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Unique Muskoka Issue 39 - July 2023

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JULY 2023The creatures of Muskoka’s nightBOAT BUILDING TRADITIONSCreative ExplorationArtist Janet StahleScaling the walls of Muskoka’s indoor climbing facilitiesContinue across generationsJULY 2023

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Mary Lake Lake of Bays Rosseau Lake$1,595,000$2,999,999 $2,949,000CHELSEY PENRICE BrokerMuskokaLuxuryProperties.caJoin CNIB's Cookout with Cuddy on August 12th Book tickets at 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 1

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[21][40]Features11Muskoka Historian J. Patrick BoyerArticle by Kelly GoslinPhotography by Josianne MasseauA consummate historian and author, J. Patrick Boyer recently published the next book in his Boyer’s Modern History of Muskoka series; Muskoka Heritage Nuggets, Volume I.16Community Science – Native PlantsArticle by John ChallisNatural plant communities in gardens, lawns and wetlands across Muskoka, and removing invasive species where possible, can help to restore ecological balance and support local wildlife. 21Heritage Curators – Muskoka Steamships & Discovery CentreArticle by J. Patrick Boyer Photography by Andy ZeltkalnsMuskoka Steamships & Discovery Centre in Gravenhurst is a museum like no other with an archive that preserves the knowledge, photographs and artifacts of days gone by and exhibits that thrill and educate. 24Creative Explorer – Janet StahleArticle by Bronwyn BoyerPhotography by Kelly HolinsheadArtist Janet Stahle has spent years exploring every artistic medium and style and continues to bravely connect to her creativity in all aspects of her work and her life. 30Food Markets in MuskokaArticle by Meghan TaylorPhotography by Andy ZeltkalnsLocal food markets across Muskoka offer a wide variety of fresh products. Whether the focus is locality, quality or exclusivity, Muskoka markets rise to meet the expectations of their clientele. 34Muskoka Boat Building Traditions Run DeepArticle and Photography by Tim Du VernetMuskoka is one of the special places where traditional woodworking skills are still valued, contributing to the thriving boat building industry, with new generations taking up the trade. 40Getting a Grip – Climbing in MuskokaArticle and Photography by Andy ZeltkalnsWhile Muskoka’s landscape may seem to fit the bill for outdoor climbing to flourish, restrictions limit the activity. However, indoor climbing facilities provide opportunities to try the sport in a controlled, supervised environment. ...telling the Muskoka story 2 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023[34]

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Celebrating 25 Years!

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Our CoverPhotography by Tim Du VernetNenone showcases the exceptional craftsmanship of wooden boats made in Muskoka, then and now. Originally built by Matheson in 1922, Nenone continues to ply the waters of Muskoka’s lakes. JULY 2023The creatures of Muskoka’s nightBOAT BUILDING TRADITIONSCreative ExplorationArtist Janet StahleScaling the walls of Muskoka’s indoor climbing facilitiesContinue across generationsJULY 2023Departments58What’s HappenedArticle by Matt DriscollRed Canoe Gallery celebrates a new location and its 30th anniversary, CNIB announces fundraising concert with Jim Cuddy and boat shows are back this summer. Lakeland Solutions is installing 40 electric vehicle (EV) chargers across Muskoka while Huntsville Hospital welcomes a $2.6 million tech addition. e District of Muskoka cancels its grass runway project, a condo development in Gravenhurst meets stiff opposition and the expansion of Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville sparks controversy. 62Cottage Country CuisineArticle by K.M. Wehrstein Photography by Tomasz SzumskiSummer salads are a fresh, healthy and delicious option, as a side dish or the whole meal. Mixing textures, colours and flavours, particularly with the availability of summer vegetables, is the key to creating a salad that packs extra punch. 68Muskoka MomentsBy Cailan Laine Punnewaert47Navigating Prohibition Era in MuskokaArticle by J. Patrick BoyerFrom first pioneer settlement, liquor was available and promoted in Muskoka and those seeking to control it were equally present and accounted for. As with all of Canada, Prohibition and the Roaring Twenties created challenges for Muskoka. 52Muskoka’s Nightlife – Creatures of the DarkArticle by John ChallisWhile humans may be afraid of what goes bump in the night, our inclination to light up the dark impacts the survival of wildlife reliant on the darkness. e night is teeming with life and sound, for those prepared to pack away that fear. Opinion9 Muskoka InsightsBy Meghan Taylor[52][47]Celebrating 25 Years![62]July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 5

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…telling the Muskoka story Unique Muskoka is published six times per year by Unique Publishing Inc.Meghan TaylorPublisher/EditorDonna AnsleySalesLisa BrazierDesignSusan SmithAdministrationBronwyn BoyerJ. Patrick BoyerJohn ChallisMatt DriscollTim Du VernetKelly GoslinKelly HolinsheadJosianne MasseauCailan Laine PunnewaertTomasz SzumskiNorma Van AlstineK.M. WehrsteinAndy ZeltkalnsContributorsAnnual Subscription Rates: (including HST where applicable)In Ontario $30.00 All Other Provinces $36.00 U.S. $60.00 All Other Countries $72.00HST: 773172721Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement Number: 43268016Copyright © 2023 Unique Publishing Inc.No content published in Unique Muskoka can be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.Mailing AddressBox 616, Bracebridge ON P1L 1T9Street Address28 Manitoba St., Bracebridge ON P1L 705-637-0204 6 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023INTRODUCING KIATHE21 Robert Dollar Dr, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1P9705-645-6575muskokakia.caMUSKOKA KIAThe 2023 Seltos.stoneway marble & granite inc.Les and Renata Partyka1295 Muskoka Rd. 118 West, Bracebridge | 705.645.3380 |

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FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS SINCE 1987www.FIREPLACESTOP.com6048 Hwy 9Schomberg, ON1-800-843-1732July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 7

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Muskoka InsightsSAVOY by DreamStar BeddingYour Home and Cottage Mattress CentreTHE LARGEST SELECTION OF IN-STOCKMATTRESSES IN MUSKOKA6 Monica Lane, Bracebridge705.646.2557www.mattressesofmuskoka.comMUSKOKACURATED COLLECTION by Marshall MattressFor me, the sound that signals the start of summer is the trilling of peepers. What starts as a single frog, singing its heart out becomes a full chorus, ranging in volume, tone and pitch. Muskoka’s early summer nights are filled with this song, and many others. e smells and sounds of summer may vary with where in Muskoka you are but they inevitably conjure feelings and memories of summers past. is summer, already, we have had a record number of forest fires across Canada. reats of flooding each spring are now common in the Muskoka region. Temperatures continue to rise and weather patterns become more severe and erratic each year. Extreme weather and natural disasters are not new. However, the rate at which they increase annually is. While Muskoka feels like a hidden jewel in many ways, the impact of humans on the environment globally is encountered locally as well. As John Challis shares in his feature on Muskoka’s nightlife, human activity challenges nocturnal animal habits. Light pollution has impacted multiple species – from bats to moths, birds to frogs and more. Animals reliant on the night are disoriented by the sights and sounds of human development. As wildlife populations decline, nature changes. In our community science feature, Challis also notes the environmental changes settlement has made to the ecosystems in Muskoka by bringing invasive plant species. However, with the help of community scientists, we gain a greater understanding of the importance of native plants and how to facilitate the necessary return of these plants to the ecosystems. Awareness and understanding of the challenges facing the natural environment are only the first step. Now, action in protecting and preserving the region’s natural beauty is required. As a community, we can create change and protect the Muskoka we love. As a community, we can safeguard our environment and our heritage. Traditions are strong in Muskoka. Tim Du Vernet’s feature on Muskoka’s wooden boatbuilders highlights the strong ties to our history. e continued determination to sustain the knowledge and skills required to build and revitalize wooden boats is an example of Muskokans adapting to modern technology while also respecting and maintaining a legacy. Muskokans are also no strangers to navigating life with differences of opinion. During settlement, vacationers and residents managed to coexist as individual communities across the district implemented liquor policies. Regular contributor Patrick Boyer shares the challenges of Prohibition and the impact on Muskoka, with outcomes finally landing on a balance between all or nothing.Creativity and the exploration of creative solutions are standard in the life of artist Janet Stahle. As she shared with Bronwyn Boyer, “I’m an explorer. I’ve always been a curious person and I get my joy from experimenting.” Stahle is referring to her art and the exploration of various artistic styles and mediums. Her body of work is vast and continues to evolve throughout her life. Across Muskoka, challenging situations – disappearing heritage, environmental degradation and the decline of wildlife populations – are overcome with creative thinking. e solutions developed in the past may not support the goals of the future. Together, as a community devoted to Muskoka, we can seek a balance between progress and protection. As always, I hope you find a feature, or several, within these pages that captures your attention, educates and creates conversations. Happy reading!Photograph: MacKenzie TaylorJuly 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 9

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Article by Kelly Goslin / Photography by Josianne MasseauHow do we approach history? In Muskoka, Patrick Boyer has emerged as a voice for our region’s complex past and its connections to today. rough his Modern History of Muskoka series, Boyer is reappraising what we know of Muskoka’s stories, its distinctive cultural foundations and their implications on understanding the region’s identity. As Boyer himself explains, his latest highly acclaimed series records “the authentic experiences of real people who contended with transformative changes”.For anyone familiar with the communities of Muskoka, the name Boyer will likely already stand synonymous with historiography. Patrick Boyer comes from a multigenerational legacy of authors, thinkers, publishers and historians who have endeavoured to preserve the memories of Muskoka since the late Victorian era. rough recording their lives in his own writing, Boyer states that “it gave me an emotional jolt to realize that through my books, I was carrying forward, tangibly as Patrick Boyer (top) recently released the latest volume in the Boyer’s Modern History of Muskoka series: Muskoka Heritage Nuggets Volume I. The book is a collection of 14 features previously published in local periodicals. July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 11

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BATH & KITCHEN SHOWROOMDESIGN. INSTALLATION. REPAIRSERVING ALL OF MUSKOKA279 MANITOBA ST, BRACEBRIDGE705.645.2671KNOWLESPLUMBING.COM @MUSKOKABATHTHE RIOBEL MOMENTI™ COLLECTION AVAILABLE AT KNOWLES PLUMBING!279 Manitoba Street, Bracebridge 705.645.2671 @knowlesplumbing @knowlesplumbing @knowlesplumbingBATH & KITCHEN SHOWROOMSALES•INSTALLATION•REPAIRSERVING ALL OF MUSKOKAknowlesplumbing.comMuskoka’s Bath & Plumbing Centre 12 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023well as intellectually, the lifeworks of three other men.”“In 1870, my great-grandfather James Boyer was editor of the Northern Advocate, first newspaper in Ontario’s northern districts, municipal clerk, and Muskoka magistrate,” Boyer details. “He wrote many accounts of Muskoka activities. His son, my grandfather George Boyer, became publisher and editor of e Muskoka Herald, a successor newspaper, and was mayor of Bracebridge in the 1920s. He wrote the book Early Days in Muskoka and broadcast a weekly radio program about Muskoka’s pioneer era on Huntsville’s CKAR station.”e family’s story has only continued, as Boyer describes, with his father, Robert Boyer, becoming editor of e Muskoka Herald at 19, while his grandfather George sought work at the Canada Customs Office to keep their paper afloat during the Great Depression.Growing up on Dominion Street in Bracebridge, young Boyer witnessed the exciting activities all recorded by his family’s paper. His father became MPP for Muskoka when Boyer was aged ten and in his teenage years he worked in the print shop, helping cement Muskoka’s news and developments with a Linotype machine.Entering into this project, where he records the many facets of local history and connects them to contemporary life, Boyer is not simply engaging with the sentimental. He is also redefining how we consider and understand Muskoka history, placing its As Boyer himself explains, his latest highly acclaimed series records “the authentic experiences of real people who contended with transformative changes.” Each complete story is about the people, places and phenomenon that made Muskoka what it is today.

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100% Canadian Artists• Large Original Paintings• Turned Wood Bowls• Sculptures & Carvings76 Joseph St. (Hwy 118 W.), Port Carling(Across from Home Hardware)705-765-7474www.redcanoegallery.comDulcinea In Red 72x40 (B. Nowak)CELEBRATING 30 YEARS IN MUSKOKABoyer is pushing Muskoka’s history further into the light, aiding our region in its attempts to better promote our understanding of Muskoka’s past and identity. His awareness and outspoken determination remind us of the importance of heritage conservation.precedent historiography under a microscope and reappraising the many beliefs and preconceptions we have of the region. e foundations of this endeavour can be identified in Boyer’s lengthy political and legal career. Boyer sought change by identifying points of crisis within the democratic framework, challenging injustices and corruption “by creating organizations, by legislation, and by litigation.” When faced with the negligent institutional approach to women with ovarian cancer, Boyer created the pioneering Corinne Boyer Fund for Ovarian Cancer Research and Treatment, now known as Ovarian Cancer Canada. Boyer also used his membership in parliament to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, aiming to “remove discriminatory obstacles they faced” systemically. Boyer introduced legislation to “give Canadian citizens a ratification vote by referendum on any transcendent changes in our Constitution proposed by governments”. ese are only a few of the many instances where Boyer acted to deconstruct negative social and political behaviours that impede July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 13

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14 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Throughout his work on the Boyer’s Modern History of Muskoka series, Boyer is redening how we consider and understand Muskoka history, placing early accounts of history under a microscope and reappraising the many beliefs and preconceptions we have of the region.705.645.4294 TF: 866.645.4294STORE: 228 TAYLOR RD., BRACEBRIDGEOFFICE: 1646 WINHARA RD., GRAVENHURSTSales & Service of MajorPropane Appliances(refrigerators, ranges, fireplaces, furnaces & more)Safe & reliableNo electricity requiredBulk propane deliveryto your home or cottageAppliancesSERVING MUSKOKA &PARRY SOUND FOROVER 70 YEARSthe integrity of equity. His altruistic raison d’être is continued in his historical work. “Political life taught me that often issues and events are not stand-alone or one-off phenomena but integral aspects of larger forces and deeper imperatives,” states Boyer. “What to some may appear to be a problem is often, in fact, the symptom of a more profound crisis. As applied to my historical writing, this underscores why providing context is everything.”Boyer’s determined re-examination of context and evidence manifests in several manners within his Modern History of Muskoka series, as well as within his previous writings on local and broader history. Boyer recognizes that early Canadian historiography is riddled with the erasure of Indigenous voices and traditions, with our understanding of the past in Muskoka and beyond being heavily instructed by settler policies and concepts. “Books in my Modern History of Muskoka series do not begin with a token chapter about ‘Indians’,” explains Boyer. “ey weave First Nation, Métis, and Innu realities throughout the entire text – to reflect the reality of evolution. is intertwining approach respects the cultural complexity of present-day Canadian society within which Indigenous people live dual lives in time and space.”In addition to this effort of reintegrating those vital Indigenous voices and experiences, Boyer directly tackles the many assumptions and ideas that his readers possess of Muskoka as a settler culture that has become “cottage country”. He explores the impacts of conflicts, pandemics, industrialization, and innovations on a complex Muskoka society. “I strive to portray the culture of a place and people which remain the same while evolving beyond recognition – a paradox that brings us closer to truth,” Boyer states. In doing so, Boyer is pushing Muskoka’s history further into light, aiding our region in its attempts to better promote our understanding of Muskoka’s past and identity. His awareness and outspoken determination help remind us of the importance of striving for heritage conservation.“Preservation of Muskoka history is a constant battle,” says Boyer, in advocating for a district-wide public archive.Boyer continues to champion reappraising our knowledge of history, stating that Muskoka’s already rich literary history will benefit from the revision of “prior one-sided or propagandistic accounts and, especially, to incorporate new research”. His Modern History of Muskoka, and the many other works he has written about Muskoka and beyond, stand out as bastions of a new wave of historical and cultural exploration.

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16 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Article by John ChallisOur lawns and gardens are filled with plants that don’t belong in Muskoka, imported here since the first European settlers arrived. Plants like periwinkle, yellow iris, purple loosestrife, Japanese knotweed – and yes, all that Kentucky bluegrass on the lawn – have compromised an ecological balance that evolved over thousands of years. Restoring natural plant communities means knowing what was there before we groomed our lawns. And that knowledge relies heavily on the field work of community scientists paired with experts. In Muskoka, the data goes back years, and is ongoing. e science, meanwhile, is being applied in the field.e Muskoka Conservancy is one of many agencies applying knowledge to encourage both seasonal and year-round residents to help restore some natural balance on their land. eir annual native plant sale owes its selection to community science, says sale co-ordinator Jan McDonnell. “It’s loosely based on the funded science and a bit of (community) science in the Muskoka Heritage Areas Program,” McDonnell says. In the early 1990s the ambitious program catalogued an inventory of all the biological Photograph: Muskoka ConservancyWoodland phlox, phlox divaricata is a spreading wildower. It prefers shady, moist conditions and creates a carpet of open clusters of attractive blooms.

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and cultural features of Muskoka.“e species list generated by MHAP guides the species chosen for sale and the knowledge base and ethic created by that program helped to support the development of the native plant sale back then,” McDonnell says. Many organizations are engaged in encouraging private landowners to naturalize their landscapes. e Land Between offers a range of resources on native landscaping and planting. Shoreland design workshops are available for community groups. ey can do site visits, create garden plans and even do the planting for individual property owners. eir website also offers up guides, videos and plant lists for property owners. Much of their emphasis is on shorelines. “e shoreland (from the shallows up 30 metres onto land) is an incredibly productive area,” says Kate Dickson, e Land Between’s marketing and communications lead. “It’s estimated that 90 per cent of aquatic and 70 per cent of terrestrial species rely on the shoreland for habitat.” Roughly 80 per cent of lakefront is privately owned in cottage country, so that land is just as important as land trust reserves or parks.Naturalizing shorelands is a win for wildlife and property owners alike. Anyone with a waterfront lawn knows the battle involved in keeping Canada geese from leaving their deposits behind. Dickson says natural landscaping is a far better method of discouraging geese than plastic barriers and scare decals. A naturalized shoreline helps restore the ecosystem between water and shore. Fish habitat can be improved, pollinator insects will return to the native garden and birds will follow the insects. Invisible to us, key relationships between plant communities are established, improving the overall health and resilience of the garden. Ongoing community science can’t be forgotten in all this. e Muskoka Conservancy relies on volunteers who help compile research on its 35 nature reserves and 15 conservation easement properties. Amanda Porter, the conservation co-ordinator at Muskoka Conservancy, says teams of volunteers called land stewards survey each of their properties. “When completing inventories we will target the plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, insects, fungi, mosses, and lichen,” Porter shares. In addition to the land stewards, expert ecologists and naturalists make up a technical Original ArtworkCanadian CraftStudio Jewellery Open Daily in Summer • Mo-Sa: 10-5; Su: 11-4oxtonguecraftcabin.comMary Lou Boulanger, Bruce 39" x 39", acrylic 1073 Fox Point Rd, Dwight, Lake of Bays, 705.635.1602John Doherty painted loons & paddlesVolunteers from Muskoka Conservancy work on the removal of phragmites, an invasive plant in wetlands across Muskoka, at Bert and Millie’s Marsh Nature Reserve (no public access). The black garbage bags are used to hold and sun the plant material until it is non-viable.Photograph: Muskoka ConservancyJuly 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 17

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18 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Muskoka Conservancy’s annual native plant sale is one way to support local conservation eorts and increase the native plants in your yard. Jack in the pulpit, arisaema triphyllum, is an eye-catching addition to any garden. RESIDENTIAL • COMMERCIALINDUSTRIAL519.865.6209ARKLTD.CAGENERATORSSMART HOME SYSTEMSNEW CONSTRUCTIONLIGHTINGECRA/ESA #7010474advisory group that supplements the work of the community scientists. e knowledge base they’re building is a lasting template for preserving the natural values of the properties. Sometimes, it also helps them step in immediately to tackle an issue. Five years ago, the inventory done at Bert and Millie’s Marsh east of Beatrice, a protected alder swamp, identified an unwanted visitor: phragmites. Phragmites is an invasive grass that grows as tall as 2.2 metres. It spreads by runners that are as tough as electrical cable and can take over an entire wetland. e discovery, Porter says, “prompted us to begin a phragmites management project where we have been able to engage volunteers and get them involved firsthand in removing the persistent grass from the wetland.”As always, the iNaturalist app allows anyone to become a community scientist. e District of Muskoka monitors the species identified in iNaturalist to shape its Integrated Watershed Management Plan strategies. Cottager groups on Clearwater Lake, in Muskoka’s south, and Brandy Lake in central Muskoka, have their own iNaturalist projects to keep tabs on what’s special about their little corner of the district.e pandemic pushed many people to step outside and begin to appreciate the natural world around them. With more landscapes being naturalized, and more community scientists out there building knowledge, it may deepen our appreciation of the natural world.705-375-2797WATER ACCESS PROPERTIESSpecializing inmuskokaseptic@gmail.commuskokasepticservices.comSEPTIC PUMPINGBlack-eyed Susan, rudbeckia hirta, are a plant species native to Muskoka and enjoy sunny spots. Native plants are critical to creating functional ecosystems. Keeping outdoor spaces as natural as possible and planting native plants, trees and shrubs also helps to support wildlife.Photograph: Mike’s LandscapingPhotograph: Muskoka Conservancy

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Muskoka Steamships & Discovery Centre rightly claims that it “preserves knowledge of the Steam Era and enables the public to experience the fun, romance and history of the Muskoka Lakes.” Exhibits throughout the museum attract, engage and educate on the settlement of Muskoka. Of the district’s heritage curators, the Muskoka Steamships operation at Gravenhurst has the greatest seniority. From the time Alexander Peter Cockburn launched Muskoka’s first steamship Wenonah the year before Confederation through to the mid-20th century, the pioneering role of the Muskoka Lakes Navigation Company enabled the district’s unexpected evolution – beyond typical logging farming, and manufacturing – into a unique vacation destination. e timing of Muskoka’s steam age transformation also powered mills, road building, tractors on fields, warping tugs moving logs, motor vehicles and construction. As steamships linked with steam trains to provide decades of transportation for passengers, freight and mail, the Gravenhurst-based operation expanded as it rewrote the district’s history.e navigation company extended services north into Lake Nipissing and west to Georgian Bay. Expanding beyond water transport, the company built prestigious Royal Muskoka Hotel on Lake Rosseau. For decades, the Muskoka Steamships Company, with North America’s largest inland freshwater fleet of vessels, was not curating history but making it by reshaping social and economic development.After steam’s eclipse by newer technologies, another unexpected twist in Muskoka’s saga was the miraculous resurrection of the company’s role in providing touring aboard steamships on Muskoka’s central lakes. Article by J. Patrick Boyer / Photography by Andy ZeltkalnsJuly 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 21

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22 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023HARDWOOD • LAMINATE • VINYL PLANK & TILE • VINYL ROLLS CARPET • CERAMIC • NATURAL STONE & MOREFloors for Home & CottageMODERN HOME CARPET ONE350 Ecclestone Drive • Bracebridgecarpetonebracebridge.caTAYLOR CARPET ONE30 Cairns Crescent • Huntsvilletaylorcarpetonehuntsville.com705.645.2443705.789.9259Today, Muskoka Steamship’s website urges people to “Visit Muskoka, there’s no place like it!” By extending the district’s heritage into the post-steam era, the Royal Mail Ship Segwun’s appealing reinstatement of passenger cruises since the 1980s represents a rare steamboat restoration in North America, joined more recently on Lake of Bays by the former steamer Bigwin. Muskoka’s innovations in sustainable heritage were enriched by the Gravenhurst company adding Wenonah II and Wanda III to its present-day fleet. Offering cruises during navigation season, Muskoka Steamships rightly claims that it “preserves knowledge of the Steam Era and enables the public to experience the fun, romance and history of the Muskoka Lakes.”e steamer side of the double-headed operation complements its sister facility, the Muskoka Discovery Centre. Fittingly, it is a museum like no other. Nestled on Muskoka Bay’s shore at the town’s west side, the centre houses classic wooden boats riding in slips, an interactive display of Muskoka’s watershed, artifacts from the district’s settlement era and tourism economy, an archive of Muskoka documents and photographs, a play zone for children, meeting rooms for the Centre’s many community and educational roles, and a shop with books on Muskoka heritage and topical Muskokan souvenirs. e word “museum” once suggested fixed displays about an unchanging past, but the word “discovery” aptly describes the centre’s contemporary role. In addition to interactive aspects of a visitor’s experience, the centre itself constantly interacts with its setting. When time came to update already impressive exhibits, the Muskoka Steamships Volunteers George Robbins (le), John Storey (centre), and Brian Thompson commit their time and skills to xing and restoring an old ship engine at Muskoka Discovery Centre. Many boats housed at the facility require upkeep and repairs, which dedicated volunteers administer.

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& Discovery Centre displayed its blended strength and resources of heritage-minded locals and seasonal Muskokans. Working with Science North of Sudbury, Ontario’s premier entity in creating world exhibits, the revamped museum drew a wider and younger audience, and changed its name from Grace & Speed (referring only to the sleek and fast classic motor launches) to Muskoka Discovery Centre denoting its more comprehensive offerings of Muskoka’s built and natural heritage.When Chippewas of Rama community councillors met with the Discovery Centre leaders, their interest in the museum’s state-of-the-art Watershed Wonders exhibit led to a state-of-the-land addition – an Indigenous entranceway called Water Is Life. Now, before visitors experience Muskoka’s watershed and its wildlife, the twinned Indigenous exhibit first introduces them to Indigenous values about water.When COVID-19 threw a curveball into life, the in-person Muskoka Discovery Centre programs migrated into cyberspace. Highly successful series, on topics ranging from classic wooden boats to current environmental action, engaged viewers around the world, far beyond the museum’s walls. To keep pace in today’s competitive heritage tourism market, Muskoka Steamships & Discovery Centre sought to adapt and revitalize its offerings. First, new features and forums were added to existing facilities – pirate ship adventures, wedding venues, Muskoka triathlon, Kidzone, speakers’ series – then they chose to expand facilities and exhibits themselves. ree new ones, opening this summer, portray the Muskoka story as “a microcosm of Canada.” e Town of Gravenhurst benefits from its municipal heritage committee, and active members and volunteers of the Muskoka Steamships & Historical Society add real bench strength. Richard Tatley imparts his knowledge of local history and of Muskoka’s steamships through his books and on-board tour guiding. e town has two archives, headed at the public library by Judy Humphries and at the Discovery Centre by Mary Storey. Dozens of individuals have taken the lead. Hundreds have contributed in landmark ways. ousands have volunteered services, time and money for Gravenhurst’s exceptional evolution as a coveted destination for living heritage experience. And the beneficiaries are beyond number. Gravenhurst historian and head archivist at Muskoka Discovery Centre, Mary Storey spends time cataloguing historic items, documents and photographs in the extensive archives. The centre houses classic wooden boats, an interactive display of Muskoka’s watershed, artifacts from the district’s settlement era and tourism economy and more. Join us on 21 artists at 7 studios and historic lodge settings featuring painting, woodturning, stone, wood and metal sculpture, furniture, bre, pottery, knifemaking, and jewellery by artists from Muskoka and beyond.OPEN STUDIO WEEKENDAugust 18, 19 and 20, 2023 • 10 am to 5 pmartistsofthelimberlost.caLimberlost Road is Muskoka Road 8 just 10 minutes east of Huntsville on Hwy 60See website for map and details or call 705-635-2093Studios open other times by apppointment. July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 23

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Article by Bronwyn Boyer Photography by Kelly HolinsheadArtists are brave adventurers, born to take risks and make mistakes. Blazing new trails means braving paths never travelled. Being conduits for a universe of thoughts and feelings can be daunting. To create art is to live with the tension of translating the infinite into a language we can understand. For multimedia artist Janet Stahle, it’s about finding the space to allow that connection to flow. “e senses have to be attuned to receive it, and then stay open,” Stahle says. “We are so trained to be productive that it doesn’t always come naturally to be able to just be. In order to accomplish practical things, we have to put up blocks to that infinite space. But being creative requires removing the boundaries of our intellectual filters.” Stahle was born in Brantford and raised in Elmira until the age of 16 when her parents divorced. She then moved with her mother to Hamilton and acquired her master’s degree in Janet Stahle can’t be pinned down to just one medium or style, exploring her talents through painting, sketching, screen printing, collage, sculpture, tapestry and even music. She isa self-proclaimed explorer of art.

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philosophy from the University of Guelph. Torn between fine art and philosophy, she was able to do both by doing elective programs at the Dundas Valley School of Art during breaks from studying philosophy. When she got married, she moved to Baysville, where her husband’s family had a cottage. It was there that she established her Tapawingo Studio and formed a studio tour with other artists in the Lakes of Bays area. She was also part of the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour for 15 years. For 12 years, she taught fine art at Nipissing University in Bracebridge until it closed. en in 2015, she moved Tapawingo Studio to her new home in Emsdale, which she built and where she currently resides. Stahle can’t be pinned down to one medium or style. Her body of work contains paintings, drawings, relief and screen printing, stencil, collage, etchings, wood and linoleum carvings, stamps, sculptures and tapestries. She enhances her older work with computer software in a style she calls “tradigital,” where a combination of traditional and digital mediums is used to create new aesthetic experiences. e result is an intriguing jubilation for the senses, full of bold, vivid colours and intricate designs. Anything and everything is depicted, from animals and nature scenes to mystical figures, cosmic imaginary worlds and other worldly landscapes. Stahle works her magic with wood carvings, pastel paintings re-worked and acrylics layered on wood with added textures and fractals. “e ‘tradigital’ medium is new, so purists don’t really believe it’s art,” Stahle states. “But the same thing happened when photography came along. When photographers create prints digitally, that’s traditigal. A lot of In 2015, Stahle moved Tapawingo Studio to her new home in Emsdale, which she built and where she currently resides. Creativity and fun go hand in hand in Stahle’s world. She uses laughter, irony, and absurdity to get into that pure creative space.Stahle’s work has been used for album covers of local musicians Sean Cotton, Douglas McLean, and Andy McClelland. She also oen thinks about illustrations for another book she’d like to write, as writing is yet another medium she likes to explore.July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 25

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Powering your cottageand home – even duringa power outage.ELECTRICAL • HVAC • HOME AUTOMATION • SOLARECRA / ESA 7002295 • TSSA 000365522 26 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023artists are making tradigital art without even realizing it. Life goes on, new media and technology comes along, and there’s no reason not to embrace it.” Stahle also points out that when acrylics came along in the early 1960s, people thought it was blasphemy to paint with ‘coloured plastic.’ Still, she uses the digital component sparingly. “Personally, I need the tactile feel,” she says. “I could never be just a digital artist – I have to work with my hands first.” Stahle carves “substrate” moulds out of bass wood or linoleum for her sketches. “I’m known as a print maker and a lot of people think that’s all I do,” she says. “But I do a lot of different things just for fun.” Creativity and fun go hand in hand in Stahle’s world. She uses laughter, irony and absurdity to get into that pure creative space. “Humour is a big part of my life,” she says. “I think there’s transcendence in laughter. A big part of my interest in philosophy was the concept of play, in all levels, and how it teaches us – it’s how we learn.”For Stahle, laughter and exploration are Stahle’s art is an expression of inner journeys, using the outside world to represent what’s happening internally. Her background in philosophy informs her work as a celebration of the cerebral and aesthetic.

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the ultimate forms of play, which is why music is another important medium for her to explore. “I’ve loved music ever since I was a little kid, because it’s playful,” shares Stahle. “Pure play doesn’t have a goal when it’s spontaneous – when it breaks out organically in a relaxed state, there are no expectations or effort. If you’re too conscience of the pressure that can enter into it, you’ll lose it.” With infinite creative possibilities to explore, organizing the flow of ideas often requires creative solutions. “I keep journals of all my ideas,” Stahle explains. “And I created a system from that where I would cut out little cards and write every art process I could think of on each one. en I put them all in a bag and then randomly pull out two or sometimes three. I might pull out ‘etching’ and another one might be ‘collage.’ So, I try to figure out how to do an etching with collage. I have to go through all the steps involved and it gets my brain working.”Stahle’s art is an expression of inner journeys, using the outside world to represent what’s happening internally. Her background in philosophy informs her work as a celebration of the cerebral and aesthetic. “I’m an explorer,” she says. “at’s where I get my passion. I’ve always been a curious a person and I get my joy from experimenting. I’m both a thinker and a doer, and I like having a good balance between the two.” Stahle’s most recent painting is a woman standing in a bleak winter scene with her Stahle enhances her older work with computer soware in a style she calls “tradigital,” where a combination of traditional and digital mediums is used to create new aesthetic experiences. The result is an intriguing jubilation for the senses, full of bold, vivid colours and intricate designs.www.mikeslandscaping.cainfo@mikeslandscaping.caJuly 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 27

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28 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023back turned to the viewer draped in a red Hudson’s Bay blanket. Stahle explains that it’s about an inner journey. “I’m trying to express the essence of just being,” she says. “I wanted to convey that while on the outside there is quiet stillness and solitude, under the snow things are changing and growing. Someone might find it lonely if they’re lonely, I suppose, and that’s valid. Art is about letting people have the experience they’re meant to have, even if it’s not what was intended.” Stahle’s path as an artist and philosopher involves navigating the tension between the muse of infinity and the limitations of earthly physical reality. “We need the freedom to play and explore, but we also need rules to make it all manageable,” she says. “ere are only so many hours in a day, so you have to figure out what’s most important. For me, it’s art, because if I can’t express myself creatively, I wouldn’t have a reason to exist.”Foremost in Stahle’s mind is an ambitious project many years in the making called Leonard Cohen’s Table. Stahle feels that it will be her masterpiece, and it holds a special connection to her friend Mendelson Joe, who passed away in February of 2023. e piece began in 2012 as a large piece with three paintings in one depicting a narrative of Leonard Cohen’s life and songs. “Joe took special interest in the piece and was very much looking forward to seeing it when it was finished,” says Stahle. “But I got really busy teaching at the time and I put it aside. It was so large it had to go into storage, which made it difficult to work on. I went back to it a couple years ago and then something else happened and I put it away again. I finally cut it out of the frame and rolled it up so I could do it as a drawing instead. I kept talking to Joe about it over the years but I never got it finished before he passed away. Now I plan to break it down into separate pieces and present them as framed place settings at Leonard Cohen’s table, hence the title. I’m determined to finish it now, in Joe’s memory.” Stahle is also working on her new Ancestor Series, an idea that came from a collection of old family photos. “I inherited my Currently, Stahle is working, among several other projects, on her new “Ancestor Series”, an idea that came from a collection of old family photos and her grandmother’s journal, which she inherited. DOWNTOWN PORT CARLINGbeautiful results. beautiful you.QUALITYCOSMETIC SERVICES905.626.3080ENDURINGBEAUTY.CAENDURINGBEAUTYCLINIC@GMAIL.COMnursechristinernSCHEDULE YOURCONSULTATIONWITH CHRISTINE, RN

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grandmother’s life story that she’d written out,” Stahle explains. “And I took photos of every page to do drawings of them and add some texture with tradigital substrates.” Stahle’s work has also been used for album covers of local musicians Sean Cotton, Douglas McLean and Andy McClelland. “I’d like to do more of those,” she says. “It’s nice to do something a little different every now and then and I’ve got tons of ideas.” Stahle also often thinks about illustrations for another book she’d like to write, as writing is yet another medium she likes to explore. An anthology of her poems, each with a corresponding piece of artwork, has been published in a collection called A Woman’s Book of Hours. Stahle is currently completing pieces for an exhibition with four other artists called Out of the Woods at the Algonquin Park Visitors Centre. It was a long-standing tradition for Stahle, Brenda Wainman Goulet, Kate Santos, Elizabeth Siegfried and Jane Gray to do shows under the name ‘Pentad,’ which means a group of five. Since Wainman Goulet and Santos passed away, Elizabeth Johnson and Karen Gray have filled the space to re-capture the spirit of five female artists joining forces.As for teaching, Stahle doesn’t have any concrete plans to continue, even though she enjoys it. “It’s a lot of work, and it takes a lot of time and preparation that I’d rather be putting into my own projects,” she explains. “But teaching is very inspiring, and it’s the best way to learn. I gave my students freedom to paint or draw whatever they wanted to practice the techniques, rather than asking them all to paint the same thing. I loved how often they asked questions that I didn’t know the answers to, so I would have to investigate. I was always learning, and learning is the key to growth.” Whether she’s teaching or not, it’s clear that Stahle will continue to explore, to play and to create in all aspects of her life and her art. Putting Muskokaon the MapFrom Indigenous Waynding to Satellite Imagingb o y e r’s m o d e r n h i s t o r y o f m u s k o k aMuskokans Fightthe Great WarStriking Back for the Empire1914–1918b o y e r’s m o d e r n h i s t o r y o f m u s k o k aISBN 978-0-9864867-8-4MuskokaBooksmu sko ka boo ks .caISBN 978-0-9864867-8-4$24.95 Canada and USAWith the world still reeling today from the Great War’s upheaval a century ago, Muskokans Fight the Great War introduces Patrick Boyer’s fresh per-spective on one local community, Canada’s famous Muskoka District, as people embraced ground-level sacrice, paradox, and transformation from global events they could not control but had to respond to. Farmers went to war; women planted and harvested.J. Patrick BoyerMuskokans-cover.indd 12022-02-05 6:43 PMMuskokaBooksmu sko ka boo ks .caBOYER’ SMODER NHISTOROF MUSKM Dhas more books written about it than any comparable region of Canada. Additional Muskoka saga can be found in the periodical press. Indeed, many books about this renowned district began life as magazine features, even as weekly instalments in Muskoka’s newspapers. Muskoka Heritage Nuets gathers fourteen such magazine articles written over past decades by J. Patrick Boyer. This is the rst ofthese books gathering treasures from the rich diversity of Musko-ka’s modern history. “Muskoka Heritage Nuets,” says Boyer, “oers readers history on the instalment plan.”“N UGG E TS”inVOLUME IChief Musquakie Muskoka BridgesMuskoka HospitalsFirst Bank Prairie RebellionPicturing MuskokaLong WalksMuskoka ElectricityGold DiggersTreating Tumours Town TimeBigwin InnWindermere HouseFire Collegeb o y e r ’s m o d e r n h i s t o r y o f m u s k o k aMUSKO K A HERITAG E N UGGET S   ISBN 978-1-7780493-1-6$29.95 Canada and USAISBN 978-1-7780493-1-6Know Muskoka by Our Books!“Patrick Boyer is the doyen of Muskoka history.”— B S. O Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University; Past President, Ontario Historical SocietyMuskoka Books 59 Kimberley Ave., Bracebridge, ON   / -- online storeBen McNally Books  Queen St. E., TorontoManticore Books  Mississauga St. E., OrilliaMuskoka Lakes Museum Island Park, the Locks, Port CarlingMuskoka Steamships  Cherokee Lane, GravenhurstMuskoka Discovery Centre  Steamship Bay Rd., Gravenhurst Veranda’s Muskoka Books  Manitoba St., BracebridgeMuskoka Heritage Place  Brunel Rd., HuntsvilleCedar Canoe Books  Main St. E., HuntsvilleLake of Bays Marine Museum  Main St., DorsetKnow Muskoka — Buy Our Books!MuskokaBooksmu sko ka boo ks .caISBN 978-1-7780493-0-9ISBN 978-1-7780493-0-9$29.95 Canada and USAJ. Patrick Boyer“P M   Mis nothing less than a faithful min-iature of how Canada as a country came into itself –– spearheaded by profound Indigenous knowledge of the land and the far-reaching travels of early Euro-Canadian explorers and cartographers, to the geological mapping conducted by Canada’s oldest national scientic agency ––the Geological Survey of Canada ––and the rewards of remote-sensed imagery and data. Succinctly and elegantly presented, Patrick Boyer’s extensively researched recounting is an engaging tour de force.”— .  -,Senior Emeritus Scientist and Visiting Professor, Geological Survey of Canada and University of Oxfordb o y e r ’s m o d e r n h i s t o r y o f m u s k o k aMuskokans Embracethe Roaring TwentiesThe Rollercoaster Decade 1919–1929∏Roaring20s-cover.indd 1Roaring20s-cover.indd 1A S. July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 29

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30 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Article by Meghan Taylor / Photography by Andy ZeltkalnsProduce-lled shelves at the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op indicate whether items are locally grown or organic. As a co-op, members eectively own the operation but the public is welcome to attend and participate in their oerings. In a world of immediacy, ordering a meal, a gift or groceries is easy as the click of a button. Maybe its finally emerging from the impacts of the pandemic or maybe its returning to our roots but small, local grocery stores and markets throughout Muskoka are flourishing. e presence of butcher shops, farmer’s markets and general stores has been a part of the Muskoka experience since settlement. Morley Stephen’s father, Arnold, first opened Stephen’s Meat and Grocery Store near the bridge in Port Carling in 1927. When the land the shop was located on was expropriated, Morley took the meat cutting equipment back to his small home garage and reopened there. Since then, Stephen’s Butcher Shop has been providing high quality products to its customers.In 1995, after graduating from university, Morley’s son Richard returned home and joined the family business. Now, Richard and his wife Jennifer operate the shop full-time, with the help of family and their dedicated staff members. Offering a wide variety of products, including

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local produce, baking and a large selection of condiments, sauces and marinades, Stephen’s Butcher Shop strives to deliver everything needed for an impeccable meal. Fresh food markets can differentiate from larger corporate chains by offering quality items, local items and in-demand items. Communities want to support local; whether that’s local producers, local farmers or local businesses. e Farm Store, located in Bracebridge, connects the local community with clean, healthy food from trusted local farmers and producers. Opened in 2022, co-owners Alexandra Roth and Chris Finlay have focussed their operation on locally produced and farmed foods from the Simcoe-Muskoka region.“We work directly with a lot of small producers and farmers to give them a retail outlet that caters to their capabilities,” shares Roth. “A lot of producers can’t work within the constrictions of large grocery chains. We have this open line of communication with them. It makes it easier for them to get their product to market.”Roth is familiar with the process and the barriers to entry of larger grocery chains. She supports smaller vendors by sharing that knowledge. At the same time, e Farm Store gives customers a single outlet to find many local products, rather than visiting each individual producer directly.“We’d like to be known as the destination for hyper local food products in Muskoka,” says Roth. “We also have Muskoka’s only bottle shop where we provide fine wines from around the world that cannot be bought in the LCBO. We offer wine pairings with our local food assortment.”Working in the farming industry herself for the past seven years, Roth has worked directly with many producers as well as almost every other grocery outlet in the region. She directs customers to other businesses when they’re looking for items she doesn’t carry.“We’re better as a whole and we support our local business community as much as possible,” says Roth. “e more local businesses that thrive, the more our economy grows and that’s what we want.”More than ever, customers have an awareness and an appetite for understanding, and seeking information about, where their food is coming from. ey’re knowledgeable about food production and preparation and want to ensure the quality of what they’re consuming. McMaster’s Muskoka Fine Foods in Bracebridge has built their reputation on having prime cuts of meat, aged in-house, along with seafood, fully prepared meals, gourmet grocery items and produce. eir aging process is a well-kept secret but the key is that there’s a process in place to deliver the Food markets across Muskoka create a niche shopping experience for their customers, adapting to changing habits in purchasing and preparing meals. Hiram St Market (top), Field of Greens (middle), and Stephen’s Butcher Shop (bottom) cater to their customers with arrays of pantry items, meat, seafood, cheeses and fresh prepared meals.

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32 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023optimal product. “You’re getting a quality product that’s naturally raised,” says Melanie Carter, owner of McMaster’s and red seal chef. “It’s chicken that tastes like chicken, kind of like when you grow your own tomatoes and they actually taste like tomatoes.”Since 2008 McMaster’s has aimed to develop relationships with their customers by providing personalized service, whether that’s a friendly smile or tips and tricks for creating the best meal. “e care and attention we provide to our customers is really important as well as the quality of goods,” says Carter. “I’m a red seal chef, before I owned this business, so I try to make sure everything tastes really good.” Many Muskokans want to do more than just build their own knowledge and awareness about what they’re eating. Developing conscious consumer habits and greater environmental awareness leads to a greater drive to support local producers. Since 2014, Muskoka North Good Food Co-op in Huntsville is a one-stop shop, with everything from a local food grocery market to catering to cooking classes and more. Although the Co-op is membership driven, anyone can shop, visit and participate in their offerings. Supporting the local community for the Co-op goes beyond providing food and aims to grow the local food system and further enhance community development. Born and raised on a produce farm, Michelle Shabatura brings her knowledge and experience with growing pesticide-free produce into her business, e Farmer’s Daughter. Opened in Huntsville in 2004, e Farmer’s Daughter offers fresh produce, raw ingredients and ready-made components for any of your needs. More than ever, shoppers have an awareness and an appetite for understanding, and seeking information about, where their food is coming from. At The Farmer’s Daughter, Michelle Shabatura brings her knowledge and experience with growing pesticide-free produce into her business.

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We’re Celebrating our14 Gray Road, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1P8MAPLE COOKIES350 g. 1.800.461.5445info@mapleorchardfarms.comwith some Sweet Deals35YEARSTHANKYOUMapleOrchard399$1799$Farms- FACTORY OUTLET SPECIALS -17$PURE MAPLE SYRUP1 LitreASSORTED CHOCOLATESFirst opened in 1927, Stephen’s Butcher Shop celebrates 96 years in business this year; a testament to the family business’ dedicated sta, strong customer service and focus on quality products. Shopping is much more about the total experience, not just the necessity of stocking the fridge and filling the pantry. Locality and quality, along with other factors, impact customers decisions of where to purchase their goods. Founded in 2004 by David Kitchen, Field of Greens in Port Carling is a fine grocery retailer, known for their fresh fish, seafood and meats, scratch made baked goods, prepared foods, quality produce and unique cheese and deli selections. Field of Greens can be a one-stop shop for one meal or for every meal. Kitchen credits their success to more than their product curation, quality and convenience. He notes that he has an incredible team of long-term, loyal employees who provide superior customer service. “Our customers love their shopping experience and we love them!” says Kitchen. Equally as important as the quality of goods is the level of customer service and care provided by fresh food markets. Shopping in these environments is an experience. Having time to view and compare goods and ask for cooking tips is part of the appeal. Chefs and co-owners Sean Sullivan and Bobby Landry, along with manager Terri Dean, opened Hiram St Market in downtown Bracebridge in 2022. Hiram St Market aims to curate a selection of pantry items that can’t be found at the traditional grocery store, sourcing items locally and from Europe. ey also ensure that in-house products, like their sausages, are just spices; no gluten or fillers added. “People love when they come in and want to try something different, that we have two chefs that are always happy to assist in giving directions,” shares Dean. “People come back more confident that they were able to execute the dish, and in turn, will be more apt to trying something else on their own.” Sharing space with Big River Bakery, Hiram St Market offers sustainable fish and seafood, fresh meat, cheeses, grocery items and grab and go items from their restaurant, Sullys.“Everyone should have at least one night a week where the thinking of ‘what’s for dinner’ is completely deleted from the mind,” shares Dean. “e pre-made items do just that. We love to indulge in the Sullys Chicken Pot Pies every Sunday night with a nice salad – the last thing we want to do is cook.” Nowadays, shoppers expect quality products and experiences. Especially if they’re only shopping for a specific meal. Fresh food markets truly harken back to a level of service reminiscent of the early days of Muskoka. Building relationships, offering a meaningful experience and quality local goods is the essence of the niche grocery store. July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 33

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34 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Building and restoring wooden boats is a hands-on job. Every wooden boat represents the skills, talents and sweat of every builder who has touched it. e continued legacy of craftsmanship is very special and rare in a world of increased automation. Many boats built in Muskoka are approaching or past the centenary of their first launching. Imagine the skilled hands that have worked on a wooden boat that is more than 100 years old. Each boat is like the passing of a torch. A builder may have apprenticed in one shop, to later open his own shop. It would be safe to say, nearly every current boatbuilder in Muskoka can trace the heritage of their skills to the very first boatbuilders to set up shop in the region. e lineage of skills can be pushed even further, when connected to the Old World. Duke Marine, which saw its final years under the management of Ed Skinner, provided work and training for many of the craftsmen who now run their own shops. Gary Clark, Paul Brackley, Rob Gerigs, Stan Hunter and Mike Windsor took a turn at the work benches in the Duke shop. Ron Butson, a contemporary of Ed Skinners, now joined Article and Photography Tim Du VernetMuskoka is one of the special places where traditional woodworking skills are still valued, contributing to the thriving boat building industry.Every boatbuilder will have a shelf full of planes on hand. Used for scraping wood, they come in dierent sizes and blade shapes. One of the rst things a boatbuilder or woodworker learns is how to properly set up a plane, including sharpening the blade, setting it for depth and being square.

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by his son Tim, runs their family shop just north of Gravenhurst. At Allman Boatworks, in Allensville, Don Allman continues the legacy of his grandfather. Now masters of their own shops, each of the boatbuilders bring their own personality, skill set and business focus to the task of restoring wooden boats. Paul Brackley, who runs his own shop in Gravenhurst, is very much aware of the legacy of skills passed on to him. “We’re getting to the last of the old-time boatbuilders,” says Brackley. “I’m surprised that I’m still here! Our job now is to secure the future and train young talent. It’s important and shouldn’t be overlooked. ese skills could be forgotten easily.” While at Duke Marine in Port Carling, Brackley was fortunate to have experienced a wide variety of situations and saw some of Muskoka’s finest boatbuilders at work in their prime. Brackley was awed by how a woodworker who knows his tools, how to prepare them and how to use them efficiently, can be faster and more effective than nearly any jig or machine. In the time it would take to build a custom jig or set up a machine, a woodworker who is confident with his tools would be finished. While there are many steps in building or refinishing a boat, people notice the finish. Everyone loves the look of the deep glow of stained and varnished mahogany. Watching Brackley’s team sanding, sanding and sanding again to prepare the Clarion Gold Cup 25 for varnish was a testament to the endless patience required to create perfect clarity. Brackley believes it is important to find a balance to give the customer the best value and efficiency in a restoration. Today, Brackley’s son can be found hard at work on one of the many boats in the shop – the next generation at work. As he learns, he always likes to share discoveries about the boats he is working on.Brackley has taken on some immense challenges over the years. Restoring Rambler, a Polson Ironworks yacht, was one of the biggest. She had to be worked on in the boathouse where she was kept because no other facility could house her. Brackley built a wood shop right in the boat house, to do much of the work on site. e iconic private yacht was a popular attraction at boat shows over the years. At the other end of scale, some years ago, Brackley built a miniature tugboat for his brother and grandchild. “It is a lot of fun, very stable and I took four adult men to the boat show a long time ago,” says Brackley. “We were actually quite popular at that boat show, cruising around between the slips looking at the boats. We had so many people taking pictures of us off the main dock that it was sinking, all to get a view of a miniature tugboat next to million-dollar boats.” Rob Gerigs is fortunate to have several younger, enthusiastic men working in his shop. Gerigs explains that he really enjoys sharing his experience and training a new generation to be the best at the craft. As an organic material, wood has a limited lifespan, especially when subjected to the wear and tear of seasonal use in Muskoka. When boats such as Nika, currently in the shop run by Gerigs, were launched for the first time, little thought was likely given to the day when it would need to be repaired or restored. Some launches may have now seen Tim Butson of Butson Boats sits in the framework of a new boat under construction in his shop. Butson has designed and built many new boats over the years and framing is where it all begins. Oen, wooden boats require new planking to be installed, like this one currently being repaired at Rob Gerigs shop. The planks just below the waterline, with their constant exposure to moisture, require replacement.July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 35

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36 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023HIRAM ST MARKET 705-204-0857SULLYS MUSKOKA705-394-4594BIG RIVER BAKING COMPANY705-394-4499• Fine Artisan Breads Daily• Assorted Baked Goods• Made in House Desserts• Black Angus AAA beef, Ontario lamb, pork, chicken and sustainable sh• Assorted selection of house-made sausages• Variety of cheeses, dips, sauces and exclusive pantry items• Chef-inspired ready-to-eat meals and salads• Catering for staff luncheons, private parties and everyday needs• Check the QR code online for menu ideasDISCOVER THE LOCAL MARKET WITH BIG CITY SELECTIONS IN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN BRACEBRIDGEbigriverbakingco.comOPEN TUESDAY TO SATURDAY11A TAYLOR ROADa repair shop several times over their lifespan. Current boatbuilders are very much aware that generations of hands have worked on some boats over the decades. “Keeping things historically correct is a passion of mine, and should be for any boat restorer,” notes Brackley. “It’s becoming more difficult these days as so many boatbuilders have had their hand in the pie, on many of these jobs, so it becomes more incumbent to do research and be careful.” While one experience faced by boatbuilders involves balancing traditional methods versus modern materials and techniques, others look to the opportunity to building new boats with fresh lines or to reproduce boats with a remarkable history. Gerigs takes a firm stance on restoring a boat using traditional methods. e use of epoxy is an attractive strategy for some because of its properties of strength and sealing. For Gerigs, not only does the use of epoxy conflict with the authenticity of a locally built boat but there are potential problems lurking in the magic as well. Gerigs estimates three years is approximately how long an epoxy bottom will last before it is compromised. e mixing of organic and synthetic materials does not withstand the test of time in Gerigs’ opinion. Brackley agrees stating emphatically that if the boat is traditional, keep it traditional. If it’s modern, keep it modern. e two do not, and should not, mix.However, there are times when epoxy is necessary in refinishing. Brackley’s shop recently restored a Clarion boat that made extensive use of epoxy. e boat had lasted several decades before requiring a thorough refinishing. With lines that were clearly based on Baby Bootlegger’s bullet-like shape, creating a smooth finish is critical to creating the drama in her shapely figure. Mike Windsor, who also runs his own shop in Gravenhurst, extends his talents of wood working to machining and 3-D printing as well. Keeping an open mind about the possibilities allows boat building to evolve in ways that also help to solve very challenging problems in restorations. Knowing the materials and having the experience to see the results of one technique or another is an advantage. Over the years technology has given

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boatbuilders many new options for adhesive materials for joining wooden together. Windsor provided a quick explanation of the pros and cons of different adhesives. Once upon a time, Windsor explained, white lead and varnish was a method for adhesion. Clearly, that isn’t an option today. Experience has shown Windsor, and others, tried and true methods. He found that one adhesive “solution” just left powder and rotting wood after some time. Enter Sikaflex. “e breadth of applications and the research behind all manner of adhesives is pretty impressive in a modern world,” says Windsor. “Sikaflex based in Zurich is enormous.”Windsor constantly has the 291LOT compound ready to go in his shop. e 291LOT is a slower curing adhesive that is also waterproof and can be sanded and painted. It comes in three variations and different colours. Windsor shares that there are a lot of opinions on what choices of adhesives are best. To each their own. It was nearly 40 years ago, when Ed Skinner led his team in the building of the replica of Miss Canada III for Murray Walker. e replica may have been one of the first examples of the recreation of an historic craft in Muskoka. Skinner ran through the list of some of the builders he could remember who had worked for him at one time or another after so many years since he closed shop in 2009. Tom Adams, Rob Gerigs, Ian Mars and others came to mind. Skinner views the fact that many have gone on to run their own shops as a kind of transition, one of circumstance where opportunity and need come together. Among the team on the building of Miss Canada III, was Gary Clark. His shop south of Gravenhurst has built several replicas over the years including Rainbow I, Rainbow IV and a hydroplane replica, among others. Often it is easier to build a boat from scratch than to blend new wood with old, considering the challenge in salvaging original pieces for historical record. ere have been several projects to build new boats that introduce more modern styling and features. Clarion Boats are built by Brackley’s team using modern encapsulation techniques. Brackley says that boats built using the cold moulded method are very strong and have lasted decades with the right care. e new Clarion features a starburst design of wood laminations on the deck.While a number of magnificent Muskoka launches have been restored in Clark’s shop over the years, working on exotic Riva craft and special reconstruction has become his trademark. Clark’s team includes some of the most experienced builders in Muskoka. In the Port Carling area, in addition to Rob Gerigs shop right in town, Stan Hunter, Lawton Osler and Curtis Hillman run their own boat building shops as well. Each shop has developed its specialty or area of focus. Stan Hunter has worked on a lot of SeaBirds and Dukes over the years, as well as electrifying Disappearing Propeller Boats from time to time and offering utility launches for rent. Eric Seepa, at work at Clark’s Wooden Boats in Gravenhurst, builds a small hydroplane. Oen it is easier to build a boat from scratch than to blend new wood with old, considering the challenge in salvaging original pieces. Terry Przybyszewski aligns planks to be installed on a hull at Rob Gerigs’ The Boat Builder's Shop in Port Carling. Hull replacement is one of the most common repairs required for wooden boats. July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 37

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38 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023The boat QM gets a spring wash from Dell Jerey at Brackley Boats, following its winter storage. Some wooden boats will go into a winter storage facility rather than being hoisted in the boat house. Washing a boat with appropriate soap is an important service and step when a boat comes out of storage. Lawton Osler, who worked with Hunter for a while, is possibly the youngest builder to establish a shop in Muskoka. Allman Boat Works is a three-generation shop in Allensville, which is just south of Huntsville. e passion for working with wood began with furniture and evolved into wooden boats. e third generation, Quinn Allman explained that it was about 45 years ago when his father, Don, and his grandfather, Roy, began building fine furniture in the shop. e woodworking skills were soon to be applied to boats. Roy began building canoes “Roy Allman Canoes” and Don expanded into restoring larger boats. Presently, a 1934 SeaBird launch graces their shop, sitting upside down in order to receive new ribs and a few planks. e ribs, primarily in the mid-section of the hull, were split where screws had been driven in, so those require replacement. Quinn explained that once the ribs and planking were done, it would be flipped over for complete refinishing, including a new grated floor and lining. e Allman’s shop is covered in memories and makes clear the passion for wooden boating. e top edge of the walls is lined with the decks of canoes they have restored over the years. Photos of boat show posters, family photos and tools also cover the walls. e well-organized shop makes the most of a small space, which they hope to expand with more storage space.Family ties to old boats are strong. Many of the repairs that come in are from families who love their boat because of its connection to past family members or happy summer memories. “It’s an emotional thing,” says Don. “Working on a restoration is reconnecting a family with its history.” Don and Quinn believe traditional materials and methods of construction of the cedar canvas canoe have a lot of advantages over modern materials like kevlar or fibreglass. Don pointed to an example of a damaged Kevlar canoe that would have to be scrapped, while a cedar canvas canoe that may have suffered the same blows could be repaired to nearly new appearance and strength.Even in canoes there are decisions to be made for ensuring lasting materials. While the preformed caned seats are common and easy to install, they won’t last as long as a woven seat. Don explains that a light scrubbing with a cleaning pad and then varnishing might be all that is needed to refresh a woven seat that is 30 years old. In a world where technology continues to charge forward, automating at every turn, will the tradition of wooden boat building survive? Muskoka is one of the special places where traditional woodworking skills are still valued, contributing to the thriving boat building industry. ere is much hidden knowledge and skill in the construction and restoration of a boat on display at a show or sleeping in a slip. Knowing the tools to use, how to sharpen a plane, steaming and shaping wood and the steps in refinishing are just a few tricks of the trade. Muskoka’s boatbuilders, then and now, have mastered them all and continue to share with those willing to take on the craft.

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Article and Photography by Andy Zeltkalns 40 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Year-round ease of access is one factor that separates indoor climbing from outdoor and supports its increasing popularity. A climbing adventure is only a short drive or walk away and doesn’t require the time and energy commitment oen involved with climbing outdoors. Climb Muskoka was the h “purpose-built” location in Canada, meaning it was designed specically for the intent of climbing.Located on the rugged Canadian Shield with its extensive areas of forest, natural beauty and numerous lakes, Muskoka has been a destination for various outdoor activities since the beginning of the 20th century. Paddling, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular pastimes in this area. ey are relatively easy to participate in due to Muskoka’s infrastructure of publicly accessible trails and interconnecting waterbodies. One activity less associated with Muskoka is the sport of climbing. roughout Canada, over the last decade, climbing has seen a definitive surge in popularity. According to a 2021 University of Waterloo study, the trend is expected to continue, spurred on in part by climbing’s debut as a sport in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics.Muskoka has its own history of outdoor climbing where the sport has quietly played

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out in the background. It has been enjoyed by a small but dedicated group of individuals for years. Peter DeMos, owner of Liv Outside in Bracebridge, remembers people ice climbing in the Lake Rosseau area back in the early 1980s. As a rock and ice climber himself, DeMos has climbed in various locations across Muskoka. Some years ago, it was not uncommon to see ice climbers on roadside ice formations practicing their craft but more recently the activity has been discouraged due to road safety. Nowadays, rock and ice climbing still take place in Muskoka. However, the spots are carefully guarded secrets requiring special permission and arrangements from private landowners for use. Permission to use a site is not so easily granted due to liability and environmental issues. According to DeMos, a climbing location which involves rock requires regular use and maintenance by climbers to keep the climbing surface clean and safe. If climbers are unable to gain consistent access to a spot, lack of maintenance makes it unsafe for use. Even though Muskoka has the physical landscape for outdoor climbing, DeMos and other climbers agree that gaining access to ideal climbing locations in Muskoka has always been a challenge. DeMos has often taken clients outside of Muskoka to take advantage of suitable venues. One of the big issues facing climbers in Ontario is that climbing is not a sanctioned activity in Provincial Parks and conservation reserves and is not openly encouraged on Crown land. e lack of ability to utilize public outdoor areas for climbing, coupled with large parts of Muskoka being privately owned, creates a barrier to climbers trying to find ideal places to enjoy their sport. e Ontario Alliance of Climbers (OAC), a non-profit group, works to promote outdoor climbing as a safe and environmentally sustainable outdoor activity in the province. e group often represent the Ontario climbing community in negotiations with landowners and land managers to help gain access to good climbing locations. ey have also been trying to influence government policy for years.Randy Kielbasiewicz, co-chair of the OAC, explains that Ontario is the only province in Canada where Crown land parks do not recognize climbing as a legitimate outdoor pursuit. As Kielbasiewicz states, any outdoor activity in an outdoor setting will have some environmental impact but if managed properly, an activity like climbing can be very sustainable. e OAC continues to negotiate with the Provincial government to change their policy on climbing in parks. Hopefully one day Muskoka will have more opportunities for people to have easy access to outdoor climbing sites.e lack of accessible outdoor climbing sites has not slowed the interest of Muskoka climbers. anks to several facilities in the area, indoor climbing presents opportunities to try, develop and hone skills in a controlled, supervised environment. According to Gripped, a popular climbing magazine, there were 136 climbing gyms across Canada in 2021 and, despite the pandemic, the industry has continued to see rapid growth. Year-round ease of access is one factor that separates indoor climbing from outdoor and supports its increasing popularity. A climbing adventure is only a short drive or walk away and doesn’t require the time and energy commitment often involved with climbing outdoors. Climbing for less than a year, 10-year-old Raelyn Veitch condently navigates the articial climbing wall at Climb Muskoka. Climbing can be a social, as well as physical, activity for all ages. Indoor climbing presents opportunities to try, develop and hone skills in a controlled, supervised environment.July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 41

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Muskoka is currently home to three indoor climbing facilities with the newest one being Climb Muskoka, a 6,400 sq. ft. indoor space which opened in December of 2021. Owners Kevin and Kim French wanted to create a venue dedicated to indoor climbing which was welcoming and would develop a sense of community where climbers could challenge themselves and experience personal growth. According to Kevin French, the building was the fifth “purpose-built” location in Canada, meaning it was designed specifically for the intent of climbing. During the first year of operation, Climb Muskoka had 25,000 client visits which demonstrates the popularity of the sport. e gym was created to be accessible to everyone. French explains there is no consistent demographic among the climbers and ages range from 18 months to 75-years-old.Although Climb Muskoka does have a small and successful competitive team, the majority of people are there to simply enjoy the challenge of climbing or to train for other adventures. Karlie Kelly, a dedicated outdoor climber from Barrie who has been climbing for four years, is happy to make the one-hour journey north since Climb Muskoka is unique in what it offers for any climbing enthusiast. ere is a great selection of routes using ropes that are changed weekly and the opportunity to practice “bouldering” – an activity where you climb a lower height artificial rock wall without the use of ropes and a harness. “I’m preparing for an outdoor climbing excursion to Kentucky and this is a great place to help me prepare,” states Kelly. ere is a strong female component in the facility and French explains the gym hosts bi-monthly women’s nights where women have a safe space to climb and develop their confidence. Joy epparath and Crystal Walley from Huntsville discovered Climb Muskoka in December 2022 and started using the venue as an opportunity to learn a new skill and keep fit during winter. “We like the social atmosphere, friendly environment, and educated staff here,” explains epparath. Neil Hebb and his partner Jen Ryan are also relatively new to the facility but have climbed outdoors all over Canada. Using an indoor facility helps them to keep fit and hone their skills. Children can also use the bouldering and rope walls confidently, clearly enjoying the freedom of movement and challenge that Drop-in times and registered courses are available for adults and youth. The Bracebridge Sportsplex also oers a chance to climb indoors with a 32-foot vertical wall and four dierent routes with an auto belay system. Head instructor Diane Wiber sees climbing as a great way for kids, or anyone, to problem solve, push themselves outside their comfort zone and build self-esteem.While it may not seem like it, climbing should be a friendly and welcoming sport with climbers encouraging each other and problem solving dierent routes.July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 43

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climbing offers. While it may not seem like it, climbing should be a friendly and welcoming sport with climbers encouraging each other and problem solving different routes.e Bracebridge Sportsplex also offers a chance to climb indoors with a 32-foot vertical wall and four different routes with an auto belay system. Head instructor Diane Wiber has been at the facility since it opened in 2013 and explains that youth aged six to 12 make up the largest component of climbers. Wiber, who has an extensive background in climbing from her university days, sees climbing as a great way for kids, or anyone, to problem solve, push themselves outside their comfort zone and build self-esteem. Additionally, the Sportsplex is able to provide free youth climbing nights thanks to the sponsorship of local businesses. ere are drop-in climbing hours and registered programs for youth and adults to facilitate skill development and help some overcome their fear of heights. Overall, Wiber has seen a growth in popularity at the facility since it first opened and is hopeful the trend will continue.Mark O’Dell, director of recreation at Deerhurst Resort since 1995, was responsible for establishing a climbing wall at the facility in 2012 in response to the increasing popularity of climbing. “e interest in squash was declining and we wanted to offer something for the entire family to enjoy,” explains O’Dell. O’Dell, along with Maddy Durr, who has been at Deerhurst for nine years, are the main instructors and see regular participation by families and corporate groups staying at the resort. Corporate groups often use climbing as a team building exercise, navigating the challenges of the route as a team. e wall is also a popular activity for birthday parties and is open to the public as well.While the future of outdoor climbing in Muskoka depends on changes to government policies, Muskoka has a lot to offer when it comes to indoor climbing. Whether you’re looking to get back into the climbing game or to start a new adventure, climbing is both mentally and physically invigorating and has a strong social component. If you want to climb, getting a grip in Muskoka is easy.Specializing in Private Events, Wheelie Good Coffee brings a delightful selection of espresso coffees and refreshments to Weddings, Film shoots and Corporate promotions. Exclusively serving Muskoka since 2016.To book or check availability, text/talk with Matthew directly 416 795 44 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Mark O’Dell (le) and Maddy Durr show o the climbing wall at Deerhurst Resort. The wall was added to the facility in 2012 when O’Dell noted the declining popularity of squash and the rising popularity of climbing.

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2023 SUMMER | Box Office 705.789.4975SCAN TO CHECK OUT THE LINE UP! July 6 | Lighthouse Celebrating 50 years! July 7 | Gina Horswood Sings Adele Local Artist Plays All the Hits July 8 | The Barra MacNeils Canada's Celtic Ambassadors July 9 | Tim Baker Newfoundland Indie Folk July 12 &13 | CHOIR!CHOIR!CHOIR! Sing-A-Long Where You are Part of the Choir July 15 &16 | Kyung-A Lee & The Orillia Silver Band One of a Kind Classical Music Collaboration July 17-21 | Music at Noon FREE Lunch Time Performances by Local Musicians July 21 | The Lowest of the Low Legendary Canadian Indie Rockers Return July 22 | Nuit Blanche North Interactive Street Festival July 26 | Aysanabee Award-Winning Indigenous Singer/Songwriter July 27-29 | Three Fires Film Festival 3 Day Celebration of Film From Canada and Abroad July 28 | Hayden Intimate Solo Folk Performance July 29 | Reggadiction - Ganja Harvest Reggae Versions of Neil Young's "Harvest" Album July 30 | Hannah Shira-Naiman Appalachian Bluegrass by Local Artist UniqueMuskokaJune2023.qxp_Layout 1 2023-05-23 12:09 PM Page 1

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In the Roaring Twenties, the Queen’s Hotel in Bracebridge (top) and the Windsor Hotel in Gravenhurst (bottom) were much quieter than usual, as their barrooms were closed due to Prohibition. Despite the illegality of alcohol, Muskoka had hidden stills across the district and vacationers brought bottles in their luggage. Raids of hidden stills conducted by police were highly publicized (middle). Photograph: Ian Turnbull CollectionArticle by J. Patrick BoyerPhotograph: Ontario ArchivesPhotograph: Gravenhurst Historical Committee, Gravenhurst ArchivesA century ago, Muskoka, along with all Canada and the entire United States, was in the throes of the Prohibition Era. Today, few could imagine proposing the consumption of beverage alcohol be prohibited, let alone that a majority of Ontarians would resolutely vote in favour of Prohibition. e decade’s nickname “the Roaring Twenties” owed much to the battle over booze.Laws so extreme they prohibited the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale, and consumption of alcohol were no spontaneous aberration. Everywhere they spread, European settlers took their reliance on alcohol and its problems of intoxication. By the mid-1800s, booze arrived with settlers coming north of the Severn River.Washago and Severn Bridge, the first two settlements encountered coming into Muskoka, had busy taverns to lubricate wayfarers. In the 1860s, Muskoka settler Seymour Penson described the “small collection of mean unpainted buildings.” One was James Ormsby’s Washago Hotel, a log tavern with plenty of alcohol but only a plain pork meal served morning, noon, or night, seven days a week. Before crossing at Severn Bridge to the daunting rock face of Muskoka, many “summoned courage” at the bar in the Severn House hotel. After rugged travel north on the substandard colonization road, along which only one basic cabin offered drink, folks reaching McCabe’s Landing were desperate for more courage. Mickey and Letitia McCabe offered abundant liquid solace in their grandly named Freemason’s Arms Hotel. e lift of intoxication could make one feel the euphoria of becoming a Mason. From there, up Lake Muskoka and the Muskoka River to North Falls, pioneers could choose between a cluster of tavern-hotels. From inception, the little settlement around the waterfalls drove alcohol consumption. In 1861, when the North Falls community consisted of only two log buildings, the first tavern opened in one of them. Hiram James McDonald’s dirt-floor Royal Hotel prospered so much that by 1864 Alexander Bailey also tapped into the robust drink trade. Bailey’s Victoria Hotel, honouring the reigning monarch, sat across the river from the Royal at the foot of the falls. One could feel majestic getting drunk in this settlement. Next year, James Cooper built another log building, the North Falls Hotel, on the river’s north side. In all three, travellers and homesteaders found solace readily available, at any hour, on any day. However, in North Muskoka, alcohol’s grip on Muskoka pioneer life was challenged in 1877 when a military man imposed a rigid policy on his “settlement in the hills.” Captain July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 47

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48 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023705-764-0765 | | 1163 Milford Bay Rd, Milford Bay ONBARGING STEEL & CRIB DOCKS SEPTIC SYSTEMS LANDSCAPING ● ●Muskoka Barging●Family run construction company with over 35 years experience operating in the Muskoka Lakes area. No job is too small or too big.George Hunt added a clause to deeds for lots in his self-named Huntsville community that prohibited sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages on the property. When he advertised in Bracebridge papers for a blacksmith, Hunt specified the applicant had to be a temperance man. “Temperance” originally meant the tempered or balanced use of alcohol, but had become synonymous with “Prohibition,” or outright ban.e first buildings in Muskoka’s heavily forested northland were crude log structures providing whatever travellers needed. Roadside and riverside taverns offered food, refreshment, shelter, and accommodation to all comers. In Huntsville it was the same, except for drink. “ese crude make-shift inns often served as the local social, administrative, political, and sometimes spiritual centres for embryonic communities,” notes Larry D. Cotton in his book Whiskey and Wickedness. “Unfortunately, these taverns became the principal source of alcohol and the major focal point for public drunkenness and violence.”rough Muskoka’s logging era, men working all winter in “dry” bush camps arrived in Bracebridge and Gravenhurst flush with their winter earnings, getting drunk in the hotels and making sport of breaking laws, insulting women, outfighting police, defying the magistrate’s court and breaking out of jail.From earliest days, Muskokans were divided over alcohol. e founders of Gravenhurst and Bracebridge (wet) and Huntsville (dry) threw down lines of battle. But like any civil war, pockets of supporters and resisters were in every township, village, and family. In the tug of war over liquor, referendums were held for local electors to answer a ballot question on whether to allow alcohol. e result was a patchwork of wet and dry communities, across Ontario and in Muskoka. By the summer of 1914, a Muskoka-wide referendum on the liquor question showed how heritage can influence people and local cultures over time. Of the three main towns, Gravenhurst (McCabe’s Landing) voted strongly wet, Huntsville was irrepressibly dry, and Bracebridge (North Falls), the district’s capital in the centre, split 50-50. ere would be no change.Next month, world war broke out, changing everything. Parliament enacted a War Measures Act empowering the federal government to do whatever it decided was necessary to win the war. In dire straits, governments that would conscript men for deadly battle found it no stretch to prohibit alcohol. In 1916, Ontario’s Conservative By 1870 Captain George Hunt founded a North Muskoka settlement based “on good Christian values” and named it for himself. Imposing his temperance views on Huntsville settlers, their deeds prohibited alcohol on property he sold them.Photograph: Muskoka Heritage Place Collection, Huntsville, Ontario

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INTRODUCINGHospice Muskoka’s 24/7 Access and Referral LineA direct line to Hospice Muskoka’s programs and services, available around the clock. Everyone is welcome to call in and will be provided access to:LAUNCHING IN MID-JUNELAUNCHING IN MID-JUNELearn more about our programs and services at hospicemuskoka.comhospicemuskoka.comGovernment, with support from opposition Liberals, enacted Prohibition. Legislators at Queen’s Park were following precedents set by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Before war ended in November 1918, every province had Prohibition. For good measure, that spring Ottawa under the War Measures Act imposed national Prohibition. All Canada was dry.Canada’s ardent Prohibitionists had prevailed in their longstanding campaign against alcohol’s evils. With the public getting censored war news and simultaneously fed wartime propaganda, most feared the worst. Muskoka’s four weekly newspapers reported new restrictions. Readers grudgingly accepted rationing, controls, taxation, conscription, and Prohibition as patriotic duty. Being dry in Canada was, ran wartime logic, a path to victory overseas. In such an atmosphere, many who opposed Prohibition fell silent to avoid being smeared as unpatriotic. In Muskoka, editors Harmon Rice of the Huntsville Forester and George omas of the Bracebridge Gazette sought to balance the liquor question with more pragmatic considerations: grains and fruits needed for people on rations would no longer be wastefully diverted to distill alcohol, brew beer, or make wine. Banning booze would increase industrial production, they added, while curtailing accidents caused by intoxication in the workplace. World War I ended in November 1918, yet Prohibition continued. What was an extreme measure in wartime had become a new norm. Back in 1916, when enacting Prohibition, Ontario’s government promised Ontarians that in peacetime, they could by their own votes ratify or reject the ban on alcohol in a referendum. On October 20, 1919, Ontarians, Anchoring the northeast corner of downtown Gravenhurst’s main intersection, the Albion was popular for its “pleasant parlours, spacious dining room, and well-equipped bar.” The bar had to close when Ontario’s Temperance Act took eect in 1916.Photograph: Gravenhurst Book Committee, Gravenhurst ArchivesJuly 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 49

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50 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Photograph: Frank Micklethwaite, Courtesy Bill Micklethwaiteanswering four questions on their ballot about Prohibition, registered the new reality. When their votes were counted, in Muskoka and across the province, majorities well over 60 per cent approved keeping the province-wide ban on liquor. Other provinces, having established Prohibition during the war, also chose to keep it in place. An exception came when Quebec reverted to being wet in 1919, while federal Prohibition, having been temporary, lapsed in 1920. Ontario MPPs implemented the peoples’ democratic verdict by voting to continue the Ontario Temperance Act. It was still illegal to manufacture, distribute, sell, or consume liquor, beer or wine. However, dry Canada only became what Prohibitionists called “the Great Experiment” because the United States also became dry. In 1919, U.S. President Hoover’s message resonated on both sides of the border when he declared, speaking about Prohibition, “Our country has deliberately undertaken a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose.” In January 1920, nation-wide Prohibition took effect across America. Prohibition of alcohol across both countries reinforced the idea that this monumental shift was leading to the nobler world many craved after the war’s horrific destruction.A twilight universe emerged. People who wanted a drink found ways to get it. ose who’d never tasted alcohol now wanted to because law prohibited it. As an illegal labyrinth emerged underground to circumvent the law, the covert operations of its creators and participants began eroding public laws that prohibited manufacture, distribution, sale, importation, and consumption of alcohol. is economic and social alternative included organized criminal networks supplying alcohol to millions of people on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. Shared and interlocking continent-wide forces were in play, with alcohol distilled in Canada entering the U.S. aboard rum-running vessels on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and Great Lakes, and by trucks crossing the open Prairie border. Many Muskoka vacationers expected to enjoy drinks on their holidays, while others expressly returned year after year to dry summer resorts because they wanted alcohol-free space to enjoy nature. People divided over temperance did not change when crossing into the district. e tug-of-war over alcohol proved to be borderless. Prohibition merely continued the tussle in which Muskokans had engaged for decades.e conundrum for the district’s vital vacation economy was obvious. To attract and serve seasonal visitors, Muskoka had to simultaneously be wet, and dry, as occasion required. Among the dozens of dry summer resorts stood Windermere House on Lake Rosseau, Elgin House on Lake Joseph, and Bigwin Inn on Lake of Bays.A significant number of others, which were officially liquor-free because Prohibition was in force across Ontario, had liquor discreetly available. So layered was this underground labyrinth that even Bigwin Inn guests, the large majority of whom were Americans, were able to get room-service mix and ice. What they then did, nobody knew – except for busboys collecting big tips and patrons enjoying themselves after hauling their heavy luggage.Muskokans navigated Prohibition by becoming damp – not technically serving alcoholic beverages yet facilitating consumption. Being damp was Muskoka’s equivalent of speakeasies and blind pigs in cities – communities where alcohol was prohibited but you could, with a bit of deviousness, nevertheless get a drink. e “Great Experiment” tarnished as the Twenties wore on. With rising crime, increased drinking, and widespread flaunting of the law, dampness became entrenched in Muskoka as a double-standard, just as it had earlier in Huntsville where Hunt’s side of the river was dry, the other side, wet. Accommodating a thirsting public by disregarding law increasingly became a continental culture. Muskokans simply drew on their heritage of integrating two different communities by bridging their differences. Even after Prohibition wound down, many leading Muskoka resorts remained dry because their returning clientele expected it. e deeply embedded temperance culture no more vanished because the law changed than drinkers gave up whiskey or gin because the law demanded they do. From first pioneer settlement, liquor was available and promoted in Muskoka and those seeking to control it were equally present and accounted for. Because the district embraces both metropolitan values and hinterland practices, Muskokans are forced to find ways to amalgamate both. e local culture works out conundrums and irreconcilable practices, even with problematic liquor. As Prohibition proved, there has never been a final solution, just the challenge of living with necessary contradictions. Muskoka resorts, operating with policies reecting their owner’s views, meant the guests at Lambert Love’s Elgin House summer hotel on Lake Joseph, were temperance folk. Other dry resorts included Milford Bay House, Windermere House, Bigwin Inn and at least half of the many dozens more.

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thank youI have a future here in mynew job. I love Bala. I havelots of friends here – peoplewho understand and canlisten in tough times.Simona can stay in the sameschool. I can go to workknowing she’s close enoughto walk to the store or to seeher friends. And instead ofputting money into rent, Ican put money towards ahome that I can grow old inand can actually afford onthe salary I make. It willchange my life. It will giveme a life. You have given mea life.- Hélène, Muskoka Habitat HomeownerHelp more families, justlike Hélène and Simona.Scan the QR code or

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52 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023There is something about the night that humans find unappealing. Our literature and mythology are filled with references to the threats lurking in the dark. It’s an aversion that drives us to fill our habitat with lighting. Satellite images of the nighttime side of the earth tell the tale. What used to be blackness is now pock-marked with light. e larger the city, the wider the glow of light.Light pollution doesn’t just obscure the stars. It does a disservice to all creatures whose waking hours are spent in the darkness. e night is teeming with life and sound. Beyond our artificially lit world, anyone who walks out into the woods at night always comes out of the experience delighted and enlightened. So, pack up your ancestral fear of the dark and tour the nocturnal wild.e excursion starts as the sun drops below the horizon, bronzing the crowns of trees for a few minutes. e breeze will drop and the Article by John ChallisOwls, like this saw-whet owl, are uniquely adapted for hunting at night. The round dish of feathers surrounding their eyes collects sound. Their acute hearing combines with superb night vision to pinpoint prey. Photograph: Norma Van Alstine

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air will begin to cool. Cooler, more humid air is what many nocturnal animals take advantage of. Aromas and sounds carry better. Frogs begin to sing. Robins cheer the morning and the dusk. An ovenbird, noted for its daytime "teacher-teacher-teacher" calls, will dart up above the trees at dusk in a fluttering display while singing a complex tune to declare its virility. Elsewhere, the woods will echo with the flute-like songs of wood thrush and hermit thrush.Animals at dusk and dawn are called crepuscular. Whip-poor-wills’ wonderful repetition of their name is a signature song of early evening and all night long for that matter. ey fly while there is just enough light to see and, with their wide, whiskered beaks, they snap up flying insects. ey continue to hunt when moonlight allows, especially important while hungry young are waiting in their ground nests. In wetlands, as the darkness grows, frog songs become more strident. Tiny spring peepers begin after the first snow melts, calling by the thousands in a deafening chorus. Wood frogs are not far behind, with their duck-like quacks. Leopard frogs follow, with snoring calls heralding the warmer days of summer. Green frogs, bullfrogs, and trilling toads take over in the chorus by May and June. All these amphibians have skin that must stay moist. e more humid night air prevents frogs’ sensitive skin from drying. Only the grey treefrog manages to defy the dry daytime air. Its racoon-like trill can be heard day and night. To give themselves a bit of an edge in the daylight, treefrogs can change colour to blend into their surroundings.e chorus of the amphibians gives way as the darkness falls. In total darkness, the real Photograph: Norma Van AlstineUnlike the majority of amphibians whose skin must stay moist, grey treefrogs manage to defy the dry daytime air. Their racoon-like trill can be heard day and night. To give themselves a bit of an edge in the daylight, treefrogs can change colour to blend into their surroundings. Photograph: Norma Van AlstineLoons seem to enjoy a song at night, particularly at dusk, even though they are most active through the day. A drawn-out wail, followed by tremolo laughter as a mate joins in a duet, is haunting when heard across the water. July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 53

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54 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Muskoka's Largest Home Service Company!nightlife begins. e air resounds with music. e night is punctuated by the "who hoots for you" of a barred owl, or the deeper vibrant tones of a great horned owl. Owls are uniquely adapted for hunting at night. e round dish of feathers surrounding their eyes collects sound. eir acute hearing combines with superb night vision to pinpoint prey. ey’re perfectly silent hunters, thanks to the construction of their feathers. e flight feathers have a finely serrated leading edge – like a comb – that reduces turbulence; the trailing edges are fringed to further smooth the flow of air. Large, broad wings allow them to glide efficiently. e result is a flight that is almost imperceptible. e Muskoka Conservancy says there are nine species of owl found in the district, although several of those are only migratory visitors. e most common, the barred owl, will hunt by day as well as night. Be cautious with searching for these haunting creatures with a flashlight – their sensitive night vision can be temporarily blinded by bright lights.ere’s a sweet chorus in the grass as crickets have begun singing their hearts out. Since they live in grass and leaf litter, the best way to attract a mate is to be heard. eir wings are adapted into their musical instruments. A sharp edge on the lower wing scrapes against a toothy ridge on the upper wing; done quickly enough it produces a chirp. Each species has a distinct song. Some species of cricket, notably one that lives in sphagnum bogs, sing at the extreme upper range of human hearing. In mid to late June, in shrubs, grasses and wetlands, a silent luminescence pulses – the spectacle of fireflies. Fireflies have an organ in the abdomen which uses an enzyme called firefly luciferase to produce their namesake flash. ere are between 19 and 23 species of firefly in Ontario, each of them with its own specific pattern of flashes, a coded message for potential mates.For many humans, fears of the dark come from concern about the predatory hunters on the move, like coyotes and bears. However, many mammals are active at night to avoid being eaten. Photograph: Eleanor Kee Wellman

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SAVE $300 ON YOUR NEWFURNACE OR A/CPURCHASE & INSTALLATIONCALL US TODAY - 705.728.2460Keep your home comfortable year-roundReduce your energy bils and carbon footprintFlexible financing optionsFast and reliable repair servicesFlexible maintenance plans to fit your budgetand scheduleNEW CUSTOMERS RECEIVE$100 OFF YOUR FIRST OILOR PROPANE DELIVERY RELIABLE HEATING OIL OR PROPANE DELIVERYRENTAL TANK MONITORS HELP YOU MANAGE YOURTANK LEVELSCONVENIENT ONLINE ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT ANDBILL PAY OPTIONSFIT YOUR BUDGET! WITH FLEXIBLE PAYMENT PLANSAND FINANCING OPTIONS*MINIMUM 500L - www.sarjeants.comMost local mammals take advantage of the darkness as well.“Of the 40-odd mammal species that occur in Muskoka, my guess is two-thirds are nocturnal and/or crepuscular,” George Bryant says. Bryant has been observing the natural world around his Pine Lake cottage for decades. “Mice, shrews, moles, bats are nocturnal, primarily.” Mammals are often elusive at night but a flashlight comes in handy. “I have on occasion used a spotlight for night viewing and it can be quite exciting,” Bryant says. “e reflection in the eyes of deer or whip-poor-wills is amazing and can be seen at great distances. I remember spotlighting a herd of about 12 deer in a distant field and the display of flickering eyeshine was unreal.”Other eyes may glint in the dark, too: spiders, in surprising numbers. ey have adapted to feeding at night by simply setting their web traps and waiting. Night deepens further and more nocturnal wildlife are on the move. Despite efficient nocturnal hunters – coyotes, raccoons, bears, and the rare bobcat prowl day and night – many mammals are nocturnal to avoiding being eaten. One little evader might only give itself away as a shadow darting between trees or landing with a thump on your roof. at would be one of Muskoka’s two flying squirrel species, prowling for seeds or food scraps. It’s a delightful thing; small enough to fit in the palm of your hand with huge dark eyes and soft tawny fur above a white belly. A flap of skin leading from its wrists to its back feet, called the patagium, unfolds as the animal leaps from tree to tree, Eyes ickering in the beam of a ashlight or on a night camera’s ash are the indication of the activity of elusive nighttime creatures. With trail cameras, capturing owls, shers and even the occasional bobcat is possible. Photograph: Muskoka ConservancyJuly 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 55

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LARGEST SELECTION OF TILLEY HATS IN MUSKOKATHERE’S A TILLEY FOR EVERY OCCASION28 MANITOBA STREETBRACEBRIDGE | 705-637-0204SHOP 56 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023allowing it to glide for up to 45 metres. Its flattened tail assists in steering. at gliding trick is an ace up the flying squirrel’s sleeve. Its glide is lightning-quick, and as the squirrel lands, it immediately darts up and around the tree, making it challenging for even owls to grab.Walk out now to the dock, or the shoreline, where more shadowy profiles can be seen, darting and careening out of the forest and over the water. Bats: to many, they are the epitome of nocturnal life. Toby orne says eight species are probably in Muskoka (and Ontario). e native bat conservation co-ordinator for the Toronto Zoo, orne says bats have succeeded for 50 million years, with 1,400 known species worldwide. “As many as one of every four or five species of mammal on earth is a bat,” orne says. ey have few predators at night and the insect food supply is abundant. eir wings – too delicate to use in the sunlight – are covered in tiny hairs that transmit signals of every change in air flow, making them aerial acrobats.And of course, their marvellous skill at finding food in the dark is unparalleled. Bats use echolocation, with quick squeaks too high for human ears. Recently, though, researchers have developed recording technology allowing people to listen to what orne describes as bats “shouting away in the dark.” A bat’s calls are extremely loud; loud enough to damage its delicate eardrums. To protect themselves, a little muscle snaps shut over the inner ear each time it calls. eir built-in mute button shuts for just six one-thousandths of a second, opening in time to hear the echo. orne notes it is likely the fastest muscle in the mammalian world.Out on the water in the dark, as stars bob in reflection over the black reach of the lake, a drawn-out wail may Capturing Muskoka’s nightlife on camera gives a glimpse into the activity in the dark. Like this coyote, habits and behaviours of animals have adapted to human life. However, many nocturnal species continue to feel these impacts negatively. Photograph: Linda Acton-RiddleAs night falls in Muskoka the air can be punctuated by the “who hoots for you” call of a barred owl. Be careful if using a ashlight in the dark, as the sensitive night vision of owls can be temporarily blinded by bright lights.

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28 MANITOBA STREET, BRACEBRIDGEAvailable atSUSTAINABILITY IS WOVEN INTO EVERY FIBRE OF NOMADIX TOWELS30 Plastic Bottles = One Nomadix TowelBRACEBRIDGE GENERATION LTD.Water Power Generating a Cleaner EnvironmentInterested in more information or a free tour? www.bracebridgegeneration.comraise the hairs on your neck. Tremolo laughter will follow as a mate joins in a duet. Loons seem to enjoy a song at night, even though they are most active through the day.But the real action is below the boat. Dr. Norman Yan has been studying the tiny plankton and microscopic animals in Muskoka’s lakes for most of his career. He describes what seems like a constant arms race going on in the water. Prey species like daphnia are almost completely transparent, because in water there’s nothing to hide behind. But predators like phantom midge larvae have sensors on their bodies that detect pulses in the water from transparent daphnia paddling by. Daphnia respond by growing pointed heads to make them more streamlined for escape. Yan adds that phantom midges must elude larger predators, too, so through the day they burrow into the sediment at the bottom of the lake. “When they leave the sediments at dusk, they rise all at once in a layer that is detectable on fish finders,” Yan says. “It looks like the whole sediment surface splits and rises into the water.” It’s a grim, eat-or-be-eaten life down there in the deeps.is is just a glimpse into the activity around Muskoka during the dark hours. ere is much still to be understood about nocturnal life and about the danger it’s in. Human activity, particularly our fascination with lighting up the night, has been hard on nocturnal animals. Whip-poor-wills’ numbers have declined by 75 per cent since the 1980s. Four of Ontario’s bat species are listed as endangered and three more were put on the candidate list very recently. Amphibian populations have been crashing. Bird species that migrate in the night die by the thousands because city lights confuse them into flying into windows. Moths reliant on the stars to keep their bearings become disoriented. What’s left of the nighttime world relies on more understanding, more science, and more action from us to protect the things that go bump in the night.Photograph: Norma Van AlstineJuly 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 57

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58 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Red Canoe Gallery is on the moveIt’s shaping up to be a big summer for the Red Canoe Gallery in Port Carling.Not only are they planning to open at their new location at 76 Joseph Street in Port Carling but they are also celebrating their 30th year in business.“We’re really excited for the opportunities that our new space will allow,” said owner Carola Grimm. “It’s a completely different space but we feel like this is going to allow for a more intimate experience and the opportunity to change our focus somewhat.”e Red Canoe Gallery exclusively features artists from Ontario, with the majority coming from the Muskoka area. Grimm says they will continue to focus on local artists but the new space will allow them to feature fine art, more predominantly. e gallery will also continue to offer fine-turned wooden bowls but that’s likely to be the only craft-style item that will be featured.Simultaneously planning a relocation and an anniversary celebration presented some challenges but Grimm said they plan to make their 30th summer in business a memorable one. “We’re still working on it but we will definitely be doing something special,” she said. “It will likely be some sort of artist show with music and perhaps a giveaway contest. We’ve always done a lot of work with charity, so that might be included as well.”Grimm advises patrons to stay tuned to their website and their social media feeds for regular updates.CNIB announces Cookout with CuddyCanadian music legend Jim Cuddy will be paying a visit to Muskoka in August to take part in the first-ever Cookout with Cuddy at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Camp on Lake Joseph.is is the first in-person event CNIB has hosted since 2019 with an aim towards raising funds for the one-of-a-kind accessible camp for Canadians with sight loss and their families. e August 12 event will include a menu of Muskoka-style foods, locally sourced beverages and a special musical performance from Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo fame.Campers at CNIB Lake Joe engage in a variety of activities, including canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, soccer, fishing, swimming, hiking, and other classic camp experiences. Moreover, the camp provides training and development programs such as braille instruction, mobility and independent living skills, and career exploration workshops. By empowering people with sight loss, CNIB Lake Joe enables them to lead active and fulfilling lives.You can find more information and buy tickets at shows are backSummer has arrived in Muskoka and the action is on the water.e Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst is set to welcome a pair of boat shows this summer, starting on July 7 and 8 with the 42nd annual Vintage Boat Show (ACBS) presented by the Antique and Classic Boat Society of Toronto.is will be the second live ACBS show since the pandemic and organizers plan to add more events and activities to help exceed last year’s attendance. e free event typically draws dozens of vintage boats of all shapes and sizes along the docks in Muskoka Bay, as well as a number on dry land. e show also features a nautical flea market, boats for sale and a vendor alley.On Friday, there will be a cruise of Lake Muskoka for boaters looking to enjoy a slow Whats HappenedPhotograph: Red Canoe GalleryRed Canoe Gallery, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is moving to a new location on Joseph Street in Port Carling. Owner Carola Grimm looks forward to celebrating memorably this summer. Photograph: Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)Join Jim Cuddy on Lake Joseph for CNIB’s Cookout with Cuddy on August 12. The evening will raise funds for the one-of-a-kind accessible camp for Canadians with sight loss.

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morning cruise through the smaller back channels and islands. e fast cruise features an extended cruise of the lake with both cruises arriving back at the Muskoka Wharf in time for a catered lunch.is will be the first judged show since 2018. Organizers have also announced this will be the first show to formally present an award for classic fibreglass entries.For those with an interest in more modern watercraft, the Muskoka Boat and Cottage Show runs at the Wharf on the weekend of July 21, 22 and 23. e event runs in conjunction with the ever-popular RibFest taking place in the sports field across the road. Organizers expect more than 100 vendors will join the in-water boat show as part of this free event.Gravenhurst condos meet sti oppositionMore than 1,000 Gravenhurst residents have now put their names on a petition opposed to a request for a condominium development at the Muskoka Wharf.Gravenhurst resident Richard Sellon presented the petition containing 1,075 signatures from permanent and seasonal residents during a Gravenhurst Town council meeting in May. e petition states the Starboard Development at the Wharf will drastically change the natural landscape of Muskoka Bay.According to the developers, the Rosseau Group, the Cherokee Lane development will include a seven-storey condominium, a restaurant, a microbrewery, underground parking, a two-storey boat house and boat slips.Sellon told council the most common concern he encountered when collecting the signatures was the destruction of the natural and aquatic environment in Muskoka Bay. He noted the numerous requests by the developer for zoning and building amendments to facilitate the project indicates it is ill-suited to the particular property. Sellon also cautioned that proceeding with the project would be putting economic interests above environmental ones.ere were no questions from Council following Sellon’s presentation. e project must still be approved by both Gravenhurst Town Council and District of Muskoka Council.District cancels grass runway project at the Muskoka airportAfter years of debate, District Council has finally decided to stop work on the Muskoka airport grass runway project.e move came after a presentation by Muskoka Airport CEO Len O’Connor recommending council stop work on the project. In March of 2022 council voted to close grass runway 09-27 and begin work on a replacement, which is also known as a crosswind runway. Speaking to council in May, O’Connor said the cost of the project has now ballooned by more than $1 million dollars above the approved budget to a total cost of over $2 million. e Airport Board has recommended against the project since 2021. O’Connor pointed out there have been no incidents in which a grass runway has been required in the past four years since runway 09-27 has been closed. O’Connor also pointed out it would cost up to $30,000 a year to maintain the grass runway.ere was considerable debate during the meeting regarding whether the space for the proposed runway should be used for commercial development or reserved for the potential development of a grass runway in the future.Council ultimately voted to remove the development protection provision from the area.Deerhurst expansion sparks controversy in HuntsvilleOne of Muskoka’s best-known resorts has sparked controversy with its expansion plans in Huntsville.Deerhurst Resort recently put forward its request to the Town of Huntsville for an official plan and zoning bylaw amendment that would allow them to proceed with plans for two connected buildings housing 447 recreational resort residential units, as well as Boat shows will return this summer with classic, antique and modern watercra on display at the 42nd annual Vintage Boat Show on July 7 and 8 and the Muskoka Boat and Cottage Show on July 21, 22 and 23, both at Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst.A petition with over 1,000 signatures was recently presented to Gravenhurst Town council opposing the proposed Starboard Development at the Wharf, citing drastic impacts to the natural landscape of Muskoka Bay.Photograph: Antique and Classic Boat Society-Toronto (ACBS-Toronto)Photograph: The Rosseau GroupJuly 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 59

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60 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023parking for an additional 600 vehicles.Just under 200 people recently came out to a planning meeting at the Algonquin eatre in Huntsville to hear from the new owners of Deerhurst, Freed Developments.Under the new expansion plan, the two buildings will operate as a hotel and would be connected by a shared entranceway. ey would contain several elements such as a restaurant, retail stores and a swimming pool.During the meeting, Freed’s planner pointed out the property is already zoned and designated for a resort-style development.A number of concerned citizens and local organizations voiced concerns during the meeting. ose concerns ranged from noise and light pollution to parking and the impact of the building on the natural character of the area.Huntsville councillors said they needed more information from the developers on the project including the visual impact of the buildings as well as vehicular traffic and any potential boating concerns.Lakeland installing 40 EV Chargers in the regionA local hydro and internet provider has announced they’re putting down $3 million to install 40 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the Muskoka-Parry Sound region.Lakeland Solutions, part of the Lakeland Holding Network, announced at the end of May the new charging stations will be installed at locations in Bracebridge, Parry Sound, Huntsville Burks Falls, Sundridge and Magnetawan. “e goal of this EV installation program is to install and maintain the most reliable and fastest network of electrical vehicle charging stations under our Lakeland Take Charge marketing banner,” said Vince Kulchycki, chief operating officer of Lakeland Holding Ltd. According to Lakeland, the goal of the Take Charge program is to put the company at the forefront of emerging EV technology by making them the primary EV charging provider for the region. ree different levels of chargers will be installed in municipal high-traffic areas. e company feels the region is the ideal geographic area for a network of charging stations to service not just those living in the area but motorists passing through to northern or southern Ontario.Lakeland says the $3 million project will take place over the next two years and includes $1.15 million provided to the company through the Government of Canada’s zero-emissions vehicle infrastructure program. Lakeland is wholly owned by the municipalities of Bracebridge, Huntsville, Parry Sound, Burks Falls, Sundridge and Magnetawan.“e Town of Bracebridge is committed to environmental stewardship and fostering a healthy, vibrant community,” said Rick Maloney, Mayor of the Town of Bracebridge. “We are pleased to work with Lakeland Solutions to see the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at three locations around Bracebridge providing the necessary tools to help support our efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our environmental footprint on a local level.” Huntsville Hospital welcomes $2.6 million nuclear medicine suiteA new $2.6 million tech addition to the Huntsville Hospital should result in better health care closer to home.at was the word from Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) after they announced in May the arrival of their long-awaited SPECT-CT nuclear medicine suite. MAHC says they anticipate up to 2,000 nuclear medicine tests will be completed in Huntsville annually, which should help patients from throughout Muskoka and East Parry Sound receive diagnostic services closer to home.“e new technology improves diagnosis through higher quality and faster imaging – that gives our professionals more precise information and that, in turn, advances the care we can provide right here,” says MAHC president and CEO Cheryl Harrison.Harrison says MAHC is optimistic having such services within the region will help reduce travel and stress for patients and help speed up professional analysis. e combined scans made possible by the new SPECT-CT camera improve precision and complement existing diagnostics technology at the hospital. In addition, the CT capability of the machine provides backup to facilitate imaging for urgent stroke cases during any down time of the existing CT scanner, eliminating the need to transfer these urgent patients to another stroke facility.e funds raised are part of the Huntsville Hospital Foundation’s focus on imaging fundraisers. Katherine Craine, the foundation CEO, said they have raised $7.4 million to date, nearly 75 per cent of their campaign goal of $10 million.“Now we need the entire community to get involved and help finish the job,” Craine said. “I know we can do it.”e new system is expected to be up and running by this summer.Feature by Matt DriscollHuntsville Hospital recently added a $2.6 million tech addition to their nuclear medicine suite, in order to provide better care closer to home. Lakeland Solutions plans to install 40 electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the Muskoka-Parry Sound region to support local residents as well as motorists passing through to northern or southern Ontario. Photograph: Andrew RobertsPhotograph: Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC)

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62 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Summer Salads Article by K.M. Wehrstein / Photography by Tomasz SzumskiFresh, healthy and deliciousBack in 2021, Randy Spencer, owner of Spencer’s Catering and Culinary Creations, was hit with a sudden and severe health emergency that required him to change his diet completely. By necessity, and by eating only as treats certain foods he’d regularly enjoyed before, he lost a substantial amount of weight. But he also had to build his muscle back up.His secret: “I have a protein that I enjoy with salad.” rowing together fresh peppers, cucumber, radish, tomato and the like, tossed with dressings of his own making, he is consciously eating his way back to 100 per cent health.Salad was first eaten by the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose salads were very much like modern ones, combining mixed raw greens with oil, vinegar, herbs and salt. e word “salad” comes from the Latin word “sal,” meaning salt. Now, many Greeks put absolutely no lettuce in their Greek salads; the foundational ingredients are cucumber, tomato, red onion and olive oil. Of course, today’s Greek salad is almost synonymous with feta cheese; there’s the salt!e humble salad is generally admitted to be healthy but much underestimated in its potential for deliciousness. Often seen as an appetizer or side dish, salads can pack significantly more punch. Maybe the recipes below will change a few minds about that.“When you’re making salads, there’s no limitation,” says Spencer, whose catering service is based in Huntsville but serves all of Muskoka. “You can do so much with the colour, the vibrance of summer vegetables, the freshness.”He tips his chef’s hat to serious vegetarians and vegans for their salad innovations. “In the early days, people would laugh at me when I put anchovies on salad instead of salt,” he says. “Now, there is so much out there that you can get, the availability of product on the market is staggering. ere’s nothing Randy Spencer shares his go-to salad that combines cooked and raw ingredients in almost every colour of the rainbow. Juicy tomatoes, al dente asparagus, caramelized onion, grilled peppers and fresh avocado are a delight to the senses.

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unusual about anything on a salad.” In commenting that bruschetta is essentially salad atop toast, he enthusiastically agrees with me.Spencer was born near Noranda, Quebec. He grew up in Toronto, received his culinary education at George Brown College, worked restaurants in Hamilton and then abroad, including nations in Europe as well as Jamaica and the Bahamas. He has fed members of four royal families: British, Dutch, Greek and German. In Muskoka, he worked at Hidden Valley Resort and Grandview, then ran his own restaurant, Tall Trees, in Huntsville, for 19 years starting in 2000.A committed locavore, Spencer has an extensive herb garden, and his wife Karen plans to expand the vegetable crop this summer. “COVID woke up a few positive things in people,” Spencer says. “I find that more and more people are growing stuff in their gardens and eating out of their gardens.” Spencer shares with us a spectacular salad Warm Summer Salad For Two– Randy SpencerIngredients1 each medium red and yellow bell pepper1 small red onion sliced ¼” thick, crosscut so you get rings; keep slices whole2 medium or 1 large tomato sliced ¼” thick1 large ripe avocado6 medium-size asparagus stalks, soaked in cold water for an hour2 cloves garlic⅓ cup olive oil2 Tbsp red wine vinegar2 tsp Dijon mustard1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice2 tsp each chopped fresh parsley, chervil, basil and chives1 tsp liquid honeySalt Fresh ground pepper4 oz goat cheeseMethod• Cut (into quarters) and seed peppers, place on a platter with sliced onion. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and grill on the barbeque until tender with some nice colour. Remove from heat. Slice the peppers into strips and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Let rest with onion until ready to plate.• Grill asparagus until slightly tender (you still want crunch). Remove from heat, slice the asparagus on an angle into three pieces per stalk. Add to the peppers and onions.• In a food processor, combine ⅓ cup olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, honey and garlic. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (is is your dressing.) • On a decorative platter, arrange the sliced tomato in a wide circle.• Peel and cut avocado in strips lengthwise, toss with peppers and onions along with dressing and herbs. Arrange in center of the tomato slices.• Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.Serves two.Recommended wine pairing (in consultation with his sommelier): Sauvignon Blanc or Verdicchio.Chef ’s Tips (taste and a little health)• A little bit of dressing goes a long way on a salad. • Dressings can be super-simple; “Olive oil, just a little bit of fresh garlic and a little bit of red wine vinegar.” • “e best thing for you is raw vegetables; when you cook them, the nutrients you pour down the sink.” erefore, if you must cook them, cook them minimally. Ken Bol’s take on potato salad creates sweetness from multiple naturally sweet ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, dried apricots and dried cranberries. No unnatural sweetening required. July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 63

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64 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023that combines cooked and raw ingredients in almost every colour of the rainbow. e raw tomatoes crunch juicily and the al dente asparagus breaks richly, while the soft-grilled peppers, caramelized red onions, raw avocado slices and tiny morsels of goat cheese melt in your mouth. All is united in a delectable, honeyed vinaigrette. Chef’s suggestion for accompaniment: “e good thing about this dish is you can add any protein you want. It’s perfect for your favourite grilled steak or chicken.” Staying healthy on food like this seems almost too good to be true.Now we’ll take an entirely different direction to sample a salad whose author describes it as “superpower-packed, super filling because of the root vegetable,” and “a different take on potato salad.” Low-carb dieters, save this one until you’re svelte.Ken and Tiffany Bol have lived in Bala since 1989 and been the owners of the iconic Moon River Lookout since 1999, a restaurant built in 1944 (albeit with a different name). Bol credits their also owning Bala Bay Takeaway, which serves restaurant staples including Greek, Caesar and house salads, for enabling their businesses as a whole to survive the pandemic.Bol also does catering, serving all Muskoka including the Wahta First Nation. Call ahead to dine at Moon River Lookout, he recommends, but Moon River Catering is always open. He says simply, “I like to cook.”Usually, the sweetness in potato salad is in the mayonnaise-dominated dressing, but here, it is attained through multiple naturally sweet ingredients. “People are more and more into sweet potatoes,” Bol says. “It’s a good starch.” Roasting, he says, partly caramelizes the potato morsels for additional flavour. No unnatural sweetening ingredients are needed when there are also slivered dried apricots and dried cranberries procured from Bala’s own Muskoka Lakes Winery and Farm, home of Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh. “I get their cranberries at harvest time, freeze them and use them year-round,” Bol says.e salad – a revised version of a borrowed recipe – “really works well in the summertime,” says Bol. “It’s cold, in the fridge, perfect as a meal itself or a side to grilled chicken, pork, ribs, beef or veggie burgers. You can have it with a sandwich.” It’s great also for large groups, he Roast Sweet Potato Salad – Ken BolIngredients2½ lbs. sweet potato, cut into ¾” cubes½ cup extra-virgin olive oil½ tsp fresh cracked black peppercorn (or to taste)⅓ cup pumpkin seeds, shelled⅓ cup sun-dried apricots, cut into slivers⅓ cup sun-dried cranberries¼ cup balsamic vinegarKosher saltMethod• Toss sweet potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook until browned and tender in oven at 400°F. Use spatula to stir and rearrange midway through cooking to brown all sides.• After cooling, toss with balsamic vinegar, pumpkin seeds, sun-dried fruit and correct seasoning with a little more salt, pepper and olive oil.• Cool in fridge for one hour and enjoy. Serves four for lunch, two or three for dinner.Wine pairing: a Shiraz or heavy Merlot.Chef ’s Tips • Use a good quality balsamic, such as Modena.• Place several whole chive stalks on top as a garnish (optional).• “Don’t cut the sweet potatoes too small; they shrink so you’ll end up with tough little nuggets, not that nice softness inside.”• You add the olive oil at the start, not later, so that it soaks in.• To put some shine on the salad, use a balsamic glaze (suggested brand: Unico).• You can add ice cream as a topping.Chef Steve Norsworthy’s Muskoka Bay Salad isn’t overly spiced, as each ingredient sings out its own avour. The salad has a panorama of diverse tastes, all tied together by the champagne dressing with a subtle, sweet avour.

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Muskoka Bay Salad – Steve NorsworthyIngredientsHeritage mix greens: enough to loosely fill bowl to inner edge of its rimEnough cucumber (sliced and chopped into quarters) to fill your palm7 heirloom melody cherry tomatoesSmall handful of bell pepper slices, different coloursSmall handful of fresh blueberries4 sections clementine or mandarin orangeSmall handful of dried cranberriesSmall handful of candied pecans2 fluid oz champagne vinaigretteMethod• Add these ingredients into a bowl in the same order as they’re listed above; finish by artistically drizzling on the champagne vinaigrette.To make the Champagne Vinaigrette Ingredients3 oz. Champagne vinegar1 garlic clove1 small shallot4 Tbsp honey1 Tbsp Dijon mustard500 ml of canola oil3 ice cubesSalt & pepper to tasteMethod• Add all ingredients but oil and ice cubes to Vitamix mixer. (A food processor will work also).• Blend together till pureed.• Slowly add oil, add ice as mixer gets warm. (e ice will thicken dressing and create a creamier texture).• Season with salt & pepper to taste.To make the Candied PecansIngredientsHandful of half pecans2 oz. maple syrup1 oz. honey1 tsp dried rosemary seasoningMethod• Mix all together in a bowl, bake at 325°F for 5 minutes.Yield: single portion salad.Wine pairing: Malbec or Chardonnay (for different effects!)Chef ’s Tips• When making the dressing, don’t add the oil too fast; it’ll split. Try to add ice cubes at the end of the process for a chilled, light and fluffy dressing.• Vegetables and lettuce should be crisp and chilled. Chill the bowl.• Don’t burn the pecans! Use a timer.advises, as it can be made ahead and stored for days. Needless to say, it’s a staple of his catering business.Perhaps the main thing to note, about all cooking, is that culinary mastery is all about creating contrasts that work, and here we have exactly that with both textures and tastes. Two different kinds of chewiness – the satisfying crunch of the pumpkin seeds and the juicy stickiness of the dried fruit – contrast with the mouth-warming softness of the sweet potatoes. e tang of the balsamic vinegar serves as a foil for the sweetness of almost everything else.Chef Steve Norsworthy has fond memories of hobnobbing with people such as Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone and Hugh Hefner during his eight years working as an ice carver in Las Vegas. But he still speaks reverently of John Hudswell, his food technology teacher at Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School. At 16 he worked in a local butcher shop. He was also part of the staff of the Old Station Restaurant on Manitoba Street in Bracebridge when it opened in 1985.Journeying west to Banff, Norsworthy spent 10 years skiing during the day and learning the chef’s craft on the job at night. He then worked for a time in Calgary and, after his Las Vegas stint, moved back to Canada after connecting with a high school sweetheart. He ran a bed and breakfast with her while managing multiple restaurants on Prince Edward Island. Returning home to Muskoka at the request of his parents, he has since worked at various venues including Windermere House, the South Muskoka Golf Club and Patterson-Kaye Resort.Since February, Norsworthy has held the job of executive chef at the Muskoka Bay Resort’s Cliffside – a restaurant so named July 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 65

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Page 69 Budget Propane Sales & Service705.687.5608 Toll Free 1.888.405.7777Serving: Muskoka • Gravenhurst • Haliburton • Barrie • Simcoe CountyWe’ll take care of your propane needs for your home, coage, or business.YOUR FURNITURE & CUSTOM UPHOLSTERY SPECIALISTS Cal Cur an Paul Toda! • because it is perched atop a cliff that provides a spectacular view of the resort’s world-class golf course. He is known for allowing no salt or pepper to be placed on the tables. “We spice it,” he insists.His Muskoka Bay Salad isn’t spiced all that much, as each ingredient sings out its own flavour. is salad has a panorama of diverse tastes, all tied together by the champagne dressing with a subtle, sweet flavour. e textures of the salad are varied in their nature, the pecans and peppers crunchy in completely different ways. When making a salad, the textures can really be played with because the ingredients don’t really mix, dissolve or blend into each other. ey are experienced simultaneously yet separately, each starring for a bit if you pick it out with your fork, like instruments in a jazz ensemble, each taking its turn in the limelight and receiving the applause of your tastebuds. It’s one reason why you can take some liberty with proportions, using handfuls as measures. Feel free to adjust the proportions of the ingredients to your own tastes. On creating the recipe, Norsworthy says: “I did it one day in the kitchen, just started messing around with colours and mixes. e dressing is from a friend in Vail, Colorado.” He recommends combining this salad with a salmon topper or chicken breast.By the way, if you’re a person who automatically throws more salt and pepper onto every dish you eat without even trying it first — don’t, not with this salad! It would be a crime. Seriously, try it as it is first. Chef Norsworthy is quite correct with his prohibition in this case.It’s beautiful in its own right!When you shop in our’re supporting the work of local artisans, writers, craftspeople and other Muskoka businesses.28 MANITOBA STREET, BRACEBRIDGESHOP ONLINEwww.uniquemuskoka.comJuly 2023 UNIQUE MUSKOKA 67

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68 UNIQUE MUSKOKA July 2023Muskoka MomentsArticle by Cailan Laine PunnewaertLiving Muskoka MemoriesI was born in Grand Cayman and I remember every time we were near Casuarina trees my mom would say they reminded her of Muskoka. eir long needles blanketing the ground would take her back to her childhood of running through the woods, playing hide and seek with all her cousins at the cottage. She would tell me stories about catching frogs so big they stretched out a foot long. Foggy mornings, the smell of bacon cooking, the sounds of gull and loon calls echoing over the water. Strolling down trails, picking wildflowers as little critters scurried through the woods. Tales of the first time she got up on water-skis and the first time she made it around the island like the big kids, her older cousins. She said she had never felt so free as she did as a child in Muskoka.My grandma tells stories of the adults having afternoon docktails, with no interruptions from kids because they were happy and busy and all getting along. She would laugh about the times where she’d call the kids in for a meal and get more kids than were hers. My mom always said all the moms knew to have lots of extra food available when at the cottage.When I moved to Muskoka, my mom was surprised at how much it had changed but she still made sure my childhood was exactly what she had described and then some. We now had all year to explore and make every outing an adventure.My childhood was just like hers; frogging, picking wildflowers, camping, hiking and watersports. Because we were here year-round, we also had winter for finding ice caves, frozen waterfalls and building igloos to camp out in.I’ve grown up canoeing and kayaking through areas of Muskoka that you can only get to by portaging through the woods and over waterfalls. Finding these areas of untouched beauty will never cease to take my breath away. ese are places where no motorboats can go and very few people have discovered. Places where the snapping turtles are over a hundred years old and wildlife will scurry around you because they don’t have any awareness of humans.With stories of the past from my mom and my grandparents, I am aware of how much Muskoka has changed and continues to change. I’m glad there are groups like Muskoka Watershed Council, Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Muskoka Conservancy and many other groups that work every day to preserve Muskoka for generations to come. We all need to remember to do what is right for Muskoka – for the land, the water and our wildlife. Because all of that is what makes Muskoka the place we call home. Protecting Muskoka for generations to come means protecting Muskoka now.Muskoka is a place where memories are made that last a lifetime. Like they say, Muskoka, once discovered, never forgotten.Cailan has been an avid fundraiser and volunteer from a young age. She’s spent time volunteering and raising money at events with the YWCA to send girls to camp and hosted a Kid’s Who Care carwash for South Muskoka Hospital Foundation. Cailan’s passion project is raising funds for Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and has to date raised just over $50,000 between attending events and her annual Paddle for Wildlife. Cailan’s professional acting career began at the age of eight when she landed her first movie. Soon afterward, she booked a Netflix series. She’s written and filmed several of her own scripts and completed her first novel. Sixteen-year-old Cailan is an A/A+ student with goals of becoming a psychiatrist, specializing in adolescents.Photograph: Debbie Punnewaert

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