Thursday, November 11, 2010


Friday, November 5, 2010


Today was another day of flurries, a preview of things to come. This rooftop scene of The Boatworks captured the bleakness of the day as well demonstrates how we are between seasons, the weather vane a reminder of the gaggles of geese heading south each passing fall day and the snowshovels stacked over the chimney, prepared for winter.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


This afternoon I was canoeing for what may be my last time on the water this year, on a beautiful day with a full week of rain forecast ahead. As I paddled the usual sounds of boats and jetskis were now replaced by leaf blowers and chain saws however when I returned at dusk all was silent, with Mirror Lake reflecting the October scenery.
[Thank you to Nuwan Perera for allowing me the use of his canoe.]


Along a stretch of the Indian River near Mirror Lake lies the dormant waterfront property of the former Glenwood Trailer Park. The site is now involved in a dispute with the proposed development of Hanna's Landing, a subdivision of 250 houses, that has divided residents and become one of the top concerns in the upcoming municipal election.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Closed for the season, the weekly waterski shows performed by SWS wrapped up the month before, and the last of the visitors gone after Thanksgiving with their memories and photographs. With the row of colourful Muskoka chairs stowed away, the waterfront of Clevelands House is now quiet and empty. Visit now and the view is yours alone.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Today I found myself in Bala again, this time to volunteer with other Marriott employees from both The Rosseau and the Residence Inn in Gravenhurst, who spent the day working together on the Habitat for Humanity home currently being built. Matched with the regulars, we accomplished a lot and learned some interesting tricks of the trades.
[Picture taken by Sarah Lehman from the HR Dept at The Rosseau.]

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Northrup, a third generation Johnston in the family owned business, harvests cranberries using the wet rake method, where a mechanical picker combs the berries off the vines. His grandfather Orville began the business close to Bala in 1947, not only attracted by its potential but also the proximity to Dunn's Pavilion, for he was also a musician.

Another method of harvesting is called beating, demonstrated by this machine with a water reel that beats the berries off the vines where they float to the surface, and are manually corralled for pick up. This enterprise, started in the 1960's, is owned and operated by the Wahta Mohawks, who arrived here from Oka, Quebec in 1881.

Friday, October 8, 2010


The welcome sign that greets you at the entrance into Port Sydney reads "Home Of 800 Nice Families & 1 Old Grouch". It is also home to 1 Old Maple, that stands alone at the Indian Landing park on the outskirts of town along the Muskoka River. When its leaves change colour it is very picturesque and is the perfect epitome of autumn.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


"It's Five O'Clock Xxxxxhere". The only picture actually taken today, the others posted today but from yesterday. I came to join a couple of my coworkers from The Rosseau, on the deck of Turtle Jacks's or TJ's, a popular watering hole in Port Carling scheduled to close down next weekend. Today was a day of R&R for me... rest and recovery!


As I started back for home after a full day of exploring Milford Bay, divided between hiking and canoeing, I was treated to a spectacular sunset. I had previously posted an entry about the Marmilwood, the boathouse at this location but this time the sunset was now the main attraction, with the lilys from the summer replaced by fallen leaves.


October began and continues to bless us with beautiful weather, and promises to deliver us a glorious Indian Summer. To take advantage of the weather and see the colours from the water, I rented a canoe and explored the group of Seven Sisters Islands, ending at Idlewylde Island with a photograph of Indian Head Rock, to initiate the season.


Formerly from the city, Moose Flambe now lives out at this cottage on Lake Muskoka. One of the 326 fiberglass moose statues, each a different style that were commissioned and sponsored for Toronto's Moose in the City street exhibition of 2000, before being auctioned off or sold online afterwards, with the proceeds benefiting charities.


These Maple Grove cabins are some of the few remaining buildings from Milford Manor, a popular resort formerly known as Cedar Wild. After it was permanently closed the main lodge was used for part of the action movie The Long Kiss Goodbye in 1996, posing as the Deer Lick Tourist Lodge and starring Geena Davis with Samuel L. Jackson.
[This clip shows the blast scene of the main lodge from the movie.]

Sunday, October 3, 2010


The reflection of several Muskoka chairs from the long row of them set along the waterfront of Clevelands House had me also reflect on how often they've been photographed, starting with Kodak Brownies after Ted and Laura Wright introduced the row of coloured chairs to the finished patio in 1956, and establishing this famous trademark.
[Thank you to Bob Cornell for providing me the details of this post.]

Thursday, September 30, 2010


In addition to the usual marine services, the Port Sandfield Marina offers various merchandise and clothing apparel in their boathouse or boatique as they always share the space with two antique boats. In the foreground is an unnamed Greavette, rumoured to belong to Kurt Russell, and in the further slip is the Scud II, a Minett-Shields.


The Cherokee, formerly a bed and breakfast resort derives its name from the Cherokee Trail, the name applied to Peninsula Road when a gateway once greeted visitors at its entrance, its columns promoting the various resorts that operated then. The Cherokee was renovated and is now the summer home of a former NHL Captain from 1991-94.
[Can you guess his identity? Hint: His team and # are in this photo.]

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Soon after that the sun broke through and prevailed, banishing the dark cloud into exile. I remained behind to savour the view and the start of the sunset, however as I wasn't equipped with a flashlight I began my descent before it had completely set, stopping to capture my favourite view point and the sun descending behind the horizon.


After a day of exploring Milford Bay I hiked up to Huckleberry Rock Lookout. I wasn't there long before a black cloud gathered suddenly without warning and a sinister face took shape, threatening trouble. It brought to me the story of the "dirty piece of weather" that came out of nowhere, sending the Waome to the bottom of these waters.

Monday, September 27, 2010


The sign that fall has arrived is when the sumac leaves change their colour to bright red, before any of the trees turn. With Thanksgiving fast approaching the courses are still busy but it won't be long before boating and golfing will be ending for another year. The Lake Joseph Club is one of three ClubLink courses located in the Muskoka region.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


This colourful collage, a mixture of various leaves corralled beside a dock, not only captures the different colours that have changed and fallen but also the weather details, displaying the raindrops from a recent shower. The first day of fall was another day of rainfall, like much of September has been with still more wet weather predicted.

Friday, September 24, 2010


A propellor serves as a doorhandle giving new meaning to when it's propped open. The door leads to the service area of The Boatworks Limited, a partnership of seven cottagers that bought the business and is currently expanding it. The original company was famous for its line of SeaBirD boats and their motto "Safe, Swift, Serviceable."

Thursday, September 23, 2010


A lot of money and effort were put into rolling out the series of new standardized signs, erected at all the town entrances and trailheads across Muskoka Lakes Township, a project supported by the federal government's G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund. They should have put a little more effort into proofreading this sign, and correcting its typo.


This title is a double reference to the colourful combination of the maple leaves in the foreground and to the Ferndale Lookout Tower, used during the filming of seasons 3-6 of The Red Green Show with the lonely Ranger Gord. Built in the 60's for the Ferndale Resort, it's no longer accessible to the public and the site now private property.

Monday, September 20, 2010


With the recent cool weather at nights the mornings bring mist on the lakes, gradually lifting with the emerging sun. As the curtain is raised Edith and Wasan Islands appear, two of several islands that make up the Venetia Group, while between them in the background The Rosseau can be seen perched above the lake on a granite bluff.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Today marks my first anniversary living up here and working at The Rosseau. My job is good, the people I've met are great and Muskoka is the number 1 place in Ontario. Working nights has allowed me the opportunity to have every day off to attend special events and enjoy all the beautiful days, and I look forward to my second fall and year.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


A pair of pines, symbolic of the Twin Towers, stand together above the surrounding terrain while the contrail from a passing airplane is etched across the clouds, a reminder of how things were before the tragic day that affected all of us nine years ago today, and changed forever the way we looked at the world and learned about ourselves.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Many cottagers and visitors hope to catch a glimpse of some of the celebrity stars known in the area but for this cottager they are more interested in the celestial stars. Their boathouse, on Lake Rosseau and seen from the bridge at Port Sandfield, includes an observatory that features a 12" Meade LX200 telescope with GPS for alignment.
[Click here to view some photographs taken using this same model.]

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Like a re-enactment from bygone days the Wenonah II, a replica of the twentieth century steamships, waits to collect passengers for a cruise from The Rosseau, a modern resort modelled after the Royal Muskoka Hotel, built over a century ago, which reigned as the most luxurious resort on the lake before it was destroyed by fire in 1952.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It's a short hike to the Tree Museum, a gallery of multiple sculptures planted throughout its 200 acres, integrating contemporary art in an outdoor environment. While at the Drowning Not Waving sculpture I encountered this Monarch butterfly that appears in this picture to be waving with one side as it lifts off, as if mocking the exhibit's name.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Storm clouds part as the sun struggles to make its appearance, offering everyone a reprieve from the rainy weather and lifting dampened spirits. We have been fortunate that the weather this summer and every long weekend before has been beautiful, and blessed with the season starting earlier from the Easter weekend.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I thought this scene resembled a landscape destroyed by battle with its ravaged trees and the horizon ablaze by a distant firefight. With a forecast of rain for the weekend there exists the possible threat of war between parents and their kids if they don't have a battle plan in place, while on some fronts they may choose to retreat home earlier.


When I first started working at The Rosseau I was surprised to learn that, unlike most hotels, we have rooms that include the number 13, to the dismay of the occasional superstitious guest. We also have a room 1408, its collective numbers adding up to 13, and the name of a horror movie about a haunted hotel room written by Stephen King.
[Click on the door to open it to see the movie trailer... but beware!]

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


On a lighter side I posed twice for this picture, borrowing the title from the Jim Carrey comedy. I cannot find any reference to a ship named Irene and hope someone can enlighten me. The ship makes up part of the Muskoka Adventure Playground, one of the best I've seen, sponsored by the people who literally purchased a stake in it.


I arrived at Baycliffe Park and was disturbed to find a sign posted warning swimmers about the risk from the high bacteria count. My guess is that it's due to the hot summer we've had and the amount of traffic on the lake. At least with fall and its cooler temperatures approaching nature has a chance of recovering and restoring itself.


My eldest son Alistair turned eleven earlier this month and today Blogger turns the same. Founded by Evan Williams of Pyra Labs, it was bought by Google in 2003. I have used Blogger for the past year and appreciate it as a forum for communicating with my family and friends, as well as following some of my favourite Muskoka bloggers.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I first saw this Falcon Tandem hang glider serve a double function as a sun canopy on the beach before it was picked up by a special boat. It is launched from a platform at the stern of the cruising boat and the tow-winch line released when it soars up to a gliding altitude of 1,000 feet, then landing later on the water with its fitted pontoons.
[Visit their website and watch their Boat Tow HG Adventure video.]


The lifeguards of the popular TV series Baywatch, wearing their red iconic swimsuits, patrolled the beaches of Los Angeles County while the lifeguards at Clevelands House patrol the beach and water park at Wallace Bay, complete with their stand and a red iconic Muskoka chair, the end of another day and season drawing to a close shortly.


Older boathouses often boast two storeys, the upper level originally used as staff quarters or venues for social events, then converted to primary dwellings or guest accommodations, however since 1990 the MNR has decreed that construction of any new two storey boathouses was no longer permitted, but for this owner that rule is for the birds.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Named by the original pioneers after a resort destination in Wales and their own fond memories, its namesake provides cottagers and tourists with similar experiences. During the summer the marina is
a popular stop and in addition to selling boating paraphernalia they carry souvenir clothing printed with the logo, Beautiful Beaumaris.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


These two kayaks would blend in if you were to have "beer on the pier" as the expression goes, in this case Bud Light Lime with lime. These two models, the Edge 12.5 made by UK manufacturer Riot look like they would also be a riot to use, and offer a lot of bang for your buck. Just remember that if you do go out it's "water on the water."

Friday, August 27, 2010


Often referred to as the waterfall capital of Canada, Bracebridge is naturally blessed with twenty in the area, with High Falls the largest of all and one of five that flow into this bay, a national record itself. Across from the falls, boats of the High Falls Water Park languish by the water's edge, reminding me of crocodiles basking under the sun.


Imagine yourself surrounded by nature with this charming and rustic waterfront retreet. All season road access allows you to enjoy every season and experience the best this place has to offer: nestled high among the trees commanding a bird's eye view of the Muskoka River while only steps away from the water! Viewing by appointment only.

Friday, August 20, 2010


On this occasion I was fortunate to arrive in time to witness the Wenonah II locking through, with the bridge raised and her mast lowered. I like to think that as she is passing the Wall she is paying tribute to the Sagamo, the former patriarch of the steamship line, its picture eclipsed by this newest ship, who carries on the legacy.


During the summer months Paul Fatijewski of Waterway Tours offers sightseeing cruises of Lake Rosseau aboard his pontoon boat. When the season finishes he returns south to his home in Tillsonberg, then during winter's coldest period he gets away... to the ice roads of the Northwest Territories! There he helps police the truckers for safety.
[Watch for his cameo role in Ice Road Truckers: Dash For The Cash.]


Covered and camouflaged with historic photographs this doorway is also a portal into the past, for beyond is a collection of antiques run by dealer Steve Hinton, a former history teacher who aptly operates his business from the storeroom of the Hanna building, a historical landmark of Port Carling and popular tourist attraction with the Wall.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Every time I drive by Milford Bay I always glance at this boathouse cottage, as viewed from the highway. Once part of Robert Eaton's estate, a relative of department store founder Timothy Eaton, he named it after his daughters Margaret and Mildred. During WW II it served as a convalescent hospital for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
[My August entry, "Broadcasting Live" features their original boat.]

Monday, August 16, 2010


Normally I would abstain from taking pictures when I have to contend with flare from the sun but in this instance I used it to my advantage to place a passing boat in the spotlight. The elevation of Armstrong Point offers one of the best views of Lake Rosseau with some of its islands, and with the trail not marked, one of the best kept secrets.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Last year's winners, Kailey and Matt Richter arrive at the finish line, hoping to defend their title at Muskoka's Amazing Race however fail to after missing one of the checkpoints. Starting at The Landscapes site in Baysville, 17 teams competed in a variety of challenges and locations throughout the day, ending at Hanna Park in Port Carling.