Life on the Lake
Here are some bits of helpful information for life on and around Pike Lake. Let us know if you see any info online that your Pike Lake neighbours might be interested in seeing.
Important Info For Seasonal Cottagers Regarding Hydro One
Upcoming Classification Changes and Significant Rate Increases
An explanation of the proposed changes to Hydro One Classification and the effect on Cottagers can be found in Cottage Life Magazine which you can link to by clicking here.
The following information was provided to the Pike Lake Community Association President, Naomi Fowlie, by the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations (FOCA):
Advocacy & Policy Updates
Fair Electricity Pricing
Hydro One Networks has written to all 147,649 seasonal class electricity customers to explain how they will be moved to one of the three residential density-based classes. The notice includes Hydro One's estimate of your average monthly electricity use over the past 12 months, in kWh, so you can compare your new estimated rate at the same consumption level.
It is the approximately 78,000 seasonal customers moving to the Low Density (R2) class that will see the largest bill impacts, with total bill increases of up to 100%. The seasonal rate class may be eliminated as early as January 1, 2022.
ACTION ITEMS FOR COTTAGERS:
1. Check your notice, and if you think your classification is incorrect, call the Hydro One Networks Customer Service line: 1-888-664-9376. Areas with 100 or more customers, and at least 15 customers for every kilometer of power line used to supply energy to the zone, are intended to become "Medium Density" but FOCA has already heard of cases where the designation on the Notice was incorrect.
2. Contact your MPP
Although the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is an independent public agency, FOCA encourages everyone to contact their Ontario Member of Parliament to provide first-hand feedback to our politicians about the negative impact of this change on your household budget. More than 1,200 actions have already been undertaken by you and your fellow waterfront property owners, including:
emailing the MPP of your seasonal property
calling the MPP of your seasonal property (speaking notes provided)
emailing the MPP of your permanent residence.
It only takes a moment to input your address and use the online software to automatically find your MPP. We have provided a template message to make it quick and easy. (Pro tip: customize the subject line and first paragraphs to ensure your message gets read!)
Join over 1,200 other concerned citizens and take action, here:
FOCA continues to post background on the subject, here: Electricity webpage.
Gypsy Moth Invasion
February 16 update:
A webinar regarding the 2020 Gypsy Moth Invasion in Eastern Ontario was held on February 3rd, as part of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest Winter Woodlot Conference series. The speaker is Erin Boysen, from New Leaf Forest Services. You can find the link for the webinar here.
February 10 update:
NOTE: Due to the high demand for aerial spraying the Zimmer deadline for application is February 28th.
We have received many emails from property owners who want to learn more about aerial spraying to help deal with the infestation of gypsy moths. You will find an information brochure by clicking here.
Applications for aerial spraying can be submitted online at:
You can download a Zimmer contract and waiver form here:
Zimmer Air will need these once it determines it can deliver its services to you. Groups of residents have already submitted
For additional information contact Zimmer Air Services https://zimmerair.com
The Gypsy Moth is an invasive species. Unfortunately they have invaded
the Pike Lake area causing considerable damage to both deciduous and
coniferous trees and there is the likelihood of creating far more damage this
coming spring and summer.
In contacting Tay Valley and Rideau Lakes Townships, we have been told
it is a county issue. The Gypsy Moth brochure from Lanark County’s website
is excellent. It gives you a brief overview of the Gypsy Moth and the various
life stages: eggs, larvae and the adult moth.
For more detailed information, Lanark County also offers more details and guidance from the Invasive Species Centre on how to identify the egg masses, how to remove them, and how to dispose of the eggs. It is as simple as scraping the egg masses off your trees into a bucket of water with household detergent which will, in turn, destroy the eggs. For more information please go to:
Aside from scraping your trees and spraying the egg mass area with horticultural dormant oil, you could also consider purchasing various products at a local nursery to trap the caterpillars to stop them from climbing your trees and eventually eating the foliage. Deciduous trees possibly withstand a couple of years of defoliation if they are healthy, yet coniferous trees, such as the white pine, could die within one year if they were stripped of their needles.
There are other methods of protecting your trees by spraying them. One of the most widely used products is BTK which is a safe biological product. It isn’t toxic, in fact it is certified Organic in Canada. Health Canada has approved it following exhaustive scientific studies, and it has been used in municipal settings in Toronto, Mississauga and Hamilton. It has also been used by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in forests throughout Ontario. Once BTK is sprayed on the tree’s foliage and ingested by the caterpillars, it destroys them. BTK can be purchased at your local nursery and you can spray your own trees. Should you have many mature trees, you may wish to engage a professional spraying company as it can be very difficult to spray the tree’s canopy.
Unfortunately, when egg masses are found in the fall, it is a good indication that you can expect widespread damage the following year. Many of our members and residents have reported the sightings of a multitude of egg masses. From the general comments we have received, it appears there have been more sightings on the southwest side of our lake, but that is not to say that they haven’t been seen all around the lake.
A large group of individuals on the lake have decided to proceed with aerial spraying and have contracted Zimmer Air Services of southern Ontario to spray their properties. Zimmer will also be spraying 350 acres of land surrounding parts of Otty Lake. Should you wish to obtain further information on Zimmer’s services for possible spraying of your property, it should be done prior to March 1, 2021. As stated on their website, they will not take any more requests after February 28th of this year due to high demand.
Now is the time to take action should you wish to engage their professional services. If you have noticed many moths, egg masses, or tree defoliation on your property, it could be even more devastating this coming year. Talk to your neighbours and make them aware of the situation. Our trees not only provide us with their beauty, they also play an extremely vital role in the overall health of our environment.
Cell phone and Internet Service Coverage
March 2021 Update
Eastern Ontario Regional Network Awards Contract for Cell Expansion to Rogers Communications
(March 19, 2021 – EASTERN ON) – Strong and reliable cellular services are critical to help rural communities take part in the economy, create jobs and improve public safety. Together, Canada, Ontario and municipal governments across Eastern Ontario are supporting the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s Cell Gap Project that will improve both the reach and quality of cellular services throughout the region.
Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, joined Warden J. Murray Jones, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, Warden Debbie Robinson, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and Mayor Diane Therrien, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus to announce that Rogers Communications has been awarded the contract to improve the coverage and capacity of cell networks in the region.
Rogers Communications’ investment brings the total value of the public-private partnership to more than $300 million. This includes investments from the federal and provincial governments who each contributed $71 million and an additional $10 million from the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and most municipalities within the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus.
Rogers Communications was selected through a competitive bidding process to identify a telecommunication partner who offered both the expertise and best value for expanded cell coverage.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has designated both mobile and fixed broadband as basic services for all Canadians. The project is designed to improve cell coverage across the area where people live, work and travel. It aims to provide:
99 per cent of the area with voice calling services.
At least 95 per cent of the area with standard-definition (SD) level services, such as video-app calls, basic app usage and streaming of SD video.
At least 85 per cent of the area with service levels that can support streaming high-definition video and more data-intensive apps.
Additional investments will increase capacity of networks in high density, high usage areas.
To better serve rural Eastern Ontario, an area of some 50,000 square kilometres, the project will involve construction of more than 300 new telecommunication sites and will upgrade more than 300 existing sites over the next four to five years. Upgrades and construction will begin as early as this spring. Powered by Ericsson, Rogers brings the latest generation in 5G wireless network technology, which over time will deliver unprecedented speed, instant response times, and fast, reliable connections that transform how people live and work. New services will be activated as groups of towers are built or upgraded. The project is to be completed in 2025.
December 2020 Update
Below please find the most recent information regarding cellular and internet service in the Pike Lake area.
At a December 2nd Tay Valley Township meeting, Kurt Greaves, Chief Administrative Officer of the County of Lanark, updated councillors on efforts underway to improve, over the next few years, cell and Internet service across eastern Ontario. On the cell front, a $213 million project championed by the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) will see construction begin next year to bring inaugural or better cell service, over 2021-2025, to 99% of residences, businesses, and arterial roads throughout the region.
On the Internet front, EORN aspires "to bring fibre [optic] service to every home in Eastern Ontario." This could be a $1.2 to $1.6 billion investment requiring contributions from federal, provincial, and municipal governments. As explained last week by Mr. Greaves, the County of Lanark is proposing specific municipality by municipality projects cost-shared 17% by the County, 17% by the given municipality, 17% by customers to benefit from the service, and 50% by the company (i.e., the Internet Service Provider) eventually chosen to undertake the project.
The PLCA will keep you updated as further information becomes available.
Spring 2020 Cell Phone & Internet Service Coverage Survey
In an effort to identify gaps in cellular phone and internet service coverage in and around Pike Lake, the Pike Lake Community Association sent an on-line survey to 130 members of the Pike Lake community who are on the PLCA email distribution list. Survey participants were asked to answer 10 questions related to the level of cellular phone and internet service coverage at their lake property.
You can read the Executive Summary of the survey and see maps of the coverage by clicking on the following three documents:
Don't invite bears to the cottage
As you can see from this picture, we have some furry friends around Pike Lake. According to Bear Wise, most problems between black bear and humans occur when bears are attracted by the smell of and rewarded with an easy meal. When bears pick up a scent with their keen noses, they will investigate it. If they are rewarded with feasts of garbage, pet food or bird food, they will return.
Some ways to reduce the risk from the Government of Ontario website:
store garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids and store in a bear proof location, take garbage to the dump often;
fill bird feeders only through the winter months; offer bird natural alternatives in spring and summer (e.g. flowers, nesting boxes, fresh water);
when grilling burn off food residue and wash the barbecue grill right away;
plant non-fruit bearing trees and shrubs or pick all ripe and fallen fruit from any fruit trees and shrubs on your property;
do not leave pet food outdoors, in screened-in areas or porches.
For lots more information, click here.
This photo taken October 2019 by Linden Davidson, near Pike Lake.
Watch your Wake
Here are some excerpts from a paper written by a Pike Laker on the impact of boat wake. As the paper noted, we may not all be as familiar with the impact of boat wake as with the rules of water safety and responsible boating. You can read the complete paper here.
Impact of Boat Wake
The larger the wake, the greater the potential for undesirable side effects.
Wake can drown the nests and young of Loons, & other birds.
Inexperienced swimmers & young children can be toppled by the size & energy of boat wake.
Boat wake & prop wash can churn up sediments in shallow water which releases dormant nutrients that promote weed growth & algal blooms.
Boat wake can cause erosion, particularly in Grants Creek.
Boat wake can cause docks & moored boats to rock severely.
How You Can be Wake Wise
Be aware of the size of your wake during displacement, transition & planing speeds.
Position your passengers through-out the boat in order to reduce the time spent in transition speed .
Look behind you to see & understand the impact of your wake on shorelines, docks or other structures. Adjust your speed & direction to minimize the impact.
Respect the shoreline zone. Reduce your speed to less than 10 km/h within 30 metres of any shore including the narrow channels between the islands & in Grants Creek.
Water-ski, tube, & wake-board well away from all shorelines. Try to make use of the entire length of the lake.
Consider the size of the wake produced when purchasing a new boat for Pike Lake.
Be Tick Smart: Lyme Disease is in Ontario
Ticks carrying Lyme disease are found around Pike Lake. These black-legged
ticks (also known as deer ticks) attach to birds which migrate from place to place,
bringing this health risk. While Lyme disease is easily treated when detected early,
it can have serious and permanent health consequences if left untreated.
Ticks can affect your pets as well as yourself.
How to avoid getting a ticket bite:
Cover up - wear light coloured clothing, (so it's easier to see ticks), closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, tucked into your socks;
Use insect repellent - one that says "DEET" or "icaridin" on it and put on your clothes and exposed skin, reading labels for directions on use;
Put clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes before washing - to kill any ticks which might be on them;
Check yourself and your children after being outdoors - look behind your knees, on your head, in your belly button, in your groin area, in your underarm area, on the back of your body using a mirror;
Shower as soon as you can to wash off any ticks;
Check your pets for ticks - check your pet's skin and remove any ticks. Ask your veterinarian about options to keep ticks off your pets.
Maintain your property - keep grass mowed short; trim bushes and tree branches to let sunshine in; create a one meter border of gravel or wood chips; remove leaf litter, brush and weed at the edge of the lawn; move children's play equipment away from wooded areas and consider placing on wood chip or mulch foundation.