Cottage Life

Where do we go now?

After decades of living in the city and then full-time at their cottage on Stony Lake, near Peterborough, since 2001, Jeremy Carver and Heather Brooks-Hill have seen their fair share of Ontario Municipal Board dust-ups, both urban and rural, at least one of which left them with a bad aftertaste.

But the couple has a different view of their latest OMB encounter: the epic showdown over a proposed condo-marina development within the Fraser Wetlands, on the lake’s north shore. “An amazingly positive experience,” Carver, a 78-year-old retired University of Toronto biophysicist, said last October, a few days after the OMB—a quasi-judicial tribunal overseen by provincial appointees—handed down a long-awaited decision blocking the project, which was opposed by several local First Nations and a 350-member coalition of environmentalists and cottagers called Friends of the Fraser Wetlands (FFW).

Between 2002 and 2016, Burleigh Bay, a Vancouver developer, pushed for a plan to build 60 condos on a 273-hectare swath of lakefront on Stony. The developer pitched the project as recreational and included a 72-slip marina. But FFW argued that the plan was to effectively build a new year-round village in an area that wasn’t zoned for anything

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