Welcome to cottage country!
You are joining 250,000+ families who live on water and dearly love Ontario’s camp, cabin, and cottage experience at the waterfront. FOCA’s members are seasonally or year-round waterfront property owners (WPO) and waterfront enthusiasts.
FOCA has tips and hints to help you get the most out of the cottage country experience.
August 2023 – 6 things you may not have considered (but should) when buying a waterfront property (Cottage Life) – shoreline development restrictions, protected areas and endangered species, aquatic weeds, invasive species, reservoir lakes & water levels, zoning bylaws and building permits
New to cottage country? Spend a few minutes with FOCA’s Executive Director Terry Rees in one of the videos below…
Looking for resources to share with neighbours who are new to cottage country? FOCA has templates of Welcome Messages, a Lake Association Binder and more… Visit our Association Toolkit webpage for more.
Thinking about buying a cottage? Start here: Watch this video (online; 7 mins) for tips from FOCA about choosing an area, finding the perfect cottage or building your own, learning about your property, and connecting with the local lake association.
Ready to “make the jump” to more time at your cottage this year? Here’s what you need to know: Watch the video discussion (online; 15 mins) with FOCA and our partners at Cottage Life, for tips about year-round considerations and how to get the most out of your cottage investment. (recorded at the 2021 Virtual Cottage Life Show.)
Be #WakeAware! An important message for ALL boaters about sharing the lake with others. Learn about the impacts of boat wake on shorelines, loons and other water users, and how to reduce your wake or take it to the right zone, in this video created jointly by FOCA, the Muskoka Lakes Association and Safe Quiet Lakes. Watch now (online: 1 min)
Natural Shorelines Matter. Wondering why we love “natural” shorelines and what we mean by that? Spend a couple minutes with FOCA’s Terry Rees and learn about the role of shoreline plants in water quality, fish habitat, goose deterrence and erosion control. Watch now (online; 2 mins)
Your NEXT STEPS:
- join 20,000 fellow subscribers, and sign up for free monthly updates on cottage country tips, news & events in FOCA’s Elert (e-newsletter)
- find & connect with the lake association in your favourite cottage area
- download the free Shoreline Owners’ Guide
- watch a video about septic systems: their parts, maintenance and signs of trouble
- learn how to be safe while boating
- search for information from FOCA, by keyword
- SUPPORT FOCA!
Have questions about any of these topics?
- Review FOCA’s checklist of Top Tips for Living in Cottage Country (PDF, 1 page) with more about these important topics. Also, use the “SEARCH” function at the top right of the page to find more information on these subjects and more.
- Download a Cottage Opening & Cottage Closing checklist (PDF, 2 pages) from FOCA.
- May 14, 2021 – Cottage shopping? First, talk to the experts about the many ways they differ from urban properties (The Spec)
- Click to find and connect with a local lake association group
- Click for more information on the “cottage community”
- Click to see examples of award-winning associations amd what they’ve accomplished
- Click to find out more about local associations, what they do, and how FOCA helps them
- Click to get caught up on all the latest news, and important information about waterfront living in Ontario.
For more about what Associations do, read an earlier article from the August 2017 edition of the Huntsville Forester: Cottage Associations working to protect Muskoka’s pristine lakes.
In the Summer 2014 edition of LakeLine (the newsletter of NALMS – the North American Lake Management Society), FOCA wrote about The Role of Lake Associations: Connecting People for the Good of the Lake (download PDF, 3 pages). This article also provides a great overview about FOCA’s work on behalf of waterfront Ontario!