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Photo of - News about the ‘Underused Housing Tax’ for non-Canadian cottagers

News about the ‘Underused Housing Tax’ for non-Canadian cottagers

Feb. 27, 2023 The Canadian government just enacted a new tax on foreign-owned properties, designed to prevent speculation in vacant (or “underused”) Canadian housing. The UHT amounts to 1% of the property value, every year. However, if you own a seasonal cottage in Canada, i.e. one that you can’t use for over half the year, then it is EXEMPT from the new tax. But there's a catch: you still have to file with the Canadian government to claim the exemption, by April 30, 2023.

Read more about the tax and how to apply for the exemption here.

Photo of - Happy New Year! Join the BNIA for 2023

Happy New Year! Join the BNIA for 2023

Jan. 1, 2023 You can save $5 off your BNIA full membership for 2023 by registering online by Feb. 14, 2023. Why not renew today? Just go here and login.

The early bird rate for full members who renew online is $75, but it will go up to the regular $80 rate on Feb 15. (Associate members can renew for $30 at any time.) You can pay your dues online (with a credit card, Visa debit, or PayPal) at While you’re there, you can also update your contact and property information in our database if you have any changes. Mail-in renewals You can still renew by MAIL, although we encourage all members to use the online method — it's faster and more accurate. (Mail-in renewals do NOT qualify for the early bird rate.) Send your cheque, payable to the BNIA, along with your name and property number, to our new Treasurer: 

Mike Major, BNIA, 11 First Avenue, Toronto, ON, M4M 1W7 Thanks for renewing your BNIA membership online! 

Questions or problems? Contact me here.

— Nichola Martin, Membership Chair

Photo of - Lobby for changes to the drastic Bill 23

Lobby for changes to the drastic Bill 23

Dec. 12, 2022 I’m asking for your immediate help on an important Bill that will affect all of us in Ontario and have long-lasting effects for cottagers: AMEND BILL 23

I'm talking about the currently proposed Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act 2022, which will overturn Ontario's land-use planning practices and override environmental protections as the government moves to promote building 1.5 million homes in the province over the next 10 years.

It doesn't have to be this way. I believe that changing land use to build new homes requires thoughtful and careful planning in order to preserve our natural heritage. 

Instead, Bill 23 will amend the Planning Act, Development Charges Act, the Ontario Heritage Act, Ontario Land Tribunal Act, the Conservation Authorities Act, and others. In doing so, it will threaten greenbelts, conservation areas and have the potential to increase construction in cottage country!

Our Georgian Bay Association (GBA) provides a handy web tool (the button above) to email your MPP on this issue, with a pre-written letter you can send or modify very quickly More info from the GBA about this issue is here The consultation period for Bill 23 is still open — please act immediately!

Photo of - Annual Meeting: July 24 at Bayfield Boat Club

Annual Meeting: July 24 at Bayfield Boat Club

June 27, 2022 After two years of virtual annual meetings we can meet together again, on our traditional weekend (before the August long weekend). Please come, both for the business and for the company! The meeting is followed by a light lunch. More details about the Annual Meeting here, and note the info about nominations for the Board of Directors, which must be submitted by July 10.

Photo of - Fire Rating High Is Again || No Fireworks

Fire Rating High Is Again || No Fireworks

JUNE 28, 2022 No open fires (with exceptions for campers), no fireworks. The township raised the fire rating to High again in late June. Here's a reminder of what it means:

HIGH means the risk of forest fire is "serious" No open fires allowed except campfires for cooking and warmth (for campers only, 6 pm to 2 am, not for cottagers) No fireworks whatsoever The upcoming July long weekend is often one where people like to use fireworks, and they are permitted under a LOW or MODERATE Fire Rating. That won't be possible this year.

Here's a summary of our township's fire rating system.

Photo of - Subscribe to BNIA Summer Enews for the latest

Subscribe to BNIA Summer Enews for the latest

July 1, 2022 During the summer, the BNIA communicates almost weekly with members via an email newsletter. It's the best way to get reminders and last-minute updates.

Subscribe Here!

All members are subscribed to the list when they join the BNIA. But sometimes this fails, because emails change or perhaps a member clicks "unsubscribe".

Photo of - Water levels are likely down about 17 inches

Water levels are likely down about 17 inches

March 28, 2022 You may have a surprise when you first visit your cottage this spring. Our local contractors say that water levels fell throughout the fall and winter. And the Georgian Bay Association confirms this trend. 

Their latest report (Mar. 20) says Lake Huron is down 17 inches from this time last year.

Water levels fluctuate seasonally. Spring is the low point of the year and levels will likely rise a few inches from April to August. But right now, the Lake Huron levels are tracking just slightly above the long-term average. Expect that when you go north again, your dock and shoreline will look … around normal! Not as swamped as we were 2–3 years ago, but also not as low as we were 5–10 years ago.

You can always check water levels yourself at this GBA web page. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the current report.

Photo of - Write your MPP about microplastics and laundry!

Write your MPP about microplastics and laundry!

January 14, 2022 Our larger association, the Georgian Bay Association, is supporting two MPPs who have proposed Bill 279, which will require new clothes washing machines to have filters installed.

This is the result of Georgian Bay Forever’s successful research projects in Parry Sound and Collingwood, which clearly demonstrated that installing these filters reduces microplastics pollution, helps protect the water, environment and ultimately anyone in the area consuming the water.

Time is of the essence! Bill 279 received unanimous approval at First Reading and we are asking for your support on a letter writing campaign to MPPs to ask them to get this Bill passed before Queens Park rises in June for the election. Go to this link to write directly to your representative. It includes a sample letter, or you can write your own.

Photo of - Regatta cancelled this year, AGM postponed to fall

Regatta cancelled this year, AGM postponed to fall

June 10, 2021 The BNIA board has decided that it would be prudent to postpone the Annual General Meeting, normally held the last weekend in July, and instead hold it virtually, as we did last year, in mid-October at a date and time to be determined.

Furthermore, given what we know – or don’t know – at this point in time, we have also decided that it is best that we cancel this summer’s Regatta.These are very regrettable decisions; however, we trust you understand that they were made after much thought and with the health and safety of everyone in mind.But all is not lost.

Your BNIA Boating Committee will be launching an exciting summer-long Safe Boating messaging campaign and contest. Stay tuned for details. We are also exploring some fun outdoor activities that can be staged and enjoyed, all while observing social distancing and other protocols in affect.

More information will follow by way of Facebook, Instagram, our web site, and further eblasts such as this.Whatever the summer may bring, please stay safe and stay well.

— BNIA President John McMullen

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