Welcome to the MBC 2018 Holiday Newsletter

    Another year has rolled around, what a fantastic one it was for being at the cottage.  Maple, Beech, Cameron Lakes and the surrounding acreage is a pretty special place to be. 

    The Executive and Committees of MBC have been very busy with future plans.  Some of those plans came from the recent survey of the MBC membership.  Thank you so much for showing interest and participating. The Social Committee will share some thoughts with you about that in our March 2019 Newsletter.

    The MBC Thanksgiving Food Drive was an outstanding success thanks to our members and folks in the surrounding area.  Sally Howson and her group of volunteers raised $2640.00 and donated over 400 pounds of food.  Thank you to the kind folks at St. Peters Church for allowing us to use their facilities again.  The staff of the Food Bank were most appreciative.

    This Newsletter is being co authored by Beech Lake Resident Victoria Evans.  Victoria has degrees in English, History and Cottaging.  Victoria penned a couple of articles for the newsletter.  Her “Did You Know..?” column illustrates how challenging it can be to live here.  The article  “How Did I Get Here” will hopefully be the start of your stories of the area.  Let us know how you ended up in this part of Ontario.  Love to hear from you.

    The Financial and technical folks have fixed the glitches in the renewal forms for MBC Membership.  Your 2019 MBC Fees are due now so join up quickly.  We have something special for you to pick up at the next years AGM.

    Deborah Lloyd has left the Executive of MBC.  We would be remiss if we did not thank her for her input and hosting MBC meetings and events.  Thank you Deborah and David.


 On behalf of the Executive and Volunteers of MBC we wish you, your family and friends all the best of the Holiday Season.

Sally Howson, Charlie O'Connor, Helen Missen, Phil Carroll, Tom Fitzsimmons, Heather Carroll, Andrew Schlotter, Bill Missen,  Andy Muirhead, Victoria Evans, Kim Lockhart, Chris Laccase, Carol Hussel, Deborah Lloyd, Sean, Mya, Geb, Marie, Murray Adam


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DID You Know….?

Living in Haliburton County is expensive. Haliburton has the second highest “living wage” in all of Ontario (second only to Toronto).

The “living wage” is what a family of four ( with two adults working full time and two children) need to earn, per hour, to cover basic living expenses (e.g.: food, housing, utilities) and avoid living in poverty. The “living wage” for Haliburton County is $19.42 an hour.

With a living wage that significantly exceeds the minimum wage rate, it is not surprising to learn that twenty-three per cent of children in Haliburton County come from low-income households.

There are ways that we can individually and/or collectively offer support to those living in poverty in Haliburton County.

One example is the food drives held in the spring and fall each year. Through your efforts and generous support we raised $2640.00 over the Thanksgiving weekend for the local foodbank and saw 400lbs. of food donated.

Thank you for caring!


Another organization that supports those struggling to make ends meet in Haliburton county is The Heat Bank Charity.

This charity works at ensuring no one has to go without heat or power because of poverty or crisis.

Phil and Heather Carroll attended the Haliburton County Heat Bank charity event at Rhubarb restaurant November 11, 2018. There were 120 people in attendance and a good time was had by all.

Whether it was the wine, the staff, the restaurant or the live and silent auction items, everyone was very generous. 

Colin and Justin (yes, the design duo!) attended and mingled with the crowd. They have collaborated with Boshkung Brewery to create a “Highland Fling” scotch ale. All proceeds of the scotch ale sales go directly to the Heat Bank (can be purchased from Boshkung Brewery). The event raised an incredible amount of money – just over $18,000!


Slip Sliding Away….

     There is just something special about getting out for a walk in our winter wonderland.  As pleasurable as it is the danger of slipping on ice cannot be ignored.  This has been a particularly bad start to the season for ice.  Often hidden under a thin lay of snow it does not take much to lose traction.  Not sure if trying to recover your balance from a slip is worse than actually falling.  Both seem to hurt.

     So here is a tip for a winter/hiking boot that may just give you a little more confidence and stability.  Mark’s Work Warehouse (CTC) sells boots made by Wind River, they come in at least three different styles.  The soles are infused with carbide pieces that resist slipping on ice.  As the boot sole wears more carbide is exposed.  Comfortable and functional, a good combination in a winter boot.

     They do not replace spikes when the ice really builds up.  If you need a good set of ice spikes Sharpley’s, Outdoors Plus or Algonquin Outfitters in Haliburton can probably help.  If you dedicate them to a pair of boots it saves the frustration of putting them on every time you go out.

 A cautionary note for these types of boots.  Stay off the hardwood!

Stay Safe Out There


Things Left Behind…And Recognition Of Lloyd Thompson

Visiting other people’s cottages is always interesting.  One wonders why or how certain objects are actually arrived there.  Posted to a corkboard is the newspaper clippings from the tornado of 2006, the occasional original metal Maple and Beech Lake Property Owners Association signs, maps and pictures to name but a few.  These objects were in all likelihood someone else’s cottage memories.  But they were important enough to be passed on and they are likely in the same spot they have rested for years. 

We would like to know what you found when you bought your cottage and if you were ever to sell what would you leave behind?  Yes mice are always nasty but what have you found that you know was special to someone else, those objects that have at best sentimental value.  Lets hear your stories.

 Visiting with Peter and Pat Finlin to get the story on their expandable dock they showed me a trophy left in their cottage.  The trophy was presented to the late Maple Lake Cottager Lloyd Thompson in 1984 for his sailing prowess.  Pat and Peter graciously allowed me to have this trophy.  Its history has been lost to time but it would be nice to remember Lloyd who was an avid sailor, fisherman, tinkerer, card player, friend and above all a cottager with all the meanings of that word.  His long time friend and certainly a friend of the lakes as well, Art Wall introduced Lloyd to the area early in the 1950’s.

 A new base is being built for the trophy so MBC can continue to use it.  His love of the water and the occasional poker hand gave the thought of a “Poker Run” for kayakers and canoeist on our lakes.  Something our social committee perhaps could put together for annual event.  Maybe MBC could come up with prize or two.


 A How Did I Get Here Story? 

(A new feature of the newsletter, driven by members submitting their own story as to how they came to be in the magical lands represented by the MBC Lakes Association). What follows is one member’s journey:

My journey to Beech Lake started 50+ years ago, as my family drove north on Hwy 35 to a cottage resort on Boshkong Lake.

I was 7 and the rock cliffs bordering each side of the highway totally mesmerized me. As did the clear blue waters of that very big lake I glimpsed when we FINALLY arrived at the resort. The flotilla of snazzy red canoes from Camp Calumet gliding across the lake each week, providing echoes of laughter and songs - and a day visit to Algonquin Park - cinched the deal for me … my love affair with the Highlands had begun.

Subsequent to this, my new best friend from a local summer camp I attended for several summers, just happened to have a cottage on Kushog lake, right off of Hwy 35! Each year she and I plotted and connived all winter long to ensure our parents would agree (with enough whining!) to a post-camp visit to her cottage. Each year, enroute to her cottage, those majestic rock cliffs along Highway 35 called out to me, reinforcing my growing love for the Haliburton Highlands!

Fast forward to marriage and kids….. what better place to introduce our kids to cottage life and the great outdoors than the Highlands? We returned to the Boshkong Lake resort of my youth and then, for several years, stayed at a resort just up the Hwy on Halls Lake.

Shortly thereafter, a timeshare development “sprung up” on Lake Kashigawigamog. We tentatively dipped our toes into cottage ownership and bought a timeshare cottage. We loved it! So much so we found we wanted more than the five weeks allotted to us each year.

That’s when the dream of our very own cottage really took hold!

And then, so much sooner than we pictured it happening, the “empty nest” syndrome was upon us and retirement was looming on the horizon. That’s when our cottage search began in earnest – we had a dream to fulfil!

We searched through the fall of 2017, finding two perfect properties – not too far afield -- but they weren’t in the Minden/Carnarvon area and it just didn’t feel right. So we persevered.

 And then one wintry day early in 2018 my Outlook box “pinged” with a new MLS listing from our realtor. We came, we saw, we made an offer, closed the deal, and took up full time residence on Beech Lake in April. Our dream was now our reality!!! 


Heating With Wood…….A Few Things To Consider

Manufactures Specifications.  So many people just toss the assembly, installation and operation instructions aside.  Much effort has gone into these stoves that heat our homes and cottages, the manuals contain a wealth of information for you.  Be absolutely familiar with your stoves operation to keep your family, pets and possessions safe and sound.

Stoves need to be installed according to the manufactures specifications paying close attention to combustible clearance requirements.  It is not about aesthetics it is most assuredly about safety.

Safety equipment is a must.  Properly placed smoke alarms, CO alarms, fire extinguishers and even perhaps a bucket of sand are an absolute necessity.  Having all the equipment is of little use unless you have a plan if the alarms go off in the middle of the night.  Does your family and guests know what to do in the event something goes wrong? 

Know how to run your woodstove.  New stoves are not like our grandparents stoves and it is not quite as simple as toss in the wood and let it burn.  Some stoves have air by passes and most EPA certified stoves having secondary burns run the opposite to what most people think (i.e. to gain more heart you close off the air versus giving it more air). For proper operation you should have a fluepipe and stovetop thermometer.  A little knowledge of what the stove is actually doing goes a long way to safe operation.

Give yourself time.  Getting a fire established whether from coals or from a cold start is not like turning up the thermostat.  The last thing you want to do is attempt to load a stove when you need to leave home within the next 15 minutes.  Doing so often results in too much air and an out of control fire or a choked off creosote generating fire.

Seasoned dry wood is essential.  While older stoves might allow you to get away with less than optimal wood, modern stoves are not so forgiving.  How long it takes wood to season depends on a number of factors but significantly how it is stacked and the area where you use it.  Generally wood should be given 12 to 24 months to season.  It is amazing what a difference dry firewood makes to the performance and safety of wood stove operation.

Maintenance.  It is critical for the safe operation of a wood stove or open hearth.  Check to ensure that the air pathways are clean including the chimney, stovepipe and the internal working of the stove itself.  Check all gaskets and controls for proper condition and operation.  Check the chimney at least once a month and sweep if there is any more than a ¼” of creosote build up.

Chimney Fires, they happen.  Proper operation of your wood stove and using seasoned firewood goes a long way to eliminating them.  However if it happens the first thing to do (after following your safety plan) is to call 911.  There are a number of things you can do once that call has been made.  Do not panic.  Opening the doors wide on the stove, while this seems counter to what you want to do, it actually works to knock down the heat in the firebox.  Soaking wet newspapers, and remember that pail of sand it can dampen a fire quickly.  A high quality pair of hearth gloves can come in very handy in an emergency.  This cannot be stressed enough, the Fire Department has the expertise to help you when something goes wrong.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM ON YOUR OWN.

As wood burns you get a build up of ash inside the appliance that needs to be removed.  This is a critical step as improper handling of wood ash is a major contributor to home fires.  Treat all wood ash as if there is a live coal hidden in it.  Get a metal pail with a handle and a tight fitting lid.  Once the ash is removed from the stove store it out of the wind and away from all structure and combustibles.  Leave it for at least 48 hours.  Wear a pair of hearth gloves when handling the pail; it can get very hot quickly.  Have a clear path from the stove to the outside when moving the pail full of potentially very hot ash.

Give yourself lots of time to prepare the stove for an overnight burn.  Double-check the air control settings, stovetop and stovepipe temperatures.  If you can shut off all the lights and check for any dislodged coals around the stove.

Sleep well knowing your efforts to properly install, operate and maintain your wood burner will pay off.  It is all about safe operation and practices. 

This article was complied from suggestions from friends on the web forum Hearth.com.  A great source for everything from troubleshooting stove operation, maintenance, wood storage, stove installation and they operation and benefits of the various stove types.  While primarily an American site there are a number of Canadian participants.  Just make sure whatever you do check the local building code before doing any work related to your stove and chimney.  Do it right do it safe the first time


Stay warm….Stay safe.



A note from Bill Missen, MBC, OGMT to Mayor Carol Moffat, Warden and Deputy Mayor Liz Danielsen and Councillor Lisa Barry

Let me congratulate the 3 of you, my representatives in Algonquin Township, in your acceptance of the governing responsibilities for our beautiful area. I hope the highs of this term outweigh the lows as you move forward to deal with the many issues that currently face us and new ones that will surely arise.

Hauled Sewage remains an unresolved issue going forward and I was pleased to see that the Ontario Government has proposed a new plan, Nov 29th, that is currently on the EBR for public consultation (website noted below). It is entitled “Preserving and Protecting Our Environment for Future Generations: A Made In Ontario Environmental Plan”. I was pleased to see that under point 3 exists a single line item, “manage soil and hauled sewage”. You are aware of the collective thoughts of MBC, OGMT and myself on this topic and I have taken the time to record my comments on the EBR (open until Jan 28,2019). 

We need a solution that not only looks after Algonquin Township but Haliburton County if we are going to protect the over 600 lakes in our county. This has to be done in consultation with the MECP and other experts. 

I know you are working on specific items like the McClintock lagoon and hopefully the experts feel that this is worth the investment already made by our Township. I believe that we need to be looking at a bigger, longer term solution that involves the County, the MECP, our MPP, MP and the business stakeholders (haulers and field operators). We need your collective leadership to create a plan for stopping field spreading around God’s creation...the lakes of Haliburton Highlands. 

Again congratulations and good luck. 

Bill Missen

Environmental Registry of Ontario Website


 Update – 25th Line Septic Waste Site

 On October 15, 2018 Bill Missen and Murray Adam representing Our Grandchildren Matter Too…Save Maple Lake and MBC along with MBC’s Charlie O’Connor and Andy Muirhead met with David Bradley, Director and Courtney Redmond of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to get an update on the waste site operated by Haliburton Septic Pumping at the 25th Line and Highway 118.

This meeting was the first since the Environmental Review Tribunal held at the Stanhope Firefighters Hall on April 13, 2018.  There seemed to be little point in meeting with them, it was fair to say our trust in the MOECP had evaporated.  The terms of agreement between the MOECP and HSP were very specific.  We wanted an update on the agreement that both parties signed.

Subsequently the MOECP agreed to provide an update on findings from the test wells around the property, the good news is that nothing has migrated however it cannot be forgotten that their own water specialists said that two years would be absolute maximum life for this site, November 2019.  We need to ensure that this is what happens.

Attached is the letter from David Bradley for your review.  Both OGMT and MBC will continue to pressure the Ontario Government about this site and field spreading of untreated human waste in particular.  It is our intention to ask for a meeting with MPP Laurie Scott and Algonquin Highlands Deputy Mayor Liz Danielsen for a meeting to discuss this license granted to HSP by the MOECP.

If you have been following the drama with the Environmental Commissioner for Ontario you know that the previous Provincial Government was treating our waterways as toilets, they simply did not care.  It explains perhaps why we ran into a brick wall trying to deal with them.

It is fair to say that this particular site agreement needs to be watched very carefully.





November 22, 2018

 Maple Beech Cameron Lakes Property Owners Association

Attn: Mr. Murray Adam


Dear Mr. Adam

Thank you for meeting with me on October 15, 2108, to discuss the compliance status of Haliburton Septic Pumping’s hauled sewage waste disposal site located at 10538 Highway 118, Algonquin Highlands.  The following is intended to summarize the compliance status for your records.

 As you are aware the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) has committed to undertake several monitoring initiatives throughout the 2-year approval period of this waste disposal operation.  These included twice yearly Environmental Compliance Inspections, monthly surface water monitoring and review of the annual groundwater monitoring report that will be completed by Haliburton Septic Pumping (the “Company”).

 The first Environmental Compliance Inspection was completed on May 24, 2018 and the company was found to be largely in compliance with their Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA).  Some minor and administrative non-compliance issues were noted during the inspection, which were quickly corrected by the Company.  These included a minor repair to a berm which was damaged by a storm, some changes to some of the Company’s written procedures and a minor change to the boundary of Field 2 to accommodate a setback to a previously unseen seasonally wet area (removing approximately 10 square meters from the useable field).  A copy of this inspection report has previously been provided to you.

 A follow up inspection was completed on November 7, 2018.  The MECP is still completing the review of spreading data collected during this inspection but to date have not found any non-compliance issues with the ECA.

 Throughout the 2018 sewage spreading season the MECP collected surface water samples once every 4 weeks from 5 sample locations around the waste disposal site.  The results of the MECP’s surface water monitoring program show fairly consistent water quality across the site and thus far have not shown indication of adverse impacts attributable to the site operations.  The surface water sampling will continue until the end of November 2018 and will commence when the site operations resume in the spring of 2019.  Copies of these results have been provided to your previously.

As you are aware, the ECA expires on November 30, 2019 and the company has agreed not to reapply for an ECA for hauled sewage disposal at this site.

 The MECP expects that it will receive the Company’s Annual Monitoring Report for the groundwater-monitoring program no later than February 15, 2019.  When this report is received the Ministry will complete a technical review of the report.

 I hope that this summary of the MEP’s compliance activities at the site will be useful to you.  Should you have any further questions regarding the status of the compliance at the site please do not hesitate to contact Agricultural Environmental Office Keith Jamieson t Keith.Jamieson@Ontario.ca.




David Bradley

District Manager

Peterborough District Office

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks


Thinking Outside The Dock

Sun tanning, Solitude or Social Gatherings the cottage dock is indeed a special place.   Utilitarian enough to just tie the boat to or elegant enough for a dinner party, the dock can play many roles.  Having the right dock is the subject of much discussion and by the shear number of dock suppliers a great business to be in as well.

When Pat and Peter Finlin decided they needed a bigger dock they tried to put all the ideas into the basket and see what they could design.  They wanted built in seating, shade for those hot days, enough room to maneuver around without bumping into each other.  A cooler and is there room for a BBQ?  They wanted it to be a pergola at the end of their existing dock. 

Oh, they also wanted to be able to take their dock around the lake.

Finlin was inspired to this project by an episode of the “Broject Brothers” cable television show.  The brothers built a dock extension using a platform and 45 gallon drums.  Finlin wanted something a little more sophisticated.  So knowing what they wanted in terms of what was on their dock the next task was then how to incorporate all the workings of making the dock seaworthy.  Lighting, safety equipment, flotation, mechanical items, gas tanks, outboard motor and of course a captains chair.  Someone has to be in charge.

A very elaborate set of blueprints was developed that would act as a bill of materials and building guide.  The flotation was an issue, Finlin found the help he needed from a company called Pipefusion from Huntsville, Ontario.  They designed and delivered a set of floats that had the capacity to hold everything up as well as provided the necessary stability to make the dock seaworthy.  For efficiency sake the pipes are tapered at the front allowing a very clean running surface.

Finlin quickly got the project underway and before long in the water and attached to the end of the existing dock.  The connection between the two pieces consists of two steel pins and two anchor lines that stabilize the pontoon boat while it is attached.  Within five minutes the craft can be safely under way thanks to the attached small outboard motor. 

It is a unique craft; you cannot help but notice it when they drift by, sausage grilling on the BBQ and everyone relaxing in perfect comfort.  Importantly it has met all their original expectations of expanding the dock.  It has been used to camp on overnight out on the lake (it has all the lights to legally do so) as well as staring in a wonderful Kodiak Boots add.  Finlin’s creation has met their expectations.  It is a very safe and well-built craft.  Indeed sometimes you indeed have to “Think Outside The Dock”

Worlds Fastest Pontoon Boat

Hang on to your hats and drinks folks.  Did you know that there is a Worlds Record for Speed for Pontoon Boats?  Under very controlled conditions, Brad Rowland whose 25-foot South Bay Triple Pontoon craft that is powered by three 300x Horsepower Mercury Outboards was recently clocked at 114 miles per hour at The Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. Worlds Fastest Pontoon Boat.


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