News from the Quinte Area


Dear Oak Lake Residents,

On behalf of the Executive of Friends of Oak Lake (FOOL), I would like to take this opportunity to extend to you and yours all the best in 2020.

As a resident of Oak Lake, you are invited to become a member of our lake association, Friends of Oak Lake. The lake association was formed in spring of 2018, to advocate on behalf of Oak Lake. Our efforts are geared towards environmental stewardship, public health and protecting residential property values. Our efforts are funded exclusively through members’ annual membership fee of $25.00 per household. To date, FOOL has grown to 35 members who both add their voice to our shared concerns when lobbying government and whom enjoy benefits including seasonal Friends of Oak Lake Newsletters, updates on issues and events occurring in our community, and access to current information regarding the shared concerns amongst other Ontario Lake Associations. In addition, as members of Friends of Oak Lake, a portion of your annual fee provides you with a membership in the Federation of Ontario Cottager’s Association (FOCA). FOCA is Ontario’s premiere umbrella group of lake associations and represents fifty thousand waterfront property owners registered in more than five hundred lake associations. As such, you are able to utilize FOCA’s website for both discounts and benefits on a variety of products and services, current educational information on issues affecting Ontario’s lakes and waterways, as well as, actions being undertaken by other lake associations and FOCA itself on your behalf. We hope you will be able to join us in this worthy cause. Together we can truly make a difference!

An example of a successful advocacy effort accomplished by Friends of Oak Lake began in early November 2019, with remedial work to re-route a historical sub-surface farm tile leading directly into Oak Lake, and which was the conduit responsible for a large hog manure spill entering the lake in the spring of 2018. So that all residents are aware of exactly what work is being done to the tile, I’m including an explanation from Chris Angelo, Director of Public Works for Quinte West. He explains:

"The contractor will be directional drilling a 300 mm fused pipe on the east side of the highway that will intercept the flow from the manure tile drain and the surface water that runs through the old cattle crossing and direct this “water” northerly to the wetland area on the east side of the highway. This will outlet to a constructed “sump” which will allow any sediments or impurities to settle out and then allow the flow to go to the wetland area that drains easterly through the Detlor farm to the Barr farm and then easterly to the ponds adjacent to Gallivan road. They are also upgrading the size of the culvert on the Detlor’s lands as mentioned at the public meeting."

Please visit our website at to learn more about this and other advocacy efforts, as well as, instructions on how to become a member. Also, on the website, you will see a variety of Friends of Oak Lake SWAG items available for purchase under the ‘More’ tab. Monies generated from SWAG sales, as well as, our membership dues, fund the costs of our continued advocacy efforts. In addition, periodically check under the ‘Events’ tab to learn about upcoming FOOL social events. We hope to see you there!

In closing, on behalf of the Executive, I wish you and yours a safe, happy and peaceful holiday season. We look forward to working alongside all residents in the new year for the benefit of our beloved Oak Lake. If there are any questions or concerns, or if you would like to assist with our efforts as a volunteer, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Executive at or contact me personally at either or 613-743-4877.


Scott Symons

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.Quinte West Public Works and environmental staff have heard and acted on feedback from the public regarding environmental concerns in the Oak Lake area.

Now, they're encouraging residents to do their part in improving water quality and lake management before next year and into the future.

The results of a questionnaire, a year-long water quality study and last month's public information centre were revealed by Director of Public Works Chris Angelo at a meeting of the Public Works and Environment Services Committee on Tuesday.

Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. was hired by the city in 2018 to complete a 4-season Water Quality Assessment of Oak Lake with input from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Health Unit and Lower Trent Conservation.

HESL staff collected water quality samples over several to capture seasonal variability and high flows when samples could be collected from the inflowing tile drain.

One of the prime concerns that residents noted in their feedback to Angelo and staff, was the re-routing of the tial drainage, which amounted to around 33-percent of phospherous flowing into the lake.

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On Saturday July 20, about 30 residents of Oak Lake participated in the neighbourhood’s first-ever trash bash – an event organized by the newly formed Friends of Oak Lake association.

“We probably had about 30 people taking part,” said John Brewster, secretary-treasurer of the Friends of Oak Lake group, “and while we managed to pick up a lot of garbage, the whole idea of the trash bash was more of a meet and greet – you know… get to know your neighbours.”

The Friends of Oak Lake association was formed in late 2018 in order to provide a single focus toward the preservation of the environmental health and integrity of Oak Lake, which has had severe strains to its health over the past few decades. Currently, Hutchinson Environmental Services is performing a four-season study of the lake with a focus on the development and implementation of a Lake Management Plan with the assistance of the City of Quinte West and The Lower Trent Conservation Authority.

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T: 613-743-4877


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