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good neighbours

Respecting Each Other &
Our Shared Space

Whether you are just visiting for the weekend, or your family built one of the first cottages on Koshlong a century ago, what you do during your time here has an impact on the entire community and ecosystem.

You can help to make everyone's stay more fun, safe and enjoyable by following a few simple guidelines for being a "Good Neighbour".

Confine your Fires

We all want to make s’mores, and maybe burn up winter debris, but outdoor fires do pose a risk to you and your neighbours if not properly managed

  • Abide by local by-laws: daytime burning is not permitted from April 1 – October 30, and all outdoor burning is prohibited during “Total Fire Ban” orders
  • Follow safety procedures for outdoor burning: burn only wood, keep a hose or bucket handy, and never leave it unattended
  • All fireworks are prohibited by the municipality except on holiday weekends

Cruise Courteously

In addition to abiding by safety guidelines when operating power boats, be mindful of the impact of your noise and exhaust, and be aware of your wake

  • Tune your engine, fix your exhaust and operate at a reasonable speed to reduce noise
  • FOLLOW ONTARIO'S 10/30 RULE: Keep your speed under 10 km/h (6 mph) when within 30 metres (100 feet) of shore to prevent damage to habitat, shoreline, and neighbours' watercraft or property
  • Watch for and keep your distance from swimmers and human-powered craft
  • Avoid driving back and forth in a single area, subjecting residents to relentless noise

Embrace the Dark

The opportunity to view a starry night sky is a unique pleasure of lake life. Artificial lights on decks and docks, as well as through large windows, create glare that washes out the dark sky. You reduce your impact when you:

  • turn off unnecessary indoor lights, and close curtains or blinds
  • reduce the wattage of bulbs in outdoor fixtures
  • trade dawn-to-dusk security lights for motion-sensors
  • aim lighting away from the water and adjacent properties, and choose “cut-off” fixtures which limit lighting cast above the horizontal

Keep it Down!

Remember that sound carries easily over water. From casual conversations, to dogs barking, to power tools -your neighbours can hear it ALL. Let everyone around you enjoy some quiet, particularly between 7pm-9am:
  • Remind family and guests to use “indoor voices” at your waterfront
  • Leave your stereo indoors – no matter what your taste in music, your neighbours probably don't share it
  • Bring pets indoors if they are barking continuously
  • Wait until a reasonable time (9am?) to fire up your chainsaw, lawnmower or construction tools

Mind local noise ordinances, which prohibit "any unnecessary noise or unnecessary sound which disturbs the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of any other person" between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am

Wash in the Washroom

The lake is NOT the place to wash your body, your clothes, your dishes or any other household items. NO SOAP or cleaner – even “phosphate free” or “all natural” – is safe to put directly into the lake – it needs to be filtered through your septic and soil.

Waste in its Place

This should be obvious, right? Sadly, all kinds of garbage gets left around cottage properties and campgrounds, creating hazards for people and animals, attracting wildlife, leaching chemicals, and ending up in the lake. Do your part to keep litter at bay:

Pack out what you pack in -- to the cottage and to campsites: Collect ALL your waste and bring it to the proper disposal facility

Keep household waste in secure containers so wildlife and pets cannot get in

Remove all construction waste from your building or renovation site and dispose of it properly at municipal waste facilities

Let it Grow

Your shoreline is a cornerstone of the lake ecosystem, but it is also your neighbour’s view of the lake. From their docks or boats, people expect to gaze at Ontario’s natural beauty, not a suburban lawn. Lower your impact on the ecosystem, give yourself some privacy, and allow your neighbours a peaceful view – all by doing LESS yard work and letting native grasses, shrubs and trees grow along your shore.

Squelch the Stench

Poorly functioning septic systems are the primary source of contamination to lake water. But they also emit noxious odours that can ruin an otherwise beautiful day for you and nearby cottagers. Learn how to care for your septic system, get it checked regularly, and repair or replace it if it is malfunctioning.

Watch Your Pooch

For many of us, a cottage isn't complete without a dog (or several). Help them be good neighbours too:

  • Keep your pet on your property, don’t let them wander into others’ yards or onto cottage roads where they may not be seen by cars
  • Scoop the Poop: your dog’s poop is raw sewage, just like yours, and if left close to the lake it can introduce harmful bacteria and nutrients into the water
  • Prevent your dog from chasing, barking at or harming wildlife

Lend a Hand

At the lake, most of us are farther from the resources we rely on in town than we are at our primary residences. Keep an eye out for simple, everyday ways we can help fill the gaps for each other:

  • Sure, loan the cup of sugar or milk, but maybe also a length of rope, or some tools. If you borrow something, return it promptly and in the same condition
  • If you’re younger / stronger than your neighbour, offer to help them lift that canoe onto the rack, or get that fallen tree off your shared drive
  • Help watch out for children’s and pets’ safety, particularly if you share property lines
  • Be aware of what’s happening on your neighbour’s property when they’re not around, and report anything suspicious to them or to your Cottage Watch Coordinator

Thanks to KLA member Rob Horsburgh for his photograph of Wallace Island used as the background photo throughout this site

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