Welcome to the MBC 2019 Spring Newsletter

            Winter.  There is just so much activity happening in The Highlands.  No matter what takes you outside the winter can be a delight.  Family Day 2019 will go down in memory as one specular weekend for winter fun.  Sunshine for the entire weekend that seemed to bring out MBC members enjoying everything from cross country skiing to bonfires with family and friends.

            There have been hints lately of another season, “Cottage” or as some like to call it Spring.  The first Saturday of the March Break sent folks scrambling for deck chairs and sunscreen.  Then winter returned!  Oh well we will get there.

            You may recall the Membership Survey that was sent out last fall.  Your participation exceeded our expectations.  Many hoped for a greater sense of community within the group, continued education of our natural environment, and a desire to have some fun.  To that end the MBC executive have been busy developing programs and events that hopefully will meet your expectations.  There is an event calendar attached to this newsletter for your reference.  As the various events draw nearer we will put additional information on the web site and send emails to each of you.

            The rebuilding of the MBC Sponsorship Program is underway and we are pleased to announce that Abbey Gardens, SIRCH, and the Trillium Team, Royal LePage Lakes of Haliburton Reality group have stepped up with support.  This is an ongoing effort so keep an eye on the web page for announcements to come.  

            So folks get ready for it.  There is a feeling that Cottage Season really is just around the corner.

 Murray Adam

President, MBC

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MBC 2019 Membership Dues

            We would appreciate the memberships help getting up to date with 2019 Association Dues.  They remain the same at $30.00.

            You can support MBC electronically or by mail.  The links are attached.  Your executive thanks you for your commitment to MBC.


    To JOIN or RENEW Your 2019 Membership

Click Here

You can download and print the 2019 Membership form by clicking here



Recycling – How To Do it Right!

            Are you ever left holding a piece of garbage and trying to decide exactly which bin or bag to place it in as you prepare for another “quick run” to the local landfill site (also lovingly referred to as “the dump” by many seasoned cottagers).

We need to be mindful - and vigilant - in our recycling efforts!

 Did you know that when the wrong materials are placed in the recycling bins, it costs money to remove them, and can even result in a whole bin of material having to be landfilled?

 This “contamination” negatively impacts our recycling efforts AND negates all of the efforts we make, individually and collectively, to ensure we truly protect our natural environment for future generations.

With this in mind, we recently spoke with two folks “in the know”: Melissa Murray, Environmental Coordinator for Algonquin Highlands, and Don, the manager of our local (Maple Lake) landfill site. Both were incredibly helpful! Below is a summary of the combined expertise that we were able to avail ourselves of:

 What are some of the most common errors and misplaced items?

Plastic bags – clean, dry bags can be bundled up (a bunch of bags in one bag and tied) and put in the containers bin.  Bags must be SOFT and STRETCHY to be recycled.  Chip bags, bags from most frozen foods, pet food bags and cellophane bags are the most commonly misplaced bags, all of these need to go in the garbage.  Grocery bags, bread bags and overwraps from cases of water are all examples of plastic bags that can be recycled.  Give them a test, recyclable items will stretch easily, non-recyclable ones will not (compare a chip bag, not recyclable, to a bread bag, recyclable).  If in doubt, put it in the garbage.

• Hard plastics – Most things that are not food containers, like children’s toys, toboggans, flower pots, plastic cutlery, garden furniture and accessories, blister packs – ALL garbage please.

• Anything with food or other product in ita jar of peanut butter or spaghetti sauce could contaminate a whole bin of otherwise good recyclable material.  Does that mean containers need to be spotless? No, just scrape out any material (use a spatula for great results) and give it a quick rinse.  Recycling a bottle of soap, make sure it’s empty! 

• Styrofoam – ONLY clean food containers, trays and cups can be recycled in Algonquin Highlands.  ALL Styrofoam packaging, peanuts, insulation, etc. needs to go in the garbage.

• Paper products – tissues, paper towel, waxed paper, anything dirty with food, oil, grease, chemicals, soil, etc. should be placed in the garbage.

 What do we do with those items that we are asked to keep out of the recycling bins (i.e.: the items found after the words “NO” on the recycling guide. Example: “No toys, C/D’s, plates, mugs, toothpaste tubes, potato chip bags, wax or foil-coated paper, tissues, pizza boxes, straws, aerosol containers, etc.)?

• Many of the items that cannot be accepted in the recycling bins at the landfill site, need to be disposed of in with your household waste.

• Toys and other household items in good condition can be placed in the ReUse Centre at Maple. 

• There are special collection areas for metal, propane cylinders, building materials, and furniture and mattresses at the Maple Lake landfill site. Fees do apply for disposal of some of these items.

• There are also special bins at each site for empty aerosol cans, empty plastic automotive oil containers, fluorescent light bulbs and batteries. 

• All other hazardous wastes need to be brought to Household Hazardous Waste Days, May 18 and Oct 12 in 2019, 1-5pm at Maple Lake (see website for other dates at other sites). 

Disappointed to find out that what you want to recycle cannot be recycled? 

We all want to do the best for our environment, but keep in mind, recycling is not the best and definitely not the only option.  REDUCING our reliance on disposable items, REUSING as much as possible and REFUSING excess packaging, non-recyclable materials and single use items go a long way to reducing our environmental impact.


• Only CLEAR bags can be used for materials brought to the waste disposal sites

• You must show your current Landfill User ID card or have a Cottage Kit landfill pass to bring material to any waste disposal site.  New cards were mailed out with the interim tax bills in February 2019.  If you need an extra card, you can stop by the Township office pick one up, or call, they can also be mailed out.


MBC Web Site Continues To Inform The Membership

            Did you know that when you check the weather for the cottage on the Weather Network and other apps for Algonquin Highlands that you are actually getting data from Bancroft, Ontario? 

            Well no longer.  Our tech volunteers, Kim Lockhart and Chris Lacasse have installed a real time weather station for MBC.  Want to know what is going on here?  Just click on the MBC website and get an accurate update.  Thanks guys.


How Did I Get Here

            In our last issue our MBC Member, Victoria Evans, penned a story on her history in The Haliburton Highlands and ultimately how she arrived on the shores of Beech Lake.  This edition carries a story by Bill Missen, Director for MBC, on his life long association with Haliburton and his eventual move to Maple Lake.  These are some great stories with reminiscence of people, places and businesses from years ago.

             We really want to hear your stories.  How did you and your family arrive at this special place in the Highlands?


Memories of Haliburton Highlands – Bill Missen

            At the urging of our next door neighbours in Toronto, my parents took us on a long journey to their cottage on Little Boshkung for the May long weekend in 1963. The majestic hills, granite outcroppings ascending from crystal clear waters, roar of the rapids and waterfalls and those beautiful white pines..........we were hooked. Soon afterwards my Dad announced that they had rented a cottage for the month of August on the sandy southern shore of Big Boshkung and thus our love affair with Haliburton Highlands began almost 60 years ago.

            My Dad bought a boat at Minto Marine in Minden for our use. We cruised the three-lake chain and water skied all day long. My Dad would indulge my ski obsession by allowing me to ski to Wills General store on the northeast shore where he would pick up the morning Globe and Mail newspaper.

            Traditions grew with our many northern friends. We would swim, ski, sail, boat, and canoe during the day while singing and playing games at night. We organized annual bike trips traversing the roads around Big Boshkung Lake as well as a trip to Minden. We'd family dine at the Lil Chick Inn and always looked forward to boating and eating at Price's Maebar on Twelve Mile Lake. Movie nights at the Beaver, Molou and latterly Kinmount "multi" screen theatres. The greatest highlight of my youth reserved for Kawartha Dairy ice cream cones.....somehow I would never turn down an offer to go to Minden knowing that there was the likely chance of ice cream if I behaved.

As a teenager, my girlfriend was allowed to join us for a weekend at our cottage and a new tradition commenced......dances at Medley's. Eventually we married and continued to visit with my parents for a week every August including our 3 children whose first summer was spent in the Highlands. We would go on to renting the same cottage for the month of July, turning it over to my parents for Aug. This would grow into us taking over the cottage for the season (May to Thanksgiving weekend).

            All good things come to and end. In 2010, we were advised that our maintenance free, long term rental cottage was going to be used by the owner. With all the traditions and summer times invested in the Haliburton Highlands (not to mention kids and now grand children that have been born into it), we decided it was not time to change the lifestyle we loved. Off we went with realtor in tow looking for the perfect cottage for us to relocate. We eventually found a lovely, all season cottage on the south shore of Maple Lake and have continued to enjoy our long term traditions of life in the Haliburton Highlands with our family. We now add the seasonality of fall colours, winter activities and the rebirth of the county through spring which we look forward to more each passing year. I remember our realtor commenting that it was the longest trial period of the area before taking the plunge of buying a place.......I guess almost 50 years of renting qualifies for that moniker.

            While although Medley's, Minto Marine, Wills General Store, Lil Chick Inn, Price's Maebar, Beaver and Molou theatres are long gone, they have been replaced by new venues. The constant that we are left with is the beauty of Haliburton Highlands and the joy of family and friends that continue to convene to enjoy this experience. We must preserve and protect this for future generations to enjoy.


Maple, Beech and Cameron Lakes Area Property Owners Association


2019 MBC Events

The Executive proudly announces several great events planned for the upcoming 2019 season. For convenience, we have included an attachment that you can print off, showing the dates and times of these events. You will not want to miss them!


For this newsletter we will concentrate on the first three outings.



This event is currently well underway and we invite you to keep submitting your photos to photocontest@mbclakes.ca

We are still fine tuning some of the details… (greatness takes time!). For now, please keep clicking and email your photos to photocontest@mbclakes.ca, knowing that the Executive continues to work on snagging some great prizes in recognition of the enthusiasm, efforts and the FUN meant to characterize this contest!.

Thankfully, Trillium Team, Royal LePage Lakes of Haliburton has stepped up to sponsor this event.

Confirmed details at press time:

One of our MBC members, Carol Moffatt (who is coincidentally the Mayor of Algonquin Highlands), happens to be a terrific and very skilled photographer who loves a challenge – so much so she has very kindly agreed to take on the tough job of judging the submitted contest photographs. We thank Carol for agreeing to help us out – we have no doubt that the quality of photos received will be awesome and the challenge to pick winning photos will be VERY difficult!

Once ALL contest details are finalized, they will be posted on https://mbclakes.ca/ for all to see. Stay tuned!



This event is scheduled for Saturday May 25, 2019 from 10:00 till Noon.  Join us at the Stanhope Firefighters Hall on the North Shore Road.

Two of our MBC Directors, Heather and Phil Caroll attended a seminar on water safety given by Marta Scythes who is an instructor for the Ontario Recreational Canoeing & Kayaking Association (bio below*). They were greatly impressed with what they heard. Knowing the importance of water safety we are looking forward to hearing what we can do to ensure we are taking appropriate precautions on and around the water.

We will also have representatives from the Algonquin Highlands EMS folks to offer some tips on making life around the cottage a little safer.

 * Bio for Presenter Marta Scythes: Marta is a canoeing instructor-trainer for ORCKA: The Ontario Recreational Canoeing & Kayaking Association. She founded the PREVENTABLE water safety initiative in response to the Eagle Lake drowning deaths April 25, 2016 and in conjunction with the Municipality of Dysart’s 150th Explore Our Lakes celebrations. She summered on Boshkung Lake at Camp Calumet for 14 years and has taught at the Haliburton School of Art & Design since 1981. She is currently implementing an art program she designed for stroke rehabilitation in Kingston, Ontario.




The Stanhope Firefighters Hall on North Shore Road will again be the site of our AGM on Saturday July 13, 2019.  The event will kick off at the traditional time of 9:30 a.m.

There are 5 committees that the Directors are responsible for overseeing/coordinating: Communications, Social, Environmental, Membership and MBC Constitution Update.  A short update on the status and activities of each committee will be provided at the meeting.

 We will also have two guest speakers at this meeting:

Mr. Ted Spence representing the Coalition for Equitable Water Flow and

Mr. Doug Norris representing The Abbey Garden Retreat Centre

 There will be time allotted on the agenda for input and questions.

Please note that the AGM will use the rules governing these meetings as outlined in the existing MBC Constitution.  This includes elections/confirmation of the executive/directors as well as motions from the floor.

We look forward to seeing and connecting with everyone again -- and greeting new members, personally, at this meeting! In the interim, rest assured that we are slowly moving towards warmer weather, sunshine, and brilliant ice-free lakes!



 Saturday, August 24, 2019, 5:00 p.m. TILL 8:00 p.m.

Common area behind Algonquin Township Office, 1123 North Shore Road, Algonquin Highlands.



 Thanksgiving Weekend 2019

In conjunction with St. Peter’s Church.


News From The Coalition for Equitable Water Flow

 MBC Environmental Committee and CEWF Representative Don Wetmore

Trent Severn Waterway Dam Rehabilitation Projects and Lake LevelsHorseshoe and Twelve Mile Lakes

            Following a competitive procurement process, the construction contract to complete the Horseshoe Lake Dam and replace the Twelve Mile Lake dam has now been awarded to Eiffage Innovation Canada Inc.  These dams are located near the community of Minden, Ontario and are part of the Gull River Watershed.

Coboconk Dam

          The project to rehabilitate the Coboconk Dam is now underway.  The Coboconk dam was built in 1939.  It is located in the cottage community of Coboconk, at the outlet of the Silver and Shadow Lakes system leading into Balsam Lake.

Haliburton and Northern Areas

             All reservoir lakes remain at their respective winter set dam configuration.  Water levels on the lakes in general are below average and are leveling off after recent rain on snow event.  Flows on the Gull and Burnt Rivers are near average for this time of year and will likely increase with the rainfall and warm temperatures.  Current snowpack is measured to be above average for this time of year.


The Township’s Mandatory Septic Tank Inspections


What is It?

• A mandatory inspection program of septic tanks throughout the township

• Launched in 2018 by the Township of Algonquin Highlands.

Why do we have it?

The program was introduced for several reasons:

• Environmental concerns (need to protect lake water, drinking water resources, public health, the environment)

• Opportunity to provide education and learning opportunities to system owners. (e.g.:  discussion of maintenance strategies can help maintain private infrastructure for years)

• To ensure compliance with Section 8.9 of the Ontario Building Code

 What’s Involved?

• 4,500 inspections to be completed over a four-year period (2018-2021).

• the 2018 Inspection Zone (one of four) was the southeast corner of the Township, including Stanhope and parts of Carnarvon.

• the major surface water features contained within the 2018 re-inspection zone were Boshkung Lake, Beech Lake and Maple Lake.

 Key Components of the Inspection:

• Visual inspection of septic tank and leaching bed

• Measurement of drinking water and surface water setbacks

• Measurement of scum and sludge levels within the septic tank

• Visual inspection of holding tanks, grey water systems, outhouses, etc.

Results of 2018 Inspections

• 1,520 land parcels were evaluated in 2018 (78% of systems inspected in 2018 were Class 4 (septic) systems)

• Inspection of properties was “Deferred” if they had a system installed within 5 years.

• Inspections not required for systems that were either >10,000 L/day & confirmed by
the Town, OR the site was un-serviced.

• 96.5% of properties requiring inspection were completed in 2018

• 34 property owners were not present at their assigned inspection time and will be contacted in 2019 to book again.

• Reports were sent to each owner with recommendations and/or remedial action instructions required as a result of the inspection

• 39% of systems inspected in 2018 required remedial action


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