Leech Lake, Muskoka

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Friday, June 01, 2018

Proposed Communications Tower

Larry Jacobs requested this article be posted. As cottagers we are positive about the tower being installed.

Alan Greenwood

Proposed Communications Tower on Leech Lake

I am writing this to rally input from the Leech Lake community regarding the Bell Canada 99.6-meter-high communications tower proposed to be built on Leech Lake.   According to Can Acre, the company acting as an agent for Bell, they have received just six comments on the proposal.  Comments from property owners is split evenly between support for better cellphone service versus opposition.  
The proposed tower would be 3-4 times the height of the forest and would be visible from most properties on Leech Lake particularly those on the west side of the lake or the east side of the point.   Personally, I am opposed to the location of the tower but Bell has a willing property owner in the Pine Lake Hunt Camp.  I believe there may be a better location off Fraserburg Road where many fewer property owners would be negatively impacted but would still provide enhanced service.  This tower is not to service Leech Lake solely.  The tower will serve a fairly wide range of properties on nearby lakes. 
My opposition centers primarily on the negative visual impact.  But there are other important considerations. 
The installation would require clearing of a fairly large area of forest close to Lakeshore Drive South.  It makes no sense to place a tower such as this in a forest.  The research into the impact of logging or similar activities on forests is clear and definitive.  The integrity of the overall forests is often compromised and susceptible to storm damage in the period immediately after clearing or logging.  We would have lost trees during last June’s storm, but the extent of damage we sustained on the south road was made much worse because the forest had been logged just months prior.  Research points clearly to changes in wind patterns through the forest, changes to drainage and root damage by machinery. 
Acidity levels on Leech Lake are currently the subject of study between the Ministry of Environment and Fleming College.  Clearing forests tends to create higher levels of acidic soil erosion into the lake exacerbating this water quality concern.
Health risks of exposure to radiation and RF waves are not completely understood but studies have found that living within 400 meters of a cell tower could be a contributing factor in increase incidents of cancer, birth defects, miscarriages and other health risks. 
CanAcre requested the Association provide time at our Annual Meeting to answer concerns about their proposal.   I have requested that Can Acre / Bell Canada set up a public meeting on the proposal which is apparently not required by the Town of Bracebridge.   The public may be welcome at a potential committee meeting on August 15th where this proposal will be discussed.  The Town has very limited input into this proposal. 
Whether you support or object to the proposed tower, please provide your input on this using the link provided in the mailing you received and the newspaper advertisement in the Examiner.   Public input will be accepted until June 9th.

Larry Jacobs
President, Leech Lake Cottagers’ Association


At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Larry Jacobs said...

I just heard from the Vice President of the Pine Lake Cottager's Association. Apparently, someone out that way is actually interested in having the tower placed on their property and intends to communicate that to the Town of Bracebridge.

Larry Jacobs

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Susan Doolan said...

That's great news.
I am not positive or in favour of having a large cell tower erected in my backyard so to speak. It will be a huge eyesore.
Just as I would not purchase a property near a hydro tower, I would also not purchase a property, near a cell tower - especially a recreational cottage on a lake.
If it goes through, it will reduce property values significantly.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Labelle Family said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Once again it has to become a personal attack...Every aspect of Larry’s opinion is absolutely true. As a non permanent resident like most. I value the scenery and most of all the appreciation in value. Now, if you look to sell your cottage / home on Leech Lk. A perspective buyer may rethink that all other cottages viewed did not have an eyesore to look at. As for children’s education, I’m at a loss to understand the connection to the tower and children’s learning...maybe.....

At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is great there will finally be a celltower at leech lake to get better internet and cellphone coverage. As people buy cottages they would more then likely want to have the good service as in this day and age a lot of people use those items. It is long overdue.

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Labelle. In reading Mr. Jacobs notes it doesn't seem he is against a cell tower that will service many area lake communities, but just that there may be a better location for the tower.

At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreeing with Larry Jacobs, Susan Dolan and Jeff, the installation of an almost 100 metre (300 ft) high communication tower near Lakeshore Drive South will not only be an eyesore for people living on the other side on Leech Lake but also impact with it's site clearing on the future stability of the forest around to withstand storms like we experienced last year.
For sure property values would go down for anybody exposed or nearby the installation, let alone the increased density of micro-wave bombardment of people living nearby.
Is there really not a better location than impacting on a densely populated lake like Leech lake?

Roland N.

At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are in agreement that a more suitable location could be chosen for this enormous tower. Surely there is open land more suitable so a prime forest doesn't have to be clearcut which will disrupt wildlufe etc. We purchased a cottage in this area to enjoy nature not to look at man made eyesores. Mr. and Mrs. Bumstead

At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please send the link where we can get more information about the proposal and comment.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Labelle Family said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Leslie Wood said...

I am on both sides of this fence!
I welcome improved cell service, but at the same time I am not in favour of the proposed location, both because of the 'view' and the deforestation implications. I hope that we can influence a location decision so that all of our desired criteria (improved cell service, no impact on view, no destabilization due to deforestation) can be met.
I cannot find a link to where I can make a comment to Can Acre. If someone has that link, could they please share.

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

consultation@canacre.com That is the email that I got from some publication that bell had sent out to some people. I did not receive one but someone showed me theirs. I know they wanted people to contact them by June 9th.

At 7:06 AM, Blogger William D Virgin said...

It would be nice to have the service but maybe a better location could be found!

At 7:12 AM, Blogger Labelle Family said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Larry Jacobs said...

Apparently, towers of this size can send RF waves up to 45 miles. I have spent a considerable amount of time with CanAcre and they have been evasive about what area the tower would cover. That lack of transparency is a concern. Bell Canada is not spending in excess of $`1 million for a community of 140 properties. This tower will service a broad area. My input to the company is to consider an alternate site such as the abandoned sawmill on Fraserburg Rd. This location is already cleared and is not close to any existing homes. This would improve service in our area without much direct impact on nearby property.

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Guy Smiley said...

Their are many positives to having the cell tower close by your property.
The negatives, being the aesthetics of seeing a tower during the day, and with possible blinking red or white lights when the sun goes down and into the night will upset somebodies apple cart. The bigger worry is the potential cancer risk due to the close proximity of the tower to our residences. Europe seems to be more progressive with their minimum cell tower distances to people than we are here in North America.

At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Shirley Rolin said...

I also am in favour of better cell service, however, not at the proposed location for the same reasons as everyone else. Cell towers are ugly, they are a real or perceived health threat and will negatively affect our property values.

There are lots of other options for locations for a cell tower not near our homes/cottages. I hope this company is open to hearing our concerns and making a change.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Rob and Dianne Brown said...

As year round residents of Leech Lake we support the idea of a tower to provide better internet service since it is our connection to the rest of the world. We also respect nature and don’t want the environment to suffer or to turn the sanctuary of Muskoka into a suburb of the city. Surely there must be a way to stay in touch with our friends, family, and the world while also preserving nature. I know that at Lake of Bays they do a very good job of disguising towers to resemble very tall trees, and while visable, they are not an eyesore. They are also placed far enough away from the cottages so as not to be a distraction from nature. We fully support a tower near Leech Lake to provide better service, but also support the further investigation of an alternate location that would provide the same service without the visual distraction. We definitely need better internet service and are happy that something is being done about it.

Rob and Dianne Brown

At 2:28 AM, Blogger Troy Labelle said...

This is the world we live in and being connected is now the new norm. The lousy cell and traditional phone service being replaced by a stable communication channel should be comforting to all. Its seems we love the new tower but not in our backyard. Lets hope technology finds a way to replace the tower in time.

We enjoy our home but need also need and want to be connected, Larry is entitled to his view and should have it like everyone else, but his signature should be his private one not as president of our lake.

I also expect that we have really no say in the matter and should concentrate efforts to see how others have minimized the visual of the tower, I know in Dubai they make them look like palm trees and have see ones with a treetop look, this might be a better way for us all to get what we want.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Karen Towsley said...

I would love the cell tower! I would prefer it was in a different location or disguised. Thank you, Larry, for continuing to work behind the scenes to inform us...your work as President is appreciated!

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Send comments to three addresses

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Burton said...

I appreciate that Mr. Jacobs, as the president of our cottage association, notified Leech Lake cottagers of a pending cell tower. I think there is a better location.

Mr Labelle, in reading the blog comments I noticed that Mr. Jacobs has not 'dissed' you in any of his comments, but just laid out the facts. Maybe we can suggest to CanAcre to move it to a better location and disguise it as a palm tree.

Mr and Mrs Burton

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI - it will only be better reception for Bell mobility subscribers and it will be too tall to be disguised.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Shouli & Hui said...

I like to idea to have better cell phone service in the area, however don’t like the idea to have the tower being installed so close to our community mainly because of potential health impact. We already sent our comments and concerns to the Bell. We should work together unitedly to persuade Bell to install the tower at a different location. Thank you, Larry for great effort. Please keep us posted. We need to make sure our voices being heard and we can make some changes!

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Labelle Family said...

I will say this again. In this day and age all companies have a respect for the green because many have demanded it over the years. The tower has been placed where it is by engineers much more qualified then us for the betterment of the community in whole not just our lake.

As for the health risks, there are none as per the American Cancer Society who I think I will listen to over Larry. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/cellular-phone-towers.html

Please people do not bother these companies, and cost us the progress for the lake.


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