Canada’s most populated province Ontario has a large southern highlands area to the east between Toronto and Ottawa. It is home to many beautiful cottage lakes, forests, canoe routes, provincial parks and resorts. Ontario Highlands can be reached in a half hour’s drive from Ottawa and two hours drive from Toronto. With 7,000 lakes and lots of great fishing, boating, camping and hiking it is a recreational cornucopia in the summer months and ideal winter recreational country too. In the north is Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario’s oldest and most well known park. The Ontario Highlands are now being marketed as a group of six regions each with its own attractions. The regions are: Comfort Country, Haliburton Highlands, Land O’Lakes, North Hastings, Ottawa Valley South, and Upper Ottawa Valley. There is a website for the highlands area: ontarioshighlands.ca
Help preserve the wilderness at Mary Lake, British Columbia. Visit savemarylake.ca
Efforts are underway to buy the land for sustainable living in a cohousing community and to keep most of the lake undeveloped. Cohousing is a community of private homes sharing common facilities. Each home has its own kitchen and other amenities, but additional facilities are owned and used by everybody — perhaps a communal kitchen and dining room where groups get together for meals a couple of times a week. A workshop. A children’s play area. Guest accommodation. A garden.
Co-housing communities are planned, designed, owned and managed by the residents to respond directly to their needs and values. Decision making is generally by consensus. Homes are usually clustered to facilitate a sense of community, which also reduces the environmental footprint. Because everyone shares the infrastructure costs, using renewable energy and sustainable building practices become more affordable.
This needs to be done elsewhere too. Mary Lake is a great example of this type of effort but it is not yet a success story. Help is needed. A social media campaign with Twitter hashtag #MaryLake raised a lot of money but not enough, so the project has been changed from its original lofty goal. The fundraising campaign based on $10 per square meter donations has been suspended for now. The Save Mary Lake website was down for a few months but is now restored, and the Facebook page is active with beautiful photos from the lake. Go to Save Mary Lake.