We represent the residents of Bayfield & Nares Inlets in Georgian Bay
We seek to protect and enhance our shared natural environment
Many of the cottager-pioneers in our archipelago were women
A place where the whole family can play, learn, explore and grow
Our corner of Georgian Bay is a spartan and sometimes wild place
Explore the beauty of our archipelago with a BNIA summer outing
We take fire seriously — the Key River fire of 2018 was devastating
There‘s a tradition of paddle tennis in Nares, including this new court
The eastern Massassauga rattlesnake is right at home here!
This has the power to slow us down and rejuvenate our souls
January 1, 2021
Membership fees for 2021 are now due and should be paid as soon as possible: $80 for full members or $30 for associate members.
NEW: Membership renewal is now self-serve on our website — see the detailed instructions here. You can pay your dues online (with a credit card, Visa debit, or PayPal) here. And while you’re there, you can also update your contact and property information in our database if you have any changes!
July 8, 2020
Ted Simmonds has removed 15 abandoned docks in Bayfield Inlet this summer, with five more still to come, plus any others that we learn about. That’s an astounding amount of volunteer work, with great benefit to our local environment because of Styrofoam that is properly disposed of, instead of lingering like ghosts in the back channels of our archipelago, slowly leaking micro particles into our waterways. Read more about Ted's work here.
June 12, 2020
We periodically pass on updates from our Township, especially as they relate to cottagers. Please take note of the following changes and cancellations around waste disposal.
June 21 Large Item Disposal at Bayfield is cancelled The Township normally schedules two Large Item Disposal Days each summer, one in June and one in August. These are special days where you can take large items like barbecues and outdoor furniture to the Bayfield Dock where they get loaded into a dumpster — saving you a trip to the Site 9 Landfill south of Pointe au Baril for items that can’t be left at the transfer stations.
This year’s scheduled June 21 Large Item Disposal Day has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. The second date this summer, Saturday, Aug. 2, is still scheduled. In the meantime, cottagers can take their own large items to Site 9 on Friday, June 19 or Saturday, June 20, 8 am to 5 pm both days.
For more information on what can and cannot included in Large Item Disposal, and also more details about the Site 9 Landfill, go here.
Dump your own bags and waste at transfer stations this year There is a slight modification to how waste disposal works this year at the Bayfield and Pointe au Baril transfer stations (and at the Site 9 Landfill), for safety around COVID-19. Although there are Township staff at all locations, users must place their own waste bags or dump their boxes or bins in the appropriate dumpsters. For safety reasons, Township staff will not be handling the bags this year.
Stay up to date on COVID-19 issues The best place to stay up to date on changes to Township services due to COVID-19 regulations is at a special web page that is updated frequently. Go here to learn more at any time.
Township COVID News
May 29, 2020
In these unprecedented and trying times good news is infrequent. Unfortunately, the BNIA board has decided that we must cancel all summer activities that involve sizeable gatherings and make social distancing difficult, if not impossible.
Consequently, I regret to inform you that the scheduled Annual General Meeting, Regatta, Marathon Canoe Race, Sailing Race, and Outings and Events organized by Molly Mulloy will not take place this summer.
There is a slight chance that we may hold the canoe or sailing races (without a post-race party) if we are confident we can do so without contravening COVID-19 protocols or compromising the safety of participants and organizers.
Virtual AGM scheduled for Oct. 18 A virtual AGM by way of Zoom is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 18. We’ll provide further details about this later in the summer.
We want to hold a Bay Day activity On a positive note, we are looking into staging a Bay Dayon Sunday, July 11. Bay Dayis a concept developed in recent years by our parent organization, the Georgian Bay Association. It is a date and activity (determined by each association) to celebrate and bring focus to Georgian Bay, which is so important to all of us. The form that our Bay Day will take is under development. As above, respect for protocols and safety must be foremost.
Do you have any ideas for Bay Day, or want to volunteer? Please get in touch with me soon.
Suggested activities for kids Looking for something fun for the kids (and you) to do this summer? The Kids in the Biosphere Booklet is an awesome way for anyone to connect with nature through experiments, activities and regional environmental information. Often described as “appropriate for all ages” the FREE booklet is a must-have for anyone living, playing, or exploring eastern Georgian Bay. More info is here.
As the summer progresses, we will provide ongoing updates at our new website, on our Facebook page, and by regular emails like this one.
Stay safe We look forward to seeing you, especially our American friends, on the waters of Bayfield and Nares this summer. Until then, stay safe.
— John McMullen, for the BNIA Board
May 15, 2020
There’s been a flurry of Ontario government announcements over the past week with respect to marina openings, and access to marinas for seasonal cottagers and recreational users. Here’s a summary.
Late on Friday, May 8, the Ontario government made a significant change to its essential services provisions that allows marinas to prepare AND open for seasonal residents only, in time for the holiday weekend.
It is important to note that the primary purpose for allowing the marina openings, according to the government, is to give property owners a chance to access to their cottages to deal with any winter damage. It is not meant to signal “business as usual” in cottage country.
Cottagers visiting their properties via marinas will still have to abide by Ontario restrictions around social distancing, family groupings and small gatherings. Marina operators will have special measures in place to ensure safe operation.
Read more details from the Georgian Bay Association about the weekend opening and the Ontario announcement here. As always, Bayfield-Nares cottagers should consult with their respective marinas regarding special measures in these extraordinary times, and arrangements for boat launching.
Earlier this week, on Tuesday, May 12, the Ontario government also extended its Declaration of Emergency, with details about the wider economy. It also announced further details about Stage 1 of the provincial re-opening plan on Thursday, May 14, available here.
As of Saturday morning, May 16, marinas are now fully open for recreational customers as well, not just seasonal cottagers, but again with appropriate protocols in place.
Have a nice holiday weekend everyone, and safe travelling for those visiting their cottages for the first time.
May 4, 2020
The Ontario government announced on May 1 that certain businesses and workplaces, including marinas, could reopen to prepare for the summer season on May 4, as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Of particular interest to cottagers, marinas are permitted to begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.
The announcement included other seasonal businesses such as golf courses and garden centres.
The government emphasized that although some businesses are being permitted to reopen, it is critical that people continue to stay home, practice physical distancing and only go out for essential reasons, to pick up groceries, prescriptions or to keep a medical appointment.
Further information on the new Ontario guidelines is here.
April 15, 2020
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced on April 14 that the province will remain in a state of emergency for another month.
All non-essential businesses are to stay closed. This means all marinas are closed until May 12, at which time the situation will again be evaluated. We will continue to inform you with updates.
Yes, this is a highly unfortunate situation. We all wish we could be up on the Bay. However, we must put ourselves second. To travel from our city homes to Parry Sound, Bayfield, Nares or Pointe au Baril means risking, not only our own health, but the health of local essential workers and residents. That increases the opportunity exponentially for the virus to travel and infect more people. Though we may not know a great deal about this virus, we do know that much!
There should be no “they have access, I don’t” or such thoughts. It will do no one any good if we mistakenly think we can go to our cottage and not affect — or offend — anyone who permanently lives there.So please, put yourself second — and know that we will return to our cottages when it is safe for everyone.
On another note, stemming from a webinar call hosted by the Federation of Ontario Cottage Associations last night, the recommendation was made that if you had any concerns about insurance coverage, your inability to access your cottage, etc. that you check with your insurance broker. Also (and with apologies to and without meaning to burden the likes of Doug, Dennis and others) that you perhaps prevail upon a local to run by and take a look. Remember, we’re all in the same boat so let’s pull together.
John McMullen, President, BNIA
April 12, 2020
We are all in this Covid-19 crisis together, and the Province has made an Order that has resulted in many measures to protect our health and well-being, including the mandatory closures of recreational facilities and, specifically, marinas, province wide.
Until the Province lifts or amends the current Order we cannot expect our boats to be launched, nor can we make that much anticipated first trip to the cottage.
Please be understanding and respect the fact that our local marinas and contractors must comply with this order and none of us should put any of them under undue pressure to ignore these restrictions (none of which are their doing).
The more we comply, stay home, practice social distancing, and hand-washing, the sooner we will be able to enjoy life without fetters.
Peter Frost, Councillor, Ward 2, Township of the Archipelago
April 11, 2020
The following notices concerning COVID-19 were received from Maryann Weaver, Emergency Information Officer for the Township of The Archipelago. We are passing them along for your information and guidance.
1. April 2 MNRF Declaration of Restricted Fire Zone2. April 7 Township Notice re. Closure of Holiday Cove Marina, Pointe au Baril Wharf and all Municipal Boat Launches/Access Points3. April 8 Township Notice re. Building Permits and Planning Applications
These and other important notices regarding COVID-19 and its relevance to the Township, ratepayers and others may be found at http://www.thearchipelago.on.ca/p/novel-coronavirus-covid-19
COVID-19 is and will impact each of us – resident, cottager, occasional visitor, local business – in various ways. Perhaps keep in mind that we’re united by our love for the Bay. We’re all in the same boat, so let’s pull together.
John McMullen, President, BNIA