View topic - Problems with Bushy Bay portage to Matagamasi/Chiniguchi

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PostPosted: August 6th, 2019, 1:53 pm 
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Hello All!

Just got back from a trip in Chiniguchi, and ran into an unpleasant problem with cottage owners in the area, FYI for others to be aware of:

- On Ottertooth, they indicate a short 100m portage as the main portage to take from Bushy Bay to Matagamasi:

http://ottertooth.com/Temagami/Sites/chini4.htm

- But, the landing on the Bushy Bay side is now private property, owned by the cottage across the road.

- The short 10m walk to the road seems innocuous, nothing on the land, you would think not a problem (the piece of land is too small to build anything on it). There is a chain and 'private property' sign facing the road (not the water), but I guessed it was to prevent boaters from using the land to launch boats.

- I've used that short bit of land to cross over, then west on the road, to the public land farther on to get onto Matagamasi for many years.

- Well, on this last trip, as we walked down, the cottage owner came out yelling and screaming at us, and another canoeist family coming into the landing, saying, "Who told you could use this land?" Repeating it, obviously very angry.

- I had no idea this was an issue, and tried to move on, apologize, and move on, but she would not let it go, really up in arms about it. We simply ignored her, loaded up, and pushed off, to be told by another cottager the 10m portage is on private land, etc.

- Looking at the Crown Land atlas, sadly it appears ALL the land around Bushy Bay is now private:

http://www.gisapplication.lrc.gov.on.ca ... cale=en-US

- The other canoeists going in simply went to the landing in that bay on the west shore, which was not roped off, but is also private land from the atlas.

- The old Crystal Portage appears to have a landing as well nestled in the cottages... and is on private land as well.

Anyway, FYI, some nasty cottage owners with a pickle stuck in a bad place! Avoid!

I tried to post this on ottertooth, but their registration site seems down, oddly.

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PostPosted: August 7th, 2019, 7:29 am 
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Location: Courtice Ont
The ottertooth reg has been down for some time now. You have to email the administrator of the site (should be a link to click on the ottertooth home page) and he will register your username, give you a temp password and your gtg.

You should post this on ottertooth, people there would be anxious to hear of your experience. If not I would be more than happy to copy your thread and post for you. Love to hear about the rest of your trip, route, portages etc etc.


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PostPosted: August 7th, 2019, 12:14 pm 
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Location: n/e ontario
The land of 220 portage on Ottertooth Map has been purchased by the Sudbury Trail Plan (skidoos). I'm pretty sure they are OK with canoeists. If not, this needs to be brought to MNRF or??? preserving the right of passage.
As I understand it, travellers are permitted to walk across historic portages when they have changed into private land. You may leave your stuff at one end and the other, but only for as long as it takes to cross. No swimming, resting, lunch, stepping off the trail....


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PostPosted: August 7th, 2019, 2:39 pm 
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red pine wrote:
The land of 220 portage on Ottertooth Map has been purchased by the Sudbury Trail Plan (skidoos). I'm pretty sure they are OK with canoeists. If not, this needs to be brought to MNRF or??? preserving the right of passage.
As I understand it, travellers are permitted to walk across historic portages when they have changed into private land. You may leave your stuff at one end and the other, but only for as long as it takes to cross. No swimming, resting, lunch, stepping off the trail....



I was trying to find a link to the municipality of west Nippissing GIS website- but haven't had success (or spent a lot of time looking). I can't help but to think that if the land was so narrow it would be a municipal road allowance?
Typically municipal GIS websites can confirm ownership as on the atlas they show up as private property.

I don't think MNRF is the one that has a say over use of portages. I think Transport Canada- Navigable Waters Protection Program is the better bet. https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs-621.html I would contact them myself, but feel someone here is likely more versed in discussing the nature of the portage, location, historic use etc. as I have never used this access.


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PostPosted: August 8th, 2019, 8:17 am 
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Thanks everyone for the replies and input on this.

I have managed to recover my old Ottertooth account and post this there as well.

Good to hear the old 'Crystal portage' route has been purchased by the Sudbury Trail Plan: that means it can be used by canoeists for sure without getting people up in arms. I saw that landing area paddling up, but was unsure about it.

One reason I use that portage is to park at the lot for Lakeland Lodge on Wanapetei Lake. The owners there are wonderful, always happy to accommodate canoeists, and have always charged $2/day! Just call them to get the gate combination lock number (the lot if safely gated), leave the money in a ziplock on the windshield! I am concerned about vandalism parking at the government lot, since it is not very big and generates friction with cottagers. It only adds 30 minutes or so of paddling, so this is worth it. Other than nutty cottage owners!

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PostPosted: August 13th, 2019, 10:41 am 
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Weird... We crossed that portage years back when looping off Wanapitei. No issue then.

I've had a few riled up cottagers get in my face about trail usage before. I've often just cited navigable waters act and asked if their real estate agent informed them about rights of passage when they purchased. I don't have the legal backing or understanding, but this seems enough to derail the conversation until I can reload the canoe and go. We single trip so as to be a quick and efficient as possible - and not to leave stuff they can keep for ransom :roll:

Just hope they're not a crazed gun type - I've been threatened at gun point in the states before. Now THAT was wild.

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PostPosted: August 16th, 2019, 5:24 pm 
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Portage right-of-passage issues such as this are (well, should be...) dealt with by MNRF under section 65-4 (I believe) of the Public Lands Act. Getting them to enforce the act is near impossible based on both personal experience and past court cases. I'm unaware of a case that has been decided in favour of canoeists.
FYI, Chiniguchi is within the municipality of Sudbury, not West Nipissing.
Hope this helps,
DoubleBend


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PostPosted: August 16th, 2019, 5:51 pm 
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Relevant section of the Public Lands Act reads:
Right of passage over portages
(4) Where public lands over which a portage has existed or exists have been heretofore or are hereafter sold or otherwise disposed of under this or any other Act, any person travelling on waters connected by the portage has the right to pass over and along the portage with the person’s effects without the permission of or payment to the owner of the lands, and any person who obstructs, hinders, delays or interferes with the exercise of such right of passage is guilty of an offence. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.43, s. 65 (4); 2000, c. 26, Sched. L, s. 9 (11).


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PostPosted: August 16th, 2019, 5:53 pm 
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I've also never heard of a landowner who obstructed, hindered, delayed or interfered with a portaging canoeist being charged, let alone convicted...


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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2019, 8:12 pm 
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Location: Peterborough
DoubleBend wrote:
Relevant section of the Public Lands Act reads:
Right of passage over portages
(4) Where public lands over which a portage has existed or exists have been heretofore or are hereafter sold or otherwise disposed of under this or any other Act, any person travelling on waters connected by the portage has the right to pass over and along the portage with the person’s effects without the permission of or payment to the owner of the lands, and any person who obstructs, hinders, delays or interferes with the exercise of such right of passage is guilty of an offence. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.43, s. 65 (4); 2000, c. 26, Sched. L, s. 9 (11).


So the question really is: was the land "public land" belonging to the province of ontario before sold-as such would have been covered by the public lands act provision quoted OR was it municipally owned land which is considered private land for the purposes of the applicability of the act as such the provisions of the PLA would not apply.


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PostPosted: September 6th, 2019, 7:05 am 
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Location: n/e ontario
The Crystal Portage used to be a mining property, back in the day when such land was given patented status. The mine was shut down long long ago, and the property essentially abandoned. Until a speculator bought that land just as it was reverting to Crown. Then subdivided and sold as cottage lots.
The lot with the portage was one of the last to be bought.


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