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Hudson Lakes Newsletter - May 2020

President’s Message

When I originally drafted this message in early March 2020, southern Ontario was in the grips of the worst snowstorm this winter, the most dangerous aspect being high winds and blowing snow between north Toronto and Orillia. Several highways were closed and the OPP had recommended against travel. At the time I was playing it safe, spending a Friday night on my lonesome in a Toronto hotel until the high winds coming off Lake Huron calmed down enough to head north. I’d been travelling for business all week and I really wanted to go home as I had to do a turnaround then Monday to head back to Toronto, but I didn’t. I stayed put in Toronto and headed home when it was safe even though I didn’t want to do it. Well the big storm of 2020 is a distant memory because so much has happened since then, but the lesson of that wintery night was a good one – stay put.

In many ways lake life in the north goes on as usual and in other ways, because of COVID-19, it has changed dramatically. In the Tri Towns things are understandably very quiet and kind of eerie on the rare occasion I find myself venturing into town. Grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware, feed stores, the LCBO and Beer Store, banks and big box stores are open, but there are restricted hours and limitations on the number of people who can enter. Pre order and curbside pick-up is encouraged. When the lakes were still solid ice and safe to walk on it was easy to catch up with friends and keep lots of physical space. Now the lakes are too soft for a morning or afternoon trek, it’s rare to see a friendly face.

Mike Baker, President and CEO of the Timiskaming Hospital refers to the ‘Not in Our House’ campaign. He continues to stress the importance of physical distancing in regular Facebook videos to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 in our area. He and the staff at our local hospital have been preparing since January for the COVID-19 outbreak, but the fact is that we have a very small hospital with limited physical space, equipment and human resources. These resources could easily be overwhelmed by a large outbreak in our area.

If you are in the region now and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1.866.797.0000 (TTY 1.866.797.0007) or the Timiskaming Health Unit COVID line, including if you need to make an appointment for screening, at 705.647.4305 extension 7 (toll-free 1.866.747.4305).

On a lighter note, The Federation of Ontario Cottagers Association (FOCA) has regular information and education meetings in Toronto on issues important to cottagers. Those living in the GTA might be interested in attending a seminar (once these are available again) or a webinar. If you find there is a fee then contact Sarah Desmarais or me if you are a member and interested in attending on behalf of the HLA.thanks to everyone for contributing to our winter feast.

Denise Balch - President


Our library needs your support.

Hudson Library is a volunteer staffed service. There are volunteers who every Wednesday and Saturday staff the library allowing you access to books, videos, games and your all important dump cards!

As of January 2017, Hudson Council discontinued the agreement allowing Hudson taxpayers to access Temiskaming Shores Library. The cost of that service in 2019 was $3000 paid by the township. The township then applied for and received a $1500 grant to defray that cost. This year, 2020, the cost to the township for Hudson residents to use Temiskaming Shores Library was $7000 and the grant is capped at $1500. And, information presented at the February Council meeting indicated there were only 15 residents using the service. The User Fee for non-Temiskaming Shores taxpayers to use Temiskaming Shores library is $100.

So, why does the library need your support? Well, many Wednesday evenings and Saturdays, the librarian sits there and no one comes in, no one. It’s disheartening. Do you want a library? If you do, please make it your mission to stop in and borrow a book or a movie or use the internet or maybe check out an audio book. It’s that old adage - USE IT OR LOSE IT.

Library Hours

Day Hours
Wednesday 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Due to COVID 19 the library is currently closed.

Bethany Marques
Hi all! With respect to the library, the Board has been discussing ways we can serve you better, particularly now that fees are not being covered for the Tem Shores Library. Just before Covid hit, we received approval to send a mailer out to residents to see what you would be interested in seeing offered. Unfortunately, with everything that has happened, we have not proceeded with that survey. At this time, there are no “use it or lose it” considerations. There will be a poll posted on our Facebook page that can be shared to determine user interests. The library is here for the residents for the foreseeable future. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at chair.hudsonoutreachlibrary@gmail.com or contact any of the Board members.

Who’s at the Lake?!?

Profiling the people of the lakes

Stewart Smith was ‘born’ at the lake. His parents, Fred and Mary Smith who met and married in New Liskeard, were part of the Rouyn-Noranda group who discovered the joys of summer living at the lakes. Their collection of cottages on Twin, the four past Armstrongs, were know as Little Quebec. Some of these were similarly built properties, including the Smith cottage on Fairy Lake, and the Desrosiers and Beasley (formerly Grey-Mennill) properties on Twin. Mary spent the summer before Stewart’s birth anxiously caring for her unborn baby. Her pregnancy was high risk so instead of the rough road trip from Noranda, she, and hence Stewart, was flown to Twin on a float plane.

Fred and Mary purchased their property on Fairy when Stewart was about three. Since then Stewart has spent all his summers there. As a kid he spent hours and hours on Twin where most of his buddies were. Tales of the trouble they got into are legendary in the family. Seventy years later he and wife Val host a steady stream of family and visiting friends, sometimes numbering over twenty at dinner for two or more weeks at a time. They love sharing their piece of heaven and being surrounded by wonderful neighbours, friends and family. Music is a huge part of the family traditions. From harmonica to bass and any number of instruments in between, music and song fill the days and nights. Then there’s reading, kayaking, paddle boarding, cribbage, euchre, gatherings on the dock, horseshoes, pingpong and trampoline. And the joy of shared cooking and eating.

Over the years Stewart has been involved in many events, activities and committees, from writing letters for Elsie Scott’s anti-Toronto garbage campaign to helping with the Regatta and helping install the Craven Rock plaque. He has been part of the Craven Rock Trust committee and the Lakes Association board.

Even though Stewart and Val have their family home overlooking Lake Erie, Fairy Lake is truly their heart’s home.

Calling all Seniors!

Are you a ‘Senior’? Do you like to play cards? Games? Eat

Every SECOND and FOURTH WEDNESDAY from OCTOBER to MAY the Hudson Young at Heart meet at the Hudson Hall starting with a Pot Luck lunch at 12:30!

New Members are Welcome! AFTER THE COVID CRISIS THAT IS…

Message from FOCA

March 25, 2020 – Shelter in Place: Safety First

If you are a snowbird, or otherwise returning from travel abroad, Health Canada expects you to self-isolate for 14 days. Information is available online here: Health Canada COVID-19 Information.

What if you own property in two places in Ontario, and want to relocate from one to the other, such as to shelter in place at your cottage? FOCA has heard from many members, partners, and municipal contacts over the past days about this issue. Many are concerned that any transiting increases the chance for spread of illness.

FOCA reminds members that our rural communities have reduced capacity to accommodate sudden changes in supply demands. Many of us wouldn’t ordinarily open the cottage until nearer to the May long weekend. As we already know from our local grocery experiences, parts of the supply chain are under strain. Additionally, rural hospitals have limited capacity and resources, and you should consider where your health needs can best be met, in an emergency situation.

If you do relocate to your waterfront residence (or are there already), FOCA suggests the following:

  • Connect with your lake association on social media (find many connections via FOCA’s Facebook page. As always, these are the people who know your waterfront area best!
  • Provision yourself for several weeks (with food, drinks, gas, hardware supplies, prescriptions) before leaving your off-season community, so that you will not need to make stops along the way. This is not the time for our usual credo to “buy local” in cottage country. As you would do anywhere at this time, should you urgently need anything from a retailer or pharmacy you should call ahead to see if there are options for safe pickup or delivery.
  • Continue to follow all the principles of social distancing at the cottage! Although cottage country is usually the place for relaxed rules, that cannot be the case anywhere for the foreseeable future. Cottages are often the gathering places for multiple households in an extended family; for now, and possibly for some time to come, that could put everyone at risk.
  • Develop an exit plan with immediate family, in case you develop any indications of illness while at your waterfront property.

As the clock slows down on our usually-hectic schedules, use this time to enjoy nature, cook, read, sing, dance, nap and dream about dock-jumping time to come.

The NEWSLETTER has changed

After many years of dedicated service, Penny Graydon has retired from the newsletter. She and Jim are moving to a new home on Lake Temiskaming. Penny spent hours, days, years creating and editing the newsletter. We wish them the best on their move.

I’m looking for input. Some of the changes planned include: - Profile - a look at some of our lake ‘personalities’ - Critters - what is that creature - Local Personalities - profiles of local council members, your board… - Lives Lost - profiling those we’ve lost this year (proposing this be a part of the spring newsletter, information to be forwarded to the newsletter and not the responsibility of the newsletter to obtain).

Cottage Country Considerations & COVID-19

April 28, 2020 - FOCA posts the most up-to-date and relevant information about the pandemic and impacts on waterfront Ontario on our website, here:  https://foca.on.ca/covid-19-update-from-foca/

Recent news of note:

  • Ontario has extended the Declaration of Emergency to May 12 (see April 14 item) the Prime Minister announced the Canada/U.S. border will remain closed until May 21 (see April 18 item)
  • Parks Canada announced that the opening of the Trent-Severn and Rideau Waterways are delayed until at least May 31 (see April 15 item)
  • Some municipalities have closed public boat launches (see April 12 item)
  • Short-term rentals to the general public are not considered essential services, and are restricted (see April 6 item)
  • Seasonal trailer parks and recreational campgrounds are listed as non-essential businesses, except for Ontarians whose only Canadian residence is in one of these locations (see April 3 item)
  • Marinas are considered essential services but only to the extent necessary to enable individuals to access their primary place of residence, or in support of emergency services, or the food supply chain (see April 1 item) 
  • FOCA will continue to post news to our website, and to provide monthly Elert updates. Ensure we have your consent to continue sending you the Elert.
FOCA will be working with the Provincial government, our municipal partners and others to communicate the impact of the various restrictions on waterfront property owners. And, when we can do so safely, we will be encouraging the gradual return to ‘normal.’ This might not come for some time, as the current mantra of Stay Safe. Stay Home is pervasive among our public health partners, and politicians are taking a very cautious long view approach.

Please note this is a rapidly evolving situation and changes may have occurred since time of writing.
Message supplied by FOCA

HLA Board

The winter Board meeting/potluck was held February 11, 2020 – thanks to everyone for contributing to our winter feast. Here are the highlights of the meeting:

  • Membership – we have roughly 100 owners who are members of the Hudson Lakes Association. Five of these have already renewed for 2020. It’s only $30 a year and your Board works hard to address neighborhood issues on your behalf. If you are planning to join or renew, please contact Sarah Desmarais.
  • Newsletter – an annual schedule and delivery method for future newsletters was discussed. If you haven’t already provided your email or you know someone who hasn’t, please pass along to Sarah Desmarais
  • Logging - Mike Anderson reported that the majority of logging has now taken place. Mostly spruce, jack pine and fir have been harvested. There is some more logging to complete. This forest management will help reduce the fire hazard in the future. For the most part logging trucks have been respectful of speed limits in the area.
  • Internet - Carol Hearn and Richard Males will be monitoring situation and reconnect with Quantum Express regarding the potential for better internet service in the spring.
  • Mailboxes – there have been some issues with snow removal. Darren Hearn and Kerry Demerall have been clearing although we understand Canada Post has hired a contractor. The Association will contact Canada Post to clarify this.  HLA is exploring options to build a shelter at the mailboxes over the summer.
  • Regatta 2020 – Renee Catt will be helping Chelsie McKnight with plans for the Regatta this year, which will be the 75th anniversary. Volunteers are welcome. Please contact Renee or Chelsie. Save the August long weekend in your calendars now. It will also be the 3rd music on the lake at Fairy Lake – evening date TBD.
  • HLA Website and the HL Facebook page – we are reviewing how best to communicate to HL owners. While there is an HLA website, there is no HLA Facebook page for posting the newsletter and providing updates from the Board on relevant lake matters. Options are being reviewed and will be discussed again at May meeting.
  • Paying property taxes – the township is no longer accepting e transfers for property tax payments. Payments can be made by cheque or in cash. The Board formally approach the Township to explore online payment options.
  • Other items – speed limits, the benefits of adding soft shoulders beyond mailboxes and replacement/maintenance of culvert between Fairy and Twin Lakes was also discussed. It has been confirmed that culvert maintenance at this location is the Townships responsibility. They have been contacted and will be out in the spring to inspect the condition of the culvert and the blockage issues.

The next HLA Board meeting will be held virtually on May 5, 2020. If you have any items you would like the Board to consider, please contact Sarah Desmarais or me.   Stay safe until we are together again.

Denise Balch