Friends of Muskoka are a group of dedicated volunteers working to protect and to preserve the natural environment and unique character of Muskoka by promoting responsible use and development of its land and lakes. Friends of Muskoka is a not-for-profit Canadian corporation. For more information, click here.
Main activities of Friends of Muskoka
Thanks to the record numbers of people who voted to protect the future of Muskoka, the candidates who support sustainable development now form a majority on four of Muskoka’s municipal councils.
Now we have momentum!
At the old Lakeside Lodge property on 470 ft of Lake Rosseau, the Rosseau Group plan to build 43 cottages. See a video of their progress taken November 2017 here.
Villas of Muskoka
The Villas property is zoned “waterfront resort-commercial”, which means the units are required to be available to the travelling public and cannot be used as a residential or cottage property by the owners of the units. The Villas want to allow owners of these commercially zoned properties to be able to use them as their own personal residences or cottages.
If the Villas were allowed, this is a massive de facto increase in the number of cottages on the Muskoka Lakes without the residential restrictions, such as 200’ of frontage per cottage, to protect the lakes. If allowed at the Villas, the precedent will allow housing projects at any of the 100 ‘resort commercial’ properties around the Muskoka Lakes.
Touchstone / Mist
Property is zoned and building permits issued as resort commercial. Now built, developers have applied to change to condominium / residential which if allowed translates to massive increase in cottage density without normal residential restrictions. Currently appealed to the OMB.
Marriott Red Leaves
The Marriott Red Leaves has applied to build 40 more cottages in this little bay on Lake Rosseau in Minett, Muskoka. The Marriott is zoned resort commercial, but they are hoping to sell these properties as residential units. There's a rush to get this done now before the public catches on and before the District and Muskoka Official Plans formally put an end to this unsustainable and unlawful development in Muskoka.
Clevelands House / Minett Village
The Village of Minett initially plans on building 1400 new units, but that number could be as high as 3300!
This little bay on Lake Rosseau is turning out to be one of the major battlegrounds to Save Muskoka. Lakeside Lodge (Legacy Cottages), Clevelands House (Minett Village) and Marriott Red Leaves are planning to build thousands of residential properties on land zoned resort commercial.
Gull Lake Residential
30 new residential units on the lake proposed.
40 new residential units just North of Windermere
Little Long Lake
The potential to double number of cottages due to applied change in zoning.
There is an application six waterfront lots on the North Shore (through severance) where one lot currently exists, and exempt property owners from a by-law prohibiting lot creation. The application also demands an Official Plan Amendment prior to lot creation because Leonard Lake is defined as an "over-threshold waterbody" according to the District of Muskoka Lake System Health Program.
Hearings are scheduled for September 12th and September 14th. Participation by Leonard Lake Stakeholders through letters of opposition to TML (sent prior to September 6th), and where possible attendance at the hearings, would demonstrate both a common voice saying "no" to new lot creation on a lake that is already deemed "over-threshold" and "at capacity", and a clear commitment to the long term health of our lake.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://leonardlakes.net
the problem in muskoka
We are asking for your help today to fend off a drastic threat to the scenic waterfront communities of Muskoka.
A new District Official Plan will, if enacted, generate high-density redevelopment of resort properties throughout Muskoka.
Sign up for the Friends of Muskoka Waves newsletter for updates on the next chance for input on the new Official Plan. Official plans set the rules of land use and development for a municipality. This new plan would allow any of Muskoka’s 100-plus waterfront commercial properties to be redeveloped into high-density residential subdivisions – thanks to a developer-friendly redefinition of what constitutes a “Resort”. The District of Muskoka’s planners, in a misguided attempt to prop up the ailing resort industry, are proposing that 50% of all new units may be sold and operated as fully residential units, without the requirement to rent. The other 50% can be sold with minimal (and unenforceable) rental obligations. It is, simply, residential densification under the guise of being a “Resort”. Ironically the real effect maybe doing away with resorts entirely as it will be much more lucrative for a developer to fully build out and sell homes on these properties than it will be to run a resort.
If passed, this new District Plan will change the character of Muskoka and our beautiful shorelines forever.
The Muskoka Lakes Association Board and Friends of Muskoka are unanimously opposed to the District’s proposals, and have mounted a strong and collaborative opposition effort. Several other cottage associations are working with us. This is truly a defining moment for Muskoka. It could be an expensive undertaking. But if we don’t act now, in 10 years our children will ask us why we didn’t.
Friends of Muskoka have been working tirelessly over the past year to educate politicians and planners as to what is actually happening and we have effectively paused activity at 5 resorts, including the entire Resort Village of Minett. Developers could be permitted to build up to 3600 residences just in Minett, more than all the cottages on Lake Rosseau and Lake Joseph COMBINED, and that could create a community larger than Bracebridge. Other developments already underway include: Legacy Cottages on Lake Rosseau where the developer has clear cut to build 43 cottages on 470’ of shoreline; Villas of Muskoka on Lake Muskoka where 23 units have been built along 800’ of shoreline; Touchstone Resort on Lake Muskoka that has applied to build an additional 100 residential condominium units; and JW Marriott (Red Leaves) on Lake Rosseau that has applied to build an additional 42 residences along the shoreline. With over 100 commercially zoned properties in the District, (including resorts, camps and marinas), there is huge risk of over-loading the lakes from the stand point of safety, our continued enjoyment, and water quality.
What can you do?
1. SIGN THE PETITION
Please get involved. If you love this beautiful region, let your voice be heard. You can start by joining the thousands who’ve already signed our petition. Here’s the link: bit.ly/SaveMuskoka
2. STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES ON THE NEXT CHANCE FOR INPUT ON THE MUSKOKA OFFICIAL PLAN – SEE THE EVENTS PAGE HERE.
Let’s stop the Muskoka sell-out!
SIGN THE PETITION
We would like the Township of Muskoka Lakes and the Muskoka District Council to protect our environment by enforcing current residential setback and density restrictions for any residential construction proposed on commercial or resort designated or zoned lakefront properties.