Tag Archives: Lake Muskoka

Spring at the Cottage in Muskoka … not here, not yet.

Many times in the past, at work in Toronto, Chicago, Orlando, or Boston, I’d hear about spring equinox (night and day of approximately equal length) and begin to wonder how conditions were at our Muskoka cottage.

In case you are at work planning for spring at the cottage, I have an update for you. Depending on where you are, it may not be all that spring-like, and it isn’t here either.
On Lake Muskoka, I made this image less than 20 minutes after the spring equinox today (Mar 20th). It’s hard to tell, but it was snowing and the high today is expected to be -2C.

Lake Muskoka from Muskoka Beach area. Mar 20, 2013, spring less than an hour old.

Here’s how the spring weather looks coming up this week:


If you are reading this a bit later here’s the current forecast.

And have a look below at the historic records for this date. Last year we hit 24.8C – much better than -18 in 2007!


We did have an “early” spring last year and cottage real estate, just took off for us.

Speaking of spring, we’re at the Cottage Life show on April 5th -7th, really getting the cottage season jump-started; actually we are there Sunday the 5th from 1-5pm, so come and say hello.

If you want tickets give us a call.

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.


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.


“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

Our Lakes: How they have changed over the last 25 years.

I recorded this lecture by Dr. Michelle Palmer in July. One of the Muskoka Watershed Council lecture series.

Our Lakes: How they have changed over the last 25 years.

Dr. Michelle Palmer discusses how recent climatic warming, changes in acidic deposition, and human-related activities such as road salting and the accidental spread of invasive species have altered the water quality of our lakes in Muskoka, with a focus on changes in lake temperatures and water chemistry since the 1980s.

At the end there is an extensive Question & Answer session.

Calcium decline may hold answers to lake changes.

Classic Muskoka Cottage & Boathouse; View From Above

We have a magnificent property listed at Pine Point on Lake Muskoka.

The key feature about this property is the land itself; the rare privacy afforded by 895 feet of Lake Muskoka frontage on this beautifully level point. Nevertheless, the buildings, specifically the boathouse, has found its way into a number of classic Muskoka books.

As an iconic Muskoka boathouse, the boathouse at Pine Point doesn’t dominate the scenery; it plays an important supporting role.

Iconic in summer.
Standing resolute to the winter cold and winds.

We wanted to feature all of it somehow; the boathouse, cottage and the truly wonderful property itself in our own way. So, up in a battery powered remote-controlled helicopter went a carefully mounted digital camera, and softly(whew) down it came with the following pictures on its memory card:

… beautiful!

It’s not too late to catch the MWC lecture tonight.

Admission is by donation to the Muskoka Watershed Council. Just head for the Port Carling Community Centre at 7:00pm.

Our Lakes: How they have changed over the last 25 years.

Dr. Michelle Palmer will discuss how recent climatic warming, changes in acidic deposition, and human-related activities such as road salting and the accidental spread of invasive species have altered the water quality of our lakes in south-central Ontario, with a focus on changes in lake temperatures and water chemistry since the 1980s.

Hot, but breezy

We had a couple of hours available after a pre-closing cottage walk-through on Lake Rosseau, and before a cottage showing on Lake Muskoka, so we got out sailing.

Wind was primarily from the north west, gusting to 15 knots + at times; to the extent we had to tie in 2 reefs in the sail.
Lake Muskoka’s south bay was loaded up with whitecaps. Despite the double reef, or thanks to it, we had great control and the 18′ catboat reached the theoretical maximum hullspeed often – exhilarating!

The Segwun in the background under the reefed sail, bugging-out around Eleanor Island in Lake Muskoka

The Segwun was out for a while, then shot back toward the Narrows from Eleanor Island– either the cruise was overdue or the forecast was not good. We were pretty much headed back by then.
Muskoka does need the rain.

Bliss on Lake Muskoka

Last night we had dinner with wonderful clients who bought their cottage last year – after 4 years of searching with Catharine’s help.

Evening on Lake Muskoka

They report this beautiful, beautiful property and cottage is enhancing their lives even more than they imagined it could. And, perhaps not surprisingly they took a long time to choose outdoor furniture. Looks like they got it right again.

We can help you “order” an Eaton’s Catalogue Cottage today. Lowest price for 200′ on Lake Muskoka.

UPDATE: Sept 2012 Now SOLD

It may not be the price it would have been in 1939, but it beats anything else on Lake Muskoka.

1939 Eaton’s Catalogue, page 46

If you check MLS listings today, cottage property listings with 200 feet of frontage on Lake Muskoka are listed from $499,900 to $2.3 million.  In general 200 feet helps give you improved privacy over a much more common 100 foot waterfront lot – or less.

We have a great listing on Lake Muskoka which offers 200 feet of frontage, has sparkling water over rock which sweeps into the lake. The lot is level with a great view, is close to Gravenhurst, 90 minutes from Toronto, has a cottage with two bunkies, AND that cottage is an original Eaton’s Catalogue cottage. It is also priced at the lowest price of ALL the 200′ waterfront properties.

Eaton’s cottage, originally delivered by steamboat – still a crowd pleaser.

The detailed listing information shows not only the cottage – inside and out, but the beautiful level property and the views.

View from Lake Muskoka
Eaton’s catalogue cottage – kit delivered by steamboat.
View from the waterfront.
Awesome setback from the lake.

NOW SOLD! Serene Pine Point, Lake Muskoka

We are very excited, and justly proud to be able to offer such a rare Muskoka property.

Private cove for kids … or floatplanes.

There is no question that the majority of people we take to see Muskoka properties spend 80% of the time inspecting inside the buildings and 20% on the property. This doesn’t seem right. Although lots of us do it this way, we should spend most of the time wandering the property.

Ahhh, but so many properties are not really wanderable; they have nicely built decks and stairs, to take us from the cottage to the waterfront to the boathouse because they are often steep.  The perfect cottage properties were developed many decades ago.

On this property the superb architecture of the cottage and boathouse, although beautiful, are secondary to the level point, cooling in Lake Muskoka, comprised of almost 900 feet of waterfront.

A simple path, not stairs, wends its way to the boathouse.

Once you have satisfied yourself that the property itself is incomparable, then it’s always nice to have buildings like these.

Pine Point’s boathouse.

Lake Muskoka, dotted island views from cottage
Grand kitchen area
Main cottage Muskoka Room
Architectural details
Inside the boathouse

Additional details are here.

From Maine to Muskoka and 5 years later, we’re sailing again

Sunday was forecast to be a beautiful day: 18 degrees, sunny and steady winds. And, we had the boat fully ready to go. So, after some preparation – we had to tie the mast hoops to the sail and tie one reef in the sail – Catharine and I, and our son Chris and his dog Kirby were going to take the catboat on its first sail in Muskoka. We headed out into Lake Muskoka and tacked through between Pine and Birch Islands.

Catharine tied on the mast hoops one by one to the sail, while I tied in the reef.

You can see the mast hoops in the picture below.

In the lee of Birch Island on Lake Muskoka it was calm enough to go forward for a picture.

For those who aren’t sailors reefing is a way to shorten the sail somewhat so as to not be overpowered by winds. You’ll see the reefing points tied onto the boom in the picture of Chris below.