The Unity Plan is Huntsville's Guide to a Sustainable Future. It tells about our town's promise to living in a way that thinks about the balance between people, planet and profit.

Click through the photos to learn about some of the projects that make Huntsville a better place to live. 

Environment and reducing pollution

Battery recycling program

Keep 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
  • Huntsville Public Library

Even better: save batteries from your school or office and bring them in for recycling.

Don't feed the deer

In most winters, deer simply do not need food from humans as they can cope with winter conditions just fine. Part of the beauty and responsibility that comes with living in Muskoka is living alongside wildlife. Appreciate deer from a distance.

Request a copy of the brochure.

Earth hour

Every year in March, people around the world show they care about the environment by turning off anything electronic in their home for an hour. Some celebrate with board games by the light of glow sticks. Others go out to gaze at the stars or to a neighbourhood event. Visit the Earth Hour website.

Earth week

Earth Day happens every year on April 22nd but the Town has events all week long! Join us for crafts and stories at the Huntsville Public Library, a compost giveaway and Seedy Saturday event.

Idling

The environment and the air we breathe is important to keep clean. A vehicle that idles for extended periods of time impacts this by:

  • Wasting fuel and producing unnecessary carbon dioxide; the main greenhouse gas that causes to climate change

How residents can help

  • When your engine is turned off you can save money, protect your engine and prevent climate change
  • Please respect the anti-idling by-law and ask us if you have questions

Exemptions

  • Emergency vehicles; and those assisting in an emergency
  • Vehicles that remain motionless because of an emergency, traffic, weather conditions or mechanical difficulties over which the driver has no control
  • Vehicles transporting a person for medical reasons where the person requires the temp or humidity to be maintained
  • Mobile workshops

Kids' bike rodeo

Make sure that your kids are safe for the cycling season every June. They will ride their bikes through stations that help them get better at their biking skills. Volunteers and police officers will teach them about the rules of the road.

Mayor's bike ride

Join the Mayor every June for an evening 12-km bike ride through the streets of Huntsville. This event is fun, fee and family-friendly. Bring your bike, helmet and enthusiasm for cycling!

Orchard park apple picking festival

Enjoy the fruits of summer with a family trip to Orchard Park to pick apples. Bring a basket or a bag for the apples you collect and your friends in late August – we supply the apple-picking tools.

Outdoor lighting

We love our night skies and a nice view of the stars here in Huntsville. If you're from the city, this might be something you rarely get to experience. We want to keep Huntsville attractive and minimize light pollution. This helps protect our beautiful natural environment.

Types of outdoor lighting

  • Outdoor fixtures
  • Open water lights
  • Holiday lighting

Benefits

By using only the energy we need, removing harsh lights, and being sensitive to the environment, we can have:

  • Lower energy bills
  • Safer environment
  • Friendly neighbour relations
  • Better quality of life

How residents can help

  • When you buy or install new outdoor fixtures, please comply with the outdoor lighting by-law
  • Property owners with existing outdoor lighting have until January 2026 to bright the lighting into compliance

Next steps

We began making changes by replacing streetlights in town with LED. These now comply with dark sky recommendations. Follow our lead and make sure your lighting is dark sky friendly before it is required in 2026.

More about light pollution

Visit the International Dark-Sky Association website.

Residential waste

Huntsville is a beautiful town with many natural resources we like to protect. Our clean yard by-law is in place to help avoid properties from getting messy and out of control.

Types of residential waste

  • Garbage
  • Waste materials
  • Dead or damaged trees
  • Stagnant water
  • Uncut grass
  • Improper composting facilities
  • Unsafe property conditions
  • Inoperative vehicles

How residents can help

  • Keep your yard clean and clear of waste and clutter
  • Use the disposal methods offered by the District of Muskoka
  • Please refrain from littering

Disposal

Huntsville and area has a number of landfill and transfer stations, operated by the District of Muskoka. Visit our garbage, recycling and waste page for collection and drop off details.

Sharrows

These markings attract cyclists and remind two-wheeled and four-wheeled road users to share the road with each other. When we are polite towards other road users, the roads are a safe place to drive and cycle.

Smoking

Tobacco smoke is hazardous to the health of our people and our planet. The Town of Huntsville has a smoke free by-law which asks that smokers respect the environment of other residents and visitors and refrain from smoking on Town property and facilities, including parks/trails/beaches.

How residents can help

  • Please respect the requirements of the smoke free by-law
  • When smoking tobacco, please stay nine (9) metres back from any entrance, exit, building opening of any Town facility, including:
    • Parkland
    • Playground
    • Sports field
    • Spectator seating area
    • Ice surface

Streetlight conversion to L.E.D.

L.E.D. streetlights use less energy than the ones they replaced. This means less electricity costs and less greenhouse gas emissions. They also cost less to maintain and provide a safer level of lighting in our town.

Trees

Before considering tree removal, please consider the environment. Our trees provide us with valuable oxygen. 

If the tree must be removed, make sure to confirm the location of your property lines. This is to ensure that the tree is not on a neighbouring property or public land.

Town of Huntsville does not have a tree cutting by-law.

Carbon Calculator

What is a carbon footprint? Why is climate change an important topic? What does it mean to live sustainably? Check out the carbon calculator page.

Energy

Energy Consumption

Through Ontario Regulation 397-11, the Ontario provincial government requires that municipalities report energy consumption from their buildings that use electricity and that are heated and/or cooled. These reports are due each year on July 1. Town of Huntsville submissions:

Energy Conservation

Each municipality must submit an Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan, or CDM. The CDM is a 5-year plan to reduce energy use in Town buildings that use electricity and that are heated and/or cooled (i.e. the buildings for which we report energy consumption in the list above). In 2014, Council approved the Town of Huntsville Energy Conservation & Demand Management Plan (2014-2019). In 2019, the Town must submit a revised CDM.