Parry Sound & Area Association of REALTORS® officially joins The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®

As of 2018, The Lakelands gained new members from the Parry Sound and Area Association of REALTORS® increasing its membership to over 770 and moving jurisdictional boundaries now including the District of Parry Sound. Although talks began last fall between Associations after Executive Officer, Meg Cameron-Hammel announced her early retirement, the decision to dissolve Parry Sound and its membership joining The Lakelands was not made hastily.

“Both Associations had a common goal to minimize disruption to our Realtor members before, during, and after the transition” said Mike Stahls, President of The Lakelands. “It was sad to see Meg go after almost thirty years, but her dedication and passion will be fondly remembered by all. We are confident our new members will enjoy the suite of tools, services and professional development opportunities that The Lakelands has to offer.”

Following approval from the respective Board of Directors and membership, The Lakelands eagerly went to work onboarding its new members. This opportunity also presented the time rebrand the Association with a new logo. The Lakelands carefully considered each district in the new logo creation, the waves in the new logo represent unity to strengthen our vast regions. The Association worked with a local marketing agency Well Known company, for its redesign.

All brands need to evolve and align its values and characteristics with that of the time. The Lakelands President Mike Stahls said,”We wanted to simplify our logo and rebrand under a clean updated look.”

The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® is a professional organization committed to serving its 770+ REALTOR® members with the tools, advocacy and professional development opportunities required to promote excellence, knowledge and a high standard of ethics and business practices.

Our members provide real estate services representing different land use properties ranging from recreational, residential and commercial throughout the major geographical areas within the regions of the District of Parry Sound, District Municipality of Muskoka, Haliburton County and Northern Simcoe County including the City of Orillia.

REALTORS® are champions of homeownership and are committed to improving Quality of Life by supporting policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods


The Lakelands Grants Given Just in Time for Christmas

Muskoka – The Lakelands members will visit six local charities to donate over seventeen thousand dollars across Muskoka, Orillia, and Haliburton this holiday season. Five cheques of $3,264 will be presented to each organization, and a sixth cheque of $1,280 is donated to Cottage Dreams annually. Those eligible to receive a grant must be a community shelter-based charity, operating in our region and meet all application criteria—submitted to the Association by the first of September.

“We are truly honoured to receive a grant this year,” said The Sharing Place Food Bank, Executive Director, Chris Peacock. “This grant helps us fund our Christmas Hamper program that we distribute to over 800 people this holiday season.”

2017 Grant Recipients:

  • The Sharing Place Food Bank, Orillia: provides nutritious food for three to five days once a month.
  • Muskoka Interval House, Bracebridge: provides shelter and resources for women and children.
  • Huntsville Hospice, Huntsville: provides care and support to individuals in the Huntsville area who are facing end of life situations.
  • Cottage Dreams, Haliburton: provides rental cottages for families to enjoy following cancer treatment.
  • Alzheimer Society of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland and Haliburton: dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and advancing the search for the cause and cure.
  • Burk’s Falls & District Food Bank: covering seven districts it provides food and resources for those in need.

“These organizations provide invaluable services to those in their greatest times of need,” said The Lakelands, President, Mike Stahls. “Our members are only too happy to support those on the front lines, and to be an integral part of our communities.”

Local Realtors are committed to improving Quality of Life by supporting community initiatives ensuring economic vitality, housing opportunities and safe neighbourhoods. The contributions by Lakelands members through the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation are important to the communities we live in as they boost the ability for these organizations to support residents.

For further details about the Grant Application

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The Sharing Place is a non-profit organization that provides food, food education and food policy work for our community. We work collaboratively with partners to help remove the barriers to accessing nutritious, affordable food. Our services range from school breakfast and snack programs, community cooking classes, gardening programs to providing a five-day emergency supply of food to those in need. In 2017 The Sharing Place served or taught over 17,000 children and adults while developing food policy and school programs for future generations.


Ontario Collective launches new MLS® System to better serve consumers

Muskoka – The Ontario Collective is thrilled to announce it has launched the first phase of an enhanced regional MLS® System, unveiling the CoreLogic Matrix platform to support REALTOR® Members deliver the highest level of service to consumers. Joining forces to bring the most comprehensive MLS® System in the province, the Ontario Collective is poised to successfully launch the Matrix platform across 13 real estate boards and associations, once all three phases are completed.

Created by CoreLogic, Matrix is a progressive, flexible MLS® platform used by other real estate boards and associations in Ontario and 670,000 MLS® users across North America, and it will be the common data platform for more than 5,000 and growing REALTOR® Members once the third and final phase is completed in early 2018. Having established a Board of Governors, with representation from each of the 13 Member associations, the Ontario Collective is committed to bringing the best technology and resource base to its Members.

“We’re immensely proud of what we have accomplished together,” said Cathy Polan, Chair of the Ontario Collective Board of Governors. “As a group, we are keenly focused on the future, both for our Members, and also consumers. With better access to data, our unified efforts will give our Members the best-in-class tools to give consumers stronger information to make the big decisions on property ownership.”

The Ontario Collective phase one launch is comprised of London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®, Tillsonburg District Real Estate Board, and Woodstock-Ingersoll and District Real Estate Board.

“This group represents a great range of real estate, from residential, to cottage country with its unique waterfronts and seasonal homes, to farm land, as well as commercial and diverse population densities,” Polan said. “The REALTORS® who work in these areas are local experts who know their market, and I believe this is our greatest criteria for success. Building and delivering this system by bringing the expertise of the team at CoreLogic together with the strong knowledge of our Members has made this project so successful. Open communication, attention to detail, and a common goal of a regional MLS® System for our Members is truly paving the future of real estate in Ontario.”


The Ontario Collective is a collaborative group of 13 real estate boards and associations across Ontario focused on delivering robust data, tools, and the best available technology to support over 5,000 REALTORS®. The Ontario Collective is comprised of Bancroft and Area Association of REALTORS®, Kawartha Lakes Real Estate Association Inc., London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®, North Bay Real Estate Board, Northumberland Hills Association of REALTORS®, Parry Sound and Area Association of REALTORS®, Peterborough and The Kawarthas Association of REALTORS®, Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® Inc., REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound, Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®, The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®, Tillsonburg District Real Estate Board and Woodstock-Ingersoll and District Real Estate Board.


Lakelands 2017/2018 President & President-Elect Announced

On May 17th at The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors was installed with two new members and Mike Stahls taking over the helm as President from Mike Taylor.  Also, the board selected their President-Elect for the new term: Wendy Webb of Bracebridge.

“Having served as president in 2014, a lot has changed in the real estate industry.  I’m really looking forward to building on the work we’ve done as a board over the past year, looking to the future for our region and members,” said Mike.  Mike’s perspective on special projects over his time serving on the board and his work on committees both at the local board level and provincially including Government Affairs and Marketing/Communications has been a great asset.  His knowledge of organised real estate was put to work during the project of merging Muskoka and Haliburton with the former Orillia board, and during the Search Integration project with neighbouring boards.  Mike was also instrumental in the hiring of current Lakelands Executive Officer Crystal Henderson and for the work being done by several boards and associations across the province in the search for a new MLS® System.

Long-serving Board member Wendy Webb returns as well, bringing proven expertise as President-Elect.  Having served as president in 2010, and with the board for 29 years, Wendy is very active at all levels of organized real estate.  She has worked on several local association committees and with the Futures Implementation Task Force for the Canadian Real Estate Association.  Wendy also has been integral to the recent project in partnership with 12 other boards across the province to develop a new MLS® System for the membership.

The Lakelands is excited to welcome two new board members: Lindsay Elder of Haliburton and Doug Monett of Huntsville.

Local REALTORS® Donate $17K to Charity

Local REALTORS® have donated over $17,000 to local shelter-based charitable organisations across Muskoka, Haliburton, Orillia and Almaguin to support their efforts in providing services to the most vulnerable members of the community.  Each month, members of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® contribute $2 to the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation Every REALTOR® Campaign. At the end of the year, the funds are divided across the jurisdiction.

The organisations that benefited from the funding this year are:

Burk’s Falls & District Food Bank: provides food and resources for those in need. Covers 7 districts.
Table Soup Kitchen (Huntsville): provides hot meals & resources. Also operates a men’s shelter.
Muskoka Interval House (Bracebridge): provides shelter and resources for women & children.
The Lighthouse (Orillia): meals and drop in services.  Also provides shelter for men.
Places for People (Haliburton): renovates homes to provide affordable housing to qualified applicants.
Cottage Dreams (Haliburton): provides rental cottages for families to enjoy following cancer treatment.

The contributions by Lakelands members through the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation boost the ability for these organisations to support residents. Lakelands President Mike Taylor: “Local Realtors have a deep pride for their community.  The donation initiative through the Every REALTOR® Campaign gets us directly involved with organisations that make our communities stronger. Many of our local brokerages give to and support causes in their own specific communities on top of these monthly contributions.  Across The Lakelands Board, Realtors are committed to our mission of being an integral part of the communities we live in.  We’re all honoured to help.”

Local Realtors are committed to improving Quality of Life through their support of community initiatives that ensure economic vitality, housing opportunities and safe neighbourhoods. PicMonkey Collage

logsplitting day

Lakelands REALTOR® members gathered in Haliburton on November 3rd for a second annual log splitting day to benefit Heat Bank Haliburton County.  The Heat Bank supplies emergency heat for members of the community in need. With winter closing in, the most vulnerable in the community are left to make the tough decision to heat their home, or spend money on other necessities of life.  Seniors, homes with small children or those unable to work are at risk once the temperature plummets. Heat Bank Haliburton County will provide fire wood, or funding for heating costs.

For about 3 hours, Realtors from the area met at Abbey Gardens to split logs, stack wood and put together another shelter for more logs as they’re ready. The spirit of community and team work made light work of the task.

Motorcycle-riding REALTORS® Roll into Town for a Good Cause

– 2016 fundraising ride stops in Muskoka today –

MUSKOKA, July 6, 2016 – A group of Ontario motorcycle-riding Realtors will roll into town today as part of the 11th annual Motorcycle Ride for Charity. Riders started in Newmarket and will end in Sudbury, with stops along the way to help raise funds for the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, which supports homeless shelters and charities across the province.

“We are excited to have Muskoka as a stop on this great ride,” said Mike Taylor, president of the Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “These dedicated Realtors are riding for a great cause, one that will help people all across Ontario.”

The ride has taken place every summer since 2006, with increasing amounts pledged each year. Since its inception, the riders, along with boards and associations, family and friends have worked hard to raise over $322,000, with 100% of these funds going to the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation. This year’s goal is $25,000. Last year, the foundation gave out $926, 000 in grants to charities across the province. Since its inception, the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation has granted nearly $5.5 million on behalf of Ontario Realtors to shelter-based organizations across the province.

“Being a Realtor requires a lot of time on the road, so it’s completely fitting that one of our biggest fundraising successes is a motorcycle ride throughout the province,” says Ray Ferris, president, Ontario Real Estate Association.  “This ride is a chance for our members to visit new corners of the province, meet fellow Realtors and community members, all while raising money for a great cause.”

About the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation

The Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, formerly the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) Foundation was established in 1967. The Foundation supports shelter-based charitable organizations across Ontario.  Every donation to the Foundation is invested, and the interest earned from the investments is allocated to the cause. All of the interest generated goes directly to supporting local charities, as the Foundation’s administrative costs are covered by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).


About the Ontario Real Estate Association

The Ontario Real Estate Association represents over 64,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the province’s 40 real estate boards. OREA serves its members through a wide variety of publications, education programs and special services. The association provides all real estate licensing courses in Ontario.

The Lakelands supports Annie Williams Memorial Park Tree Planting Program

March 22 in Bracebridge, ON – In November 2015 a tremendous wind storm destroyed over thirty mature, beautiful trees in Bracebridge’s beloved Annie Williams Park.  The trees, some over 100 feet tall, were uprooted, broken or were left unsafe for the busy park.  Responding to a call for help by the park’s volunteer Board of Directors, The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® has donated $3,800 to fund the purchase and planting of more mature trees in an effort to restore the park to its former glory.

Established in 1926 by Bracebridge physician and philanthropist Dr. James Francis Williams in memory of his late wife Annie, the park has long been central to the vibrant community.  While each year many young sapling trees are planted in the park, the loss of so many large and mature trees has greatly changed the park’s nostalgic feel. Starting in the spring, with the funds from The Lakelands donation, the Annie Williams Park Board will purchase trees of more significant size to replace those lost in November.

The donation by The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® will go toward the purchase of 10 mature trees.  “Open spaces, natural environment, fresh air – these are the hallmarks of what it means to live and work in Muskoka. Local Realtors work hard to preserve the important quality of life that we hang our hat on,” says Lakelands Association President Tom Wilkinson. “Annie Williams Park brings so much joy to the residents of Bracebridge. We’re proud to step up and donate to such an iconic and beloved park and in turn, support healthy sustainable communities across our board area.”

The donation to Annie Williams Park on behalf of local Realtors was presented to park Board of Directors Chair Cathryn Willard on March 22nd on-site at the park. Several members of The Lakelands were in attendance.  The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® holds an Emergency Relief fund in their budget to help support significant causes across their area.  The committee responsible for the fund considers tragic events throughout Almaguin, Muskoka, Orillia and Haliburton that require a quick injection of funds to prevent further impact.

Lakelands REALTORS® keep the heat on in
Haliburton County

11032015_Heat Bank_ORCF

Local REALTOR® members of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® gathered in support of Heat Bank Haliburton today. Under the Quality of Life mandate supported by the association, and with the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, Realtor members spent the morning splitting wood to help build the pile higher for those in need.
“It seems timely as the nights get colder to make sure we have time to be thankful for our own warm homes”, says Tom Wilkinson, Association President “It seems hard to imagine that there are families in our neighbourhoods who have to make the decision between warmth, food or paying rent. It’s important to lend a hand and help others. As local Realtors, keeping the communities we live in strong through volunteerism and activism is essential to this cause”.
Heat Bank Haliburton gathers firewood to distribute to households struggling to keep the heat on. As a member of The Lakelands, local Realtors contribute $2 per month to the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation. Heat Bank Haliburton is one of 5 local charitable organisations chosen to benefit from these funds for this year. The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® selects organisations that focus on shelter-based support to those requiring assistance within the communities in their jurisdiction of Orillia, Muskoka, Haliburton and Almaguin.
“For a few hours today, we were able to help the Heat Bank get ahead, and make sure that the wood these families need is ready to go when they need it”, said Wilkinson. “The initiative of Quality of Life that Realtors subscribe to, along with the great work we can accomplish through our contributions to Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, fits perfectly with our desire to see Haliburton, and other communities we represent, be vibrant and sustainable.”
Through late fall to early winter 2014, Heat Bank Haliburton assisted 57 households. 28% of which were seniors in need of support, with 34% being families with children. Says Wilkinson: “Local Realtors have pride in their communities. This is a fantastic initiative, and we’re honoured to be able to help.”

Local REALTORS® support Muskoka Watershed Council


REALTOR® members of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® gathered in support of the Muskoka Watershed Council’s resource publication Living in Cottage Country: What You Need to Know. The book, which is a comprehensive source of information for residents on sustainable practices for protecting the natural shorelines and watersheds throughout cottage country, can be purchased throughout the Muskoka region.
“As local REALTORS® we know what people are looking for in a home, cottage and in their community. Preserving shorelines and our watershed by promoting sustainable practices will ensure the iconic landscape of cottage country will remain healthy for generations to come” says association president Tom Wilkinson. “Working to support the Muskoka Watershed Council on this project, getting our members educated, and sharing that information with our clients fits perfectly with the REALTORS® Quality of Life mandate.” The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® has financially supported the production of the book, as well as held education workshops for their members with Executive Committee Chair, and University of Windsor professor Dr. Peter Sale over the past year.
Living in Cottage Country: What You Need to Know provides the essential know-how for a wide variety of topics for residential owners in cottage country. From understanding the Land Use Act to shoreline development, septic systems, wells, to promoting a healthy environment through landscaping. The book is available throughout the Muskoka region, and can be purchased directly from the Muskoka Watershed Council as well. “We are in the business of connecting people with their dream home. Being able to do that in a place that has such natural, sustainable beauty is icing on the cake. Having a resource like this that we can stand behind as a membership, and help both the council and the environment is a win-win”, says Wilkinson.