Overwhelming Support for Muskoka’s Future!!

Thanks to the record numbers of people who voted to protect the future of Muskoka, the candidates who are aligned with the core values of Friends of Muskoka and the MLA now form a majority on four of Muskoka’s municipal councils: 

(Official results are here.)
Mayor - Phil Harding*
Ward A
- Ruth Nishikawa*, District Councillor
- Donelda Hayes* and Glenn Zavitz*, Councillors
Ward B
- Allen Edwards*, District Councillor
- Gord Roberts and Susan Mazan, Councillors
Ward C
- Frank Jaglowitz*, District Councillor
- Barb Bridgeman* and Peter Kelley*, Councillors

(Official results are here.)
Mayor – Ann MacDiarmid*
Ward 1 Councillor - Daryle Moffatt*
Ward 2 Councillor - Art Coles*
Ward 3 Councillor - Rod Osborne
Ward 4 Councillor - Terry Fellner*
Ward 5 Councillor - Ted Collins*
Ward 6 Councillor - Gail Finnson*

TOWN OF GRAVENHURST 6/7 + 2 acclaimed
(Official results are here.)
Mayor - Paul Kelly (acclaimed)
District Councillors
   -  John Gordon*
   -  Heidi Lorenz*
   -  Sandy Cairns*
Ward 1 Councillor – Penny Varney*
Ward 2 Councillor – Joanne Morphy*
Ward 3 Councillor – Steven Klinck (acclaimed)
Ward 4 Councillor – Terry Pilger*
Ward 5 Councillor – Graeme Murray

TOWN OF BRACEBRIDGE 4/7 + 2 acclaimed
(Official results are here.)
Mayor – Graydon Smith*
District and Town Councillors
   - Don Smith*
   - Rick Maloney*
   - Steven Clement*
Councillor (Bracebridge Ward) – Chris Wilson
Councillor (Monck/Muskoka Ward) – Mark Quemby
Councillor (Macaulay Ward) – Andrew Struthers
Councillor (Draper Ward) – Archie Buie (acclaimed)
Councillor (Oakley Ward) - Barb McMurray (acclaimed)

*Aligned Candidates who support the published core values of Friends of Muskoka and the MLA, and our supporters and members. We did not interview candidates in Huntsville, Lake of Bays or Georgian Bay. 

Our Core Values have been Affirmed!

Both seasonal and year-round residents alike have sent a loud and clear message that our core values should set the framework for how Muskoka is governed – and should be reflected in the new Official Plans that will guide development in Muskoka for the next 20 years!

The Environment is our Economy: 
Millions of people visit Muskoka for its clean water and natural, treed shorelines. Our lakes, forests and rivers are a resource that can drive Muskoka’s economy for decades to come – but only if our elected officials put the Environment First, not development that erodes the environment that sustains our economy. 

No Residential Subdivisions on the Waterfront: 
Developers are trying to build residential subdivisions disguised as resorts at multiple locations across Muskoka. Over 100 commercial properties in Muskoka could be turned into residential subdivisions. Our elected officials must ensure resorts are legitimately commercial and fit with the natural beauty of Muskoka. They must protect the View from the Canoe on our lakes. 

We are One Community: 
Our elected officials must find more ways for both seasonal and year-round residents to live and prosper as one community, each benefitting from the contributions of the other. 

Fiscal Responsibility: 
Our elected officials must follow more responsible fiscal practices, including disciplined and transparent budgeting. 

Good and Civil Governance: 
Our elected officials must be responsible decision-makers who collaborate with each other and their constituents in a positive way. 

Now we have momentum!

With this tremendous show of support for the stated Core Values, we are optimistic Councils will put our fragile environment first. We hope that means stopping the unsustainable development that is being planned by developers across Muskoka. Our collective voices have made a difference – and by staying involved, we can continue to use our voices to protect the Muskoka we all love, for generations to come!

Stop Residential Subdivisions on the Waterfront
With your support, we will continue to challenge the building of waterfront residential subdivisions on property that is zoned for commercial resorts. We are already opposing these residential subdivision developments, which is crucial in order to prevent a precedent being set for the 100+ other commercial properties across Muskoka. Examples include:
  • Legacy Cottages on Lake Rosseau, where TRG-KFH has clear cut to build 43 residential units on 470’ of shoreline
  • Villas of Muskoka on Lake Muskoka, where the developer has built 23 residential units on 700’ of shoreline, only 30’ from the lake 
  • Touchstone Resort on Lake Muskoka, where the developer has applied for approval for an additional 100 condominium units 

Reconsider the Resort Village of Minett
Our collective voices encouraged TML Council to adopt an Interim Control By-law that paused development in the Resort Village of Minett while new studies are done to determine what is appropriate for this area today. Both Friends of Muskoka and the MLA are pleased to have representatives appointed to the 13 member Minett Steering Committee that has been formed by the District and TML Councils to oversee these studies. Click here for information on this Committee and its 13 members.   

District and TML Official Plans
With your support, we and our planning experts will continue to work with staff and politicians at the District and TML to ensure that responsible development policies are incorporated into their new Official Plans that will govern development for many years to come. Seguin Township has led the way with an ‘Environment First’ policy ingrained into its Official Plan, as well as a ‘Recreational Carrying Capacity’ model that prevents over-development on a lake. Our District of Muskoka deserves no less!

Legacy Development Files Lawsuit during the Election
Despite the Superior Court ruling on September 6th in favour of the Township and against Legacy, the developer announced last week that they had filed a $22 million lawsuit against the Township that was clearly meant to influence the election. 

The recent onslaught of developer-initiated lawsuits highlights the importance of making sure our governments adopt policies to permit appropriate, sustainable development only and that Councils are diligent in enforcing their policies. 



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Head to to get updated news and information from the Friends of Muskoka campaign. The site lists many ways to help you preserve the natural environment and unique character of Muskoka, including information on how to contribute to the development of sustainable official plans for the District of Muskoka. For more frequent updates, follow us on Facebook
About Friends of Muskoka
We 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.
Copyright © 2018 Friends of Muskoka, All rights reserved.

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