The sides of Anstruther Lake Rd are now lined with full trees in vibrant green. Those affected by allergies may not enjoy it as much as others as the sneezes and red eyes start.
We are really happy to report that black fly season is now over. The heatwave with humidity has now broken, and during the 30 degree temps we noticed that we were only swatting at mosquitoes.
Our mosquito machine is perched on the restaurant deck in test mode. It will definitely have to be moved to another location, it is as loud as a vacuum, actually, that's exactly what it sounds like. It probably IS a vacuum, sucking in the mosquitoes who come near. Our reward for the machine's work? We can peek into the basket and see all the dead mosquitoes. There are some but we would have hoped for more. We'll give it more time and a new location.
Spending a few hours in the NKCC air conditioned meeting room was a great escape from the humidity. There were a lot of unhappy people in the room wanting the ear of Council.
Representatives from jurisdictions outside of North Kawartha were in attendance as was the President of Boating Ontario. This issue is of significant concern for Boating Ontario as a smaller dock will accommodate fewer boats, which will have a huge impact on the entire boat industry such as boat sales, storage of boats, repair of boats and with a ripple affect to tourism.
The room was as full as it was for the last meeting at the Community Centre on this issue with almost every seat taken. Many there were from Anstruther. No, this issue does not affect Anstruther at this point because we are in the bubble of the Park. That said, many are concerned that they provide input because while there is an exemption for Park properties now, if a time should come that the exemption were to be removed, properties inside the bubble would then be 'stuck' with the bylaw - so being aware and providing input on this issue is important if your dock is important to you.
The meeting started with an overall review of the issue by the Town Planner for the benefit of those who had not followed the progress. Unfortunately, the Planner spoke to second draft of the bylaw which is the most recent but the version that was distributed at the meeting was the first draft. This caused confusion for many observers in trying to understand the differences from what was being said and what was in front of them. Town staff quickly set to work getting new copies printed for distribution during the meeting.
MANY of those attending spoke to Council and there was a common theme, they were not happy with the limitations of the draft, especially the ramp size, the fact that there is only 12' of 'free' ramp, anything further steals from the square footage of the dock. This is not realistic for all waterfronts in North Kawartha. There was a point made about distance required for safe water depth for boats being a fairer start point. There was concern for the red tape in the permit process, how it takes six weeks to get a permit from MNR. Dockbuilder service more than just North Kawartha and if their build and install queue grows during that six weeks, North Kawartha dock purchasers will be on the back burner for fall or next year installs. There was a concern about the max size of 200 sq ft for a canopy that protects a boat, this is unrealistic with the current dock sizes, this size canopy wouldn't fit. There were several comments about how Council's decision will impact employment and the economy in a negative way under the current draft. There were several who pointed out safety concerns for a limited 'free' ramp length as well as concerns for the width with respect to safety again. There was a concern for safety in that kids should be able to play in the water away from the boats but a limited dock size may have not other result. There were several objections to any reference to inflatables being considered a raft, they are deflatable and not permanent and are considered toys, a playground on water. Another individual from Eels advised that 1/2 his lake fell in North Kawartha and the other half in another jurisdiction where there was a much higher limitation for dock length, he proposed it should be aligned.
There was one lone observer who has a preference to small docks. He pointed out that because the size of his lake - Loon Call - is a significantly smaller lake than Anstruther or Chandos, he was very happy to have a small dock limitation.
One Anstruther cottager questioned where the initial figures came from for the size limitations and if so many people have voiced a need for a larger dock, why it was the Planner being so limiting. Out of everyone who spoke, only one from the very small Loon Call lake was in favor of a small dock --the majority overwhelmingly want the ability to build a larger dock. The key point being ability. People have up till now - had the ability to build a huge 1,000 sq ft dock or bigger. Do they? Very few. Docks are expensive so people only build the size of dock they need and can afford. That 20'x30' (plus ramp) we installed last week in another jurisdiction would not qualify in North Kawartha. The photo is below. This is a beautiful dock, not overpowering and has the appearance of a normal cottage dock, big enough to secure his boats, what's wrong with it, why would it not qualify?
Finally, there was one observer who identified himself as a retired lawyer and judge. He strongly encouraged the Township to get a second opinion on legal advice that would require permits for a dock.
If you have concerns about this issue, send them to the Town Clerk, Connie Parent, firstname.lastname@example.org
Today from 10am - 12;00 pm, there will be a public meeting at the North Kawartha Community Centre regarding the draft bylaws to regulate all in water structures including docks.
This bylaw will affect waterfront properties in North Kawartha so it is very important to attend if you own waterfront property. While properties inside the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park are currently exempt, it is still important to be aware of what is happening just in case at a time in the future - the exemption were either be removed or the Park elected to change their dock rules to be aligned with the township bylaw. That is not on the table right now but it is always a concern.
The current draft bylaw has a size limitation that may not be suitable for docks that the cottage owner in 2016 would need, especially for 'water access only' properties where the dock is their driveway and is not only where they park their boat but where their guests would tie up.
We understand that there will be a grandfathering provision but if there are a lot of docks grandfathered that would be non compliant otherwise, there is something to be said for the limitation being considered - inadequate. Once that grandfathered dock needs to be replaced - it is not clear that future replacement docks would fall under that exemption so take notice - not needing a dock now doesn't mean it won't affect you.
Very pleased with our most recent dock installation on Kasshabog Lake, affectionately known by residents as "Kosh". Guaranteed - there will be dock envy down on Kosh this weekend.
Can you picture two people sitting in the chairs on this dock with a cold beer watching the sunset?
I forget which way the dock faces so maybe it's sunrise and a cup of coffee.
Maybe it's Mom and Dad relaxing and supervising the kids as they dive into the lake? Or is the dad of the cottage is in one chair, his patient son in the other with a determined fishing line dangling in the water?
Kids will learn to swim from this dock, wakeboarders will return exhausted from a day on the lake, fish will be caught here and pale skin will get burned because the sunbathers didn't want to leave their spot on the towels that they spread out on the dock.
Cottage memories will be made on this dock.
This dock, handcrafted by Anstruther Marina, has a shore deck (partially cut off in photo), a floating ramp and a large 20'x30' water patio that is comfortably sized to allow a couple of deck chairs to enjoy both the sun and the view and plenty of space to tie up the boats that the cottage owner uses in the summer. Yup -- there will be dock envy on Kosh.
Cottagers live on their dock---we've been told this many times. Time for a new dock at your cottage? We could build one just like the Kosh project and install it at your cottage waterfront. Would you prefer a slip for your boat? We've done that before. Do you have a rocky shoreline and need the decking to be carved around the rock? We can do that too. Need something smaller? We can do small.
Check out our dock section with photos of some of our projects.
Give us a call and tell us about your waterfront and what you use your dock for...how many boats do you have to secure at the dock...do you use it for swimming...is the landscape at the shores edge steep making it necessary to set up chairs on the dock for socializing...do you need a ShorePort for your PWC to protect it...do you need a 'slip' for your boat... Answers to these questions will help us design the best option for you.
Call for more info (705) 656-4783
The animals have returned. It's not just the turkeys that you have to watch for on Anstruther anymore.
The fox population seemed to disappear last year, allowing the bunnies to return. We haven't seen any in several years but one crossed in front of the car on a trip down Anstruther Lake Road yesterday. Turtles are also back - take care as you drive through the turtle zones, they do not welcome a friendly 'rescue' to the safety of the road's shoulder and picking them up safely is impossible. They've probably been around all along but for the first time we are seeing several groundhogs or critters that look much like them.
We take note of bear sightings if someone mentions one nearby, a bearcub was seen by a cottager on Anstruther about a week ago near Camp Creek Road, mama was probably not far away.
If a pool table is the one thing missing from your cottage that you need -- an Anstruther cottager has one available -- FREE!! Pics on the bulletin board at the marina.
The first long weekend of cottage season 2016 is now over but we have several more still to look forward to. There was no appearance of the marine OPP checking boats this weekend --- or at least that we are aware of --- but they have visited Anstruther in past years.
We take this opportunity to remind all cottagers that if you do not already have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, sometimes also called a boating licence, you can do the exam here at the marina. Failure to produce the card (if stopped by OPP) can result in a fine so it is important that you have one if you want to drive a boat. In past, cottagers who have left their wallet at the cottage have been given a fine so always make sure you have it with you when driving a boat.
The Pleasure Craft Operator test is offered online, which is very convenient but be prepared to spend time. We have heard from people who have signed onto this -- that it requires an excessive commitment of time and patience (you don't move on to the next question when you answer immediately after answering one - you must instead wait the required time). Last year, several people lost patience and purchased the test a second time here so that they could do it in person to get it over with quickly. Unfortunately the cost of the online test is not transferable to a site test.
In person, the test is 75 minutes long, questions are multiple choice and a passing grade is 38/50, the cost is $49.99. If the final score is less than 38, further tests can be taken at least 24 hours apart at no additional cost. A passing test means that you get a temporary Operator Card until the permanent one arrives by mail (within 6 weeks), this will allow you to go from our test directly to a boat to drive away.
The weather forecast was bang on for the weekend - fantastic. Cottagers live on their dock in the summer so pale skin didn't have a chance on the dock or on the water. There were more than a few 'pink' people walking around. The store isn't set up yet but usually we have sunscreen on hand - as well as bug spray, both would have been good to have. This is our fifth summer on Anstruther and though there are different perspectives on the 'bug' annoyance, some parts of the lake are not bothered, others have cottagers equipped in their netting. We've heard this could be the worst year in 10 years on Anstruther. On the upside - hot days like yesterday contribute to the demise of the blackfly - or so its said.
This is the busiest weekend of the summer at the marina waterfront. Cottagers launching, staff launching and items being transported across to cottages. If you are picking up a guest and all they have is a bag or two, its ok to do the pickup from either the gas or barge docks - because you'll only be parked there for a few minutes and won't tie up the space. For picking up larger items, our policy is to do it at the utility dock to the right of the Shop.
We have watched many things loaded at the utility dock...fridges, bbqs, sofas, armoirs and other interesting oddities. Balancing while carefully stepping across the ramp to get to the dock, then to get into a boat without falling is all part of the cottage experience for a water access cottager. We watch in awe, every time we see the likes of a fridge or armoire standing up at the bow of a tinny while crossing the lake, bouncing through the waves.
The favorable weather probably was the reason we had so many cottagers up, many funnelled through the same boatlaunch. The launch congestion did become a problem this weekend. The marina takes privledge to manage the order of the launch and to also use the launch first to ensure we meet our commitment to those who have stored with us and to ensure we reduce the downtime of our staff time in waiting to get the boat launched that they are working on. In gaps when our staff are not using it, others who have either brought their boat or are having a boat delivered can launch. Typically you will only find that there is a Queue for the launch during the May long weekend ...a lineup when it is busy. For fairness, check in with staff on arrival for an indication for your turn. For delivery of new boats, please advise in advance so we are know the delivery date so we are prepared. There is often a lesson for the new boat owner to run through the boat's operation - check with us for a spot that will allow this to happen without interruption and to ensure the launch remains vacant for others use.
The store has been renovated with new flooring but still awaits it's new shelving to hold store stock. Completion has been stalled, the carpenters were taken off reno duty to do the extensive slip/boathouse repairs. As noted previously, due to the rising water levels while we still had ice, Boathouse "A" was damaged to the point that it had to be replaced so the time spent working on slips & Boathouse 'A' has been a full time distraction for the carpenters.
During the reno of the store, the restaurant has donated space for the store stock to live temporarily until the cabinets have been built. Our goal was to be back to normal by the May long weekend however, as renos go, they rarely happen 'on schedule', meaning at Anstruther Marina, there is no dining space vacant for the restaurant for now. We hope to have the store reassembled within the next 2-3 weeks.
We will post the opening date for the restaurant when we have a better sense of timing.
Mint Kandy Bar is the newest product from Klondike ice cream now available in the Novelty freezer at Anstruther Marina. For those who enjoy mint ice cream, this will become a favorite.
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