02 Sep
2020
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A Ride in the CLARIE II a 100 Year Old Vintage Racing Boat

If you spend time on the Muskoka lakes you will witness the glory of vintage boats slicing through the water. They are beautiful, iconic, masterful works of art. Cherished and sought after builders such as Ditchburn, Greavette, Duke and Minett-Shields operated right here in Muskoka.

It was a thrill to experience a recent ride in the Clarie II a 100 year old masterpiece. The 35ft Hutchinson racing boat was built in 1920 for the Rogers family of St Mary’s Cement to compete in the Great Lakes Gold Cup. It features a 500HP Liberty aircraft engine. Hats off to Murray and Emila for providing us with this great experience.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

15 Jun
2020
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COVID-19 Casualty

It is exciting to be back in cottage country and out on the water. I drove by Clevelands House recently to see if anything was going on. Cleves has been my litmus test to get an idea on how busy things are in Muskoka.  I have to say it was a bit of a disappointment when I approached the 150 year old resort. The docks looked dirty with debris, the iconic Muskoka chairs were not lined up and it looked completely abandoned. A bit surreal to actually see this. Shortly after my visit I received the following notice.

It is with a heavy heart that we will not be opening Clevelands House Resort accommodations this season. However, we are excited to plan for the future, and look forward to unveiling the long-term vision soon. Please be advised that the Rock Golf Course and SWS Boatworks Marine at Clevelands House are now open for the season. The opening dates Pie Wood Fired Pizza, Abbey’s Bake House and the Marine Yoga Studio will be announced shortly. Stay safe & healthy.

In my opinion Clevelands House has not been the same since the Cornell family sold it. It became part of the late Ken Fowlers big vision to establish a village in Minett that included the Red Leaves Resort, (JW Marriott Hotel) Wallace Marine (now SWS), Clevelands House, Lakeside Lodge and the Rock Golf Course. Unfortunately the vision wasn’t successful with many of the properties falling into  receivership. In recent times successful Canadian businessman Mitchell Goldhar has purchased the 1200 acre properties with much optimism. Many cottagers are looking forward to seeing how things go in the future. You know its definitely strange times when Cleves won’t be open for the summer of 2020




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

23 Jul
2019
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Rest Harbour Barn

This is the inside of an old barn that was on a property dating back to about 140 years. It was once owned by the Judd family who were well known in the Minett area of Muskoka. The barn and an old boathouse were for sale back when I photographed them in 2010. I was a little careful not to go prowling inside the barn as it didn’t look very safe. A year or so after my visit I heard the barn had collapsed to the ground. I noticed this little detail of a cross or shamrock at the peak of the roof. It is my last memory of the barn and I had hoped that whomever the new owners would be that they would save this as a momento. I was recently invited back to this property where the owners have built a architecturally beautiful cottage and boathouse. Unfortunately they were not aware of the carved detail and it was lost in the ruble. I was able to provide them with my photos of the boathouse and beautiful acreage they now enjoy.



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

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.

cemetery_600



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

04 Apr
2012
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Going to the Chapel

Last year I noticed construction of a new chapel going up on the Wallace Marine property on Lake Rosseau.  I immediately thought maybe it was going to be a non-denominational chapel in support of the many weddings booked at the Red Leaves Resort right next door. Nope, it turns out to be the new home of Abbey’s Bake House opening this season. Looking forward to checking out the gooey butter tarts.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

19 Mar
2012
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6 Comments

Muskoka Ice Out, T-Minus & Counting

It appears we are in the midst of experiencing a very early ice out. Some locals are saying the ice will disappear from the big lakes by the end of this week or at least before April 1st.  You can see from this photo that the ice is deteriorating quickly. I took this shot on Saturday March 17th, 2012 at the Wallace Marine near Minett, Ontario right on Lake Rosseau.



In: in and around muskoka ontario

09 Nov
2011
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Vivienne II

Most of the boats are now put away for the season. Sometimes when you prolong the inevitable you get lucky and catch a nice day with the opportunity to squeeze in one last boat ride. I caught the Vivienne II out for what was probably her last cruise of the season. I was on the leeward side of Tobin Island on Lake Rosseau and noticed the 31ft Minett-Shields built in the 1920’s gracefully gliding towards us like a dream.



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

21 Apr
2011
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3 Comments

Kicking off the Season

Yes – the ice is out, finally! Its been taking a while for spring to arrive and there are still a few dusting’s of snow in the Muskoka area. This time last year I had my boat in the water so I would say the season is behind a tad. Nevertheless warmer weather is on the horizon. I suspect this Easter weekend will be the return for many people starting spring cleanups and opening their cottages. This is a photo of the Christ Church in Gregory which is between Port Sandfield and Minett, Ontario.



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

03 Aug
2010
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Joseph River Marina, R.I.P.

It’s the end of an era in Muskoka.  The Joseph River Marina held an estate type auction sale this past Saturday July 31, 2010. The  Rosenthal family operated this popular marina on Peninsula Rd. near Minett, Ontario for over 35 years. I believe this marina was originally called the Waters Marina prior to Joerg Rosenthal’s purchase back in the early 1970’s. Joerg and his wife Marilyn have left us now and the family has decided to sell everything off and move on. They will be greatly missed.

please click on the photo for a larger shot



In: boathouses of muskoka, historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario

23 Jun
2010
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The Russians are Coming … The Russians are Coming

Paignton House Road leads to the Red Leaves Resort near the village of Minett in Muskoka Canada. As part of the G8 Summit expenditures this small piece of road cost the taxpayers a mere $410,000.00 to pave and beautify. The resort is located about 75 km’s from where the G8 is in the town of Huntsville, Ontario. According to the Honourable Tony Clement the Member of Parliament for Muskoka-Parry Sound,“ The Paignton House Road will be an important route taken by VIPs attending the 2010 G8 Summit, as they travel between The Rosseau resort and the summit site each day,” More from Tony baby here

Rumor has it the Russians are staying here this weekend. I wonder how the Vodka inventory is?



In: in and around muskoka ontario

03 May
2010
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The Old Boathouse in Harbour Bay, Lake Rosseau

This property came on the market recently and I was curious about it so I did a drive by.  The old boathouse is approximately 100 years old and is located in  Rest Harbour on 275 feet of Lake Rosseau shoreline. There is a newer single story boathouse beside it and directly across the road is what appears to be an old farm (46 acres in all) with the barn still barely standing. There is a newer house and some older out buildings as well. I’m not sure of the history of this place however I bet it will be bulldozed at some point for something new. It looks to be too far gone although you never know. All this can be yours for a mere $985,000

Click for Chestnut Park Listing

Please click on the photo for a large sized image of the old boathouse



In: boathouses of muskoka

07 Feb
2010
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Hanging out in the Hotel Lobby

This is what you see as you walk through the front entrance of  The Rosseau, part of the Red Leaves resort in Muskoka. The resort features the only JW Marriott Hotel in Canada and 1 of 37 in the world. It truly is a world class facility with good restaurants, Spa, nature trails, golf,  and great water access. They have done a great job at capturing the spirit of Muskoka throughout the entire place from architecture down to the library filled with Canadian books. The most impressive aspect I have discovered in my many visits are the people that work here.  Always friendly and accommodating with bright smiles. Someone has done a great job at hiring the right people, trained them and instilled a belief system that customers really matter.

Unfortunately with overruns and the economic downturn it was forced into receivership. If you have a few hundred Mil you don’t know what to do with you may consider adding this baby to your portfolio.



In: in and around muskoka ontario

26 Oct
2009
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Rocky Roads

Its quite common to see rock cuts through the granite outcroppings around Muskoka or Northern Ontario. In order to make roads you have to blast them out.  This is Peninsula Road near Minett, Ontario. Most of the trees have started to shed however there are still some vibrant colors hanging on.

RockCut-800

Please click here or on the image for a giant sized photo



In: in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns

11 Jun
2009
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The Floating Jewels of Muskoka

This launch is named “res ipsa loquitur” or “the thing speaks for itself.”
I am not certain if this beauty is a Greavette,  Minett-Shields or some other Muskoka woody. It looks to be about 30 feet long and has the obligatory mother in-laws seat at the stern. This is the first time I have ever seen this majestic launch, perhaps it was being restored these past few years.

I was not able to get a good shot as I was at the helm of my own boat navigating through the channel at Port Sandfield when I saw her. I’m sure we will meet again. (Please click for supersize pic)

Please click on the image for a large photo



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

28 Apr
2009
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Lunch at Red Leaves in Muskoka

This is the newly opened Red Leaves Resort in the village of Minett, Ontario. This section is called The Rosseau and it is where Canada’s first J.W. Marriott hotel resides. It is a huge $750M undertaking transforming over 1 mile of Lake Rosseau shoreline on about 1400 acres. It has not been totally embraced by the locals in the area due to its mammoth size, environmental footprint and more.

While having lunch in the resort restaurant called “Cottages” I noticed our Minister of Industry, Tony Clement chowing down with his family right beside me. He had mac n cheese with a Pepsi and I had the seared ahai tuna and a long cool Muskoka lager .. or two. Tony baby has been spreading some tax dollars around the area as next year Muskoka will be hosting the G8 Summit

This photo is a panoramic shot of two photos stitched together. Behind me was a spectacular view of Lake Rosseau which I shall post another time.

click the image for a large 1280 pixel photo



In: in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns

06 Feb
2009
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Put up your Dukes in Muskoka Canada

Things looked a little quiet and bleak when I passed by Dukes in Port Carling recently. Dukes is a historic place in Muskoka with a long history of classic boat building. I had a chance to tour the facility last year and witnessed the restoration of some old Ditchburns and Minett-Shields classic woodies. They  occasionally  have an open house for the public and if you get the chance I highly recommend you take the opportunity to step back in time.

Click on the image for a large launch sized photo



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

05 Dec
2008
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Beware of Swamp Monster

Beware of Swamp Monster – found this sign on a trail in the woods up near Minett, Ontario. There was a small lake at the end with a private camp setup for wakeboard training . Click for biggie size



In: in and around muskoka ontario

07 Nov
2008
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The JW Marriott in Muskoka

There is only one JW Marriott Hotel in all of Canada and its located at the Red Leaves resort near Minett in Muskoka. This is a massive resort built on 1400 acres and located on the shores of Lake Rosseau. There is a 700 acre nature trail, spa, restaurants, theater and more. It was still under construction when I strolled by but parts of it should be opening soon.



In: in and around muskoka ontario

08 Oct
2008
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Joseph River Muskoka Boathouse at Sundown

The fall colors have not quite peaked as of yet but should be vibrant this weekend coming which is Canada’s Thanksgiving. There is a little island that sits out in the Joe River that you can see from the road just south of Minett, Ontario. The sun had just set when I snapped this.

Joseph River Muskoka Boathouse



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

23 Sep
2008
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Interesting Boathouses on the Muskoka Lakes

One of the most striking things you notice when visiting Muskoka are the many types of beautiful boathouses. They vary from rustic to charming to grandiose architectural styles. Many of these boathouses feature beautiful sitting rooms, bathrooms, exercise rooms and grand bedrooms. Sometimes driving past you can get a peak at the prized Muskoka antique boats like the Ditchburns, Minette-Shields, Dippys and Greavettes etc.

This photo is of a boathouse on a Lake Rosseau island. It appears someone really loves his sailboat.

Muskoka Boathouse



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

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