The MLA shares this data with district and municipal governments, and when issues arise, works with a variety of stakeholders to find solutions.
       
    2. We advocate for responsible government and fair taxation – The MLA believes fair taxation depends on responsible, efficient spending by district, municipal and provincial governments.
       
    3. We promote responsible land use – The MLA advocates for strong environmental standards and smart, forward-thinking land use and development planning that respects the unique character of Muskoka's communities. 
       
    4. We lead on important Muskoka issues - The MLA participates in the efforts of Muskoka's district and municipal governments, reporting back to members and taking action on issues that affect waterfront property owners.

  • Can I be a member of the MLA?

    Of course! Anyone can be a member of the Muskoka Lakes Association and we'd be happy to have you join us.

    As a new member, your will receive a welcome package including your MLA Advantage Card and some cottage owner resources documents.

  • What is a Secondary Membership?

    Secondary memberships were created for families sharing the same cottage.

    It works for siblings sharing the same cottage or even for a second generation. As a MLA members, your children sharing the same (holiday) home are allowed to be secondary members.

    Secondary members benefit from the same advantages as the primary members: they will receive our newsletter Shoreline, the monthly NewsBites and the MLA Advanatge Card; they will be listed in the Yearbook but they won't receive it.

    Secondary members can order a yearbook while renewing their membership or come by the MLA office to purchase one - $30.

  • Why do I get with my membership?

    As a member of the MLA you will be:

    • kept informed of what's happening in Muskoka all year round: we will send you a monthly report of the Council meetings happening at the Township of Muskoka Lakes, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Seguin Townships.
    • up to date with our activites: your will receive our quarterly newsletter ShoreLines.
    • listed in and receive our high quality Yearbook.
    • getting discounts at more than 85 local stores and restaurants with the MLA Advantage Card.
    • eligible to our Insurance Program.
    • able to participate for free at our events such as the annual Aquatic Regatta.
    • able to attend our seminars free of charge.

  • I am already a member of my local lake association, can I join?

    Yes, you can. We offer different services than your local association and we'll be happy to have you join.

  • What is the MLA doing with the water levels?

    We have created a Water Level Task Force in spring 2016 to ensure the flooding that happened on the lakes this spring doesn't happen again.

    You can read more about our Water Level Task Force here.

  • I don't own a cottage on the big lakes, can I join?

    Yes, you can join us. We represent waterfront property owners all across Muskoka, whether on big or small lakes. 

  • I'd like to join but I don't own a cottage in Muskoka

    It's still ok to join us! If you have the will to help us protect the Muskoka we love, it's not a requirement to be a cottage owner.

    Lots of cottagers who leave Muskoka are still members of the MLA. As a member-based organisation, we appreciate all the support we can get.

  • I'd like to become a member but I don't want my personal information to be published

    This is not a problem! We can tailor the member directory in our Yearbook the way you want it to be. Just let us know when you are joining or renewing your membership, and we'll make sure that your information will stay confidential.

  • Can I help without being a member?

    Yes, you can help us! As a volunteer-lead organisation, we are always looking for hands.

    Here's a list of volunteering opportunities:

    • Event planning
    • Volunteer at the Aquatic Regatta or Antique Boat Show
    • Water Quality Monitoring: collect samples, help us organise the equipments, do a delivery to the lab in Dorset...
    • Photography
    • Office help: if you like to shred, fold and organise documents let us know!
    •  Volunteer at our annual Seedling Day
    • Help us get new members
    • Be part of one of our Committees or even join our Board of Directors
    • ...

    We are open to any suggestions, please contact us by email or give us a call!

    You can also see pictures and read more on the Volunteer page.