30 Jul
2014
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Nooks and Crannies

One of the cool things I love about exploring the Muskoka lakes are the abundance of hidden channels, islands and private bays, the nooks and crannies so to speak. Year after year I try to archive these places in my head, kind of like learning the streets around a neighborhood. For some reason it is very difficult for my brain to process these places in any uniform manner. Trying to recall exactly where I am, whats up ahead or even remembering if I have been here before proves to be difficult. ( and I’m sure I have been everywhere at least once) Of course there are significant markers like that island of weird birds, the 7-slip boathouse or that shallow bay where I sucked up a rock on my Seadoo.

LakeJosephChannel_600 to be



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

28 Jul
2014
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Celebrating 10 Summers!

We are celebrating 10 summers at our Muskoka sanctuary. It seems like we just arrived. A team effort created these sweet raspberry Martinis as a pre-dinner cocktail on the dock. The photo was processed using an iPad and run through the Camera+ app. Cheers Y’all

image!



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

23 Jul
2014
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Rejuvination

Ahhh … Jumping off a dock into a cool Canadian lake. Is there anything as refreshing?

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

15 Jul
2014
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Fairy Island

I have been cruising around Lake Joseph for the past decade or so always discovering interesting places. I find Lake Joe to have a lot of hidden areas especially the islands once you get towards the north end of the lake. I believe if my coordinates are right this place is Fairy Island.  Waterfront property is very expensive in Muskoka and you don’t often find places that are boarded up like this one. I suspect some time in the future we will see this place refreshed to something more beautiful.

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In: boathouses of muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

08 Jul
2014
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Shelter from the Storm

I would like to thank the owners of this boathouse, whomever you are. While traveling down the Joe River recently with a group including kids we got caught in a wicked thunder, lightning and torrential rain storm. It came upon us so quickly with the lightning  blasting around us! The wind and rain blew so hard I couldn’t dock the boat so I ended up jumping in the lake and pulling the boat in. Just as we landed another boat arrived with 4 teenagers that were visibly shaken. Fortunately the boathouse was open as we waited for the storm to clear. Someone from the cottage came down later to see if we were OK. Our apologies for the intrusion and thank you for the shelter!

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In: boathouses of muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

01 Jul
2014
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Happy Canada Day, Eh

Hey hosers, hope you had a great Canada Day. This flag once flew over the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and now we are proud to fly it at our cottage every year on Canada day. I think these beautiful flags adorn parliament for about a week and then offer them to the public. You can apply here to get one but I should warn you its currently a 42 year waiting list. We received ours through secret Ninja sources.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

24 Jun
2014
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Farewell Goldie and Kurt

Its no secret that the beloved Goldie Hawn and partner Kurt Russell have been long term poster celebs in Muskoka. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting them myself however I have talked to others that have and my impression is they are very cool people. For over a decade they have been seen in different communities shopping, dining, playing golf and generally enjoying the Muskoka life just like everyone else. Last week while scanning the real estate listings I noticed that their beautiful cottage on Lake Rosseau has come on the market. Farewell Goldie and Kurt.

Curious at what $6M gets you? Have a peek here. http://bit.ly/1iVlCVz

Goldie and Kurts cottage in MuskokaGoldieand Kurt-1

photo source: Reuters/ Phil McCarten



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

17 Jun
2014
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Gone Fishing

I passed by the Severn River on the way home from the cottage on Fathers Day and noticed these fishermen in the rapids. This is the area after the falls where it flows into Georgian Bay.

The central Ontario Severn River is 30 km or about 19 mi long. The river services many cottagers mostly only accessible by boat.  The river sees many yachts and large cruisers traveling from Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe near Orillia to Georgian Bay, or vice-versa.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

11 Jun
2014
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Nail it!

I like to hire local companies and people when at the cottage. It may be trades, food or buying a new boat. I think its important to try and support the smaller local economies instead of bringing everything in from a large city. Lately there seems to be a growing trend of cottage owners who bring their resources in from out of town because they feel they are being ripped off or not serviced properly. This should be a warning sign for locals to step it up and service the people to a higher standard. Many do an excellent job however it takes a bit of weeding out to find the good ones.

Tip for the day.
Never trust your roofer when they say we swept your driveway for nails.

Nails_600



In: in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

05 Jun
2014
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Mary Lake

I don’t get a chance to travel up to the Huntsville or Lake of Bays area as often as I like. It is equally as beautiful as the areas around the big three lakes in Muskoka. I snapped this photo where the Muskoka River flows out of Mary Lake. There is a considerable amount of history on these lakes and they tend to be populated by quaint cottages instead of the ostentatious McMansions on the larger lakes. I highly recommend visits to the area.
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In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

28 May
2014
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Ferndale Now & Then

I have posted about Ferndale in the past however I thought I would provide an update as I recently found some old photos that show the size and scale of the property in its previous life. Ferndale is a very large property that used to be a resort that could take in hundreds of people. Later it became the Canadian Keswick Conference Centre a Christian leadership camp. Today Ferndale is a very extravagant and private cottage owned by one of Canada’s most successful home developers.

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The Canadian Keswick Conference Centre. I don’t have anyone to credit for the photo use as it was taken from a postcard posted on eBay. You can see from the view this is a sizable property and no doubt with sizable property taxes.
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Another photo from a post card. It appears to be a very popular place in its day holding up to 650 guests.

Canadian-Keswick1_600



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

21 May
2014
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Dead

I don’t have any cat rescuing children videos or cutsie dog pics however I do have this little fellow who whacked his noggin on the cottage window. I have been told that its a adult male Black-Throated Green Warbler. The poor guy didn’t make it.

Speaking of dead…. I spent the long weekend at the cottage and noticed that many places were still closed. As I drove into Port Carling Friday afternoon I noticed shops with the winter boards still on their windows. On Saturday I thought it would be a good idea to book dinner at the new Medora restaurant (formerly Rebecca’s) – nope – closed. Later in the day I drove by Clevelands House – A huge resort, closed. (Apparently they had roof damage from the heavy snow loads this winter) The local bakery – Closed.

Ok so I went by a local marina thinking surely it would be bustling with people gassing up and getting their boats. Nope – not a soul around, deadsville! We are talking about the Victoria Day long weekend, the May-two-four, the weekend that kicks off the summer season in Canada. I suppose it is the late spring, cold weather and high water levels that killed everything? I try not to be influenced by these sort of things and keep rolling along but it is an interesting observation. Umm welcome back – kinda.

DeadBird_600



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

14 May
2014
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Black Fly Song

It’s that time of the year and I hope you don’t have to endure these nasty little pests. I’m fortunate, in my location I rarely see them but as I get out to other parts of Muskoka I sometimes get swarmed to the point of near insanity. This little animated film is from the National Film Board and it is written and sung by Canadian folk singer Wade Hemsworth, with back-up vocals by the McGarrigle sisters.

Happy Victoria Day long weekend and please be mindful of the water, its still very cold.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

08 May
2014
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145 Years and counting

You know you can’t kick off the Muskoka cottage season without the obligatory Clevelands House photo. Can you believe they are entering their 145th year in business? As a country Canada is only 2 years older.  With the long brutally cold winter we just went through there is much anticipation in cherishing every summer moment before us.
ClevelandsView_600



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

23 Apr
2014
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The Old White Cross

I was driving around the Minett area recently hoping to get an updated photo of the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Morinus. I knew I could get a good view of Lake Rosseau from here and see the ice conditions at the same time. I’ve photographed this cool church a number of times mostly from the boat. Just down the road from the Church I noticed this interesting cemetery and stopped by for a visit.

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In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns

11 Apr
2014
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There are Signs

Looking out onto Lake Rosseau for the signs of spring. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Morinus, Ontario.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

26 Mar
2014
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Snow on the Ground, Ice Out & Cottage Life Show

Lots of talk as to when the ice will be out and concerns of flooding. One thing very noticeable on the Big 3 lakes is how low the water levels have dropped in anticipation of the spring run off. I don’t think I have ever seen it this low. With this years record snowfall I’m sure the pressure is on the Ministry to manage the levels very carefully. Here is an interesting chart published by Algonquin Park showing the accumulation of snow on the ground 2013 vs. 2014.

Don’t forget the Cottage Life show  this weekend March 28 -30, 2014 in Toronto.

snow_April2013_vs_April2014_w4_600



In: in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

13 Mar
2014
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The Essence of Nature

When you stand amongst the forest you can feel a transformation approaching. There is a certain softness, a stillness and a freshness permeating the air. It’s not obvious nor distinct but I sense it deeply embodied in my soul.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns

04 Mar
2014
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Snow Blanket on Lake Rosseau

The March lore – In like a lion and out like a lamb? Well we shall see. Lake Rosseau on a snowy day. Please click on the image for a biggie shot.
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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

25 Feb
2014
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A Change is Gonna Come

I don’t know about you but I’m ready for spring. I can’t wait for the lakes to open up, the birds to chirp and early morning coffee on the dock. This winter seems like a long, cold, torturous bad dream that just won’t go away. OK, maybe I’m whining a little but we are all ready for a shift in gears.

 



In: in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns, uncategorized

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