‘Extremely disappointed’: Muskoka mayor reacts to anti-cottager signs

Sign telling people to stop if they aren't fulltime residents Photo by Doug Dunford/Facebook

The Township of Muskoka Lakes has removed three signs posted in the area warning people not to enter if they are not full-time residents.

A picture of the sign, posted to Facebook, reads: “STOP. Full-time residents only beyond this point. All Ontario residents should self-isolate at their principal residence.” Some of the signs were posted on public property while others were on private property. It’s not known how many signs are in existence.

Mayor Phil Harding says the signs posted on public property were removed because they contravened the bylaw which requires a permit. However, he says, there is nothing the township can do about removing signs on private property.

Harding says they believe the owner of the signs is a local resident and that the same person has removed the remaining signs from private property.

Tensions have risen on social media between local residents and seasonal residents as restrictions from the province have ramped up in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Harding understands that “everyone is truly afraid of the virus” but reminds people that “[Muskoka] is one community, made up of many different types of residents.”

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The tone and content of the signs are, “not an attitude we want to promote and that’s not the Muskoka I want to represent,” he said.

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