Oxtongue Lake Community Centre

3979 Highway 60, Oxtongue Lake, P0A 1H0

Tel: 705-635-2916

The Oxtongue Lake Community Centre, originally built as a local school house in 1949, is our community’s main gathering place (it became our community centre on October 5th, 1966).   It has a capacity of 70 people (50 upstairs).

The community centre can be rented on an individual or group basis for parties (including rain date back-up), classes, weekly get-togethers, meetings and socials.

Rentals are made by contacting the Township, through the Dorset Recreation Centre, specifically Melissa Alfano.  Telephone: 705-766-9968 Email: drc@algonquinhighlands.ca

Rates for the community centre vary depending on the purpose, number of people attending and if you would like the use of the kitchen.  Please see the Algonquin Highlands website for the most up-to-date rates.

You will be required to fill out a form, make a deposit (mail a cheque or drop it off in Dorset or with a credit card over the phone).  If you are having a special event, or if alcohol is being served, insurance will also be required.  A meeting or small gathering with no alcohol will not require insurance.  Once received they will get in contact with you and tell you how you may get the key.

Below is a list of common questions and corresponding answers.

Oxtongue Lake Community Centre

Is there wifi or telephone?

There has been a phone recently installed: 705-635-2916.   Wifi has been installed at the Fire Hall which gives a limited range to the Community Centre. Currently reception is best in the parking lot.  A request has been made to get an extender to obtain better service within the Community Centre itself.

What facilities are available?

There is a fully equipped kitchen, with dishes, cutlery, pots, pans etc. including a dishwasher.  There is enough to accommodate 50 people.

There are new folding tables and chairs (also for 50 people).

Downstairs there are two newly renovated washrooms.

All items within the Community Centre must stay in the Community Centre and are included in the rental fee.

There is also the ability to rent certain equipment not currently in the Community Centre (like PA’s), if under special circumstances, directly from the township.  These items and circumstances can be discussed directly with Melissa Alfano.

How do I get the key?

Once you have been in contact with Melissa, she will act as the coordinator between you and our local resident Tom Smith, who is the key custodian.

Oxtongue Lake Community Centre Committee (OLCCC) is a committee of council – What does that mean?

A committee of council means that it is a township committee, that reports to council every month through the director of Parks and Recreation.  It is the committee that advocates and arranges for the upkeep of the Community Centre property and any enhancements.  This committee is made up of members that are current council members, township staff, and members of our community.  It is an important distinction to make that the OLCCC, while community driven, is a township committee and not an OLA committee.  At events you will hear which are put on by the OLCCC, like Canada Day, and those which are put on by other community organizations.

What is the role of the Oxtongue Lake Association in the community centre?

Nothing! The association has no role in anything to do with administration, programming, rules or facilities of the Community Centre or even the OLCCC.  The OLA must rent and pay deposits to the Township, just like everyone else.  The OLA however does have a close relationship with Township, and the OLCCC.

I have a suggestion or enhancement for the Community Centre - Who do I go to?

Any suggestions or enhancements you may have for the Community Centre can be presented directly to an OLCCC member.  You may also make suggestions to the OLA so that it may make recommendations to the OLCCC on your or the community’s behalf.

My event is for members of the community - can it be free or at a reduced rate?

The Community Centre can be rented free of charge if the Township assumes responsibility for the event.  The OLCCC, being a committee of council may propose/sponsor events, such as our Canada Day Event.

Is the community centre wheelchair accessible?

Not at the moment, but we are hoping the back entrance of the Community Centre will become wheelchair accessible at some point.

What are some of the recent improvements?

The OLCCC has been hard at work.  Some of the recent additions have been a telephone, updated kitchen, new tables and chairs, newly renovated bathrooms on the downstairs level and freshly painted main floor.  Outdoor upgrades include some new landscaping, the Casson mural, and approval for installing the OLAC Outdoor Exhibit.

Current plans are underway to upgrade the electrical systems, wheelchair accessibility and continual improvement of the landscaping.

What was this about the Community Centre almost closing in 2008?

There had been concerns back in 2008 that the Township of Algonquin Highlands was going to close our beloved Community Centre.  The Centre is Oxtongue’s gathering place and has been a historical landmark.  The Oxtongue Lake Association with it’s many residents and cottagers, bonded together to ensure that this valuable institution was kept (this was also the birth of the OLCCC).  Fortunately the township concurred with our views.  We as a community however, need to make frequent use of this amazing facility to ensure continued Township support.

What is the history of the Community Centre?

We encourage you to read Facts & Fables of Oxtongue Lake.  An excerpt of which is “In 1948, the property for the school was purchased from James McClymont (part of C. Nunn’s original land grant).  Agu. Peterson, having submitted a tender of $8230.99, was contracted to build the school.  (It is one of three schools built in the beautiful stone design in Ontario). Thirty-two students were on the attendance list when the school opened in September of 1949 with Violet Mince as teacher again.  In the early 1960’s the enrolment increased sufficiently to necessitate a second classroom.  The basement was renovated to accommodate a class for the large number of students, (enrolment reached as high as 53 students).  The enrolment dropped by the mid 1960’s and the school closed in June of 1966 as only 16 students attended that year.  The students from Oxtongue Lake were bussed Irwin Memorial Public School in Dwight.  The school became the Oxtongue Lake Community Centre on October 5th, 1966.”