They are truly beautiful and a delight to observe however the damage they can cause to the gardens at the cottage while you are busy at your city home make the darling Muskoka deer public enemy number one. Don’t be fooled by that docile “who me?” look as you pull up the drive on a Friday afternoon a catch a glimpse of mamma and her spotted fawn, this isn’t a Disney movie; if Bambi wants dinner, your garden is a free buffet and he’s not making reservations.
Every spring when deer come out of their wintering areas, they come looking for young, tender grass or herbaceous greenery. You can bet your Muskoka cottage garden will be one of their first stops. Come summer, your garden offers gourmet delights aplenty; daylilies, hostas, impatiens and just about every green or blooming thing you value. And if you’re trying to grow a cottage veggie or herb garden, you can count on a four legged connoisseur to nibble away at the choicest morsels long before you get to enjoy a single salad. To save your beautiful garden from this treachery, you’ll need to wage war on these four legged beauties – you need to tell them the “buck” stops here. We have a very high local deer population is this wonderful region and they can easily devastate hours of hard work and munch their way through all the money you invested in plants in a few short hours. Here are some tips to help you have a garden that the deer will not want to eat.
Consider planting deer-
Maples, Honey Locust, Hawthorne, Oak, Birch, Ash, Douglas Fir, Bristlecone Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, Austrian Pine, Mugo Pine, Canada Hemlock, Engelman Spruce
Barberry, Juniper, Lilac, Rugosa Rose, Mugo Pine, Potentilla, Rubber Rabbitbrush, Spirea, Red Osier Dogwood, Mock Orange, Fragrant Sumac, Common Buckthorn, Buffalo berry, Bridalwreath, Viburnum, Chokecherry, Currant, Elderberry, Gooseberry, Caragana
Vines, Bittersweet, Baltic Ivy, Clematis, Honeysuckle
Ornamental Grasses, Columbine, Astilbe, Tickseed, Bee Balm, Black-
Carpet Bugle, Lily of the Valley, Periwinkle, Pachysandra, Lamb’s Ears, Lamium, “Silver Brocade”, Artemisia, Snow in Summer, Thyme, Dead Nettle
Another great way to go is to prepare a homemade spray to coat your plants with. It can be a more economical approach than changing the plants in your garden. Keep in mind that the spray must be reapplied frequently as plants grow or rain washes it away. Here is a home remedy found on-
3 large eggs, shells included
1 large clove of garlic
2 cups of fresh green onion tops
2 cups of water
Put everything into a blender and liquefy for 2 minutes. Add this mixture to a pail containing 2 quarts of warm water and melted deodorant soap such as “Dial”. Stir together, then add 2 tablespoons of chili powder or cayenne pepper and mix well. Splash, spray, drip or somehow paint the mixture on the plants. Be sure to get egg shells on the leaves. When used every two weeks it is effective year round. Save some of each batch to “ripen” the next batch. Commercially prepared repellants like “Plantskydd” work well if making up this stinky remedy is not appealing.
It is recommended by many experts to rotate your repellents and combine them with other tools or scare tactics such as a surprise burst of water, a loud noise or even a good old fashioned scarecrow.
Plan now so that this summer, you can enjoy your Muskoka cottage gardens green and lush.
Individuals may set out private buoys in Canadian waters but there are regulations that must be adhered to.
1. In these Regulations, “private buoy”means a buoy that is not owned by the federal government, a provincial government or a government agency.
2. These Regulations apply to every private buoy other than private buoys used to mark fishing gear.
3. No person shall place in any Canadian waters a private buoy that interferes with or is likely to interfere with the navigation of any vessel, or that misleads or is likely to mislead the operator of any vessel.
4. (1) No person shall place a private buoy in any Canadian waters unless
(a) the part of the buoy that shows above the surface of the water is at least 15.25 cm wide and at least 30.5 cm high;
(b) the buoy displays, on opposite sides, the capital letters “PRIV” that are
(i) as large as is practical for the size of the buoy, and
(ii) white when the background colour is red, green or black;
(iii) black when the background colour is white or yellow;
(c) the buoy complies with the requirements set out in Canadian Aids to Navigation (TP 968) published by the Canadian Coast Guard in 1995, as amended from time to time;
(d) the buoy displays, in a conspicuous location and in a permanent and legible manner, the name, address and telephone number of its owner;
(e) the buoy is constructed and maintained in a manner and with materials that ensure that it remains in position and retains the characteristics specified in paragraphs (a) to (d); and
(f) the buoy’s anchor is constructed and maintained in a manner and with materials that ensure that it remains in position.
(2) The owner of a private buoy placed in any Canadian waters shall ensure that the information required by paragraph (1)(d) is accurate at all times.
5. If there is a need for increased visibility or better identification of a buoy for safety and the prevention of accidents, the Minister of Transport may order the owner of the buoy to modify it according to the requirements set out in the Procedures Manual for Design and Review of Short-
Previous Version 6. No person shall place in any Canadian waters a private buoy that has a light unless the light remains lit throughout the night and meets the requirements referred to in paragraph 4(1)(c). REMOVAL 7. The Minister of Transport may remove from any Canadian waters a private buoy that does not comply with these Regulations.
As a Realtor who lives and works in Muskoka I am acutely aware of the magnificence of our lakes. I am convinced that, as a resident of this area, I have a small but vital role to play in protecting them. That requires that I have a good understanding of how they function so I have made every effort to learn all about them so I can be a good steward and promote good stewardship to my clients. Lake Muskoka is part of a large watershed called the Muskoka River Watershed. The Muskoka River Watershed covers a large area on the eastern side of Georgian Bay. Its headwaters are found on the western slopes of Algonquin Park, and flow southwesterly for a distance of approximately 210 km to discharge into the southeast corner of Georgian Bay. It encompasses many of Muskoka’s most well know lakes including Lake of Bays, Mary’s Lake and of course Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph and Lake Muskoka. The watershed measures over 62 km at its widest point and is approximately 120 km long, encompassing an area of approximately 4,660 sq. km. The watershed is divided into three drainage areas, the North Branch, South Branch, and Lower Muskoka. The North and South Branches make up the eastern two-
We all know the quote from Shakespeare is actually “double double toil and trouble”, but if we do not want “double trouble” you need to give some serious thought about using a bubbler or agitator system to protect waterfront structures at your Muskoka Cottage. However there are some serious considerations to make before you decide to install one and how to properly manage one once installed.The decision to install a bubbler or agitator is often made based solely on protecting the often very large investment made in creating wonderful docks and boat house structures at the shoreline or our waterfront properties. We have all heard the stories of the dangers a dock bubbler has on people, snowmobilers, and even pets. Transport Canada has this on their site: “Note: The action of safeguarding the ice and the hole that is created is a criminal code responsibility. It falls under the Criminal Code under “Duty to safeguard opening in ice”. Any questions regarding the marking of the opening in the ice should be directed to your local OPP detachment.” In addition, did you know that while a bubbler is protecting your property, there are many instances, where a dock bubbler can cause intense damage to a neighbour’s dock and boathouse? This is not only going to cause an issue with your neighbour, but it also adds to the wooden debris on the open water resulting in a hazardous situation for boaters. There is an increasing amount of evidence that using a bubbler/agitator has a negative effect on hibernating animals in the area and by keeping large areas of water open and subject to the warming effect of the winter sun, it is thought that overall lake temperatures will increase, affecting the whole eco system of the lakes. The purpose of a bubbler or agitator is to create an open water buffer between the structure and expanding/contracting ice. A five-
1. Place/angle your device properly. If an agitator is used, then angling it toward the shore directs the flow inwards, and not out into the lake, minimizing the amount of open water created.
2. Install a timer and/or thermostat. Operating your ice-
3. Mark Open Water with Warning Signs/Lights Display signage to alert others to the potential danger of open water. These red and white signs are available at most hardware stores in the area, or where ice-
4. Monitor Your Property. If you are not using your property in the winter, have it checked periodically to ensure your ice away-
5. Be Ice Smart -
Shore road allowances were established in various parts of Ontario adjacent to navigable rivers and shores of lakes. Cottage buyers may be unaware of their existence as many remain unopened, but nevertheless legally exist. The initial laying out of road allowances in Ontario included the establishment of shore road allowances that were 66’ in width adjacent to navigable rivers and the shores of lakes. Such roads, although infrequently opened, were intended to provide access for commercial and public passage. The fact that such allowances have never been opened in no way limits the original conveyance nor obstructs the right of use by the public. A typical reference plan is illustrated on a subsequent page, detailing two recreational lots adjacent to a secondary highway with a 66’ shore road allowance abutting the waterfront. Townships surveyed prior to 1850 (primarily eastern and southwestern Ontario) do not contain these road allowances. Following that date, most property near water was surveyed in a manner to create public roads at the water’s edge. The existence of a shore road allowance will normally appear in the deed, with the following wording: …save and except that portion of land consisting of a sixty-
Encroachments The real issue for cottage owners is the fact that waterfront lots may have boathouses, docks or cottages (or a portion thereof) constructed on the shore road allowance and therefore are built on land not owned by the seller. As such, a survey prepared by an Ontario land surveyor is critical when seriously considering the purchase of a recreational, shoreline property.
Closings While municipalities are empowered under the Municipal Act to effect closings of shore road allowances and resolve title issues (e.g., encroachments on Crown land), objections filed from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) have directly impacted such decisions, given the MNR mandate to protect public lands and associated natural habitat in and around watercourses within the province.
Accordingly, the MNR has established certain guidelines and will generally encourage municipalities to retain shoreline where the lands contribute to the preservation of fish and wildlife habitat. Any person contemplating an application for a shore road allowance closing should seek expert advice regarding the matter. All costs regarding the acquisition of shore road closings are normally borne by the applicant. Policies, procedures and costs concerning shore road allowance closings vary from time to time. Real estate practitioners should contact the local municipality and the Ministry of Natural Resources for current requirements.
Very many cottage owners in Muskoka access their cottages via a right of way. These private cottage roads often meander along long stretches of shoreline, giving access to many cottages as they go. They are a series of “granted to” and “in favor of” easements that the property owners allow to benefit each other. Sometimes when a large parcel of land has been severed the original land owner retains the entire road or right of way and as each lot is sold grants an easement over the required sections.
This all sounds very simple but there is an “however”’ coming as you may have guessed.
Up until the 1990’s, land was registered in one of two ways Land Registry or Land Titles. In the late 1990’s all Ontario land registration was moved into the Land Titles system and the system was automated so that it can be accessed electronically. This makes things much easier to manage, especially for lawyers at the time of a sale, as the new deeds and any mortgages are electronically registered from their office. They no longer have to line up on closing day to do that last minute search and then register your documents.
However, if the easement granting your cottage a right of way was registered a long time ago in the old Land Registry system it would have needed to be renewed every 40 years. If at the time of transfer to land titles in the late 1990’s it had expired, it DID NOT TRANSFER and you may not have a right of way granting legal access to your property.
What to do to ensure that your access is current and secure.
If you purchased your property in the last 10-
If you purchased prior to the transfer to Land Titles you will need to check your title to see if you easement transferred. As above, your can get a copy of your title from your lawyer or at http://www.teranet.ca/ and you will be looking to see if the phrase “except the easement therein” is in the thumbnail description.
If you discover that you have no longer got a legal access over the original easement to your property there are some ways to resolve it.
1. By agreement: If you and the owner(s) of the easement are on good terms you can agree to register it as a new easement. Remember you all have to agree and also agree on the cost to achieve it which could include a new survey. This solution often fails as usually one or more of the parties sees an opportunity to gain at someone else’s expense.
2. By Legislation: Section 113 (2) of the Registry Act (as amended) states as follows, Notice of Claim – A person having a claim…may register a notice of claim with respect to the land affected by the claim,
(a) At any time after the notice period for the claim [within 40 years from its original registration]; or
(b) At any time after the notice period but before the registration of a conflicting claim of a purchaser in good faith for valuable consideration of the land [Bold added for emphasis] So you can register your notice of claim any time after the 40 years has expired provided the owner of the land that grated the easement has not already registered a document that conflicts with your claim. You may think that once it has been transferred into Land Titles that this legislation will not cover you but case law Kendrick vs Martin , upholds the ability to register a claim even after the transfer, providing the owner has not filed prior to you.
If you discover you have an issue you may want to contact your title insurance company if you have one as they may cover the cost of getting this issue resolved.
I hope you find this helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions and I will do my best to assist you. Remember that if you access your cottage via a right of way we will need to confirm that it is properly registered so that we can properly represent you in your sale.