On June 25th I had the opportunity to tour some of the interesting properties in this years Doors Open Ontario for the Muskoka area. In 1929 twin sisters Marguerite Boyce and Violet Hobbs arrived in Bala, pitched a tent at what would become Jaspen Park on the Moon River near Bala and started to sell their paintings. A year later they put a $100 down payment on a nearby cottage called Hollyhock and started a love affair between themselves and Muskoka that would last for decades.
At first they sold their paintings, then expanded to a gift shop and eventually a tea room. One of the important features was the wishing well out front (still there) which was created at the beginning of WW II. Visitors were encouraged to throw coins in which helped send more than 1000 gift parcels to Canadian servicemen and prisoners-of-war during war time. They also developed children’s doll exhibits and several generations of kids regarded the Twins Studio as a very enchanting place. After Marguerite passed away in the 1950’s Violet renamed the studio Fairyland and would dress daily in organdy. Many children believed she was a real fairy.
While I was photographing the inside of the cottage two elderly ladies arrived and displayed gifts they had purchased as little girls. They were quite emotional as they described their Fairyland experiences and how magical it was for them to visit as children. It was the first time the doors of Fairyland had been open to the public since 1974.
For a more detailed story on Fairyland courtesy of Jack and Linda Hutton please Click Here