Rural Services

Waterfront property owners represent a major customer group for rural utilities and services, with over 250,000 properties across the province.

Cottage country areas tend to be remote, rocky, and difficult to service. Uneven coverage affects many FOCA members. Despite paying municipal property taxes, some municipal services are unavailable to seasonal properties.

And what if you don’t live in a region served by a Municipality? A local services board (LSB) is a volunteer organization that has the authority to deliver approved services to residents in rural areas of Northern Ontario where there is no municipal government. Learn more: Also, read a summary about LSBs (PDF, 1 page; 2022) from our member group, the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association.

banner: Latest News

April 20, 2023 – Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) announced the Minden  hospital emergency department will close on June 1, citing “serious staffing shortages” and the inability to retain health care workers. A group called Save Minden ER has formed to protest the closure. Read more from CTV News coverage. Access to primary care and emergency services should not depend on one’s postal code. FOCA contacted the Mayor of Minden, and wrote to the Ministers of Health and of Infrastructure, and to the local MPP to express our concern about the planned closure; click to download FOCA’s letter (PDF, 1 page). We received a response from MPP Laurie Scott; click to download the MPP’s comments (PDF, 1 page).

Powerline Safety: an important notice from the ESA

Since 2019, Ontario has seen a staggering 310% increase in powerline contacts by the general public. To help educate Ontarians and keep them safe, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is bringing awareness to the deadly hazards of powerlines. 

While many powerline contacts can be attributed to weather-related events that cause tree branches and limbs to fall on powerlines, almost a third involve accidental powerline contacts from recreational activities like tree pruning, high reach equipment and outdoor home renos with the potential for many of these activities occurring while people are attending to their cottages. For more information, including other electrical safety tips for cottage owners, visit

Learn about various priority rural services on these FOCA webpages: