Huntsville is defined by the natural elements of the area. Its lakes, forests and wildlife play a prominent part of the Town’s identityHuntsville recognizes its role in protecting its natural beauty and encouraging everyone that lives, works and plays in the Town to be a good environmental steward.

Huntsville’s Changing Climate 

The climate in Huntsville and the Muskoka Region is changing, and climate change is currently and projected to continue to affect the region in many ways.

In a high emissions scenario, Huntsville’s annual average temperature could go from 4.9 °C to 11.4 °C for the last 30 years of this century. This means the projected change in mean number of +30 °C days could go from 4.7 to 17.4, a change of nearly 13 days.  Under a high emissions scenario, the average annual precipitation is projected to be 18% higher for the last 30 years of this century. *Data is from the Climate Data Canada and Climate Atlas of Canada 

The Town continues to recognize the importance of climate action to mitigate and adapt while helping its residents and businesses to become more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate.

Council declared a climate emergency on June 28, 2021, and has been working with the District of Muskoka and Area Municipalities to meet the Federal emission targets of at least 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

A declaration of Climate Emergency is a resolution passed by a governing body such as a Town Council. It puts the local government on record in support of emergency action to respond to climate change and recognizes the pace and scale of action needed.

More than 2,000 jurisdictions and local governments around the world representing more than one billion citizens have made Climate Emergency Declarations, including most major cities in Canada and the Government of Canada.


  • Huntsville’s Climate is changing and will continue to change until heat trapping greenhouse gas (GHG) levels in the atmosphere start to decline (see Muskoka Greenhouse Gas Initiative).
  • The Town of Huntsville is part of the District of Muskoka’s Climate Change Mitigation Taskforce (CCMT) and is working on a strategy for the implementation of a Community GHG reduction plan.

5 Ways You Can Take Action on Climate Change

  1. Take the bus and other forms of public transit when you can for traveling long distances.
  2. Reduce car trips by using active transportation (walking, cycling and rolling) for traveling short distances.
  3. Be mindful of how the food you buy is packaged and transported and try to eat foods that are local and in-season (a local project uses an indoor hydroponic modular farm with climate control technology to produce food year-round).
  4. Start a type of garden with native species of plants, trees, and shrubs (pollinator garden, vegetable garden, rain garden, shade garden).
  5. Take time to learn about and appreciate nature and respect and acknowledge the land and wildlife where you live.
  • Climate change is a risk multiplier. From flooding to heat waves, winter storms to drought and wildfires, it poses increased risks to communities.

  • In 2023 Council adopted the Regional Climate Change and Adaptation Plan (ReCAP), which contains 30 recommendations that form the framework to help build resiliency to climatic changes, such as extreme weather and floods.



As a municipality, the Town of Huntsville is committed to reducing our climate change impacts by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) related to municipal operations including buildings, vehicles and waste.


In 2022, the District of Muskoka installed and commissioned a 3-acre solar farm at the Golden Pheasant WTP. It is expected to cover 5% of the District’s total energy use through a net metering approach (see Golden Pheasant Solar Generation Net Metering Project for further details).


Home Energy Retrofits

In 2021, Clean Air Partnership received $175,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Green Municipal Fund (GMF) for a feasibility study to develop locally-tailored home energy retrofit financing programs in partnership with the County of Dufferin, the City of London, the City of Barrie and the Town of Huntsville (see Town of Huntsville Market Analysis and Program Design Report)


Energy Reporting

In February of 2023, the Provincial Government introduced Ontario Regulation 25/23 (O.Reg. 25/23) – which supersedes the previous O.Reg. 397/11 and O.Reg.507/18 under the Electricity Act, 1998.

This regulation requires certain public agencies – Municipalities, Municipal Service Boards, School Boards, Post-Secondary Educational Institutions, and Hospitals – to report on their energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually. This also mandates that public agencies develop, and update every five (5) years, an Energy Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) Plan.  

The intent of this regulation is to help the broader public sector (BPS) organizations better understand and report their energy consumption, help benchmark, encourage energy conservation and demand management activities within their organizations, and then ultimately make this information available to its public. (See Town of Huntsville Updated Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan).

In 2020, the District landfilled over 32,000 tonnes of garbage with the average person in Muskoka throwing out approximately 344 kilograms of waste.

The Town of Huntsville recognizes it has a unique role to play in accelerating the transition to a circular economy from a linear economy.

In a circular economy, products and packaging are designed to minimize waste and then be recovered, reused, recycled and reintegrated back into production. There is no longer the line: produce, consume and then throw it away (see District of Muskoka Recycling).

Single-Use Plastics
  • Plastics are mostly single use items; therefore they benefit a linear based economy. Single use plastics are used in convenience items such as straws, stirrers, cups, bottles, food containers, bags, etc. and, as the name implies, are typically used once and then discarded.
  • Microplastics are small but harmful plastic particles that come from the breakdown of plastic materials and can damage Muskoka’s lakes, rivers, fish and wildlife.
  • The federal government has banned some hard-to-recycle plastics, as part of its goal to reach zero plastic waste by 2030.
  • The first phase of the ban has already come into effect, prohibiting the manufacture and import for sale of six single-use plastics. This includes checkout bags, cutlery, food service ware made from, or containing, problematic plastics that are hard to recycle, stir sticks, and straws, with the exception to accommodate people who need them. (see Fact sheet: Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations).
Organic Waste Diversion
Recycling Electronics and Batteries
  • Keep electronic waste, batteries, and their unsafe chemicals out of the landfill by recycling them instead.
  • Drop your dead batteries off at the: Canada Summit Centre, Algonquin Theatre, Civic Centre and Huntsville Public Library (See also Battery Recycling Locations and District of Muskoka Electronic Waste Drop-Off).


Dark Friendly Sky
The Town of Huntsville encourages all residents to minimize light pollution in and around the municipality. In 2016, Council passed an Outdoor Lighting Bylaw.
Healthy Natural Environments
  • Trees provide a number of services for communities including habitat for species, increasing biodiversity, sequestering carbon dioxide, retaining water and providing shade. 
  • The Town of Huntsville has a municipal tree policy to help preserve the urban tree canopy.
  • The Town of Huntsville Community Planning Permit By-law contains study requirements and a list of conditions of approval or provisional approval that may be required including: A tree inventory and preservation plan including identification of trees on the site 5 years prior to the application and a plan for the identification, protection, maintenance and enhancement of existing trees and other vegetation, including the restoration or replacement of vegetation where removed. 
  • The Town of Huntsville discourages feeding wildlife like deer or leaving food out that bears and other animals like raccoons can get into, as they can become food conditioned and habituated (see Feeding wildlife: dos and don’ts and Be Bear Wise).
Natural Shorelines

The Natural Edge Program and the Love Your Lake Program offered by the Muskoka Watershed Council, is for waterfront property owners hoping to re-naturalize their shoreline assesses the health of their lake.


Invading Invasives
  • There are several invasive species that are threatening Muskoka’s biodiversity, including phragmites, Japanese knotweed and spiny water flea.  Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, established Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program (ISAP) to address the increasing threats posed by invading species in Ontario.
  • Remember to Clean, Drain, Dry - Aquatic invasive plants, animals, and diseases can spread through water-based recreation when they cling to watercrafts and gear.
Biting Insect Prevention

The Town reminds residents that many parks have planned naturalized areas intentionally left to grow wild. Please, keep to pathways to enjoy non-wild walks and avoid ticks. (see Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Lyme Disease and Ticks).

Practice the 4 Ds for reducing mosquito risks (see Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit West Nile Virus):

  1. Drain your property of unwanted standing water

  2. Dusk/dawn: take extra care at these times

  3. Dress appropriately: wear light-coloured, loose fitting clothing with long sleeves

  4. Defend against mosquito bites by using mosquito repellents