Tagged: Rick Wigmore

31 Mar

Comments Off on Community Leaders Moving. They Will Be Missed.

Community Leaders Moving. They Will Be Missed.


By Charlene Jones
Author/Poet/Meditation Teacher, Soulsciences
charlenej@rogers.com | www.soulsciences.net

“They’ve always been devoted and committed to making their Musselman’s Lake community better.”

No one accomplishes anything without the help of many hands, and one of the highlights of recent years has been the way in which Rick and Linda Wigmore gathered so many of us towards greater ends.

Whether shivering in the Polar Vortex temperatures of the Winter Carnival, handing out hot dogs at the April Spring Clean Up, discussing the lake with government officials or hosting one of the regular meetings of the Musselman’s Lake Residents Association, the Wigmores gathered us all.

Rick Wigmore, President of the MLRA & Councillor Phil Bannon celebrate the unveiling of the Coultice Park sign

Rick Wigmore, President of the MLRA & Councillor Phil Bannon celebrate the unveiling of the Coultice Park sign at Earth Day 2014

As President and one of the founding members of the MLRA back in 2006, Rick and his wife Linda, who took up the role of Treasurer, took it upon themselves to draw the community together to talk about issues vital to the lake and lake residents – How do we build stronger communities? How do we petition the Town with clarity? What’s the best way to educate residents on the lake and surrounding area about both environmental and safety issues? From topics such as runoff and water quality, street lighting to road and water safety, Rick led the charge to effect change. Rick’s negotiating skills also enabled the MLRA to have a long overdue, full environmental assessment of the lake undertaken, resulting in our extensive Water Quality report. He also played a role in bringing a long awaited park to our community.

However, it will be at fun events like the Halloween Dances, the Winter Carnival, Fall Festival or Spring Clean Up that Rick and Linda will be remembered most.  They put all of their energy into ensuring that all MLRA events were run successfully – and they weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty either. They were always the first to arrive to assist with setting up and the last to leave, staying to help clean up. They had a way of instilling  a sense of comradery into  MLRA members. The hard work shared disappeared in the feeling of a sense of belonging and purpose.

Linda Wigmore helping out on EarthDay

Linda Wigmore helping out on EarthDay

Yes, they decided, after a lot of thought, that it was time for a change. It was time to let go of their home and their signature pontoon boat “The Raven”, a welcome sight and in true Wigmore fashion, a welcome place for so many of us around the lake. They are moving to be closer to their children and grandchildren so they can spend more quality time together.

While we will miss them and the huge impact they’ve had on our lake and our lives, they go with our best wishes for continued joy in their new adventures.

As Ed, The Wine Doctor put it so well…“What can I say about Rick and Linda Wigmore? They’re good people: generous, kind and caring, and from all accounts, the perfect neighbours. They’ve always been devoted and committed to making their Musselman’s Lake community better.  Whitby, now, will be that much richer with their residency and I’m sure they will become a valuable asset to that community.  Jo Ann & I feel very privileged to call the Wigmores our friends.”

Related links

MLRA Achievements

Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake Report


MLRA On WhiStle Radio




16 May




Give Mother Nature A Chance To Work Her Magic.

By Rick Wigmore

Photo of a very large Bull Frog at Musselman's Lake. The Lake's frog and turtle population has been making a comeback in recent years.

Photo of a very large Bull Frog at Musselman’s Lake. The Lake’s frog and turtle population has been making a comeback in recent years.

I had an interesting conversation with longtime resident Bob James on Earth Day. Between the two of us there are over one hundred years spent at the Lake. Bob noted he had never seen such an algae explosion in the spring with which I concurred. We will definitely monitor this situation to see what happens as the rooted weeds begin to grow again.  We got to talking how the Lake report and Dr. Hutchinson has really pointed out that our Lake is in a good place and maybe that’s more due to us not reacting to environmental trends and depending more on nature to take its course.  At the MLRA we always receive plenty of resident advice and the biggest one by far is for a weed harvest. But now Dr. Hutchinson has pointed out in his recent report that there is a constant war going on between algae and rooted weeds in the Lake. If you harvest the rooted weeds you stand a chance of not only ruining fish habitat but tipping the balance of power from rooted weeds which are basically harmless, to algae of which some varieties can be toxic to pets and swimmers. There is proof of this phenomenon. “When do we have the most trouble with algae?” The early spring and late fall is when we see algae blooms and this corresponds with the lack of rooted weeds which die off late fall and return late spring.  We also talked about Phoslock which at one time was touted as the panacea to too many rooted weeds. Lake Wilcox launched an aerator on their lake with great fanfare as the answer to weeds and stagnant water and ended up with a red bloom problem. It seems the older you get, the more you realize these so called short term solutions seem to always lead you to a problem you never had before.

Image http://www.lifehack.org/

Delicate Balance
Image http://www.lifehack.org/

Probably the greatest example of leave well enough alone and let nature take its course occurred right here at Musselman’s Lake in the Spring of 2009 with the “great crappie die off”.  If residents knew that crappie, an invasive bait fish probably introduced to the lake by ice fishermen, was knocking the stuffing out of the bass population there would have been a large hue and cry to do something. As it was, no one knew. Then one day we woke up to thousands of dead and floating fish. After the initial shock, we investigated and lo and behold the fish were all crappie. No bass, no pike, no sunfish just crappie. Mother Nature had sent a virus that just attacked the crappie population and in one fell swoop put the whole fish population back in its proper balance. Mother Nature can do a much better job of managing the environment without man’s interference in its delicate balance.

18 Oct




This Article Has Been Reprinted With Permission From The Stouffville Free Press

Kate Gilderdale


Rick Wigmore, Cheryl Shindruk and Phil Bannon
Photo by Kate Gilderdale

When rapid growth makes development inevitable, a collaborative approach between town, developer and area residents can go a long way towards overcoming concerns and creating consensus.

Earlier this year, Geranium Corporation presented a proposal to the Town to build 18 homes on 12 acres of land along Lakeshore Rd. In May, Musselman’s Lake Residents Association (MLRA) president Rick Wigmore met with Geranium president Mario Giampietri to discuss the impact of the plan on the existing community.

Mr. Wigmore cited density, the effectiveness of the proposed septic system, potential problems resulting from water flow across the property and traffic congestion as four major concerns expressed by residents. Mr. Giampietri agreed to investigate and address those concerns, and asked if there was a stewardship plan in place at Musselman’s Lake.

“We said, yes, but we don’t have the money to execute it,” said Mr. Wigmore. “Then he said, ‘How would you like a limnologist?’ (a specialist in the study of freshwater ponds and lakes). He asked if we’d like this number one guy, Neil Hutchinson. We said that would be really nice.”

In July, Ward 2 councillor Phil Bannon arranged a meeting between Cheryl Shindruk and Shauna Dudding of Geranium Homes, Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences and the MLRA’s Rick Wigmore, with Mr. Bannon representing the town.

“Neil came up with a (stewardship) plan which he priced at around $40,000 and Cheryl gave us the good news that Germanium was willing to proceed with this,” said Mr. Bannon. Mr. Hutchinson’s review will address weed control and provide an assessment of water quality at the lake.

“We are very impressed with the work that the community is doing,” said Ms Shindruk, who is Geranium’s vice-president of land development. “We started building homes in Ballantrae area a couple of years ago on the west side of Hwy 48, and the community and market interest was strong and positive.”

An existing property on the proposed Lakeshore Rd. site, which is built to high environmental standards, will be integrated into the new development, said Ms Shindruk. “We designed the development to maintain that home. Each site is unique and you work with it.”

The dedication of the residents makes Musselman’s Lake a very special community, said Mr. Bannon. “Everyone works so hard at our annual community cleanup. We also have a tremendous (town) staff who work with the developers and the community for the best outcome.”






11 Oct




Community Safety Committee Has Good News.

Attending the "Bang Up Bend" meeting were Scott Stover, Paul Whitehouse, Peter Alcorn, Councillor Phil Bannon Photo by Rick Wigmore

Attending the “Bang Up Bend” meeting were Scott Stover, Paul Whitehouse, Peter Alcorn, Councillor Phil Bannon
Photo by Rick Wigmore

The Musselman’s Lake Residents Association (MLRA) is a member of the Community Safety Committee along with the Town, York Region Police and York Regional Roads. On Friday October 4 2013, as part of the on-going effort of this Community Safety Committee, Councillor Phil Bannon and Mr. Rick Wigmore (President of the MLRA), met with Staff from the Town and York Region. This very important meeting wasn’t held in a conference room but rather it was held on site at the side of the road of “Bang up Bend” on Ninth line. Representing the Town were Mr. Paul Whitehouse, Director of Public Works & Operation, and Mr. Peter Alcorn, Supervisor of Public Works & Operation. Representing York Region was Mr. Scott Stover, District Manager- Central/North, Road Maintenance Transportation and Community Planning.


Bang Up Bend temporary repairs
Photo by Linda Wigmore

Mr. Stover had very good news for us. He told us that a contract will be awarded very soon to fix “Bang-up Bend” permanently. Many residents had pointed out that the Bend was being eroded away under the road’s surface and was in danger of collapse. This has been fixed with a temporary solution but the permanent fix is now on its way. We will let you know the timing of these repairs as soon as we are updated by Mr. Stover.

Also discussed was pedestrian safety or lack thereof on this dangerous corner. The talk focused on extending a sidewalk on the west side of ninth line north to Coultice Drive. This is not a simple task as first funding has to be found and then plans will have to be drawn up. Next, some utilities will have to be moved, and then a bank of earth and some trees will also have to be removed. The good news is that under the direction of Councillor Bannon, this project will be moved forward in a timely manner.

We can never say enough about Councillor Bannon and his ability convene the right people to ensure community safety projects remain a priority and that they continue to move forward.


20 Sep

Comments Off on MLRA IN THE NEWS



The Stouffville Free Press Visits Musselman’s Lake

You know you are doing something right when Kate Gilderdale, editor of the Stouffville Free Press wants to interview you. Last week Kate came for a visit to Musselman’s Lake to interview Rick Wigmore, president of the MLRA, for an upcoming story about the MLRA that her very popular community newspaper was working on.


Rick Wigmore – MLRA President, Kate Gilderdale – Stouffville Free Press Editor, Cheryl Shindruk – Executive VP of Land Development at Geranium Homes, Councillor Phil Bannon

 Now when Kate Gilderdale researches a story she goes all out. Not only did she want to interview Rick Wigmore about the MLRA but she wanted to get a perspective on what it is like to work with such a progressive resident’s association from organizations that have worked with the MLRA. This of course, involved interviewing the Town of Whitchurch Stouffville’s representative Councillor Phil Bannon who has worked with the MLRA for years now. Together with the MLRA they have a long list of positive achievements in the betterment of community as a whole. She also wanted to interview, Cheryl Shindruk, Executive Vice-President of Land Development-Geranium Homes as Cheryl has worked with the MLRA on the Geranium Homes Lake Drive development proposal. Kate was interested to get Geranium Homes viewpoint as a quality high end builder on how it was to work with a unique community resident’s association such as the MLRA.

Please watch for Kate Gilderdale’s story it the next edition of The Stouffville Free Press due out October 1st.

Related stories


13 Aug


Murder, Mayhem and Mystery at Mussleman’s


Author of new murder mystery novel visits our community.

Wine Doctor aka Edward Finstein    Photo - Ravenshoe Group

Wine Doctor aka Edward Finstein
Photo – Ravenshoe Group

Edward Finstein aka the Wine Doctor is an internationally recognized wine expert who visited Musselman’s Lake to autograph a copy his new book.

Edward or Doc as he is known to his friends and his wife, Jo Ann are regular visitors to the Wigmore’s on Musselman’s Lake. Edward is a TV and Radio host, and a renowned wine journalist writing for newspapers, magazines and on the internet in North America and abroad. As an internationally recognized expert wine judge, he travels the world judging wines in competitions. He is also a Professor of Wine at George Brown College’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Doc is a wine consultant, wine appraiser and wine tour g uide. So with all this on his plate he loves to unwind at our hidden jewel, Musselman’s Lake.

Edward Finstein (Wine Doctor) on Musselman's lake signing his new book. Photo – Rick Wigmore

Edward Finstein (Wine Doctor) on Musselman’s lake signing his new book. Photo – Rick Wigmore

The Wine Doctor believes wine should be fun and that comes across in both his books. First, his award winning book, “Ask the Wine Doctor” which answers all the questions you had about wine but were too busy sipping to ask. Now he has just launched his first in what he says will be a series of novels called “Pinot Envy” described as murder, mayhem and mystery in Napa.

Pinot Envy is the new novel by Edward Finstein (Wine Doctor)

Pinot Envy is the new novel by Edward Finstein (Wine Doctor)

Pinot Envy is an exciting whodunit with the central character “Woody Robins” a bon-vivant wine guru who specializes in investigation work centered on rare wines. Amidst the backdrop of the world famous wine region Napa Valley in California, this novel contains many twists and turns. Woody is hired by a wealthy grape grower to retrieve the grower’s rare and priceless bottle of red burgundy wine that once belonged to the French Emperor Napoleon. This compelling mystery will leave you guessing from the first page to the last and is a perfect read for relaxing at the Lake.

Pinot Envy is published by Bancroft Press and is available through Amazon, Indigo.ca, Barnes & Noble, I Bookstore and Kobo.

08 Aug


UPDATE from Councillor Phil Bannon


An Update on the Illegal Dumpsite Operations in Our Community.

Councillor Phil Bannon

I would like to thank Rick Wigmore and the entire MLRA executive for the inspiring leadership role that you play, providing the residents of Musselman’s Lake with updates on current, ongoing issues that impact our community. I have made every effort over the years to reach out and communicate with the residents of Ward #2. Your support in this effort is much appreciated. I would like to provide you with an update on the Illegal Dumpsite Operations in our community (Ward # 2).

Mr. Paul Bolender owns two properties on Highway 48 (14857 and 14547) which are located between Vandorf Sdrd and Lakeshore Road. The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville has a Site Alteration/Fill By-law which regulates the removal of topsoil, the placing or dumping of fill and the alteration of the grade of land. Landowners are required to follow the provisions of this By-law, including entering into a site alteration agreement with the Town where greater than 5,000 cubic metres of fill is to be dumped on a property.

The Town does not have a site alteration agreement with Mr. Bolender for either of his two properties on Highway 48. However, the Town has information suggesting that the properties are being used as illegal dumping sites in contravention of not only the Site Alteration By-law but the Zoning By-law as well. As a result, the Town took action to enforce its by-law in a two prong approach:

    1. Provincial Offences Court

The Town laid charges in the Provincial Offences Court in respect of these alleged breaches of the Town’s Site Alteration By-law. In response to the charges, Mr. Bolender’s solicitor brought a motion in the Provincial Offences Court requesting the Court declare that the Town breached his client’s rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by carrying out an illegal search and seizure.

The Town had concerns about the nature of material being dumped on the two properties. After providing notice of the Town’s intention and in accordance with its by-law powers, the Town hired a company to enter onto Mr. Bolender’s property at 14857 Highway 48 to conduct soil testing. Mr. Bolender blocked the Town’s access to 14547 Highway 48.

    2. Superior Court of Justice

The Town then made an application to the Superior Court of Justice to obtain an injunction against Mr. Bolender requiring him to cease fill operations on both properties, among other things. On July 9th, 2013, the Superior Court of Justice granted the Town an interim injunction preventing any further fill activity on both properties, among other things, pending the Court’s hearing final arguments on the matter. That hearing is scheduled for August 27, 2013.

The injunction proceedings are separate and distinct from the Provincial Offences Court proceedings, and the fact that the Town has gone to the lengths of seeking an injunction is indicative of the gravity of the situation.

Phil Bannon

15 Jul


Historic Meeting on Musselman’s Lake Water Quality, Weed Control & Stewardship Plan


Government, Developer, Environmental Company and Resident’s Association discuss ideas for improving local community.

Councillor Bannon arranged a meeting at Musselman’s Lake on Friday July 12th between Geranium Corporation, Hutchinson Environmental, Musselman’s Lake Residents Association, and Councillor Bannon, representing the Town.


Cheryl Shindruk, Executive Vice-President of Land Development-Geranium Homes, Shauna Dudding, Vice- President of Land Development-Geranium Homes, Rick Wigmore, President-MLRA, Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental, Councillor Phil Bannon

Thanks to Phil we are setting a new standard for communication and co-operation between a Residents’ Assoc., Environmentalists, Developer and Government. Our Community Of Musselman’s Lake is coming out a big winner in this uncharted territory.

In the first meeting between Mario Giampietri, President of Geranium Corporation and Rick Wigmore of the Musselman’s Lake Residents Association many community concerns and issues were discussed. Mr. Wigmore discussed the four main resident concerns revolving around Geranium’s proposed development on 12 acres on Lakeshore Road. Those concerns were 1) Density  2) Waterloo Biofilter Septic Sytems. 3) Water Flow across the property negatively affecting neighbouring homes 4) Increased Traffic Flow. Mr. Giampietri assured Mr. Wigmore that Geranium would investigate and address all the concerns which they subsequently did through Ms. Cheryl Shindruk Executive Vice President of Geranium Corporation.

(Click here for complete discussion of issues)

In the course of the conversation Mr. Giampietri expressed Geranium’s desire to be good corporate citizens in the communities in which they build and to only build the finest of communities. He asked if the residents had other concerns in the neighbourhood. Mr. Wigmore replied that water quality and weeds in Musselman’s Lake had always been a big topic of concern.

He asked if we had a Stewardship Plan to which Mr. Wigmore replied we did, but execution was hindered due to limited funding. He then offered the services of Dr. Neil Hutchinson head of Hutchinson Environmental to review our Stewardship plan at Geranium’s expense and to see what if anything could be done. Mr. Giampietri has worked with Dr. Hutchinson on a few projects and considers him one of the foremost experts on all things water in Ontario and our own Dr. Brian Laing concurs.

Click here for Dr. Hutchinson’s initial assessment of our existing Stewardship Plan.