Cottage rentals are often selected by some specific factors that attract or deter families, kind of like picking a movie. You know it’s about entertainment but you want to make sure that it’s safe and age appropriate for your family and your extended family. Shorelines are a huge part of that formula for success. And though there are limits that one must accept because landscaping can only go so far, there are also other realities that we all must adhere to: municipal by-law.
The best shorelines or the most popular ones are often coasted with ample amount of sandy beach line, and a nice flat surface with lots of freshly mowed lawn for volleyball or badminton. This type of shoreline is ideal for many cottage rental guests. It displays the lake perfectly in many instances, but also, it makes it so much easier to enjoy company on a flatter surface with a nice roaring fire. Problem is though these types of shorelines are incredibly rare in much of Northern Ontario, the Muskokas and the Canadian Shield. Sedimentary rock, granite, quartz and other types of crusty rock surfaces are more common. And as cottages become more popular and cottage rentals become more the rave during the summer months in Northern Ontario, property owners will have to give some consideration to making their shoreline, the best of all worlds for their guests.
Safety is absolutely the most fundamental of all factors. Making the shoreline safe for entry and exit is paramount. In many instances that may take some investment and some professional guidance from a local area expert. And should you decide to fix an erosion issue and need to build into the waterline, you will definitely need a permit from 3 governing agencies: Ocean & Fisheries, Township Office and Ministry of Natural Resources. The process is like trying to adopt a puppy from the SPCA. It’s extremely lengthy, very thorough, and there are a million questions and approval steps needed, including designs, photos, and letters from your neighbours, references and referrals. It’s not going to happen in a week or two, so plan accordingly.
Appropriate plants and trees are also a consideration that can add character and a natural appeal to your shoreline. But be advised, trees grow and have a root system which may disrupt the ground area, or may get blown over in a windstorm. So plan and plant accordingly.
River rock, boulders, and rock baskets can often be a very good aid in creating a breaker system to help prevent and reduce erosion. But again, anything that touches the water line that is a revision to the existing natural ecosystem must be permitted by the MNR first before any changes can be made.
Don’t have a shoreline at all? How about creating a floating dock system? There a dozens of various designs of floating dock systems. Some are also very affordable. They do require the right installation and maintenance year after year because of the Canadian winters. They can add a lot of functional usage to your shoreline and still provide an area to moor a boat/s. Some of the best cottage rentals offer a nice docking system for larger boats. You may want to give this a thought if you know there are fish in your lake.
Getting rid of dead trees is a good idea. It should be looked at every season because you never know how strong the wind could become and you may end up with a tree on your neighbour’s cottage. The roots don’t have far to go if the granite has a strong presence, and in most landscapes in the Muskokas and Northern Ontario, it is more common that beach frontage. Ask a local arborist who is licensed to make those decisions and assist in assessing which trees pose the largest risk. You’ll find cleaning up some of the dead ones will give your shoreline a bit more sun and exposure to more of a breeze. It will also help reduce the risk of forest fires when you clean up the dead dry trees.
Shorelines can be the best of all worlds or the most dangerous of entry and exit ways. Keep your shoreline safe for your guests, but don’t forget to abide by the rules so you don’t do something you shouldn’t according to the ministry of natural resources. Read up on what is and is not permissible.Author: SweetMarie
July 11, 2013