Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

In a few weeks, Lake Simcoe area residents have the opportunity to tell the Ontario Liberal government what we think of their environmental stewardship, and whether we think another party would do any better in power.

What questions would you like to ask the candidates in the Lake Simcoe area?

Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and they will be posed to the candidates in ridings around the Lake Simcoe Watershed.

Great Lakes United says plans that would have expanded shipping in the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes have been scrapped.

Ontario Streams has launched a new environmental program called “Adopt-A-Stream” with a $165,300 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The initiative has been designed to raise environmental awareness and engage the public and area businesses in local stewardship.

Local MPP Dr. Helena Jaczek and Ontario Trillium Foundation volunteer Paul Howe joined staff and Board of Directors from Ontario Streams, which is heading up the initiative, for the launch Aug. 17 at the Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve, a 108-hectare area just northwest of Newmarket, in King Township, York Region.

"Ontario Streams has done a great job in raising awareness and engaging the public in the importance of environmental stewardship. This Trillium grant will allow them to continue the great work they do for our community and for our environment," said Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges-Markham.

With this three-year grant, Ontario Streams is now actively seeking out 25 partnerships and Adopt-A-Stream groups within the first year of the initiative to spread environmental awareness and education throughout communities in York Region and Simcoe County. Funds from the grant are being used to hire a program coordinator, help with key program costs and to help with the cost of equipment for staff.

"Today starts a new chapter in Environmental Stewardship in Ontario. In three years we are confident that we will be announcing the expansion of the Program across Ontario, thus fulfilling the "Ontario" Streams mandate. We must all remember the adage, 'We all live downstream!' " said Bob Giza, an Ontario Streams board member and co-founder of the Adopt-A-Stream program.

Established in 1995, Ontario Streams is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of streams and wetlands, through education and community involvement.

Since its inception, it has worked closely with numerous communities, landowners and school groups to develop lasting partnerships in education and environmental stewardship. It regularly has several projects on the go which include tree planting, debris and garbage clean-up, habitat creation, bio-engineering, biological monitoring, mitigating fish barriers as well as restoring and creating wetlands.

For more information on Ontario Streams, please visit the website at:

Background info:
Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve,
York Region, Ontario, Canada
Description of the woods:
The Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve is located just northwest of Newmarket in King Township, York Region. It is 108 hectares or 268 acres and is 50% woodland. Just north of the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve’s rolling hills and forested ridges are a refuge for wildlife.

Under the protection of Ontario Nature since 2003, the property is a valuable green space in a rapidly developing area of Ontario. It is identified as being a key natural area in the York Region Greening Strategy. The reserve also falls within the context of the Ontario government’s new Greenbelt system.

Surrounded by intense agricultural and urban development, the reserve provides refuge to a variety of wildlife. The most notable feature of this property is the diversity of habitats it encompasses. The property hosts a large tract of mature hardwood and mixed forests. Enormous beech trees rub shoulders with tall maples and hemlock. A small wetland area, dominated by birch trees and larch, is part of the larger Ansnorveldt wetland complex.

Part of the West Holland River watershed, the property boasts two creeks. White-tailed deer, red fox, great blue herons, red-tailed hawks and great horned owls are just a few of the residents that call this nature reserve home.













Ontario Streams officials accept a plaque from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The people in the photo (left to right) are: Township of King Mayor, Mr. Steve Pellegrini; Ontario Streams’ Field Supervisor, Doug Forder; Ontario Streams’ President, Michael Giza; MPP for Oak Ridges - Markham, Dr. Helena Jaczek; and Ontario Trillium Foundation Representative, Paul Howe.



The Town of Innisfil launched its third solar project on Thursday, Aug. 18, throwing the switch on a 10-kilowatt, free-standing solar panel that tracks the sun during daylight hours.

The electricity generated by the solar panel, located behind the town’s old administration building at 2147 Innisfil Beach Rd., will be purchased from the town by the Ontario Power Authority for 64.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. This will create an estimated $9,000 in profits for the town every year, which will be added to general revenue and will help subsidize local taxes.

The panel was installed through the partnership between Innisfil Hydro and the Town of Innisfil.

“This forward-thinking solar power project, in partnership with Innisfil Hydro, is a great step towards long term energy sustainability for the Town,” says Barb Baguley, Mayor of Innisfil, who attended the switching on ceremony.  “This project shows that the town is clearly actively going ‘beyond the hour’ which was Earth Hour’s challenge for all 2011 participants.”

The solar project was funded by a dividend declared by Innisfil Hydro’s affiliate company, Innisfil Energy Services Ltd. Grasshopper Solar Corp. was awarded the project in a tendering process.

George Shaparew, president of Innisfil Hydro says: “We’re excited to be partnering with the town of Innisfil on this initiative.

There are about 35 solar projects hooked up in Innisfil — there were only 27 mid-July. There are also more than 100 applications to install solar projects, compared with just 70 in mid-July.

This is Innisfil's third solar project: the other two are the Hwy. 400 sign at Innisfil Beach Road and an installation at the Cookstown branch of the Innisfil Library.

Pictured below at the switching on ceremony are:
(L- R) Councillor Bill Loughead, Councillor Maria Baier, Mayor Barb Baguley, Councillor Doug Lougheed, Innisfil Hydro president George Shaparew and Shamor Paul of Grasshopper Energy. Photo courtesy Town of InnisfilInnisfil_solar

When Annabel Slaight visited her family's Lake Simcoe cottage as a child, she drank the water right out of the lake.

On Aug. 12, when Slaight and the Ladies of the Lake ( held the first Splash: The Floating Water Festival in Georgina, the beach in front of the festival was closed because of e-coli.

Slaight, one of the co-founders of the Ladies of the Lake environmental group, says seeing this deterioration of Lake Simcoe drives her efforts to help the lake: "When you see such a beautiful lake, and you know that over the years its wonderfulness has been eroded, that's the driver."

Slaight spoke about Lake Simcoe Aug. 17 on the program Visionary Radio, hosted by Gisele Guenard. The program originally was aired on Voice of America Radio, heard around the world via the Internet.

Slaight was Lake Simcoe Living's Lake Person in the Summer issue. If you missed the Lake Simcoe Living story about Slaight, go to and click on the Magazine button or cover. Then go to the most recent issue — Summer 2011. Flip to page 15 to read the story.

If you would like to hear her interview on Voice of America, you can listen or download the episode by going to

Slaight told Guenard that the Ladies of the Lake organization is not closed to men. There were 10 men at the group's annual general meeting this year and about 50 women. But women do have a different way of doing things than men, she said, and the Ladies works in a female kind of collaborative way — low-key and high-impact.

One result of collaboration between many people was the Ladies of the Lake slogan for the lake: Drink it, Fish it, Swim it, Love it.

Slaight said the recent Splash festival was the first event of many to raise the $30- to $40-million needed for an Ontario Water Centre for learning and research on Lake Simcoe that would be good for the lake, Ontario and Canada. About 2,000 people attended the event, and there were more than 200 volunteers and sponsors.

Guenard also asked what people can do to help Lake Simcoe and other lakes.
Some of the ideas include:
• Use phosphate-free soap for dishes and in your dishwasher
• Do not have a driveway that is a hard surface. Use a porous surface so the water goes into the ground.
• Do not wash your car on the driveway, since the water will carry pollutants into the storm sewers. Do wash your car on the lawn, so the water and any soap can be absorbed and filtered by the soil.
• Replace areas of grass with native plants.
• Get healthy. Healthy people and families require fewer medications, so fewer particles from pharmaceuticals get into the water system. These pharmaceuticals cannot be cleaned out by our current sewage treatment plant.
• Instead of dashing across the lake burning gasoline or diesel, sit beside the lake or paddle across it to get more enjoyment from the lake.

Get Your Free Subscription! Delivered Straight to
Your Inbox.

Enter your email to receive updates from us. You can unsubscribe at any time.