About our Website

The Muskoka Ratepayers launched a new website last year.  We want to make this site valuable to you as members, and welcome suggestions for improvements or information that you would like to see there.  You can contact us by email at website-suggestions@muskokaratepayers.ca

This page will contain information about the site and how to use it effectively.  Information will come out in a monthly update to our members, and will be added to this page as time goes on.

The following Table of Contents should make it easier to find the information you want, particularly as this page grows in content:

Home Page Content

This section focuses on the content of the home page, but note that there is much more information available on the site, though there are many “links” to that information from the home page.

In the following, we will refer to “sections” or panels of the home page, starting at the top. Note that the top two sections and the bottom section appear on all our web pages, and these sections will be described in more detail in future newsletters:

  • A blue section that provides access to your membership information
  • A white section that contains easy ways to “navigate” around the site
  • A pictured section with our purpose, links to membership, and an indication of whether you are logged on or not
  • An optional green section with links to very recent events such as the budget or alerts to conditions in Muskoka
  • A white section with links to various events and meetings in the Township; District or Ratepayer events
  • A pictured section related to some of the benefits of membership
  • A white section with summaries of the four most recent articles and publication from the Ratepayers
  • A white social media section
  • An orange section for new members
  • A dark blue section at the bottom of the page with links to various sections of the web site, a quick way to retrieve past articles by month

Navigating the Website

The home page offers links to specific areas of the site. The top two “bands” are present on every web page, and provide easy access to all parts of the site; The blue band at the very top provides the following:

  • The first item (Membership) in the blue bar at the top allows you learn how to join or renew membership in the Ratepayers
  • The “Member Account” allows you to log in, to log out, and review and change your information (address, phone, email, etc., or to change your password. It also allows you to check your membership status and past payments

The white band provides the following:

  • Clicking on our Logo will always bring you back to the home page
  • The next items are “menus” or “navigation” aids and if you “hover” (put your cursor over) will display more specific items
    • “Get Involved” lets you go directly to areas of the site that offer suggestions of how you can work with the Ratepayers, delegate to Council, run for elected office, and suggestions how we can all act to preserve the Muskoka we love
    • “Publications” provides access to articles that the Ratepayers have produced, election 2022 information, and a section on what the successful candidates for office said before they were elected
    • “Upcoming Events” provides access to the upcoming and previous events that occur in the Township, District, etc.
    • “About” provides access to information about the Ratepayers, its Board of Directors, how to contact us, and a list of our elected members from the Township, District, Province, and Federal
    • “Log In / Out” provides a quick way to do so
    • The “magnifying glass” at the right is a search facility, and allows you to search our site for just about anything

The other band that appears on all pages is at the bottom, and provides the following:

  • Our Logo which always takes you back to the home page
  • Links that take you to key areas of the site (publications, contact us, etc.)
  • A search box that lets you retrieve articles by month and going back many years
  • An area to log in (if you are not)

Logging In to our Site – Why, When, and How

The Ratepayers are proud of our new web site, and much of the content is available to anyone.  However, as members, you get exclusive access to several features, including:

  • The ability to view and update your records (e.g. address, phone, passwords, etc.
  • The ability to renew your membership totally online, or by any other method you chose
  • The ability to view an online version of Township Watch

There are a variety of ways to Log In to our web site.  The image below is from our home page and allows you to log in in several different ways.

  • In the far upper right in the blue band is an area labelled :”Member Account”. If you hover your cursor over that, there is an option to Log In which will take you to to a Log In page.
  • There is also a navigation item on the line beside our logo that is labelled “Log In”.  Press that and be taken to the Log In page

On the Log In page (below), enter your username (your email address) and your password. To view your password, click on the “eye” symbol at the right. If you have forgotten your password, click on the link that says “Forgot Password” and enter your email address. You will receive a reset confirmation email shortly with a link to go back to our web site to enter your new password. It is prudent to use a password which is at least 8 characters in length, includes alphabetic and numeric characters, one capitalized letter and a special character (e.g. $)

Finding Stuff on our Website

The website provides several ways to find information. The two primary ones include:

  • The Navigation Menus
  • The Search capability

The Navigation menus were covered in the April Monthly Summary. This issue will focus on the search capability.

In the upper right-hand corner of every screen, there is a symbol looking like a magnifying glass. Click on that symbol, and enter any word or phrase. Some things to remember:

  • Search words are case insensitive (i.e. bala, Bala, BALA, etc all return the same results)
  • If you enter more than one word, all words must be present. For example, if you enter “short” (without the quotes) you will get all articles that have “short” in the text; if you enter “short term”, the results must include “short’ and “term”.
  • Any single word returns results if the characters in that word are found somewhere in he article – “bala” will return results for Bala, balanced, balaclava, etc. If you are interested in articles about the town of Bala, include the search term in quotes and leave a space after the search text – “bala “

There is yet another way to search if you are looking through any of the Publications (Township Watch, Articles, Yearbooks, etc).. We have “tagged” many articles regarding its content. To search articles by “tag”, click on the “Publications” menu, and click on the “down arrow” where it says “All Tags” A list of tags should appear. Select the one you want, and click Submit. Of course, you can also enter the search term in the Search Box just above the tags.

The Event Calendar

The Ratepayers post upcoming events, activities and meetings on our website. These are classified as follows:

  • Muskoka Ratepayer events
  • Township of Muskoka Lake events
  • District of Muskoka Events
  • Community events

Events may be found under the tab labelled “Upcoming Events” on the Home (or any) page. If you click on the Upcoming Events label, you will see the events of all types that are coming up shortly. If you select one of the four types of the events, you will see all the events (e.g. for the Township) for the current month with a brief note of the event and date and time.

If you click on any particular event, you will get many more details about that event including:

  • The start time and duration of the event
  • Its location
  • A phone number
  • Whether it is an “in person” event and / one that you can view online during the meeting or at some later time of your choosing