August News Blast

Boat Launches in McKellar

Over the past few months, we have received many inquiries about the closure of the boat launch on Lakeshore Drive. Our members continue to be very concerned with the closure of this boat launch and with the future of public boat launches in McKellar. During the past few months we have endeavoured to keep you informed about new developments in this area. We also encouraged you to communicate with your Township representatives and to participate in Council Meetings. Many members have asked us to do more.

We have worked on your behalf to make sure that the Township is aware of your concerns. If the Township wishes to get more input from our members, we will gladly facilitate that goal. The position that we have continued to bring to their attention is as follows:

The MLCA is of the opinion that the proper course of action would have been for the Township to give reasonable notice along with an explanation as to why the Lake Manitouwabing Lakeshore boat launch needed to be closed as well as having a plan to provide an alternate safe site on the north section of the lake. 

The  MLCA  recognizes boat launches are complex with many safety and liability issues that need to be considered.  

The MLCA urges the Township  to find a safe and suitable site on the north end of the lake as an urgent priority. 

Hazards in the Lakes

The marking of hidden hazards on Lake Manitouwabing has been a popular point of discussion at our Market Booth this summer. A number of members have asked why boating hazards are not marked on the Lake.

The current position of the MLCA is that, as an association, we do not want to engage in marking boating hazards for a number of reasons.

With over 100 kilometres of shoreline,  innumerable  bays, countless hazards and fluctuating water levels it would be impossible to mark all or even most hazards.  If some hazards are marked boaters may reasonably assume all hazards are marked resulting in a more unsafe waterway.

Marking hazards requires specialized Navigation Canada approved bouys with orange markings that would need to be placed and removed each season in exactly the same location.

While the MLCA does not have the resources to undertake marking hazards on the McKellar Lakes we will bring this matter to the attention of the McKellar Township and  make them aware that our members have expressed the desire to have boating hazards marked.

Members wanting more information or wishing to assume the responsibility of marking local hazards may want to reference the FOCA guide Shoal and Hazard Marking for guidance.

While we do not have detailed knowledge of navigation software for handheld devices we understand that Navionics has navigation data available for Lake Manitouwabing including the marking of many hazards. A preliminary review of this service indicates that users willing to use it on a handheld device can update the maps if they wish. Users wishing to use the service for free can access maps from a computer only. Please note that we do not endorse the use of this application and we have not assessed the reliability of their product with respect to navigation of our lakes.

Local Interest

A Story About The Efforts of Two McKellar Residents To Create Bluebird Habitats.

By: Al Last

Note: Reliance on statements made in this letter is subject to our Disclaimer.

The Return

It was while sitting in a small blind on the ground that the light bulb clicked on (again). The wild turkeys were not exactly co-operating which would be true most of the month of May. But at the site a few tree swallows and the odd bluebird were pretty neat to watch. Then, scanning along a fence that crossed the fields dividing the 2 farm properties, there they were. No .... not turkeys, nesting boxes attached to a few of the fence posts. And thus, the light bulb.

So, with the thought of building and putting up a few boxes with bluebirds as the main focal point a visit to the 2 landowners was made. Permission was given with great enthusiasm.

A few days later while talking on the phone with another former McKellar Conservation Association member he was asked if he would care to build a few boxes. The answer was an immediate yes! Of course, word got to a few more friends and a few boxes turned into 98. It was decided to place as many boxes as possible out in the fall so they would be waiting for the birds in the spring.

Box placement was put on a Google Earth map and give numbers. Some were also put on GPS.

It was thought this past Spring (2020) we might have an overall usage of about 10 to 20 %. It was very pleasing to see a usage of about 70 to 75%. That was totally unexpected.

A high number of users were tree swallows. But there were a few bluebirds as well as a couple of wrens. It did not matter as long as the boxes were being used.

This fall a few more boxes have been added. The young birds from this year that survived will return to the area where they were born and they too will be looking for nest sights.

Many people you talk to have no idea that bluebird even existed in their area. They along with tree swallows are excellent insect eaters. The results of the box use this past Spring is telling us that both the bluebirds and tree swallows are starved for nesting cavities. They depend highly on old woodpecker nest holes for nesting sites. Many of them rot and fall or landowners cut them down and throw them in to burn piles while cleaning their property. The best thing that man can do to help bluebirds is to provide nesting sites.

Tree swallows usually lay 1 clutch of eggs per season. Bluebirds will have 2 sometimes even three in southern longer seasons. If a clutch is lost the birds will re-nest if there still time to do so.

For a project like this landowner co-operation is very important as both bluebirds and tree swallows wide open areas such as farm fields with water nearby. Some have even donated materials such as wood planks for building and unperforated 2- and 4-inch plastic piping. If the box is not placed on a fence post or a steel or wood stake in the ground, then a length of plastic pipe is placed under the box for predator control.

While the co-operation of the bluebirds and the tree swallows was incredibly good it took until the last day and last hour of the hunt to finally secure a wild turkey dinner.

Note: For more information on this project please contact Al Last at or Steve Bradley at 705 389 2666.

Reminders and Tips

McKellar Market

The market has had a great season so far. Great vendors and lots of customers. The last market of the summer season will take place on September 4. For more information, check out the Market’s web page.


This year’s AGM will take place on Saturday, September 11 at 9 am. Details for attending the meeting will be emailed out at the end of August. The meeting will include water and financial reports, a discussion on proposed constitution updates and a presentation on the causes and prevention of Blue Green Algae. The Town’s Environmental Committee will make a presentation after our meeting concludes.

Previous Newsletters

Previous Newsletters are available on our website at Newsletters.

Superior Propane Purchasing Plan

Our plan with Superior continues to offer our members a great price and other features. For more information, check out our Propane page and please contact our designated rep to get the most reliable customer service.


GBBR: Why are Solstices Celebrated?

The Georgian Bay Biosphere welcomes back Waabkaniikwe for a cultural learning experience about solstice. Solstices are a time to gather, honour the time of year, and for renewal. Register now for this October 5 Webinar.

Local News

White Stone and Area Nursing Station

A bake sale concurrent with a community yard sale will be held next Saturday September 4 from 9 to 1 (rain date: Sunday September 5 from 9 to 1) at the Dunchurch Self Storage at 1280 Highway 124.  All proceeds will go to the nursing station building expansion fund.

The Nursing Station Fundraising Team recently made the following Thank You announcement: “We are thrilled to announce that - with your help - we raised $15,620. With the matching funds, we have $31,240, which is 17% of our community target of $180,000.”

“The Whitestone Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic (NPLC) provides comprehensive primary care for residents and cottagers in Whitestone and the surrounding area. Services include health promotion, disease prevention, chronic disease management, and education for patients and families in the community.”

The White Stone Council in connection with the West Parry Sound Health Centre has decided to add an extension to their building in order to provide more service as a result of the increased demand from full-time and seasonal residents in the surrounding areas. The building expansion program will be funded through government grants, fundraising and contributions from area municipalities.

An anonymous donor has offered to match private donations up to a maximum of $80,000. The Township of McKellar has decided to contribute $60,000 to the expansion. Further information about the station’s operation and expansion can be found on the Nursing Station’s website.

Library News

In case you did not know, the Library is open for in-person use. Use their online catalogue to find available material. Check out their Facebook page for further information and announcements.

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