Jennifer of Team Grainger recently enjoyed Nancy Tapley’s evening entitled “The Night the WaWa Burned,” hosted by the Baysville Public Library. Nancy’s talk was very well attended with additional chairs brought in to try to accommodate the terrific response. In the end, listeners were shoulder to shoulder, with only standing room left.
The Wawa, built in 1908, was the premier resort hotel in Lake of Bays, Muskoka. The WaWa, WaWa a native Canadian word meaning “Wild Goose,” was located on Norway Point, which was home to a very distinctive single pine left after the lands had been cleared. Featuring a sandy beach, western exposure, and a dance pavilion, the WaWa offered plenty of activities to keep guests busy from morning to night. The original main building had capacity for 150 people and featured electric lights, hot & cold running water and an elevator, a very impressive and modern build for the time. Demand was high and by 1913 the building was expanded to accommodate 300. As seen in the above picture, the WaWa consisted of a 3 story Centre block was flanked by 2, 2 story wings. The interior featured beautiful tongue and grove pine brought from Georgia, and wonderful wicker furniture.
On the evening of August 18, 1923 for reasons never quite determined, the WaWa burned to the ground in 15 minutes leaving 9 people dead. The glow of the flames could be seen for miles around the lake, as it projected an eerie coloured light into the night sky. Baysville it has been said, was lit up so bright you could pick up a pin off the road.
The legacy of the WaWa held good and bad for Muskoka. Once a popular tourist destination, the lack of preparedness combined with the build of the WaWa left people uncomfortable with this traditional style of Muskoka get aways. It did however, spurn the build of Bigwin Inn touted as fireproof as it was built primarily of concrete and rock. Further the ensuing fire investigations produced numerous recommendations and changes to the way buildings were built, as well as an increased emphasis on fire safety standards.
Team Grainger thanks both Nancy Tapley and the Baysville Library for a wonderful and informative evening which was enjoyed by all.
Last Thursday, Team Grainger attended a seminar at the Dwight Public Library called “Peeps, Quacks, Trills and Other Froggy Thrills. Presented by Caroline Konarzewski this was an informative evening highlighting the local species of frogs and toads, the importance of them in our environment and what we as citizens can do to ensure and preserve our wetlands for generations to come.
Throughout the presentation Caroline welcomed observations from our local community which proved to be both interesting and noteworthy.
While highlighting the importance of wetlands in our community Caroline spoke of the importance of citizen participation in FrogWatch Ontario, which is part of a national initiative, FrogWatch Canada, administered by NatureWatch. FrogWatch is also a partnership between Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland conservation Programme, NatureWatch, The David Suzuki Foundation, Nature Canada, The University of Ottawa and Wilfred Laurier University.
Everyone in our community can become involved. It’s a really simple, family friendly activity, free of charge which will benefits everyone. Use the FrogWatch Ontario’s website or App to report hearing or seeing frogs and toads in our area. Not sure which frog/toad your hearing? No worries, use the app/website to learn the calls and learn more about frogs and toads in Lake of Bays Muskoka.
Welcome to 1017 Savage Settlement in beautiful Novar a community in the Almaguin Highlands. This charming log home features one floor living, with three bedrooms, bathroom and laundry. Enjoy open concept living with the great room opening into the kitchen, a traditional wood interior, pine cathedral ceilings and wonderful hardwood floors. An airtight wood burning stove in the great room provides ample warmth on chilly nights, with the added convenience of a forced air oil furnace.
Ideal for entertaining walk out to the large 50 x 10 deck overlooking the beautiful wooded property, teaming with wildlife. With just under an acre Savage Settlement provides privacy plus, an idyllic escape from the city, but only 15 minutes from town.
Close to trails, ski hills, golf and provincial parks there is plenty to do beyond relaxing and taking in the pristine Muskoka air.
We anxiously await the May long weekend with trepidation and excitement. While the grass in the city has been green for a while, and golfers are already on the course (gasp), this is the traditional weekend for opening the cottage.
Preparations should be exciting not daunting- so we prepared a list to help with your packing and planning:
- Bug Spray
- First Aid kit
- Paper towel
- Toilet paper
- Pantry items, such as coffee, spices, non-perishables, baggies, tin foil & condiments
- Clothing for a wide range of weather- winter through summer.
- Propane for the BBQ?
To begin, it’s important to set your priorities for your arrival and for the weekend to ensure a smooth flow for your precious & limited cottage time. Upon arrival, do you need to turn on the heat, get the water running, plug in the refrigerator, make the beds, charge your phone? Next take a quick look around the property for any trees or limbs that have come down, ice or snow damage or any maintenance item that will require immediate attention.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind this May Long Weekend, is that amid the cleaning, clearing, installing and unpacking, take time to enjoy, relax and take in the wonder we call Muskoka. After all, we come to the cottage to relax and escape so make sure you take time to do so.
Muskoka is home to many talented artists, many of whom are in our own backyard! On May 6th, ARTrail Muskoka launched its 2019 Purple Banner, Studio & Gallery Guide. When you see their purple banner flying, you know the studio/gallery is open. Individuals can plan their own self-guided, year round art experience through Muskoka’s 5 regions: Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Lake of Bays & Muskoka Lakes.
Right in our own backyard, the Lake of Bays Trail features several talented Studios and Galleries.
John Murden Art Gallery
Richard Robinson Art Studio
Stone Tree Studio
Elizabeth Johnson Painting
Loops Art & Craft Gallery
Catherine O’Mara Studio & Gallery
And don’t forget about the Artists of the 13th Annual Limberlost Gallery tour. It showcases more of Lake of Bays talent and is sure to impress! Running August 17-18 2019, visit their web page for more details.
Team Grainger is proud share and support the many talented artists, who add a great vibrant community to our beautiful and diverse area. This wonderful Art community creates many opportunities for events and shows throughout the year. We wish the Purple Banner ARTrial the best of luck this year and for many years to come. Whether you live or visit Lake of Bays Muskoka, take time to check out some of our local talent.
Support Hospice and Palliative Care in our community.
This Sunday May 5th is the annual Hike for Hospice hosted by hospice and palliative care. The Hike kicks off the national Palliative Care week, which is held to raise awareness and funds for compassionate end of life care. Funds raised by the hike itself go towards helping individuals and their families with end of life support at no charge. 100% of the funds raised stay in our community.
Registration takes place at 12:00 at the River Mill Park in Huntsville. A celebration of life, which provides an opportunity for participants to remember loved ones, will take place at 1:00pm, followed by the hikers leaving the park at 1:15pm. Participants can pick between the short (.081km) hike or the long (2.49km) hike.
For more information on the hike, and other fundraising opportunities to support Hospice, please visit the Hospice website.