Meeting with Ontario Parks

Meeting with Representatives for Ontario Parks

Date: Jan. 26, 2011

Attending: Ed Pilon, President, and Robin Ziebert, Secretary

Tamara Flannigan, Park Superintendent for Mississagi & Spanish River Park Cluster and Vicki Bradfield, Ontario Parks Service


This meeting was arranged for clarification regarding Lake Matinenda’s Provincial Park status and what aspects of lake management are within the Ontario Parks auspices.

Identified ID numbers in ( ) refer to specific references within the 2003 Matinenda: Interim Management Statement as shared at the meeting. This document is the most recent policy document regarding Matinenda Provincial Park. If a new management directive is developed in the future, it will be open for public review.

I. Matinenda Provincial Park Description

The park is 29,417 Hectares in size and spans 11 townships. It was designated through Ontario’s Living Legacy land Use Strategy as a natural environment park and regulated under the Provincial Parks Act in June 2003. (Further detailed description and maps 1.0 – 3.4 )

II. Park Property Regulations to Be Aware Of

  1. Trees and Non-timber forest products

The cutting of trees and landscaping is allowed within an owner’s Private Property, but is NOT permitted on Park Property. (5.1.1)

You may only cut trees within your own private property.

  1. Hunting

Hunting on Park Property, as described by the Ontario Hunting Regulations, IS permitted, but is only permitted on Private Property with the owner’s permission. (5.1.2)

  1. Wildlife Management

The removal or harassment of non-game animals is NOT permitted on Park Property.(5.1.2)

  1. Trapping

Existing, licensed fur harvesting IS permitted on Park Property. New operations will NOT be permitted. (5.1.2)

  1. Bear Management

The Matinenda Provincial Park includes six active and two
unallocated bear management areas. Existing commercial bear hunting operations are permitted to continue. (5.1.2)

  1. Mining

There are NO aggregate pits or existing mining claims within the park.  Park lands have been withdrawn from mining activity and thus NO mineral exploration or extraction will be permitted. (5.1.3)

G. Roads

The only official road accessing Lake Matinenda is Highway 557, which is maintained by the provincial, not municipal, government.

  1. Utility Corridors

All future public utilities (pipelines, transmission lines, communication towers) must avoid park lands wherever possible. If unavoidable they will be reviewed on a case by case basis. (5.1.4)

  1. ATV Trails

There are NO authorized ATV trails in Matinenda Provincial Parks at this time. (5.1.4)

We were told that trails existing prior to 2003 would be
grandfathered; however NO NEW TRAILS will be permitted. The use of ATVs on these existing trails “for access to private land will be permitted in the interim unless park features or values are threatened” (6.1.1).

Cutting and creating a trail outside of your own private property lines is illegal and you will be prosecuted.

  1. Snowmobiles

New trails may only be considered through future planning with the park commission. Off-road/off-trail use of snowmobiles will NOT be permitted within park boundaries. (6.1.1)

  1. Camping

Camping IS allowed on Park Property. A camper may remain on a site for a maximum of 23 days.

However, if we observe issues with litter, destruction of
resources, or waste, we may contact a conservation officer to take action and alert the Park Superintendent’s office immediately.

  1. Land Disposition

There will be NO NEW land disposition for private or corporate use within the park boundaries. (5.1.6)

We were told that what this basically means is that NO additional properties on the lake will ever be made available for sale. The number of cottage owners we currently have is all that we will ever have!


III. Docks and the Photographing There-of

During 2010 several representatives of the Ontario Parks service were observed photographing residential docks and/or shore line. When questioned, they stated they were gathering data. Ms. Flannigan and Ms. Bradfield agreed that this was indeed the case and apologizing for not notifying the Association that such activity would be occurring.

The major concern is the existing crib docks. Such docks are not good for the fish and water population, and as this type of dock (as well as any non-floating dock) comes under the park’s jurisdiction as they rest upon the lake bottom.

Anyone repairing an existing crib dock must apply to the Park’s department for a permit.

The replacement of existing cribs and/or the construction of new cribs is NOT allowed. It is suggested that all cottagers move toward using only floating docks for replacement or new construction.

Regulations regarding the length of docks and other specifications may be found on the Transportation Ministry website. (Robin will attempt to gather and share that information in the near future).

VI.Issues Regarding the Landing

The Landing property belongs to the Town of Blind River.  Any issues with the porta-potties, parking, garbage, docks, or break walls come under the town’s jurisdiction.

of Which Government Agency Regulates What


Ontario Parks(MNR) takes care of all the designated parks, including the property that makes up our lake’s bottom.

The living creatures in and around our lake are covered by Fish and Wildlife Management (MNR).

The water quality of our lake falls under Lands and Waters (MNR) and Ministry of the Environment (

water quality monitoring (…)

guidelines and regulations for docks is under Ontario Parks and the Ministry of Transportation

However, remember that in our case, you may not build or replace with any structures that sit on the lake floor!


“What happens if you ignore all of this good advice? Not taking the proper precautions to ensure that your project meets provincial and federal requirements may result in a violation under the Fisheries
and related legislation. First time offenders under the Fisheries Act can receive a maximum fine of $300,000 and possible jail time for subsequent conviction. As well, the courts often order restoration of the property to its original state.”

Septic and waste water system design and regulations comes from the Municipal Affairs and Housing, Building Codes( but you pull a permit, and are monitored and “policed” by the Algoma Health (