Over his career spanning 32 years in the public sector, 24.5 of those years as the Director of Planning for the Township of Muskoka Lakes, Mr. Fahner was involved in the approval of numerous projects ranging from small cottage additions to major resort development proposals. In addition to the thousands of applications on individual cottage properties, the following is a sampling of other projects that fell within the purview of his position.

A number of marinas expanded during that timeframe in terms of wet slips, storage buildings, open storage areas, and length of docks. Some of these marinas included East Bay Marina, Port Sandfield Marina, Pride of Rosseau, Walker’s Point Marina, Windermere Marina, and Woodland Marina. Resorts were redeveloped with an eye to satisfying demands of the modern tourist in terms of unit sizes, recreational amenities, shoreline structures, architectural appearance, and unit ownership models. Resorts which underwent change and were evaluated by Mr. Fahner included: Cranberry Marsh Cove Resort, Lake Joseph Club, Red Leaves (J.W. Marriott), Shamrock Lodge, Sherwood Inn, and Windermere House.


The Communities also saw growth in Commercial developments. This included development in downtown areas and highway commercial areas. Compatible architecture while strengthening the communities was key. These projects included: Bala Foodland, Brown’s Landing, Muskoka Living, Muskoka Lumber, Peaks and Rafters, Port Carling Tap and Grill, Steamboat Bay, and Wallis Mill.

Other recreational activities grew such as golf courses and trailer parks. Mr. Fahner oversaw approvals and, in some cases, directly involved in long term site monitoring. Diamond in the Ruff, Muskoka Lakes Golf and Country Club, Oviinbyrd Golf Course, Port Carling Golf and Country Club, and The Rock are examples of golf courses that were constructed or expanded. Bala Woodlands, Inverness Trailer Park, and Sandlewood Trailer Park were all expanded or alternative development considered.


Although the development was dominated by single lot development, there were numerous plans of subdivision. Terrain analysis, density, road access, shoreline structures, tree preservation, environmental protection, Official Plan and zoning bylaw conformity were all considered in the approvals of the subdivisions. The notable subdivisions included: Acton Island, Bala Park Island, Joseph River, Kennedy Point, South Monck Drive, and Ziska Road.

Not all past projects were directly related to development. As the Director of Planning of the busiest municipality in cottage country, there were numerous projects that were undertaken for the municipality. The projects largely resulted in Official Plan policies and zoning bylaw provisions. The matters addressed included: Cumulative Impact, Dark Sky Lighting, Job Descriptions, Official Plan Review, Planning Department Handbook, Rooming Houses, Rural By-law, Sign By-law, Site Alteration By-law, Small Islands, Shoreline Structures, Shoreline Vegetative Buffer, Tree Preservation By-law, Water and Sewer Service Tracking, Waterfront Contractors, Waterfront Landings, and Waterfront Density.