A Vision for the Future

The municipality of Sixteen Island Lake has a long history beginning in the 1800’s. During the late 1800’s and the first half of the 1900’s the number of residents both seasonal and permanent increased at a leisurely pace. However, for the past half century, from the late 1940’s through to the present the number of residents has increased rapidly, especially on the lake. The demographics have also changed substantially. Retirees are spending more time at the lake, and they are permanently settling in the village and the south end. Presently, the pressure on the lake and municipality is greater than ever. There is a limited amount of land available and the demand for it will increase not only from within the community but also from the metropolitan area of Montreal and surrounding areas. With such pressures it is important to be proactive and plan for the future and to not let things happen that changes the municipality and valley in a manner that the residents regret in the future. Action is required to do it right. In order to preserve the beautiful valley of the Sixteen Island Lake watershed there must be a vision of what it should be like in the future, a vision for the short term, the next 15 years, and for the long term.
The destiny of the municipality should be established for the future generations by the residents, both permanent and seasonal. However, the planning will require the assistance of professionals; professionals in ecological urban planning, in municipal bylaws, in engineering planning for roads, and in the ecology of the forest and lakes of the watershed. Residents and professionals working together can develop a plan of action, a Vision for the Future.


Ecological Urban Planner
Many of us have seen towns and villages that are attractive and inviting. Places that we enjoyed visiting and photographing and remember fondly. There are also places that have not done well. They are not attractive and are not a preferred place to live or visit. In order to achieve the desired results for Sixteen Island Lake and watershed, help is need from professionals. Professional ecological urban planner who specializes in an eco friendly approach to planning. A professional who has experience working with small municipalities, and would be sympathetic to what the residents envision for the community. The experienced ecological urban planner would work with the residents and the municipal committee to help develop a Vision for the Future for Sixteen Island Lake. The selection of a suitable ecological urban planner is critical. Not any urban planner will do.

Demographics of the Municipality
To a better understand the community and the needs and preferences for the future it is important to know the demographics of the community. There has been a significant change particularly in recent years and it is important to understand the present demographics, what has changed and what it is likely to change in the future. Much of this information is presently available and needs to be organized (student). Information such as residents who are: permanent; seasonal; retired; who work in the community; who work outside the community; who work full time or part time; number of children: preschool and school.

Study and update the bylaws including:

  • Revising the municipal zoning bylaws – include revisions from the Vision of the Future study.
  • Include new bylaws on the future of roads, particularly concerning possible future roads around the lakes.
  • Adapt new bylaws to protect the environment of the watershed and lakes.
  • Include new environmental bylaws as implemented in other communities.
  • Review, revise and write new codes and bylaws as required to assure an attractive well planned community.
  • Protect the community from uncontrolled development – this could include but would not be limited to the building codes, the environmental bylaws, the landscape codes, and heritage bylaws.

Hire engineers to plan the future of roads in the watershed similar to what has been achieved by Bark Lake. Recent lawsuits make it imperative that the municipality plan for the future especially concerning the areas surrounding the lakes. The majority of the residents on the lake do not have road access and most do not want it. However to avoid legal problems in the future bylaws should be written based on an engineering study to avoid future conflicts.

Conduct a baseline study of the ecosystem both in the watershed and in the lakes. Many of the residents remember when the petite lac was not chocked with plants and not deadly for fish as is the present situation. Many remember when Hammonds bay was not choked full of water plants that are now spreading down the lake. Bad things have happened to the lake eco system. Some are apparent and can be seen, most can only be found by testing the water and surveying the littoral zone under water. The changes to the forests and streams have not been studied. There is no record of the state of the watershed and the changes it is experiencing.

MRC Funding
Submit four proposed studies to the MRC for funding from the grant for milieux défavorisés:

  • A study by a professional ecological urban planner to assist residents to develop “A Vision for the Future” recommending a long range plan for the municipality. This would include a review of the demographics by municipal personel (student).
  • A study by engineers to prepare a roads plan for the future around the lake. Consult Bark Lake.
  • A study of the municipal bylaws with recommended revisions as part of the “Vision for the Future”. This would include, but not limited to, bylaws concerning zoning, building codes, environment bylaws, and heritage bylaws.
  • A study of the ecosystem both in the watershed and the lakes. A base line inventory of the ecosystems and the conditions and recommendations for course of actions. (Refer to work done by Bark Lake.) A small start has been made of the study of the littoral zone and of the water of Sixteen Island Lake, Petite Lac, and Lac Laurel.

Implement recommendations
Request funding from the provincial and federal governments to implement the recommendations of the studies.


  • An attractive and inviting village in the Laurentians for residents and visitors.
  • A destination for a drive in the country and lunch at a restaurant or tea house. Fall colors and photo opportunities.
  • Safe walking paths in the village for visitors and residents who appreciate the beauty and serenity of the mountains and lakes.Encourage eco-friendly visitors to walk, hike, bike, kayak, ski and have lunch.
  • A beach for the summer and an ice slide in the winter.
  • Trails to hike into the hills in the summer, cross country skiing in the winter, bicycle trails, corridor aerobique, kayaking, canoeing.
  • Environmental programs to protect the ecosystem, land and water.
  • High speed internet to permit work from home.
  • A community for families to work from home, to retire to, and a safe place to raise children.

To be avoided

  • Avoid a large Increase in the population on the limited land available within the watershed resulting in unsustainable stress on the environment.
  • Avoid multifamily dwellings and condos increasing the density and the pressure on the ecosystem.
  • Avoid excessive numbers of residences on the lake, in the hills, and in the village on small sized lots with small “Flamingo” type houses.
  • Tourists by the bus loads, on fast boats, seadoos, tour boats, and airplanes.
  • February, 2010

Copyright © Dandelion by Pexeto