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President's Report 2014

The long-term efforts of the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation to protect the area’s natural and cultural heritage continued during 2013-14. A number of initiatives by the Board are resulting in the permanent protection of the exceptional places and stories that make up our community.  We protect the important green spaces and document the history of the people, and always make the case for the sustainable co-existence of both. We view the special qualities of Lake of Bays as a legacy to preserve for all future generations.

The Foundation is poised for more important accomplishments in 2015, our 30th year, taking our success to new heights. We could not achieve these results without the generosity of our donors, members, volunteers and community partners. Thank you to everyone.

Highlights of activity during 2013-14 include:

  • Fundraising generated over $60,000 in our 2014 fiscal year.
  • Finalization of the Harriet T. Weaver annual bursary to a student at each of the Huntsville and Bracebridge high schools, and the award of $500 to each of two students this past June. 
  • Collection of memoirs from interviews with local community residents, writing stories and creation of our web site ‘Memoir Map” at www.lakeofbaysheritage.ca
  • Appearance before Township Council supporting cell towers but recommending more negotiations to minimize visual intrusion of large unsightly towers.
  • Meeting with the Township Planner to brief him on LBHF’s conservation efforts around the Lower Oxtongue River and reiterate its ecological importance.
  • Monitoring of a property at Waddis Creek in Whitehouse Bay with a conservation easement, ensuring the easement was respected and made known to potential buyers.
  • Submitting recommendations for enhancing heritage protection in the Township’s Official Plan Review.
  • Joined American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts to offer more favourable tax treatment for donations from US resident taxpayers.
  • Sponsorship of an annual hike in a protected area with a naturalist giving a guided tour.
  • Co-sponsorship with LOBA of an educational silent boat tour of the Lower Oxtongue River.
  • A complete review of our original By-laws (1985) and development of new By-laws, passed by members at our August 16 AGM, to comply with all current and expected legislation. (Helped by founding Director Robin Cumine.)
  • Researched and developed a history of the Scott’s Boathouse Road community.
  • Contact and discussions with various property owners for possible land securement, including the very important Lower Oxtongue River area.
  • Distribution of four electronic newsletters to over 550 supporters, and building of our Facebook page to 130 followers.

It is a pleasure to report on our progress and we look forward to reporting more good news in 2015.

Bruce MacLellan,

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