Posted Aug 31, 530pm: If you're on Three Mile Lake in Muskoka Lakes Township, don't drink the water. Thanks to algae bloom, there's a problem the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit wants residents to know about. It advises that recent sampling by the Ministry of Environment of water from Three Mile Lake has identified the presence of mycrocystin from blue-green algae at a level that exceeds the current standard for drinking water.
What does this mean? Drinking the water may pose a health hazard (it could also be hazardous for animals). And boiling it is not safe enough.
If you draw your water from a surface supply where algae is evident, boiling or other home treatment devices will not destroy the toxins. An alternate source of potable water for drinking should be used. If your drinking water comes from a well, there should be no increased risk from the toxin.
The toxin can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, so where an algae bloom is evident. Avoid using the water for drinking, cooking, dishwashing, brushing teeth or making baby formula.
If levels of toxin increase, it can irritate the skin so bathing, showering, swimming, other water sport activities and doing laundry which increase the risk of ingestion and/or skin contact should also be avoided. Pets and livestock drinking this water can also be affected.
Toxins could remain in the water for up to three weeks after an algae bloom. The Ministry of the Environment continues to monitor Three Mile Lake. and will share any new information as results come in.
To know more about safe drinking water and stay up to date on this warning, please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit web site at: www.simcoemuskokahealth.org. The Ministry of the Environment may also be contacted at 1-800-268-6060.
Posted Aug 29, 5.15pm, Commentary by Norah Fountain: There's a new dock going up on the side of the first point you see on Moon River. It will be the new view people see from the Bala Falls.
Is it legal? You bet. Permits, etc. Is it right? Hmm, maybe arguable if you're a neighbour or worried about large, 'industrial looking' construction on waterfront anywhere in Muskoka Lakes.
Is it hypocritical? In my opinion, you bet. And highly surprising to me. Here's why.
This new monster dock is owned by a person who has said protecting the waterfront of Muskoka Lakes must be done at all costs; that you can't 'legislate neighbourliness' (in response to a Councillor's concerns about large docks being built that affect a neighbour's view); who held a public meeting about the need to control waterfront development through a proposed new narrow waterbodies bylaw; and has helped embed shoreline preservation in the Township strategic plan. Today this new dock owner was quoted in the Bracebridge Examiner as saying, "Our economic development is linked to the good feeling people have when they are in our environment."
Take a look at the pictures and decide for yourself if this is an unusually large dock for Moon River. Ask yourself, would you like it as the new view from your cottage if you were next door (the building shown in the background belongs to the cottager next door).
So who owns this new dock?. Muskoka Lakes Mayor Alice Murphy. It's under construction today (Aug. 29) in front of her cottage. Residence, rather. See two photos below.
NOTE: The cottage in this photo is not the Mayor's. It is the neighbour's cottage. The dock you see under construction is in front of the Mayor's property. You can see it from Highway 169 and Bala Falls.
Photo Below: View of dock under construction from land. Shows one corner of the south Bala Falls in far left of photo.
Final note: To me, this is a case of 'Do as I say, Not as I do' and I think the Mayor is setting a poor example for others with this permanently drilled in new fixture in Bala.
Posted Aug 23, 11.55am: The Township of Muskoka Lakes is accepting applications for Deputy Fire Chief until Sept. 14. Brief abstract of opportunity below. For full details, click here.
The Township of Muskoka Lakes is seeking a proven leader in the fire service for the position of Deputy Fire Chief. The Deputy Fire Chief’s primary duties include Fire Prevention, Plans Examination, Public Education, Inventory Control, Health & Safety, and Emergency Management. The position is administrative and work is mainly during regular office hours. Salary range: $63,591 – $74,870
Qualified candidates are asked to forward a covering letter and resume no later than Friday, September 14, 2012 to Fire Chief Richard Hayes. email@example.com
Commentary by Norah Fountain posted Aug 22, 11.15pm: Just got in from the premiere of Harold & Lorna, the film about Canada’s racing sweethearts and the Muskoka built boats they raced to break world speed records and achieve international fame. And put Muskoka on the map for so many in the 1930s. It was a magical night tonight. From the song “She’ll fly again” about Miss Canada IV to listening to the memories of so many members of the Wilson family on film and later in person at the post premiere party at Grace and Speed, the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre, everything combined to remind us how great dreams can come true in Muskoka. Whether it’s building a breathtaking boat, breaking a world speed record, or making an independent film documentary, there’s a pioneering element to making a go of anything in Muskoka that is entrenched in our collective Muskokan conscious, and it was alive and well in the Opera House tonight. Everyone who had a hand in that film — and there are so many — have a reason to be bursting with pride. How many will see Harold & Lorna in the future and where will it be shown? It’s hard to know, but if you’ve ever even seen a Muskoka lake, you owe it to yourself to experience the thrill of speeding across one with Harold & Lorna. Bravo, Wilsons. Bravo, Jamie Smith. Bravo, friends of the Harold & Lorna Project. Plus, enough money was raised tonight for Muskoka Habitat for Humanity to build three children’s rooms in a Habitat House when organizers had hoped to raise enough money to build just two. Yes, a good night, all round. To learn more about Harold & Lorna, visit http://www.haroldandlornamovie.com/ or be among the first to see the film showing at The Gravenhurst Opera House again tomorrow night (Thursday, August 23, 730pm).
Posted Aug 22, 11pm: One man is dead after a motorcycle crash in Gravehurst today (August 22). Police were called to Southwood Road and Canning Road in Gravenhurst just after noon. They say the driver came off the bike when it left the roadway and struck a tree. Dead is 49-year-old Vladimir Dubrovsky of Vaughan.
Posted Aug 17, 11.50am: The Muskoka Watershed Council is hopeful an online fundraising push will earn them $100,000 toward a property specific shoreline stewardship program. So far, it's looking like the fundraising idea is working and everyone can help make it a success by voting to make it happen.
About the shoreline stewardship program.
The Muskoka Watershed Council is partnering with the District of Muskoka, the Centre for Sustainable Watersheds, and the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) to undertake a property specific shoreline stewardship program over the next few years. The program will be carried out in collaboration with several local lake ratepayer associations. The project aims to educate and engage shoreline property owners in steps they can take to become better shoreline stewards (be the next shoreline superhero) and improve the health of their lake. Learn more about the project goals at LOVE YOUR LAKE or by visiting the Muskoka Watershed Council.
How you can help the fundraising effort: just vote!
As part of the funding, the CWF has submitted a proposal to the Shell FuellingChange program – it's called LOVE YOUR LAKE. Judi Brouse, Director of Watershed Programs for the Watershed Council, says with the right amount of votes, the Muskoka partners could get $100,000 toward the project. "Right now we are in second place," says Brouse, "which puts us in a good position to get the money as the top two projects are funded." Note that while Love Your Lake may come up as first listed in the projects, it is ranked Number 2 for the $100,000 level, and it needs to stay ranked Number 1 or 2 to get the funding. Voting goes on to October so anything can happen, so make sure to vote.
Pass the word and get everyone to vote: it's easy and free
Brouse asks that everyone please go to the website and vote for the project. If you are not already registered with the Shell FuellingChange program, you will have to register (it's easy). Then you will instantly get a confirmation email and you can then vote. Just click on Love Your Lake here to get to the Love Your Lake page. If after registering you don't go right back there, click on Find a Project and you'll find it at or near the top of the project list.
Update Aug 17: They launched a legacy on water and now the Harold & Lorna story launches on the big screen in Muskoka this week at The Gravenhurst Opera House. Public showing is Aug 23, 730 pm. It's a film many local boat lovers are anxious to see about the husband-and-wife racing team that put Canada on the world powerboat racing map. Not only will people get a chance to understand an important part of our marine history better, the film promoters are also hoping to raise money for Habitat for Humanity Muskoka by asking for donations on film night. You can also donate online in advance by clicking here and then search for Habitat Muskoka to make your donation.
Muskoka Magazine will play host to an after show "Afterglow" party at Grace and Speed, the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre starting at 9 pm. Hope to see everyone there!
Original Post June 25, 2012: Watch for the Harold and Lorna Film this August at the Gravenhurst Opera House. The Miss Canada IV Restoration Team and Muskoka Film Works Inc have launched a website dedicated to Harold & Lorna and you can learn more about the film that tells there story here: www.haroldandlornamovie.com
Offering a rich tapestry of articles, photographs and videos covering the couple’s 20-year career in the racing spotlight, the site covers the making of Harold & Lorna – the movie on their racing lives – along with the boats they raced, the team behind the boats, and the restoration of their last and fastest hydroplane, Miss Canada IV which in 1950 became the first boat to eclipse the 200 mph water speed barrier.
Director Bill Plumstead saw Harold and Lorna Wilson testing Miss Canada IV in 1949 for her debut on the world’s stage. He never forgot the experience, most notably the roar of her engine and her mile-long rooster tail. It will have been 62 years when he watches her fly over the water again this summer, this time through the camera viewfinder. Miss Canada IV is being restored for Bobby Genovese in Port Carling, Ontario by Tom Adams, using the original Douglas Van Patten plans. A 3000 hp Rolls-Royce Griffon, identical to the engine that powered the 1950 assault on the world speed record, is being rebuilt by Peter Grieve of Flight Engineering in England.
Supported by the popular “Harold & Lorna and Miss Canada IV” Facebook page, www.haroldandlornamovie.com provides in-depth information for movie fans and history buffs, slide shows, sneak previews into the movie and updates on the restoration of the race boat. When the movie is released and Miss Canada IV takes to the water late this summer, Canadian and international interest in the team that campaigned her will jump once again.
Jamie Smith (Restoration Team Co-ordinator) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry Wilson (Muskoka Film Works Inc) – email@example.com
Posted Aug 16, 1230pm: ‐The Muskoka PAY IT FORWARD Community Investment Grants have been awarded! To see if your project was selected, scroll down to see the list below.
According to a District of Muskoka press release, there were applications from every town and township in Muskoka and deciding which ones would be successful was not easy. Nineteen PAY IT FORWARD Community Investment Grants were awarded between $500 and $1,000 to new and existing projects. The release states the range of projects was diverse – including organic gardening, cooking/baking, tap dance, arm wrestling, pottery, and the arts – and those are just a few of the innovative and exciting projects that will be moving forward.
Fran Coleman, Chair of the Community Services Committee, had said Muskokans would rise to
the challenge and it appears Muskokans did just that. These initiatives have a goal to strengthen all inclusive communities and build relationships between people of ALL ages throughout Muskoka!
Here are the recipients of the PAY IT FORWARD project. Muskoka (All)
• Chivalry for Young Offenders – a chivalry, manners and etiquette workshop for young offenders
• Arm Wrestling – engage community members, particularly youth, in a new activity Muskoka Lakes
• Walker's Point Community Library – expanding library services and programs
• Solterra In-home Support Services, Port Carling, to assist seniors maintain health and lifestyle in their own homes Gravenhurst
• Gravenhurst High School – Empty bowls program where pottery bowls are created and filled with homemade soup by students and funds raised are donated to Salvation Army
• Free Stuff for Daily needs – increase public awareness and support for Free Stuff for Daily Needs cookbook which helps people move fom poverty to self-reliance
• L.E.A.N. – Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition – family centred workshops on healthy living Georgian Bay
• Give a Cookie – MacTier – Seniors teach young people to bake cookies and young people distribute cookies to seniors in isolated areas Huntsville
• The Door Youth Centre – Walkathon and fun day to raise funds and awareness about programs for youth
• Huntsville Community Theatre – providing affordable entertainment and engagement
• PRIDE Muskoka – picnic to raise awareness of LGBT in the community
• Youth in Transition – programming to connect youth to resources and supports
• V.K. Greer Memorial Public School – provide students with the ability to create highly productive, experiential food gardens Lake of Bays
• Baysville Friends of the Library – growing organic gardens to enhance library programming for children, provide nutritious lunches for seniors and other community members Bracebridge
• Prom Blitz – program to help connect high school students with formal dresses
• Bracebridge Public School Garden – extend school garden and introduce cooking to the students using the produce
• Friends of Muskoka Midwives – one-day conference regarding parenting options
• Safe and Sound Baskets – a project led by students to create baskets for girls staying at shelters in Muskoka
• Generation Tappers – bridging generations through tap dance
Posted Aug 15, 2.30pm: Muskoka Lakes Town Hall Meeting, Sat., Aug 18, 9-11am, Port Carling Community Centre. The Township of Muskoka Lakes has provided some details now of its agenda for this Saturday's town hall meeting at the Port Carling Community Centre. One specific has been mentioned — the Township wants to discuss the future of the Milford Manor Golf Course. A Township Release distributed by the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce today is posted below.
Township Release: Mayor Alice Murphy and members of Council invite you to attend a Town Hall Meeting on Saturday morning, August 18th, 2012. The meeting will provide an opportunity for members of the public to meet their Mayor and Ward Representatives in an informal setting and discuss issues of importance.
The agenda will be structured around Council’s Strategic Plan — what’s been accomplished to date and what is on the agenda going forward, in the context of the following key strategic priorities:
1. Our Environment and our Economy
2. Land Use & Planning, including public input regarding the recently acquired Milford Manor Golf Course
3. Health Care
4. Property Taxes, Infrastructure & Service Levels
Updated Post Aug 13: Less than 10 tickets left for Artifact or Fiction gala at Muskoka Lakes Museum. Call 705 765 5367 for tickets.
MNW Post August 6: Think you know your Muskoka history? Then you can't miss the 6th annual Artifact or Fiction event at the Muskoka Lakes Museum in Port Carling on Tuesday, August 14, 5-8pm.
Take a close look at the picture: Muskoka Lakes Museum summer student Kelsey is inspecting an unusual artifact from the museum’s collection. (To help you, there's a larger image at end of this post!) Is it a kitchen utensil? Part of a cosmetic kit? Do you think you’d be able to figure out what it is if you saw it in person?
Come see if you're right! Museum Curator Doug Smith has planned a great event for all those knowledgeable or interested in Muskoka history, for those who fancy themselves experts in the inventions and equipment of yesteryear, and for those who just enjoy a challenge. The event is more then just a test of your knowledge of Canadiana. It also includes three delicious courses of food, a cash bar, and a silent auction. All of this simply would not be complete without a musical backdrop, and the Peppermill Players are there to entertain.
The gala takes place inside the museum and outside at James Bartleman Island Park in Port Carling. Tickets are $65.00 each, and include a charitable receipt of $30.00. A limited number of tickets are still available. To know more about the gala and other events taking place at the museum, please click here.
Want to see that image a little bigger? See below. Happy histori-guessing!
Posted Aug 11, 1pm: The Bracebridge Triathlon is well under way with events through Sunday. It's like Olympic fever has Muskoka in its grip, too. Below is a picture of the swim portion of the triathlon taken around 9 am Saturday morning. For more information on the MultiSport Canada event in Bracebridge, click here
Giving it their Best Tri near Annie Williams Park. Photo by Laurie Fountain. For more events this weekend, see What's On in the Muskoka News Watch sidebar. There's lots to do, inside and out!
UPDATE Posted August 16, 1.30 pm. Muskoka's Fire Rating is now set at MODERATE.
Small fires are permitted in most areas of Muskoka keeping in mind that no daytime burning is allowed. You must have adequate tools and water to extinguish a fire if the need arises and you must stay with your fire at all times.
Posted Aug 2, 230pm: Muskoka Fire Chiefs have lifted the total Fire Ban for Muskoka due to the rainfall we've received, especially in the southern areas of Muskoka, over the past few days. Still, the current rating is now set at “HIGH” . Extreme caution must be taken with all open flames. Small fires are permitted in most rural areas of Muskoka keeping in mind that no daytime burning is allowed. You must have adequate tools and water to extinguish the fire if the need arises and you must be with your fire at all times.
Fly Over Canada opened in July and Muskoka Plays a Starring Role!
Updated August 9: Fly Over Canada, a new attraction that opened in Vancouver in July, includes footage shot of Muskokans and their antique boats taken last Thanksgiving. This update includes the link the official trailer which also shows Muskoka – it goes by fast — at about the 13 second mark (and an autumn shot again near 20 seconds). Many MNW readers have asked to see Muskoka’s part in this fly ride attraction, so click here to view and we’ve pasted in still captures of the video clips below. Note: Keep reading to see pictures taken during the Muskoka shoot in the original article posted October 2012 (follows this update).
Fly Over Canada is a ‘flying ride’ that uses a huge dome screen with the latest in projection and ride technology creating a true flying experience (complete with wind, scents, and mist).
FLYING OVER MUSKOKA IN AUTUMN – The Muskoka clip comes up again showing our glorious fall ending the sentence “Like You’ve Never Seen Before”. Stan Hunter, Boatbuilder, brought together friends and their boats for two days of intense filming
in chilly Thanksgiving conditions last October. What a great promotion of beautiful Muskoka. (Even your MNW editor, Norah Fountain, got to drive a boat but it looks like she didn’t make the final cut.. Aww…).
See Original Posts below. Pictures by Norah Fountain.
Posted Oct 23. Sherpas Cinema released the official teaser for FlyOver Canada film yesterday. The film which is being turned into an attraction featuring a ride that swoops you over Canada (with a few seconds of boating in Muskoka thrown in) is set to open this spring in Vancouver. Here’s the first sneak peek: https://vimeo.com/51954854
Are those brilliant colours of trees in Muskoka? Hmm.. guess we have to wait to see final product to know for sure!
Posted Oct 9, 4:30 pm. Lake Muskoka and Muskoka wooden boats will soon be doing a star turn in the Fly Over Canada simulator attraction at Vancouver’s Canada Place. Ever hear of “Soarin'” the visceral visitor attraction that takes you flying over California? Well, I’ve been to Disney’s California Adventure and experienced that ride – the only one of its kind. But now there’s a second in the works – Fly Over Canada – and this time I got to be an extra in the footage shot in Muskoka over Thanksgiving weekend for the ride to open this spring in Vancouver. MOST importantly, Lake Muskoka and our famous antique boats were featured as iconic Canada places and innovations. Stan Hunter and his Muskoka Launch Livery Duke Playmates were in the shoot. So was a 79-year-old Ditchburn (The Hunter Family’s Evangeline), David Grand’s 24-foot Duke, Helen Louise, Stephen Grand’s Minett and a 1948 Century Sea Maid owned by Daniel Rogers.
Here’s how Fly Over Canada is described by the famous SherpasCinema filmakers: “Imagine a soft padded hanging chair that virtually flies you across Canada in a gigantic spherical dome screen. From east to west, through seasons with wind, scents, mist and mind-blowing 21:1 surround sound. This journey becomes a reality in Spring 2013 in Vancouver’s Canada Place – it’s one that you won’t want to miss – and the Sherpas deliver the movie.
Filmed 100% from the air using a 65mm large format camera system, Sherpas attempt push the limits of aerial digital filmmaking and cutting edge projection technology. So far we have traveled to 14 different locations. From the far east gliding over Newfoundland’s giant icebergs and Gros Morne, the mighty Niagara Falls in Ontario, flying west over the majestic Rocky Mountains and visiting the Haida on Haida Gwaii. Canada is truly an amazing country, even as Canadians we’re continuously blown away by idyllic scenery and lovely and helpful people everywhere. Our thanks go out all the helpers, small and large, along the way across this wonderful country that we call home.”
It looks like the Muskoka sequence will follow right after breathtaking shots of the Niagara gorge and Muskoka holds it own with awe inspiring fall colours and beautiful mahogany boats.. Following are some photos I took between ‘sprints’. I say ‘sprints’ as the boats would have to line up each time to take several controlled runs for that perfect shot… You’ll also see photos of the camera and chopper used in the filming. All in all, with the building of the attraction, this is a project expected to cost close to $20-million.
Stay tuned for the FlyOver Canada teaser and behind the scenes edits (hopefully showing our Muskoka moments) coming later this year at www.flyovercanada.com.
Above: Creative Director Rick Rothschild (Walt Disney Imagineer & Director, ‘Soarin’), SherpasCinema and Fly Over Canada Director Dave Mossop with Stan Hunter, Muskoka boatbuilder and owner of Muskoka Launch Livery which supplied some of the boats. Below: Cover for the fish eye lens carefully remounted. The lens is priced somewhere in the $150K range but that mechanical arm is reportedly like canadarm technology and much more expensive. Below: Crew member Andy shows MNW the fish eye lens and at bottom: Rick radios the chopper to say boats are in position and ready for their ‘close up’.
MNW Post August 7, 4:35pm: Muskoka Lakes Council has found a replacement for Len Troup, who retired officially as the Director of Public Works at the end of June but kept working while Council looked for someone to fill his shoes. Jason Krynicki takes on Troup's job starting September 5.
A township press release states Krynicki served the Town of Newmarket for the past 14 years, most recently as the Manager of Capital Engineering and Asset Management, responsible for the planning, organizing, managing and evaluating of all of the Town’s capital projects. Before holding that post, he was the Chief Administrative Officer for Newmarket.
“We welcome Jason to the Township of Muskoka Lakes and look forward to benefitting from his extensive experience in managing all aspects of Public Works and Capital Project development," says Mayor Alice Murphy in the release, adding "As Council implements the 2012 Strategic Plan, his service will be invaluable.”
Krynicki is a graduate of Georgian College in Civil Engineering Technology and Ryerson University in Project Managemen and has several professional accreditations.
MNW Commentary by Norah Fountain, Aug 2, 11:30pm: I noticed that Municipal World Magazine had posted the recruitment ad to replace outgoing Chief Administrative Officer Walt Schmid at the Township of Muskoka Lakes, and I skimmed it out of mild curiousity today. The second line stopped me in my tracks. It contained the phrase that has slithered into the township lexicon and makes my stomach turn every time — a seemingly innocuous binary description of 'seasonal AND permanent residents'. (See the verbatim ad copy following this commentary. The line that troubles me reads 'focus on excellence in customer service for not only permanent and seasonal residents…').
I would hope that any one hired at the Township would focus on excellence for ALL people who walk through the door (and I've no reason to believe they get nothing but good service today. I'm not questioning that at all). Yes, I realize it's 'just an ad'. But this means of describing our population has shown up in my property tax statements and other municipal communications, and it bothers me.
By constantly referring to two separate groups, I believe we create a binary relationship of one group versus the other. Hmm, for fun, let's consider another common binary. What if the line read 'not only for men AND women'…. Shouldn't both men and women receive the same level of customer service? Of course they should. So should both permanent and seasonal and visitors (now that's three so no longer a binary, but hopefully you're catching my this group and that group drift). Yes, there are differences between the needs of these different groups – this is absolutely true. And the population that swells seasonally can create a powerful anomaly at times, including at municipal election time.
But for at least the years, months, and days in between, can't we all just refer to ourselve as the people of Muskoka Lakes or something inclusive like that? Some will try and convince me that this is a needless rant, yet I know language shapes us, and I believe our Muskoka Lakes culture has been changing — and that change seems to be gaining traction. What I've seen over the past decade or so is an 'us versus them' mentality that seems to be growing and festering. Let's call a moratorium on pointing out our differences and let's see if we can renew a culture of inclusiveness. Off water, on water, property owner, renter, staff housing person, the family who rents my neighbour's cottage for a week, and tourist. We're all here because we love Muskoka, or are attracted to Muskoka for some reason — and certainly we should expect anybody who serves us to strive to help us get the most out of being in Muskoka, whether in January or July.
Just sayin'. But then again, if words aren't powerful, no one should give one whit about this blog post.
Here is the copy from the ad. For those who are interested, applications are to be submitted by August 23 to the firm noted in the ad.
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER – Township of Muskoka Lakes ON
The Township of Muskoka Lakes is seeking candidates for the position of Chief Administrative Officer. The successful candidate will ensure that the Mayor and Council are appropriately advised, and continuously develop and inspire a senior management team which will have a focus on excellence in customer service for not only permanent and seasonal residents, but also the thousands who visit annually.
The skills necessary for this position will have been gained during a career that includes at least five years of senior management experience in a local government environment, with a specialty in at least one area of municipal operations. The successful candidate will also have post-secondary education, likely with a graduate degree and/or a professional designation.
Interested individuals are invited to submit applications by August 23, 2012 to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to N.G. Bellchamber & Associates, 35 Ambleside Drive, London, ON, N6G 4M3.