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Raven News

  • 30 Mar 2022 2:49 PM | Graham Donald (Administrator)

    Canadian Navigable Waters Act

    The Raven Lake Dock Association hereby gives notice that a submission has been added to the Navigable Waters Registry pursuant to the Canadian Navigable Waters Act for public comment described herein and its site and plans.

    Pursuant to paragraph 10(1)(b) of the said Act, the Raven Lake Dock Association has deposited with the Minister of Transport, on the on-line Common Project Search Registry ( and under Registry Number 5319, a description of the following work, its site and plans:

    The installation of new floating docks consisting of 4 - 6 foot wide piers and attached 4 foot wide fingers to create up to 96 boat slips each having dimensions of 22 feet x11 feet

    in, on, over, under, through or across


    at 21624 Highway 35 opposite Shoe Lake Rd. about 3 km. south of Dorset

    Comments regarding the effect of this work on marine navigation can be sent through the Common Project Search site mentioned above under the Comment section (search by the above referenced number) or if you do not have access to the internet, by sending your comments directly to:

    Peter Hungerford, 1732 Mater Drive Sarnia Ontario N7S3S5 TEL. 519-331-2098

    Note that comments will be considered only if they are received not later than 30 days after the publication of this notice.

    Posted at RLCA Web Site this 30th day of March, 2022

    Peter Hungerford

    (Peter B. Hungerford)

    Transport Canada (TC) will not make your comments on a project available to the public on the online public registry. However, any information related to a work is considered as unclassified public record and could be accessible upon legal request. As such, the information and records provided should not contain confidential or sensitive information. If you want to provide confidential or sensitive information that you think should not be made public, please contact TC before submitting it.

  • 21 Mar 2022 2:22 PM | Graham Donald (Administrator)

    We have some good news about the public docks at the Raven Lake Landing.

    As many of you have commented, the public docks by the boat ramp have not been well maintained by the municipality in recent years and damaged sections have not been replaced.

    Along with residents on the lake, the Raven Lake Cottagers' Association has raised concerns about this numerous times with the municipalities of Algonquin Highlands and Lake of Bays. More recently, members of the RLCA Landing Committee have also contacted the municipalities in this regard.

    In early March, the township of Algonquin Highlands Council approved funds ($34,000) for replacing the public docks on both sides of the Raven Lake Boat Launch.

    On behalf of the community, the RLCA Landing Committee has been in touch with the Algonquin Highlands Parks Director to request that these new docks be installed as soon as possible this spring.

    More good news arrived yesterday when we received confirmation that the new docks have now been purchased and will be installed right away on top of the ice. Ramps to the new docks will be installed soon after and all of the work will likely be completed around the time that the ice goes out.

    The municipality provided us with the image below of a similar installation.

    We all look forward to these improved (and safer) facilities at the Raven Lake Public Launch!

    Fresh off the ice! The new Raven Lake Public Landing docks were delivered on March 23rd. 

  • 21 Mar 2022 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On March 29th, 2022 at 9.00 a.m. the Raven Lake Dock Association (RLDA) application for rezoning to enable the installation of Phase 2 of the new docking project will be considered by the Township of Lake of Bays (LoB) Council.

    RLCA & RLDA members should be aware that after the required notice of the rezoning was distributed the Township has received objections to the rezoning from some of the cottagers near the landing.  These objections will be taken into account by the Council at the upcoming March 29th hearing, along with a Township staff report and recommendation, the Planning Justification Report prepared by the RLDA's planner, and any other comments received from circulated government agencies or the public.  Members of the public are also entitled to attend the hearing and submit verbal comments.

    We believe that LoB will approve our application, as it is in the public interest and has been formulated to conform to the requirements of the MNRF. 

    The Landing Committee encourages you to demonstrate that members of our lake community fully support the approval of this rezoning that is needed for Phase 2 of the dock project to proceed. A copy of the re-zoning notice as well as a letter of support submitted on behalf of the RLCA Board, Landing Committee and RLDA members are attached here for your reference.

    To share feedback about the rezoning application (Z04/22 LOB, 21624 Highway 35, Roll No. 030-003-02900) with the Township of Lake of Bays, please reach out to Ms. Best-Sararas.

    Thank You.

    Members of the RLCA Landing Committee

    Sean Hungerford; Scott Lewis; Graham Donald; Mike Wlodek; Ross Lawrence; George Kenins; Tom Wilson; Peter Hungerford; Craig Stoyles

    RLDA Zoning Notice.pdf

    RLCA Letter of Support for RLDA Rezoning Application.pdf

  • 28 Oct 2021 9:28 AM | Graham Donald (Administrator)

    On the evening of October 27, close to 70 members of the Raven Lake community gathered online with the 9-member Raven Lake Cottage Association Landing Committee to receive an update on the progress to date on the landing dock project as well as to discuss the process going forward.

    This committee of the Raven Lake Cottagers' Association is responsible for managing the new subsidiary organization, the Raven Lake Dock Association, as it works to secure legal docking at the landing.

    The slides presented by the committee at the meeting cover all of the details so far, address many of the community's questions, and also list many questions that will be addressed in the months ahead.

    You can download and review the RLDA Virtual Q & A slides here:

    RLDA Virtual QA Session - Oct.27.pdf

  • 20 Oct 2021 12:53 PM | Graham Donald (Administrator)

    “Pulling up stakes, pardner?”

    In a scene John Wayne himself could have starred in, settlers stood together, surrounded by roots they had put down over the years, visibly dismayed at being “run outta Dodge by the sheriff”. With the days of happily gliding in to hitch their “horses” to a familiar post now gone, even the wet and wild winds suggested dark days ahead.

    “Been a-comin’ fer years, you know; it had to be. But it ain’t the end of the world; better days lie ahead.” a vaguely familiar voice said. “Here, let me give you a hand, friend...”

    Exactly who spoke those words nobody was quite sure, but just like that, just like always, the community started coming together. The mood brightened, hammers and saws rang out, the sun appeared, other settlers arrived and a few hours later many familiar hitching posts had vanished. A little wistful, but smiling just the same, they looked out together over a long-obscured shoreline reasserting itself.

    “Ya know, those old things, they were some ugly. Rickety. Death traps, even; ours was for sure. I’m surprised the sheriff didn’t act sooner. Who’d a thought so much could disappear in a morning?”

    Dirty hands hanging at their sides, the settlers looked out to where their stakes used to be, then down the shore where others still stood, waiting to go.

    “Just a few days ago we were all plenty upset about the situation, feeling hard done by, the cost, the timing ‘n all. Hopeless.”  The voice continued. “Rumours, a lot of blamin’ goin’ on, pretty desperate really. But when I heard about the Plans ‘n how much better things are gonna be for everyone, ‘n see how much we’ve got done already... ya, it’s not gonna be cheap ‘n time’s a tickin’, but we’ve seen what this community can do when we all put our shoulders to the wheel.”

    Assuming the one standing next to them had spoken their thoughts, heads nodded.

    “Not hopeless now, though. Friends and neighbours will step up soon ‘nuff, once they see what got done today. Nobody we know is gonna leave it to others to clean up their mess; that’s not how we do things here. Right?”

    For the record: while these photos document the 4 hrs spent removing the longest stick dock from the landing, others were already gone or being removed at the same time. Inspired as we were by our Raven Lake friends, we hope this little bit of fun encourages other stick dockers  to “git ‘er gone”.  RLCA needs us all to remove docks and boats from the landing in order to secure a legal Land Use Permit from MNRF, so that we never again have to worry about our cottage access.

    –– Harry Wilson

  • 20 Oct 2021 12:36 PM | Graham Donald (Administrator)

    We'd like to thank the many of you who have managed to get out on some wet weekends with all your tools and trailers to dismantle and haul away your old docks. It's great to see the shoreline opening up. There are still many docks remaining, but most appear still to be in use and we're hopeful that they will be gone soon too.

  • 8 Oct 2021 4:54 PM | Graham Donald (Administrator)

    Hello Raven Lake Cottage Association Members,

    With the MNRF posting of the stick dock removal notices this week, and the uncertainty and stress that this is undoubtedly causing our members, we want to share the below detailed update on the docking project. While there are no guarantees the project will be completed by spring of 2022, we would like to take this time to show our progress and plans for the project going forward.

    Planning & Zoning Process

    We conducted an on-site visit at the landing with the Township of Lake of Bay (LoB) planner on Oct. 1st. Based on the discussion at this meeting, we have determined that the best approach is to pursue two plans simultaneously – one that does not require rezoning (and is therefore more likely to be completed by spring) and a second that it is dependent on rezoning (and therefore more time consuming).

    The MNRF has told the RLCA that they will issue us a Land Use Permit (LuP) (lease) for the water lot adjacent to the landing dependent on the RLCA: i) having a land survey completed (the RLCA is waiting on the completed survey materials now); and ii) the removal of the existing stick docks (MNRF posted the removal notice on Oct. 6th with a 45-day removal period ending on Nov. 20th). The RLCA has also requested that Bill Lang from Barriston Law in Huntsville, who has been engaged with this project for the last year, also act as our representative with the MNRF to secure our LuP.

    Plan 1 will not require rezoning with LoB; this gives the best chance for docks to be in the water for ice out in the spring. The limitation of this plan is that it will only hold approximately 66 boats. Currently the Raven Lake Dock Association (RLDA) has 64 signed members. Therefore, while Plan 1 will be able to accommodate everyone who has currently signed, there are additional water access cottagers who may still choose to join the RLDA. If the number of members goes beyond the number of docks available for next year, we will need to look at creative ways for the community to accommodate more boats, such as dock pooling. Plan 1 is intended to be an interim solution while we secure the necessary rezoning approvals for plan 2.

    Plan 2 requires a rezoning application to LoB. Because there is more involved in a rezoning application, this process may not be completed in time for March-April 2022. The RLCA is reaching out to find a local professional planner with availability and the knowledge to begin the rezoning application process as soon as possible.

    The Landing Committee is starting work on both plan 1 and plan 2 now and will run them in parallel, where reasonable and appropriate. While completing the necessary Plan 2 approvals before the next cottage season is unlikely, if the necessary approvals are received in time, we would skip plan 1 and go straight to plan 2.

    Once rezoning approvals are secured under Plan 2, this will allow us to increase the number of slips as needed to accommodate all water access residents that decide to join the RLDA.

    Organizational Structure

    The RLCA’s intent is to set up the docking project as a condominium corporation (a “Dockuminium”, if you will) as per the recommendations of both our Lawyer and the LoB planner. By structuring the docking project as a condominium, we can leverage the provincial rules around establishing a capital reserve and setting yearly maintenance fees to cover establishing the capital reserve and covering the yearly maintenance costs. Governance of condominiums in the Muskoka region is done at the District of Muskoka regional level, so the RLCA will have to make an application to and work with the district for approvals. This adds an additional layer of government interaction to this project; if the RLCA is not able to set up the docking project as a condominium structure for the spring of 2022, we would proceed with the new docking project structured as a club and then transition to a condominium structure once the necessary approvals are completed.

    Vendors & Bidding Process

    The landing committee has reached out to several dock vendors and have found 4 that are willing to bid on the project. We will be proceeding with a Request for Proposal / Quote (RFP) which includes both plan 1 and plan 2 shortly. One of the conditions of the RFP is that the vendor must be able to complete the new docks and have them in place on the ice after the snowmobile season ends and before ice out in March-April of 2022. We will need detailed plans from the vendor that we choose to proceed with the building permit applications for plan 1. Again, if the approvals for plan 2 are secured in time for next spring we would skip plan 1 and go forward with plan 2.

    The landing committee has also reached out to 4 local contractors and have found 1 that is able to complete the removal of any stick docks still in place at the landing before the Nov.20th deadline. This will include removing the stick docks from the shoreline and disposing of the material properly. The contractor will also be moving any remaining boats or trailers from along the shoreline to the back of the parking lot so that there is space for the removal process as well as the installation process in the spring. We would again encourage anyone who has left a trailer or boat at the landing to remove it themselves before Nov. 20th.

    Keeping You Informed

    Again, while there are no guarantees in place at this time, progress with the MNRF for the LuP and the ongoing LoB Council support including our on-site meeting with the LoB planner suggest that we do have a path to having new docks in the water for the start of next year's water access cottage season.

    The landing committee is going to be scheduling a virtual Q&A session on October 27th at 7:00 PM at which we will speak to the details in this update and offer the opportunity for questions. Please watch for an invitation from the  RLCA over the next few days.


    RLCA Landing Committee
    (Sean Hungerford, Scott Lewis, Graham Donald, Ross Lawrence)

  • 4 Oct 2021 4:36 PM | Graham Donald (Administrator)

    We are saddened to learn that Gayle Smallbridge has passed away at the age of 91. Gayle and her husband John have been members of the Raven Lake community at their cottage on the East Shore for many years.

    For many years prior to 2000, Gayle was a member of the RLCA Board of Directors. She served as the RLCA Secretary and her role included issuing membership cards to all new members.

    You will find her obituary at:

  • 8 Sep 2021 2:08 PM | Graham Donald (Administrator)

    Dear Raven Lake Cottage Association Members & Raven Lake Dock Association Members,

    Negotiations with the various government agencies who are involved in approving the creation of the new docks at the Raven Lake Landing have been progressing slowly but without interruption until last Friday. Christine Apostolov, the representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (“MNRF”) that we have been working with, unexpectedly sent us notice that the Minden Office of the MNRF would be posting an “unauthorized docks” notice at the landing, with a 60-day period to have the unauthorized docks removed.

    This notice has come as a complete surprise to the RLCA landing committee as she had authorized and instructed us to have a survey completed of the property which would then enable us to obtain a lease with the MNRF for the lands that would be occupied by the new docks. The survey is almost complete and should be in hand within 2 weeks.

    Immediately following receipt of the notice, we attempted to engage with her to determine if she could be persuaded not to post the notice based on our good faith efforts to date. Regrettably, she advised that she would not be available to deal with this matter until September 17.

    The purpose of this letter is to update you on this change and to assure you that we are and will be addressing this unexpected event in the coming days. We have alerted our lawyers and will be formulating a strategy on how best to proceed and to ensure that we are not prejudiced by these unexpected actions of MNRF.

    We will continue to keep you informed as we work through completion of the land survey, securing of a temporary lease with the MNRF and engaging with the Township of Lake of Bays on building approvals.

    RLCA Landing Committee
    (Sean Hungerford, Scott Lewis, Graham Donald, Ross Lawrence)

  • 30 Aug 2021 2:59 PM | Graham Donald (Administrator)

    We had a great turnout and high engagement for our virtual Annual General Meeting on August 18th, 2021. Thank you to all the members who participated, joined the discussion, and showed their support.

    While we certainly missed seeing everyone in person, the virtual meeting did allow good access by computer or phone; also, we were pleased to receive many questions in advance of the meeting that we were able to address.

    Please click the links below to download the AGM Presentation (the agenda and reports) as well as the meeting Minutes.

    RLCA 2021 AGM Presentation (Final).pdf

    RLCA AGM Minutes 2021 (Final).pdf

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