Category Archives: Bracebridge

What does a builder build when he builds for himself?

Muskoka real estate can be a crap shoot. Buying a cottage in Muskoka or a Muskoka country property can be a challenge. Whether it is a country property or a waterfront palace, the quality of the build affects Muskoka real estate values. We always recommend a home inspection by a great inspector (our favourite is a building inspector with one of the Muskoka municipalities) to bring any issues to light, especially structural issues.

The country property that I want to talk about today is a beautiful build on 10 acres. The builder has thought of everything. Trent Topping is a local builder who spent most of his career working for a high end builder who has since retired. Trent focuses on accents now. He is a master stair builder, is great at post and beam accents and generally shows great taste and skill in his work.

A few years ago we had a conversation about Muskoka builds. We needed a strategy to find a home that would be built to the standard that he expects. It became apparent that to end up with what he wanted, he would have to build it himself. Trent bought a large parcel of land, a ten minute drive from Bracebridge in the middle of an old growth, mixed forest.

Topping carefully scoped the land, and spent months deciding on the perfect location, overlooking a ravine and surrounded by gorgeous trees. He then spent more months designing a home that would house his building business – so it had to have a large office and a large workshop with oversized garage doors and and 11 and a half foot ceilings.

The builder’s own home also had to be open concept with solid wood floors, two storey stone fireplace and lots and lots of storage. Trent insisted on all the touches that make a Muskoka home not only good quality, but feel like it is in Muskoka.

The product (their home) turned out so well, it exceeded his expectations. The just under 3000 square foot home has three roomy bedrooms, a dedicated office, a full sized office (with a door!), a large bathroom and a loft space on the second floor. The main floor houses a spacious entryway, a private primary bedroom with ensuite, a great room, dining room open to kitchen, pantry, laundry room and powder room.

The 32 x 80 workshop/garage will resonate with the creative part of one’s soul. Underneath all this is a crawlspace which covers 1600 feet, is secure and dry and houses the furnace, water heater and provides more storage.

Whoever gets to enjoy this exquisite property will certainly be participating in the true Muskoka experience.

Muskoka Lakes Association March NewsBites

We are almost there – part of the way through March. Lots of snow, ice and cold, but things will look very different in just a few weeks. Here from the Muskoka Lakes Association is the March NewsBites.

Courtesy of the Muskoka Lakes Association

Welcome to March 2015 NewsBites

The MLA is pleased to inform our members that we will be presenting the MLA’s 2014 Water Quality Initiative Report to Bracebridge, Sequin, Gravenhurst, and Township of Muskoka Lakes councillors over the next two months. Water Quality Director Andrew Watson presented our Continue reading Muskoka Lakes Association March NewsBites

Timber harvesting and the health of our lakes: The Calcium Story

©www.cottageinmuskoka.ca
©www.cottageinmuskoka.ca

Mentioned in a number of Muskoka Watershed Council lectures over the past few years, calcium decline in Muskoka Lakes and in particular, the consequences of timber harvesting on lake calcium levels have been hinted at as a potential direct cause of declining health of our lakes in Muskoka. Here’s a past primer news story from the Huntsville Forester (Cottage Country News).
This week, we have an opportunity to discover more.

Dr. Shaun Watmough, an Associate Professor in the Environmental Resource Science Program at Trent University in Peterborough will present.
Here is a synopsis of the lecture:
Decades of acid deposition have depleted soil calcium reserves and, when combined with timber harvesting, predicted losses of calcium from soil are considerable and may ultimately threaten long-term forest health and productivity and lead to negative impacts on lakes.
In this talk, Dr. Watmough will provide an overview of our current understanding of calcium biogeochemistry and describe the reasons for the widespread decline in calcium levels in lakes and the implications of calcium losses on soil fertility and forest health in addition to impacts on lake ecosystems.
With an emphasis on south central Ontario, Dr. Watmough will document a nutrient budget for a selection harvesting regime in central Ontario hardwood forests. This work is then extrapolated to regional harvesting activities and management issues are discussed.

The lecture is this Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Nipissing University – Muskoka Campus, 125 Wellington Street, Bracebridge, P1L 1E2. As always, admission is by donation

The link for this lecture and registration is here.

The Great Muskoka Paddling Experience

I’ve just finished post-processing and editing this video for the Great Muskoka Paddling Experience. This event, held annually on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend is a great opportunity for anyone – even if you don’t have a canoe or kayak, you can rent one there – to get out on the water for perhaps the last time of the year. It was a fun video to shoot and create and I hope it captures just how much fun the event can be.

The Great Muskoka Paddling Event benefits the Muskoka Watershed Council and helps give them a bit more of a budget to do important work. It’s a really well organized event and fun for all ages, and all levels of paddling experience.

Why don’t you try it this year?

GMPE_Flyer_v2

cottageinmuskoka.ca gives to Muskoka charity

Catharine presented a cheque for $800.00 that she is donating to the Interval House in Bracebridge. In addition to this local Muskoka support, Catharine has donated another $800.00 to the Royal LePage National Shelter Foundation.

The Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group (MWAG) operates two 24-hour crisis shelters for abused women and their children – Muskoka Interval House, in Bracebridge and Chrysalis in Huntsville, which also offers supportive transitional housing units for vulnerable women.  Muskoka Interval House and Chrysalis are 24-hour women’s crisis shelters, serving Muskoka.

Catharine Inniss, Joy McCormack & Bentley
Catharine Inniss, Joy McCormack, Executive Director, Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group & Bentley

Catharine has chosen to to support this important charity every year: “I appreciate the opportunity to give to such a worthy cause, right in our community. Bentley appreciates the opportunity to enjoy some sunshine in Muskoka. After jumping for joy, he jumped on Joy”.

Protect Your Muskoka Cottage Investment. Muskoka Lakes Association seedling sale; re-naturalize your shoreline this spring

The single most important thing you can do to protect the value of your Muskoka cottage waterfront property investment is to protect the water quality of your lake. One of the best ways to help sustain/improve water quality in your lake is to ensure you have a natural shoreline and a buffer zone; an area of natural vegetation running along your shoreline.

20130308-113558.jpg

The function of the buffer zone is to act as a filter for water flowing to your lake, and studies show that they greatly reduce water pollution. The plants and soil absorb runoff water laden with sediments, nutrients and pollutants harmful to the lake. Turf grass does not do an adequate job filtering water runoff, and is very attractive to geese and other nuisance species.

Native Plants … and lots of them!       “Ideally the buffer area is thickly covered with native vegetation. The higher the percentage of the ground that is covered, the better your buffer can work. A landscape made up of native plants is low maintenance. Once established, they can survive without extra watering, and without application of pesticides and fertilizers. Native plants are adapted to deal with local bugs and diseases and can get all the nutrients they need from existing soil.”

On the Living Edge Sarah Kipp, Clive Callaway
 

You can pre-order native plants from the Muskoka Lakes Association.

MLA

“The Annual MLA Seeding Day is scheduled for Saturday May 18, 2013 at the Port Carling Community Centre from 9 am to 12Noon. The emphasis this year will be on Muskoka native species. An order form (with pricing) is available from the MLA website here. We have a lot of seedlings available in some of the most wanted species including White Birch, Balsam Fir, White Spruce, Dogwood and Nannyberry among others.”

Order soon as quantities are limited.  Orders can be emailed to info@mla.on.ca, faxed to (705) 765-3203 or mailed to Box 298, Port Carling, ON, P0B 1J0