Category Archives: Autumn 2010

Captain of the Lake of Bays

Captain of the Lake of Bays

After 10 years of boat tours, Captain Bruce still celebrates the lake. Photo courtesy of Lake of Bays Boat Tours.

By Sarah Ryeland

Seasons change. The history of our land evolves and faces fade from memory. As time marches on, it’s comforting to know that while some of us lose sight of our heritage, certain folks never will.

Bruce Jamieson, or “Captain Bruce” as he is affectionately known, is the owner/operator of Lake of Bays Boat Tours, now in its 10th season on the water. His three-hour tours are known for both the fun factor and the cool info he provides.

Thanks to his many friends and local contacts, Jamieson is a wealth of information and makes a living out of telling other people’s stories. But before you start to worry about what gossip he’s spreading; relax. He tells the tale of only one great lady: the Lake of Bays…

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Art in Transition

R.W. Haviland

Story and photo by Mary Beth Hartill

R.W. Haviland’s rustic home and art studio sit tucked away behind a row of trees on Ferguson Avenue in Burk’s Falls. It’s the charm of the buildings that often draws in visitors, she says.

“The buildings have kind of a Swiss feel to them and it’s a lovely piece of land,” says the artist. “People come to see the buildings.”

Once inside, though, Haviland’s collection of paintings often surprises them…

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Haunted Muskoka

By Andrew Hind

Muskoka is a summer playground, where people enjoy frivolous afternoons on the countless pristine lakes, breathe fresh air, listen to the silence of the forests, and find solace in the hospitality of a resort or the comfort of one’s own vacation home. It’s one of Ontario’s most beloved regions.

There’s another side to Muskoka, however. A side rarely seen and at odds with its reputation as a place for carefree leisure and rustic beauty. There’s an underlying darkness that few talk about and fewer still witness. Ghost stories haunt cottage country’s dense forests, its deep lakes, and its quaint communities. They creep from shadow to shadow, existing out of sight of the frivolity that marks this land of cottages and resorts. The rocky landscape may have proved to be poor for raising crops, but it’s certainly fertile ground for haunting ghost stories…

More spooky details

Food Fit For a Prime Minister

Chef Rory Golden

Prepared by Deerhurst Resort executive chef Rory Golden and his staff, tender elk loin from Rainy River served on a Lindgren Pottery platter was the meat selection for the entree.

Story and photo by Gillian Brunette

If ordering, receiving and preparing all the food for the G8 Summit wasn’t stressful enough, a mock evacuation the night before the world leaders arrived proved to be the proverbial icing on the cake.

“A number of the executive staff had been asked to stand in for the leaders of each country for a mock evacuation. I was to be Italy (Silvio Berlusconi),” explained Deerhurst executive chef Rory Golden.

Golden was in his Deerhurst office when he was asked to go immediately to the 11th hole on the Lakeside golf course…

More juicy G8 details here

Fall Kayaking

Fall Kayaking

Story and photo by Alison Brownlee

Gliding over lakes of glass and down meandering rivers can be one of the best ways to explore the beautiful waters and fall colours of Muskoka.

And the best part is you don’t need a boat operator card to do it, says Randy Mitson, marketing director for outdoor activities retailer Algonquin Outfitters.

“We’ve had a lot of people come into the store asking if we rent jet skis,” says Mitson one evening while standing on the dock behind the business’s Huntsville store. “I used to tell them no and try to point them toward someone who did, but now I just ask if they have a boat operator card.”

One of the best things about non-motorized water transportation, like canoeing or kayaking, is that it doesn’t require any specialized licensing, he says…

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The Wailing Call


Loons are among the oldest species of bird in existence. Some believe they date back 50 million years. Photo by Cody Storm Cooper.

By Carlye Malchuk-Dash

As the sun sets on a lazy summer’s day, calm waters lap at the shoreline and the air begins to cool. As evening turns to night a familiar noise – both calming and haunting – takes over the bay.

It is the cry of the loon, one of the most easily recognized birds in our region, not only by sight but also by sound.

“When the loons start up it’s like magic,” says Robin Tapley, a local naturalist and expedition leader with a home on Lake of Bays.  “It’s peaceful, it’s serene, it’s Muskoka, it’s wild . . . It’s like going to a concert when the final band comes out.”

Loons are found throughout many parts of North America, but here they’ve become a symbol of the northern experience – a quick search on the internet brings up a plethora of sites advertising a getaway to the region where visitors can experience the distant call of the loon for themselves…

The whole story

Muskoka Bound

By Karen Cassian

The Haliburton School of Fine Arts is a part of Fleming College and can be found close to the small village of Haliburton, on the spectacular shores of Head Lake. It is a school with a wonderful reputation that has become a staple in the village’s small but strong arts community.

A satellite branch of the school is scheduled to open in Huntsville next summer, and local residents are getting excited at the prospect of flexing their creative muscles through new educational programs. With an abundance of talented artists in the Huntsville area, the school won’t have to look far for instructors…

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