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.

**Now Sold**! 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!

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.

Muskoka Antique and Classic Boat Show

I went Saturday afternoon after a cottage inspection to the Muskoka Wharf. If you missed the Muskoka Antique and Classic Boat show play the videos below for a really, really quick visit.

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Then if you have another few seconds to waste, check out the kids in the boat race video below. The boats, made by the kids, were made of only cardboard and ducttape.

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You can see a real video of the show here.

NOW SOLD! Muldrew Lake Executive Home/Cottage

UPDATE: Oct 2012 Now SOLD

Muldrew Lake is one of those lakes that people discover and seldom leave. Fabulous water quality, timeless Muskoka scenery, minutes to Gravenhurst and the Wharf, world-class golf also just minutes away at the Muskoka Bay Club.

Rock island on Middle Muldrew Lake
Muskoka granite eases into the waters of Muldrew Lake.

On Muldrew, the trend has been one of buying properties with an older cottage on them and rebuilding. The problem today is the cost of an original property, plus the cost to build new, very quickly exceeds $1 or $2 million.
But, the original properties were almost always the best: good exposure, good access, good privacy, good views but with a level lot, good waterfront, etc.  Also, when building a new cottage on the footprint of an older one, a minimal setback from the waterfront is a possibility that is not allowed on a newly developed lot.
This listing is such a property.The owners cottaged here for 30 years, prior to re-building ten years ago. They sought to design and build an energy-efficient home (in this case certified R-2000) with complete and excellent mechanicals, as well as superb construction quality on this property.

Muldrew Lake cottage plans.
Main level floorplan.

Below, please view the details of this listing:
Link to listing.       Link to contact us.

Four season certified R2000 home, approx. 2500 square feet of living space, on 1.11 acres of groomed woodland, on a four season road.  Custom built in 2002 by French’s Fine Homes.  Facing southwest on 160 feet of pristine shallow sand beach and deep waterfront.  Located 10 kilometers from the Town of Gravenhurst, the world class Muskoka Bay Golf course, Muskoka Wharf, and emergency services.

Open concept living / dining / kitchen area separates two main-floor bedrooms, each bedroom with its own ensuite.  Laundry facilities located on accessible main floor.  Large screened-in porch overlooking lake.  Expansive windows bring in the outside with natural light and expansive views.  Natural daylight walkout basement with large guest bedroom.  Detached two vehicle carport, with tool storage, and upstairs playroom/sleeping area.  Neutral colours throughout.  Faces southwest providing passive solar heating.

LAKEFRONT PROPERTY:

  • 160 ft water frontage – original shore road allowance purchased/closed
  • Floating dock (24’ x 8’) cedar tone synthetic wood, attached to flexible cedar ramp and solid dock at shore
  • Sand beach at shore, deep water beyond floating dock.
  • Easy access to the lake via log stairs from driveway or through house walk-out basement
  • Level entry road from year round access municipal road, serviced by school bus.
  • Irregular lot:  Sides: Lake frontage 160, sides 324.77’ & 244.02’, roadside 229.08’
  • Well landscaped 1.11 acre lot – planned and groomed woodlot, gardens with many mature perennials, small stream with dam creating waterfall
  • Consistent water levels (within approx. 12” fluctuation based on season and rain/snow fall amounts)
  • South /west exposure
  • Property purchased by owner in 1973; Viceroy cottage removed and replaced by year round home in 2002.

HOME:

  • Insulation & size:  Custom, certified R-2000 insulated home, approx. 2500 sq ft of living space with 1900 sq ft on accessible main floor plus 600 sq ft of finished lower level with natural light and walkout to large covered cedar deck
  • Windows:  Energy Guide rated, low E Argon double hung windows and doors featuring large opening French doors from living room to screened in porch, slider doors, 2 casement windows on lower level
  • Foundation:  Concrete poured, with insulation and fire retardant
  • Finishes:  Custom rounded wall corners, and ceiling borders throughout, all neutral colours
  • Driveway:  Easy access limestone driveway, off municipal year-round road
  • Detached garage/car port:  (20’ x 24’), on slab concrete foundation with tool room and upstairs playroom/sleeping loft
  • Siding:  Pre-painted horizontal Cape Cod lodgepole-pine siding on house with decorative frieze boards
  • Roof:  35 yr. asphalt shingles, eaves troughs all around
  • Flooring:  Main floor is prefinished hardwood 3 ¼” Birch and ceramic tile; basement is manufactured hardwood Maple.
  • Wheelchair accessible main floor:  Hallway, doorways, bathroom, lever taps & door handles
  • Decking: Entry deck (6’ x 9’) is screened and two steps up from grade.
    Screened in lakeside cedar sun deck (34’ x 8’) upstairs off of living/dining rooms. Covered 34’ x 8’ cedar deck downstairs (unscreened).
    Two covered unscreened cedar decks off bedrooms (each 14’ x 4’)

ENTRY PORCH6’ x 9’ Unheated screened-in entry porch/mud room leads into the house from the landscaped walkway …

FOYER: 7’ X 12’6”

  • Foyer – ceramic tile floor
  • Mirrored entry coat closet
  • Main floor laundry closet with shelves, side-by-side appliances

 

LIVING/DINING ROOMS:  Open concept 34’ x 15’ combined – cathedral ceiling

  • Flooring:  – Birch prefinished hardwood
  • Napoleon propane fireplace – natural stone surround
  • Walk out French doors with side window to screened porch (34′ x 8′) off living room
  • Sliding doors to screened porch off dining room.

KITCHEN (12’ x 13’)

  • Spacious upper and lower cupboards, w/corner appliance garage, bulkheads over upper cupboards
  • Task lighting, over sink pot light
  • Formica counter tops, with double SS sink
  • Island with sink & large pot drawers and seating area
  • Pantry with slider shelves
  • Broom closet
  • Desk area w/phone/cable connections

MAIN FLOOR BEDROOMS X 2:

  • Master Bedroom (16’ x 13’6”) with ensuite bathroom(10’6” x 7’6” irregular) and Maxx spa shower
    • 6’ bay window overlooking wooded area
    • Walk in closet (7’6” x 7’) w/window
    • Attached sitting room / den (13’6” x 8’4”), 6’ sliding patio door to covered cedar balcony area

  • Guest Bedroom / Sitting Room  (20’ x 13’6”) Main floor guest room with 2 pc ensuite washroom (7’6” x 7’)
    • 6’ bay window
    • Walk in closet (7’6” x 5’6”) with window
    • Large linen closet
    • 6‘ sliding patio door to covered balcony.

BATHROOMS-(2 & ½)

  • Main floor washroom (10’6” x 7’9”) 4 piece (separate shower & tub) – ceramic tile floors with matching tub surround, wheelchair accessible
  • Two ensuite bathrooms:  one 3 piece off master (ceramic floor); one 2 piece off main floor guest room (hardwood floor)
  • Elongated dual-flush toilets (3)

FINISHED NATURAL LIGHT WALK-OUT LOWER LEVEL

  • BEDROOM   3:  (14’ x 13’6”’) Spacious, bright guest room in natural daylight basement
  • Family Room (34’ X 15’ less stairway footprint) includes a Napoleon wood-burning fireplace with fan and enclosed firewall, with outside air feed, ceramic and back wall ceramic décor and mantle on wall
  • Walk-out sliding door to covered cedar deck (34’ x 8’), and stairs to lakefront
  • Storage/Mud Room  (approx 14’ x 14’) with door to outside wood shed
  • Flooring:  Manufactured Maple hardwood
  • Unfinished area:  exposed rock is covered and sealed with moisture shield (Approx. 62’ x 16’); contains mechanical room, water pump and purification system, electrical panels
  • Cedar deck (34’ X 8’) has a cement slab underneath which allows for potential future hot tub installation

HEATING: (3 sources)  Two Napoleon fireplaces; one wood and one propane, with fans on Generac

  • Geo-thermal electric furnace and air conditioning; with outdoor split system air-to-air heat pump/thermostat
  • Lifebreath HRV ventilating system (air exchange and dehumidifier) with timers in each of 3 bathrooms plus in kitchen
  • Napoleon propane fireplace on main floor, w/thermostat (fireplace fan on generator)
  • Two propane tanks (tandem) on rental with Budget Propane
  • Wood burning Napoleon pedestal high-efficiency fireplace in finished basement (fireplace fan on generator)

WATER SYSTEM & PLUMBING:  Complete water system is on Generator

  • Water source:  Lake, with ¾ hp Jacuzzi pump in lake, heated water line / thermostat
  • Water filtration system for interior use (sediment, carbon, UV); additional ceramic filter tap in main bathroom.
  • Non-filtered water to outside taps for gardens, car washing, etc.  (Benefit = extends filtration system life)
  • Oversized septic tanks (1400 gal. capacity with 100 gal. pump out chamber), insulated pipes and holding tank for efficient percolation
  • 40 gal. hot water tank

ELECTRICAL: 

  • 200 amp service with (automatic) standby 8 K propane Generator – supplies fridges, freezer, microwave, water pump, UV light, various outlets – minimum of one outlet per bedroom, fireplace fans.
  • Buried power lines from transformer to buildings
  • Installed surge protector on incoming power lines
  • Wired for satellite cable w/installed cable splitter (8)

OTHER FEATURES:

  • Easy access driveway from Town maintained road, easy lakefront access
  • 8K standby Generator powered by propane — connected to water in/out system, refrigerator & deep freeze, microwave, plus one or more electrical outlet in each room
  • Double pane low-E argon windows throughout
  • “Silent floor” joists throughout; all wood decks are cedar
  • Fire protection system (house and grounds) with sprinklers on house roof
  • Cement pad roughed-in for hot tub (under lower deck)
  • Outside summer hot/cold shower
  • Central vacuum is roughed in, two outlets, one crumb tray
  • Winter wood shed off lower deck
  • 24” all around roof overhang

DETACHED CARPORT / GARAGE:  20’ x 24’ building erected on concrete rebar reinforced slab

  • 2 vehicle carport, with tool storage area
  • Vertical cedar siding – open sides allow for firewood stacking
  • Locking tool room at end of garage hidden under indoor stairway
  • Bright upstairs playroom/sleeping loft (24’ x 20’), three season, carpeted plywood floors, with 4 opening windows and patio door to small deck, ceiling light/fan, electricity, with one installed heater in loft
  • Garden tool shed attached to the back of garage
  • Outdoor summer shower building with hot/cold running water immediately behind garage
  • Decked walkway from garage to house, with BBQ and picnic table area
  • Level bonfire pit area behind garage, with grass and raised garden area

 MULDREW LAKE:
Located approximately 90 minutes from Toronto and its International Airport

  • Accessible from Hwy. 169 near Muskoka Wharf
  • Muskoka’s 10th largest body of water, approx. 11 miles long, with many bays and inlets
  • Muldrew Lake Cottagers Association is active in issues relating to the development and the environment, active in cottage winter inspections, provides annual regattas and other general interest events to membership.  The MLCA also provides and maintains two boat landings for members to launch and remove boats from the lake.  “All Out Marina” is located at the north eastern end of the lake.

Located south west of Gravenhurst, Muldrew Lake well known for its rugged beauty, calm waters and its active community of residents who are devoted to the lake lifestyle.    Muldrew’s waters lie on the bedrock of the Canadian Shield, its depths and shape scraped out by glaciers thousands of years ago.  Five species of pine and deciduous species such as birch, oak and maple decorate the shore.  Muldrew is home to many species of wildlife, the most popular of which are the Common Loon, Great Blue Heron and of course the chipmunk.  Much to the delight of residents, a large variety of songbirds, raptors and hummingbirds commonly visit, next and feed in the shore lands surrounding Muldrew Lake.

Mice at your cottage – snakes may be your best friends.

Don’t love snakes? They are harmless, all except the Massasauga rattler, which is virtually harmless; and 5 are in trouble in Ontario. Learning to live with them near your cottage, even going so far as to create some habitat for them may be the most effective and natural way to get rid of those rodents – that you really hate.

I just finished editing, and posted a video on YouTube. Rob Willson of Riverstone Environmental presented at the Muskoka Watershed Council‘s Muskoka Stewardship Conference.

In about 40 minutes you’ll learn a lot about squamites, including what that term means to impress your scientist buddies. You will also be introduced to the actor of the snake family…

Hognose snake playing dead; all the while watching to see if you are appropriately convinced.

Rome, Italy video

On a trip we took to Italy this year I shot some video on a nice little handheld camera. Among tons of settings, automatic and manual, you can set it to speed up, with the top and bottom of the screen out of focus so everything looks miniature. Shot from the balcony of our hotel room in Rome, it’s fun to see pedestrians risking life and limb to cross the street.

I was happy not to get video of any necessary ambulance visits, although there were some really close calls.

We’ll have to come up with some Muskoka scenes for the miniature effect – Antique Boat Show maybe.

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Here’s another really short one of people posing for pictures in front of the Trevi Fountain, then tossing their coins in.

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Afternoon Sailing on Lake Muskoka

In between cottage showings and listings, on one of the busiest days of the summer -Saturday of the July 1st weekend – I had a small window of time to go sailing. The weather has been beautiful and quite windy for days, and Saturday was no exception. I had to reef the sail and would have tied in a 2nd reef, but by that time we were on our way back downwind.

Obviously excited to get in some sailing time.

Catharine was in the process of selling a great place on Moon River. Fortunately Neysa and Bentley were up for a quick adventure. We sailed upwind from between Pine & Birch Islands, north of Beaumaris, then back.

Neysa & Bentley. Bentley sniffing out some Island BBQ’s.

Now that Bentley is starting to enjoy the sailboat more – the boat treats from Lenore certainly helped – we have to be careful about exposure to the sun. We applied sunscreen to Bentley’s muzzle, but he kept licking it off!? Tips on using sunscreen on your dog. We did our best to keep him shaded but he had other ideas.

Bentley after licking off the sunscreen, tries to catch some rays.

Habitat Types in Muskoka

Think of Muskoka, not as a single habitat, but a mosaic of different inter-dependent habitats.

I just finished editing, and posted a video on YouTube. Dirk Janas of Beacon Environmental presented at the Muskoka Watershed Council‘s Muskoka Stewardship Conference.

In about 40 minutes you’ll be able to tell all your friends how a bog is like a fen, but is different from a marsh, which is different from a swamp.

Gull Lake Cottage or Home

June 29: There is a huge price adjustment on this terrific property – now just $525,000

We have a great property listed for sale on Gull Lake; an easy walk to downtown Gravenhurst. It’s a perfect 3 +1 bedroom year ’round family home/cottage, and it has a bunkie with two more bedrooms and a bathroom. It has been meticulously maintained by its owners and is under $600,000.

Beside the dock, one of the only sand beaches on Gull Lake.

Almost all furnishings are included – even an antique snooker table with cues, snooker and eight balls.

The cottage is heated with natural gas forced air, boasts a natural gas fireplace, sauna and has municipal water!  Large sundeck with screened Muskoka Room allows for magnificent views.  Gull Lake, which is connected to Silver Lake, has miles and miles of boating and beautiful Muskoka Rock, Pines and blue water.

Narrows from Gull Lake to Silver Lake
Gull Lake is only 90 minutes from the GTA

Additional details on this property are here.

Muskoka cottage life & real estate