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Highlights since 1985

Thirty Years of Heritage Protection Highlights

The following is a partial list of important accomplishments of the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation since its creation in 1985.

Perhaps most important, and yet impossible to measure, is the creation of a heritage consciousness that permeates through the community and various groups and organizations. The LBHF is always pleased when other organizations champion heritage!

1988 Publication of the 60-page report An Evaluation of Wildlife Habitat in the Lake of Bays Community
1990 Donate $1,000 toward the restoration of Holy Trinity Church at Newholm
1990 Began awarding annual heritage plaques to historic buildings maintained by the owners. This activity continues as part of each AGM.
Developed and posted speeding signs to discourage speeding by boats and resulting damage to shorelines. Signs also available for purchase.
1991 Built Heritage Committee identified criteria for listing buildings of note, developed a system for involving local citizens, and produced an initial listing of 100 buildings.
1991 First heritage tour in Muskoka on a boat named Wanda: to Bigwin Island and Port Cunnington.
1991 First cottage tour initiated by the Foundation.  Ten cottages were included on this very popular tour that proved to be a successful fundraising event.
1991 Salvaged the old Bigwin Ferry from a sunken mooring and moved it to dry land at South Portage.
1992 Arranged for the library in Baysville to become an official repository for Foundation documents and records.
1992 Provided a grant to the Muskoka Heritage Areas Program.
1992 Presented a plaque to Hillside Memorial Church.
1992 Obtained assurances from the Township that the First Nations peoples will be consulted on the protection of the First Nations settlement and burial heritage on Bigwin Island.
1993 The number of buildings on the Foundation’s inventory of heritage buildings tops 250.
1994 Provided $1,000 donation in support of the restoration of Holy Trinity Pioneer Church, in Newholm.
1994 Pressed the Township to ensure the protection of the provincially significant Boyne River wetlands.
1995 Supported work on the Ruth Martin papers.  They run to over 1,200 pages and include coverage of numerous interviews of the lake’s original settlers.  This resulted in a limited number of high quality copies given by the LBHF to libraries in the area.
1995 Facilitated the restoration of the Lake of Bays Sailing Club’s heritage building by providing a vehicle for charitable donations.
1996 Contributed $5,000 to the study of the feasibility of restoring the Bigwin Ferry and installing it at Muskoka Heritage Place, in Huntsville.
2002 Surveyed permanent and seasonal residents to indentify attitudes, interest and priorities for heritage protection.
2003 Presented LBHF mission to Township Council and recommended creation of a Heritage sub-committee of Council to further policies in this area.
2003 Completed an electronic record of over 600 heritage property inventory of buildings around the Township.
2003 Transfer of ownership of the old Bigwin Ferry for restoration by the newly created Lake of Bays Marine Museum.
2004 Began annual sale of native plants and shrubs to encourage shoreline restoration.
2004 Secured the Egbert Boothby property with over one mile of shoreline and 40+ acres of woodlot.
2004 Launch of the first LBHF web site at www.lakeofbaysheritage.ca
2005 Held a friend raiser party with 60 people to celebrate 20 years of heritage protection and attract more Life Members.
2007 Partnership with the Ontario Heritage Trust to secure and manage the 100 acre Pyke Property woodlot near Brown’s Brae Road.
2007 Held a friend raiser party with over 100 people to celebrate heritage successes and attract more Life Members.
2007 Baysville shoreline replanting and restoration project along the river at Heeney Lake Rd.
2008 Acquisition of Oxtongue River property for permanent conservation including 80 acres and approximately 40% of the lower Oxtongue river habitat.
2008 Donated $1,000 toward restoration of the Baysville Schoolhouse, the oldest building in this community.
2013 With donations from the Weaver family and the community, created the Harriett T. Weaver Annual Bursaries of $750 each for two students from Huntsville and Bracebridge to pursue post-secondary studies.
2014 Acquired an 89-acre parcel of land and 3,400 feet of shoreline at Marsh’s Falls on the Lower Oxtongue River for permanent protection.
2015 Donated $1,000 toward a First Nations history plaque to be erected in Dorset.

Acquired a 3rd property along the Oxtongue River to add another 300 feet of shoreline to our protected area.


Our Results
  • Acquired over 50 per cent of the Lower Oxtongue River for permanent protection, including 6.5 km of shoreline.
  • Preserved one mile of natural shoreline and 47-acres of forest at Port Cunnington.
  • Partnered with the Ontario Heritage Trust to be the steward of the 100-acre Pyke property near Brown's Brae.
  • Recognized more than 30 building owners with plaques for heritage property protection.
  • Encouraged the Township to create a Heritage Committee of Council to encourage protection.
  • Rescued the Bigwin ferry from a sunken mooring in 1991 and conducted feasibility studies to transfer to the current Navigation Society for restoration.
  • Established the Harriet T. Weaver Memorial Trust which funds two bursaries each year to assist one student from each of Bracebridge and Huntsville high schools to help pay for their first year of university or college.
Dr. Cathy Charles Stay-at-home Spring Bird Count, weekend of May 9
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The wherever-you-are butterfly, damselfly & dragonfly challenge, July 11 weekend
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Annual General Meeting of Members - by Zoom, Wednesday August 19 5:00pm
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Contact Us

Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 81
Baysville, Ontario
P0B 1A0