Tag Archives: muskoka

Happy birthday, Sideroads!

Turning five is a big deal.

For most of us, it’s when we embark on one of the biggest adventures of our lives: school. We’re young and impressionable, soaking up information on a seemingly never-ending basis. We haven’t yet discovered our academic or artistic talents and there’s so much to take in, so much talent to uncover.

We face challenges and roadblocks, setbacks and major victories. We make lifelong friendships and start to gain independence as we step out into that great big schoolyard of life.

Here at Sideroads, we’re proud to celebrate our fifth birthday. Over the past half-decade we’ve met so many fantastic people and seen some incredible places. We’ve made new friends and said goodbye to treasured colleagues.

And just like all five year-olds, we’re still learning.

In this fifth anniversary issue of Sideroads, we celebrate learning and growth. From an automotive history lesson to a horsing around with self-discovery, a pilgrimage that tests the physical body to breaking down an artist’s creative process, we learn about the amazing people and opportunities Muskoka has to offer.

There’s nothing greater than feeling like you’ve got the whole world ahead of you, just waiting to be discovered. So join us in our quest to learn more, experience more and enjoy more of Muskoka. It’s your anniversary, too.

–       SR


Spring’s Hottest Gardening Trends

By Kristen Hamilton

Another gardening season is approaching and this year brings some interesting gardening trends. So, how you can make your garden totally 2012? It’s simple. Follow these trends and add your own twist to them and your garden will be the talk of the neighbourhood.

For 2012 stress-free gardening is the hottest thing going. Having a low-maintenance garden doesn’t mean it has to be boring or have little colour; it means your plants require very little to no deadheading, are pest-resistant and require little water or pruning. There are lots of plant options that add colour and flair without the maintenance. Black Eyed Susan, Liatris, Turtle Head, and Coreopsis are a few of my favourite low-maintenance perennials. One of my all-time favourite low-maintenance shrubs is St. Johns Wort. It provides wonderful colour through the summer, requires very little pruning, and deer don’t like to eat it. Ornamental grasses are also a great option are definitely trendy.

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The Drivers

Photo submitted by David Johns

By Sarah Ryeland and Pamela Steel

In 1854, the Ontario government reached a decision that changed the face of the landscape forever: Muskoka was opened up for settling and free land was now available, up to two hundred acres per family. A route had to be built so that the Europeans could find and claim their land.

 – W. David Johns

And the rest, as they say, is history.

David Johns is an accidental author, his book Pathways to Highways; The History of Huntsville’s First Roads and Automotive Industry, a labour of love.

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Around the World and Back Again

Story and photo by Sarah Ryeland

Most of us dream about travelling around the world. We long to stand at the foot of majestic mountains, feel the spray of a thunderous waterfall and feel our feet sink into the warm sand of a tropical beach. We want to experience the traditions of another culture and greet the unexpected on the road less travelled.

We might not get the chance to visit all the places we long to see, but we can appreciate the world through the eyes of artists who capture the essence and beauty of our environment on canvas, film and beyond.

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Back of Beyond

Photo by Alison Withey

By Sarah Ryeland

Equine assisted learning. Equine experiential learning.

When you hear those terms, what comes to mind? Last week I would have said something along the lines of “using horses to help people with disabilities” or “helping those with challenges overcome their fears” or something like that.

How right I was. And how mistaken.

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Walking el Camino de Santiago

Photo by Peter Coffman

By Pamela Steel

It’s a long walk.

And those who have taken it say it’s life changing.

Several Huntsville residents have walked the up-to-1,000-km pilgrim’s journey through France and Spain, the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James.

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Maple Chiffon Pie

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By Pamela Steel

Pastry for a 9-inch pie shell

¾ cup                        water

2 ¼ tsp                        gelatin

½ cup                        maple syrup

1/3 cup                        granulated sugar

4                        eggs, separated

¼ tsp                         cream of tartar

2 tbsp                        granulated sugar

Prepare pastry and fully pre-bake.

Combine ¼ cup of water with gelatin. Let stand for 5 minutes to dissolve.

Whisk in remaining water, maple syrup, sugar and egg yolks.

Place in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until mixture begins to thicken enough to coat the back of the spoon. Do not simmer.

Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate for 1 hour. It should not set completely, but should hold its shape when dropped from a spoon.

In a clean glass or stainless steel bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar on low speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high; add sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg whites into chilled maple mixture. Turn into the prepared crust so it is highest in the centre. Refrigerate overnight or for 8 hours.