Tag Archives: muskoka

Muskoka Minutes

I just finished the final edit and posted a couple of videos to YouTube that I shot back in July: Muskoka Minutes Slog, Muskoka Minutes Zoe.

The idea behind Muskoka Minutes is to show work being done by scientists and others in the field here in Muskoka on the Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube Channel. More details are here on the day spent tracking Blanding’s turtles, a species at risk in Ontario. My thanks to Jeremy, Kelsey, Mike and also Glenda.

Blanding’s Turtle

They used to have a much larger range in Ontario and were much more common in Muskoka – see below. They have many predators and like other turtle species have had their habitats carved up by roads.

Historic and current range of Blanding’s Turtles.

Cottager’s questions about lake quality answered.

Last  Saturday I made a presentation on behalf of the Muskoka Watershed Council to the Sparrow Lake Association. The SLA was founded way back in 1926,  and is one of many lake/cottager’s associations throughout Muskoka and elsewhere.

Sparrow Lake Association webpage.

As always, there were a lot of questions at the end of the talk and because we ran out of time, more questions one-on-one after the meeting.  It thought it might be helpful to repeat them here as sort of an FAQ about water quality and cottage waterfront living. But after typing out a few Q&As, I thought I should send you to a better source.

Michelle Palmer received her doctorate based on lake studies; specifically changes in our lakes over time. Recently I recorded, edited and posted a video of Dr. Palmer’s lecture which includes a Q&A session at the end: Our Lakes: How Have They Changed Over the Last 25 Years?

Loss of biodiversity, is it important if we don’t see it?

As a volunteer, as well as being on the executive of the Muskoka Watershed Council, I am the videographer. This gives me a great opportunity to ensure that truly wonderful ideas and presentations are not lost after the words are spoken and the video projector is turned off. I record, edit and post to YouTube, lectures and presentations at Muskoka Watershed Council events.

A most important event is the biennial Muskoka Summit on the Environment. On June 6th and 7th I recorded the presentations over the two day summit. Broadcast, in part, by CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy, (search for Buying Into Biodiversity), these were world-class lectures, presented here in Muskoka. I am delighted to be able to ensure these are available to the world.

The first is now available at the following link on Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube channel: Loss of biodiversity, is it important if we don’t see it?

It was presented by Justina C. Ray Ph.D. of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Canada. Justina raises some of the most important questions and current thinking on biodiversity and explores how our thinking has shifted over time, making biodiversity loss less apparent to us.

Cottage on Pine Lake + New Boathouse $499,000

This just may be the best value in Muskoka. It’s the first time ever on the market for this spacious cottage on sought after Pine Lake. Cherished family memories have been built up over 43 years. Specific listing details are available here.

Boathouse viewed from Cottage patio.

Enjoy all-day sun on the deck of a brand new 2 slip boathouse. With four generous bedrooms and two full baths, there’s lots of space for family and friends.

Cottage as viewed from the boathouse deck.

Some great updating has been completed, particularly in the kitchen. Everything is all on one level and is super-clean.

Updated cottage kitchen.

Use the cottage just as it is or renovate to your heart`s desire. Pine Lake is just minutes from Gravenhurst for shopping, theatre, events and the famous Gravenhurst Wharf.

Please contact us and come and see this property!

Gull Lake, Miles of Beautiful Boating

We were out on Gull Lake today. The early heat wave blown away by crisp north westerlies. Thanks to Dave and Sandra who have spent many happy years on Gull Lake; now selling their Gull Lake home.

I had no idea that there was anywhere near this much boating on scenic Gull Lake. Heading south east takes you to a cut, through which you discover the equally beautiful Silver Lake. There are miles and miles of open water as well as small coves and granite rock faces. Perfect for power-boat cruises as well as kayaks and canoes.

Gull Lake narrows to admit you to Silver Lake

Some of the waters from Kahshe Lake run to Silver Lake, then to Gull Lake and then through the Hoc Roc river into Lake Muskoka.

Gull Lake has lots of space for water sports of all types, or just for those big views.

Gull Lake looking north west to Highway 11

We saw so many gorgeous rock faces dropping straight into blue water, and made mental notes of where to return.

Granite cliffs on south Gull Lake

There are cottages dotted up and down Gull and Silver Lakes. We heard many stories of the history of some of these cottages and Gull Lake itself. One is the story of Dead Horse Island; we wonder if you know this story…

Cottagers have been enjoying Gull Lake since the 1800’s.

Morrison Lake Muskoka Cottage Listing

A reminder about this cottage mentioned here with more info here.

This is a wonderful cottage property for an active family.

It’s a fully renovated, four season, open concept cottage with 2 bedrooms in main cottage and two bunkies, all with beautiful views. Hardwood floors, tumbled marble in bathroom, expansive decks – wonderful outdoor living lakeside. There’s a great area for evening bonfires and a hot tub overlooks the lake.  The owners have put substantial renovations in and simply won’t be getting their money back.

Also, here’s the link to the Lake Data Sheet for Morrison Lake, and the Interpretation of Water Quality Data sheet.

Innovation Muskoka

It was great fun on Friday!

Steve introducing the panel of Muskoka entrepreneurs

It was a pleasure to be the Master of Ceremonies for the day for Innovation Muskoka at the University of Waterloo in Huntsville. Innovation Muskoka was created and hosted by Muskoka Community Futures and Muskoka Community Network.

We had 5 successful Muskoka entrepreneurs present a history of their businesses, the successes and challenges, to the crowd.
They were:
Jan Nyquist of Pipefusion – stable floating docks that last, and anything else you can imagine made from polyethelyne pipe.
Amie Colquhoun of Axiom Audio -Loudspeakers; the most exciting, realistic sound experience on the market, designed and built in Muskoka.
James Solecki of Integra Lighting – the finest level of lighting design, custom installation and service to the Muskoka marketplace.
Don Waddington of Cottage Spot -Canadian source for the cottage products that you are looking for; with delivery right to your door.
Wendy Hogarth of Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh – Fabulous cranberries, fun destination, fantastic wine.
These presentations were informative and inspirational to say the least. Would-be entrepreneurs in the crowd soaked up many tips and advice offered by these generous people.

In the afternoon everyone thoroughly enjoyed something called the Innovation Sandbox. As it turned out, 13 people qualified for this event. Each had 5 minutes to “pitch” their business ideas and then were questioned and offered advice to a maximum of 10 minutes. Great fun, and some terrific people, ideas, and pitches.
The three with the combination of the best pitch and most viable businesses were awarded prizes ( an IPad, BlackBerry Playbook and a $250.00 Staples gift certificate).

Check out these Muskoka businesses, now or soon available to you:
Shelley Raymond of Solterra Co-housing
Scott Young of inventory-excess.com
Jenn and Emma of The Grumpy Hedgehog

 

Muskoka Watershed Council Report Card Presentation

I had the pleasure today to do a presentation on the 2010 Report Card on behalf of The Muskoka Watershed Council.

I was invited by John McCaig Vice President of Probus Huntsville to talk about the work of the Muskoka Watershed Council and detail the 2010 Report Card. We had a good session with many, many questions.

According to the surveys, and as I asked prior to the presentation,  there was very little prior knowledge about the Report Card or even the Muskoka Watershed Council itself. Afterward, I was very pleased to see many positive comments about the presentation with most people commenting that their knowledge of the watershed and good stewardship practices was increased substantially. It certainly makes it worthwhile.

Thank you to everyone in attendance, I enjoyed it immensely. -Steve

cottageinmuskoka.ca donates 27 bicycles to a community charity

Last week while showing a cottage with Catharine on Lake Muskoka, I got a call that some 27 bikes abandoned at a number of Toronto condominiums, were going to to be crushed for scrap the following day unless someone intervened. So we attached our old trailer and headed from Muskoka to Toronto to load up the bikes. We then delivered them to a back alley behind a church; given the recent activities of Toronto’s Igor, the unofficial world champion of bicycle thieves (here’s a NY Times article), our trailer load drew some real attention from good samaritans.

Trailer load of bikes, some with locks still on them.

We were able to support a Toronto charity: Community Bicycle Network (CBN). CBN is a non-profit that repairs bikes, refurbishes and sells donated bicycles, sells new and used parts, rents trailers and bikes at affordable rates, and offer space to practice and learn bike mechanics and cycling skills. CBN has been dedicated to promoting community-based sustainable transportation initiatives since 1993.

Steve with John at Community Bike Network

With just a little bit of time and effort, the donated bicycles will be sold at a very low cost to people that couldn’t otherwise afford them; instead of heading for a landfill.