Seeley's Bay Home PageSBARA Update #1SBARA Update #2

   Seeley's Bay Steps Up!


The Seeley’s Bay and Area Residents’ Association (SBARA) invites you to get involved with an exciting new community rejuvenation project, to be known as ‘Seeley’s Bay Steps Up!’.  The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs is helping us to develop a vision and plan for the future; the first step was the assessment of our strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of first-time visitors.  This next step builds on our First Impressions exchange with Otonabee South Monaghan.  SBARA also got input from suggestions sent in during the ‘ultimate fishing town’ contest, from feedback generated at the public meeting on September 28, from our Facebook site “Support Seeley’s Bay Ontario” and from our newsletter.  All of the recommendations were recorded and ranked according to the number of times they were suggested, and were then grouped into five areas of action. The overall objective of Seeley’s Bay Steps Up! is to strengthen the economic viability of the community, and to make it a more attractive place for visitors, potential residents and investors, and for we who live here.


Now is the time to recruit volunteers to work on teams for each of the 5 action areas.  The first job will be to discuss the project elements, pick a team leader, figure out what additional information is needed, connect with key ‘partners’, and develop a more detailed proposal by the end of 2010.  Then SBARA will prepare a more detailed community plan of action, assess work and funding requirements, and meet with our municipal council and other key partners to pursue assistance and funding.  Each team will be guided and supported by the SBARA executive for the duration of the project.


1.       Public Infrastructure and Public Swimming

(Key activities are to liaise with local government to determine  status of public works projects re: maintenance of existing facilities, drainage, sidewalks, roads; to make adjustments consistent with the wish list where possible; to explore feasibility of additional items on the wish list, rough out general elements and cost implications of a 3-5 year plan for:                                              

·    Haskin’s Point swimming park (per concept drawing)

·    Additional benches main street, dock, walking routes

·    Launch facilities for kayak/canoes?

·    Public toilet at dock?

·    Wider or second regular boat launch ramp?

·    Additional parking for vehicles with boat trailers?

Pump-out services?


2.       Water Quality

(Key activities are to liaise with Cataraqui Conservation, Parks Canada, Frontenac Arch Biosphere and any active local wildlife habitat protection services to understand current water quality issues, activities already underway, and identify goals, transitional strategies, incentives et cetera to encourage private and public actions)

·    Identify baseline water quality data and set goals

·    Develop ‘sensitive’ algae-reduction strategy

·    Native species planting, shoreline restoration

·    Weed-harvesting? (Does it affect water quality?)

·    Fountain for water circulation? (Does it harm habitat?)

·    Incentives for septic upgrades?


3.       Marketing, Signage & Communications

(Key activities involve liaison with key tourism organizations and business community; creative ‘product’ development)

·    Identify best theme to brand Seeley’s Bay identity for potential visitors (e.g. ‘gateway to the Rideau’; ‘return to a gentler time’, ‘best fishing hole around’, etc.?)

·   Improve location, visibility and ‘brand’ message on all signs

·   Consider a ‘portal’ approach to to take visitors smoothly to accommodation, showcase events, etc. 

·   Explore feasibility of a single on-line calendar of events

·   Directional signage in village for businesses and public facilities

Encourage development of brand ‘products’ across community activities, including Frost Fest, Canada Day, banners, et


4.       Private & Public Property spruce up

(Key activities involve determining which public gardens/greens are Township vs. privately maintained, where more spruce-up needed (e.g. under entrance signs); identification of supports for families with barriers to home/garden spruce up, researching what is permitted/prohibited by regulation, positive encouragement of participation by all)

·    Identification of potential public locations for beautification

·    Explore incentives for private spruce up (vouchers for nursery stock as prizes, village contest, and ‘labour exchange’ of gardening in return for other service?  Plant swaps?

·   Seek private or family sponsors for specific public gardens (at entrance signs, at dock, care for main street baskets)

·   Initiate positive approach to handful of private properties of concern


5.       Business community

(Key activities involve liaison with all area businesses & services  (in village core, Junction area, outlying resorts) and 2 area Chambers of Commerce

·    Convey visitor and community appreciation of core services – banking, groceries, restaurants, gas bar, craft/antique/giftware, marina, tackle, bait, accommodation, hardware; communicate feedback that visitors felt we lacked ‘memorable’ shopping, especially local artisans, local produce, unique shopping opportunities, investor information/business profiles

·    Consider customer service/tourism ambassador education for staff; making visitors welcome benefits all (shyness can look unfriendly!)

·    Encourage potential for more business co-operation via single portal from with links to individual websites?

·    Consider ‘lively’ collaborative projects like sidewalk sales, street craft or market fairs, window displays in ‘homes’?

·    Provide ways for comfortable customer feedback (e.g. may be more demand for higher-end groceries/goods by locals/cottagers)

·    Ensure business brochure is available widely

·    Consider services that appeal to visitors? (picnic hampers to go, service carts to docks, other?

·    Enhance info about local home businesses (massage, haircuts, child care, etc.)  for weekly cottagers, boaters, day visitors, and new residents -  along lines of ‘business card’ billboard in Elgin?

·    Evaluate benefits of Gananoque/1000 Island links vs. Seeley's Bay/Lyndhurst



Help Wanted

Are you:

·         Proud to live in the Seeley’s Bay area?

·         Eager to see our community become more vibrant?

·         Able to give some time to help?

·         Committed to working positivity with others?

·         Looking for something fun to do?

We need people to:

·         Establish positive relations with government organizations

·         Research and investigate things

·         Read and interpret blueprints and construction plans

·         Take notes, write reports, develop project plans

·         Design and implement fundraising projects

·         Talk to neighbours & businesses to spread the word

·         Build and/or tend small landscape projects

·         Dream up creative activities to go with our ‘brand’

·         Teach others how something works/how to do things

·         Attend meetings elsewhere and represent our interests

·         ‘Think like a tourist’


We can probably find something that suits your skills, interests and availability.  We would like to see new and long-time residents involved, young or old, shy or outgoing, try us!


If you would like to volunteer and/or ask more questions:

·         E-mail:

·         Phone:  Liz @ 387-3936 or Peggy @ 387-3968


To keep up to date on project news:

·         Sign up for the newsletter

·         Join our Facebook Page at “Support Seeley’s Bay Ontario”