Find us on Social Media

Volume 16 No. 5

These pictures were taken by Bruce Tiffen as he was finishing his Winter Rounds – showing us how little ice is out in the islands this year.

He mentioned that he’s had to use his scoot most of this winter because the ice just hasn’t been solid enough for snowmobiling all winter long.

By the sheer variety of blurbs in this eBlast, it would appear things are reving up for the summer!

Remember that Membership Dues are due by THIS Friday to be listed in the Yearbook.

Our G4 partners are very busy, as you will see from the shared info below!

Especially the International Joint Commission – it would like input on a survey….due date is this Friday, March 15th! Please let your voice be heard.

Many questions have been raised about the ToA Site Alteration and Tree Preservation DRAFT of the bylaws, so please read Katie Findlay’s blurb below.

And please welcome our new Board member and new Senior Regatta Chairs!

As you can see from Bruce Tiffin’s photos from last week, the ice, what there was of it, is seemingly on its way out.

Summer is getting closer and closer! Hope you are getting your plans set!

In this Eblast:


  • Membership Invoices – DUE ASAP – latest by March 15th
  • Township Draft ByLaws Still a Long Way from Decision
  • Thank you, Virginia Skuce!
  • Welcome NEW PaBIA Board Member – Will Lawler
  • Welcome NEW Senior Regatta Chairs – Meg Allen and Katie Pitfield


  • History Moment – MARCH Anticipation: Boats & Docks


  • Please ToA/GBA – IJC is Seeking Opinions on the Health of Our Waters – Take Survey NOW
  • GBF – Pathways of Spread for Invasive Species
  • GBF – Pathways of Spread
  • GBB – Congratulations on 20 years as an UNESCO Region!
  • GBLT – March Webinar Series – Conserving Your Land
  • GBA – Sign Up to Receive the GBA Update Directly
  • Jeopardy’s Answer – what is the question?
  • In Memoriam – Dody Bienenstock
  • Lake Michigan-Huron Water Levels – March 8, 2024


To all those who have not yet paid 2024 dues: please contact us by email [email protected] now to let us know that you will be renewing your membership and if there are any changes to your Yearbook listing. If we do not hear from you by March 15th, your listing will not be included in the Yearbook.

Two ways to pay online:

• CREDIT CARD through the PaBIA website (there is a surcharge for this service). Fill out the online form and submit.


• E-TRANSFER from Canadian bank accounts to pabislanders[email protected] (auto-deposit enabled). Please note spelling for auto deposit.

Send all the payment details listed below to Elise Findlay [email protected]:

  1. Membership dues based on membership level,
  2. Extra items being ordered,
  3. Donations being made, and
  4. Any changes/additions/deletions from the 2023 Yearbook listing you want made for the 2024 Yearbook. Please put “2024 dues/changes for [your name] listing” in the subject line.

In a week’s time, Township of the Archipelago staff and consultants will be presenting Council with their findings from the public engagement phase of the Draft By-Laws process. The township is still a long way from making a decision about adopting the Draft By-Laws and will continue to communicate with us as the process unfolds. 

I have been receiving feedback from some of our members who are concerned about proposed limits to their ability to cut trees on their property. As currently written, the Draft Tree Preservation By-Law allows cutting trees that are unsafe due to severe damage by storms, high winds, snowfall, disease, etc. There are also exceptions in the Draft to allow for many regular maintenance activities. 

I am looking forward to hearing from our Councillors once they have reviewed public feedback and decided on next steps. I will continue to update PaBIA members through the eblast. 

You can read the Draft By-Laws and learn more here. Feel free to email Katie Findlay with questions or concerns.

Thank you, Virginia Skuce!

Virginia has been a PaBIA volunteer as Chair of Junior Members since 2017, but in ‘19—she jumped in with both feet as Board Director taking the helm of the busy PaBIA Member Activities Portfolio.

It’s a big, year-round job that calls for someone who is both broad shouldered to handle the complex workload, and a charismatic leader to engage with all the events and activities multitude of volunteers

Virginia has been a natural at it… and set a new high standard for this key volunteer role. Despite being a new mom and busy business person, Virginia handled it with aplomb, always smiling and thoughtful, and able to turn on a dime to find solutions to the inevitable challenges and surprises. We have been so fortunate to have had Virginia’s gifts to our benefit.

With newly burgeoning career demands, plus babe number two on the way, Virginia has wisely handed the Activities Directorship baton to her successor. I can almost hear Sam and young Rupert breathing a sigh of relief to see Virginia able to tighten her focus on the home front.

From all of us, Virginia, we extend our fondest thanks.

Thankfully, Will Lawler, who many of you know is part of the famous Lawler Pointe au Baril sailing family dynasty, and who masterfully took charge of last year’s Senior Regatta, has been elected by the PaBIA Board this March to take on the Activities Directorship in Virginia’s place. Thank you, Will.

Already Meg Allen and Kate Pitfield have teamed-up to take over Will’s previous job running this summer’s Senior Regatta, which is simply awesome! Hats off to you two, as well.

How great is it that we have all this youthful talent ready and willing to take on important volunteer jobs in our community!

See you on the docks!

Dave Sharpe

President, PaBIA

I am excited to be joining the PaBIA board this year, taking over from Virginia Skuce as the Director of Member Activities! I would like all the islanders to join me in thanking Virginia for her years on the board. She was an amazing director who poured her heart into the role. These are some brilliant shoes to fill! Luckily for me, the outgoing director was very organized, and she has graciously set me up for success.

I am proud to say that I have been a part of this community for my whole life. For many years, I took for granted the work that goes into this organization as I zipped by the markers purchased and maintained by PaBIA and participated in Regattas and sailing races organized by PaBIA. I am still learning about all the ways that PaBIA contributes to our community, all of which reinforce my decision to join the wonderful people who work hard to support the Pointe au Baril Islanders. 

Looking forward to seeing you on the Bay!

These two gals have stepped up to fill Will Lawler’s shoes as the new Senior Regatta Chairs!

Thank you!


Brought to you by the Ojibway Historical Preservation Society

To restore, preserve and protect those structures in the Pointe au Baril area designated as historically and architecturally significant

MARCH Anticipation: Boats & Docks

Longer days and warmer temperatures in March stir anticipation of a return to cottage life on Georgian Bay. Arrival to the Islands of Pointe au Baril is dependent on two essential factors– functioning watercraft and accessible dockage. Archival material in the Ojibway Historical Preservation Society records the remarkable transformation of boat and dock over 118 years: from travel by passenger steamer in early years to the present single-owner, high-performance boat; from the hand-hewn, log and rock cribbed Ojibway wharf of yesteryear to the factory planked, steel-supported dock we depend on today. None of us take these two essentials for granted.

In the very early years of the Ojibway Hotel, steamers like the “Midland City” plied the waters of Georgian Bay from Midland to Parry Sound. (see Map) Islanders purchased a “special continuous trip fare” to the Ojibway and other hotels as the final destination.

In 1908 the railroad arrived in Pointe au Baril allowing cottagers to disembark at the PAB Station. Small steamer and boat taxi services to the Hotel and islands were in high demand for the next twenty years. In 1937 Highway 69 became a reality bringing with it a permanent change. The steamer’s days ended as families purchased a boat for their personal convenience. One early model was the “Richardson Special.” (see photo) Today there is a smorgasbord of choices when it comes to high efficiency, high performance personal watercraft.

Georgian Bay Tourist Company –
Steamer route for the “Midland City”

Dock construction, likewise, has experienced remarkable change. The first ‘wharf’ at the Ojibway was constructed of immense logs harvested locally and squared at the ends. The crib formed by the logs was filled with rock and covered in wood planks also milled locally. (see photo)

Early photo of log supported rock crib at the Ojibway.

Today, the fixed dock is anchored by fittings of iron and cement and surfaced with factory milled, standardized planking. As every Islanders knows, the condition of the dock is a primary preoccupation. Today’s dock is much more than the place to tie the boat; it is the recreation centre. At the Ojibway the dock is the central Gathering Place for Club regattas and celebrations, social and family meetings, and discussion/debate of the latest tennis results.

Welcome Spring!

HISTORY MOMENT written by Celia Milne, Jane Manning-Marshall, Nancy Lang ~ OHPS Board Members

Of Interest

At the request of the Georgian Bay Association’s President and ToA’s Reeve Bert Liverance, we are reaching out to inform everyone about an important opportunity to contribute to the discussion on Great Lakes water quality. The International Joint Commission Great Lakes Water Quality Board has launched a survey to gather feedback and comments from residents like you! Your insights are invaluable in shaping strategies to address and mitigate

  • environmental threats and
  • stressors affecting the Great Lakes.

Please take a few moments to complete the survey by clicking the following link: International Joint Commission 2024 Great Lakes Regional Poll, using your cottage location so that Georgian Bay issues are well represented.

The survey will be open until March 15, 2024.

On behalf of Liz Phillips, President of GBA and ToA Reeve Bert Liverance, they are extending their appreciation for your time and commitment to this important matter. Thank you for your participation and support!

The poll can also be found here: and will only be available until March 15, 2024

Learn more about invasive species and how you can do your part to help contain harmful invasive species, and restore balance to the natural ecosystem.

Here are some things you can do as best practice for stopping the spread and propagation of potentially harmful invasive species.

  • Clean off your boots or shoes after a hike to make sure you aren’t carrying any plants or other living things with you into another environment – same goes for your boat and any fishing equipment.
  • Research before you buy any imported plants, and try to stick to local and native flora for your lawn or garden.
  • Inspect firewood for plants or little critters before moving or transporting it.
  • Try to order goods as local as possible to cut down on the overall need for international shipping.
  • Don’t buy exotic pets, but if you do, DO NOT release them into the wild.
  • Say no to the construction and over-development of precious wetlands and other natural landscapes, especially when that development means creating unnatural passageways between ecosystems, which can cause the spread of invasive species. Get involved and write to your local MPs to show your support for environmental integrity.

And finally, consider giving to charities (like Georgian Bay Forever) that work to conserve natural ecosystems and provide tireless efforts to maintain healthy habitats for people, plants, and animals alike!

Our work to manage invasive Phragmites in and around Georgian Bay has been crucial to the maintenance of a prosperous ecosystem. Learn more about our work HERE, and click the buttons below if you’d like to donate to this important cause.

Georgian Bay Biosphere Celebrates 20 years as a UNESCO Region!

In 2004, the Georgian Bay Biosphere was recognized by UNESCO as a globally ecologically significant region with the potential to promote sustainable development – striving for “a balance between people and nature.” The founders who shared that vision included cottagers, residents, Indigenous people, and boaters – representing groups with strong connections to Georgian Bay and sharing a concern for future generations. We feel fortunate to have been volunteers in support of that vision in 2002, and thrilled to have been hired in 2009 as the Biosphere’s Management Team. The international Biosphere model is considered an “experiment in sustainable development” and helps us have a conversation about appropriate forms of development that respect the Bay and inland lakes. The practices we promote, including keeping shorelines naturally vegetated, and making roads safer for wildlife and people, help meet our community needs without threatening the lands, waters and species that sustain us.

Here is the March GBB News

Webinar series: Conserving your land

Do you own undeveloped property on Georgian Bay that you would like to keep in its natural state forever? Are you concerned about the financial realities of passing on land to the next generation?

Our Executive Director Bill Lougheed is leading a two-part webinar series to answer your questions.

Part 1: Conservation Easements and Succession Planning will lead you through the details of a Conservation Easement, and how it can allow you to retain ownership of your land, protect nature, and save taxes.

Thursday March 21, 7pm – Register here

Part 2: Reducing Taxes through Conservation will provide more detail on the tax advantages of conserving the habitats and biodiversity on your undeveloped lands.

Thursday March 28, 7pm – Register here

Click here is the latest GBA March Update

Click here is the latest GBA March Update

The GBA encourages anyone who wishes to to sign up to receive the GBA Update right to their inbox by going to GBA’s webpage

(one can unsubscribe at any time)

Here is the above question (well, technically ‘answers’ on Jeopardy) from the February broadcast. Interesting to note that none of the contestants got it! Thanks to Doug Alderdice!

In Memoriam

Dody Bienenstock, 25 Shawanaga Landing Rd., wife of the late John Bienenstock, mother of Adan Bienenstock, Robin Bienenstock and the late Jimson Bienenstock, January 9, 2024.

Water Levels

Lakes Michigan/Huron Water Levels March 8th, 2024

To better read the charts, please click on the chart for the Daily or Six Month Forecast Water level chart and the corresponding websites

Please support PaBIA’s Yearbook Advertisers 2023

This site’s advertising feature was created to provide assistance for special local information & events for existing Yearbook advertisers only.