Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart. www.bondi-village-resort.com
I'm behind in updating the blog -- very soon you'll find out why
1 and to my chagrin I have recently discovered that when I copy posts over from the Facebook page, the pictures don't actually come -- you have to double click. sorry about that. I wish I had the time to go back and fix them all, but must ask forebearance.
It's been a busy year -- so much so that I'm simply going to attach our Christmas recap letter here.
To all our friends, Christmas, 2017
Snow came early, dragging cold weather
with it. Our bay is frozen (but still not safe to travel!) Ski trails are packed. We are White Christmas
Ready. Last year we were joined by the
Surry/Caveney/Rosati reunion that comes
alternate years. It is such fun to watch these families grow together. Action everywhere – including snow forts,
igloos, and Jake, who saw one of the Algonquin wolves while skiing solo on a
trail. (I asked if he was scared, he
replied no, he just banged his ski pole on a tree, like you do to scare away a
This year we
are only partially open for the Christmas season, as we are expecting the EVENT
OF THE YEAR. Megan and David are
expecting a baby. We’ve decided we want to be available to enjoy that
occasion – and the babe is due about Jan. 1st (we’re still taking
bets -If you are on our email list, you’ll be among the first to know.). It will be a different Christmas for us –
we’re all on pins and needles with excitement, and Sarah is coming to stay for
the week as well. This will be generation #5 for the Tapley family at Bondi.
So, other than THAT news, what happened? Last December
Nancy’s mare Abby contracted life-threatening cellulitis in one hind leg, which
put her on the intensive care list, and ended up with three weeks during
January at the Large Animal Hospital in Guelph. No cause was found. Gratefully,
she returned to full soundness. Fingers crossed we get no recurrence.
The big project during the winter was the renovation
of the old “Mink Ranch” property, where Bev Payne lived since the early 1970s.
There was a lot of freshening up that needed to be done. Sadly, Bev passed away
this past year, as did our other neighbour Muriel Boothby. There have been some
other shakeups in the neighbourhood too – in January Foxwood Resort, one of the oldest on the lake, sold to a private
corporation to become a private retreat.
Beauview Cottage Resort has also just sold – to provide access to the
development of Langmaid’s Island. We are
one of the few family-oriented, family-run cottage resorts left! We’re proud that we still provide an
authentic cottage experience that creates memories lasting over generations.
February began with a bang. That was the sound of Nancy’s indoor riding
arena collapsing. It was a terrifying
experience. There was just enough notice that it was failing that no horses or
riders were in the building when it went down.
This was something we definitely did not need, and the clean up of the
site occupied far too much of the guys’ time and energy. The rebuilding of a new arena was slated to
start on Labour Day, finished by Thanksgiving. As I write this, we are about 5
weeks away from getting it completed, as they didn’t begin until into December,
just a ‘little’ late. Probably not a
conversation you want to have with Nancy.
In other building news, we are still working through
the slow process of getting a permit to renovate Cedars cottage – three years
in, maybe this year will be the charm.
The Lodge stays very busy with groups and reunions all
through the winter, but the cottages could use a little more occupancy, so
don’t give up on a winter weekend folks.
Family Day is the only weekend when we are fully booked. Mind, if you can stay an extra night on any
two day booking, we’ll give you that for just an extra $25.00. You should come. Winter is a wonderful season here. Mind you,
so are Spring and Autumn, and Summer simply rules.
David and Mike went skiing in Collingwood to celebrate
Dave’s 28th birthday at the end of February – not quite a reprise of
their trip to Whistler last year, but still a great time shredding the
Other than skiing, they have built some fish-huts that
they are offering for rental – including a fancy new one that will be available
this winter. A huge windstorm that blew
through in March tipped one over, leaving, in David’s words, “the fish
victorious.” Other than soot everywhere, it wasn’t damaged. Huts however, were removed from the ice
forthwith. Replacing fishing lures with golf carts and golf clubs, the lads
stepped up to the annual Golf the Bay extravaganza. Brian claims he won. David disputes
We were also lucky with a windstorm in August that
felled a huge limb from the cherry tree at Wheelhouse – missing the
cottage. Pruning, and tying the
remaining branches together will hopefully allow us to keep this tree, a source
of beauty, and food for so much of our wildlife. This tree is well over 100
years old, and like an aging relative, we don’t want to give up on it!Along with Carol’s constant
improvements to beds, furnishings and curtains (they need to be modified to fit
in most cases – good thing she’s wonderful with a sewing machine), Megan
researched an on-line reservation program that should help us streamline
invoices and confirmations once we get the bugs out of it. Longside and Blackberry got new siding,
Blackberry and the Lodge got new windows, Red Pine got renovated.
Come May, Mike started a new job with South Mary Lake
Contractors, and moved into the Mink Ranch apartment. Conveniently located close to David and
Megan’s house, he is a frequent ‘drop-in’, often right about suppertime. He has
also signed up as a volunteer firefighter in Lake of Bays. The training is the
same as that required for full-time firefighters, so time consuming, but very
Our gardens struggled this year. A stalled weather
pattern produced non-stop rain for much of May and large sections of June. Carol got the planting done in between rain
drops, but the weather wasn’t great– everything was late this year. The West
Coast was burning, while we wondered just how much gopher wood might be
required to build an ark. Some of the
crops didn’t fare well at all, a testament to the cool summer.
On June 4th, Dave and Megan announced their
pregnancy. Much partying, some tears,
lots of hugging. They are keeping the
baby’s gender secret from the rest of us – we’ll keep you posted.
Also on ‘baby watch’, one of the hens went broody in
early June – which, as we have no rooster, did not bode well. Nancy was able to source some eggs from a
friend. Hen Solo successfully hatched six lovely little Americaunas. Only one began to crow as they grew. Rooster
went to live with friends so he wouldn’t wake up guests.
On just about the only full sun day in
June, one of Nancy’s students, Christine, held her wedding here, in the back
field. In flowing white gown, she rode in on Abby, while the groomsmen came on
dirt bikes. There was a small wardrobe malfunction when the zipper broke on her
dress. Chris was in danger of ‘busting
out all over’ the sweetheart neckline until Mike had a brilliant idea, and
laced the zipper into the dress with the twist tie from a garbage bag. She was
able to gallop in to the wedding, something she has dreamt of all her life.
Carol took care of the set-up at the resort, and the bouquets, Brian had the
venue carefully mown, David and Mike co-ordinated the arrival of the
participants, while Nancy, Megan and the barn girls all helped have the horses
looking lovely. Bondi is a wonderful
venue for a small wedding party – about 30 to 40 is the most we can handle
July and August kept us all on the run. We were fully
booked. It is wonderful to welcome back familiar faces – and learn that next
summer we are going to have a whole LOT of new babies here! Third and even
fourth generation Bondi Babies! The
weather was best described as changeable – seemed like every day there was a
good window of getting to the lake, but rain kept blowing through as well and
it wasn’t as hot as it could have been – the lake was about 2 degrees cooler than
usual. In August Lake of Bays was hit by
a tornado in the Limberlost area – Nancy, who was acting Mayor, had to step up
to the ‘disaster emergency protocols’. This translates to making press
statements while emergency crews did the heavy lifting, so don’t be too
impressed The winds associated with these
flattened sections of our corn field.
Nothing daunted, but a bit ticked off, Brian and David set stakes, and
tied the corn back up to save the crop.
David also got co-opted by the OPP to help with traffic control at
Sommerzeit Road, where the wind had snapped a hydro line and it was live,
jumping about on the road. Amazingly a lot of cars ignored the OPP orders not
to pass. In the fall, Nancy’s Heritage
committee, along with the Ojibwes of Rama, and Heritage
Ontario unveiled plaques
in Dorset celebrating the First Nations on Lake of Bays. It’s only taken five
years… Take a visit to admire them.
Right about Labour Day, the summer weather arrived
with a vengeance, providing us with a long hot sunny September and October –
the lake was 80 degrees F in early October, warmer than it was all summer. September also brought a new grand-daughter,
Iris Emily May, to our irreplaceable team member and friend Sue Baker.
October, Nancy lost her lovely Indigo cat who failed to come home. Pemberley and Thistle continue to thrive,
although Pem is a certified big game hunter (tackling geese) and a cat burglar
(stealing everything including silverware). Taffy, 7, remains Nancy’s permanent
shadow. The horses are well – this
summer, Squeegee got back-up in the form of a white pony (unicorn?) called
Snowbird who helped with the pony rides.
We were lucky to have Sarah again for a week and a
half at the end of August before she headed back to Buffalo and her nursing
program. Not long enough.
In November Brian and Carol headed to Florida for some
very needed down time. There was little evidence of hurricane damage around
Sarasota. We love to welcome back our
guests, - you feel like part of our family - but by the end of the season the
tourism business can leave one craving for a bit of R&R of our own..
We love welcoming back the growing
families and future generations, that are part of our wonderful and sprawling
Bondi Family. This Christmas as we await the miracle of birth here in our own family, we look ahead
to the future with hope. May
the coming year bring light, peace, faith, health and strength to all of
us. This coming year, let your gift be Joy.
The daylight dwindled, the hens came running home to roost, the sunset caught fire ... and now the wind is howling, driving snow ahead of it and causing trees on the hill to abandon hope and crash in the dark Morning could be interesting. Doubt the hydro will survive. Batten the hatches me hearties... this just might be winter. Dec. 5.
We are accepting bookings over the Christmas / New Years holiday, but because we are also anticipating the imminent arrival of the newest member of the Tapley family, we are not taking bookings of less than 4 nights. (sometimes family comes way out ahead of cleaning cottages :) and we are all on Baby Watch!)
You can snuggle in by the fire, enjoy the ski trails, check out the skating trail, snowshoe through our wintery woods, or just kick back and relax. You can also join the 'pool' of what day the baby is going to arrive. ❣️
The 'big guns' are out in Algonquin Park. Check out these photos -- taken on Nov. 26 and Nov. 28. Robin Tapley's up close and in your face portrait leaves me breathless. What a beauty! And Wayne King, who found this big fellow right along the Hwy 60 corridor -- Algonquin is awesome in every season.
It was my great honour to again speak at the Dwight Remembrance Day service this year. Here is a copy of my text.
It’s been a
century since men went to battle in the nightmare that was Ypres. The ferocity of the fighting, the victory won
at such great loss has seared it into history.
In 2015, on the centennial, over 800,000 visitors came to the war
memorial site, to remember and think upon the horror of a place where combatants
first saw the use of poison gas, the stagnation of trench warfare, where constant shelling churned clay soil and
drainage systems in the fields into mud so deep that men and horses drowned in
it. From August to December, the
British forces alone lost 95,000 men.
Canadians were moved into the line for the third battle, their first major
appearance on a European battlefield.
Through terrible fighting, withered with shrapnel and machine-gun
fire, hampered by rifles which jammed, violently sick from the gas and gasping
for air through soaked and muddy handkerchiefs, they held on until
reinforcements arrived. In these 48 hours, 6,035 Canadians, one man in every
three, became casualties of whom more than 2,000 died. They were heavy losses
for Canada's little force whose men had been civilians only several months
And that’s the thing – they had all been, short days before,
just people. Not soldiers, not heroes, just people.
War tries hard to make us forget that. War IS intolerance. It creates “the other”. It’s a form of sickness that makes us believe
that the ‘other side’ needs to be destroyed.
In WWII the world stood up against the unspeakable horror that was the
Holocaust. Elie Wiesel recounted in his memoir Night of being marched past open
burning pits full of bodies, seeing soldiers throw in babies still alive.
Because they were Jewish. They were different. They were other…
If war is fought to secure freedom, then it is fought to secure
tolerance. Our freedom relies on the ability, the willingness to tolerate the
existence of opinions or behaviour that one does not necessarily agree with.
I have a story, from right here in Dwight. Beverly Payne, many of you will remember,
lived here most of her life. She collected postcards, 20,000 of them. They came
from the most unusual places. One of them – the one her son finds the most
interesting – is from the Sino Japanese war.
Now there was a war that demonized the ‘other’, with all sides depicting
their enemies as somehow less than human.
Bev had an uncle, and he flew with the legendary volunteer force
known as the Flying Tigers, about 100 American pilots who fought for China in
this conflict. You’d know the planes,
from the fierce fanged faces painted on
the cowling. During one incident, the
American killed a Japanese soldier – and in his pocket found a postcard. Turned out it was from the soldier’s wife.
Bev’s uncle mailed it home to HIS wife, commenting, “it makes
you think. They are people, just like us.”
People. Just like us.
Anne Frank was a girl with a diary.
John McCrae was a young man who
loved poetry. Tommy Prince was an Anishinaabeg hunter.
Sometimes we think that we have won the freedom, that we have
made great strides forward. But
tolerance, well, that is a fragile thing.
Rosa Parks couldn’t sit at the front of the bus until 1955 – ten years after
WWII Until 1967 in England, men were jailed for being gay. In 1990 Ireland
finally shut down the Catholic run homes for Illigimate babies who were taken
from the mothers and many of whom died terribly young. It was 1991 when
Switzerland finally gave all women the vote.
Canada didn’t shut down the shame of the residential schools until 1996. There are still private clubs in America that
won’t admit Jewish members. We are
perhaps neither as tolerant, nor as free, as we like to think.
As we pause to remember and thank those who have fought to
secure our freedoms, perhaps we should pause to consider that as well.
Promoting tolerance and protecting freedom is the best way we can honour them.
This year, in Suffolk, townspeople, people just like us,
decorated the ancient church with 5500 hand knitted poppies.
At Ypres, this year, 430,000 people just like us came to pay
homage. Harry Patch was seventeen when he survived the gas, the trenches, the
shrapnel and the mud at Ypres. He died in 2009, at the age of 111. Every year
on the anniversary, Harry would lock himself in a private vigil for his fallen
friends. Young men, just like him, who paid the supreme price for the darkness
and intolerance that swept the world into war.
Don't overlook our specials for COUPLES! As well as families and groups, we offer great deals for couples looking to just get away.
You can check our availability on-line. We work hard to keep this current, but it may lag actual bookings. And it may not be 100% accurate...
We do have vacancies throughout July and August, but not that many... so you should scoop up yours! In fact, there are only about nine vacancies left for this summer!! We've got your cottage waiting, but you should call now!
We much prefer to keep the personal touch, and to discuss your booking the 'old-fashioned' way, directly, person to person! This helps us ensure that we've got your booking just the way you want it.
1 888 300 2132 or 705 635 2261 or email us. We've got your cottage ready!
Changing the Season
August is on the doorstep. We currently have no vacancies until September, and our guests are enjoying the lake, the calling loons, the quiet times and all the activities that go with a summer here at Bondi Village. Get out of the city, restore your soul...
This means that we are now accepting reservations for two night stays and weekend packages during September and October -- the fall colours are astonishing, and on our own 600 acre property, there are so many walking trails and lookout views that there's no need to battle traffic into the Park just to see the beauty! Algonquin is always amazing, but during high colour season, best seen mid-week. There are so many other wonderful places around where you can enjoy the autumn without the congestion of the road, and we are happy to direct you to them.
We have great deals during the fall season, for couples, up to small groups of 18 people.
And don't forget Winter -- we've got vacancies for Christmas! We'll provide the tree, and you bring the family.
We've got a fantastic place to gather, enjoy the scenery, relax by a fire, and spend time with family and friends. Whether a quiet couples' getaway, or a family reunion or a club outing , we've got your cottage waiting.
We'd love to hear from you. The experiences our guests have are precious to us. If you have photos you took at Bondi, we'd love to have those as well. You can email them to Nancy at email@example.com
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We are very proud of Napster, our tail-painting cat, who uses his lovely artwork to raise money for charities. This lovely little creature passed away July 2015, but left a huge legacy, having raised over $12,000 for various charities through the sale of his artwork. That artwork, through prints and notecards, is still available. Click here to visit Napster's Blog and visit the gallery of his tail-paintings.
Now sold around the world, he was honoured to have his artwork sold around the globe -- he even has a print with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Click on the following links to enjoy a 'virtual ski' round some of our 15 km. of groomed track set cross country ski trails. Thanks to Altitude and Attitude, North Muskoka gets the kind of winter you can really enjoy. Huge thanks to Eric Prince, the creative mind that made this videos happen!
Click here to enjoy seeing a variety of our trails.
And Click Here for another cross country ski adventure.
and this one, in 2014, just days before the snow vanished, from Hawke Lake on down. Click Here
And Click Here for just one more...