Lakeside home on the largest freshwater Island in the world: Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada



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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    We live in a lakeside home with 100 feet of shoreline on the North Channel of Lake Huron on Manitoulin Island (Rainbow Country!). We moved here in May, 2017. Between the house and the lake is a garden that we are planting based on a design created for us. Most of the shrubs, trees and perennials are now planted and we need your help maintaining the beds by mulching, watering, and keeping them free of grass and weeds. We hope you will help us continue to transform this former green lawn into a haven for birds and wildlife.

    In addition to the garden, we also need help with general home and property upkeep. Tasks vary depending on time of year. Indoor help year round includes keeping the cat litter boxes clean and fresh, vacuuming, tidying, emptying garbage and recycle bins, filling and emptying the dishwasher, organizing cupboards, wiping down surfaces, cleaning windows and other tasks of this nature. Workawayers are encouraged to show initiative and take on tasks they can identify that need doing. Daily check-ins with Julie will address tasks for the day and share progress.

    We would prefer couple Workawayers so that you can keep each other company. Also, people with gardening experience are preferred. Others will be considered; these are just our preferences.

    Who are we? Julie and Michael are in our mid 50's and we have 3 cats. Julie is a former yoga teacher and Mike is a Patient Transport Attendant and a volunteer firefighter. We are quiet types (Mike very much so!), fairly introverted but enjoy good company and conversation. Our cats are our kids and it's important for Workawayers to love them as part of the family too. Julie has significant health challenges, mostly housebound and quite limited in what she can do. Mike enjoys windsurfing, kitesurfing and paddleboarding (SUP). In our 20's we travelled extensively for 1 year: Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, France, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, England, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands.

    This is a very low-key Workaway due to Julie's health situation. Lots of quiet space for reading, reflection, meditation and so on. But part of the joys of Workaway is the companionship. On good days she will talk your ear off, and will want to hear all about you, but other times you'll be mostly on your own.

    Languages: English and some French

    We have a large bedroom downstairs with a fantastic view of the lake for our Workaway visitors. When not working, you would be able to swim or paddleboard, borrow our bicycles, check out the attractions on the Island, or hang out in the hammock just taking it easy. Evening campfires are also wonderful under the stars by the lake.

    Our home is located on the Eastern side of the Island on a long road with other lakeside properties and is a 15 minute drive from a full service town. There is limited public transportation provided by an on demand transit group (United Manitoulin Islands Transit).

    We follow a lazy vegan diet mostly from packages and expect you to observe a meat free diet in our home. If you like to cook, that would be awesome, but if not, you can dig through the freezer and pantry like we do. Cooking is definitely not our skill set.

    We would expect you to help with the garden and housekeeping 5 days a week with flexibility around the weather. If it's very hot, then choosing the hours to be outside is a good idea.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Elderly Companionship
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Workaway visitors will be able to experience life in rural northern Ontario on the largest freshwater island in the world. We can also share our travel experiences and compare what travelling was like pre-Internet to now.
    Julie has been studying and practicing Theravada/Early Buddhism for many years and would love to share her interest. Mike has absorbed much of the teachings vicariously. We live a lifestyle of non-harming but are human and happily imperfect.
    Having Workawayers share their stories from home and from their travels has been a wonderful way for us to be armchair travellers and we learn so much. It has been a real joy for us.

  • Help


    Garden (May-October): weeding, watering, mulching, trimming grass using battery operated trimmer, pruning, and other garden tasks
    Home (year-round): vacuuming, loading/unloading dishwasher, washing kitchen floors, cleaning bathrooms, cleaning cat litter, tidying, taking out the garbage and recycling, etc), wiping down surfaces, cleaning appliances, other tasks that come up. Snow clearing (winter)

    When you arrive, we'll discuss scheduling of work hours and it can vary depending on time of year. You will be doing the work on your own or as a couple, but not with the host alongside you. Please ask for direction and provide check-ins regularly.

    Workawayers are expected to keep the house and their room clean and tidy. They will also be expected to help tidy up for Julie as she is often not able to do this herself and it helps Mike out a lot. It is important that Workawayers understand the limitations a chronic disabling condition can have and that they are patient and understanding. Knowledge about the condition ME/CFS (moderate severity) would help.

    🚗🚌⛴🚀Getting here: Manitoulin Island is a minimum 6 hour drive from Toronto. To arrive by bus, you would take a Northland bus from Toronto to Espanola (via Sudbury), and then a taxi from there. A ferry runs from Tobermory to the Island from May-October. Tobermory is a 4 hour drive from Toronto. The ferry is 1 hour and 45 minutes and is a beautiful way to arrive. No rocket ship arrivals as yet.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    Large bedroom with a double bed; private bathroom. The TV for the family is downstairs in the shared sitting area which you are welcome to use, keeping it clean and tidy. Shared meals in the kitchen, lots of shared deck space to enjoy the view. Smaller bedroom also available if not travelling as a couple or for an additional Workawayer. The bathroom would then be shared.

    WIFI can sometimes be limited due to band-width issues when multiple devices are on at the same time.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    *****Visas to Canada. Please only contact us if you already have a visa as we are not in a position to be able to help you with this process.*****

    Manitoulin Island is the home of various farming communities and First Nation communities. Cultural opportunities such as attending pow-wows that run on different weekends during pow-wow season and festivals such as the Bluegrass Festival and Haweater Festival. Beautiful beaches, hiking trails, day cruises and more.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Pets must be cat friendly.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 845333228322