Photo by: Janine Geddes

Read More

LOBA Delegates to Township Council on Planning, Long Docks and Public Education

At the Township Planning Committee meeting on June 27, 2023, LOBA continued its advocacy of a balanced approach that allows development provided the shoreline is preserved.

We asked Council that, when making variance decisions under the Development Permit By-law, they ensure compliance with the criterion that “the natural waterfront will prevail with built form blending into the landscape and shoreline”. LOBA pointed out the intrusive impact of some development applications has been underestimated, and that shoreline vegetation buffers should always be a priority. Also, re any requested longer dock applications, we asked applicants be required to provide measured and surveyed water depths to justify any such intrusion out into the lake.

As planning standards can be hard to understand, LOBA asked the Township to put out plain language public education materials. The goal is to increase awareness and encourage compliance.

Our delegation was well received by Council, which asked Township staff to report back on longer docks and public education.

LOBA wants to continue to partner with the Township – Mayor, Councillors, and staff – to ensure the lake and shoreland remain beautiful and environmentally sustainable for generations to come.

READ: LOBA’s delegation submission

WATCH: LOBA’s delegation at the Council Planning meeting – delegation starts at 1:08:16


LOBA Opposes Reduction in Rural Lot Size, January 2016
Read LoBA’s letter to Township

Public Meeting 21 October 2014: 
Reproposed Telecommunications Towers

New Dark Sky By-law: On October 8, 2013, Lake of Bays Council approved the Dark Sky By-law to regulate outdoor illumination to ensure responsible lighting, light pollution mitigation and conservation of the dark sky environment. Waterfront property owners should note that white strobe lights to mark open water created by bubblers are now prohibited.

Please select the following link to view a copy of the by-law.
If you have any questions about the Dark Sky Bylaw please contact the Township office at 705-635-2272 (1-877-566-0005) or email [email protected].

Resort and Tourism Official Plan Policy Review

The District of Muskoka is conducting a Resort and Tourism Official Plan Policy Review. Tourism, one of the largest economic drivers in Muskoka, is facing some serious challenges. The District contracted PKF Consulting, a tourism and hospitality advisory firm to examine current and emerging trends in Muskoka’s tourism industry and to identify potential Official Plan policy directions and their implications for successful resort development. The Lake of Bays Association is monitoring the review in an effort to provide input on any proposed land use policy changes that would impact Lake of Bays and our members. Specifically, issues related to re-zoning of resort properties that are no longer viable, Official Plan policy amendments aimed at either restricting or encouraging waterfront resort development in various forms and densities and issues related to private cottage rentals have been of interest to the Lake of Bays Association. Click on the links to view the Interim Options Report by PKF Consulting and the comments to that report presented by the Lake of Bays Association at the Stakeholders meeting held on May 6, 2013. Other lake associations represented at the meeting (Muskoka Lakes Association and the Peninsula Lakes Association) have expressed positions that are similar to the Lake of Bays Association. Further updates on the outcome of the review will be posted on

2013 Second Home Study

I am pleased to inform the Lake of Bays Association that the 2013 Second Home Study was approved by Muskoka District Council on January 20, 2014 and is now available. Over 5,000 Second Home owners took the time to participate in this year’s survey, which is over 2,000 more than we heard from in 2004. The 2013 Second Home Study provides a comprehensive review and analysis of the following:
• Size of Muskoka’s Second Home households as well as seasonal population estimates;
• Second Home characteristics, such as size and accessory structures;
• Patterns of ownership and retirement intentions of second home residents;
• Seasonal usage patterns of second home residents;
• Frequency of visitation of guests of second home owners;
• Recreational activities in which second home owners participate; and
• Insight on the economic influence of the second home population on Muskoka’s economy.

The 2013 Second Home Study can be accessed on the District of Muskoka website, under the ‘Hot Topics’ section ( Paper copies will also be made available for review at every public library in Muskoka. To purchase a printed or digital copy, please contact the District of Muskoka Planning and Economic Development Department at [email protected] or (705) 645-2100 ext. 259. For all other questions, please contact Melissa Halford, Manager of Planning Projects at [email protected] or (705) 645 2100 ext. 288.
Muskoka’s Second Home residents have an important influence on the character of the region and a significant positive impact on the local economy. The 2013 Second Home Study provides an overview of this sector of Muskoka’s population, and will assist in ensuring that Second Home residents are accounted for when planning future programs and initiatives.

This study could not have been completed without the support of your organization. We thank you for encouraging the participation of your membership and look forward to working with you again on future projects and initiatives.
John W. Klinck,
Muskoka District Chair

Planning and Development Committee
Report for 2011

Amendments to the Development Permit By-law, 2012: On February 21, 2012, the Council of the Township of Lake of Bays passed an amendment (12-014) to the Development Permit By-law (04-180) that applies specifically to lands located within the “Waterfront” designation. The purpose of this amendment is to provide clarification of the Development Permit By-law as follows:

i) Accessory structures (i.e. sleeping cabins, sheds, garages) are permitted to be located in front of a dwelling provided that they do not encroach in the required shoreline yard setback.

ii) Structures less than 50 square feet (i.e. bear bins, mail boxes) are permitted to be located anywhere on your property except the shoreline yard, with the exception of generators. Generators are considered part of the built structure and must conform to the required setback from the side and rear lot lines. This restriction on the placement of generators does not apply to small portable generators and is not retroactive to generators that were installed prior to the February 21, 2012. The placement of generators is to address concerns about noise. Note: Property owners are advised that air cooled generators are far noisier than water cooled generators and the latter are encouraged for the purpose of noise abatement.

iii) Clarification of existing boathouse/boatport provisions. The updated wording, which clarifies the maximum size of boathouses also pertains to boatports. In addition, for those existing vacant lots found on Bigwin Island, the Department of Ocean’s and Fisheries (DFO) will no longer be required to review the proposed locations of boathouses and docks provided they follow the DFO’s Standard Operational Guidelines and the applicable Township’s guidelines. As a result of recent changes to the Development Permit By-law, staff and members of the public had expressed concerns related to restricting the location of accessory structures in front of a dwelling where the dwelling was situated beyond the required shoreline yard setback. In addition, certain other provisions required clarification. These Township Initiated Amendments (No. 5) to the Development Permit By-law are generally supported through the “Background By-law Discussion Papers” as well as those applicable Official Plan policies. The Development Permit By-law is available for viewing on the Township of Lake of Bays website:

By-law Amendment Application
Z04/10LoB (2218247 Ontario Inc) 1020 Echo Lane

May 18: The Lake of Bays Association continues to support the subsequent Planning Department staff report dated May 18, 2010 that recommends By-law Amendment Application Z04/10LoB (22182470) be denied. The staff report is posted here.

By-law Amendment Application
Z04/10LoB (2218247 O) 1020 Echo Lane

April 20: The Lake of Bays Association submitted a letter to the Township of Lake of Bays Council in support of the Planning Department staff report dated April 20, 2010 that recommends By-law Amendment Application Z04/10LoB (22182470) be denied. The Lake of Bays Association does not generally get involved in individual planning applications unless there is a lake-wide implication. The Association’s letter and the staff report are posted here on the website so that our membership is kept informed of the activities of our committees and Board of Directors on their behalf.

Improvements to Highway 60 being considered

There is a “Notice of Study” for Highway 60 Improvements from Hwy 11 though to Hwy 35. The purpose of this study is to identify operational and capacity needs, evaluate alternatives and plan to address future needs.

Pen Lake Quarry Review Decision – February 2008

This Decision is a victory for our Association and the Township of Lake of Bays . . Read More . . .

New Development Permit System Now in Effect

The Development Permit by-law for waterfront lands came into effect on January 1, 2006 . .   Read More . . .