Vote for your Future – Municipal Elections

The next Ontario municipal elections will be held on Monday, October 24, 2022. The term of office for elected representatives is December 1st, 2022 to November 30th, 2026 (a four year term). Learn who in your community best represents your position on the issues that mean the most to you and your family!

FOCA members can access an Association Vote Toolkit, and watch our July 2022 webinar about getting out the vote in your waterfront community:

  • Download your digital copy of FOCA’s “Vote for your Future” Toolkit (PDF, 20 pages), with all the resources you’ll need to engage your local community in municipal elections. Although created for the 2018 elections, the tips still hold; only the dates change! The toolkit contains samples and templates you can use for communications, events, candidates’ questions and more. It also has a handy Calendar “Checklist” on the last page, to keep your efforts on-track.
  • Download FOCA’s “Vote for your Future” fact sheet (PDF, 2 pages; 2018) for an overview about this initiative.

webinar: Municipal Election Engagement for Associations. Do you know who can vote? Why it matters? Find out where you can vote in a Municipal Election, what issues are handled at the municipal level of government, and hear examples from your lake association peers to learn from their experiences getting involved in municipal elections!

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Where can you vote?

image: asterix buttonIn Ontario Municipal elections, you are entitled to vote where you own or rent property. Therefore, plan to vote at your cottage riding as well as your permanent residence.

FAQ: “My family owns a cottage. Can I vote in that municipality?” In order to qualify as a non-resident elector, you (or your spouse) must be the owner or tenant of the property. If a family member who is not your spouse is the owner, even if you have use of the cottage you would not qualify as a non-resident elector. If the cottage is owned by a trust, you would not qualify as a non-resident elector.

Who can vote?

Anyone can vote in a municipal election who, on the day of the election, is:

  • 18 years of age or older;
  • a Canadian citizen; and
  • either a resident of the municipality or a property owner or tenant, or the spouse or same sex partner of an owner or tenant in the municipality, during a specified time just before the election.

To be able to vote, your name must be on the list of eligible voters. If you are on the voters list, you should receive a card in later October of the election year, telling you that you are eligible to vote. Call your municipality for assistance if you do not receive your card but think you are eligible to vote.

How can you vote?

Ask your municipality about the availability of advance polls or online voting. Now is the time to check on the options available to your association members for municipal voting in October 2018. Does your municipality offer online or phone options?

UPDATE: The deadline to pass by-laws authorizing the use of alternative voting, such as by mail or by internet, and vote-counting equipment is May 1st, 2022 for the 2022 election.

You can find many municipal election resources from the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, including election guides for voters and for candidates, as well as some information about voter identification requirements.

What can you do?

  1. Ensure you are on the voter’s list! Visit
  2. Get on FOCA’s Elert list for cottage country updates on election issues.
  3. Host a local candidates’ event prior to the election. Ask your questions!
  4. Vote in your Municipal Election.

FOCA’s Challenge to you:

Want to make a difference in your rural community? Do you have leadership skills? Think you have something to contribute to the local community? Consider running for municipal office! Local elections are often decided by only dozens or a few hundreds of votes.

Think about all the services your municipal government is responsible for providing: roads, public transit, child care, local policing, water and sewers, ambulances, parks and recreation.

Help to bring the focus onto the issues that matter most to you and to your lake association. We need more lake and river champions in municipal office, where they can stand up for healthy, thriving and sustainable communities. Keep FOCA updated if you decide to run for municipal office.

August 1, 2022 – Thinking about running for one of Muskoka’s municipal councils? Do it! (

Earlier News & Resources to Rally your Community

November 2021 – Are you “election curious? Visit: Municipal Campaign School

Results of the 2018 Ontario Municipal are available here:

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has also published a variety of interesting statistics about the outcomes of the elections, here:

Vote for your Future (2018) was a campaign to encourage FOCA’s members across Ontario to get involved in the 2018 Municipal election process.

Waterfront property owners and residents have a right to vote in municipal elections. FOCA is here to help you spread the word and make it easy.

Tools and Resources:

  • Download your digital copy of FOCA’s “Vote for your Future” Toolkit (PDF, 20 pages), with all the resources you’ll need to engage your local community in the 2018 Municipal elections. The toolkit contains samples and templates you can use for communications, events, candidates’ questions and more. It also has a handy Calendar “Checklist” on the last page, to keep your efforts on-track.
  • Plan to host a “Vote for your Future” Pop-up booth at an event in your local  community this season. (Get tips about holding a “Vote Pop-up” event on page 12 of the Toolkit, above.)
  • Download FOCA’s “Vote for your Future” fact sheet (PDF, 2 pages) for an overview about this initiative.

About this Initiative

Vote for your Future (2018) was a collaboration between FOCA and Ryerson’s Democratic Engagement Exchange. FOCA provided our member associations with tools and tips about raising their local level of engagement, a higher level of understanding of local issues, and a better feel for where their local candidates stand on their most pressing issues.

Vote for Your Future aimed to inspire citizens and contribute to a wider conversation throughout 2018 about public engagement and community planning. Let’s improve our municipalities’ ability to address the complex challenges and amazing opportunities of the 21st century!

October 9, 2018 –   Muskoka Lakes Association responds to questions about their ‘Stance on Candidate Endorsement’ OPINION (Bracebridge Examiner)

October 11, 2018 – No contest: Why it matters when candidates run unopposed On municipal-election day, hundreds of candidates will win by acclamation in communities across Ontario — but what does that mean for democracy?

September 11, 2018 – Ottawa-area votersOntario Municipal Elections in our National Capital and Beyond   (Ottawa Riverkeeper)

May 18, 2018 – FOCA releases the “Vote for your Future Toolkit” for Lake Associations! See details, above.

August 21, 2018 Why three elections in two years could mean a ‘lost year’ for municipalities (TVO)

March 25, 2018 – A civil election campaign is vital to encourage women in politics (Toronto Star)

March 6, 2018 – Candidates have less time to file for municipal election bid (Kingston Whig-Standard)

March 3, 2018 – Launch of  the Vote for your Future campaign (2018)! FOCA members practiced voting, and helped to define municipal priorities and “Why to Vote” at the FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar in Toronto, with the assistance of John Beebe, Senior Advisor on Democratic Engagement, Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University.

image: composite of Vote for Your Future activities at FOCA AGM and Spring Seminar, March 2018

Terry ReesVote for your Future – Municipal Elections