Watershed Conditions Statement

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) – Parry Sound District is advising area residents that a Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety is in effect until Thursday July 22, 2021. This message will affect residents within the NDMNRF Parry Sound District which includes the District Municipality of Muskoka, the Territorial District of Parry Sound and a north-west portion in the County of Haliburton.

High water levels and flows are anticipated to remain over the next week as runoff from recent rain moves through the river systems.

Residents are reminded to keep a close watch on conditions and regularly check for updated messages.

With recent rainfall the banks and shorelines adjacent to water bodies can be extremely slippery and unstable. Residents and visitors should exercise caution while around waterbodies and maintain close supervision of children and pets. Rivers are flowing much faster than usual for this time of year and may be hazardous for recreational activities. Lake levels are currently higher than usual for this time of year possibly causing some challenges for water activities.

NDMNRF also advises extreme caution when using forest access roads for outdoor activities as they may become inundated with water, are prone to washouts and may become impassible due to localized flooding.

Port Carling Locks Reopening

The Port Carling Large Locks is reopening on Monday, May 3, 2021 with restrictions in place to protect the health and safety of staff and the community.

Visitors can access the large locks beginning Monday, May 3, 2021, during regular weekday operating hours. Lockage fees can be found on their website. Visitors to the Port Carling Locks are reminded that the use of the locks and onsite facilities is at their own risk.

Ontario Protecting the Health of the Muskoka River Watershed

GRAVENHURST — The Ontario government is investing more than $4.25 million to further protect the Muskoka River Watershed. The funding will support projects that will help safeguard the region from environmental pressures, such as severe weather and flooding, while also improving the health of the watershed, a key commitment in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.

Protecting Muskoka’s Vulnerable Lakes – Five New Causation Studies Launched in Muskoka

The District Municipality of Muskoka (the District) has initiated five new causation studies of lakes across Muskoka.  The lakes being studied are:

  1. Bass Lake – Town of Gravenhurst
  2. Echo Lake – Township of Lake of Bays
  3. Leonard Lake – Township of Muskoka Lakes
  4. Stewart Lake – Townships of Georgian Bay and Muskoka Lakes
  5. Three Mile Lake – Township of Muskoka Lakes

The District has retained environmental sciences consultants and experts in community consultation to undertake the studies. In partnership with our consultants, our goal is to provide recommendations and actions that can be taken by stakeholders (those who live or work on or near the lakes, those who use the lakes for recreational purposes, the District, and others) to ensure water quality can be protected and enhanced.

What is a Causation Study?

A causation study is a way to determine why the water quality of a lake may be vulnerable based on key indicators (such as a confirmed blue green algae bloom). Determining which causes are affecting water quality is essential for protecting Muskoka’s lakes.

Public Engagement

Stakeholders have important knowledge that is vital to our current and historical understanding of the lakes. In order to ensure this valuable information is considered as part of the studies, there will be several public engagement opportunities including public meetings, surveys, and opportunities for feedback throughout the course of each study.

Initial public meetings will take place for each lake during the last two weeks of April 2021.  The purpose of these meetings is for the consultants to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to understand the approach to each study, ask questions of the consulting teams, and provide any information or insights that may be helpful to the projects.

The meeting dates and times for each lake are included in the table below:

Lake

Meeting Date and Time

Stewart

Monday, April 19 from 10 am – 11:30 am

Three Mile

Tuesday, April 20 from 10 am – 11:30 am

Echo

Friday, April 23 from 10 am – 11:30 am

Leonard

Monday, April 26 from 10 am – 11:30 am

Bass

Friday, April 30 from 1 pm – 2:30 pm

Meetings will take place via Zoom. If you wish to attend one or more of these virtual meetings, RSVP to jacquie.evans@muskoka.on.ca to receive the meeting details.

Learn more and Stay Informed!

To learn more about causation studies, visit our Engage Muskoka platform at: www.engagemuskoka.ca/protecting-muskokas-vulnerable-lakes-causation-studies  

To stay informed of the causation studies that are of interest to you, including opportunities to participate and provide information to the consultant(s), subscribe to the Engage Muskoka project pages linked below:

Statement to MLA Members and the Muskoka Community

Some of you may have heard that inexcusable and offensive comments were made by a Director of the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) when presenting at a District of Muskoka committee meeting on January 18th, 2021

Winter Safety Reminders For Seasonal Residents

BRACEBRIDGE, ON – The Town of Bracebridge would like to remind our seasonal residents choosing to reside at their cottages over the winter months, that they should take extra precautions. To help ensure your safety and prepare for the winter season ahead, the Town of Bracebridge would like to share the following information and resources:

Muskoka Broadband Intiative

Broadband access has been identified as a key priority for both residents and businesses by the District and the Muskoka Economic Recovery Task Force (MERTF). Several federal and or provincial funding programs are anticipated, including the one recently announced by the federal government.

Bin Site Transition Plan

June 26, 2020 Update

The District is moving forward with a pilot project in the Township of Muskoka Lakes to service water-access and island residents who have been impacted by the Bin Site Transition Plan.

Beach advisories

Swim Advisory - Gull Lake Rotary Park Beach 

Gravenhurst, ON - Based on beach water samples collected by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) on Monday July 27th, it has been recommended by the SMDHU that Gull Lake Rotary Park Beach be posted with swim advisory signs. The beach itself will remain open to the public.

Wearing a Face Covering in All Indoor Public Spaces

As of July 13, 2020 you will be required to wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces (businesses, organizations and public transit systems) in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka.

Lakeside Waste Collection Pilot for Water-Access and Island Residents to Start July 5, 2020

June 26, 2020 (Muskoka, ON) – The District of Muskoka is moving forward with a waste collection pilot project to service water-access and island residents in the Township of Muskoka Lakes who have been impacted by the Bin Site Transition Plan.

'We're not out of the woods yet': Muskoka mayors talk COVID-19

MUSKOKA — Optimism, gratitude and safety were the key themes of a webinar among local mayors on June 18, a virtual event sponsored by the Muskoka Lakes Association.

District CAO Announces Resignation

District Chair John Klinck has accepted the resignation the District’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michael Duben, who is leaving to pursue another career opportunity.  Mr. Duben has been CAO at the District since 2013 and his last official day will be

Ontario Invests in Invasive Species Centre

SAULT STE. MARIE — The Ontario government is protecting the province from the harmful ecological, social and economic effects of invasive species by investing in management and prevention.   

The District of Muskoka Reopens Port Carling Locks for the Season

June 8, 2020 (Bracebridge, ON) - The Port Carling Locks have reopened for the summer season with restrictions in place to protect the health and safety of staff and the community.
 

COVID-19 Update - Township Provides Update on Outdoor Recreational Amenities

Tuesday May 19, 2020 The township of Muskoka Lakes provided details on new openings around our towns!

Port Carling Locks Reopening

Port Carling Locks Reopening for Summer With Safety Measures in Place

The Port Carling large locks will be open for vessel passage beginning Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Water Quality Testing - Breaking News

Following a thoughtful assessment, MLA is cancelling its annual Water Quality testing program for this season.

COVID-19 update - Upcoming Events

It is with regret that we announce the cancellation of our annual seedling day scheduled for Saturday May 16th. The amount of personal interaction involved with this event made it potentially unsafe for our staff, volunteers and members.

Legacy Cottages - LPAT hearing

The LPAT hearing for the Legacy Cottages development on Lake Rosseau is scheduled for February 27th 2020 at the District’s offices in Bracebridge.