25 Aug
2020
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Fairy Island Revisited

This is the boathouse and cottage on Fairy Island. Avern Pardoe the Parlimentry Librarian in Ottawa purchased 50 acres on Lake Joseph for $5 per acre in 1895. It included Fairy Island. It would become the Pardoe family summer residence for over 100 years. The family eventually could not keep up with the costs of upkeep, property taxes and sold the island to the late Richard Ivy somewhere around 2005. There were many interested purchasers but the family decided on Richard Ivys offer as he had no interest in tearing it down. The Ivy family property is near by and looks over to Fairy Island. Please see my recent post about Loon Island.

I’ve been keeping a watch on this magical little island for over 10 years now. Unfortunately it’s slowly deteriorating and I suspect some day I’ll come by and it will be gone for ever. The boathouse and docks shown here in an earlier photo were severely damaged by the high water and ice a few years ago. They are both gone now and only the cottage remains tucked into the trees.

I made a Blog post about Fairy Island back in 2014 and much to my surprise I received quite a few interesting comments including ones from the Pardoe family. You can see how endearing a place it was and the beautiful memories shared at Fairy Island here.

 

 

 



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

18 Aug
2020
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Loon Island on Lake Joe

Loon Island, Lake Joseph was the summer home for the late Richard Ivy. He was a lawyer, businessman and great Canadian philanthropist. The Richard Ivy school of business at Western University in London, Ontario is named in his honour. Over the years his foundation provided grants in support of energy efficiency and environmental research. He also purchased the adjacent Fairy Island in order to stop development and preserve the 1895 architecture. He was 94 when he passed in December 2019.



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

15 Jul
2020
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Champlain Island Boathouse

Hey now! – I’m staying fairly active in and around Muskoka even though Covid-19 has put a damper on any socializing. That works just fine for me and my INFJ personality type. I’m quite content riding around on the lakes checking things out. There’s nothing more therapeutic for me in getting out on the water. I’m still posting at least one photo per day on social media with most being right here on Instagram.  Here is a recent scene from my Seadoo while balancing an iPhone. Chaplain Island boathouse Lake Joseph in Muskoka. Please click for a larger photo.



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

13 Dec
2019
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Ice Forming

The ice has started to form on the Muskoka lakes now. It is usually the barge and work boats that are the last off the lakes and I believe that has happened now. Things are growing even more quieter until the sleds get out on the trails.  Muskoka just had a 50cm dump of snow 2 days ago. Winter has indeed set in.



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

20 Aug
2019
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Muskoka Modern

This photo is representative of the new style of architecture that adorns the shorelines of Muskoka Lakes. For the past decade many older family cottages have been torn down and replaced by large glass and steel structures. Some call them McMansions. I’m not being judgmental on whether this is right or wrong. Muskoka has always attracted power and wealthy people with unique tastes. This 7500 sq ft abode is currently available for a mere $14.75M CAD



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

05 Jul
2019
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X Marks the Spot

X marks the spot. Another boathouse in need of structural work on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka. I’ll watch to see if it comes down and gets replaced or if they repair it. It may be beyond repairs by the look of the structural damage. Either way it is going to be expensive. Please click on the image for a biggie size.



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

24 Jun
2019
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Wyvern Boathouse

There is a nice quiet bay on Lake Rosseau I occasionally boat into and drop anchor for a swim. Not far away sits this historic boathouse called Wyvern. I know absolutely nothing about it other than the name emblazoned across the top. Over the years I am finding that many of these historic and unique boathouses are becoming neglected and are in need of some love. The neglect happens for a number of reasons including financial resources, aging owners not being involved and the next generation not caring. It takes a lot of money and care to upkeep these places. Just finding contractors to do the work is another factor. Unfortunately many of these places will eventually be bulldozed and replaced with something modern.



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

09 Jun
2019
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Back in the Saddle

Finally! – some warmer weather to get out and do some boating. Even on the Victoria Day long weekend there was hardly a boat on the lakes. Only the odd marina service boat was out scuttling about. I’ve been out on my Seadoo a few times and took this photo the other day at sundown while exploring the middle of Lake Joe. iPhone photography.



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

28 May
2019
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Muskoka Magic Returns

It has been an unusual spring in Muskoka. With the recent flooding and continuation of chilly weather it has not been ideal for gardening, boating, swimming or just sitting on the patio or dock to enjoy a drink. There is promise in the air. Here is a photo I took during sunset the other night casting a very warm Muskoka magic glow.



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

29 Apr
2019
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Catastrophic Flooding Hits Muskoka

As you are probably aware by now Muskoka and other parts of Ontario are experiencing catastrophic flooding. It is not unusual to experience high water in Muskoka during the spring freshet however it is not normal to experience such serious flooding as we are getting now. The first large flood was in 2013 and I documented it on this Blog. There was another in 2017 and now an even bigger and likely more damaging flood happening right now.

Below are some of the photos of this disastrous 2019 flood mostly taken on Lake Muskoka. The brunt of the damage is on Lake Muskoka as both branches of the Muskoka River flow into it as well as water from Lakes Joseph and Rosseau. The Ministry follows a guideline set out by the Muskoka River Water Management Plan and draws down the lakes through the dam located in Bala, Ontario which exits into the Moon River and down to Georgian Bay. The draw down is supposed to prevent this kind of flooding. It appears everything was done according to plan however we still received disastrous results. There was a record amount of snow this winter combined with lots of rain during the run-off. It is difficult to say whether anything else could have been done to mitigate the damage resulting from these floods.

Photo disclaimer:
Please note that none of these photos belong to me. They have been gathered from various social media posts mainly Muskoka 411 News and RS Muskoka. I always like to acknowledge the original source of photos however it has been difficult to track everyone down due to the influx of photos posted. If I have posted your photo please let me know and I will gladly credit you and thank you for sharing.



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

22 Sep
2018
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Nobody Loves Me Anymore

I posted this photo of a run down boathouse over on my Instagram account. It got quite a few comments from you Muskoka people who are out there and know whats going on. I have been watching this Lake Rosseau boathouse slowly deteriorate over the years. I would imagine with the cost of lake front property, taxes and low inventory that this property will be transformed into something new someday. You rarely see any old relics that are falling apart on the lake any more. Even the boathouse up on Fairy Island is gone now however the cottage still stands among the trees.



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

03 Sep
2018
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Sullivan Island, Lake Joe

I was cruising back home via Seadoo after visiting a friend at the bottom end of Lake Joe. I headed due north passing by Caniff Island and then by Sullivan Island.  I looked over at Sullivan Island and it looked perfect with the backdrop of clouds. I have not been traveling as much with my big Nikon camera so I whipped out my trustee iPhone X and got this shot.



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

23 Sep
2016
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The New Builds in Muskoka

There is an architectural renaissance happening on the Muskoka lakes with plenty of new cottage and boathouse builds. As the new money flows in people are moving away from the traditional Muskoka look to a more contemporary design. I have noticed some of the new boathouse builds have boat-slips turned into entertainment areas with pool tables, gyms, bars and large screen TVs. Here is an example of one of the new boathouses located near the top of the Joe River.

joeriverboathouse_600



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

22 Aug
2016
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Dark Clouds Rolling

Whoever is in charge of sunsets this season has done a remarkable job. On this particular night it appeared that we were going to get some well needed rain. I took off on my trusty Jetski and found these ominous clouds on Lake Joseph near Fairy Island.

By the way – I just started using Instagram and I’m finding it useful and fun to post photos on the go. You can follow me here and I will follow you back.

LkJoeNearFairy_600



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

15 Aug
2016
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The Grand Old Boathouses are Disappearing

While wandering around the Big 3 Muskoka Lakes over the past decade I have noticed the gradual disappearance of the old Muskoka boathouses. They are slowly being replaced by modern multi-slip McMansion type buildings (cottages too). There is no doubt that some of the new architecture is absolutely astounding. People pour a small fortune into their boathouses now. Perhaps it’s the loss of our old world charm, the history and memories that connect or our bittersweet longings for the past. I intend to feature some of these beauties that are still with us.

GrandOldBoathouses_600



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

04 Aug
2016
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James Lumbers, Twilight Cruise

I purchased this print many years ago by well known Canadian artist James Lumbers. The print still hangs in our cottage today. It is a scene that would have been once viewed from the road side in the early days of Gordon Bay Marine located on Lake Joseph in Muskoka. Years later Mr. Lumbers and I would become friends. We had the opportunity to travel together in Alberta.

Most Canadians have probably viewed Jim’s work at some point with his trademark “ghosting” reflecting memories from days gone by. If you are not familiar with Lumbers work I invite you to check it out here.

Lumbers_twilightcruise_600



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

11 Jun
2016
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Lake Rosseau Boathouse du Jour

A beautiful day for a jetski cruise. I don’t recall exactly where I was when I took this. Somewhere near Tobin Island and the Venetian Group of Islands on Lake Rosseau.

EEB_8067_600



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

10 Aug
2015
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New Construction on the Lakes

Touring around the Big 3 lakes this season I see plenty of new cottage, boathouse and dock construction going on. This photo is of a cottage and boathouse on Lake Rosseau. The previous cottage and boathouse use to look just fine. You can see them in the background of this old photo. By the way that 6 slip boathouse in the old photo has been removed as well.

NewRosseauBoathouse_600



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

28 Jul
2015
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9 Slips

There are plenty of boathouses in Muskoka with 1, 2 and 3 slips but it is very unusual to find one with 9 slips. I discovered this 9 slip boathouse while cruising around Lake Rosseau recently. I think having a fleet of 9 boats would consume some time just on the maintenance alone.

8-SlipBoathouse_600

 



In: boathouses of muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario

16 Jul
2015
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Unusual Lake Rosseau Boathouse

It is great that we have such diversification in architecture around Muskoka. Especially on the water front. You can find this one near the Venitian islands on Lake Rosseau. You need to be careful navigating around this area as its very shallow.

UnusualBoathouse_600

 



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

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