Bracebridge Rotary Centre for Youth celebrates its 25th anniversary

At a special club meeting held on the evening of Friday, May 27th, the Rotary Club of Bracebridge celebrated the upcoming 25th year of operation for the Rotary Centre for Youth.

Special guests at the event included Mayor Graydon Smith, Honourary Members Ken Black and Ken Cumming as well as retired Rotarian and former Town Treasurer Andy Nelan.

Bracebridge Rotary Centre for YouthMembers and guests were treated to stories that ranged from the incubation of the idea to the build the building to an overview of how the centre benefits the community today.

The Rotary Centre for Youth is located at 131 Wellington Street and is used 4 nights a week by the local Girl Guides and 1st Bracebridge Scout Canada groups and was officially opened in early June 1991. In addition to thanking the special guests, all who played roles in helping the club make the RCY a reality, the Club honoured one of the members, Bob Jones who played a key role in the development of the facility as well as its operations over the past 25 years.

Mr. Jones was honoured as a Paul Harris Fellow plus 3 (+3). According to Cheryl Kelley, President of the Rotary Club of Bracebridge, “Bob was a member of the Steering Committee for the Building Committee; overseen the construction using his professional expertise as a contractor and has served on the Operating Committee for the Rotary Centre for Youth for the past 25 years. His commitment to our Club and the youth of our community exemplifies the humanitarian objectives of Rotary International. Members of our Club were proud to present him with this recognition”.

The construction of the RCY 25 years ago was funded by a “Wintario Grant” from the Province of Ontario as well as through Club fundraising. The Rotary Club held two annual “house draws” as well as a “cash elimination draw” to pay off the cost of construction within three years of construction. The RCY is situated on land leased from the Town of Bracebridge for a nominal amount. The Club operates the RCY and some of the costs are offset by rentals such as weddings, engagement parties, Christmas parties, business and organizational meetings.

The RCY is used for various functions hosted by the Rotary Club of Bracebridge including the Club’s weekly Friday lunch meetings. Kelley said, “The Club is looking forward to supporting the youth of the community by making the centre available to the community’s youth for the next 25 years”.

Update: Bala in Bloom gets stolen canoe back

Update Friday, June 3: Janie Graham of the Bala in Bloom committee is pleased to report that the committee’s canoe that went missing was returned, anonymously, today. It appeared back on the lawn in front of the Bala Community Centre in pretty much the same spot it disappeared from on May 24. The committee thanks the community for its support.

Original Post: Bala in Bloom wants stolen canoe back

The Bala in Bloom committee placed and old cedar strip canoe for planting in front of the Bala Community Centre on Tuesday, May 24. An hour later it was gone. Volunteers with Bala in Bloom say it went missing about 1 pm that day.

Now they want it back, no questions asked. They ask the community to share this call for help and request that whomever took the canoe simply place it back in front of the Community Centre.

The canoe was donated by Bala resident Eva Moore.

Related Articles:

October 17, 2015, Muskoka News Watch: Bala in Bloom rebrands as it reblooms

Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club gets $150,000 grant to start building

The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club is finally realizing its dream of building a lawn bowling facility in Muskoka due to a $150,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The grant paves the way for construction of the lawn bowling green, which will commence this spring on the grounds of the Muskoka Highlands Golf Course on South Monck Road in Bracebridge. The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club looks forward to welcoming the public in 2017.

MPP Norm Miller declared, “The teamwork and perseverance that has contributed to the awarding of this Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant is remarkable, and I would like to commend all those individuals involved for their extraordinary efforts. I have no doubt that the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club will provide yet another opportunity to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle, and will be a welcome addition to the community.”

Sally Mills, President of the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club explained that “the idea for the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club began a few years ago. After looking at many possible sites, the beautiful Muskoka Highlands Golf Links became our focus due to the generosity of the owner Don MacKay”. MacKay is leasing the land to the bowling club for $1.00 per year, and will provide greens keeping maintenance at cost and access to the clubhouse for the bowlers.

“We are pleased to be part of this enhancement to the Muskoka sports scene”, stated MacKay. “We at Muskoka Highlands strive to be as inclusive with our activities as possible. We believe that active people are healthy people.”

Recent changes to the Ontario Trillium Foundation granting process increased the total capital grant maximum to $150,000 while allowing for new capital construction, which provided the lawn bowling club with a possible funding opportunity. Cindy O’Regan, Director of Recreation for the Town of Bracebridge, provided invaluable advice and support, and offered ongoing assistance to the new club. The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club believes that the assistance of Bracebridge’s Recreation Department, and the ideal location and support from the Muskoka Highlands Golf Links was key to the success of the OTF grant application.

Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith was extremely pleased with the announcement. “On behalf of members of the Town of Bracebridge Council, I would like to congratulate the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club on their hard work and perseverance in obtaining the necessary funding to construct the Lawn Bowling facility. The lawn bowling facility will be an excellent addition to the Town’s recreation and sport opportunities. I am especially encouraged that this facility will introduce youth, adults and seniors to a new healthy activity which encourages sport for life”.

Lawn bowling is often referred to as “curling on grass”, as the rules and terms are similar to ice curling, but without the sweeping. Like curling, lawn bowling appeals to, and is well suited to, all ages and abilities.

Rich Peart of the Ontario Lawn Bowling Association (OLBA) said that “The OLBA has offered assistance with instruction, tournaments and used equipment, and many of their clubs look forward to visiting Ontario’s newest lawn bowling facility. We will continue to offer all assistance that we can and look forward to helping in whatever way that the club needs.”

“The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club is truly grateful for the generous contribution by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. They have made our dream of lawn bowling in Muskoka come true,” added Mills.

The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club is now working to raise funds to buy equipment, fencing, and lighting for the new facility. If you would like to make a donation and help establish this new sport in Muskoka, please contact Sally Mills at 705-646-0086, or visit

Featured photo shows artist’s rendering of new lawn bowling facility.


Elizabeth May adds public meet and greet stop to Muskoka visit Saturday

While in Bracebridge for the Muskoka Summit on the Environment, Elizabeth May will meet the public in a separate event early Saturday morning.

The Green Party of Canada Leader will speak briefly on proportional representation and other issues followed by a short question and answer period.

Space is limited to just 50 people on Saturday, May 28, for the breakfast meeting from 8:30-9:30am at the Riverwalk Restaurant in Bracebridge. Coffee, tea and a light fare will be provided.

Space limited to 50; reservations required

The breakfast meeting is open to the public but space is limited. People wanting to attend must RSVP to 705-394-7336 or by email to to reach event host Matt Richter, Parry Sound-Muskoka candidate for the Green Party of Ontario. He says reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis.

May will also be speaking at the Muskoka Summit on the Environment later the same morning.

Derrick Hammond to head up Huntsville Development Services

Derrick Hammond has been appointed to the position of Executive Director of Development Services for the Town of Huntsville. In a release, the Town states Hammond will be responsible for leading the Planning, Sustainability, Building, By-law Departments and Economic Development in support of achieving the Town’s strategic goals and objectives.

Derrick Hammond has over 26 years of municipal planning experience.  He is currently serving as the District of Muskoka’s Director of Continuous Improvement. He has also held roles as Director of Planning Services for the District of Muskoka and Manager of Planning with the Township of Lake of Bays. Hammond is a Registered Professional Planner and holds a Master of Arts – Geography (University of Waterloo) and a Bachelor of Arts – Geography – Concentration Political Science (University of Ottawa).

Hammond is also a Canadian Armed Forces Reservist, active through the Royal Canadian Army Cadet program, mentoring and coaching leadership skills to youth throughout Muskoka.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Town Council and staff to achieve Council’s priorities and serving the Town of Huntsville’s ratepayers,” said Hammond.

Town officials say they look forward to Hammond’s arrival on June 20, 2016 and wish him all the best in his new position as Executive Director of Development Services.

“We are thrilled that Derrick will be joining our team. The expertise and experience that Derrick brings with him will truly be an asset to the Corporation and the people in which it serves,” said Denise Corry, CAO.

Trespasser linked to brush fire in Huntsville

A daytime fire quickly grew out of control in Huntsville yesterday sparking a two hectare brush fire.

It was spotted by a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) ‎plane around 2:30pm yesterday afternoon in the area of Brunel Rd. and Muskoka Rd. 10.

The MNRF alerted the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department to the brush fire that had grown to about two hectares in size.

Firefighters with the help of a crew from the MNRF were able to stop the spreading fire that also engulfed a workshop and vehicle.

Fire officials say a trespasser on the property was burning during restricted hours which had spread quickly out of control.

The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department would like to remind residents that there is no Daytime Burning allowed, and this fire is an example of how a fire can quickly get out of control when burning during restricted hours.

Damage to the shop and vehicle is estimated at $30,000.

Submitted photo


44 pounds of pot seized: St. Catherines man facing trafficking charge

A 29 year old St. Catherines man is facing charges after 44 pounds of pot was found in the vehicle he was driving on Highway 400.

On Tuesday May 17th a Barrie OPP officer  conducted a vehicle stop for a traffic infraction on Highway 400 near Ski Trails Rd. in Springwater Township.  The officer determined that marijuana was present in the vehicle and subsequently seized 44 pounds of marijuana.

The driver Steven Gionet of St Catharines was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking – over 3kg.

The accused will appear in Barrie court on Monday July 4th.


Ontario’s Labour Relations Board dismisses charges filed by TLDSB

Ontario’s Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has dismissed charges filed by the Trillium Lakelands District School Board against District 15 of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO).

OSSTF/FEESO teachers in Trillium Lakelands have been without a local contract for more than 20 months and have been engaged in a legal strike in the form of a selective withdrawal of services for the past six months in support of their efforts to negotiate a fair agreement.
In their application to the OLRB, the Trillium Lakelands Board accused OSSTF/FEESO of bargaining in bad faith by deliberately taking positions at the bargaining table that are illegal. The Board further claimed that OSSTF/FEESO’s strike action, based on its negotiating position, is also illegal.
OLRB Vice-Chair Patrick Kelly rejected the claims of the school board and ruled that none of the OSSTF/FEESO bargaining proposals in question are illegal. He also took no issue with the legality of the current job action, and dismissed all of the school board’s allegations.
“It’s time for this school board to stop playing legal games and come back to the bargaining table,” said Cindy Dubue, OSSTF/FEESO Provincial Vice President and chair of the negotiating team, in a press release. “They’ve used their bogus allegations as an excuse to avoid bargaining, and in the end they’ve succeeded only in prolonging a strike that should have been settled months ago.”
“Unlike the Trillium Lakelands Board, we have been committed to the collective bargaining process throughout these negotiations,” said District 15 President Colin Matthew. “Our members will certainly feel vindicated by this decision, but what they are really looking for is a fair, negotiated deal. It’s now time for the Board to finally sit down with us and engage in serious negotiations.”

Great weather for Bracebridge Farmer’s Market season opener

Today marked the opening of the season for the Bracebridge Farmer’s Market and the weather was fantastic to boot.

The market runs each Saturday in Bracebridge’s Memorial Park on Manitoba Street between 8:30am and 1pm until the Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend.

Check out some photos from Opening Day and be sure to keep up on all the market’s news at




One person airlifted from Hwy 11 accident scene in Severn Twp

Bracebridge Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is currently investigating a serious collision on Highway 11 at Southwood Road.

At 12:40pm  emergency services were called to attend a collision at Highway 11 Northbound at Southwood Road in Severn Bridge.

There were two vehicles involved in the collision, with one person having serious injuries. The highway was temporarily closed by the OPP to allow the person to be airlifted to the hospital for immediate medical attention.

One lane in both Southbound and Northbound directions of Highway 11 has been re-opened to traffic.

The investigation is currently ongoing and an update will be sent out when the Highway is completely re-opened.


Medals tip leads to child porn charges for Orillia man

An Orillia man faces child porn charges after an investigation was launched about his wearing medals at parades that weren’t awarded to him.

On Monday May 16th, Orillia OPP received a complaint about the man attending local parades sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion wearing medals that he wasn’t awarded.

The complaint came from representatives of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Legion.

As a result of the information provided, the Orillia OPP Street Crime Unit arrested a 62 year old man from Mooney Crescent in the City of Orillia. Police also executed a search warrant at the residence and storage locker belonging to the accused.

Several items were seized that had been worn by the individual while attending public parades and events. Police also located items related to accessing and possessing child pornography.

Clayton Donoghue was arrested and held for a bail hearing, he has been charged with the following offences:

Make Forged Document x 2

Use Forged Document x 2

Breach of Trust

Unlawful Use of Military Uniform – wears a distinctive mark

Unlawful Use of Military Uniform – possession of a certificate

Obstruct a Public Officer

Possession of Child Pornography

Accessing Child Pornography

Charges laid after illegal garbage burning

Charges have been laid following an illegal burn in Muskoka Lakes.

At 10:45 Thursday morning, Muskoka Lakes Fire Department Station #6-Port Carling responded to a report of a large column of black smoke in the air as a result of a pile of garbage on fire.

Station #6 firefighters put the blaze out quickly – the investigation found that the pile contained plastics, rubber tires, metal, and other prohibited items being burnt.

When crews arrived the fire was found to be unsupervised by anyone on the property and as a result charges were laid.

Muskoka Lakes Fire Chief Richard Hayes wants to remind residence that any day time burning is banned between April 1st and October 31, unless you have a day time burning permit.

Permits can be obtained at the Township Office in Port Carling at 1 Bailey St.

If you are going to have a fire, whether during the day time with a permit or two hours before sunset it must be clean burning, supervised at all times, and have a good supply of extinguishing agent available to put the fire out.

Prior to starting to burn, please check the Fire Rating by checking the Township web page or calling 1 877 847 1577.

Gravenhurst Fire Chief praises team effort at battling recent wildfires

Gravenhurst Fire Chief Larry Brassard is singing the praises of area firefighters for their team efforts when the township was threatened by four recent wildfires.
“On Thursday May 12th, the Town of Gravenhurst was threatened by four significant wildfires that erupted and had to be battled concurrently,” he writes. “In the hours following these events, many people offered up very supportive comments, praising the work firefighters did in controlling and extinguishing these fires. Various media outlets also reported that we were ably supported by our friends from the Muskoka Lakes, Bracebridge and Severn Township fire departments, and I would like to publicly acknowledge the great work these departments did working alongside our crews. It was truly a team effort.”
“It’s important for your readers to know that many others stepped forward last Thursday to help as well. Our 9-1-1 dispatchers answered numerous calls and managed hundreds of radio transmissions and requests for contacts to allied agencies. The O.P.P. facilitated safe working sites for our firefighters along Highway 11 and Winhara Road. At several sites, members of the public stepped forward to help pull hose or carry equipment. Other Town of Gravenhurst staff and several of our past members stepped forward to help, as did a member of Town Council who also served on the department for many years. People brought water to thirsty firefighters and helped out in other ways too.
Many, including me, had the fresh images of the devastation of the Alberta wildfires in mind as the day progressed.”
“Thankfully, the collective efforts of a community contributed to a better outcome here. To all who lent a hand to keep our community safe that day, I express my heartfelt thanks. Gravenhurst truly is a wonderful place to call home!”
Gravenhurst Fire Chief Larry Brassard
(Photo via @HollyMatrimony on twitter)

Big drug bust in Bracebridge

A Smooth Rock Falls man has been charged following a big drug bust in Bracebridge.

OPP responded to a complaint from a motorist on Monday about a possible impaired driver on Highway 11 North at 10pm.

Officers were able to locate the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop near Taylor Road.

As a result of their investigation, the driver, 55 year-old Daniel Viau of Smooth Rock Falls was arrested and charged with the following offences:

  • Driving While Ability Impaired by Drug
  • Possession of a Schedule I Substance (Cocaine)
  • Possession of a Schedule II Substance (Cannabis) Over 3 Kg for the Purposes of Trafficking
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000

The accused will appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Bracebridge on June 14th.

Gravenhurst bridge replacement pegged at $1.1 million

Gravenhurst’s Pine Creek Bridge is being replaced and it’s going to cost at least $1.1 million to do it.

The proposed construction contract goes before the District’s Engineering and Public Works Committee for approval today.

The bridge is located on Muskoka Road 169, 7km northwest of the town and it’s being recommended that the replacement contract be awarded to Coon Brothers Sand and Gravel in the amount of $861,647.00 excluding GST.

District staff say that beyond the construction cost, another $225,114 in project costs and $13,239 for consulting will be needed, bringing the total to $1.1 million, to be paid for out of the District’s Roads Capital Reserve fund.

A 2013 bi-annual bridge inspection revealed its T-beam and deck soffit showed extensive spalling, which was causing the steel reinforcement to become exposed and rusted. The original centre span bridge was also found to be in poor condition with no waterproofing on the entire bridge deck. Water is leaking through the joints between the original bridge and the two widenings, causing continual deterioration of the beams.

It was concluded it would be most cost effective to replace the bridge. Temporary lane restrictions to replace it would also be less disruptive to traffic than a closure for rehabilitation followed by a future closure in 10-15 years for an eventual replacement.

Safe kids bike rodeo planned at Huntsville Public School

Spring is here and that means it’s cycling season. But what’s fun for kids can be a worry for parents. Are your kids as safe as they can be? Make sure they are by bringing them to Kids’ Bike Rodeo on Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm at Huntsville Public School.

Organized by the OPP, the Town’s Sustainable Huntsville program and sport therapy experts at The SportLab, this fun and educational clinic for kids aged 5 to 12 will ensure that they have the equipment and cycling safety skills they need. “A lifetime of cycling begins with a solid education in bike skills. The Kids’ Bike Rodeo helps kids and parents learn in a fun, interactive, and supportive way,” says Staff/Sergeant John-Paul Graham of the OPP.

Kids will make their way in groups of six through a variety of stations designed to improve their cycling knowledge and skills, including helmet and bike safety checks, recognizing road signs, learning cycling hand signals, a mock intersection, and an agility course.

The agility course is anticipated to be the group favourite; with cyclists riding as slow as they can while maneuvering through pylons and doing shoulder checks to identify images held up by volunteers.

The entire rotation will take approximately about 30 minutes. Young cyclists then receive a delicious snack, a completed checklist, certificate and some bike goodies.
“The Kids’ Bike Rodeo is a grassroots initiative that will help our children develop basic cycling fundamentals to help keep them safe while out on their bikes,” said Dr. Lowell Greib of The SportLab. “At the same time, we hope to motivate them to think about cycling as not just a means of transportation, but also as possible sport of choice as they develop into young adults.”

The Kids’ Bike Rodeo is free of charge, but registration is required. Please call 855-776-7852 or drop-in to The SportLab at 68 West Road, Unit #2, Huntsville, to book your half-hour time slot.

The Kids’ Bike Rodeo will be followed by the Mayor’s Bike Ride at River Mill Park. Cyclists who can ride 12km are welcome to participate. Visit for details on both events.

Muskoka artist designs new Canadian mint coins honouring national heroes

The Royal Canadian Mint is proudly honouring Canada’s national heroes with a new silver collector coin series designed by a Muskoka artist.

The series by artist Ken Ryan features firefighters, paramedics, police and the military, all of which face danger in the line of duty yet remain steadfast in their commitment and dedication to helping others. The coins were unveiled today at a ceremony held at the Mint’s production facility in Winnipeg.

 “On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to thank our firefighters, paramedics, police and the military for their commitment to preserve and protect the lives of Canadians every single day,” said the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance. “The dedication and professionalism of these brave men and women, who ensure we continue to live in a safe society, are a true inspiration to all Canadians.”

“This coin series is a wonderful addition to any collection, paying tribute to our everyday heroes who put themselves at risk every time they answer the call of duty to protect us,” said Sandra Hanington, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “These coins are also a way for the Mint and all of our employees to say thank you for the unwavering selflessness and courage these heroes demonstrate in their communities.”

In conjunction with this coin series, the Mint is donating $10,000 to the Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal (Fort McMurray) as well as $5 from the sale of every “Firefighters” coin, which is the first coin in the series

Each of the four coins in the series is produced in 99.99% pure silver and features selective colour over engraving which brings to life the depiction of a firefighter (above), paramedic, police officer or infantry soldier in the line of duty. Designed by Ryan, each coin has a face value of $15, a mintage of 10,000 and retails for $69.95.

These coins can be ordered from the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or online at  The “Firefighters” coin is available now at the Mint’s boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well as through the Mint’s global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.  The remaining three coins in the series can be ordered from the Mint as of today and will be available on the following dates:

  • Paramedics – June 7, 2016
  • Police – August 7, 2016
  • Military – September 6, 2016

The entire series is also available by subscription.  Each subscription includes a special wooden collector case to proudly showcase all of these heroes side by side. Contact the Mint today!

MAHC wins award for electronic health record project

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) has earned a 2nd place award for Excellence and Innovation in Project Execution for Cerner Implementation in recognition of MAHC’s Electronic Health Record project.

The award was presented during the Advancing Clinical Excellence Award Gala in April in Québec City as part of the Canada Collaboration Forum event, and includes a $1,000 donation that has been split between the Huntsville Hospital Foundation and the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.

Cerner’s Advancing Clinical Excellence awards recognize partners that have demonstrated excellence in implementing and adopting health care information technology (IT) that provide quality solutions for documenting patient care and enhancing workflow processes. MAHC’s submission demonstrated how the system has provided benefits to clinicians and patients, enhanced interprofessional collaboration and enhanced processes, and increased efficiencies.

MAHC successfully implemented the Cerner Electronic Health Record system in partnership with the Grey Bruce Information Network in June 2015. The new electronic system involved interfacing nine different electronic applications that are used in nearly every clinical area of the hospital. It was the result of months of behind-the-scenes preparatory work by numerous staff across the organization to design and build the system to meet MAHC’s needs and months of training to hundreds of front-line staff and physicians. As a teaching hospital, nursing students, allied health students, medical students and residents receive a more comprehensive, hands-on learning experience with electronic charting.

“By implementing and adopting this technology, we have created more timely access to patient results, which allows faster clinical decision-making and interventions. We have also improved work processes and standardized documentation to improve patient safety and reduce risk,” says Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to be recognized for the hard work that has been done to implement this technology.”

LIV Muskoka gets crucial outdoor patio approval from District Council

by Matt Sitler

A District Council decision is paving the way for a new outdoor patio area in front of Bracebridge’s LIV Muskoka nightclub at 27 Manitoba Street.

The Town of Bracebridge had received an application from LIV for a licensed 16 person patio on the sidewalk and a temporary sidewalk platform.


The sidewalk platform will utilize 3 parking spaces and allow for the movement of pedestrian traffic around the patio.

The Town has told the District they would consider a 4 year seasonal agreement, between April 15th and October 15th and would also support the District’s position of a one year trial basis License of Occupation with the option to extend for additional years, subject to District staff review of the safety and maintenance of the walkway within the parking lanes.

Last night, District Council granted its approval.

You’re invited to the 32nd annual Gravenhurst Mayor’s Tea

Join Mayor Paisley Donaldson and members of Council at the Gravenhurst Opera House on Tuesday May 31st to celebrate the ’32nd Annual Mayor’s Tea’.

The Mayor’s Tea is held in recognition of  Senior’s Month, but it’s an event the entire community can take part in.

Doors open for this annual tradition at 12:30 pm with entertainment starting at 1pm and tea to follow, (approximately 1:45pm). This is an opportunity for our community to enjoy a complimentary afternoon of entertainment, socialization, fellowship and of course tea and other refreshments in the stunning historical theatre located in the heart of downtown Gravenhurst.

“I look forward to seeing everyone’s smiling faces, especially after another long winter,” said Mayor Donaldson. “This is a great opportunity to catch up with community members and pay homage to all of our wonderful seniors, thanking them for their many contributions to our
Town,” added the Mayor.

This year’s high tea will also feature three types of finger sandwiches to enjoy; tuna, ham and cheese and of course egg salad. Sandwiches will be provided by Impact Muskoka. Don’t forget to try a cookie or square baked specially by Community Living South Muskoka! As for beverages, ‘tea’ will be the star of the party, but coffee and a refreshing homemade punch will also be served.

As part of the afternoon’s entertainment the Fernglen Fiddleheads will be performing live on stage. The band consists of fiddles, guitar, banjo, bass, percussions, and a piano. Traditional fiddle tunes such as jigs and reels form the foundation of the band’s repertoire. Music that is fun, spirited, and sure to set you in motion and your toes a tapping!

Immediately following the entertainment, everyone is invited to the Trillium Court for complimentary refreshments and an assortment of delicious desserts, served by Council and the Recreation, Arts and
Culture staff.

Store clerk airlifted to hospital after assault

A store clerk had to be airlifted to a Toronto area hospital this past weekend after being assaulted at work.

Bracebridge Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) with the assistance of the Muskoka Crime Unit and the OPP Forensic Identification Unit is investigating a theft at a business on Muskoka Road 38 in Georgian Bay Township.

It happened Saturday at 5:30 p.m., when an unknown man entered the store and demanded money, assaulted the lone clerk and left with a quantity of cash.

The clerk sustained serious, non-life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to a Toronto area hospital for treatment.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact Bracebridge OPP at (888) 310-1122 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

New swim access dock being discussed for Bracebridge’s Kelvin Grove Park

A new floating dock for swimming access could be built at Kelvin Grove Park in Bracebridge Bay to the tune of $40,000.

Bracebridge’s General Committee will look at preferred Option #2 this week – it’s for a floating t-dock that would extend into the Muskoka River and be connected to the Kelvin Grove Park Wharf by a ramp. (See diagram)

A report issued to councillors states that river currents in that area can be strong after heavy summer rain storm events and that weaker swimmers may face difficulties swimming back to the dock.

According to the report, swim buoys would need to be installed around the swimming area so that swimmers, if caught in current, would have a safety line to stop them from floating 75 metres to the Muskoka Rowing Club

Dock to exit the water. Option #2 was identified in a Staff Report to be selected as the preferred alternative for swimming access at the location.

*’Keep Out’ buoys are also recommended as part of the plan for Option #2 to indicate to boaters that the area is closed to navigation.

Bracebridge free parking trial could start July 1st

Bracebridge could provide free on-street parking in all parking metered zones for a six month trial period starting July 1st.

The recommendation’s been made by a working group studying the various options.

Under the plan, $35,000 from the Town’s Snow Clearing Reserve fund would offset the loss of parking meter revenue during the trial. $5,000 would also be paid to the Town by the Bracebridge BIA reserve fund to further offset the loss of revenue, as would a further $16,000, plus the amount of any other deficit resulting from the trial, which would be taken from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve.

Bylaw would enforce maximum parking time limits in effect in the parking metered zones throughout the six months.

On top of this, a new parking enforcement officer would also have to be hired on a temporary basis to monitor and enforce the limits between September 1st and December 31st at an estimated cost of $6,500.

$2,000 of that would be covered via money previously allocated to the Parking Meter Working Group (PMWG) by Council – the remainder would be taken from the approved 2016 Parking Meter Capital Budget.

If the plan goes ahead, Bracebridge’s Chief By-Law Enforcement Officer Scott Stakiw would report back to the Town’s General Committee in early 2017 about the results and give recommendations for future options as they relate to on-street parking within the BIA.

Councillors are expected to debate the issue this week at General Committee.

Site of future Bracebridge Arena/Recreation complex unveiled

Today Mayor Graydon Smith on behalf of Council, along with Cindy and Monte Goble of Willen Investments Inc., were on hand to announce a significant donation of land that will serve as the future site for a new Bracebridge Arena/Recreation Complex.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Willen Investments Inc. has generously donated 22 acres of land, located beyond the current end of Salmon Avenue, for the development of a new recreation facility in our community. The Town is truly grateful to the Goble family for supporting the residents of Bracebridge in our pursuit to replace the aging Memorial Arena,” said Mayor Smith.

The replacement of the existing 67-year-old facility has been identified by Council as a priority project in the coming years. After forming a working group of Councillors and staff during the previous term to examine other facilities and work with local stakeholders, a preliminary feasibility plan was completed in late 2014. Included in this plan were a number of potential sites that would be suitable for the project.

Mayor Smith says the Town examined locations throughout the community and that the parcel of land owned by the Goble’s was seen as the best fit for the project even before the possibility of a donation was discussed.

“Not only will this location keep our arena in the urban core, it will also help strengthen the surrounding area while paving the way for new private development to occur,” he said. Cindy Goble expressed her happiness at making the land available.

“My family has owned this property in Bracebridge for over 30 years and it is our pleasure to contribute a substantial portion of our land for the betterment of the citizens of the Town of Bracebridge,” she says. “We are excited to watch this development blossom and look forward to this community coming together in the name of sport and recreation.”

With the site now secured, the Town will proceed with the next steps to move the project forward, developing a design and concept plan as well as more detailed pricing which it will use to formulate a funding strategy.

“Recognizing the Federal Government has recently announced that recreation facilities will be part of the new Building Canada Fund and knowing that Provincial funding for major new facilities may also be available, the Town will work with senior levels of Government to maximize their contributions to this important project” said Mayor Smith. “There is exciting work ahead of us to bring this project to fruition.”

Vandals hit Bala Falls power site: fence cut, disassembled and removed

Vandals have struck at Bala Falls removing a recently installed fence that was put up in advance of the pending new hydroelectric facility there.

Photos provided to Muskoka News Watch show that the fence was cut, unfastened and removed (bolts and bits of fence were left at the scene, see photos).

imageSwift River Energy Ltd. Vice President Frank Belerique says he suspected from the onset the fence was tampered with and he says the fence installer has since confirmed as much.

An opponent of the hydro project recently publicly chastised the company, insinuating that if Swift River couldn’t get a fence right, then how could they build a power plant, implying that the fence just washed away.

“The fence did not wash away or fall over because of poor workmanship or materials,” says Belerique. “The fence posts are still standing and perfectly plumb. The fence was vandalized, pure and simple.”

imageHe adds, “I am very disappointed that people would stoop so low as to break the law to help them spread a lie, but not entirely surprised. We do not know what happened to the missing fence or where it is.”

The cost to reinstall the fence will be about $4,200.

image 9Bala Falls vandalism

Multiple fires from Gravenhurst to Huntsville may be linked to burning rail car

Update May 13, 11:30am MUSKOKA: Two other fires were also fought in Huntsville yesterday. According to the the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department, fire crews responded in the morning to a home on Fairyview Drive in Huntsville for a fire on the exterior of the building. The quick actions of a neighbor who had spotted the fire kept the fire from spreading into the attic space and allowed crews to fully extinguish the fire and keep it contained to the exterior of the home. The cause is suspected to be from improperly disposed smoking materials which had ignited the grass and spread to the building. Damage was estimated at $5000.

On Thursday afternoon, fire crews along with Ministry of Natural Resources battled a large brush fire approximately 4 hectares size in the Raven Lake area of Lake of Bays. This fire was caused by a contractor burning during restricted hours. Charges are pending in this fire. The Ministry of Natural Resources brought in water bombers to assist in controlling the blaze.

The Fire Department has now also confirmed that it’s suspected spot fires along the CNR tracks throughout Muskoka may have been caused by a rail car that was burning and then extinguished by firefighters in Huntsville.

Original post: Firefighters from Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Bracebridge and Port Sydney were busy yesterday dealing with six separate fire sites across Gravenhurst to Huntsville. All Gravenhurst fires appeared to be close to the CNR railway lines. As of 5:30pm yesterday, all fires were under control. In Huntsville, two fire trucks responded to a rail car on fire on the CN line adjacent to Aspdin Road near Ferguson. And firefighters were also deployed to a grass fire on Lone Pine Drive between Bracebridge and Huntsville.

Note: Featured photo shows fire crews on a rail car just moments after extinguishing a fire in the rail car. Photo by Norah Fountain.

The first Gravenhurst fire was reported shortly after 1pm located behind the Ministry of Transportation weigh scales on Highway 11 and southbound Highway 11 was closed while firefighters fought the blaze. A second fire site at Caroline Street was put out quickly.

Gravenhurst and Huntsville fires
Police blocked Winhara Road at the Gravenhurst entrance leaving Bracebridge near the Kubota plant and also at Jones Road in Gravenhurst while fire crews dealt with a fire near Jones.

The third fire site was at Winhara Road, near Jones Road, which OPP told Muskoka News Watch was under control as of 5 pm, but the road remained blocked to traffic due to the dry conditions.

The fourth fire site was reported on Rusty Rock Road. All available Gravenhurst units were deployed to fight the fires. Bracebridge, Muskoka Lakes and Severn Township Fire Departments provided valuable assistance through implementation of the Mutual Aid plan.

No injuries were reported in the Gravenhurst fires and only one structure was reported damaged — an unoccupied mobile home on Winhara Road.

Burning rail car may have caused spot fires

In Huntsville around 2pm, firefighters were fighting a blaze in a rail car on the CN line that runs adjacent to Aspdin Road. It was the seventh car on the train. It was quickly separated from the rest of the rail cars and two fire crews responded. The rail car was carrying wooden railway ties and the fire was quickly extinguished by the fire crews. Officials of the Huntsville/Lake of Bays fire department say it is suspected that the burning rail car in Huntsville caused spot fires along the CNR tracks throughout Muskoka. CN Rail continues to investigate the cause of the fire in the rail car. While this fire was being put out, crews from Station 3 in Port Sydney were dispatched to a grass fire along the CNR tracks near Lone Pine Drive and Stephenson Road 1 along with crews from Bracebridge Fire. This fire spread to cover an area of about two hectares in size.

UPDATED: Bracebridge OPP say missing teens have been found

UPDATE: OPP report both teens have been found safe and sound.

PRIOR: Bracebridge Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is seeking the public’s assistance in locating 14 year-old Curtis Cooney and 14 year-old Dailynn Rockburn both of Bracebridge. Police were contacted after the pair walked away from a residence on Stephenson Road 1 in Huntsville on Tuesday around 5:00 p.m.


Dailynn Rockburn (left) is 5’5” tall, 130 lb, medium build with long dark hair and brown eyes.


Curtis Cooney (left) is 6’ tall, 130 lb, thin build with medium length brown hair, brown eyes and glasses.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact Bracebridge OPP at (888) 310-1122 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Join Climate Change conversation at Muskoka Summit on the Environment

Climate change is ‘accelerating’, undergoing some of the largest changes recorded in the past 65 million years, say scientists from Stanford University. On May 27th and 28th join Elizabeth May and other experts at the Rene Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge to discuss local, regional and national solutions to climate change.

The countries who participated in COP21 in Paris last December agreed to take steps to limit emissions so that the global mean annual temperature would rise no more than 2oC of the pre-industrial mean. Canada was one of those countries. What will that mean for you, your job and your way of life? Join in the discussion at the Muskoka Summit on the Environment and provide input for policy makers.

“The idea that we have to pick between a strong economy and a healthy environment is outdated thinking”, states Stewart Elgie, a professor with the University of Ottawa. Elgie feels that there is abundant evidence, both in Canada and beyond, about how to “decouple” economic growth from environmental protection.

GlobalTemperatureGraphDrawing on the latest research and examples from across Canada and around the world, Dr. Elgie will discuss how to put Canada on the path to clean growth. This means retooling our energy, transport, building and industrial systems to adopt modern, low carbon technologies and processes, most of which already exist today.

Are our youth up for the challenge? There will be over 30 high school and university students at the Summit to ensure that we work toward a world they want to inherit.

What impact will climate change policy have on Muskoka?

Last year, a network of more than 60 scholars from all 10 provinces of Canada drafted a report entitled Sustainable Canada Dialogues. To build a collective vision of a pathway to sustainability for Canada, a Delphi survey was launched in June 2014. The Delphi survey identified six main areas for action:
·         transition to a low-carbon economy
·         transforming the energy system
·         urban planning and transportation
·         governance and institutions
·         land use
·         education, information and research

Dr. Catherine Potvin, from McGill University, will present these policy directions in the context of Muskoka. How does Muskoka transition to a low-carbon society? How will it impact how you live your life?

Register now to join the discussion at the 2016 Muskoka Summit on the Environment – Solutions for a Warming World, May 27th and 28th at the Rene Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge. Visit for more information.

Data Photo submitted by the Muskoka Watershed Council.

Miller seeks to ease Bill 100 trail closure concerns

Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller has sought to allay trail closure concerns this week by addressing the changes that Bill 100 will bring if passed into law. He did so in the following letter to the editor (see below).

To the Editor,

With the passage of Bill 100 through second reading, there has been renewed interest at my office regarding the Supporting Ontario’s Trails Act. I would like to take this opportunity to provide some insight as to where Bill 100 stands in the legislative process, as well as potential implications as it moves forward.

As of April 14th, 2016, Bill 100 has passed 2nd reading and is currently before the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly.

First off, I would like to say that we are fortunate to have some of the best trails in the Province of Ontario. Every year, thousands of outdoor enthusiasts travel to Parry Sound – Muskoka to hike, bike, ski, ride, and snowmobile. For decades, this network of trails has been maintained and grown through relationships between trails organizations and private landowners. I would like to thank the private landowners that allow trail use across their property.

These personal and often informal agreements to allow for trail access across private property are part of the local success story. These agreements will not be affected by the passage of Bill 100.
Even though the snowmobile trail season has ended for this winter, there is already concern that misinformation about the easement section (12) of Bill 100 could lead to trail closures next year.

I have spoken personally with Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport, Michael Coteau on this and he has provided in writing that: “An easement pursuant to Bill 100, if passed, would be a voluntary agreement between a landowner and an eligible body or bodies. No property owner would be compelled to provide an easement unless they agreed to do so”. During my allotted time to speak to Bill 100 at second reading I specifically asked that this statement be put into the Bill as landowners have requested.

To be clear, this is all voluntary. No property owner will be compelled to provide an easement unless they agree to. Also, Landowner rights are strengthened in Bill 100 with the following changes:

Maximum fines for trespassing are increased from $2000 to $10,000, and the current $1000 cap on damages caused by trespassing is eliminated thus allowing for greater fines when warranted. There is also a reduction and clarification of liability for the property owner.

If there are any questions regarding the progress of Bill 100 or if you have any individual concerns to add, please do not hesitate to contact my office. The full text of my remarks during 2nd reading debate of this bill can be found at

Norm Miller, MPP Parry Sound – Muskoka

Human remains found in Haliburton identified By OPP

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has concluded the search for a missing Bowmanville man whom investigators believe disappeared as the result of foul play.

David Palmer is a 47 year-old male who was last seen on Friday October 2, 2015 – one week before the 2015 Canadian Thanksgiving. On October 14, 2015, Palmer’s brown 2002 Honda Accord, bearing Ontario Licence plate BWCZ 783, was recovered by police near Spruce Lake Trail, near the Village of Haliburton.

Between May 3 and 6, 2016 the OPP conducted a search of an area north of the village of Hailburton, in relation to David Palmer. On May 6, 2016, police discovered human remains and secured the scene for further investigation.

On May 9, 2016, a post mortem examination of the remains was conducted and the human remains were identified as being that of David Palmer.

Muskoka named companies unveiled in Panama Papers leak

The Panama Papers leak has revealed two companies that have Muskoka in their name.

They are Muskoka Lakes Capital Investment Ltd. and Muskoka Trading Corp.

The first has a registered address in Toronto and the second has its address registered in Port Carling. The status for both companies was listed as “dead” (as opposed to being active).

Offshore companies are not illegal and there are legitimate uses for such companies and trusts, but they are sometimes used to hide both the origin and the owners of money, and to avoid paying tax. A disclaimer that is connected to the database that was made public today and was repeated on reads:

“We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.”

The searchable information includes the name of anyone listed as a director or shareholder of an offshore Panama Papers Canadacompany in the huge Panama Papers leak. Of those 200,000 named, 625 are Canadian.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) made the database public this afternoon. Anyone can search it.

Campfire blamed for grass fire in Muskoka Lakes

Township of Muskoka Lakes fire department officials believe a grass fire this afternoon at Rosseau Lake Road 1 was caused by the remains of a campfire the night before.

About 20 firefighters from two fire stations responded to a grass fire at 1095 Rosseau Lake Road 1 today just after 2 pm. The fire was quickly contained and extinguished after burning approximately 1 acre of field.

Fire officials say cause of this fire was a result of a small campfire the night before that the owners truly believed Burnedarea2was extinguished. The Township of Muskoka Lakes Fire Department urges everyone to take the time to properly put out a campfire with water or bury all embers with dirt.

The area is beginning to dry up, and the surface grass has not fully greened up. Luckily now, the ground is still somewhat damp in locations but this can change very quickly. Once the ground dries, the result is deep rooted fires. When that happens, those grass fires/bush fires change from hours to the fact it can take days or weeks or even months to fully extinguish.

No daytime burning

In Muskoka Lakes, there is no daytime burning without a permit from April 1 to October 31 every year. Small camp fires must be kept under 1 meter in diameter and can only be lit 2 hours before sunset and must be extinguished fully be 2 hours after sunrise. The wind must be under 16 k/h and you can only burn environmentally acceptable products. When the fire gauge signs read “severe” there is absolutely no burning. Take the time to read these signs as they are posted at almost every major road coming into the Township of Muskoka Lakes and in the communities of Bala and Port Carling. The fire rating can also be viewed at the Township of Muskoka Lakes web site, by clicking the alert sign at the bottom of the title page and then scroll down to see the rating or you can simply call 1-877-847-1577.

Photo submitted by fire department shows burned out area

Remembering Louis Armstrong, a celebration at the Gravenhurst Opera House

It has been almost half a century since the late Louis Armstrong, known to millions as “Satchmo”, brought record crowds to Dunn’s Pavilion Bala in the early 1960s.  On Wednesday, May 25th, Armstrong’s love affair with Muskoka is going to be celebrated at the Gravenhurst Opera House.

Jack Hutton
Jack Hutton and Neville Dickie. Submitted photo

Jack Hutton, an international ragtime pianist from Bala, will be joined by Neville Dickie, England’s top ragtime/stride pianist, and Jon Seiger, a top jazz pianist in the U.S. who also happens to play trumpet and sing like his idol, Louis Armstrong.  The evening will celebrate the music of both Armstrong and early jazz pianist Thomas “Fats” Waller who composed tunes like “Ain’t Misbehavin’ “ and “Honeysuckle Rose”.

Jack and Neville played duelling pianos at Gravenhurst one year ago and then decided to do it again this year. They took it up a couple of notches by inviting Jon Seiger to join them on a third piano and also play trumpet and sing like Louis Armstrong.

Jack, who has been bringing fellow ragtime/jazz performers  like Ragtime Bob Darch, Colm O’Brien, Mimi Blais and Dick Hyman to Gravenhurst over the last 25 years, says he has never been more excited about an upcoming concert.  “We started planning this last November,” he says.  “We’ll start with Armstrong’s signature tune, ‘Sleepy Time Down South’ and keep going up from there.  We’ll close the evening with all three of us going crazy with Waller’s ‘Honeysuckle Rose’.”

Did you ever meet Louis Armstrong?

Jack says he is looking for cottagers or local people who heard or met Louis Armstrong at Bala.  “We need to share those memories,” he says.  “If time doesn’t permit during the concert we’ll keep telling stories downstairs in the Trillium Room [at the Opera House].”

Jack can be reached in Bala at 705-762-5876 or .

School crossing guard hit in Bracebridge

Bracebridge OPP are focusing on pedestrian safety this spring after two collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians at the Wellington Street and Monck Road intersection in Bracebridge.  

The most recent incident occurred on Thursday April 28th at 3:30 p.m. when a vehicle failed to stop while making a right turn from Wellington Street onto Monck road and struck the school crossing guard.  The crossing guard was able to complete her duties but later attended the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  Police are continuing the investigation into the collision as the vehicle that struck the school crossing guard fled the scene.

School crossing guards are easily identifiable wearing bright orange reflective vests and carrying stop signs and are positioned at three busy locations in Bracebridge in order to assist children in getting to and from school safely.

New rules came into effect on January 1, 2016 regarding pedestrian crossovers and school crossings that direct motorists and cyclists to stop and yield the ENTIRE roadway in certain locations, specifically pedestrian crossovers, school crossings and intersections where there is a crossing guard.  This means that the motorist must wait until all pedestrians have cleared the entire roadway and the school crossing guard has returned to the sidewalk before proceeding.

Some safety pointers for motorists include:

  • always look for pedestrians, especially when turning;
  • watch for children and drive cautiously through school zones, residential areas and other areas where children might be walking or playing;
  • be patient, some pedestrians require extra time while crossing the road;

Pedestrians are asked to do their part to keep the roads safe as well by:

  • crossing only at marked crosswalks or traffic lights;
  • making eye contact with drivers before stepping onto the road;
  • obeying traffic signals; and
  • being attentive to their surroundings.

Drivers may be fined up to $500 and face 3 demerit points for offences relating to these areas and fines are doubled in clearly marked Community Safety Zones.

Additional information regarding the new laws can be found at

UPDATE: Three arrested in connection with abduction and assault in Ramara

UPDATE: Three suspects have been arrested in this case (see Prior below). Police say they are still searching for a fourth suspect.

Kevin CADOT, 56 years old of Pickering, has been charged with Forcible Confinement, Assault with a Weapon, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Uttering Threats and Kidnapping. He was held in custody pending a Bail Hearing today in Barrie Criminal Court.

Kyle INGLIS, 25 years old of Pickering, has been charged with Forcible Confinement, Assault with a Weapon, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Uttering Threats and Kidnapping. He was held in custody pending a Bail Hearing today in Barrie Criminal Court.

Aaron WILSON, 44 years old of Scarborough, has been charged with Forcible Confinement, Assault with a Weapon, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Uttering Threats and Kidnapping. He was held in custody pending a Bail Hearing today in Barrie Criminal Court.

(PRIOR) Police are asking for your help in locating the people involved in an assault and abduction in Ramara Township.

On May 1st at 11:30 a.m., Orillia OPP was dispatched to the Ultramar gas station on Highway 12 in Ramara. When officers arrived they were told by the 74 year old male victim that four males had attended his residence and assaulted him before demanding money.

Two of the suspects then abducted the male and left with the victim in a white Ford motorhome. The victim advised that the two other suspects were in a second motorhome with a red canoe on the roof. The victim was able to escape at the gas station and call police.

The motorhome the victim was abducted in was located in the parking lot of the Independent Grocer, located on Beaver Avenue in Beaverton, Ontario. Police are still searching for the second motorhome with the canoe on the roof.

The Orillia Crime Unit is investigating this incident and is requesting the assistance of the public in identifying the parties involved in this incident.

Suspect 1 is, male, Caucasian approximately 6’1″, 210 pounds, large bushy beard.


Suspect 2 is male, Caucasian, 6’3″, about 250 pounds, greyish hair, glasses wearing a black hoodie and jogging pants.


Suspect 2 was known to the victim as Carl from Moncton, New Brunswick. See attached photos of the suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Orillia OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Call Crime Stoppers at 1-800- 222-TIPS. (1-800-222-8477) or submit your information online at if you have any information on this crime or others. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display, you will remain anonymous. Being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000.00.


Three year old boy found safe after lost for 11 hours at Go Home Lake

A frantic overnight search for a three-year-old boy on an island in Go Home Lake had a happy ending on Sunday.

The boy disappeared just before 6pm Saturday night and was found by OPP at 5:30am the next morning, reports Provincial Constable Samantha Bigley of the Bracebridge OPP. She says the child was cold, but found in good health and no medical attention was needed – he wasn’t even taken to hospital.

She adds police pulled out all the stops to find the boy – with over 20 officers dedicated to the search from Bracebridge and neighbouring detachments along with air support. Members of the Go Home Lake community also rallied behind the family to join in the search. The boy’s family has a water access only cottage on the lake which is located in west Muskoka. One neighbour said the boy had just wandered out of his cottage and in a split second, disappeared.