2019 was our first year with help from Workaway and it was a wonderful experience. We're now looking for more travellers we can welcome this summer.
Our summer home is an historic compound on an island in the beautiful Muskoka Lakes district in Ontario, just a two-hour drive north of Toronto. It's been in our family for five generations and is a very special place. We're very proud of our 110 year old cottage, boathouse and other buildings, our organic garden, and the surrounding forest, and try hard to keep them in good shape. We live and work from there from June to October, have guests on many weekends, and our two daughters and their families will be there for part of this summer as well. There will also be two very friendly dogs. I'm in advertising, working mostly on social justice issues, and my spouse is an interior designer.
Babysitting / child care
You'll be part of the family and can enjoy everything the area has to offer. Lots of travel magazines have called Muskoka one of the most beautiful natural places on earth. The lake water is crystal clear, the landscape rugged, the forests go on forever. We canoe, hike, swim, sail, waterski and fish. We spend sunny afternoons on the dock. We take our antique boat out at night when there are more stars than you've ever seen before. We visit with neighbours who have historic properties much like ours. We tour the lakes by boat. We go into the local towns such as Parry Sound, Port Carling, Bracebridge, once or twice a week for shopping or lunch, and people go back and forth to Toronto quite regularly if a ride is needed. If you're interested in doing some wilderness camping and hiking, we're very close to Algonquin and Killarney provincial parks where camping gear and canoes can be rented if needed.
We have about 8 acres of forest and an organic vegetable garden that need taking care of. The forest work consists of cutting down trees and splitting the logs for firewood, clearing paths, pruning and generally making sure the forest is healthy and happy. We use a chainsaw and splitting axes, and have taught lots of people how to be a real Canadian lumberjack. It's great exercise and very satisfying work. The garden requires occasional weeding, watering and harvesting. There's quite a bit of painting to do and other projects include general maintenance, keeping the boats clean, opening the house in the spring and putting everything away in fall. If you have skills, that's great. If not, we'll show you how it's done. If you like kids, we might ask for an hour or two of babysitting once in a while.
We typically start work after breakfast and go until 1 or 2. After that, your time is pretty much your own.
English. French speaker from June 15 to August 15
Depending on the time of year, you'll either have a bedroom in the main house or your own private bedroom and a sitting room above the boathouse. The boathouse sitting room Includes a TV, DVD player, movies, video game console and record player. Wi-Fi and satellite TV are in the main house. You're welcome to be with the family in the main house at any time. You'll eat meals with the family. Breakfast is usually help yourself cereal, toast, eggs, etc. Lunch is usually sandwiches, salads, hot dogs, etc. Supper is a full meal and if you like to cook you're welcome to help out on occasion. Help doing the dishes after meals is always appreciated.
No smoking inside buildings. If you have a car, it can be parked at the marina where we keep our car. We are on an island so leaving the property at night is not something we usually do. We eat everything but we can accommodate vegetarians. There is a bus from Toronto if we're not able to pick you up at Toronto's Pearson Airport.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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