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Posted in Improvements and Updates

All Hail the Queen!

Well finally some sunshine and warmth and flowers! We are so excited to be getting back up to the Lighthouse without having to pack survival gear for the darn snow. And we think we have it soooo tough down here in Southern Ontario. Sissies I tell you! Sissies!

This year we decided to offer something new – a sneak peak of the Lighthouse with us opening over the Victoria Day weekend. If you can believe it, which we can, we’ve only got one cottage left. Yep – one. If you thought you’d fallen off the beaten path, you’ve got a chance to get back on and join us for some marshmallows and hot dogs and sunshine and … you know what we mean πŸ˜‰

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We’re also very excited to announce that our Lighthouse will be back! Next time you see a photo like the one in the middle, you’ll be seeing the talents of our very own Bill who has been working diligently to restore the vista!

You will also notice some changes at the front house. This year we undertook some major reno’s that have changed the landscape a bit. While the welcome might look a little different, just know it’s as friendly and warm as always.

We’ve still got some trailer spots left for great people to embrace the quiet life off the beaten path. We are fortunate that the Lighthouse community understands the value of family, recharging in peace and embracing the old fashioned values of neighborhood.

Warm hello’s.
Laughter and fun.
Stories around the camp fire.
Time alone to catch your breath.
Time together to make new memories.
Time to enjoy the peace, quiet and break from life that Bear Lake provides.

If this sounds like a good fit for you, we’d love to hear from you! infolighthousecottages@gmail.com or give us a call: 705-685-1176

Last, but not least, we are incredibly grateful to all our Lighthouse guests and community members. We look forward to another amazing season of new memories, new friends and some time off the beaten path πŸ™‚

Yours at the Lighthouse,

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John, Paula, Mariah, Logan and Greyson

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Posted in Stories Around the Fire

We’re Excited Too!

When we decided to offer opening for the May long weekend, we didn’t expect such an amazing response! So many people excited to begin their adventures again up at the Lighthouse πŸ™‚ So excited in fact they want to know if we’re opening in June! Wow!

Nope.

We would love to open early for you but we just aren’t able to shift the troops up to the Lighthouse full time until July. Then you get to come see us for 2.5 months! That’s a lot of time to come share your excitement with us. Or is it …

We’re absolutely thrilled that our summer availability is already booking up! But wait, you say, what do you mean by that? We mean that if you’d like to come be off the beaten path, staring at Coffee Island as you hold a steaming cup of goodness first thing in the morning, you might want to get in touch. Now. Well, this week. No, now works better.

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We’ve also got some exciting news for those of you who have trailers and are interested in setting up your cinder blocks up at the Lighthouse. We’ve got some slots opening up!

Slot 1 is right on the beach. Like listening to the ocean in a seashell kind of close to the water except it’s Bear Lake lapping at the shore and sending you to sleepy time double quick. This site doesn’t have septic (good thing we’ve got bathrooms AND a shower house for you to use) though it does have hydro and water – whew. Morning cup of happiness saved!

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Slot 10 is up the hill in our trailer community. It’s a fully serviced spot with septic hookup, hydro and water. We’re lucky to have some of the nicest people on Bear Lake sharing space at the Lighthouse so if a community of friendly and fun people is your cup of tea, then let us know!

Well that’s a lot of excitement for one little blog post so if you need some time to process, we understand. Just remember: we’d love to see you on the May long weekend. We’ll be waving from Burlington in June. We’re open for the season in July. And if you hate leaving us as much as we hate seeing you go but someone else has booked your cottage, well, we’ve got a trailer slot with your name on it πŸ˜‰

Yours from the Lighthouse,

John, Paula, Logan, Mariah and Greyson

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infolighhousecottages@gmail.com

705-685-1176

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

Come and be Royal!

come and be royal

 

We like to think of all our guests as special. One could almost say royalty but that might be a bit much.

Once you’ve seen someone with their early morning bedhead, cup of coffee and happy face down at the beach to catch the sunrise, you realize that all your guests are just normal people. Normal people looking for some time off the beaten path to reset their crown and face the rest of the world with a bit more sparkle. We get it.

That’s why this year we’re doing something a little different. Something that will help kick off your summer a bit early and get your crown in order tout de suite. We’re opening up the cottages a bit early this year and taking bookings for the May long weekend! Yep – you read that right. No more setting up a tent during the downpour that wasn’t supposed to happen until Tuesday. No more crawling out of the tent to dump the water out of your boots so you can make your way to the latrine.

This year, you can celebrate with Canadians all across our amazing country from the comfort of a cottage. We’ve got one that was built around the time the Queen we so enthusiastically celebrate was on the throne! How’s that for connecting to history and upholding the Canuck tradition of being in the great outdoors? No tiara required πŸ˜‰

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We hope you’ll join us!

 

Yours at the Lighthouse,

John, Paula, Beema, Logan, Mariah and Greyson

http://www.thelighthousecottagesandcamping.ca/

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

It’s Fall Already? Damn!

This has been our best summer yet!

What a season. It’s hard to believe that we didn’t open up just last week instead of 3 months ago. It’s incredible that the long days of sunshine, cool evenings filled with stars and nights of campfires are over for another year.

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What most of our guests don’t realize is that our year doesn’t end once the last guest leaves. That is when the off time hard work starts. The upgrades. The repairs. The new ideas. The painting. The blog posts πŸ˜‰

We are constantly looking for ways to make our resort the best it can possibly be and it’s thanks to our amazing guests and their feedback that we know we’re doing the right things. Did you have an experience this year or a great idea that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! It’s not like John’s Honey-Do list couldn’t use another item or two πŸ™‚

We’re thrilled to share that we’ve already got guests booking for next season. That’s so rewarding for us. That’s what gives us warm fuzzies all winter when we trek up to check the property and shovel the poop-tons of snow off the roofs. Yep – you keep us toasty happy even during the deep freeze!

We’d love to see your photos and read your stories so please visit our FacebookΒ page and share! We can talk all we like about how amazingly peaceful and relaxing it is off the beaten path, but hey, we’re a bit biased.

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We’ll be sharing more photos soon but until then,

Yours at the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family

 

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

Why It’s Time for You to Travel Off the Beaten Path

It’s a great question, so I asked.

Who better to ask than Paula Boyd? She’s the sunshiny face that greets you once you turn off East Bear Lake Road and the whirling dirvish you see atop the mower.

Take a moment to listen to our chat. You’ll hear the waves lapping on the beach which is where we sat down to discover more about the Lighthouse and why Paula and John picked their location. You’ll learn some of the history behind the place, what you can expect once you arrive and more. I hope you’ll understand why so many people travel off the beaten path to lay their weary heads at the Lighthouse, why family’s are building traditions there and why I can’t wait to go back!

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

Far Enough Off the Beaten Path

Full disclosure: I’m the “voice” behind the Lighthouse blog. My name is Elizabeth and I started working with John and Paula last year to help them get the website redesigned, start a blog and share stories on Facebook. I hadn’t had a chance to visit the Lighthouse until this August and so I’ve had to imagine what the experience would be like or borrow from Paula’s inexhaustible passion for describing the beauty surrounding the Lighthouse. I don’t have to imagine or borrow any more.

I’d like to share our family’s experience last week up at the Lighthouse.

To start with, the drive up can go quickly from the typical hell of the 401 (where exactly do all these cars come from anyway?) to oohing and ahhing quite quickly once you hit the 400 and start noticing the beauty of the Canadian Shield. I could feel such a change as we left the city behind and I had no idea how much better it was going to get.

The directions to reach the Lighthouse are ridiculously easy.

  1. 401 to 400. Drive a loooong way. Turn right onto the 518 and right on to East Bear Lake Road.
  2. 401 to 400. Drive a longish way. Take the 11. Left on to the 518 and left on to East Bear Lake Road.

That’s it. It’s that simple. No convoluted back roads. No planes, trains and boat rides. Just a few turns and you’re as close to northern paradise as you could hope to get. On the way to Paradise? Trees. Lakes. Happiness. Is there a better way to start a vacation?

As soon as you arrive, you’re met by Paula (who, after 30 years of friendship still gives the best squodgy hugs ever) who will direct you to your cottage and give you a rundown of where everything is. The homey atmosphere starts right away and you can feel even more stress slipping away.

I don’t care who you are: you dip your toes in to the warm water of Bear Lake and you know you don’t ever want to leave. Ever. You are surrounded by beautiful trees, the soft lapping of the waves and warm sand. One notable noise usually associated with cottages is missing: the incessant whine of motor boats. Yep. No hotdogging on this lake. The odd seadoo or small aluminum fishing boat is the loudest you’ll hear and that’s just enough to remind you that you’ve got more than one option to get on to the water with. Sigh. I miss it already.

If you need to explore the local area, there’s lots to see that is close by. We took 1/2 day trips in the morning to Sprucedale, Burks Falls and Orrville with a slightly longer foray in to Parry Sound. It was so nice to check out the scenery and then come back to the cottage to chill out and wait for the campfire to kick up.

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We’ll be putting together a “where to go” page on the website shortly and after tasting all the yummy bumptiousness of the Orrville Bakery you can bet you don’t want to miss that recommendation!

On a more personal note, I couldn’t help but get tears in my eyes from the pride I felt when I finally got to see what Paula and John have been pouring heart and soul in to for the past 2 years. I am unbelievably touched by the close knit community they are creating within the Lighthouse property and how they support local businesses across the 518 stretch. From the young couple they know by name (Who she mentioned but I forget. The amount of detail in Paula’s head would astound you) in Parry Sound who do embroidery to Kirk who owns the gas station in Sprucedale to the businesses they rely on for septic clean up and wood delivery. She knows every one of them by name and probably all their family members as well.

That’s what sets the Lighthouse apart from other cottage and camping resorts. You will never remain just a name with Paula and John. You will be welcomed with open arms to become a part of the heartbeat that makes it so special. You will feel valued. You can know that for years to come Paula will remember the smallest details about your cottage needs and will have it ready for the next time you book. And trust me: you will book again. And again. We’ve got another story coming up that was 30 years in the making that bears out my claim.

If you’re seeking peace. If you’re needing to reconnect to nature. If you want to step off the grid (though cell reception is crazy good). If you want to look your family in the eye instead of at the top of their head as they text and post and tweet. Then you need to come here. Pack your marshmallow sticks, comfy camp chairs and a spare pair of underwear and just head north on the 400 and right on 518 or left off 11. East Bear Lake Road is waiting for you to turn off the beaten path to the Lighthouse and Paula is waiting to give you the hug that will make the trip worthwhile.

I’m so proud of you Paula and John. You’ve built the place I didn’t know I needed but am so happy to have found πŸ™‚

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Little Puddin’ Came a Visitin’

Well we just wouldn’t be card carrying, baby worshiping grandparents if we didn’t share that Greyson came for a visit last week! We were, of course, very excited to see Mariah and Max but our little puddin’, well, he just melts us every time πŸ˜‰

 

 

We now have 4 generations up at the Lighthouse!

How amazing is that!

Posted in Uncategorized

It’s All About Community

When you live and work up north for 4 months of the year you see a different side of what a community could be. Coming back to living in an suburban area the rest of the year really drives that point home we’ve learned. Community in a small town means people know who you are. They see what you’re trying to build if you’re a business owner. They get to know your kids. You look each other in the eye and have an actual conversation with no phones getting in the way. Sigh …

Community is one of the many things we love about living and working in the Sprucedale area. The opportunity to get back to a slower time where people worked hard, helped each other out and where neighbors quickly turn in to friends. Where you know people have got your back in times of trouble and are there to lift a glass to toast your success. Does that happen back in the big city of Burlington? Sure! But not quite as much.

What we also love is the community we’re building at the Lighthouse. Where all ages, cultures and personalities come together to crack a cold one, go out on a paddle boat or grill up a hot dog. Where people drift in to the gazebo and then drift in to a conversation with someone who could be from an hour away or a country away. Where stories are shared, new friends are made and lifelong memories happen. That just fills our hearts in a way we never could have anticipated but unknowingly hoped for.

As we head in to another busy weekend, we know we’ll see our Lighthouse community growing. New people. New ideas. New sounds of laughter drifting across the property. It all comes together under the trees, in the water and around the camp fire every day. It’s hard to believe we’ve only got 3 weeks left with our Lighthouse community but just know that you come to mind every time the lights Burlington come in to view. And then we sigh and remember it’s only 8 short months until we’ll see you again πŸ™‚

Yours at the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

See the Lighthouse From Water and Sky

 

Do You See Me Now-

When you come to the Lighthouse you might wonder what there is to do. Well you might not really wonder but we’d like to share with you anyway. ‘Cause we’re kind of proud and happy there is SOOO much to do! Everywhere you look there are kids playing, guests relaxing, trees providing shade, smoke snaking out of a BBQ, Paula running like a crazy person to help someone … Hopefully she’s remembered to put on pants along with the 60 million other things she has to do that day πŸ˜‰

To start off with though we need to give a HUGE shout out to one of our trailer community folks Bill Robinson. Bill’s helped us out a few times now with sourcing great finds. The latest? 3 new boats for our dock so that guests can toodle, fish and go visiting across Bear Lake. It’s hugely important to us that our guests can access great, safe, fun equipment so many thanks to Bill for helping make this happen!

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One thing having all these great boats allows is for guests and visitors to see the Lighthouse from the water. While looking out from the dock or gazebo or beach shows one perspective, a whole new view opens up off the water. Got great pics to share? Let us know!

This past weekend we had some new guests arrive and they brought …. a drone. Not a droid (we have lots of stars but no wars ;0 Unless it’s over the last hot dog. And then a light saber would be handy). Mike and Nicola joined us and Mike launched his new toy for some great aerial shots of the Lighthouse. They enjoyed their time here SOOOO much that they’re coming back in August and we’ll get to see the Lighthouse from the air! How high do you think he’ll get????

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Regardless of how you get to see the Lighthouse, the view always provides the same thing: Calm. Peace. Relaxation. As you look across the lake, you take your first of many deep breaths of the fresh air. You watch as the sun dances across the water and enjoy the cool breeze coming off the lake. Looking around your cottage, you listen as laughter drifts through the window from the beach or a family cooking outside their cottage. And you know that you’ll never forget the first time you set eyes on the Lighthouse and felt the stress melt away. We can’t wait to show you everything πŸ™‚

Yours from the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

Who’s Got Beema’s Back?

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Have you met the true Queen of the Lighthouse yet? You might be thinking it’s Paula. And you’re mostly right. But there is the Queen Mother who we all know is the true power behind the throne. At the Lighthouse, that’s Beema πŸ™‚

Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, Beema is the rock that the Lighthouse is built upon. Do you think Paula was born with all her awesomeness? Well, a lot of it but she’ll give credit where it’s due and the lovely Beema gets most of it.

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I guess what has happened we all knew would happen eventually. Our guests are lovin’ up on the Beema as well. So much so that recently we received messages from Tanya, one of our guests with details about an affordable golf cart that could become the Beema’s chariot! And when we have a group of young men staying with us? Of course they show Beema the love πŸ™‚

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This post isn’t only about giving a shout out to Beema. It’s about our heartfelt thanks at how our Lighthouse community has embraced Beema as part of the Lighthouse experience. How they reach out to see how they can help keep Beema coming back up to the Lighthouse. Β And how they make her smile almost as much as Mariah, Logan and now Greyson do.

Families aren’t always born and related. Sometimes they’re made. While we’re lucky to have Beema as part of our family, we thank you for making her part of yours as well!

Yours from the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family