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We are Francis & Johanna, and we live on a beautiful wetlands lake in Temagami, Ontario. We share the lake with beavers, moose, otters, herons, owls, weasels, frogs, and only one neighbour! We run an ecotourism business on-site so guests come and go on the property, but it is typically quiet and relaxed. We're looking for help not for our business, but for our home and pets. We live 14 km from the nearest town and while we're not off-grid, we are pretty self-sufficient, managing our own water systems, composting/garbage removal, road maintenance/snow removal, etc. Rural living means there's always something to do :-)
Workawayers have separate accommodations but share meals with the family in the main lodge. Our food is unforgettable! This is a nurturing and fun environment -- a great place to make friends, connect with the earth, and improve your English skills. Workawayers are welcome to borrow canoes to explore the area, and we can recommend lots of good day hikes.
While we love hosting individuals, we're also quite keen on couples & pairs of friends, who are built-in adventure pals for each other! At the height of summer we are usually too busy to participate in off-site hikes etc, so it's nice when people have a companion to do things with :-)
One last thing - we get a lot of emails, and it takes a lot of time to respond to it all! If your email isn't specific to us, we're less likely to respond. If you really want to come and stay with us, please mention why you'd like to visit Temagami and why you'd be a good fit for us.
Looking forward to meeting you!
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Temagami is a majestic wilderness of ancient pine forests, lakes, rivers and streams. We have the largest stand of old growth red & white pines in the world, and a fascinating cultural history to go with them. To be in Temagami is to learn about the history of Northern Canada. We have an extensive library featuring many books about Canadian history, culture, nature and wilderness skills. With regards to skills, cooking is a big part of what we do, and we love sharing our knowledge of local foods and cooking techniques. Francis is a skilled jack-of-all trades who has lots to share regarding facility management and construction. We can also teach you some canoeing skills if you like!
There's always something different going on, and something for every interest! Typical Workawayers tasks include mowing the lawn; planting/weeding/harvesting the garden; splitting & stacking wood; pressure washing/sweeping decks; clearing our walking trail; mending or sewing projects; building or repairing docks, decks, & sheds; repairing flagstone paths, garden steps, fences, and garden beds; helping with small renovations; playing with/walking our dogs; and helping to cook family meals. Johanna loves to share recipes and techniques, and loves learning new recipes from Workawayers! It’s a great place to experiment and try new things, or to cook some of your favourite meals from home. Love to bake? Amazing! Want to get creative? Cool! Our kitchen is very well-equipped and we are happy to get special ingredients as needed. There’s nothing we love more than cooking together with some good music on!
Carpentry, mechanical, or sewing skills are always an asset! Otherwise, a willing attitude and common sense is enough for most tasks :-)
We ask that people work 4-5 hours per day, 5 days per week. We also ask everyone to respect the communal living situation by cleaning up after themselves and pitching in with dishes after family meals - it really helps keep the good energy flowing!
Workawayers stay in an apartment above our workshop. There are three bedrooms (7 beds in total), a living room, and a bathroom (sink, toilet, shower). Since there is no kitchen, Workawayers eat in the family kitchen/dining room in the lodge. Everything is available to eat unless otherwise mentioned, and we're happy to provide foods that you prefer as part of our regular shopping. Usually we all eat breakfast and lunch separately and come together for a group dinner at the end of the day.
We've hosted helpers for almost 15 years, and it's been amazing! We enjoy meeting new people and learning different ways of doing things (we'll probably learn as much from you as you will from us). We love good conversation, good humour, and good food. We have two cuddly dogs who make us laugh every day!
Most people choose to stay for about three weeks while they're traveling, and that seems to be a good length of time - although a few people have stayed long enough that they feel like family :) We appreciate common sense and a willingness to get involved in whatever needs doing at the moment. Wi-fi is available but somewhat limited - surfing the internet and emailing is okay, but no video streaming please! If you need a tv fix, we can plan a movie night! We've also got an extensive library where you might find your next favourite book.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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