The AGM is usually held at 7:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before the Civic Holiday Weekend at Hudson Hall.
- promote the environmental health of the lakes by working with the Ontario Lakes
Partners Programme (MOE) to ensure that water quality and clarity samples are taken on
a timely and consistent basis.
represent the interests of the residents of the lakes with respect to relations with the
municipal government (Corporation of the Township of Hudson), and the MNR.
inform the residents of the lakes and the township, including Township Council and
provincial government officials regarding issues that impact on the environment and
enjoyment of life on the lakes.
ensure that issues such as shoreline development, cutting of trees, aggregate
extraction, and skyline reserve etc. are considered in land use planning in the lakes area.
- undertake other activities as required to ensure that this mandate is achieved.
Twin Lakes, Fairy Lake, Pike Lake and Bartle Lake are located primarily in Hudson
Township, approximately 20 km west of the City of Temiskaming Shores (Formerly
New Liskeard), in the District of Temiskaming. All of the seasonal and residential
properties are located within Hudson Township.
The southern parts of Twin Lakes and Pike Lake are located within the unorganized Township of Firstbrook, and consist of crown land, which is administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
The Hudson Lakes are accessed from New Liskeard via Highway 65W and the Twin
Lakes Road, an all-season secondary road maintained by the Township of Hudson.
Description of Lakes
All four of the Hudson Lakes are situated on the Hammond Lake Esker, a unique
geomorphological feature that consists of a large area of sand and gravel, surrounded by
typical Precambrian shield features of rocks and lakes and heavily forested bush. The
lakes are spring-fed, and one of the main attractions for residents is the many natural
sand beaches. Water quality is excellent in all four lakes.
All four lakes are popular fishing spots, with pickerel, northern pike, bass, perch,
speckled trout, and other species caught in the various lakes. Twin Lakes once had a
large Lake Trout population, but that species has been fished out. In the 1980s, Bartle
Lake was stocked with Speckled Trout.
There are no commercial establishments on any of the lakes, and no public access
except for a small recreation park at Pike Lake that is owned by the township.
Hudson Lakes watershed contains many kilometres of trails that are used by
snowmobiles, ATVs, hikers, X-C skiers, and small game hunters. Moose, deer, and
black bear are abundant in the area, as well as a large number of smaller mammals and
Twin Lakes consists of two quite different sections of lake separated by a 1.5 km
narrows. Upper Twin is situated in the Esker, while Lower Twin is
situated mostly in the Precambrian area.
Twin Lakes, by virtue of its proximity and easy access to New Liskeard, was first settled in 1902, and in 2008 has 111 residences, of which 19 are permanent year-round. There are no homes or cottages
on Lower Twin, which is mostly crown land. A private nine-hole golf course was constructed in 2006-07 partly on private property and partly on crown land.
Twin Lakes (and the other three lakes in Hudson Township) are well serviced with power (Ontario Hydro) and telephone (Northern Telephone Company), and more recently with high-speed internet.
Upper Twin is fed mainly by springs rising from the Esker. A small stream
flows into the lake from Fairy Lake, which is also fed by springs. Otherwise, there
are no significant streams flowing into the lake. One stream flows out of Twin
Lakes into Pike Lake.
Fairy (Frere) Lake
Fairy (Frere) Lake is a small spring-fed lake with sandy beaches. The first
summer cottages were built in the 1920s, with most built in the 1950s. There are
currently 29 property owners on the lake, of which 11 are year-round residents.
In the 1940s the Kiwanis Club established a children’s camp that was made
available to disadvantaged children, and was also used as a Scout camp. In 1955,
it was purchased by the Anglican Church. The camp now has a dining hall, a
pavilion, four sleep cabins, and a new (2007) washroom/shower/laundry facility.
The Craven Rock area in the South West corner of Fairy Lake and a significant
amount of surrounding woodlands were owned for years by the Craven family.
Before she died Nora Craven caused Craven Rock Trust to be formed. This is a
limited corporation, the members of which are land owners on Fairy Lake or their
spouses or children. It has 4 directors elected annually by the members. Nora then
transferred the land to this corporation, along with some funding to start it off.
Not only did she transfer the 5.5 acres comprising the Rock area, she also
transferred another 55 acres of back lands extending out to the “B” Road on one
side, and 19 acres across the “A” Road extending from the forks to the golf
course. The “B” Road lands extend out to the currently controversial clear
cut/proposed gravel pit at the forks.
The Letters Patent of Craven Rock Trust provide as its main objective:
“to preserve, protect, restore and improve the natural resources and
environment of the lands surrounding Frere Lake, locally known as Fairy Lake.”
Craven Rock Trust is carrying out this objective by protecting these lands in
perpetuity from development and ensuring they will be there for the enjoyment of
the Fairy Lake residents and the users of Roads “A” and “B”.
Presently 26 of the 29 property owners on Fairy Lake are members of Craven
Rock Trust. Each contributes $50 per year for taxes and expenses. In addition they
are working on building up a reserve fund. Each summer there is an annual
meeting to elect directors and to express any concerns. The Trust has erected a
plaque on the Rock stating “A Gift to the People of the Lakes. Donated by Miss
Nora Craven & Family”.
Pike Lake was first settled in 1922 by the Villneff family who established a small
farm on the property. In the 1970s, the Villneff lot was subdivided, and some 17
small lots were established. In 2008, there are 17 permanent homes on the lake, all
on the north and east shore, and one summer home.
In the 1960s, the Township
purchased part of the Villneff lot as a public park. The park has 1,700 feet of lake
frontage, and now contains a ball diamond, picnic shelter, washrooms, and a boat
launching ramp. The park is maintained by the township.
Pike Lake is fed by a stream from Twin Lakes. Much of the unoccupied south end
of the lake is shallow with extensive reed beds, and is home to many migratory
birds; a significant heron rookery (designated a protected area by the MNR) is
situated on the west side of the lake. The MNR conducts bird banding on this lake
in the fall. The lake drains out through Pike Creek, which eventually flows into
the Wabi River system and Lake Temiskaming.
Bartle Lake is a small spring-fed lake with sandy beaches. The first summer
home was built in 1950, and at present, there are 24 year-round and seasonal
homes. There are nine permanent homes on the lake.
In the 1970s, the lake was
poisoned by the MNR to wipe out the indigenous species of fish, and then stocked
with Speckled Trout. These trout can still be caught in Bartle Lake.
There are approximately 185 property owners on the four lakes, of whom 56 are year-round
residents. The latest figure for paid-up members of the Hudson Lakes Association is 100, or
55% of the residents. The HLA estimates that there are approximately 600 people residing on
the lakes during the summer months, with many more on long weekends, particularly the
Regatta weekend. The 2006 Stats Can census figure for the total population of Hudson
Township, including permanent lakes residents, is 309 (a figure being disputed by the
Township). The Township estimates the population at 490.
The HLA is able to draw on a large number of volunteers for its events and activities. The
water sampling is done by volunteers on each of the four lakes, and the swimming lessons drew
enough volunteers to look after the 20-25 children who participated. The AGM typically has an
attendance of 35-40 people.
The association’s Annual General meeting is held on the last Wednesday of July.
Typically, thirty-five to forty members are in attendance to hear reports from the
President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer on activities and programmes. The
Reeve of the Township of Hudson attends and reports on activities within the township
and answers questions from the membership, and a local OPP Officer is invited to
discuss any law-enforcement or traffic problems in the lakes area. In addition, a guest
speaker, usually someone with some specific cottage-related expertise, is invited to
speak. Over the past few years, the subjects have included: migratory bird banding at
Pike Lake; upgrading septic systems; the Lake Partner Programme of the MOE; and the
use of local vegetation to help preserve shorelines. Brochures and other printed material
from the MNR, MOE and the Temiskaming Health Unit are provided to the membership.
At this AGM, representatives from each of the four lakes, on a rotating basis, are elected
as directors of the association.
» The HLA, as a member of the MOE’s Lake Partner Programme, coordinates the taking of
water quality and clarity samples on a regular monthly basis by volunteers on all four
lakes. The results of this sampling are reported to the membership in the association’s
newsletter and at the AGM. Membership surveys have identified good water quality as
being one of the most important factors in the quality of life on the lakes, and the
variations in water quality are closely tracked to ensure that problem areas can be
quickly identified and corrected. Information regarding septic system construction and
upgrades is regularly included in the association’s newsletters and at the AGM.
» Lobbying of and liaison with government agencies and local government is an important
part of the mandate of the HLA. In recent years, HLA representatives have attended
township council meetings to express concern about potential problems with
encroachment of gravel pits and logging etc., and have also met with MNR officials and
our local MPP to discuss timber cutting plans that could impact on skyline reserves and
on the environmental health of the lakes.
» In 2007, a public meeting was called by the Township to discuss a request to change
zoning bylaws to permit a gravel pit adjacent to the lakes. This prompted the Association
to urge members to attend, and consequently more than 100 lakes residents attended to
oppose the changes, which have not been enacted.
» A member of the HLA executive attends all council meetings to ensure that good
communications exist between council and the HLA. The reeve of the township is
invited to (and always attends) the AGM, and members of council are invited to HLAsponsored
events such as workshops and the annual regatta. A representative from
Township Council is a member of the Lakes Plan Committee.
» The Hudson Lakes cottage area effectively starts on the main Twin Lakes Road at the
intersection of roads “A”, “B” and “C”. The HLA has erected an information sign and
area map at this intersection, and has assisted in cleaning up the mail-box area and has
funds set aside for landscaping and beautification of this area once re-paving of the road
» Fund raising activities include yard sales, raffles, and the occasional calls for donations
for special projects such as the “ABC’ intersection landscaping.
» Two to three newsletters are published each year which are mailed to all residents of the
lakes, irrespective of whether or not they are paid-up members of the association, as well
as members of Township Council, MNR officials, and local politicians. This allows all
residents to be kept up-to-date on issues of concern and allows the directors to pass on
information from the Federation of Ontario Cottagers Associations (FOCA) and other
agencies. In each newsletter we include a human-interest story such as a member’s
birding interest, or wildlife sightings in the cottage area. The newsletter is edited,
published, and issued by volunteers.
» The HLA is currently working with a volunteer web designer to build a web site that can
be used to showcase our newsletter, and other activities.
» The annual Twin Lakes Regatta is a popular event that has been held since the 1920's in
various forms. Although not officially a HLA event, the Regatta, which includes a
barbeque, is organized and run by a large number of HLA volunteers and is advertised in
the HLA newsletters. This all-day event is a big hit with the children and is regularly
attended by over 100 people. Everyone attending wins one of the prizes donated by local
merchants and businesses.
» The HLA sponsors swimming lessons for children, although in recent years has had
problems finding qualified swim instructors to conduct the courses. As many as 20-25
children have been involved in past years.
Aggregate Extraction : The Hammond Lake Esker is a blessing and a curse.
Because it is a source of sand and gravel close to the City of Temiskaming shores,
there are several construction companies that operate gravel pits near the lakes.
The HLA has served notice with the Township that it will oppose any further
changes in by-laws to permit the establishment or expansion of gravel pits
adjacent to the lakes. Most operators are responsible corporate citizens and have
isolated their pits from the access road and minimized construction noise and
blasting during the cottage season. However, some have applied to change
existing by-laws to permit the establishment of pits within a very short distance
from Fairy Lake and Twin Lakes. This is unacceptable to the residents of the
lakes, and has been and continues to be vigorously opposed.
Forestry Practices: Much of Lundy Township to the west and Firstbrook
Township south of the Hudson Lakes has been clear-cut over the past few years.
When the draft plans for the recent 2009-2019 Forest Management Plan for the
Temagami Management Unit was issued in 2008, it was apparent that the
concerns of the residents of the Hudson Lakes had not been taken into account. In
several places, cutting was to be allowed right to the lake shore on Twin Lakes
and Pike Lake, as well as clear-cuts of other adjacent sensitive areas, and a
disregard for the view scape from the lakes. This would inevitably result in a
deterioration of water quality and the enjoyment of the cottaging experience.
Members of the executive of the Association met with members of the MNR
planning team on several occasions, and with the local MPP to express concerns.
Some changes to the plan have been made as a result of these concerns being
raised, and the MNR have come to the realization that the Hudson Lakes area is
one of the most significant recreation areas in Northeastern Ontario and need to be
Although some of our concerns have been addressed, recent clear-cutting of the
adjacent unorganized townships of Lundy and Firstbrook have resulted in a
noticeable reduction in wildlife sightings, particularly Moose and Deer in our
area. Bear continue to be more numerous than in the past because of the
cancellation of the spring bear hunt and are a nuisance at certain times of the year.
Mineral Exploration: A mining company has discovered a diamantiferous
Kimberlite Pipe in the eastern part of Lundy Township, less than one kilometre
west of Taylor Bay on Twin Lakes. The deposit was drilled for a bulk sample, and
some commercial grade diamonds were recovered. The deposit lies beneath
approximately 40 metres of sand and gravel overburden. Development of this
resource would require a full environmental assessment, but mining, whether by
open pit or underground methods would impact significantly on the enjoyment of
the cottage experience at Twin Lakes. Noise, dust, traffic, disruption of several
popular trails, and the possibility of reduction in water levels and pollution of the
water resource would inevitably occur.
Over Development of the Lakes: Twin Lakes is the most heavily developed of the four lakes. In the past, at least
two reports by consultants concluded that the lake was at capacity with respect to
the number of cottages and permanent homes. In 1985 an OMB hearing report
concluded that further development on the lake would be detrimental to the health
of the lake. However, the Township still continued to issue building permits for
the conversion of summer homes to permanent homes. Controversially, a private
nine-hole golf course was construct adjacent to Twin Lakes in 2006-07 on private
land and on land purchased from the Crown. A recent questionnaire for lakes
residents noted that 14% of respondents indicated that they were considering
converting their seasonal residences to year-round homes.
Shoreline Degradation: In the past, the Hudson Lakes Association has provided
residents with literature emphasizing responsible stewardship of lake-front
properties, including the retention of a shoreline with native shrubs and trees to
prevent erosion and contribute to the overall health of the lake. In the past ten
years, several property owners have opted to build stone retaining walls adjacent
to the water’s edge. These are not only unsightly, in some cases, but contribute to
the degradation of the environmental health of the lake.
Septic Systems: While the overall quality of the water in all four lakes continues
to be good, the HLA must continue to emphasize that older septic systems should
be inspected periodically and reconstructed if necessary, and that new systems
should be built in accordance with MOE and Health Unit specifications and take
into account new innovations in septic system design.
Boating Safety: In the past 10 to 15 years, there has been a trend towards the
purchase of pontoon boats, which are much less intrusive, slower, and safer than
high-powered boats. Inevitably, given the volume of boat traffic, particularly on
Twin Lakes, there will be problems with unsafe boaters, and particularly with
high-powered boats that do not have an observer while towing water skiers, tubes
etc. These situations can usually be corrected on an informal basis. Personal
Water Craft have been much less of a problem since age restrictions have become
law, although there are always some infractions to this law that can be dealt with
informally. In a recent questionnaire, most residents indicated that they would not
like to see a regular OPP presence on the lakes. There have been no serious
boating accidents of any of the four lakes in recent years.