Cottage Country Lifestyle Summer 2024

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Pg 14 Monagham Lumber Pg 18 Lindsay Design Centre
Pg 50 Washboard Union

Welcome to the Summer Issue

The heat is here. It’s summertime in Cottage Country! A season which I feel like we wait all year for, a few short months that we soak up and pack full of memories to last us all winter. The kids have been ousted from school responsibilities and are ready for adventure - I remember as a kid feeling like my 2 month vacation lasted a year; now as an adult time travels at a rather breakneck speed. I am constantly reminding myself to slow down, soak in the fleeting moments, and relish the experiences in the here and now.

Here are a few things I am looking forward to this summer. Cool and calm morning swims - before the day has woken up, heated up and got shaken up; sun drenched afternoons that smell like sunscreen, and cozy evenings spent by the campfire rehashing days spent in play. I also always look forward to curating the perfect summer playlist, the soundtrack to my family adventures. And, of course, summer food, local Farmers Markets lush with fresh homegrown offerings.

“Oh when I look back now / That summer seemed to last forever / And if I had the choice / Yeah, I'd always wanna be there / Those were the best days of my life…”

- Summer Of ’69, Bryan Adams

Welcome to the Summer issue of Cottage Country Lifestyle Magazine; arguably our most busy issue! We have collected a wonderful selection of day tripping goodies for you to explore - businesses and events that are a must-see here in our region. With summer comes the buzzing of outdoor festivals, and we have highlighted a few here in Cottage Country that we are proud to sponsor - there is nothing like loud vibrating music in the open air.

On the cover we have Bobcaygeon favourites Bigley Shoes and Clothing. They are a must-shop destination with 11 stores in downtown Bobcaygeon! We have educational content from Love Your Lake, and Ontario Forests. Mouth watering recipes from our friend Nik at Weekend at the Cottage, and information on Lakeside AirBnB Marmora Retreat. Get interior design inspiration from local Interior Designers Birchview Design, and brush up on your PWC knowledge with The Intrepid Cottager, Craig Nicholson. Vikki from Griffins Greenhouse offers tips on keeping pesky mosquitos away with plants, and our local Chambers of Commerce offer up a variety of tourist and upcoming event information.

Resident writers Rick Whittaker, Jacob Rodenburg and Mike Fitzgerald offer enjoyable reads in this issue, and returning seasonal writer Dani McNelly talks cottage memories. Peterborough Riverside Zoo, Inukshuk Farm, and Bird Friendly Peterborough share animal info, and new contributor Norwood Veterinary Services offers tips on taking care of pets in the summer heat.

Throw this copy of the magazine in your beach bag, or wander down to the dock with a cold drink. There is nothing like passing the time immersed in the written word. Please enjoy,

As always, a massive thank you to all of our advertisers, without whom we would not be able to bring you the diverse content we offer up.


Welcome to Bigley Shoes & Clothing, where fashion meets family, and style blends seamlessly with the essence of cottage living. As the Marketing Director, and proud daughter of this family-run business, I am delighted to share the unique experience that awaits you this summer. At Bigley’s, we don’t just offer thousands of styles for the entire family; we provide a haven where shopping transforms into an unforgettable journey of discovery and delight.

A Family Affair:

At Bigley’s, we understand the importance of catering to every member of the family. From the little ones in search of the trendiest sneakers to the parents seeking comfort and style in their footwear choices, our selection spans across generations and preferences. From brands such as Birkenstock, Sperry, Mephisto, VEJA, Skechers and many more, we ensure that every family member finds their perfect fit for the season. We carry over 40,000 pairs of shoes within our footwear departments and over 25,000 swimsuits at Bigley’s Beach House.

Beyond Shopping |

A Lifestyle Experience:

More than just a retail destination, Bigley’s embodies the spirit of cottage living and the joys of summer in Bobcaygeon. Imagine driving along the Trent-severn Waterway, docking your boat at Lock 32, and stepping into a world of fashion, comfort and style at one of our 11 Bigley’s stores, downtown Bobcaygeon. You will find an amazing selection of footwear, clothing, swimwear, accessories, home decor & more!

Sweet Treats and Summer Delights: As the sun begins to set on a perfect summer day, indulge in a sweet finale at Bigley’s Sweet Treats. Treat yourself to a scoop of Kawartha Dairy ice cream, soft ice cream dipped in warm Belgium chocolate, or a frozen yogurt as you reminisce on the day’s adventures and fashion discoveries. It’s the perfect way to unwind and savor the magic of summer in Bobcaygeon.

Your Invitation to Bigley’s: Join us this summer at Bigley Shoes and Clothing for an experience like no other. Discover the joy of shopping amidst the beauty of cottage country, where each visit is a celebration of style, family, and community. We look forward to welcoming you to our world of fashion, family, and summer fun!

Bigley Shoes & Clothing

35-45 & 50 Bolton St. Bobcaygeon

Lake Living at its Best

As the first rays of early morning sunlight break through the canopy of trees, I find myself once again drawn to the wonderful allure of lake life.

There’s a special kind of magic that envelops you when you step out of your everyday hustle and into the serene embrace of the lake. For me, and for many others, weekends at the lake are not just a getaway—they’re a soul-refreshing experience that reminds us of the simplicity and beauty of nature.

Always captivated by the subtle quietness of the lake; there’s something profoundly peaceful about gliding across the glassy surface in a canoe and feeling the gentle rhythm of the paddle cutting through the water. The world slows down, and you become acutely aware of every detail: the haunting call of a loon that echoes in the early mist, the splash of a fish that breaks the surface, the gentle lapping of water on side of the canoe. These moments are meditative for me, a full mind and body state of truly grasping the essence of the lake that surrounds me and rejuvenates my soul.

For those with a more adventurous spirit, bigger and busier lakes offer a different kind of excitement. Boating, tubing, and watersports infuse the lake with energy and laughter. There’s a joy in watching children squeal with delight as they’re pulled on a tube behind a speedboat, and in sharing the thrill of water skiing with friends and family. These activities create exciting memories that bond us together through shared experiences

and the simple pleasure of being outdoors.

Whether you prefer the quiet solitude of a secluded shoreline or the lively buzz of a bustling lake, the reasons for heading to the lake are universal. The lake is a sanctuary from the stress and demands of everyday life. It’s where we reconnect with nature, with each other, and with ourselves. The culmination of fresh air, clean water and blue skies brings a beautiful harmony  that invigorates the body, reduces stress, boosts the mood and calms the soul.

Spending time at the lake is about more than just recreation; it’s about restoration. It’s about finding peace in the gentle waves that hug the shore and in the brilliant colours of an evening sunset. It’s about shared stories around a campfire, the simplicity of reading a good book on the dock, and the joy of a picnic on a sunny afternoon.

When you head to the lake this summer, remember to breathe deeply and revel in the quietness, appreciate the natural beauty, and be grateful for every moment of shared laughter.

Making Your Dream a Reality

The Lindsay Design Centre

Located in the heart of the Kawarthas, the Lindsay Design Centre has one main goal; to make your dream home a reality.

Being a part of the Home Hardware family makes them a trusted destination among the community, and creating a relationship with each client who walks into the showroom is key. Getting to be a part of a home transformation is such a privilege, especially the kitchen, as it’s often referred to as the heart of the home.

The vision for each person’s home is so unique, and each designer looks forward to understanding that vision, and creating a space that reflects just that. The spaces created are often inspired by the nature that surrounds us in cottage country, whether you’re on the water, surrounded by forest or within one of the vibrant towns throughout the Kawarthas.

By showcasing rich colours, natural wood & large windows to invite the environment around us in, your home can truly

become an oasis. It can often be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to a home renovation, so being able to lean on reliable people with years of experience and a passion for the industry is just what you need. The Lindsay Design Centre staff are there to see the project through from start to finish, with someone there to take the stress away and make the renovation as enjoyable as possible. Their showroom includes displays to help inspire, as well as a wide variety of samples ranging from flooring, countertops, cabinetry & even exterior finishes. Being able to see and feel the finishes that are going into your home is pivotal to ensuring your home brings you comfort. Whether you’re planning a complete custom home build or simply a new front door, this will be your ideal destination.

Throughout their 10+ years in business, the Lindsay Design Centre has had the opportunity to see so many dream homes become a reality. They look forward to continuing on with this goal, whatever your vision may be.

Lindsay Design Centre lindsay-design-centre 2912 Hwy 35 South, Lindsay (705) 320-9888

5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Lake’s Water Quality

For many of us, looking forward to time at the lake is what gets us through our busy weeks. These are days where we can take a swim in the lake, take a peaceful canoe or kayak trip or simply sit on the dock and take in the beauty of it all. But did you know our daily actions can impact the water quality of our beloved lakes? It’s true! Here are five actions we can all take to help keep our lakes healthy.

#1 Avoid the use of fertilizers on lawns and gardens – when it rains these contaminants can end up in our lakes and over-fertilize our freshwater systems. This can lead to an increase in algal blooms.

#2 Do not bathe in the lake with soap, not even biodegradable soap – even soap that is biodegradable can still affect the lake chemistry and negatively impact fish and other aquatic life. Biodegradable soap can take time to biodegrade, require certain conditions to break down and can leave behind harmful by-products.

#3 Take care of your septic system – only

flush human waste and toilet paper. Make sure your septic system is well maintained and functioning properly. It is typically recommended to have your septic tank inspected and pumped every three to five years by a licensed professional (depending on the size of your tank and how much it is used). Improperly treated wastewater may contain bacteria, viruses and nutrients which can cause algal blooms, health risks for people and harm water quality for wildlife.

#4 Contain the rain – to reduce the amount of rain running off your property and into your lake, capture it! Rain barrels are a great way to collect water from your downspouts. Rain gardens are another great option. Rain gardens are a depression filled with native plants which collect runoff and filter nutrients and sediments.

#5 Maintain a healthy shoreline buffer – a strip of native vegetation on your property along the shoreline has many benefits. This vegetation will help protect against erosion, filter runoff, absorb nutrients, reduce the

risks of flooding, protect property values and provide important habitat for wildlife. And it is easy! Simply stop mowing an area along your shoreline or plant some of your favourite native plants. While any size of buffer is better than none, it should be at least 10 metres wide if possible.

For more information on the Love Your Lake program, visit Love Your Lake is a shoreline assessment program developed by the Canadian Wildlife Federation and Watersheds Canada.

Written by Terri-Lee Reid, Freshwater Researcher with the Canadian Wildlife Federation

Your CottageOwnOasis

Birchview Design

Cottage Country in Ontario is a cherished retreat for city dwellers seeking solace in nature, and an idyllic home to any of us lucky enough to live here year round. Nestled among the lakes and trees, the cottages in our area offer a perfect canvas for creating serene spaces that seamlessly blend comfort with the beauty of our natural surroundings. Embracing artisan pieces, organic materials, and playful paint colours can transform these spaces into true oases, providing a much-needed escape from urban life. Below are a few tried & true Birchview Design favourite ways to bring your cottage dreams to life…

Love Local

Incorporating artisanal pieces (bonus if they are local!) into cottage interiors adds a unique and personalized touch that mass-produced items simply can't match. Handcrafted pottery, and textiles bring character and a sense of history to the space. Items such as hand carved oars, bespoke vintage decor and local artwork not only support local artisans and shops in our community but also infuse the cottage with a distinct personality. These pieces often tell a wonderful story (the perfect ice breaker for entertaining) and can become cherished heirlooms. The next weekend you have available, check out your local farmers market, antique shops or art galleries to see what you can findwe’ll bet you won’t be disappointed!

Using Organic Materials

Organic materials are essential in creating an inviting and harmonious cottage interior. Wood, stone, and linen are ideal choices that echo the natural beauty outside. Wooden beams, stone exteriors, and natural fibre textiles like cotton throws and linen curtains enhance the charm of a cottage, and add instant comfort. For a real cottage vibe, try incorporating rattan in lighting, wall art or furniture, and metals such as old anchors, propellers or fans as decor pieces.

Playing with Fun Colours & Patterns

While the natural tones of wood and stone create a soothing base, incorporating fun paint colours or playful patterns can enliven a cottage's interior. For many of us, the cottage is a space where you want to have a completely different look than your home. Playful hues of blues and greens will be timeless choices, and truly encompass the concept of “bringing the outdoors, in”, and plaids, stripes or crisp cotton whites will always be classic cottage options. Walls, millwork, furniture, or decor - have

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fun with your favourite summery colours! And just remember, a key factor is to remember to balance these vibrant touches with the natural elements to avoid overwhelming the serene ambiance.

The Full Vibe

A cottage in Ontario should be a true oasis, a place where you can unwind and rejuvenate. Achieving this involves thoughtful design choices that prioritize comfort and relaxation. Cozy reading nooks, inclusive conversation areas, and inviting beds draped with soft linens contribute to a restful environment. Outdoor spaces should not be neglected; patios, decks, and gardens can extend the living area and offer places to enjoy the surrounding nature. Adirondack chairs by the lake, hammocks strung between trees, and fire pits for evening gatherings under the stars enhance the outdoor retreat experience. In addition to aesthetics, functionality plays a crucial role in creating a cottage that serves as an ideal escape. Efficient storage solutions, and well-appointed kitchen and bathroom designs ensure that the space is both beautiful and liveable. Smart design can make even the smallest cottages feel spacious and accommodating.

By creating a sanctuary that harmonizes with its natural setting by incorporating artisan pieces, organic materials, and summer colours and textures, a cottage can truly become a treasured retreat.

Birchview Design Inc. is an award-winning interior design + project management team serving clientele in the Kawartha Lakes, GTA, and beyond. As a full-service studio, the firm offers an all-inclusive, simplified experience with elevated design expertise. / @birchviewdesign

Design: Birchview Design @birchviewdesign / Builder Partner: Timberline Custom Homes / Building Supplier: Monaghan Lumber @monaghan_ lumber / Millwork: Hickory Lane Kitchens / Photography: Ashley Adams @ flashadams / Foyer Artwork: Jenny Kastner @from_the_forest

Marmora Retreat

Marmora Retreat is a stunning convergence of farm, forest and water.

Just 2 hours North of Toronto and 2.5 hours from Ottawa the farmhouse and glamping dome of Marmora Retreat were brought to life with the idea of an integrated lifestyle and wellness retreat.

Owner Brendan Riley describes this one of a kind AirBnB as a place of healing. He wants visitors to be able to reconnect with nature and with ones self. Located on 39 acres of pristine land the property features a classic farmhouse, lakefront dock, and an Eco 4 season glamping Geo-Dome.

The main farmhouse is comfortably outfitted with everything you could need during your stay. Very spacious and well kept, the farmhouse offers lots of neat areas in the house to read a book, cozy up beside the fire place or play a game of ping pong or billiards. There is a private in-ground pool, and large indoor hot tub. With an oversized back deck, outside fire pit area, large living area and comfortable sofas, your ultimate relaxation has been taken into consideration in every detail.

The Eco Geo-Dome is a 4 season glamping dome outfitted with a queen size bed and sofa bed to sleep up to 4 people. Located far enough away from the farmhouse to be independent of each other the dome is invitingly furnished for a stylish stay. Completely off grid the dome has a foot pump style sink, solar powered electricity and is heated with an indoor wood stove. On the deck of the dome you will

find an inviting wood fired hot tub just waiting for you to release all your stress amongst the trees. Alpacas have arrived and horses are coming soon to the farm to keep you company, and you're only moments away from walking trails, woodland paths, cycling routes through scenic hills, fishing, bird-watching and foraging.

Specializing in engagements, elopements and micro weddings, as well as various wellness retreats (think yoga, breath work, meditation, alternative healing modalities) Marmora Retreat is the perfect spot for your next boutique style gathering.

This cozy retreat is more than just a place to stay; it's an invitation to escape the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary. Settle in for a peaceful visit - any time of year. It’s a beautiful spot for creativity, dreaming, planning, and being inspired.

Marmora Retreat, created to be an inspirational and transformative space for guests to experience the beauty and wonder of nature and all it has to offer, invites you to slow down, recharge, and reconnect with your loved ones, the land, and most importantly yourself.

Marmora Retreat

Marble Point Road, Marmora 416-565-6859

to the 2023 PKHBA Housing Design Award Winners

Lighten Up This Summer

With summer now here, now's the time to lighten up our homes and give them a much-needed breath of fresh air. Whether you're planning a home renovation or just want to do some easy and economical updates, here are some tips to transform into a lighter and brighter breath of fresh air.

Go neutral. Neutral colour palettes are a very popular choice that many designers like us gravitate to, thanks to its versatility and broad appeal. A neutral colour palette is easy to layer up for winter and lighten up for spring. When choosing large-scale colours for your home such as wall paint, flooring and bigger furnishings like a sofa, choose muted earthy whites and cream tones.

Designer Tip: Take your neutrals a step further with a monochromatic colour palette, which can lend a lighter, more laid-back aesthetic by virtue of its simplicity. Bonus - monochromatics are also an easy way to make a room appear bigger and brighter!

Change up your fabrics. Fabrics play a critical role in the perceived and physical temperature of a home. Bring in more, natural fabrics this time of year such as linen, cottons and jute, in a lighter weave and colour palette. Bring in these textiles into your pillows, throws, window coverings and even change out your area rugs. In the bedroom and bathroom, crisp white bedding and white towels are our go-to for creating a relaxing, spa-inspired feel that instantly uplifts the soul. Check out our latest collections of in home décor and accessories at

Incorporate texture. If not executed thoughtfully, a neutral or monochromatic space runs the risk of falling flat. Add personality to your interiors by playing with texture and a variety of different materials. While texture is a common theme when selecting fabrics and integrated finishes such as tile or wall coverings, think outside the box and look to furniture and light fixtures as textural targets. Consider wood, wicker and straw, play with different metals, and juxtapose finishes such as glossy and matte surfaces to bring lots of visual interest and depth to your design, while maintaining the integrity of your monochromatic colour palette.

Light it up! While lighting seems like a fairly obvious addition to every room, you'd be shocked at how many people disregard its importance and the potential impact it can have on the overall ambiance. A poorly lit room can appear small uninviting. Layer in different light sources throughout the home, incorporating ceiling fixtures, sconces and lamps in corners, tabletops and sitting areas. This will brighten up dark corners, enhance the room's function, and highlight key points of interest such as unique architectural features, collections and artwork.

Of course, with longer sunnier days, natural light should be top of mind at this time of year. Draw open the curtains or better yet, remove them entirely if privacy isn't a concern. While you're focussed on your windows, go ahead and give them a good cleaning, inside and out. You'll be amazed at how much more natural light floods your home when you remove the window grime of winter.

Tip: Enhance the natural light in your home by strategically positioning mirrors near windows. Mounting a wall mirror opposite a window will amplify the natural light and double your views! Similarly, propping a tall, vertical mirror against the wall can create the illusion on a doorway!

Welcome the beloved lazy days of summer with a home that celebrates the season in all its glory. Canadian summers are glorious but they are fleeting. Make the most of it.

This multi-disciplinary design firm has become known for creating interiors that are both uniquely reflective and functional to their clients. The firm provides bespoke residential design services throughout Montreal, Ontario, & North America.

Designer Eugenia Triandos, is the Principal Designer for Montreal based Hibou Design & Co.

“Sand In An Hour Glass”

I will have 90 candles on my birthday cake this year, well, probably not, that would cause quite a bonfire in the middle of our dining table but, whether I have four or five candles designating “birthday” or the numbers nine and zero written out, I am a realist and am fully aware I maybe should not be buying green bananas.

Aunt Mae was blind for the last 40 years of her life, she lived alone and was quite capable of taking care of herself. Lights in her one bedroom house were on timers activated in the evening to deter possible burglars. Household maintenance was taken care of but all in all, she was an amazing lady. Aunt Mae caught a cold while visiting a friend in hospital, the cold turned ugly and my aunt passed away at the age of one hundred and three.

Grandma Sanders was one of a kind. After my “harumph” truly English starchy, stuffy, most lovable grandfather passed away, grandma seemed to come out of her shell. She loved to dance and always went with my Mom and Dad when invited to various weddings or festive gatherings. Grandma would order one glass of beer and put a saccharine tablet in the glass. Why? It really didn’t matter because she only took one, maybe two sips and never finished the drink. Grandma was living with my parents when just a few months shy of one hundred she took her place in the heavens, she had already lost her sight and when her hearing also went - well, she still smiled but I cried.

There were nine in our family, Mom and Dad, four girls and three boys. Cancer took some of my family and heart attack others, I am the only one left. My grandmother, aunt, mother and sister were all blind when they were welcomed to heaven, my one sister had Parkinson’s Disease and one had Alzheimer’s.

So why am I listing all this information, does anyone care other than me? Actually, although most would deny it, when we all get to that certain age we do have the last chapter in the book of our life in the back of our minds. Time goes by so swiftly anymore yes, we do begin to wonder.

I have no intentions of going anywhere for a long time yet but just a little hint, when you see an elderly person in your family staring off into space, he or she is either reliving certain events in their life or dwelling on the few years they may have ahead of them. That is not a morbid or maudlin thought, there comes a time when we look back at what we have done or what we wish we had done and the things we know at our age we will never do. The bad things seem to boil to the top and we struggle hoping we added some happiness to family, friends and even those we have through time, forgotten.

My mother had a saying about getting old, “the days are long but the years are short.” No truer words were spoken.

Forests for Future Generations

“If we lose the forests, we lose our only teachers.”
— Bill Mollison

Forests are critical not only for our ecosystem, but our own personal health. They help sequester carbon from the atmosphere, which is becoming more and more important as our climate changes. Healthy forests provide habitat for wildlife and improve biodiversity while also helping to clean the air we breathe and water we drink.

Forests help to stabilize soil, reduce erosion and help combat flood risks. On the human health side of things, forests provide a multitude of benefits when it comes to improving our mental and physical health. Research shows that getting out in nature and into a forest can improve your mood, decrease your heart rate and instances of heart disease, and improve cardiovascular health.

Forests Ontario is a non-profit charity that focuses on creating and restoring forested landscapes and helping to ensure those

newly planted trees are healthy and thriving in communities across the province and nationally. The charity also offers several educational programs designed to bring the outdoors into the

classroom for all ages and grade levels.

Engaging with those that feel connected to our forests and want to ensure that they thrive into the future is the passion of Forests Ontario. “We want the next generation to be engaged and excited about our forests,” says Jess Kaknevicius, CEO of Forests Ontario, “they play a significant role in our day-to-day lives.”

If you are a property owner and you are wondering ‘How can I get involved?’ Forests Ontario encourages you to first think about what you would like for your property. Perhaps you want to increase forest cover or improve the health of your existing forest – the organization offers a host of different programs and resources that can help you connect with your forest

and increase its health. Get to know your forest intimately, walk around, look at species, look at signs of health, take note of the diversity of tree species, noises and smells. When we think about healthy forests, we really need to consider diversity of species - both animal and plant - as well as look for signs of unhealthy forests like invasive species and dying trees.

When Forests Ontario works with landowners on tree planting projects, one of the first things they try to understand is, ‘Why do you have this property, and what do you want it to do?' For example, some folks are looking to support wildlife and biodiversity, while others are looking to harvest firewood - these goals will affect the approach to creating a forest that thrives for you and your community.

Much of our land in southern Ontario is privately owned, meaning your woodlot is essential for connectivity, for animals’ migration, for improving biodiversity, and for helping to introduce different seed sources for climate resilience.

So, you ask, ‘How can I help if I don’t own a forest?’ Kaknevicius suggests getting involved in local volunteer efforts or engaging with your local conservation groups, these resources are a great way to get to know more about ecosystems in your area. Another great way is to financially support organizations doing work to protect and enhance our local forests and landscapes.

With the generosity of donations, Forests Ontario is able to do the work they are passionate about. Donations are accepted through their website:

Through their ambitious tree planting initiatives, extensive education programs and decades of community outreach, Forests Ontario takes great pride in millions of trees being planted each year that will grow and thrive for generations to come.

Jess Kaknevicius with her son Joshua
2022 Forests Ontario Planting Project

Chronicles of A City Boy’s Life In The Country

MY WILD LIFE Cottage Memories

It used to be that wild life involved partying at my college frat house. Like a rowdy beer commercial, but with fewer perfect-looking people. When I got a cottage, wildlife took on a whole new meaning – it’s what's moving all around us, usually making creepy noises at night. The wife says, she thought that was me snoring.

When it comes to wildlife, it's important to remember that they outnumber us – and are around 24/7. So, nature’s critters have a big strategic advantage – no doubt who the real property owners are!

So, accommodation is key. Not the sleeping kind, but the getting along kind. Wildlife is just that – untamed, uncontrolled, unpredictable. So, patience, adaptability, and a sense of humour are best for dealing with forest creatures. Also, fleet feet, a tool kit and that immortal quote from W.C. Fields: “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.” Which is my motto whenever I’m dealing with wildlife – the wife says, live and let live, but I persist…

I’m frustrated by birds nesting on my porch light – undeterred by the light lighting, the door slamming or me making simulated cat noises to shoo them away. I clean their droppings off the porch yet again, but they return immediately to procreate and defecate. The wife says, it looks good on me.

Then there’s bird feeding. I put out seeds; they gorge. Ad infinitum. But mine are picky. They perch on the feeders, shovelling aside all but their choice titbits until the ground is covered in seed rejects. After the squirrels,

chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, mice and moles select their meals from these discards, I rake and re-rake the remainder. A zillion seeds and not one has ever taken root. So much for my green thumb.

Storing bird seeds for the feeder requires cunning, dexterity and a wire cutter. Huge seed bags are cumbersome to lug about, so I decided to store my seed in garbage cans nearby. The raccoons were delighted! And the bungee cords I used to secure the can lids became their favourite hors d'oeuvres, until I replaced them with heavy wire. The critters couldn't get in, but neither could I. Which explains the wire cutter – and the ear plugs I wear each night to diminish the constant clatter of crashing metal. The wife chalks another win up for the wildlife. Such a party girl.

Wildlife is invisible. For every critter seen, hundreds more slip by undetected, leaving only traces of their passage. Like holes in my lawn. I have a plague of them. Big ones, small ones, some the size of your head... hidden ones and ones I trip over. My ground is more hole than earth. Where do they come from? What lives there? What possesses a passing animal to dig a whole hole? Do I really want to know? The wife says, she's waiting for an opening my size to put me in.

Equally frustrating are the chewed saplings disappearing from my shore, the brake cable gnawed through in my drive, the patio festooned with little black pellets, the grass covered with patterned skin sheddings, and what’s left of our fresh fish dinner on the stringer floating in the water by my dock.

And what took my bait? Tore up my garbage? Dug up the flowers? If only the phantom knows, then he has much to confess.

And what about the critter convention that always seems to be going on in my attic? Mouse traps that have caught more of my fingers than actual mice? The bear cub that looked inquisitively through our window until mama called? Or the red-headed wood pecker that flew around our living room after coming down the chimney? It’s like living in a zoo where we’re the ones on display!

I’ve become adept at pulling quills from pin-cushioned canines. They never seem to learn that playing with porcupines has painful consequences. And our friendly mutts are only too eager to share their new scent after encountering a skunk. Nothing like being sprayed to make fido want to cuddle with you!

Our dogs compete for space with wildlife. Chase the frogs, frighten the snakes, try to figure out fish, dig out every hole in sight and explore with insatiable curiosity. Which leaves me filling in more holes. The wife always knows where to find me – out there somewhere, trying something again and again. My wildlife would be easier if I’d actually read the complete W.C. Fields quote: “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”

Craig Nicholson is a long-time Kawarthas cottager who also provides tips and tour info for snowmobilers at and for PWC riders at

Our Cottage Country Lake Racer Shawn Dunbar

Shawn Dunbar is a local guy with his sights set on big wins this season. A resident of one of Cottage Country’s popular lakes Dunbar is a drag boat racer with a need for speed. With an impressive race season under his belt last year winning his first race in the U.S., Shawn has set goals for his team to strive for this season - he aims to win high points this year for ODBA. Currently Shawn sits at first overall in his Lake Racer and second overall in Super Modified classes and Shawn says his target is to win one of those classes this year.

Earlier in the season Dunbar travelled to the DSRA (Deep South Racing Association) and brought home a number of high ranking placements in all of his races, and with no races happening in Canada this year, Shawn will also be travelling to the U.S. to compete in the SODA (Southern Outlaw Dragboat Association) circuit, as well as ODBA (Outboard Drag Race Association) circuit of 4 races which will be his main circuit this season.

There are some differences between the two classes that Shawn competes in. For the Lake Racer Class boats must weigh between 1425 and 1650lbs depending on their different setups. Typically drivers aim for a time in the high 8 seconds to finish well, and speeds are in the mid 90mph or 150kms per hour. In the other class - Super Modified, drivers aim for a time in the low 8’s (seconds), and boats weigh in anywhere from 1240 to 1440lbs - speeds are in excess of 100mph or 165kms per hour. The races are a length of either 660 feet, or a length of 800 feet.

This year Shawn is racing in a new boat, which was unveiled in Lincoln,

Alabama last year at the World Championships. The new boat is a 19 foot STV River Rocket. It is race ready at 900lbs - which is ultra light. With his gear (helmet, Lifeline lifejacket and neck brace) Shawn adds 200lbs to the setup, and to add more weight the team uses pre-cut and measured horse mats and gym weights which are secured to the boat to add extra weight for specific classes.

Dunbars two boats have had a lot of work done by Kevin Ward from Wards Garage out of Picton, Ontario, along with Davey Jones from Jones Marine Service located in Orange Beach, Alabama; which he is very thankful for. His newest setup was also specially modified by long time boat builder, Wally Lamkin - well known in the racing world - the boat has a custom bottom and Shawn says it is very, very quick. Both boats have been custom rigged specifically for Shawn and his needs. The newest of the two boats took 2 years to get race ready and boasts a Mercury Racing 2.5 litre 280 - about 330 horse motor.

When I asked Shawn what his favourite part of racing was he said

“The adrenaline. Yeah, the adrenaline, the speed is up there for sure; and the competition. When I first started, I was getting my butt kicked all the time, and you know, we’ve put a lot of time and lot of work into it to win.”

Dunbar, having always had an interest in high performance boats got into racing when OPBRA (Ontario Power Boat Racing

Association) co-founder Brent Valois called him and asked if he wanted to race. At first Shawn said no, but changed his mind and went out to the races held in Peterborough in 2017; and went undefeated the next year in 2018. From there he was hooked, he had great success racing in Ontario and travelled to the World Championships in Tennessee and won a fourth place finish in his first race - he has been travelling to the States to race ever since.

“I've got a test track right out in front of my place here, and most of my neighbours are really accepting of me having that. I try not to practice too often - because, the boat's very loud. But a bunch of them will come out to the dock and watch me while I'm testing. I have a supportive community and because of that, I'm able to keep my skills up.” Says Shawn.

OPBRA can't race in Ontario currentlythere has been no racing happening in Ontario since Covid due to insurance limitations - so Shawn is hosting a race in Springfield, Ohio and the members

of the OPBRA organization are going to assist with that race. With no racing happening in Ontario Shawn invites Ontarians with nowhere to race to join in the fun of the weekend - hopefully drawing more attention to the sport.

The APBA (American Power Boat Association) hosts their National Championship in Ohio the same weekend in August and Dunbar with assistance from APBA Nationals organizer Dana Potts have the vision to amalgamate F1 Oval Racing with Drag Boat Racing into the same weekend. Dunbar says the event will draw thousands, and encourages anyone in Ontario who wants to get in the Drag Boat Racing game to come out and experience the Mecca of boat racing, August 23-25th, 2024 at Champions Park Lake.

Shawn is very open to answering questions, and offering advice to those looking to race, and says you can always reach out to him via his Facebook page SD Racing.


Wards Garage

Jones Marine Service

Performance Propellers

Kawartha Propeller


Grant Gibson Remax Eastern

Advanced Sleeves

Speedmaster Marine

Performance Through Research (PTR)

Miller Hunt Gearcases

Commercial Press & Design

Custom Signs

The Sensor Connection

Baicour Inc.

Double R Performance

M&C Hydraulics

Barrie/Orillia Pita Pit

Battaglia Homes

*Shawn is always open to new partnerships and sponsors!

Striking A Balance

The neighbour down the road was adamant that the best thing to do was to get rid of them before they became a problem. I stood next to his pickup truck while his wife and kids awed at the fox standing behind me no more than fifteen feet away.

His concerns were of children being bitten or badly mauled by the fox, which more than likely didn’t have any merit, but to him they were very real. However, over the course of the last five years that the fox had been around, three of which involved her having a den full of kits underneath our roadside deck, she’d never once been anything close to what could be described as a problem. My motto had been concise – leave them alone, and we can all get along.

The neighbour eventually pulled away after shaking his head incredulously, and I returned to my chair where the book I was previously reading awaited me, all the while momma fox went about her business, most of which involved playing with the kits in the spring sunlight.

As I mentioned earlier, the fox had been hanging around for the better part of the last five years. I don’t know her back story or why she has warmed up to us here, but it’s not uncommon for me to be lounging on the lawn in the shade during a July afternoon and see her only a few paces away also laying down in the shade, watching me before she dozes off. During the winter when I venture out to my ice hut in the dark before dawn, she follows along on the walk out sometimes.

She looks very different from her mate – a skinny little fox that squints when she is seemingly comfortable, with a small white patch under her head, whereas the male is a handsome wild looking creature with more white on his neck, her orange tint much paler on his face. He doesn’t share the same feelings about being near humans as the female does, preferring to dip into the woods across the road the moment he detects my presence.

At the expense of using the underside of our deck as a place to raise her young, this relationship has been mutually beneficial over the years. For one, when one of our snap traps kills one of the rogue field mice that finds its way into the cottage, the fox makes short work of it afterwards. We no longer have any chipmunks or squirrels that dare come onto the property thanks to her cunning style of hunting, and in turn, their shenanigans provides untold hours of entertainment throughout the year.

While the neighbours down the road might be undecided, most of the permanent residents here don’t mind the foxes being around at all – in fact for the most part they prefer it. Afterall, the fox is our neighbour as well, keeping the cottontails out of the gardens, the chipmunks at bay – maybe just keeping everything in balance as a whole.

All this to say that sometimes striking a balance in nature means tipping your hat to the predator, and as long as the fox keeps doing what its genetically predisposed to do, it’s rent for the makeshift fox apartment under the deck is paid, as far as I’m concerned.

What to do when you find a Baby Bird Bird Friendly


As summer progresses and first and second clutches of baby birds continue, this is a good time for some reminders about when baby birds need help, and when they need to be left alone!  No birdnapping please!

When a member of the public comes across a baby bird on the ground, sometimes, they worry that it has been abandoned and collect the baby bird. Seeing baby birds on the ground can be alarming to us; they look helpless and not where they "should be". Most of the time however, this is perfectly normal as they are fully feathered fledglings, and after leaving the nest can spend several days or even weeks on the ground. They are not abandoned! During this time, they are still watched over by mom and dad, fed, and protected. This is the time where they are learning the essential survival skills of hiding, stealth, and ground foraging; necessary skills for their future success.

If you see a baby bird on the ground, always watch from a distance (preferably from indoors if possible) and you will probably see parents feeding and caring for their young.  Here is what to look for featuring one of our most abundant and remarkable birds, the American Robin.

• Eyes open and fully feathered, hopping and attempting to fly: leave it alone!  This is a fledgling and it is perfectly natural for this life stage.  Robin fledglings can spend up days on the ground being cared for by their parents.

• Eyes open but feathers have not grown in.  This is the nestling stage and occasionally though, baby birds fall out of the nest in a storm or accident or are scared out of the nest too early in something called a "force fledge", where the baby is able to flutter enough just to get out of the nest in its fear, but is too young to be on the ground. If there is no injury and you can safely return to the nest, wear gloves and do so.  If not, contact an Authorized Wildlife Custodian for guidance.

• Eyes closed and naked without many feathers. This is the hatchling stage and these babies are very vulnerable. If there is no injury and you can safely return to the nest, wear gloves and do so.  If not, contact an Authorized Wildlife Custodian for guidance.

There are still some unfortunate cases where a member of the public will collect an “abandoned” baby bird and attempt to raise it into an adult for release. While usually done with good intentions, it is not a substitute for natural bird parenting and is also illegal in Ontario to keep any wild animal in your possession.

Birds raised or cared for by untrained members of the public very often have poor outcomes, very rarely make it to release, and find very little success in the wild after release as they need such specialized foods that their parents give them (not to mention many baby birds must be fed every 15-20 minutes for 12 hours a day!).

As summer winds down, it is important to acknowledge that these baby birds are growing, learning, and preparing for fall migration.  Make sure you keep your distance and your eyes open!

Wood Wide Web

As the outdoor sights and sounds of summer approach, I would like to draw your attention to something fascinating that you cannot see or hear. Below the forest floor, our understanding of the silent communication between trees and fungi is unveiling a new way to look at forests.

Commonly associated with death and decay, some fungi have antibacterial properties (think penicillin), others are deadly and some have chemicals that can induce hallucinations. There is also a specific subset of fungi that attach to the tree feeder rootlets for the purpose of sharing resources. Called mycorrhizal fungi, literally meaning fungusroots, microscopic hyphae attach to the cells of the tree roots. A mass of hyphae forms the body of fungi called mycelia. Mycelia are the fungal strands we can see spidering out under overturned logs.

This relationship between trees and mycorrhizal fungus is symbiotic and reciprocal. A tree fixes carbon in its leaves through photosynthesis and sends carbohydrates in the form of sugars to its roots. These sugars molecules are absorbed by the fungus. Like capillaries, fungal filaments fan out from the tree roots and reciprocate by sending water and nutrients back to the tree. Phosphorus, nitrogen and water are vital for tree health but can be a struggle to access without help of the extended reach of the fungus.

Like a forest community barter system, the tree provides carbon in the form of sugar in exchange for water and nutrients obtained by the fungus. This fungal network is like nature’s internet or the “Wood Wide Web,” an astounding underground communication system which is both complex and cooperative.

There is a very Canadian connection to this phrase; it was coined by Susanne Simard, a faculty of forestry at UBC and author of Finding the Mother Tree - Discover the Wisdom of the Forest. As a child raised in the temperate forests of British Columbia, Simard was enchanted by the mystery of her moss-covered playground and went on to study forestry. She is most noted for her field research related to the sharing of carbon between Douglas Fir and White Birch trees.

Simard was also able to document an extensive network of linkages under the soil with DNA micro-satellites. What she found was a series of intersecting fungal highways. The biggest, oldest trees were the most highly connected and they were termed hub trees or mother trees.

The mother trees were nurturing the young saplings in the understory at no cost to herself. Demonstrating bias towards their own offspring, mother trees send more carbon to saplings grown from her seed

compared to unrelated saplings: taking care of family first!

Simard further asked the question, could a sick fir tree benefit from a healthy birch tree? Yes, it can, she found. The fir puts out warning signals that it is being attacked by some pathogen and the trees in the mycorrhizal network produce defence enzymes in preparation of insect infestation or disease. The fir will benefit from the antibiotic producing enzymes generated by the birch tree, through the mycorrhizal network. Almost like a public immunization program, without all the politics!

Recently, Simard was voted by New York Times magazine as one of the 100 "most influential people" in the world. The magazine chose Simard for her “revolutionary” finding in her extensive forest ecology research.

Like the tip of an iceberg, what you see in a forest mushroom is only a surface character in an ancient and complex underground story. Through thousands of years, a vast, hidden trading and sharing network has evolved. Not simply a collection of individual trees, this information brings a fresh perspective to consider on your forest hikes.

Submitted by Rick Whitteker. You can find Rick at home in the forest, as a seasoned trail guide, nature writer and passionate wildlife enthusiast in the Haliburton Highlands.

Recipes Weekend at the Cottage


Cubes of angel food cake layered with vanilla custard, assorted fresh berries, and a lemony cream cheese whipped cream.


For the custard:

• ¼ cup Bird’s instant custard

• 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

• 2 cups whole milk

For the whipped cream:

• 2 cups 35% cream

• 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature

• ¾ cup icing sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1 teaspoon lemon juice

• zest from 1 lemon

• 1 angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes

• 4 pints fresh berries - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries

To garnish:

• fresh berries

• fresh mint


1. Prepare the custard: Pour custard powder and sugar into a small saucepan. Add milk and stir or whisk to combine. Heat over medium heat stirring frequently until hot and thickened. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and cool for a bit. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or, overnight.

2. Prepare the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer, whip 35% cream in a medium bowl until it holds stiff peaks. Set aside. Whip cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture by spoonfuls whipping to combine until light and fluffy.

3. Assemble the trifle: Add half the quantity of cubed cake to the trifle dish, spreading out in an even layer. Add half the quantity of custard followed by half the quantity of berries, once again spreading in an even layer. Add an even layer of whipped cream. Repeat layers. Smooth the final layer of whipped cream but add a dollop or two to the centre.

4. To serve: Add additional berries and fresh mint leaves to the top of the trifle bowl. Serve immediately.


A creamy dip made with tangy, sharp blue cheese, mayo, sour cream,  shallot and fresh herbs. Perfect for buffalo wings, chips and fresh veggies!


• ¾ cup sour cream

• ½ cup mayonnaise

• 1 shallot, finely diced

• juice of half a lemon

• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herb (dill, tarragon or chives)

• 1 cup blue cheese, grated or crumbled

• kosher salt and black pepper to taste

• 1 tablespoon buttermilk (optional)

TIP: Freeze your blue cheese before you begin - it makes grating much easier.

1. Place the sour cream, mayonnaise, shallot, lemon juice, herbs and blue cheese into a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Add milk to thin out consistency, if desired. Taste then season with salt and pepper.

2. Store covered or in an airtight container and keep refrigerated until you enjoy. Serve with wings, ribs, potato chips, tortilla chips or assorted vegetables. Also works as a condiment and salad dressing.


Despite the increasing popularity of personal watercraft (also called a PWC, jet ski, sea-doo or water scooter), many myths persist about them, especially among those who’ve never driven one (or at least not recently). Some of these misconceptions may have had some partial basis in the past. Some were simply bogus from the get-go. Others derive from poor operator behaviour, giving all PWCs a bad rap. But I’m well-versed at myth-busting, so let’s look at today’s jet ski reality, including some important PWC beginners’ advice…

Myth 1: PWCs Are Toys

Many owners treat their jet skis as toys and impart this misperception to their families and friends. One consequence is irresponsible behaviour, such as annoying the neighbours by doing donuts in front of their cottage, instead of out in the middle of the lake. This “toy” mentality can also lead to the dangerous misconception that PWCs are not boats, subject to the same as boats under Canadian marine regulations.

Another result of treating your jet ski as a toy is that you’re unlikely to appreciate its real potential. Today’s fully featured PWCs are among the most technically advanced vessels on the water. They are perfect for day cruising and multi-day tours, something no mere “toy” can do.

Myth 2: PWCs Are Noisy

Certainly jet ski riding is noisier than canoeing. But in normal cruising operation, PWCs are quieter than ever before. Progressive advances in sound suppression technology have reduced noise levels by over 70% compared to earlier models. Meanwhile, next generation electric engines will make your next PWC as quiet as a canoe.

Myth 3: PWCs Are Wet

Most non-riders often think that riding a personal watercraft is synonymous with getting soaked. Certainly, manufacturers’ promo brochures and videos often reinforce this PWC misconception, but for the most part, getting soaked is your choice. It’s rare for me to get wet on a Sea-Doo tour unless I get caught in the rain.

Myth 4: PWCs Generate Big Wake

Some people perceive PWCs as real tsunami-makers. Compared to most boats, a jet ski’s smaller displacement doesn’t generate large wake. Their underwater jet drive also reduces wake size and duration. Part of the wake misconception results from PWC riders playing too close to shore, but that’s an operator issue, not a design fault.

Myth 5: PWCs Go Anywhere

A jet ski can go many places a larger boat can’t, such as narrow channels and shallower water. But that doesn’t preclude damage from submerged rocks or shoals. Also, weeds, loose stones or debris are more likely to clog your impeller, which can suddenly

Riding with protective gear

incapacitate your PWC and even do serious engine damage. So always be very cautious whenever you venture off into in less travelled waters – and since PWCs aren’t with equipped navigation lights, never go anywhere after dark!

Myth 6: Only Swim Suit & PDF

One painful myth is that riders can magically avoid sunburn. Don’t believe it, because riding a jet ski offers no protection from the rays, and unlike in boats, there’s very limited ability to change your riding position. Always use sunscreen, and for longer rides, cover any exposed skin (most affected: hands, arms, shoulders, face & head, thighs and ankles) by wearing protective gear.

Protection will also help avoid painful splats in the face from large flying insects – a great reason never to ride with your mouth open or without eye protection (goggles/sunglasses). It also prevents the painful pinpricks of rain pelting against bare flesh and cuts the chill when zipping along on a breezy summer day.

Myth 7: No Fuel Worries

Water friction drains your PWC fuel tank faster than comparable land-based recreational vehicles. Jet ski fuel mileage also depends on variables such as speed, water condition, head winds and weight of rider(s). So always start with a full tank, know where the closest marina is, and carry extra fuel in a LinQ caddy, because running

on empty isn’t fun.

Myth 8: Passengers On Any PWC

Many purpose-built PWC models are available. Some are single seaters, while others are designed for carrying passengers. Single seaters tend to be shorter and narrower, great for solo riding, but tippier with passenger(s) on board. So if you’re planning to do much riding double, everyone will be more comfortable (and safer) on a model that’s factory-equipped with a longer seat, more legroom and a wider hull for greater stability.

Myth 9: No Need For Storage

Nope. Plenty of secure, dry storage space is essential. From personal items like smart phone, refreshments, towels and extra wearables, to riding necessities like mooring lines, tow rope, bumpers, anchor and emergency gear, it’s better to have more room on board. That’s why I always opt for larger models that have more builtin storage, plus extra room for removable LinQ cargo accessories.

Myth 10: Anyone Can Ride One

Yes, but not without training. PWC’s are easy to ride, especially for those with previous boating experience or who are already familiar with the concepts of handlebar steering, throttle, brake, and the use of body English. But the operative word here is “learn” – jet skis are super quick, nimble and responsive, but rely on

engine thrust for the acceleration and deceleration for control to maneuver, stop and operate safely. Mastering this takes practice, so after obtaining your Pleasure Craft Operators License, go slow until you’re 100% comfortable – and always remember: give way to other craft!

Now that we’ve dispelled these 10 myths, enjoy your PWC summer on the water in the Kawarthas – and ride safe!

Craig Nicholson, The Intrepid Cottager, is a long-time Kawarthas cottager who provides tips and tour info for PWC riders at and for snowmobilers at

Left Photo Credit: Martin Lortz

Top & Bottom Photo Credit: Allan Glanfield

Fueling at Peterborough Marina, Little Lake
Family ride and swim on Pigeon Lake

Welcome to Cottage Country’s  Daytripping Summer Feature

The Ontario Cottage Country Region is rich with towns, cities, hamlets and communities that are filled with experiences and local treats that you might not know about. Around every twist and turn on our country roads residents and business owners are curating one-of-a-kind experiences for those wishing to embrace them. Parallel to none is our hiking, lakes, rivers and festivals. The Cottage Country region is filled with hidden gems, spectacular settings, and brimming with vibrant arts and cultural business communities. Enjoy the character of the Villages and as you travel through our region and get to know why we choose to call this place ‘home’.

You’ll find lots of ideas in the next few issues of our  magazine – we have dubbed them the ‘Daytripping’ Issues and we want to direct you to some of the greatest attractions, events and

businesses in Cottage Country; all the way through to the Fall. Whether you are looking for something to fill a day, a weekend - or a week - destinations are waiting for you to fall in love with the landscape and pace of our rural roads.

We invite you to travel the area we call home; stop in every small town dotting the countryside - you never know what you will find; and we like to brag about having the friendliest people! Along one of the many beautiful roads leading through quaint towns and villages you will find amazing food, inns and resorts, events and glorious Cottage Country sunsets from a new perspective.

We love to hear from our readers – connect with us  anytime to share your stories, photos and comments at

Washboard Union

Leading up to their performance at this years Crooks Rapids Country Fest in Hastings Ontario, I had the chance to chat with David Roberts, member of well-known country band THE Washboard Union.

Composed of step-brothers Aaron Grain, Chris Duncombe and best friend David Roberts, The Washboard Union has had over 85 million career streams, 35+ award wins, and 380,000 radio spins, with two top 5 hits and nine top 10 hits. The band has one Platinum and four Goldcertified singles, and Everbound (2020) won them CCMA Awards for Group of the Year and Roots Album of the Year. They are three-time consecutive CCMA Group of the Year winners, and remain the only country group to ever win a JUNO Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year.

David was amazing to catch up with, his warm humour brought out lots of laughs, and his genuine love for his craft was evident in his heartfelt responses to my questions. It is evident these three best friends have some massive friendship connections off-stage, which makes their music that much more cohesive.

With a new album coming in hot July 12th, and their new single Band On Her T-shirt which was released on May 24th, their show promises to be full of new sounds and old favourites.

When I asked David what he thought about heading to Crooks Rapids this summer he said he loves that it is a family friendly event. David encourages families to take their kids to as many festivals and concerts as possible; experience all that music has to offer. David says he still thinks about the concerts he went to in high school and how impactful they were for him. He compares concert going to attending sports games, when your team loses you leave feeling disappointedbut when have you ever left a concert feeling disappointed?

Here are some of the highlights of my chat with David:

How does it feel to know that your song Dock Rock is a go-to summer cottage anthem?

It’s funny, when we were writing that song - cause I grew up in Ontario and cottage country is big out there, and the boys grew up out by Okanagan which is big for summertime fun - hanging out on the dock and doing things. So when we were writing it we were just kind of putting ourselves in that place that we all loved and grew up with, so it was a really natural song. We all have tons of experience to draw

from when we were writing it, and then the cool thing was during Covid when that got released - I don’t know if you remember butwe couldn’t do a video so we reached out to our fans and said ‘Hey if you guys could help us out, it would be great if we could see some of your summertime dock life, and just having fun adventures.’ Everyone has got them on their phone, I know I’ve got a ton. So you know, people sent them in - we got thousands of them! Fans really rose to the challenge and it really helped us out because we could actually do a video - and what a great way to do a video, just celebrating the people who love the band and our fans, so it was a great tribute back to them saying ‘this is your summer song’.

If you had to pick one of your songs that best represents your band, which one would be the go-to choice to introduce someone who had never experienced your music?

For me there’s a song that is my favourite and we play it live, it's a song called Shine. I just love the feeling I get when we sing that one. The fun thing is though, I’m sure if you asked Chris or Aaron they would each have a different song. For me that’s generally one of my

favourites, its funny, it can change over time, you know the way a song happens live is a little different than the way it is recorded in the studio. I have songs that I think are not my favourite at the beginning of the tour but by the end I’m like ooh I really like that one.

Did you ever dream of the type of success you 3 are currently experiencing?

I think jumping up and down on my bed, playing a tennis racket guitar, looking in the mirror was probably what every little kid does when playing air guitar right?

Really, I just did it for fun, growing up music was always a big part of my life and same with the boys in the band - they’ve been doing music since they were kids. You just do it for passion and for love. You don’t think a lot about it, you get into high school and

play in bands and it becomes a passion. When our band got together we all lived in this big mansion together and we would go down to the basement on Tuesday nights and just play old trucker music, songs from Red Sovine, C.W McCall - just all the old classic trucker songs - we called it trucker Tuesday. I think our very first gig was down in the basement and it was Aarons birthday, so we had an official gig - we were in a band called Run GMC at the time. We were out playing a couple of shows and there was a big producer who saw us, he was actually a big rock producer and he came up to us after the show and said ‘I would love to record you guys, I don’t do country - I’m a rock guy, but I would love to record with you guys’. We were like why is that, and he said ‘you just have fun’. And that’s what it came back to, you know,

when you’re a kid you do it cause you have fun, it was a passion. I don’t think anyone in the band ever set out to say I want to be in a successful band, I mean you probably dream about it - but you do it ‘cause you can’t do anything else, its just always there, you don’t feel right if you don’t have a guitar in your hands or you’re not writing something or singing something - its just the passion.

So, you’re the washboard guy, when did you pick up your first washboard, and what motivated you to pursue that sound? It goes back to that house we all lived in, we would play down in the basement and at the time there were 14 people living in this house, it was a pretty big place, so there were about 10 musicians downstairs at any given time, and everybody had a guitar in their

hands - so it was literally a danger of getting hit in the head with the neck of a guitar at any minute. There were so many players - I was like, I need something to protect myself here - we had an old washboard on the wall - it was great, so I just started scrubbing and scraping rhythms on that when drummers wouldn’t show up and it just kind of became part of the band. You know, we never thought we’d be in a band called Washboard Union at that time because it was well before that - it was just kind of a fun thing. And then Chris started playing banjo because there were so many guitar guys - Aaron bought him a book and said, ok now you’re the banjo player. Chris actually learned the banjo and figured out how it worked, and it worked out wellwe’d all been listening to old trucker tunes - we love CW McColl and Chris and I are both big Marty Robbins fans.

What are your inspirations and what might we find on your current favourite playlist?

Gosh, we are all just such huge fans of music, our playlists are so wide and varied. We listen to everything - just sounds in general. I guess being a musician you are always hearing things - hearing the sounds of different compositions of music and so many different styles, you can learn so much from so many different styles of music, which I think is really cool now because you see a lot more crossover of things which I love. I get influenced when I hear a bird whistle or a bird call that I’ve never heard before. You just hear things differently. I get excited when I’m pushing a shopping cart through a mall or through a grocery store because of the rhythm it makes on the tiles, I’m like oh thats a cool rhythm - even in the way people speak, in the cadence of their voice and the way it goes up and down, the rhythm and the timing - sometimes you just get captivated, you’ll be listening to someone and you’ll be like wow I’m not listening to what you’re saying I’m just listening to how your voice works - it’s really cool.

You’ve played for some huge crowds, Do you still feel nervous heading out on stage these days?

I used to confuse what I felt as nervousness, but then I realized I’m not nervous I’m just excited. I think those two emotions are really closely related and I think people can confuse feeling nervous for feeling excited. When you make that flip you actually go, oh this is actually a great thing those butterflies in my stomach are actually excitement no fear based or nervous. Then you embrace that feeling of getting excited, ‘cause you’re like oooh something exciting is going to happen. I get really excited before shows, I love it, its such a great feeling when you’re walking out on stage and you look across and there’s your two best friends sitting there - it’s pretty awesome.

Catch The Washboard Union at Crooks Rapids Country Music Fest in Hastings Ontario, August 23 & 24th

Crooks Rapids Country Fest 2024

Crooks Rapids Country Fest is a quickly growing family friendly grass roots festival held in Hastings Ontario. Organized by owners John Seeney and musician Doug Oliver - known for bands like Cold Creek County and My Darkest Days - have curated a lineup of country, rock and bluegrass musicians hand-picked for a rocking good time!

This years lineup promises to be an epic weekend of music, with well-known names like Cory Marks, The Washboard Union, Chris Barclay, Andrew Hyatt, Tiegen Gayse, The Ireland Brothers, Cale Crow and Old Wet Hen.

Held August 23 & 24th with rough camping available for both tents and trailers this small festival has all the appeal of larger venues but with a down-home feel. Festival camaraderie means you will arrive as strangers and leave with a whole bunch of new friends - bonding over great music and summer festival cheer is high on many bucket lists this year.

In the main festival area you will find a selection of food and craft vendors as well as Jakes Saloon, where you are able to purchase alcoholic beverages to enjoy during the show.

Weekend passes start at $90 with days passes at $50 - there are options to bundle your camping with weekend passes - so check out their website for booking at www.crooksrapidscountryfest. com Children under 13 accompanied by an adult are free.

So, pack up your tent and lawn chairs and set aside the weekend of August 23 & 24th!

Crooks Rapids Country Fest

*If you are a vendor looking to secure a space at the Festival please reach out to

Exploring Kawartha Lakes A Paradise of Multi-Use Trails

Nestled amidst the serene landscapes and shimmering lakes of Ontario, Canada, lies Kawartha Lakes—a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and tranquility alike. Spanning a vast region of picturesque beauty, Kawartha Lakes boasts an extensive network of multi-use trails that cater to hikers, cyclists, equestrians, ATV riders, dirt bike riders and nature lovers of all kinds. These trails not only showcase the natural splendour of the area but also foster a deep connection between visitors and the stunning Canadian wilderness.

A Tapestry of Trails

The multi-use trails in Kawartha Lakes form a rich tapestry, weaving through forests, meadows, and along the shores of pristine lakes. Each trail offers a unique experience, from leisurely strolls under canopies of maple and pine to exhilarating bike rides over rolling hills and peaceful horseback rides along meandering paths.

One of the most beloved trails is the Victoria Rail Trail, a historic route that once carried trains through the heart of Kawartha Lakes. Today, the Victoria Rail Trail stretches over 85 kilometres, offering a

scenic journey through diverse landscapes. Whether you're hiking, cycling, horseback riding or ATVing, this trail promises stunning vistas of marshlands, woodlands, and sparkling lakes, making it a favourite among locals and tourists alike.

Connecting Communities and Nature

Beyond its natural beauty, the multi-use trails of Kawartha Lakes play a vital role in connecting communities and preserving the region's ecological diversity. These trails not only provide recreational opportunities but also serve as corridors for wildlife, allowing animals to roam freely across their habitats. Birdwatchers can delight in spotting a variety of avian species, from majestic bald eagles soaring overhead to delicate songbirds flitting among the trees.

The trails also showcase Kawartha Lakes' rich history and cultural heritage. Alongside the pathways, travellers can discover remnants of old railway bridges, historical landmarks, and charming rural communities where friendly locals share stories of days gone by. Each trailhead serves as a gateway to new adventures, inviting

visitors to explore hidden gems and create lasting memories in this enchanting region.

A Year-Round Playground

Kawartha Lakes' multi-use trails are a year-round playground, offering something for every season. In spring, wildflowers bloom along the pathways, filling the air with their sweet fragrance. Summer invites outdoor enthusiasts to paddle along the tranquil waterways or enjoy picnics by the lakeside. As autumn paints the landscape in hues of crimson and gold, hikers can embark on scenic hikes through forests ablaze with colour. Even winter transforms the trails into a snowy wonderland, perfect for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing adventures.

Preserving and Enjoying Nature Responsibly

As visitors explore Kawartha Lakes' multi-use trails, it is essential to prioritize responsible outdoor practices. Respecting wildlife habitats, leaving no trace, and following trail etiquette ensures that future generations can continue to enjoy these natural wonders.

Plan Your Adventure

Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat into nature or an active outdoor excursion on your ATV or dirt bike, Kawartha Lakes' multiuse trails promise unforgettable experiences. Before setting out, consider researching trail maps, checking local weather conditions, and packing essentials like water, snacks, and appropriate gear for your chosen activity.

In conclusion, Kawartha Lakes' multi-use trails embody the spirit of adventure and connection to nature. Whether you're embarking on a solo hike, a family bike ride, or a scenic horseback journey, these trails invite you to explore, discover, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Ontario's wilderness. So, lace up your hiking boots, put on your helmet, inflate your bike tires, or saddle up—Kawartha Lakes awaits, ready to enchant and inspire with its diverse landscapes and boundless outdoor opportunities.

Kawartha ATV Association, PO Box 21, Lindsay   705-328-0931

2024 Conservation Exhibit

Riverview Park and Zoo

Turtles, salamanders, and snakes, oh my! The 2024 Conservation Exhibit at the Riverview Park & Zoo aims to highlight the reptiles and amphibians native to Ontario and their conservation.

Herpetology is a branch of zoology focused on the study of reptiles and amphibians, collectively called ‘herps’! Herps are critical components of Ontario’s ecosystems, providing benefits such as control of insect and rodent populations as well as nutrient cycling between terrestrial and aquatic environments.

However, due to urbanization and invasive species, herp populations are on the decline. Road mortality is one of the biggest threats to herp populations. Roads disrupt the natural habitat, which forces reptiles and amphibians to cross the roads to access nesting sites, resources, or for seasonal migration. In addition, the release of invasive species into the wild because of irresponsible pet ownership creates resource competition for the native species, further leading to population decline.

The Riverview Park and Zoo will bring awareness to the threats faced by these animals and inspire appreciation of Ontario wildlife at this years’ summer Conservation Exhibit, open daily from July to August. Featuring various species such as the Blanding’s turtle and the Blue Racer snake, visitors will explore some of the reptiles and amphibians that call Ontario home. Furthermore, visitors will learn how they can do their part to preserve these species. The Riverview Park and Zoo is thrilled to announce that we have partnered with other organizations to develop this exhibit including the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre and Scales Nature Park to provide an in-depth look into wildlife conservation. Find out more about the Conservation Exhibit and other events at Canada’s only free-admission accredited zoo on our website www. !

Creekside Music Festival is Back!

We are thrilled to be hosting Creekside Music Festival for our 5th year, Friday September 6th – Sunday September 8th!

A record crowd attended last year and it was a huge success! Many newcomers joined us along with the dedicated “Creeksiders” who have attended every year. We were pleased to once again have representation from our community organizations who were able to get some donations toward their cause. A huge thank you to the Apsley Legion for always keeping the grounds meticulous throughout the weekend! Thank you to all for your continued support!

Our mission for Creekside Music Festival has always been: to create a family-friendly and inclusive weekend to bring people together in celebration of community and music along the banks of Eels Creek. We will offer entertaining and live performances and provide space for artisans, food vendors, local businesses and community organizations. We are dedicated to making a positive impact on our town of Apsley and surrounding communities. Proceeds will be donated to local charities.

Last year we were happy to donate to the JumpStart program. This year’s proceeds will go to Roter’s Reach Mental Health Awareness in memory of a dear friend.

This year promises to be an even bigger event with so many talented bands to entertain all ages. Our lineup will not disappoint! We are thrilled to announce that DWAYNE GRETZKY will be returning due to popular demand from last year! Also joining the line up will be EPIC EAGLES– a fantastic Eagles cover band. Friday and Saturday you will be entertained by Dalesy, Melissa Payne and The Hicks, The Weber Brothers, Nicholas Campbell, Tyler Cochrane, Caitlin O’Connor from Blue Hazel, Mason Moxley, Stephanie Dauncey and Double Trouble, Leverage for Mountains, Kris Barclay and more to be announced. In addition to Friday and Saturday, we will be welcoming Nephton Ridge Runners to host an open mic on Sunday September 8th from 11am-2pm.

The event starts Friday September 6th at 4pm. We are located at 10027 Hwy 28, Apsley along beautiful Eels Creek. Parking is at the North Kawartha Community Center with busing every 5-10 minutes. Camping spots for the weekend are limited.

To order tickets, book a camp spot or for general information, please visit Tickets are also available for purchase at Kemps Garage in Apsley and at Mikey D’s Fired Up Food Truck, 1km south of Apsley. You can also check us out on Facebook and Instagram @creekside_musicfestival

Hope to see you there!!

Connection and Kinship at Wanderlight Alpaca Experience

Have you ever dreamt of hanging out with your very own Alpaca sidekick for an afternoon?

Wanderlight Alpaca Experience connects you with a curious and wondrous animal –the alpaca. Upon arrival at the farm you will meet the 12 Wanderlight alpacas, you will have the chance to feed them and select one to be your companion for a walk.

During your visit you will build trust with your alpaca.  He may be shy at first but with gentle attention (and some treats) you will soon be petting his soft, fluffy fibre. In the summer months the alpacas love eating all of the lush green grass and wildflowers so the walk is at a leisurely pace, allowing time for lots of pictures, questions and soaking in the beauty of the farm. Host Katie Jackson loves to share her passion for alpacas, farming and nature so be prepared to learn a little bit too!

The United Nations declared 2024 the International Year of Camelids. The Camelid family includes 2 genus and six species –Alpaca, Llama, Vicuna, Guanaco, Arabian Camel and Bactrian Camel. The Year will highlight how camelids are key to the

livelihoods of millions of households in challenging environments over 90 countries. Alpacas have been domesticated for over 5000 years and the Inca even used their fibre to build bridges through the Andean mountains.

Alpacas are raised primarily for their fibre while llamas have traditionally been used as pack or guard animals. The alpaca’s thick, soft, warm coats are shorn once a year and processed into hypoallergenic clothing, blankets and felt. Did you know there are 22 colours of alpaca?

The Wanderlight Alpaca Quest is a new experience for 2024. Created in partnership

with Millbrook Escape Maze, the Quest combines the team building aspects and intellectual challenges of an escape room with the fun of alpacas. Follow a map, solve puzzles and race against time to find the missing alpacas and bring them back to the barn!

Wanderlight also offers picnics, birthday parties and geodesic dome accommodation (coming fall 2024!). All bookings are private and by appointment at

Katie would love to share the wonder of alpacas with you! Visit them today and follow the adventures on social @wanderlight_alpaca.

Fine Arts A Tradition In Buckhorn

An annual tradition continues at the Buckhorn Community Centre (BCC) on August 17 and 18 with the Buckhorn Festival of the Arts. The event has become not only a staple in the community, but artists from across Canada look forward to it as well.

“The Buckhorn Community Centre is the perfect place for an art festival,”

says Meghan Arnott, Director of the Buckhorn Festival of the Arts, “World-renowned artists are onsite in our outdoor pavilions and airconditioned buildings. For 47 years, we have proudly offered visitors the chance to meet the artists and purchase art for their home or cottage.”

In addition to more than 70 artists, this year’s Festival will feature two Special Exhibits: “Home” which focuses on Regional Art and the concept of home; and “Art in the Park” involves several large metal sculptures by Jack Stekelenburg throughout Festival Park behind the BCC.

Other features of the Festival include an Art-ivity Zone where children can express their creativity, an Amateur Art Competition, live music and more. As well, there will be live art demonstrations provided by not-for-profit art organizations.

The Buckhorn Festival of the Arts is one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals & Events as voted by Festivals & Events Ontario. Meghan says, “The Festival has evolved over the years as people’s interest in art has evolved. We continue to have the support of our founding artists, and we are happy to welcome and integrate new artists and mediums into the Festival.”

The Festival runs Saturday, August 17 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, August 18 from 10am to 4pm. Admission is by donation. There is free and accessible parking available with a shuttle bus service from the parking lot to the BCC.

The Buckhorn Community Centre is a not-for-profit organization supported by fundraising events throughout the year. For more information visit

River's Edge on Front

Located in Hastings ON at Lock 18 on the historical Trent Severn Waterway is Rivers Edge on Front. Only 1.5 hrs from the GTA and minutes from Trent River and Rice Lake, Rivers Edge on Front lends to a relaxed, peaceful shopping experience.

River's Edge on Front offers a unique concept of blending the present with the past in home and cottage décor that gives consumers many wonderful choices that suit and reflect any lifestyle.

Clocks, furnishings, wall décor, accent pieces and giftware allows for a vast selection. Working with the latest trends in home and cottage décor, Rivers Edge encourages people to curate spaces they feel special in and they aim to provide customers with products that speak to our own originality.

Developing relationships with Canadian suppliers is key and the companies Rivers Edge has chosen to work with, understand their goal in having beautiful as well as practical product lines. They also proudly feature select local Artisans, who are a great addition to the store with their quality custom designs.

River’s Edge on Front provides a warm, welcoming atmosphere where customers feel comfortable browsing at their leisure. While in Hastings, stop in to find the perfect one-of-a-kind treasure to bring home.

Rivers Edge on Front 9 Front Street E., Hastings ON

Westben Celebrates 25 Years with Exciting Summer Events

Westben is thrilled to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2024 with a series of spectacular events that honor its rich history of music, community, and nature. From June through August, Westben will host a variety of performances and experiences, marking a quarter-century of artistic excellence.

The Selfish Giant (June 14-23):

Kicking off the summer festivities, Westben presents "The Selfish Giant," a large-scale original musical written by Brian Finley and Ken Tizzard, based on Oscar Wilde's short story. This fully staged family-friendly musical stars Robert Longo, Gabrielle Prata, Donna Bennett, and the Westben choruses. The show celebrates the beauty, diversity, and stewardship of nature, emphasizing the importance of preserving it for future generations.

25th Anniversary Celebration (June 30):

Join us for a special celebration as Westben marks 25 seasons of music in nature. The event features a stellar lineup of favourite artists. The celebration combines a garden party and concert, filled with joy and community spirit. Enjoy free bubbly and strawberries on the meadow after the concert. Tickets are $25.

Summer Concerts & Experiences (July 4 - August 4):

The summer continues with 26 concerts at The Barn, Willow Hill, and Campfire. Highlights include Film Nights, Barnful of Broadway, and performances by Jeremy Dutcher, Holly Cole, Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies), Gerald Finley, Angela Hewitt, Colin Mochrie & Deb McGrath, New Zealand String Quartet, Sarah Slean, Big Smoke Brass, Andy Forgie, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Jackie Richardson, Joe Sealy, and more. Experience the Sounds of Nature with a guided musical nature walk, now featuring Forest Bathing. Tickets range from $35 to $110, with special pricing for youth and young adults. Additional events include pre-concert chats, Dare to Pair culinary events, BBQs, and tea parties.

Celebrate with us as we honour the past, cherish the present, and look forward to the future. For more details and tickets, visit 6698 County Rd 30, Campbellford, ON K0L 1L0

Explore Fenelon Falls

Summer is here so set your navigation system for Fenelon Falls. Whether you need a break from your road trip or a launching place for your vacation adventure this is the place for you. Stretch your legs while you enjoy the new downtown art installations, enjoy a frozen treat and watch the boats go through the locks before continuing on to your destination.

Surround yourself with nature just steps from downtown at Garnet Graham Beach Park. The park amenities include; playground, beach volleyball, sand beach, spray park, public washrooms and lots of grassy areas. The entrance to the Victoria Rail Trail heads north out of the park and leads you along the shore of Cameron Lake. Bikeshare rental bicycles are available to explore more of the trail and the village.

The Grove Theatre, an outdoor ampitheatre, is the place to be for theatre, music and comedy lovers. The 2024 season features a professional production of Into the Woods, tribute shows, Canadian musicians and comedians. Once you experience the captivating atmosphere of this theatre nestled in the woods you’ll want to return again and again.

Downtown Fenelon Falls is a destination for antique hunters, art lovers, and those in need of some shopping therapy. You’ll find a variety of Fenelon Falls and 150th Anniversary merchandise throughout the local shops. It makes for the perfect gift or memory of your visit here.

The Tourism Office is located at 15 Oak Street just beside the canal. There you’ll find free wifi, public washrooms, unique Fenelon Falls items as well as information on restaurants, shopping, attractions, accommodations and local tips from the Tourism Ambassador team. Check out the events calendar at www. to find all the 150th celebrations and fantastic summer events.

Buzz Off


Nature offers us so many great natural defences to the things that bother us. There are few pests more bothersome than the hated mosquito. Luckily, we have options that you can grow in your garden or in a deck planter that will help make mosquitoes buzz off.

Lemon Grass – The smell that is given off when burning citronella candles or lanterns is actually the oil that naturally comes from this herbal plant! Also effective are: Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Basil and Lemon Thyme.

Citronella Plant (Citronella Geranium or Mosquito Plant) –

Widely known as the plant for keeping those pesky bloodsuckers away, this geranium has the citronella gene embedded in it to provide a lovely fragrance.

Beebalm (Monarda) – An adaptable perennial that acts like an invisible shield for you. This plant gives off a strong incense-like odour that confuses mosquitoes and masks your smell. Crush the leaves to let out the fragrant oils locked inside.

Lavender – It’s not just easy on the eyes, this perennial herb has a scent we love to use in soaps and shampoos, but mosquitoes hate it.

Marigold – You probably already know that most insects can’t tolerate the smell of marigolds, add mosquitoes to that list. The distinct scent of marigolds keeps mosquitoes at bay and is also great in your vegetable garden as a companion plant. Grow marigolds in containers that you can move around to your seating area or plant near your outdoor area.

Peppermint – The strong scent that we love to infuse in our gum, toothpastes and drinks is not popular with mosquitoes. Grab a few leaves of mint, crush and rub on your body to give yourself a protective barrier.

Rosemary – That’s right, the popular herb that adds big flavour to your food also keeps those little pests at bay too. It’s been used for hundreds of years for repelling mosquitoes. The oil of rosemary is also potent.

By Vikki Whitney, Owner of Griffin’s Greenhouses

705-652-8638 or 1-877-647-4334

Cottage Guests at the Days Inn & Suites

When you think of having guests to the cottage there are aspects of their stay that are more easily planned. Large dinners full of summer fresh food for a crowd, and sun filled days on the dock are great - but what about when it comes time to sleep? Sometimes space is tight, and if sleepover-style living room campouts are not your thing then setting your guests up with a comfortable place to stay can be as easy as calling the Days Inn and Suites Lindsay. With crisp linens, soft towels and not a bunkbed in sight, guests are offered a luxurious stay after long days full of fun and sun at the cottage.

Located in the heart of Kawartha Lakes Days Inn and Suites Lindsay is just a short drive to many local lakes; and with group booking discounts, having guests stay at the Days Inn is a great idea when you are hosting gatherings like family reunions or weekend-long birthday parties. Amenities include free hot breakfast, gym on site, mini fridge and microwave in every room, BBQ on site for late night hot dogs, EV Chargers and a well-appointed indoor heated salt water pool - for those days where the weather isn’t cooperating, or the lake is too cold for dock days! With early and late check in/out available, slow starts after sun drenched days are quite acceptable.

With the added bonus of hotel housekeeping there is no massive haul of laundry left at the cottage after guests come and go; leaving you more time to relax and reflect on a perfect summer getaway.

So, next time you are hosting, Days Inn and Suites Lindsay invites your guests to be their guests!

Days Inn & Suites Lindsay 134 Angeline St S Lindsay, ON 705-328-0100

Celebrates 35 Years! Kawartha Arts Festival

The Kawartha Arts Festival is back for its 35th year and promises to be bigger and better than ever! Taking place in the beautiful town of Fenelon Falls, Ontario, this years festival boasts over 100 artists showcasing their original artwork.

The Kawartha Arts Festival is a highly anticipated event in the art community, drawing artists and enthusiasts from all over the province. This years festival features a wide range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, pottery and jewellery.

One of the unique features of the festival is the opportunity to engage with the artists themselves. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions, learn about the inspiration behind the artwork, and even commissions custom pieces.

In addition to the stunning artwork, the festival offers live entertainment throughout the day. Local musicians take the stage to showcase their talents, providing a festival atmosphere and making the Kawartha Lakes Art Festival a true celebration of the arts.

The festival is a great way to support local artists and appreciate the beauty of original artwork. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting out, there is something for everyone at this years festival. So, mark your calendar and make your way to Fenelon Falls Fairgrounds located at 27 Veterans Way for a weekend of art, entertainment, and community.

We can’t wait to see you there!


Anyone driving or walking on Brock Street between Aylmer and Rubidge streets likely will notice a distinctive stone house on the north side. This is Hutchison House Museum, owned and operated by the Peterborough Historical Society (PHS) since 1978.

The house was built by community labour so the story goes, of local limestone, as an inducement to keep one of Peterborough’s early doctors, Scottish-born John Hutchison, from moving to a bigger community where he could better support his growing family. Dr Hutchison, his wife Martha (nee Holland), and their five boys (all under the age of ten years) moved into their new home early in 1837. Six more children followed before the doctor died in 1847 during a typhus outbreak, and Martha and her remaining family moved to live with family in Toronto.

The house’s second owner was businessman James Harvey, who bought it from the doctor’s estate in 1851. The property stayed in the Harvey family when his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Peter Connal purchased it. In 1969, their descendant bequeathed the house to the PHS, who then restored its interior to how it may have looked in the Hutchison and early Harvey/Connal eras.

Today, Hutchison House Museum is open year-round, and offers guided tours by trained interpreters, teas and special heritage meals, workshops, school and public programmes, and other public events and activities for all ages. These are run by a small staff and a core of knowledgeable volunteers. The gardens are designed to reflect a local garden circa 1860s/1870s, and also are maintained by dedicated volunteers.

The museum’s busiest annual day is 1 January when it celebrates “Hogmanay”, the Scottish New Year, with music, dancing, special Scottish food and drink, and traditional ceremonies for everyone’s enjoyment. All are welcome, and it is a fun way to start off any year!

For more information about upcoming Hutchison House events, to register for a camp or programme, to arrange for rental, or to book a bus tour and tea, etc., go to the website (, email (, or call 705-743-9710.

We hope to see you soon.

Dr. Hutchison
Martha Hutchison Sandford Fleming 1845

Experience Mammoth Barbeque

is something so ‘summer bucket list’ about it.

If you are a fan of slow smoked barbeque then you need to make the trip to Douro, Ontario where you will find the coolest team of barbeque slingers Central Ontario has ever seen.

The Mammoth Barbeque truck is packed full of visual character, harkening aromas and is marked as the go-to locale for Central Texas Inspired BBQ. It is the smiling faces, amazing service and melt in your mouth meat that have locals kicking the dinner plan and making their way to Douro for dinner.

Owners Nik Aström and John Ellis - both veterans of comfort food cuisine - brought their dream to fruition in 2023 and have curated a menu packed with decadent barbeque goodness. Watch for weekly specials throughout the summer, and enjoy menu staples like Brisket, Blackened Chicken, Pulled Pork and Ribs - and don’t forget the Poutine! All of Mammoth Barbeque’s smoked delectables are made using local hardwood and hand crafted rubs which makes their flavours unique and exceptional.

Be sure to mark the Calendar for July 13th, 2024 as they host their Quafftide Music Fest. Bring a chair, settle in, and enjoy the bands (Kitchen Party Band, The Beef Boys, The Venisons, Bootleg xxx). There will also be a car and Bike show, raffles, prizes and giveaways, lots of local vendors and a smoked whole hog. Sounds like a rootin’ tootin’ good time to me!

You can find them in the Douro Arena parking lot from May through October, Wed - Sun 11am - 8pm.

Mammoth BBQ - Fuelled by love of good food and good people. ‘Eat the Beast’ 2893 ON-28, Douro-Dummer

Find them on Social!

2024 Turkey Trot

The Annual Fenelon Falls Turkey Trot is coming up.

Time to get out those fancy new running shoes and get ready for this fun Thanksgiving weekend run/walk event.

This is family fun run/walk on Saturday October 12th 10 am at Garnet Graham Park on the shores of Cameron Lake Fenelon Falls.

The distance options are 5k and 10k for youth and adults and a 1k for kids and families.

All participants will receive a custom bib# with their name, along with a high quality cotton t-shirt, wooded finishers medal and a post race light lunch.

There will be a race morning group warm up and a post race massage. Lots of great music and a lively atmosphere.

There will be cash prizes totalling $2200 for the top three male and female runners in the 5k and 10k events. There are also four lovely gift baskets for the top fundraiser, best volunteer, best costume and most dedicated.

Age group medals will be awarded to the top three in ten year age groups from age 13 to 70+.

The Thanksgiving weekend is great time to visit Fenelon Falls. The crowds are low, all the shops and restaurants are open and the fall colours are at their peak.

Come for the run and make a day of touring the area.

Register today at

Magic Butterfly Potion

Who has not been enchanted by the delicate, fluttering and colourful wind dancers known as butterflies? Or as a friend of mine once called them: “Flutter Bys.”

They are the hallmark of any warm summer’s day. Not only are butterflies easy to observe, but they turn up almost everywhere from suburban backyards to country roadsides and woodland trails. Butterfly visits, however, can be few and far between; but you can increase your chances of seeing butterflies by making your very own magical potion. This recipe can attract such beauties as mourning cloaks, viceroys and swallowtail butterflies as well as a variety of moths. The concoction even works on a balcony. If you examine the ingredients you might think “hey, that’s a bit strange!” It turns out that some butterflies love fermented fruit, tree sap, mud and even mammal dung. Beware, for this recipe may also attract yellow jackets and other stinging insects. But with a bit of patience, you’ll be amazed by who visits your potent butterfly bait. Have a camera ready so you can take some pictures. Moths may visit the goop at night.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1 cup of white sugar

• 1 can of beer

• 4-5 overripe bananas

• water

• half-gallon (2 litre) jar with lid

What to do:

Mix sugar, bananas and a little water in a blender. Pour mixture and beer into jar. Top off with more water to make a half-gallon. Place lid on jar loosely (mixture will ferment). Place mixture in shallow dish outside or paint on trees, rocks, etc. You can even soak a sponge in this mixture and hang it from a tree branch. Check your bait sites (at night, too) to see what winged splendours are enjoying your magic potion!

Submitted by Jacob Rodenburg, Author & Executive Director of Camp Kawartha, an award-winning outdoor education centre and summer camp.

Fun Campfire Snacks

Everyone has experienced biting into a gooey, warm, toasty, campfire cooked s’more, but every once in a while our taste buds get bored of the basics. So here are some fun and easy campfire snacks to try around the fire pit this summer!

S’mores in a Cone


• Marshmallows

• Waffle cones

• Tin foil

Fill your waffle cone with marshmallows and chocolate as well as anything else you would like in your s'mores cone, I put caramel sauce and smarties in mine. Wrap your cone completely in tin foil and place them on a metal grate over your campfire. Let them cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the marshmallows are melted.



• Roasting stick

• A pack of hot dogs

• A sharp knife

Grab an uncooked hot dog and cut it in half, then cut the bottom half of your hot dog four times; horizontally, vertically, and then twice diagonally. Poke your roasting stick through the other end and begin to cook it over the fire. As u cook it the octopus’s legs will slowly begin to curl. Once your hot dog is fully cooked take it off the roasting stick and enjoy.

Campfire Nachos


• Graham crackers

• Marshmallows

• Your favourite chocolate bar(s)

• Sprinkles

• Tin foil pan

In a tin foil pan spread out broken graham cracker chunks, then spread your marshmallow fluff overtop, snap apart your chocolate bar of choice and place it around on top of the marshmallow, if you would like you can add sprinkles or other chocolate candies as toppings to your nachos! Cover the top of your pan with tin foil and place over the fire for 5-10 minutes, and enjoy!

Local Humane Societies Summer Pet Safety

Norwood Veterinary Clinic

Thank goodness the warm weather is here! There is so much fun to be had with your beloved pets at this time of year. Whether hiking, camping, swimming or sitting around with friends, there are some important tips to remember to keep your pets safe while enjoying the great outdoors with them!

When hiking, be sure to pack water for your pet and take a pet first aid kit for a quick bandaging fix if your pet stumbles across something sharp! Make sure your pets are protected from fleas, ticks and mosquitos and that the weather isn’t too hot for your furry friend. Dogs with difficulty breathing and overweight animals need extra caution on hot days as they can overheat quickly!

When camping, please be sure that your animal’s medications are stored in a cool, dry and safe place. Don’t forget your pet first aid kit. Make sure you keep your veterinarian’s number and that of the local emergency vet clinic handy, so you can contact them quickly if needed.

Swimming is amazing exercise and lots of entertainment for all of you! Dogs that drink or swallow a lot of water can develop water poisoning, so make sure they take lots of breaks during the day. It is also important to dry your dog thoroughly, including their ears after swimming. Areas with thicker fur take longer to dry which can lead to irritation and skin infections. Please discourage them from chasing or diving for rocks - it is common for teeth to break, as they grab and chomp down in excitement.

When you and your furry family are sitting around the campfire enjoying the company of friends, make sure they stay close by and don’t wander off. Vehicles, other animals (including wildlife) can lead to trouble. Easy access to people snacks and treats, and those forgotten leftovers thrown in the campfire can make them very sick!

Fireworks are fun, but often frightening for animals. Please make sure that your pets are well secured - pets have been known to escape from crates and houses! Your veterinarian can provide advice on techniques and medications that can help reduce your pet’s stress and firework fears.

One of our greatest pleasures as humans, is to share our home and experiences with our pets and we wish everyone a safe and happy summer enjoying all of your favourite activities!

Dr. Leslie Scott, DVM

Norwood Veterinary Services

Lakefield Animal Welfare Society 2887 Lakefield Rd., Lakefield 705-652-0588

Peterborough Humane Society 1999 Technology Drive, Peterborough 705-745-4722

Animal Rescue Krew (ARK) 3307 Lakefield Rd., Lakefield 705-651-0069

Home Again Bancroft 613-474-3450

Humane Society Of Kawartha Lakes 705-878-4618 •

Pasture Art

Skipper W Spanish was a stallion foaled on March 17, 2000. He was 14 years old in 2014, when this story began, and it was believed his future would be brighter as a gelding rather than as a cryptorchid stallion.

With that thought in mind, on November 4, 2014, Skipper W Spanish was trailered to Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre at University of Guelph, Ontario for an elective cryptorchid castration. It seemed simple and safe.

He was anesthetized and procedure performed without major incident, until following recovery he made several unsuccessful attempts to rise. He now was in trouble; so much trouble it resulted in a comminuted fracture of the intermediate carpal bone (right front).

At first the staff were not aware Skipper had fractured his knee but it was noted that he had stiffness in the right front limb and moderate effusion in the right middle carpal joint. Skipper was discharged with instructions to monitor him at home and contact the OVC if lameness and swelling in the knee worsened. It did worsen, and Dr. Kyle Goldie was called to attend at Inukshuk Farm and Xray the knee. The radiographs were immediately emailed to the staff at OVC and the diagnosis of a fracture was made. Skipper was returned to OVC in Guelph on December 2, 2014 for further treatment; including discussions on performing a CT examination followed by either arthroscopic surgery to remove the fracture fragments from the carpal joints, or to leave the fragments alone and let them heal back together with the leg in a cast. The conservative treatment was deemed the best option and so, Skipper was firstly treated with a splint and then a cast which was placed extending from above his fetlock to just below his elbow on the right front leg. The cast was removed on January 19th followed by bandaging until 10 days prior to his discharge. He was a perfect patient and remained at OVC until February 20, 2015.

Today, almost ten years later, he continues to live his horsey life and reminds us every day that the right thing is not always the easiest, or the cheapest, or the most widely accepted. Horses that fracture legs are usually euthanized.

As for leading a productive and useful life as a riding horse, I guess we failed Skipper, but on the other hand he eats, he runs, he is majestic and he makes lovely “pasture art” for all to see.

Skipper is now 24 years young and continues his life here at Inukshuk Farm & Equestrian.

Submitted by Janice

Havelock This Summer

Havelock changes as the seasons turn from winter to summer. The population more than doubles when the cottagers and tourists start arriving in the spring. Snowmobiling, ice fishing and winter hikes on snowshoes or cross-country skis all have their fans, but lazy days at the cottage, along with fishing under the sun from a dock, canoe, or motorboat are big draws to the area. And it’s no wonder when you think of the fantastic array of lakes, recreational areas and natural scenery. What do all of those summer residents do when they are not lounging at the cottage? There’s plenty to pique their interest locally and some new offerings. Havelock welcomes Kawartha Adventure Resort into the community. Just north of the town, with 10 overnight ensuite guest rooms, lakefront water activities,  a trail network, and a BBQ area, you can enjoy the cottage experience without the work.

If you are looking for something a little more relaxing, the Belmont Spiritual Health and Wellness Centre on George St. offers yoga, spa services, fitness coaching, and more.  Across the street take in the unique offerings of StemZ N GemZ.  The younger members of the family will appreciate the new splash pad located at the Community Centre Park.

Enjoy Pickleball and Basketball during the summer at the Community Centre. Check the town website for hours. Behind the Centre, you’ll find the entrance to the Mathison Conservation Area, a 250-acre natural vista of forest and wetlands with walking trails. On Fridays, visit the Havelock Farmer’s Market for produce and the creations of local artisans.

Other worthwhile destinations locally include retail outlets, The Cottage and High Spring Trading Post for unique gifts and accessories. New this summer is the 18 Hole Mini Golf course at The Cottage. Summer is also the time for just sitting and enjoying. How about a lakeside seat and craft beer? Belmont Lake Brewery has been brewing its traditional English beer with a Canadian twist since 2016. Local consensus is that they have hit their target.

Summer in Coboconk/Norland

Imagine the sweet taste of Kawartha Dairy ice cream melting on your tongue, as you bask in the summer sun. Picture the gentle lapping of the sparkling waters of Balsam Lake as you stroll along Coboconk’s brandnew wharf. Another vibrant summer has arrived in Coboconk and the surrounding area, and there’s a ton to do and see!

The Civitan Club will once again be hosting a Canada Day celebration, at the Civitan Club house in Coboconk. This year it will be on June 30th at 7pm, with fireworks and live music, admission is free but get there early! Spots fill up fast! The annual Norland Summer Festival is taking place on July 13-14th, at Ward Park in Norland, one can indulge in treats from food trucks and discover treasures from our fantastic lineup of community vendors. As well as games and a beer garden! The Coboconk, Norland, and Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a golf tournament at Moncks Landing on July 20th followed by a dinner at The Riverside Inn.

Be sure not to miss out on the opportunity to experience Coboconk's newest gem –the brand-new wharf; sitting on Canada’s Freshwater Summit it’s the perfect place to splash around in the water, or park your boat. Stay tuned for an upcoming event in August to celebrate its transformation.

The Coboconk, Norland, and Area Chamber of Commerce are eagerly welcoming new members. If you're seeking a chance to contribute to your community and enhance your local area, consider joining the Chamber. Your involvement will assist in supporting community events and initiatives, as well as all the benefits the Chamber brings to your business.

See you all at the Wharf!

Tourism in Peterborough and the Kawarthas

The Peterborough and Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce is proud to promote some of the most incredible tourism experiences in our beautiful province.

If you are visiting the area there are many great attractions, including the beautiful Peterborough Lift Locks, hiking trails and waterfalls across the Kawartha Highlands and Petroglyphs Park and many great experiences to enjoy.

You can go to the Ptbo Axe Club to have some fun throwing axes, Canada’s Dinosaur park for a drive thru or walk in experience and Escape Maze to check out the fun escape rooms, trails and laser tag! If you are looking to stay in the area, we have many amazing resorts and cottage rentals, including Elmhirst Resort, Beachwood Resort, Clearview Cottages, Shambhala B&B and many more.

If you need inspiration, check out for many, many options!

We also have amazing food in our region, with restaurants ranging from breweries like Publican House in Peterborough, to the incredible pizza at Pizza Alora in Buckhorn. There are grab and go options or food to break out at a party, like the Cheesy Fromage or Stuff’d Bakery in Lakefield. If you forgot your bathing suit for your visit, we even have a store in Lakefield dedicated to swimwear; Sunblockers on Queen Street.

If you visit Peterborough on a Wednesday or Saturday through the Summer, be sure to check out Peterborough Musicfest to take in the largest outdoor free concert series at Del Crary Park.

The Kawarthas are stocked and ready for your next visit, so book it soon!

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