Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart. www.bondi-village-resort.com
Ilona and Adam took their canoe for a little float this week, along the Oxtongue River.
Starting at Marsh's Falls, they paddled leisurely down river to Dwight Bay.
Then they turned around, and paddled (a little less leisurely, although with the water so low, there is not a lot of current just now) back up to the Falls.
We can't think of a better time of year to be on this beautiful stretch of water. Protected as a heritage zone by the Township, a large chunk of the shoreline is in even deeper protection thanks to the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation, who recently increased their conservation area to a total of almost 300 acres along the river.
On a calm day, the river turns into a mirror, barely registering the soft drift of a canoe. This region is home to mink, muskrat, otters, beaver, herons and more. Deer come tiptoeing to the edge to drink, fish laze in the deeper current carved pools, songbirds make their homes in that narrow bit where water meets land... that magical, delicate part of the eco-system that is so easily damaged by cutting trees, landscaping, even creating deep wakes with boats. Loons, geese and ducks all have their favourite hide-aways along here.
Thanks so much for sharing these photos from your adventure. This truly is a time of year, and a place, to restore the soul.
Many people don't know, but this river, and its headwaters in Algonquin Park and Oxtongue Lake, provided the impetus to the Canadian Group of Seven. This is the river where Tom Thompson came, along with friends A.J. Casson, Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston and Arthur Lismer came to paint their vision of the Canadian wild.
From this beginning, they fanned out across the country, deeper into the Park, up to the North, out to the West, but it was here that the movement began.
The Cultural group at Oxtongue Lake has been mapping where exactly along the lake and river the artists stood (or sat) when they painted some of our most iconic images, and they are in the process of installing plaques so we can all follow along, stand in the same place, and see the same landscapes.
So, no real need to haunt the McMichael Gallery (although that is also a great place to linger). You can follow along on the River that carried the Group of Seven into our art history. Right here.
It was my lucky week -- I not only got to cruise on the S.S. Bigwin, but I was invited for lunch on the Island....
The general manager, Jonathan Gee was very kind and took the time to escort my friend Norma and me around the island by golf cart after our lunch.
Which was fabulous.
The old tea room has been fully restored, and it is a beautiful space. It is now being used for yoga, massage therapy and as the kitchen when there are tented events on the site of the old rotunda. So wonderful that this bit of history has been preserved and not just torn down and replaced by square box construction!
Fireplaces from the old Rotunda have also been preserved -- Norma is quite dwarfed by this one, which served two floors of the old building.
And yes, Jonathan tells us that they still work, and on occasion do have fires burning...
The views from the course are fabulous. This is the signature 6th Fairway... dropping down what seems like forever to the green, and with a wonderful view of the lake beyond.
The old Water Tower was also restored -- and now houses and hides the tower equipment that provides for high speed internet on the Island. Smart. This tower was built out of cement that was hauled up from a barge on the lake on a pulley that brought up 5 gallon pails of cement on at a time -- the labourers would unhook the pail, dump the cement, and hook it back on for the return trip. It was a constant stream of buckets... and the sand that mixed with the mortar came from our farm at Bondi. So this tower is part of our connection to this Island!
We are told this is Chief Bigwin's Stone -- can you see the profile???
Legend says that if the stone is removed, the Island will fail, so they are careful to keep it nice and safe, just in case.
The 18th hole drops down from behind the cottages where Queen Juliana of the Netherlands lived during WWII. There is a lot more history here than you might think!
I had a great day in late September, cruising on the S.S. Bigwin all the way to Bigwin Island.
We were on board with 22 of the elders and Band Council of the First Nations Chippewas of Rama -- this is where Chief Bigwin's band moved when they left Lake of Bays, so it was rather magical to welcome them "home" to the Lake.
The lake wasn't busy -- but Dorset channel was! Two float planes arrived, to shop at Robinsons, no less! We saw them again later, with golfers at Bigwin Golf Club!
Ruth Ross, who is co-chair of the Lake of Bays Heritage Advisory Committee, gave a great commentary on the history in Little and Big Trading Bays. Did you know that Robinson's General Store is the site of the first Hudsons Bay Trading Post on this lake?
The Dorset Tower began life as a Fire Watch Tower -- someone had to live up there, and keep an eye out for forest fires. The original 'top' is now at the Visitor Centre in Algonquin Park, and you can find out more about the fire ranger system there. Now it makes for an outstanding viewing platform, a great place any time of the year, but particularly during the autumn colours!
Brian took this shot of Bigwin Island a few years ago. The Golf Course is now ranked among the top 10 in all of Canada. For a good reason. You can go there if you are not a member during May, June, September and October. During the summer, it is private to the members only.
The colour is starting to hint at its coming glory, with a leaf here and a leaf there already getting dressed up. Muskoka is THE place to see the best fall colours in the Province. Algonquin Park always puts on a brilliant show -- and since the colours are linked to both altitude and season, the Park is always about a week or so ahead of us in changing its colours, so there is lots of opportunity to enjoy the show! Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather here - whether you prefer to prepare your own feast or take advantage of the great area restaurants, we've got a fantastic place to gather, enjoy the scenery, relax by a fire, and spend time with family and friends.
don't forget to book NOW for your fall weekends and Thanksgiving. Spend two nights with us, and you are eligible for a $50 voucher for fuel, and a $50 voucher for attractions from Explorers' Edge. We've got your cottage -- and your best deal.
Availability and Reservations
You can check our availability on-line. We work hard to keep this current, but it may lag actual bookings. And it may not be 100% accurate...
We do have vacancies throughout August, but not that many...
We much prefer to keep the personal touch, and to discuss your booking the 'old-fashioned' way, directly, person to person! This helps us ensure that we've got your booking just the way you want it.
1 888 300 2132 or 705 635 2261 or email us. We've got your cottage ready!
We'd love to hear from you. The experiences our guests have are precious to us. If you have photos you took at Bondi, we'd love to have those as well. You can email them to Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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We are very proud of Napster, our tail-painting cat, who uses his lovely artwork to raise money for charities. Click here to visit Napster's Blog and visit the gallery of his tail-paintings.
Note cards, lovely bracelets, 8X10 and 11X14 prints are all affordably available, and make great conversation piece gifts. They also look great on the wall!
Now sold around the world, he has been raising funds for Charity Since he began his new career, he has been honoured to have his artwork sold around the globe -- he even has a print with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Read about his artistic journey, and follow him at his own Blog site,
Take a Peek at our Cross Country Ski Trails
Click on the following links to enjoy a 'virtual ski' round some of our 15 km. of groomed track set cross country ski trails. Thanks to Altitude and Attitude, North Muskoka gets the kind of winter you can really enjoy. Huge thanks to Eric Prince, the creative mind that made this videos happen!
Click here to enjoy seeing a variety of our trails.
And Click Here for another cross country ski adventure.
and this one, in 2014, just days before the snow vanished, from Hawke Lake on down. Click Here
And Click Here for just one more...
Slide Show -click to enlarge!
Stuff for Sale!
From time to time, we've got funky stuff that needs to be 're-homed.' Check HERE to see what Brian's got for Sale at Bondi!