Algonquin Park Residents Association
The Algonquin Park Residents Association (APRA) was founded in 1968 as a not-for-profit. The mission is to represent the interests of leaseholders while supporting the protection and preservation of the natural beauty and wildlife of Algonquin Park. As well, APRA supports access to the recreational facilities of Algonquin for all. We acknowledge that the land on which we hold our leases is the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation, and the Nippissing, Chippewa and Mississauga nations through the Williams Treaty and the Robinson-Huron Treaty. On behalf of leaseholders, APRA liaisons with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks and with the staff of Algonquin Park. APRA has spearheaded and supported many environmental initiatives (including the Friends of Algonquin) over the years and continues to do so.
APRA is managed by a volunteer Executive elected by the membership and volunteer representation from each of the leaseholder lakes. Membership is open to all leaseholders and their families.
Currently there are 297 leases, most directly along the highway 60 corridor.
The majority of leaseholders are families that have been there for generations. Leases in Algonquin were purchased by families of modest means when the government was encouraging the opening up of the Algonquin Park during the thirties to late fifties as a result of highway 60 providing access. Many leaseholder families are now in their fifth or even sixth generation.
Along the shores of Canoe, Smoke, Cache, Rock, Whitefish, Source and a handful of other lakes, you will see modest cottages that mostly blend into the darkness of the forest. The majority of cottages are water access only with only a few having hydro. Woodstoves, fireplaces, kerosene lamps, propane fridges and stoves are the essentials. Some cottages have now moved to small solar systems for lighting and the pumping of water. Our residents have strongly supported restrictions on the size of boat motors and the prohibiting of water sports activities such as skidoos and water skiing. This results in a serene and quiet environment - a very different cottage experience than in most parts of Ontario.
Cottagers in Algonquin have a long history of providing a helping hand and rescuing people in trouble. From providing directions to lost canoeists, providing medical attention or sheltering those caught in a storm our members pride themselves on being important ambassadors for the Algonquin Park community.
The leaseholders of Algonquin are advocates of a simple cottage experience with development and upgrades being minimal. The Ministry has strict limitations on any construction or development. Our community has strived over the years to be a model for minimal environmental impact cottaging in Ontario and continues to look for new ways to enhance and support the natural environment within iconic Algonquin Park.
We have several authors and historians from our residents past and present e.g. Donald Beauprie, Gaye Clemson and Roderick MacKay. Books on Algonquin can be found at Friends of Algonquin store and online at Algonquin Park Heritage.