Posted in Uncategorized

Well Hellooooo!

Can’t you just picture Queen Elizabeth with her white gloves and royal side to side wave? Or better yet, the Queen sitting peacefully by the lake with her favorite drink of a Gin and Dubonnet with lemon and ice as she watches the gorgeous sunset over Bear Lake? Now that’s better!


Once again, we’re opening for the Victoria Day May long weekend to celebrate summer coming. We’re only open from May 17th until the 20th for cottage rentals and camping and then we close up the resort again. Why? Well we have to get ready for a busy summer but who wants to miss the chance to maybe have fireworks and light up the night sky? We think Her Majesty would approve of celebrating her Great Great Granny with a marshmallow roast 😉

We’d love to have you join us as we begin to make memories around the campfire. That reminds me: where’s there campfire, there’s wood and we’ve got you covered. In fact, we have to insist that we provide firewood and absolutely NO outside wood comes in. We know it’s a great way to use up that tree you chopped down in the fall but we have to follow the municipal bylaws and protect the forest from potential invasive species. What the heck is camping or cottaging without trees I ask you?

We hope you’ll join us for a great weekend of laughs, memories and more and that’s we’ll have your smiling faces once we fully open in July!

Send us a smoke signal at: or give Paula a shout at: 705-685-1176

Yours at the Lighthouse,


John, Greyson, Logan, Paula and Mariah




Posted in Stories Around the Fire

But wait!

Well color me blue. The summer at The Lighthouse is just about over. Weren’t we just packing to haul the gang up for the summer and waiting for our first guest to arrive? What the heck happened???

One thing we do look forward to on the Labour Day long weekend is our now annual big cookout. All the guest come together to celebrate sunshine, campfire smoke (yeah no more ban!) and the memories they’ve made. Everybody contributes and we’ve have an amazing community mashup.

This season has been a heck of a one for dealing with heat. We’re not quite off the grid but about as far as you can go. This means no air conditioning during those humid, awful days. What do we have instead? A gorgeous, clean, cooling lake that just invites you to plant your chair in the water, kick off the flip flops and let Mother Nature do her thing. Bring it on lady! Bear Lake has got you and your humidity beat every time.

We’ve also had our fair share from the Parry Sound forest fires. With safety being one of our top concerns, we had to put a kibosh on campfires for most of the season. Did this ruin anything? Heck no! People sparked up the BBQ that comes with each cottage, took their plates down to the beach and created different summer dinner memories. This weekend it looks like we’ll be able to dodge the smoke and add that bit of carbon to the hot dogs that everyone remembers from their misspent youth 😉

If you’re interested in a little hot dog camping humor, check out this great guy Tim Nutt and what can happen around a campfire 😉


Now we’re a family establishment so the 2nd scenario is unlikely but it’s still funny stuff and we know we’ve all been there one time or another!

This weekend we’re just about a full house. We MIGHT have one cottage left so if you’ve decided that fun, sun and campfires is a great way to end your summer, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You never know.

If you’ve already been off the beaten path with us this summer, THANK YOU!

thank you

We  really appreciate it and look forward to sharing some of the photos we’ve taken over the season with you on our Facebook page. We want to see your photos too so please don’t hesitate to tag us or drop a post on the page! Shameless FB promo? Yup. Seeing how much fun everybody had this season? Priceless 🙂

We’ve got more news to share from The Lighthouse but for now we’ll say – thanks everybody. It’s been a wild ride and we look forward to seeing you this weekend or next July!

Yours at the Lighthouse,


John, Paula, Mariah, Logan, Beema and Grayson

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

Really? It’s Almost Over?

We are so excited. Why? Because summer is almost over! Wait? What! No. Can’t be. It’s only June right? Nope. It’s August. Our first long weekend in August has come and gone. We were thrilled to have a full house of cottagers and our trailer community. It also made us realize something: summer is, in fact, almost over. Holy moly …

We’ve had some new guests up at the Lighthouse this year and it’s been fantastic! One of the neat things has also been three generations coming up at once! We welcomed the Westfalls and we had grandparents, aunts, uncles and nephews. How nice is that for extended family to be taking the time to spend their vacation together? With no wi-fi, you’re guaranteed not to have to talk to the top of your teens head 😉

We were also so happy to have John’s nephew and his granddaughter come to stay for a week. To watch them play on the beach was a highlight for the summer!

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It’s why we spend the summer running The Lighthouse. It’s why we love coming up here for the summer. We get to watch memories being made, families getting closer and new things being discovered such as Grayson has a few years before he can manage the seadoo on his own 😉  Austin who was visiting with his grandparents? Well he was able to get out with John on the seadoo and maybe next year he’ll be old enough to take a spin on his own.

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Getting out on the water is something that all family members can partake in. Enjoying the dock for some shore fishing. Using the paddle boat to reach Ant Island. Taking a glide in the canoe. Not feeling up to paddling or pushing? Then just digging your feet in the warm sand with the waves giving a little tickle to your toes is just paradise.

If you’re feeling inspired to join us, don’t hesitate to reach out and see what cottage we’ve got that might work for you and your family.

Yours at the Lighthouse,


John, Paula, Mariah, Logan and Greyson


Posted in Stories Around the Fire

Well! We’re Blushing!

Some people are born with it. Some people develop it. Some people never figure it out. It’s something that is a necessity for success though plenty get by ignorant of what they could be achieving if only they took a moment to realize it.


But wait you say, isn’t this a blog about camping and nature and cottaging and all things wonderful in the great outdoors? You’d be right. But today? Today it’s about hard work.

In case you think Paula and John are tooting their own horn, my name is Elizabeth Plouffe and I’m tooting it for them 😉 I write the blog posts for the Lighthouse and decided to commandeer the platform for some well deserved kudos to some of the hardest working people I know.

Running a business isn’t easy. Any business. You’ve got to really love what you do or you’ve got to really get some out of it that feeds your soul. There are late nights worrying. Early mornings getting things done. Heavy lifting of the physical and mental kind. Compromise. Sacrifice. Highs. Lows. And everything in between.

So what makes the business owner life worth it? Worth all the hard work, and in Paula and John’s case, the bug bites and sunburn? They love what they do. They love their guests. They love their trailer community. They love the smiles. They love the hugs. They love the “see you again soon’s”. It’s why they do what they do.

Most of the time they know that their guests and trailer community appreciate the hard work they put in. How can you not notice Paula zipping by on the mower or the ATV as she hauls wood or cuts grass? How can you not notice John fixing something or helping put a boat in the water? But when someone takes the time to let them know and shares it with others? Well, that’s just the candle in the bug lantern 🙂

Anne Parks and her husband Calvin visited the Lighthouse this past weekend. There’s going to be a whole post dedicated to them soon! In case you were wondering if they had a good time, here’s what they had to say,

“What a great weekend. The place is absolutely beautiful cabins are very clean and well equipped. The play ground is safe and a assortment of items to keep kids happy. When they are not at the sandy beach the view of lake from the gazebo in the early morning is stunning. Paula is amazing like a big mother hen making sure her guests are well looked after.  If you haven’t got it she will get it for you. I highly recommend this place. One weekend there and you will want to back. Thank you Paula for making our visit wonderful we will be back!”

And that, my friends, is what hard work can do for you. It makes all the sweat (it is an Ontario summer after all) and tears (likely more sweat vs actual tears) worth it. Knowing that you’ve put your best foot forward and made someone happy. Kind words will always go far in helping a business owner keep delivering the best service possible. So thank you Anne and Calvin! Your thanks is the reason hard work pays off!

Posted in Improvements and Updates

We’ve Expanded!

Has our up and down Ontario weather got you wishing you could dip your toes in a nice cool lake? Or better yet – go out for an early evening swim to rinse the day away? The humidity in Ontario makes our summers a thing to remember and of course we’re all about making memories up at The Lighthouse 😉

This year we’ve added a new way for you to find some peace off the beaten path. It might be a few more steps to the lake but we all need a little more exercise, right? Introducing our new Hilltop Retreat Trailer!


We’re so excited to be able to have more guests join us. Another bonus? If you’ve ever gone back and forth on buying your own trailer but wanted to try it out, now here’s your chance. Join The Lighthouse family for a week or two, enjoy “cottaging” life and discover if the trailer life is for you. If it is, then you’ve already got somewhere to park your new rig. If not, you’ve had a terrific time anyway!

We’ve added a spanky new profile on our website for you to get all the details. Your trailer experience is just a click away!

Our New Hilltop Trailer Retreat!

Yours from the Lighthouse,


John, Paula, Logan, Mariah and Greyson

Posted in Improvements and Updates

Not the Bang We Were Expecting!

We’re always excited for the start of a new season. Our trailer community comes in a bit earlier but our first official cottagers? They come July 1st weekend. Is there a nicer way to say welcome that by celebrating with sparklers and a bit of a bang? Fire bans permitting of course 😉 We had a packed house for Canada’s birthday and what a lovely group of people came to the party! This story has a bit of a twist though.

Earlier this year we started getting ready as usual. This involves going over the property, identifying things that need to be fixed or updated and evaluating the many trees we have on our gorgeous property. You can imagine the size of that job! We took down a few trees this year, trimmed others and gave all the greenery a going over. We want to make sure that everything is in tip top shape and as safe as possible. Our family, including our guests, are top of mind in everything we do.

Well, this weekend, we got a different kind of bang. During the storm over the weekend, a huge tree snapped in half at about 330am.


We were up like a shot and running to find out what had happened. Imagine our shock when we saw this! All our careful prep and Mother Nature still decides to teach us a lesson! We immediately jumped in to safety mode making sure nothing had significant damage, that the hydro line was secured and that the back up generators were in place to keep things going. Luckily all was well except for our lovely tree.

Within a few days we had the rest of the tree safely cut down (great firewood!), hydro fixed and a sigh of relief that peace was quickly restored to the Lighthouse. We are so grateful for the amazing service from Barry Catlin of Open Aggregates who was working on another improvement project on the property and jumped in to help with our tree issue. Huge thanks also to Brian, our local handyman, who helped cut wood and clean the area. We couldn’t do what we do without the incredibly hardworking folks in the Sprucedale area who, like us, are hard working business people who like to do the right thing.

While it wasn’t the opening weekend we had hoped for, we’re grateful for another busy season with guests, friends and community members of Sprucedale. There are still tons of trees to provide much needed coolness for those hot, lazy days of summer where a dip in the lake followed by a nap in the shade is just the thing. We’ve got more improvements to share and things are booking up quickly so I hope we’ll get to see you off the beaten path soon!

Yours at the Lighthouse,


John, Paula, Donna, Logan, Mariah and Greyson


Posted in Stories Around the Fire

In Summer!!!!

Today is a very special day for most Canadians. After months of cold and rain and snow and boots and scarves and touques and feeling like you’ll never feel the warm touch of the sun on your skin EVER AGAIN …




Now I’m not sure how you might be feeling about this but I can assure you that the mood around the Lighthouse is quite ecstatic! We can almost hear the crackle of the campfire’s and the smell that nostalgia inducing scent of sunscreen. Sigh …

With all that being said, it’s time to start seriously thinking about how you’re going to spend our ridiculously short summer season. What are some of the ways you can soak up all the vitamin D possible from July to September? Let’s ponder shall we?

  • fishing
  • sea-doing
  • paddle boating
  • canoeing
  • hiking
  • building sandcastles on the beach
  • swimming
  • lying on the dock with a cold drink nearby
  • swimming out to the floating dock trying not to spill your drink in Bear Lake. Nobody likes sloshed fish …
  • playing cards on the warm rocks on the beach
  • heading over to Orville’s Bakery for the best damn butter tarts you will ever have in your entire life (what could be more Canadian I ask you?)
  • playing a board game on the picnic table
  • BBQ’ing
  • taking a day trip to Parry Sound for more beach time AND ice cream 🙂
  • going up to Burk’s Falls
  • doing some arts and crafts projects

Since most people can’t do most of these things in their backyard, you might be looking for a place to do them. Because let’s face it- every single one of them is crazy fun and we love having guests have crazy fun 😉

Don’t believe how much fun summer can be? Well here’s someone who shares our enthusiasm for shaking off winter and embracing how much cooler we can all be in the heat of summer:

Feeling inspired? We can’t wait to hear from you!

Yours from the Lighthouse,


John, Paula, Mariah, Logan and Greyson




Posted in Stories Around the Fire

We’re off with a Bang!

Can you hear it?
The lap of the waves on the shore.
The boats gently bumping the dock.
The crackle of the campfire.
The laughter. The sighs. The hello’s.
The call of the loons across the lake. Their warble welcoming you back from off the beaten track and to your own piece of paradise.


We’re so excited to open for another season of fun, friendships and adventures on Bear Lake. Our very own slice of Northern Ontario heaven! Better still? We get to share it with you! That might sound a bit slick, but it’s true. Some of our best memories of summer are because of our guests.

We see your shoulders relax.
We watch as you take in the beauty.
We listen as you call hello to a new friend or call a family member over for their turn on hot dog roasting duty.


And we know it’s because you’ve joined us at The Lighthouse. We also know, for some folks, that taking time out of your busy lives to have a vacation is a huge deal. Coordinating schedules for our busy family is crazy as well! So we truly appreciate the time you spend with us.

If the time has come for you to take some time off, then we’ll be open for guests come July 1st! Even better? If you book for the July long weekend, you get to come even earlier! June 29th the long weekend of relaxation begins at 3pm. Picture yourself by 4pm on the dock, cold drink in hand, kids playing in the water and the smiles everywhere. We’ve seen it before 😉 There might even be some sparklers to end the day with an extra twinkle. Of course, we’ve got more stars than you’ve ever seen before but we’ll let you judge which is brighter.

If you’ve never visited and want to learn more about us and why we do what we do, take a listen:

After you’ve taken a listen, get in touch! We’d love to hear from you! There’s an empty spot on the dock with your name on it 😉

Yours at the Lighthouse,


John, Paula, Mariah, Logan and baby Greyson

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 😉

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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! 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 🙂

Yours at the Lighthouse,


John, Paula, Mariah, Logan and Greyson

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 🙂 So excited in fact they want to know if we’re opening in June! Wow!


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.


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!


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 😉

Yours from the Lighthouse,

John, Paula, Logan, Mariah and Greyson