The proposed project would make all this too dangerous to continue …



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  1. I notice the lake levels on Muskoka are not lowered at all in anticipation of the winter lake freeze! The lake level should be at least 3 feet lower at this time of year. I understand the dam is not open to its usual extent for this time of year in Bala as the water flow is being restricted from its yearly norm so as to allow for on going construction on the power project. Already things are gong awry with the water levels as a result of this project. The project in conjunction with the incompetence of the MnR every spring means we will likely never have competent water level management again! Wish the MLA would do something.

  2. Repeal the Liberals’ 2009 green energy act! Vote Wynn out – clueless, never has had a real job ever. Professional bureaucrat and ex -school board trustee, truly revolting!

  3. Construction begins! – If you voted Liberal you voted for this project so………. suck it up butter cup! Ontario Liberal Green Energy Act, how “inclusive”! hahah

  4. Is this true, the below quote from Frank Belerique, Swift River Energy Ltd. (SREL) vice-president:

    “What I am hearing from people is, ‘It doesn’t matter if I support the power plant or not, I am just tired of talking about it, get on with it,’” he said. “I would disagree … that the majority of people in Bala are opposed to the power plant,” Belerique said. “I don’t think it is the majority. I think there is a core group that I think is small, that continue to express their opposition to the power plant.” (December 8, 2016 Open House)

    Really, I am sure people are tired of hearing about it, because they are weary from an almost 10 year fight. What we need to know is how much money does Swift River have invested in this project so we can do an accurate cost comparison of economic losses to all aspects of the community. Where is the cost comparison, taking into account future generational losses to the community, and others who come to the town. Show us your projections SWIFT RIVER so we can see how much money you will be making from “OUR LOSS OF INTEREST IN THE ISSUE!!!!!”

    Wendy de Gomez

    • Green energy act of 2009 – thank Dalton, Wynn and the lefties!

      • This has nothing to do with “left wing” partisan politics, and this movement should not be construed in such a manner. It is disheartening to know that people love to enjoy Muskoka for its green-ness yet they cannot see a larger need for this green-ness outside of their own property.

        The Green Energy Act 2009 is a step in the right direction away from unsustainable forms of energy. That is not the issue at the heart of this movement. What matters is mindful placement of the projects and appropriate public participation. There are many waterfalls where energy can be harnessed that would not interfere with livelihoods. This is what matters, not simple party politics.

        This movement is much bigger than simple “party lines”, it is about people having a say in their future. Green Energy is not bad, however, change must be mindful!!!

        • Actually the Green Energy Act of 2009 allows the Provincial Government to build so called “green” power projects anywhere in the province without local municipal consent. This is why the Swift power project in Bala has been so effectively foisted upon us, under the Act, we have no recourse or say in the matter – a real democratic piece of legislation!

          The Green Energy Act is Dalton Mcguinty’s little beauty so thank the Liberals for this project and while your at it, thank them for your insane hydro bills as well (green energy projects are essentially uneconomic and burn money which is funded with spiraling hydro debt, higher bills and taxes).

        • Can’t agree with Wendy. The green energy act has made electricity so expensive that Geothermal systems are now uneconomic with a payback of 25 years or more. No one in their right mind would convert a dirty oil furnace to more expensive clean electric heat and pay more money. And why do we need a small Bala hydro plant when 40 to 50% of our existing hydro plants are shut down for lack of demand.

          That said, it is not about being green. The real reason for the Bala plant is money, massive contributions to the Liberal Party and to Liberal riding associations by the family that owns this investment vehicle and by their related companies. It’s all about the money. The Bala Hydro project has been bought and paid for by campaign contributions to the Liberal Party. Brown and Horvath are not financially beholden to these people and will probably do the right thing and kill the project. The Conservatives and NDP have not been bought and paid for. That, Wendy is the difference.

  5. Flooding yet again! This time the water rises after the ice has melted! Flooding despite a mild winter! Flooding was never an issue on lake muskoka until the MnR took over. Water is damed up and released all at once now in an attempt to realize the full potential for water / hydro (so called green) energy production every spring. This is all part of the Liberal government’s 2009 Green Energy Act and their “green” (and inefficient) agenda. This same act is enabling the construction of the swift hydro plant in Bala. Wait until we see the water level carnage as a result of this plant on lake levels. The Liberals don’t care as northern Ontario is not a key support base for them so……..make them suck it (in their minds). Vote accordingly!

  6. Mayor don Furniss, councillors Allen Edwards, Jean-Ann Baranik, Gault McTaggart, Linda Barrick-Spearn and Terry Ledger – all in favour for swift river project – so vote accordingly in next election.

  7. We have excess power in this province which we sell at a loss under 20 year long term contracts to the USA, contracts which the liberals signed. Why on earth do we need this project? Hydro (like the province and country) is laidened with debt, so you would think cutting costs at hydro would make sense….but no! Instead Wynn is building this sort of nut bar project (her power to do so authorized by the Green Energy Act) and ramping up debt to subsidize a temporary rate cut (for the election coming up) and laying the debt load on the future. For Wynn and her party its just important to get re-relected right now using taxpayers money – standard leftist / liberal party operating practice. Stop Wynn, stop the liberals and revoke the green energy act and this irrational, uneconomic, unnecessary project!

  8. Rob Stewart was actively involved in saving the Bala Falls in Bala ,Ontario. That is where Rob spent summers as a kid. He was appalled that the waterfall and lands around it in the middle of Bala had been given to a private, for profit company. The town, in a survey, showed 85% disapproval for the project, the idea of millionaires in Toronto. The plant has no benefit to the people who live here and would rob them of their tourist industry. Rob had made a film, ‘The Fight For Bala- Not a Done Deal’ and was preparing to make a longer film about the corruption involved in the falls being handed over. It is a shame that we don’t have what his documentary would have confirmed of what we all suspect. Ask Kathleen Wynne to cancel this absolutely unnecessary and unwanted power project today. Do it in remembrance of Rob Stewart.

    • yes its terrible – but its the liberals (under dalton and now wynn) using the green energy act of 2009 to push this thru my friend. The act allows any green energy project to be contracted by the provincial government without local consent. So don’t vote liberal and petition your MP to revoke this undemocratic and uneconomic green energy act. As for millionaires, nothing wrong at with making money – unfortunately, as well, green energy projects dont make money so your tax dollars subsidize them. We should also list the council members (4 i think) who voted in favour of this project.

  9. For those interested in re-couping water flood damage costs from the Provincial Government (author of the bala falls project via the Green Energy Act) as a result of the 2016 negligence in the spring flooding (and the 2013 flood flood disaster), please call or email Charles Jung at Oately Vigmond to have your name listed on the petition.


  10. Vote these fruit loop Liberal Lefties out – absolutely no business or economics sense – whole careers in gov’t at the public trough! Ontario now has uneconomic power supply, such as this waste of money project in Bala.

    • Check the facts.
      Your Conservative vote for Mike Harris broke up Ontario Hydro and gave it to his friends.
      In addition, the massive debt created by greedy executives that were compensated millions of dollars in the form of salaries, bonuses and expense accounts were not absorbed by any newly formed business entities, but downloaded to the customer, you.
      Hydro installations like the the one proposed is hands-down the safest, cheapest form of power generation with the least environmental impact. The environmental disaster that was Muskoka happened when the dam was originally constructed in Bala to facilitate clear-cutting a vast area, with profits going into the pockets of private enterprise, again, a reflection of ‘conservative’ ideology. Prime moose habitat was obliterated. The lake-water would have been choked with silt caused by runoff due to irresponsible forestry practices.
      As the dam remains in place and there is no turning back, hydro generation on this site should be a safe, economical venture in public hands. Sadly, shareholders do not make decisions the way government owned corporations do as they are not accountable for public safety and environmental concerns.
      As for Bala’s economy, there is currently construction taking place on both bridges at the falls. These well paid workers are spending their hard-earned dollars in Bala, I expect the hydro project to inject the same kind of revenue into the local economy.
      Also, there has historically been a generating station on the same proposed site and there is a historical marker there now that speaks to this.
      I’ve seen little dialogue on proposed alternatives to this project. If you would prefer to have our electricity generated with fossil fuels, nuclear, or a wind turbine in your back yard, please come forward and make your case.
      My only opposition to this project is the fact that it is being proposed by a private enterprise, an unfortunate situation brought about by your vote for the conservative party.
      I’d also like you to explain your meaning of “fruit loop” in your attack on the liberal party. Could you be more explicit?

  11. Bala Falls is a natural beauty. I just visited and I don’t even live there. Loved the place. And it is sure is no Niagara Falls, so what is the minimum amount of power can you produce anyhow? What about the environmental cost of it? DanNation on Netflix should be required reading for any politician to vote for this mess. Let me know how I can help. Sick of it. Sick of stupid politics.

  12. For those interested in joining the class action lawsuit against the Ministry of Natural Resources for their destruction of our private property this past Aprilwith the flooding they caused again contact:

    Charles Jung
    Oatley Vigmond
    705.726.9021 ext 219 | 1.888.662.2481

    • It’s funny, some of Canadas brightest and most intelligent people believe that “someone caused the flooding”.All the folks that live along the coast of any ocean, are fully aware that a storm surge could cause huge floods and they build their houses to accommodate this. Yet they can’t sue anyone should damage occur. Perhaps you should move to a high ground bush lot. They won’t have the notoriously high fluctuations of our largest inland lakes. Or build you homes accordingly as they do along the oceans.

      • Well our family built our cottage in 1940. We have not had a problem until 2013 and again 2016 – note this coincides basically with the ministry of natural resources taking over responsibility for lake level management in 2011. Cottagers pay the vast majority of the taxes in the region (taxes that fund the MnR for example ) – so not unreasonable to expect competent lake level control to protect our private property. Know your history and facts sir, and perhaps you should move out of the bushes and do some reading! lol

  13. Next the Liberals, Federally, will be jacking capital gain tax, so get ready to pay a lot more to keep your cottage in the family. Likely even more of us will be forced to sell – sunny ways!

  14. this is our Ontario, LEAVE BALA FALLS ALONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have loved them since childhood and I am now a senior still visiting the falls

  15. Just when you think the Ontario liberal government, and wynne in particular, have done the last wasteful stupid thing……they continue with full support of this project!



    • Of course the prov liberals are on board with this project. The 2009 Green Energy Act is their legislation! Allows the construction of any project like this anywhere in Ont without local consent. Amazing no one has addressed this before now, as it is the heart of the issue. Liberals agenda being forced on local communities – real democratic!

  16. RUN OF THE RIVER!! This is NOT what was the original plan. Run of the river means don’t disturb the flow and just take what the flow can produce (below the dam) Slow moving parts and no flow modification. This is not a run of the river project as it was touted in the beginning.

    • Liberals and their incompetent “green energy” vision. Northern Ontario doesn’t vote for them so the have no problem destroying cottages with higher water levels for this vision. Likely snickering up their sleeves sticking it to the cotttagers. Shlould send them our dock and boat house repair bills, or not pay our property taxes for a year.

  17. Can anyone please tell me what this proposal would do to water levels on Lake Muskoka?

    • Hello Linda,
      The proponent would be required to comply with the Muskoka River Water Management Plan (MRWMP), just as is required currently — so the MNR tries to placate us by saying that if the proposed hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls was built, the water levels would be controlled just as they have been in the past.

      Also, theoretically, the proponent could actually better control the water levels than the MNR does now since the proponent could adjust flow “with the click of a mouse” since their proposed station’s flow would be computer controlled — rather than the current process which requires the MNR to send out staff to add/remove stop-logs from the Bala dams.

      BUT the MRWMP allows a wide range of water levels, and the proponent would have a financial incentive to control water levels so Lake Muskoka is at the high end of the allowed range. This because the higher the water level of Lake Muskoka the greater the drop to the Moon River. So the proposed generating station would make more power and the proponent would make more profit if they kept the Lake Muskoka water level at the high end of the allowed range.

      This means that if there are unexpected heavy rains — or a spring freshet as is just now ending or that happened in 2013, there would be a greater probability of flooding than there is now.

      One other detail is that the proponent would need to request and have approved changes to the MRWMP before they would be allowed to operate their proposed generating station, and the proponent has not yet submitted their requested changes — so we don’t know what they would actually propose.

    • Green Energy Act – vote the Liberals out!

  18. On the positive side , maybe Swift River will be more competent at managing the lake level every spring (i.e unlikely they have a “create dock and boatt house repair jobs through incompetence” mandate). hahahah

  19. Although I am a lifelong Ontario resident, I visited Bala for the first time this weekend. I find it completely counter-intuitive to think that this beautiful, heritage-rich area has been selected for a hydro project, large or small. More public awareness and media coverage would undoubtedly help your cause.

    • Provincial Liberal’s 2005 Green Energy Act allows any project of this nature to be built anywhere in Ontario with out local consent. This battle was over before it started. Don’t vote liberal next provincial election….. or Federally, for that matter!

    • How can we help ? Can i sign a petition ?

      • Hello Jay,

        We did have a paper Petition for signing at our booth at the Cottage Life Show, and it was hugely popular. As the government doesn’t give any weight to on-line Petitions, we no longer have an on-line Petition on our web site.
        Make sure you’re signed-up for our e-Newsletter (link is at the top-right), so we can keep you updated with how best to help as the situation develops.

  20. Keep up the good work to stop the hydro plant.

    Bala’s economic drivers

    1. the natural beauty of the falls
    2. the unique look of the Presbyterian Church located by the falls
    3. the unique & natural beauty of a small Canadian town
    4. a large and vibrant cottage industry
    5. small businesses
    6. location of Bala in Muskoka is excellent for the tourist industry.

    Does the building of this Hydro Dam contribute, or add value that exceeds to the economic values noted above? An answer that needs to be explained in financial detail.

    Why does a small town need to hire lawyers to defend it’s economy and way of living from it’s own elected government?

    • Looks like the swift project is a go. Leftie council and swift executives went out to celebrrate over a nice (no dount tax payer funded) dinner. Let’s list the councillors who voted in favour her for next election.

      • Liberral Green Energy Act (Daolon) is the reason this project is foisted upon us provincially. Federally, the Liberals laid capital gains tax on we cottagers in 72. vote accordingly

  21. Yes the Liberals’ green energy act is economically infeasibely (as are their tax policies!) and this act of theirs is the reason this project is being forced without community consent – can’t imagine any cottagers voting for them as you say>

  22. Make no mistake, the only motive for hydro development of the Bala falls is corporate profits. There is a surplus of generation in this province and that will not change anytime soon. Certainly, the small amount of generation available from this site will be less than the proverbial " drop in a bucket" in terms of green generation, however the profit available to the owners is substantial, given the governments green energy plan.

    This project should never be allowed to proceed.

    Brad Carnduff ,

  23. It is the Green Energy Act passed by the Provinvial Liberals in 2009 which is allowing for the Bala falls hyrdro project to proceed. The Act allows so called “green” energy projects to by plunked down in any part of Ontario without local municipal connsent! Recall it was the Provincial Liberals who cancelled natural gas generation projects in the porvince (to the tune of $1B of tax payers’ money) and shut down nuke and clean coal generation (cheap, clean, and efficient power) in the Provonce, thus resulting in an going increase in hydro rates. So, the Save the Falls initiative should be directed specialfaclluy at this Act and the provincial Liberals – to vote liberal is to endorse this project. thx, JDM

  24. Thanksgiving 2015 and STILL no hydro plant in #Bala. This tells me something…that after 10 years of political wrangling, innuendo and an incredibly massive effort to STOP a horribly misplaced,unnecessary eyesore in the middle of Tourism Ontario, WE the public are actually STOPPING it’s construction!!!!! We see much measuring and sizing up and surveying but, mysteriously, no chainsaws, fencing crews, big yellow machines or work crews of destructors tearing up Muskoka’s best public access water feature, Bala Fall’s. Why no timelines, no published schedules, no mentions of when, if or how this horrific irreversible act will actually happen? Odd? Curious? Concerning? Is this a PHANTOM proponent, working away in the shadows with no public disclosure, inclusion or visibility? Why the secrecy? Why the silence? Why is the Liberal Government empowering them? Where is the public awareness and visibility to a project that affects all Ontarians, Muskokans and Balaites? Just as I thought…something is amiss in and about Bala. There is much we, the public, do not know right now…10 years after. Who will uncover the mystery, the reasons why this ‘thing’ is even still on the books? This will be quite a read and an even better movie. I suspect the next 30 days will be pivotal to us all…stay tuned, stay engaged, stay aware-Bala needs you now more than ever. Let us continue to work together for the betterment of our beloved falls…or it’s gone forever.

  25. The overwhelming majority of businesses and residents in Bala are opposed to any industrial development in the middle of one of Muskoka’s iconic landscapes known as the Bala Falls.

    The Bala Falls Heritage Conservation District is the anchor for Bala's existence. It is a “destination” for thousands of members of the travelling/vacationing public arriving from all over North America and points beyond. It is 600 feet of publicly accessible Lake Muskoka and Moon River waterfront.
    It is the site of an important, historic portage used by the legendary Canadian explorer and map maker, David Thompson in 1837. Several thousand canoe trips have passed over the same portage since Thompson’s epic journeys of exploration.
    The base of the Bala Falls is the site of several producing pickerel spawning beds that would be destroyed if the proposal were allowed to proceed.
    The present proposal maximizes private profits at the expense of public benefits. The proponent insists on taking 96% of the water flow and leaving a pittance for the “scenic flow” crucial to Bala’s tourism economy. Worse, the proposal would need to fence off 600 feet of Lake Muskoka and Moon River waterfront that is presently freely accessible to the public.
    Bill Purkis
    Purk's Place
    Bala, Ontario
    P0C 1A0

  26. This is a heritage site and should be treated as such. Keep Bala beautiful and stop this project!

  27. The water levels being proposed by Swift River are misleading. When the cottages on Lake Muskoka are affected by water levels they will march on mass to Queen’s Park – make no mistake that Swift River is reporting honest water levels.

    And shame on government staff and elected people for not doing what they are getting paid for – being responsible to US, the lowly slobs who pay their salaries.

  28. All of the above comments are good reason for saving the Bala Falls. Defacing Canada’s historical beauty needs to be stopped.

  29. This is my latest letter to our Premier:

    I had raised some serious issues with regards to this proposed project in Muskoka. Thanks for your prompt response. You replied as follows:

    Thank you for taking the time to send your email. I appreciate your sharing your concerns about the Swift River hydro project in Bala.

    Our government supports renewable energy projects that help create clean energy. Our priority is to make sure projects are developed safely and in a way that protects the environment and community health. Electricity projects such as this one must go through a comprehensive environmental screening process overseen by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). This process requires companies to assess any environmental impacts, describe mitigation measures and consult with members of the community, including First Nations.

    MOECC worked closely with numerous agencies including the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada to review the project and to address consultation with the public and Aboriginal communities. Following this review, MOECC concluded that the Bala Falls project could operate safely and meet the provincial standards that are in place to protect health and the environment.

    I would like to inform you of some issues that you may not be aware of:

    1. Swift River agreed over 2 years ago not to use any lands owned by the Crown for construction purposes. Now with the help of the Township, they will use Margaret Burgess Park and the pre-cambrian shield parking lot.

    2. The Township has been holding secret meetings with Swift River. This is contrary to public consultation.

    3. There are many small lakes, bays and inlets that are connected to the 3 main Muskoka lakes (Lake Muskoka, Lake Joseph & Lake Rosseau) via small channels. Currently water levels are maintained by the MOE via dams and locks at important locations such as the falls in Bracebridge on the Muskoka river and Moon river falls in Bala. I can assure you that you and any advocates who authorize this project will be facing multi-million dollar lawsuits if cottagers will no longer be able to navigate through these channels by boat. We are talking about changing the water levels by inches. That’s all it would take to stop boat traffic through some of these channels. It would render expensive cottage properties valueless. Even many cottages located on the shores of the big lakes could be affected as a small drop in water level would prohibit them from docking their boats safely on the rocky shores.

    4. Let’s be honest and pragmatic. If we let a third party build a turbine who would then earn money every minute water flows through it, it is in their interest to have as much water flow through it as often as it can. Kind of like letting the fox protect the chickens isn’t it?

    5. Any energy generated would be sold as a loss. I’m in favour of green energy but not at any cost.

    6. The history landmark, the Bala Falls would cease to exist. This raison d’être that brings tourists and cottagers to this beautiful place would be no more. Where powerful gushes of water surge over the beautiful rock formations now, after the turbine is installed (G-d forbid), only a trickle of water would stream over as the bulk of the water would be diverted into the turbine below.

    7. The town of Bala and cottagers in the area including businesses, tourists and traffic would suffer for years and many would be forced to give up, close shop and go away.

    8. I’ve been informed that the local Wahta Mohawk first nations were not properly consulted on this project.

    • Thank you for the summary. I am new to this cause. I purchased a cottage on Muskoka three years ago. Let me know how I can help. I believe that I live in Kathleen Wynne’s neighbourhood and am more than happy to pay her a personal visit. The travesty seems to be that the new mayor is not more open a communicator than the last. It is shameful.

      • Hello Sandra, make sure you’ve signed yourself up for our e-Newsletters (use the link at the top-right at, our next e-Newsletters will have some information on how you can help.

    • Wahta Mohawks have not been properly consulted. We, like you also have many concerns as citizens in this country and its important to note in this struggle that one of our main civil rights to protest is also being taken away from all of us. Bill C-51 will ensure that as government continues to collude with “for profit business“ to give away our shared resources and privatize Crown corprations (Ontarian’s assets), that we that protest and stand up for change will potentially be labelled and treated as terrorists in our own country. The following link leads to the clearly articulated opinion of one aboriginal leader associated politically with the Wahta Mohawk organization.

  30. I proposed to my wife beside the Bala Falls 40 years ago.

    It has been a cool place to visit periodically with my kids and reminisce over the years. And I was hoping to do the same with my ten grandkids. (Better do so really soon, just in case!)

    Best of luck in the battle. [and WAY TO GO, PEGGY!!]

  31. All my life I had a dream of cottage ownership. In 2000 that dream came true when I bought in Bala. I remember that first trip and seeing the falls. It was the main reason I decided to buy in Bala. Every time I arrive from Toronto I stop at the falls which washes away my concerns and frustrations. I understand the need for green energy but this project makes no sense. It’s being built by a group of wealthy individuals with blind ambition…profit before all else! I sincerely hope that the project does not go forward leaving this incredibly beautiful part of Ontario as it is.

  32. Do not destroy one of the wonderful places nature has given us.

  33. I grew up with friends with cottages around Bala and have many extremely fond memories. It’s absolutely disgusting to think they would even attempt to put a power plant there. What can I do to help?

  34. My Family has been a part of Bala since the beginning. My Great Grandfather was Captain Frank Tooke. Bala has been part of my life since birth and is now a great part of My children’s lives. We still have our place on Tooke’s Island right across from the old Moon Chute house. I cannot imagine Bala without the Falls We spend many hours on the rocks and watching the great Cascade of water. In My opinion one hydro dam on the Moon Fiver is enough. Let the beauty of Bala live on for may grandkids to enjoy.

  35. Our cottage is on the Moon River in the bay which surrounds the falls. Our entire family, and my husband’s extended family, the adults, kids and dogs, all fish, swim, canoe, kayak, tube and waterski in the bay around the falls. Our teenagers regularly canoe or kayak over to the falls and stay for a while to walk along the rocks, sit in the sun, or just hang out. We cherish the soothing sound of the falls, dramatically different from the sounds of the city, when we go to bed each night. Over the years, we have seen thousands of people enjoy the falls as they pass through Bala. Families enjoy fireworks on holiday weekends, and brides choose the backdrop for the most beautiful setting ever. Of course the beauty of the falls can never be recovered if Swift River gets its way, and none of these activities will ever be possible because of the dangers associated with the hydroelectric station. I have also heard that the energy generated will be sold to the US. Could true Canadians really want this?

  36. I have a cottage near Huntsville and continue to look for a retirement location in Muskoka. Bala was on the list of potential areas until I heard about the hydro proposal. So, yes, the hydro plant has negatively affected the economy of the village since I no longer consider it as a retirement option. I’m sure it will negatively affect property values if it has not already.

  37. We at OntORA support you at Bala. We posted your plight on our website and have sent out a plea to please sign the petition online to our members. Simon Guillet from Sudbury has written a letter to the editor on this very subject. An excellent video by Rob Stewart. Good fight! Joe Schmidt, OntORA Mailings director.

  38. I swam there, I brought my kids there for endless hours of fun. One day I want to bring my grandchildren there!

  39. I have a cottage on Go Home Lake and my entire life we have gone to the beautiful town of Bala. This is not right and must be stopped. We have lots of electricity in Ontario.
    I work at the largest nuclear plant in the world leave it to us to make electricity and leave places like Bala to be that beautiful spot up north. Don’t be blinded by Big Business telling you all about green power, it’s about green money. I love the town of Bala and my family supports the people of Bala. Leave Bala Falls to be beautiful.

    • Spencer, so well said! Your words reinforce those of many in support of telling these ‘energy pirates’ to leave Bala alone-every effort is being made to do just that-please help any way you can…it is a battle.

  40. It is interesting to note that Swift River seems to be more visible on Twitter this week referencing the benefits to Bala and the good people of Ontario of its proposed hydro plant. I am fine with this as it is their prerogative to do so but I must say, if you study their tweets closely, that they are all based on the premise of how ‘good’ this project is for everyone-they are completely and utterly foolish in their positioning because, as we know, there is no good to come of this for Bala itself. What, maybe a few sandwiches sold to the workers? Some scones from Don’s perhaps? All that Bala will be left with after 20 months of construction mayhem is a HUM ! Oh yeah, and no more beautiful waterfalls to look at and visit and no more sound of rushing water (that’ll be 30′ down for no one to experience ever again) . Just a phony looking pretend structure for people to visit and look at the Moon River-wow. Wake up people…this is needless destruction of a public heritage and must be stopped.

    • I agree 100%. Not to mention the destruction of the highway 169 and the town of Bala. So much for peace and quiet in cottage country. We’ll be listening to blasting and the sweet sound of trucks rumbling down the highway for years. So what if some trees are cut down and some fish die. It’s all in the name of green energy, right? There is certainly nothing green about this project!

  41. Has anyone considered the possible effect that the hydro dam might have on the surrounding property values in the area? If so i would be interested to hear what conclusions and hypothesis that people have.


  42. Due to the fact that we produce more energy now than we use, and we have to pay USA to give them hydro, would it not make more sense to come up with a storage facility than to produce more unneeded hydro.

  43. It’s crazy why take away such a relaxing beautiful sight Leave the falls alone

  44. It’s got to be that common sense trumps greed!

  45. You might investigate to see if you would qualify to utilize their petition system.

    • Hello Jim,
      We have our own petition system at the “Petition and Letter” tab. This allows us to ensure that personal infomation entered will not be used for any other purpose.

  46. Here’s some footage of the falls I shot this weekend after the Cranberry Fest. Feel free to share.

  47. It all comes down to money, and how much these big wigs will make for themselfs. They don’t give a crap about you and future generations as long as they fill their pockets. The only time they pretend to care is election time. You can’t win whth wynne. They should all hang their heads in SHAME.

  48. Ideas/Concerns

    1. Have you considered working with the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario?
    His head is in the right place, is a broad thinker…and might have suggestions.
    At the very least…if he was “on side” with seeing the nasty environmental consequences of this development, his position
    would get wide publicity.

    2. The other day you circulated a newsletter re the issue of scenic flow if the power plant goes ahead.

    I worked to prevent the increased diversion of water at Bracebridge Falls and Wilsons Falls a few years ago.

    The “proposed scenic flow regime” was buried deep in the 200 page, so called “environmental report”.
    Of course it is key.

    For a hundred years 10% of the water was diverted in Bracebridge, leaving 90% for scenic Flow. Seems reasonable.

    The proponent in Bracebridge proposed UP TO (not at all times but UP TO) 99% or 100% diversion!!!!!
    And the city fathers bought it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    To explain. If water flows are low, a trickle is promised May to October, minimum. 1% of flow, 250l per second.
    If water levels are higher more scenic flow can occur but the only flow PROMISED MAY TO OCTOBER IS 1%.

    This, bad as it is, is perhaps not the worst.

    October to May, our forward looking Town Govt APPROVED NO-FLOW periods as being acceptable.

    Get your head around that……….NO FLOW.

    I thought our Muskoka sites were to be promoted as YEAR ROUND ATTRACTIONS.
    How can our Falls attract with 1% Flows at times…and NO FLOW periods?

    Answer? They cant and wont attract.

    The proponent had the gall to state flow reductions 48 out of 52 weeks per year, on average, and the promise of a trickle for four weeks in mid-summer, if needed, was, NET, “scenic flow improvement”!!!!

    Summer before last was dry….Wilsons and BB falls had merely a trickle mid summer.
    This summer was wet….there was more flow.

    Oct to May?
    Another story.

    I go by Wilsons Falls daily….there was often NO FLOW!!!!!! during the last two winters.
    Nothing to attract visitors and residents alike. It was and is depressing and shocking. I know what it use to be like…inspiring.

    Bracebridge Falls…much the same scenario.


    Good luck

    Alex (Sandy) Pyper

    • Great Sandy, this is more important information to share.
      Nothing about this project makes any sense . We are continuing to gather all the information that will make the final decision to cancel a slam duck.
      Thank you for sharing.

  49. There are many locations in Ontario, many isolated with minimal impact on residents, that would be better spots for this hydro generation project. There’s also potential for increased power generation with our currently existing nuclear plants.

  50. Enough of giving our land away to commercial ventures. Too precious. Thank you to those who are fighting for the rest of us who for one reason or another cannot find it in ourselves to gain the momentum needed to fight to save this very valuable resource.

  51. If it is necessary, cannot a constitutional challenge be undertaken NOW?
    Yes I know its costly, though many lawyers, surely against the Power Plant, cottage, and live in Muskoka. Can the Township mount such a challenge? Or the Watha?
    A challenge mounted NOW…on the basis of work about to proceed, in direct contravention of native and other opposition….would surely force the District to hold off on entry permits…as the outcome is unknown.
    I attended the meeting at the District a couple of weeks ago where the Watha chief spoke.
    Swift Rivers McGee then spoke telling the district “constitutional or treaty matters are not its business” …..not so! If there is a challenge yet to be played out, due diligence to the taxpayers, would indicate the District must hold off on entry permits, as the whole project may (hopefully) be stopped.
    Time is of course of the essence.
    Sandy Pyper

  52. Toronto Star headline August, 06th, 2009 “Stay away from waterfalls, Ontario Police say”. Ask Mr. Ghulam Badar and Mr. Nadim Shah if swimming at the Bala Falls is safe. Sadly, you can’t because they are no longer with us, they drowned in 2009 attempting to save their daughter/niece. This never was and continues to be a place that is not suitable for public swimming. Any moving water is full of dangers. Four days prior, three men were swept away in the rapid, churning water over the Moon River Falls. One more drowning. Ask a family member who has lost a loved one if sites such as the Balls Falls should be fenced off.

    In the picture, the fencing on the cliff side of Bracebridge Generating Station, is located on the Town of Bracebridge land. I believe the town constructed and maintains this safety barrier, not Bracebridge Generation.

    It is important to get the facts right !!!

    • Hello Jane,

      People make their own decisions on whether to go in the water, and even if there was a fortress of ugly fencing to keep people out of the water, people could still get in the water by boat or from an adjacent property. So, given the area’s history that people can enter the public water from a public shoreline, I don’t think it would be possible to keep people out of the water. Bala is one of the most popular and visited falls in the area, and having a remotely- and automatically-operated generating station which can and would start at about noon on summer days would significantly increase the danger. So what are you suggesting – to welcome a new danger to the area and hope that fencing will protect the public.

      The Town of Bracebridge is the major shareholder of Lakeland Holding Ltd. (which in turn owns Bracebridge Generation), so I would consider the exact property the fence is on to simply be one of convenience and function, rather than which entity decided a fence was necessary. The point is, there’s a danger and a fence was required. How about avoiding the danger in Bala so a fence isn’t required.

      So what facts do I not have correct, let me know at

      • sorry that those men died but they couldnt swim and were not wearing life jackets their daughter / niece was and she didnt drown it didnt matter where they were or should all water access be denied

  53. Is anyone here familiar with Joni Mitchell’s song “Paved Parking Lot”? Well this is what they are planning to do to Margaret Burgess Park, a Beautiful Scenic Heritage area!!
    Don’t let them do this!!
    If it is a case of MONEY, tourist $$$$$$ is better for the area than all the cash spent by the government (OUR MONEY!) to generate electricity.
    If they want to generate Hydro Electric Power and are worried about safety, generate it at night when no one is going to be in danger or have the safeguards up at that time not during the day!

    There “ARE” other solutions!

    • Hello Mike,

      Unfortunately the proponent would have an incentive (50% more money for the power generated) to generate in the afternoons, as that is when the peak electrical demand time is.

  54. Dear Kathleen Wynne

    You recently announced that you would construct a recreational waterfall in Toronto. But you persist with your plan to de-construct a natural waterfall in the heart of Bala.

    There is something wrong with this picture because you are the premier of all of Ontario.

    Please listen and internalize this shout-out “Don’t treat Muskoka differently. Conserve what the community, tourists value!”

    Your are invited, welcomed to discover your own Muskoka, like explorer David Thompson did. He portaged at the north Bala Falls in 1837. And camped overnight there, too.

    Muskoka, once discovered, never forgotten. And that goes for this portage. It has been in use until you recently put a public stop to the traditional behaviour pattern of canoeists and the like.

    It is accepted that the north Bala Falls waterfalls, the First Nations’ twin silver maple marker trees and the portage are heritage nobility. But you want to make it less.

    Your planned actions will create significant, irreparable consequences for north Bala Falls. Don’t deny reality. Rather “Conserve it!”

    Yours very truly

    Tom Millar, Minett and Etobiocke

    August 7, 2014

  55. Save the Bala falls. I’ve been going to these falls since I was a child. My brothers and I would throw sticks in and watch them race. That’s a great memory that I have of these falls. I hope generations to come can make beautiful memories at these falls as I had the opportunity to as well. I was there again recently, as I frequently am, each time I stop by there there are always (and I mean always) other people stopping by to enjoy the view. I strongly oppose the development as I know many others do. I hope our voices are heard and the falls are preserved as is. I would most certainly be outraged if Swift River is permitted to complete their destruction of this treasured landmark.

  56. Last weekend the water level in Bala Bay finally got below the high water levels from April. Now the water level is too low -about 3 ” below normal 50 year levels. And, because the M of N R does not work on weekends, the water volume flowing over the falls is going to lower those levels even more before corrective action is taken to reinstall the timbers, hopefully yesterday.

    If the M of N R can’t get their own act together, how can we expect them to police someone else properly.

    If the water level of Muskoka Lakes is flooded every summer , who is going to reimburse the thousands of affected cottagers whose property will be damaged/ not available to use/ devalued, etc? My biggest complaint throughout this dispute, and as I have submitted to the various parties, has always been “DO NOT CHANGE THE WATER LEVELS ON MUSKOKA LAKES.”

  57. PLEASE SAVE THE BALA FALLS!!!!! Do not let them build a power plant and distroy this beautiful town. HELP US SAVE OUR FALLS!!!!!!!!!

    Claire Brodie

  58. Dear Mitchell and Sandy,
    The meeting on Fri at 5pm was very informative. It wasn’t the best choice for cottagers who couldn’t get here in time so maybe another if you need it. Ray and I appreciate all the work you have done and continue to do. Please let us know how the meeting went in Bracebridge as we were out of town. We support all you are doing. Thank you so much.
    The Bonnahs

  59. With a Provincial election called for June 12 and hopefully a change of Government is there any chance that the Bala Falls could be saved? Or at least a proper process put in place that includes public communication and hearings?

    • Hello Stephen,

      We can hope, we’ve certainly found this has become a political, rather than environmental issue. Ask your candidates their views on this issue.

  60. I saw the Bala Falls for the first time last weekend and couldn’t believe when I was told that it was possibly going to disappear shortly because someone wanted to take away it’s beauty and awe for someone’s greed.

    We don’t need more energy — we have so much we are paying others (MAKES NO SENSE TO ME!) to take the surplus we have already. We are already paying to have our own gas refined and sent back to us at a higher price and I believe (tell me if I am wrong) that the GOVERNMENT closed down several refining plants to refine our oil and possibly save us some money and now paying for that.

    Kinda makes you want to shake your head and wonder when we are going to wake up and start looking at all the beauty of Ontario and Canada as a whole and look very closely at what we have. I am sure many visitors come to check out Bala for that purpose. WAKE UP!

  61. Given that there is already a significant surplus of electricity generation in the province I am surprised that governing bodies believe it neccesary to sacrifice such an historic and important landmark in the area. Someone stands to make money of course, which is inevitably and unfortunately always the only reason for projects such as this.

    Brad Carnduff
    Power Workers Union

  62. I’m not sure but I read on-line that the Ontario goverment is paying the wind farm generators and at times the Bruce nuclear plant NOT to produce power saying we have to much power — not that you would know it by your hydro bill. So why are we (that is, the MNR) building more power plants that we don’t really need. Also to build the plant will destory Bala to work as a town, traffic will be a nigthmare, so I guess it doesn’t matter to the MNR just what it will do to the town in general. Good luck everyone hope we can turn this around,if the grovernment can take their head out of the sand!

  63. I totally support “Save the Bala Falls”! I was appalled to read an article in the Cottage Country Now website that mentioned that the Mayor of Oakville was getting involved and giving his opinion in regard to the Bala Falls Hydro project. I am an Oakville resident but I have a cottage just outside Bala and I have been coming to Bala for over 40yrs. I wrote the mayor of Oakville expressing my anger in his involment on this issue. Especially considering that he voted against having a gas plant in Oakville. Thank you to all invoved in regard to this issue. Save the Bala Falls!!!!!

    Ryan McGrail

  64. Go get them Murphy! Don’t back down from them near the big smoke.
    Pat Murphy
    Murphy Island, Ontario

  65. That’s a few bills just to make a beautiful looking place look more like the city. People come to Bala to see the roaring falls, not a big concrete square to produce electricity. That’s what solar panels are for.

  66. I could not agree more with John Keeler’s comment.
    My family and friends make a point to come to Muskoka to visit the Bala Falls a number of times during the summer and we have been doing so for over 10 years now. My son and his friends still love to play around the falls and it’s my number one destination for swimming with the family. Whenever we come to Bala, we stay to have lunch or dinner in the different places in the area. The Ice Cream shop is another must before we leave Bala for the day.
    We (my friends an I) are but a tiny representation of the very large amount people that feel the same way as I do and we all represent tourist dollars coming into the area. I feel that the shops around Bala depend on people like us to survive and will definately feel the difference in tourist dollars.
    Puting the plant in the area where people come to enjoy the scenery, swimming and great family time would be a terrible disappointment to those that enjoy that area and to those that depend on the visitors to the area.
    I truly hope that the decision makers take into account all those who would be negatively affected and weigh that against the minute benefit that this plant would bring to the area.

  67. I worked in Bala as a teen ager at J W Burgess, owned and operated by Jim Grant and Partner.

    On our off days we used to swim at the falls. It would be a shame if the government gets their way. Maybe they should look at using what they already have instead of destroying what they don’t understand.

    Whatever I can do to help, thank you, Roger.

  68. Is there a petition we can sign? What are the options for stopping this monstrosity from occurring? How can I help?

  69. Thank you for all the work you are doing to save these beautiful falls. The falls are Bala and to destroy them as a tourist destination for a few kilowats of power is madness and in the interest of so few.

    • I have lived there up on Gibson Rd, played, worked and was on the fire department there. I also got married there. Every yr we go to the Cranberry fest and I feel this will also impact that big event not to mention several others, like the Key to Bala, The Trek and all the other weddings that take place. Why does mankind have to destroy.

  70. This is most definitely “an accident waiting to happen”. Anyone could be seriously injured, especially a child, elderly or disabled person. It appears they cannot wait to begin the destruction of the falls. What, exactly, is the purpose of the Ministry? They don’t seem to have any interest in protecting or enhancing the environment in so many cases and, to save natural places such as Bala Falls, it takes a great deal of time, effort and expenses to attempt to save them from corporations and the Ministry itself.
    There are dams and generating stations already in place elsewhere (such as further along the Moon River). Why not update and use those? The government is busy dismantling Nanticoke, which could have been otherwise fuelled or improved by installing scrubbers (purchased and never installed years ago, I understand) rather than destroying Bala and its Falls.
    We all paid to have other jurisdictions take our surplus hydro so it isn’t that the small amount of hydro that would be produced at Bala is needed.
    Thanks to everyone working to try to save the Bala Falls.

  71. Last week Muskoka Mayor Alice Murphy reportedly personally intervened to stop employees of the Developer from doing preparatory work for blasting to the point that even the OPP was on the scene to keep order. Obviously the developer has some serious cajones and “juice” to get this far without having their act together on other points as you have pointed out.
    What has happened in the last six months since we got our new Premier?

  72. Why are they continuing to force the issue there, when the Chutes are a much better place for a high flow rate and already prepared for another generating station????? I don’t get it. I used to swim at the falls, when I lived in Bala 45 years ago. That was a summer right, and I remember those days fondly. Follow the money. That will be the answer, when all else doesn’t make common sense.

  73. Thank you very much for your information which makes us feel a bit more hopeful about saving the beautiful Falls. I so hope that perhaps the new government will be more considerate about this obliteration of an important environmental feature which is recognized as one of the world’s beauty spots.

  74. Very sad to think that such a beautiful area would be lost. It seems that the public is to be ignored. Keep up the good work!!!!!

  75. It sounds as if this is a bad project for the community. Blasting the rocks and reducing the water to a mere trickle would adversely affect a beautiful area that attracts people to Bala.
    Keep working on preventing it. Thank you.

  76. Why is the government willing to spend a huge amount of taxpayers money on a project which does far more harm than good!
    If they truly do need to produce more hydro, why not simply create more for longer periods of time at current dams in the area which already produce electricity and would basically be free.
    Bala Falls needs to remain the way it currently sits for both environmental and economic reasons.
    Please save the Bala Falls for the future of the town, region, and wildlife which depend on it!

  77. I hope we all noted that MUSKOKA was honoured/recognized by national Geographic as the world’s BEST summer holiday site. This was in Friday’s Toronto Star.

    So why are we even thinking of making a portion of this wonderland into an industrial site!!!!

    I sent you the link – over 50% of the district’s GDP from tourism.

  78. I wrote this speech for a grade 11 english class and received a 96% on it. I thought that I would submit this speech on this website becuase it is about the Bala Falls! 🙂 ENJOY!

    Hello, my name is Alyssa and I am here to talk to you, homeowners and landowners of Bala Muskoka about the company Swift River energy wanting to build hydro -electric generating station in our beautiful Bala Falls. I am here to defend what is most important to all of us: The Bala Falls. If we let Swift River Energy get their way we will lose the beautiful landmark that we have today. If this power plant is put into our falls it will also affect our local economy. The question is: why does Swift River Energy need to place the power plant in the Bala Falls? Why do we need a hydro- electric generating station if we have not needed one for thousands of years in the past? The Bala falls are a beautiful landmark that should not be replaced by a hydroelectric generating station and we have the power to stand up and stop this from happening.

    Allowing a hydro-electric generating station to be built in and around the falls will destroy it and will take away the beautiful landmark and what is unique about Bala. If we allow the station to be built, there will be a 20’ high and 33’ wide concrete building in the place of the natural beauty that is there now. It will reduce the falls to a trickle all year round, and will create shoreline erosion. There will not be any use for sentimental benches that families such as my own have placed at the beautiful landmark. Theses benches are in memory of loved ones that have been lost, they have been placed there because this landmark was somewhere that the person loved, and I personally do not want the bench for my family members to be overlooking a hydro-electric generating station. If the station is built we will lose tourists, there will be no reason for anyone to visit Bala because the falls have been the biggest attraction for a thousand years or so. It is the main reason that people visit Bala and without it, our little town will lose tourists that come to visit this wonderful waterfall. What if Swift River Energy looked at the falls in the summer and saw the families sitting on the benches, enjoying ice cream and watching the falls, or if families are playing in the falls enjoying themselves? I believe once someone has seen that they would never want to interfere with it. The sound of the falls is music to our ears. This is something that I don’t think the people at Swift River Energy really see, they don’t see the impact that the Falls have on the people of Bala and I think if they do, they will change their minds about this decision.

    In the perspective of the company planning the construction of the hydro-electric generating system (Swift River Energy) the plant is eco- friendly, new, clean, and renewable and a green source of electricity production. They feel that it is eco-friendly because the station is creating power using water. Swift states that the plant will enhance the qualities that Bala is known for, that it will contribute to the tourism, minimize disruption to seasonal economy and minimize the disruption to water levels. However, I have grown up in my cottage in Bala and have become emotionally attached to the falls as have many other people. We all know that any power plant disrupting natural beauty will not attract tourists but will drive them away. Also there have been so studies shown that the station will not impact the economy of Bala and therefore cannot be a concrete point for Swift River Energy. Replacing a beautiful natural landmark will never enhance the qualities of what Bala is known for, water levels will fluctuate whenever it is convenient to make more power and the economy will suffer do to the lack of tourism.

    If this station is built in the Bala Falls, it will have a negative impact on the community socially and economically. I believe that the company has not done much research towards these things but 60 to 75 percent of storeowners expect the phase to impact their business. Swift River Energy will be the only people making a profit in this transition and the people of Bala will have to pay taxes, the costs outweigh the benefits. The station will also cause traffic to increase throughout this eighteen month construction phase. As a town, Bala is a peaceful and calm place where people come to relax, so are the falls which represent this town. Water levels in the town will be changed without consideration to the environment and the habitants; this will lower the population of fish and other animals. Driving through the Township of Muskoka Lakes in Bala where I along with many other people have a cottage or home, only takes about five minutes. People stop to enjoy the scenery, if we have a traffic blocking, metal station ruining the view, why is there any reason to stop and enjoy? I believe that if the station is built, people will drive through the Township of Muskoka Lakes without thinking twice about it. We cannot let Swift River Energy take away our falls! Do not let the people of Bala be the scapegoats for other communities need for power.

    The Bala Falls, a beautiful landmark located in The Township of Muskoka Lakes that should not be replaced by a hydro- electric generating system. Swift River Energy will keep fighting to put the system in the falls but we have the power to stand up to them. Do you want to be the only person in Bala who has not done something about the situation? Everyone can make a difference! We must stand up for what we believe in. What if they win? What if we had to watch our beautiful landmark be turned into an electric generating station, knowing we could have stopped it? Every citizen of Bala will agree with me when I say that we are doing just fine without a generating system. We all care too much about these falls to watch them be slowly destroyed. The falls have so much history, memories and sentimental value; I will not stand by and watch them be destroyed. For the small town of Bala, voted the prettiest community in Ontario, putting a generating station in the middle of the Bala falls will be the end to an era. What will you do?

    • Wow Alyssa, what a wonderful, heartfelt and well researched letter! Thank you so much for writing it. I hope you sent it to all levels of our government (PM on down to Councillors. We need many more like you. G-d Bless!

  79. You Are Not Alone

    We are fighting a similar battle here in Petawawa, Ontario, though we are perhaps not to far into the process as you folks. The proponent (Xeneca Inc., in our case) seem sto be treating the local residents with similar contempt. While our situation differs in some respects, you my find some interesting material on our website. All the best.

  80. I grew up with my rented cottage in Bala, and the falls are just so beautiful.
    Please make donations to keep the Falls!

  81. Bala invited you to Our Water Our Lives – Rally at Queen’s Park! and says “Time to tell McGuinty to protect our water. Only 1 year until the provincial election. Let’s build on the Oakville victory. Pick-up your Stop the Hydro Plant signs at Purks Place. See you at Queens Park on Thursday!! “……Tom Millar…Minett, just up the road from Bala Falls

    Our Water Our Lives – Rally at Queen’s Park!
    Thursday, October 14 at 12:00pm
    Location: Front grounds of Queen’s Park, Toronto ON

    To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

  82. Yes, the autumn winds of change are blowing…Even through Ontario‘s electricity generation plans for new plants. McGuinty government pulls the plug on the turbine plant planned for ‘smack dab in the middle’ of Oakville.

    “Not only will the plant not be built in the GTA, it won’t be built anywhere in Ontario,” said Energy Minister Brad Duguid, on October 7, 2010.

    Since the plant was first identified four years ago, changes in demand by customers and supply generators have changed. Those changes include more than 8,000 megawatts (MW) of new supply and conservation efforts.

    An involved mayor, supported by council, and the people of Oakville developed a sound business case with real factual evidence. And together, they voiced their concerns and findings, and consulted with the Province.

    The Energy Minister’s Oakville announcement calls into question the Bala Falls generation plant that is proposed for ‘smack dab in the middle’ of a recreational town. A plant that would have a capacity of 3 to 5 MW, compared to the 900 MW Oakville plant that was just scratched. When it comes to Ontario’s total supply capacity, the proposed Bala Falls generators would provide about 1 one hundreds of a percent.

    In addition, Ontario Power Generation is bring on substantially more new hydro supply in the years to come. The works are underway.

    The facts are there to be seen and the writing is on the wall about any Bala Falls plant – No urgency for it! No need for it!

    A prudent person would say “Defer this Bala Falls plant.” And me, “Stop this madness.”

    Tom Millar…Minett, just up the road from the Bala Falls

  83. This is a HUGE election issue – Please vote for those committed to SAVE THE This is a huge ELECTION ISSUE! Be sure to only vote for those committed to SAVE THE BALA FALLS…….. ALICE MURPHY for Mayor…. (Karen Ellis has already backed down and many of the current councilors followed her.) We need new blood committed to what the people want! SAVE THE BALA FALLS!

  84. My family has been visiting Bala Falls for more than 100 years. Surely some of the falls is now made up of tears.

  85. I visited Bala today and was surprised to learn about a potential Hydro project. Bala is so beautiful just the way it is and I would hate to see a huge hydro plant ruin tourism and the character of this small town. Save Bala Falls!

  86. I heard one of your supporters on the radio this morning and had to check out your site. I am saddened by the lack of concern over our eco systems, our history and our livelihoods by big the corporations and our political representatives. The almighty dollar rules doesn’t it? Please count me in as a supporter of “Save Bala Falls” and a non believer in the system of representation we call our own.

  87. The first thing I said when I heard: “That’s Stupid”

  88. Would we consider flooding the Sistine Chapel for more hydro power? The Alaska Reserve for more oil? Some things on this earth are too precious to destroy for whatever reason. The Bala Falls is one of them.

  89. I’m sorry I cant help you create something like that. Maybe somebody else who reads the site can help. Maybe put something up on your main page?

  90. sorry about the little bit at the end i had put that on acedent

  91. i love the bala falls so much i lived in the area for 4 years and i would hate to see it get “messed up” with what the goverment wants to do with it! i think that the people of Bala and area should have some say of what happends there because they live there and have to deal with it and i’m sure that with Cranberry fest comes if the put the hyrdo electric dam in there not gonna have as many people in Bala cause it’s not the same old Bala there’s history in the town with the Bala falls like :History of the Bala Falls

    Burgess Island has provided a portage past the Bala Falls for First Nation travellers, Courier de Bois with fur-laden birch bark canoes, early explorer David Thompson, and more recently summer camps like YMCA Camp Pine Crest and recreational canoe trippers on their own personal voyages of exploration and discovery.

    One of the oldest buildings in Bala and the first building on the island was erected by Sam Hurling late in the 19th century. He operated a Boat Livery renting canoes and rowing skiffs and also an Ice Cream Parlour. When surveyors arrived to determine the route for the railway they discovered that Sam’s building was sitting on the railroad right of way. Sam moved the building out of the way to the spot it presently occupies.

    The boat business was sold to the following owners over the years: John Hamill, George Adams, W. “Mack” Cunningham, Tom Purkis and Jennifer Purkis. The only other building on the island is the old stone church erected in 1926. Like i said there is so much history in Bala and i don’t want the Bala Falls to be… put it this way my name is Makayla i am 14 years old and i don’t want the Bala falls to be demolished!

    The only other building on the island is the old stone church erected in 1926

  92. I am generally pro-development but have serious doubts about this project. I understand that Swift River Energy Limited will get about 13 c/kW hr for the power. So they will need to bring the project in close to budget to make a reasonable return. How they perform will be based on how they handled prior similar projects. While the individual members of the company may have done good work, this is no indication of how the company will perform. I believe this is Swift River’s first such project. We should do all we can to avoid being their teachers. Let them prove their worth elsewhere. Schedule and cost are their weak areas, so delaying, and demanding more changes to the project will hit them where they will feel it. As they see capital costs escalating, they will either go away or go back to Mr. McGuinty for more cents/kW hr.

  93. Reading the developers name made my skin crawl. He is doing the same thing here in Thunder Bay with an industrial wind turbine project (up to 52 turbines behind my house) under the various names of Horizon Wind LP, Big Thunder Wind Park LP, Horizon Energy Legacy Group.

    The same obfuscation being used in Thunder Bay is being used in Bala. We have been subject to a media campaign, absurd promises of jobs and employment (to a struggling resource based town)

    Most developers of power projects would have been talking to residents and trying to come to some kind of reasonable resolution that allows the project to move forward.

    This particular developer will not talk. This developer will not mitigate impacts. This developer goes under various names- perhaps to limit its liability or perhaps so it has no baggage from previous public reaction to its other projects

    Too bad the Ont Government has given special treatment to supposed ‘green’ energy projects.

    Our fight against this developer is ‘save the norwesters’

  94. That’s sounds like a good idea. Can you help us with that?

  95. The site should create an on-line petition for submission. It is much easier for the common web browser to put their name to something like this and it can also be very effective way of showing others the support you have behind your cause.

  96. Bracebridge and Wilsons Falls are now threatened.
    see for (sad) pix.
    All towns with waterfalls need to band together.
    Our heritage is at stake.

  97. I am from Trenton….your message is out there!

  98. I was behind a car at the lights and they had a bumper sticker So I come home and checkout the site. I hope the petition works. The area looks beautiful and I would want to visit the Falls not the power dam….

    May 2010 bring about positive results….

  99. Are you kidding?? Why would they want to destroy this magical place in Bala?? I remember playing in the falls as a small child and I will bring my future child to play there as well. They cannot do this to the most wonderful place on earth! Take a stand, we will be heard!



  101. Thank you for taking up this challenge. Myself and my family before me grew up with the falls just a short distance away in Torrance. I disagree with a power station in the first place. Although hydro electric power is considered “green” energy, it still has negative impacts on the environment both upstream and downstream. Even if the area is already damned, an even slower flow of water will impact nutrient levels downstream, and hold heavy chemicals upstream longer. However, if it must be built, then the south falls certainly make more sense than the north falls.

  102. I recently read a tragic news in newspapper regarding the death of TWO persons who died while rescue a Nine year old girl in Bala Falls.It’s very very sad. I wish we could do something to STOP people before danger zone.

  103. I appreciate this community effort – power is a necessary requirement in our world today and hyrdo power is a clean source to the air but it still kills the visual environment

    I agree with this group on its proposal if a station must be build at these falls it is best to locate in the south channel

    Sheldon Leith
    New Bala resident

  104. I have a cottage nearby in nearby Gravenhurst. Each year we make two or three trips to Bala for the sole purpose of seeing the falls.

    We spend the day swimming and usually drop some good money at many of the local shops.

    I hate to say it but if were not for the falls I doubt I would be driving to Bala expect to pass through it.

    I hope me and my family get the pleasure of visiting these falls for years to come.

    Good Luck

  105. It would be shameful to have such a beautiful landmark destroyed when there appears to be a reasonable alternative. Thank you, “” for having the resolve to fight the destruction of this wonderful resource.

  106. I am irked as I read. The Bala Falls are spectacular. I read on the placards there that the old Presbyterian church is one of the most sketched churches. There are 3 churches right at the Falls. The Bala Falls are sui generis – I cannot imagine (never mind why) how anyone could even conceive such an idea. This would be an irreversible mistake. Bala’s Falls would be a lot less picturesque, a lot less visited, a lot less loved. And very missed.

    The big question that needs to be answered on your website:


    To whom can I write? Do you have a petition to sign? If so, it should be on your website for your guests to sign. I would encourage this to happen asap – you have a few concerned people who took the time out to write on your site – some of us would forward the site to other Bala-lovers so they could also help with your cause.

    Hurry! Before it’s too late.

    MM, Etobicoke

  107. I just got home from 2 weeks in Bala. The more time I spent there, the more I fell in love with the place.

    I learned about the proposed hydro dam in Bala (that will ruin the most spectacular, fun and scenic part of this small town) from a woman at the native art gallery next to Don’s Bakery.

    It sickens me to think that this plan is being considered – I would encourage you to keep up your good fight.

    We’ll be back to swim to the so-not-dangerous falls next summer – and every summer we can after that as long as the falls are just as the good Lord made them. I noted that a better water park could not be designed. Bala’s Falls boast rolling precambrian shield rock for climbing, rushing water to stand in at the right edge of the falls and amazing bi-coloured rock (black and orange) that almost looks fake, like candy. Incredible. My 1 year old son had the time of his life picking up gold-flecked stones to chuck back into the water. My 5 and 7 year old nephews also had the best time swimming in the deeper water and exploring the rocks. We spent 3 afternoons at the Falls.

    It would be a crying shame to see Bala’s Falls altered in any way.


  108. I have visited this here and stayed many different places in the area and each time I have gone to a different local area areound the Falls and never seen to see the samething twice.Any company that wants to alter this area does not care about anything but the dollar.

  109. This proposed dam is fundamental change to Bala and is being done without sufficient public involvement. The better process (assuming a dam is even required and is deemed beneficial to Bala, rather than outside interests) would be to open the process up to a competition, that results in the most “sympathetic” proposal that achieves the best results from a esthetics perspective, rather than some proposal imposed on the community.

    PS: I have pictures of my grandfather standing by the Bala falls in 1908, and the water was flowing the way it has for the last 100 hundred years, before someone had commercial plans to alter it forever.

    Please let me know how I can support your opposition to this ill conceived plan.

  110. Our family has had a cottage near Bala for 50 years. We have had 4 generations enjoy the falls. Is this power station is a done deal? Perhaps the time has come to take legal action, use the environmental laws to our advantage.

  111. I feel that the Swift river project is ill-advised. The safety hazards, the loss of scenic landmarks and the destruction of a beautiful scenic asset to the town far outweigh any benefits in additional hydro power. The welfare of the town of Bala and its environs was not taken into consideration in the planning of this project.

  112. I was in Bala last week. I love your town and was shocked to see the “Save the Bala Falls” signs. This is a ridiculous proposition that will ruin the picturesque town of Bala, a beautiful place that I have visited since I was a child. Good luck with your campaign.

    Janice Holden
    Burlington, Ontario

  113. why would some one do something like this??
    it would wreck the falls.

  114. How many people have come to see the falls?? To dive at the falls?? Fish at the falls? How many people have brought business to Bala when they come to see the falls??
    Now ask yourself, how many people go to a power station to see the water coming out of it?? No one can dive at a hydro station (I have dove here many times and have been diving since 1972) No one is allowed to fish near a hydro station. And how much business will a power station bring to Bala……….uhhhh let me think………………NONE!
    If the Premier or any of the high ranking mucky mucks had a cottage near here………it would not even go to an enviro what ever it is they do!!!
    Money talks, B*&&#@^t walks. Common dear, lets go for a drive and look at the hydro station in Bala…….NOT!

  115. Government and progress … amazing how our voices seem to get lost in the wilderness. Nobody listens – the government just keeps going ahead with whatever wild and crazy ideas they want to push through next. We seem to have one level of government after another catering to big business, ramrodding their grand ideas through, with hardly a thought for the impact it has on their constituents or their natural heritage. Our concerns fall on deaf ears. Hopefully someone out there with the power to bring sense and reason to this insanity will stop for a moment and think … really think … about what they are doing. Given this appears to now be a done deal, regardless of any concerns, then I fully endorse the Option 3 scenario in the South Falls. One wonders why this was not considered in the first place. Seems to me to be the best solution for all with least impact to the environment, to the natural flow of Bala Falls, to tourism and the local businesses. Please keep us informed of what we can to try and make our voices heard against obvious single-mindedness by the Province and its Ministries. I know where my votes will go come election time.

  116. I am greatly concerned at the channel speed and the amount of flow that Swift wants to attempt to make the generation profitable. We will see a virtual drying up of the North Falls.

  117. Every year me and my family go to our trailer near Bala. We have nice long walks to the
    Falls and grab some ice-cream.
    Leave the Falls alone. I want my kids to see a beautiful town and beautiful the beautiful

  118. why would they get rid of a beautiful place like the Bala falls. i have lived here a good chunk of my life and i know that i will miss the place were i spent my childhood.

  119. the more info the better. the pros and cons are sooo even. i feel its time to get off the fence and show support. i am sending a letter soon.


  120. i cannot believe that anyone would say yes to this. it will destroy the one feature that bala or anyone who visits always has memories of. leave the falls alone in their natural state. keep up the fight even when it looks hopeless. politicians are the key to this. they can be made to bend to the wishes of the majority. thanks wm. knight

  121. Norm Miller MPP will present our petition to the legislature.

    * PLEASE* Print copies and collect as many signatures as you can.

    Mail original signatures to: Norm Miller MPP Room 348, Legislative Building, Queen’s Park Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A8

    We need this petition because the environmental assessment process is not the proper forum for presenting more sensible alternatives. The MNR must STOP and rethink the current proposal.

  122. Leave our beautiful falls for our kids and their kids to see and play in. Update the existing hydro plant that is already there, how easy is that to figure out.


  124. i cant believe this is even a question! what is bala without the falls?? i spent many summers growing up in bala, my great grandfather built our little house on grey street with his own hands…. almost every fond memory i have of that wonderful place and time is encompassed within those falls, and to see them destroyed would be a real tragedy. my great grandparents and grandparents would be rolling over in their graves to hear such news…. SAVE THE FALLS!!

  125. I drove through Bala Thanksgiving weekend and saw “save the falls” signs in town.
    My heart jumped a beat. I wondered what could be at stake. Finding your site all I can say is “they have to be kidding!” The insanity.

    Every vist to Bala IS about the Falls in some way.

    Today is election day. Vote accordingly.

  126. Keep up the good work.
    The Bala Falls is apart of our history. It is the crown jewel. So the question is why and who would want to destory something so beautiful?
    I have been going up north to my trailer for 10 summers, and each year we always walk downtown, and walk to the Bala Falls. It was so peaceful and beautiful. And now they are deciding to put the
    Power Station in?! The three generations of my family are in devastated. My friends are also in agreement to stop this Power Plant. We believe that we can stop this non-sense, and feel that there has be no thoughtful consideration given to the possible and probably long term economic and environmental effects of this power plant.
    We thank the people who have been working oh-so hard to bring this project into the light of day.
    We deserve better than that, so let’s make our voices hear.

  127. PEOPLE POWER speaks volume. We have a right to keep our beautiful BALA FALLS. The photo was spectacular and the TOP STORY on A Channel News on Sunday Night. Our voices DO COUNT. Family values and traditions MUST include preservation of our world reknowned falls.

    The Ontario Government CLAIMS they want to promote TOURISM. So why will they ALLOW our main attraction be DESTROYED by GREED.

    Generations have been enjoying this breathtaking and tranquil and we MUST ensure that future generations will enjoy our spectacular FALLS.

  128. Keep up the good work guys.
    The falls are one of the elements that truly make Bala the crown jewel of Muskoka. Why on earth would we destroy them to create such a small hydro generation facility? Is this what the Ontario government has come too? We deserve better, let’s make our voices heard.

  129. All three generations of our family stand in oppostion to this small hydro project. Our thanks to all those who have been working so hard to bring this ill conceived project out into the light of day. We do not feel that thoughtful consideration has been given to the possible and probable long term economic and enviromental effects of this project.

  130. I support any action to prevent this project from going through.

  131. Please don’t demolish the falls. They are so beautiful!

  132. Very informative website. Keep up the good work spreading your (and our) message.


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