December 2012 - Biz Magazine

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December 2012 - Biz Magazine
northcountrybusinessnews.com
TODAY IS A
GOOD DAY
TO WEATHER TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES
Now more than ever, sound financial
advice is critical. I can help.
Alan Paton* CFP®, B.Eng.
705-789-5246
[email protected]
38 Glenwood Drive
Huntsville, ON P1H 1B6
December 2012
Muskoka’s Business Newspaper Since 1997
Diesel fuels downtown
*Mutual funds offered by
Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc.
© Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2012.
Best in bridal
A hobby evolved into a
successful business for
one entrepreneur
See p. 11
Skyline grows
A new development of
Golf Cottages is underway at Deerhurst
See p. 12
COFFEE CULTURE: Sue Lalonde and Todd Willford, partners in Diesel House Café,
are looking forward to serving the people of downtown Bracebridge. See page 9.
Buyer’s market reigns in Muskoka
Dependable
service of office
equipment by
certified technicians
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Canada Post Agreement #40025080
By Chris Occhiuzzi
More supply than demand has
created a buyer’s market in real
estate across North America and
it’s been hitting home for Muskoka
realtors as well.
The banks have also tightened
their purse strings and rules have
become more stringent when handing out mortgages and loans to
prospective homeowners, which
has affected the number of buyers
on the real estate market.
Cameron White, along with his
wife Karen, are Re/Max realtors in
the Muskoka Lakes area. White
says he’s noticed a slow recovery
over the past few years since the
bottom gave out on the real estate
market in 2008, but it’s still a very
challenging prospect to sell properties these days.
“Prices are sliding slightly backwards,” he says. “The operative
word here is slightly. It’s not a
large drop, it’s just a little soft. This
year the supply was up, we had
more listings this year than normal.
With the numbers being basically
only up slightly, but the listings up
that much more. Simple economics
say you increase the supply, the
demand stays the same, prices will
adjust. And that’s what we went
through this year.”
EXPECT - p. 13
Box store
purchases
BIA gifts
By Matt Driscoll
One merchant has decided to do
a good turn for other area businesses, just in time for Christmas.
During the Bracebridge Home
Depot’s recent Christmas party,
they decided to hand out $2,680
worth of gift certificates to their
staff for the downtown Bracebridge Business Improvement
Area (BIA).
“I think it’s fantastic for them to
support the businesses within the
BIA,” says Tracey Larkman, the
BIA’s administrative co-ordinator.
“Keeping things local is always a
great idea.”
Staff at Home Depot were given
$20 each in $10 denominations.
“That way they can go anywhere with those, to do some
shopping or go for lunch, anywhere in the BIA,” says Larkman.
“I’m running around handing out
the cash now, so they are starting
to come in. It’s definitely starting
to feel like Christmas.”
Larkman gives the Home Depot
credit for being a good partner
within the overall area businesses
community.
“In the past they’ve selected
stores, but this year they decided to
make it easier on their staff, they
would do the entire BIA as an
area,” she says. “I know they’ve
always tried to work with the businesses in the area. This just really
brought it home that, yes, they do
want to work with us.”
According to Tanya Lowrie,
HOME DEPOT - p. 12
Keep it in Muskoka this Christmas – see p. 6
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2
December 2012
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
Events tourism powers off-season economy
By Chris Occhiuzzi
While larger events such
as the Ontario Winter
Games bring in thousands
of visitors to Muskoka,
smaller functions can be
just as important in introducing new people to the
area and bringing them
back for more.
Whether it’s an arts and
crafts show or a soccer
tournament, smaller events
provide an economic boost
by enticing visitors to stay,
eat and shop in the community.
Michael Lawley, executive director of Muskoka
Tourism, says these smaller
events are often run by volunteer groups. They give
the people attending a taste
of Muskoka’s wonders and
can lead to future visits by
the individuals and their
families.
“Anything that brings
visitors into the community
is a great opportunity for
us, whether it’s a rowing
event, or a hockey tournament or a soccer event,”
says Lawley. “Anytime you
can bring moms and dads,
kids and officials, into
Muskoka to have very successful experiences, it’s all
good because it’s very possible those participants may
choose to return to Muskoka sometime in the future
for their own personal travel experiences.”
He says many of the
events hosted locally use
Muskoka goods and servic-
ART ATTRACTION: Ise Soja displayed her work at the Muskoka Arts
and Crafts. Events like this attract visitors to Muskoka.
es. Lawley says it’s the
same rationale used for
larger events, but the smaller events can be held more
frequently and often on an
annual basis.
“When we host, say the
Winter Games in 2014, it’s
going to be several years
before Muskoka can be considered again to host that
kind of event,” he says. “The
rotation pattern for larger
events make them very difficult to secure.” He adds
smaller events can be more
flexible in terms of dates and
venue requirements. “They
offer just as an important
appeal as some of the bigger
events.”
Lawley refers to a spring
and fall art tour, which has
been held for over 30 years,
as an example of how a
smaller event can be held
more often and still have
the desired affect in terms
of promoting Muskoka. As
well, he notes Muskoka
Arts and Crafts hosts an
annual consumer show each
year in Bracebridge which
is quite successful.
“On the arts and culture
side of things, there are a
large number of events that
have significant regional
and provincial appeal,”
says Lawley.
The Huntsville Soccer
Club hosts a youth tourna-
ment each year, which in
2012 consisted of 17 teams,
300 players and at least one
family member per player,
according to club president
Doug Litchfield. He gave a
rough estimate of about 600
people being in Huntsville
because of the tournament,
when factoring in coaches
as well.
“Of that total, about 250
would be local,” says Litchfield. “Most of the visiting
families stay in Huntsville,
although the lack of available accommodation this
year meant some stayed in
Bracebridge. All of the visiting families and some of
the local families ate at
local restaurants, many
went downtown for the
antique car show and some
went to Hutcheson Beach
and Arrowhead Park.”
He says aside from the
obvious benefits of having
people spend money in
Huntsville and Muskoka as
a whole, these events
expose visitors to the beauty and great people in the
community.
“The area sells itself, so
once they’ve been here they
often look for a reason to
return,” says Litchfield.
“Another benefit is the convenience for local athletes
and their families. Our
geography dictates that we
travel a lot with our sports
teams, so the opportunity to
play at home is appreciated.
Local tournaments help to
promote our sports teams
within our community.”
Muskoka Arts and Crafts
(MAC) hosts a number of
well-attended
shows
throughout the year, including a recent Christmas
show that was held at the
end of November. They
also host a large summer
show and operate the
Chapel Gallery in Bracebridge all year round.
“I know people who
come a great distance for
the summer show. There are
people who make their
vacation plans around the
show,” says MAC executive director Elene Freer.
“One year we even had a
woman plan her wedding
around the show.”
Some of the artists use
the show as a working
vacation, she says. “They’ll
book cabins or accommodations and stay for a week
with their family.”
The Chapel Gallery hosts
a regular rotation of artists’
exhibitions throughout the
year.
“It brings in local people
but it brings in people from
outside the area because the
artists also market the
show,” says Freer. “For an
opening, if an artist has a
customer in Toronto, they
will drive up for the show
and to support that artist at
the opening.”
The arts organization
markets their shows as best
they can with a limited
budget.
“We take advantage of
every single free avenue
that’s available,” says
Freer. “We send out public
service announcements, get
on calendars of events, we
send out media alerts.”
Guest to MAC events
often stay at Muskoka
hotels and eat at area
restaurants, says Freer. The
arts organization also
makes a concerted effort to
shop local whenever possible.
“For our summer show,
the outhouse provider, the
dumpster provider are all
local people,” she says.
“We put as much as we can
back into the community
through our purchases.”
Post and beam barn reborn as gallery
By Corey Wilkinson
Muskoka’s newest art
gallery has a distinctly
equine feel.
The Two Horse Gallery
opened on Dec. 8 in the community of Utterson and is
owned and operated by Anne
MacDonald. The gallery is
located in a former horse barn
on their property, located on
Highway 141.
The gallery is named for
two of her horses that formerly lived in the barn: Fanci and
Taquila. MacDonald owned
both of them for nearly 20
years before they both passed
away in 2011.
“I wanted to do something
with the building to honour
their memory,” says Anne
MacDonald, the owner of
the gallery.
The barn was completely
renovated to transform it into
a functional gallery but still
retains its post-and-beam construction, industrial wiring
and light switch.
“We tried to keep as many
features of the barn as we
could,” says MacDonald.
MacDonald, along with
her husband, artist John
MacDonald, first began
thinking of opening a gallery
two years ago.
“We were looking at ways
to use our property, so we
could live where we work,”
says MacDonald.
The Two Horse Gallery
features four home artists who
work in different mediums.
Inside the converted barn
there are works by Antje
Gagne, an acclaimed pottery
artist. Stephen Clark, who
crafts exquisite jewelry, often
using natural stones, is also
featured, as are photographs
by John MacDonald and
watercolours by Julie Bowen.
“A lot of our stuff is one-ofa-kind,” says MacDonald.
The Two Horse Gallery is
the exclusive carrier of Julie
Bowen’s wildlife watercolour
paintings. Bowen is a biologist and uses her understanding of animal anatomy to create lifelike representations of
wildlife. Most of the pieces on
display feature animals from
Africa, with both the original
painting and prints available.
In the summer, the hope is
to open up spots in the gallery
for other Muskoka artists and
to offer a variety of seminars.
The gallery is regularly
open Thursday and Saturday
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by
appointment. It is located at
1057 Highway 141, between
the communities of Raymond
and Utterson.
ART SPACE: Anne MacDonald’s barn is a renovated gallery space.
December 2012
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
3
Cottage industry cracks Christmas market
SNAP AND POP: Karen Hinze and Roxy Green help put Gillian’s
Crackers together. The Bracebridge business sends the traditional
crackers all over North America and has watched the market grow.
Gillian’s Crackers
are Christmas
tradition
By Kim Hawn
Disillusionment inspired
Gillian’s Crackers. Looking
at the cheap, imported, pullapart party crackers one
finds in stores, Gillian
McCrostie decided, some 11
years ago, to produce quality handmade crackers, as
was done long ago.
In her home near the
Muskoka River in Bracebridge, she is fulfilling her
mission “to build a small
holiday cottage industry in
Muskoka, providing part
time employment for workat-home moms and other
part-time employees.”
Her crackers contain quality chocolates, ornaments,
puzzles, jokes, the classic hat
and snapper and other items
pertinent to various occasions. A survey recently sent
to previous customers led to
the inclusion of a sizeable
bell in some of the larger
crackers. Whereas cheap
imported crackers feature
plain wax paper party hats,
Gillian’s crackers vastly outdo these with meticulously
patterned hats with appropriate imagery for the occasion.
The wide selection of
Christmas crackers is produced by the labours of one
full time and three part-time
workers.
“Most of the rest of the
year there are usually two of
us concentrating on birthdays, weddings and filling
corporate branding and special event orders for marketing agencies, banks, resorts
and entertainment industries” says McCrostie.
Corporate orders can
include a company’s logo,
and number from 100 up to
thousands of crackers.
Indeed, the internet-based
Gillian’s Crackers has
grown from an annual production of 110 crackers
eight years ago to many
thousand now. Ninety-five
per cent of orders of all
types go to the United
States.
Watt’s Printing of Gravenhurst provides the quality
die cut, scored, and printed
wrapping paper, and Muskoka Pewter of Bracebridge
supplies the many types of
intricate pewter ornaments
used in some upscale crackers.
McCrostie would like to
see expansion to new facilities and more part-time jobs
created. She hopes to reach
more of the wedding and
corporate market.
“I really think Muskoka is
the area for it, because there
are so many creative people
here” she says.
CUSTOM CUSTOMERS: Gillian McCrostie decided 11 years ago to
create Christmas crackers, and now makes special corporate versions.
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OPINION PAGE
December 2012
EDITOR’S NOTEPAD
Grassroots
tourism
Beautiful scenery and the cottage lifestyle are typical
reasons that jump to mind when considering what
draws tourists to Muskoka.
However, there is another big sector of attractions
that flies largely under the radar.
All year round, Muskoka hosts a myriad of craft
shows, sports tournaments and other small scale
events that draw shoppers from home and further
afield.
This grassroots level of tourism operates on a virtually non-existent budget but still manages to help power
the economy.
The people who attend these events are buying gifts
for Christmas, they’re purchasing meals at Muskoka
restaurants and in some cases, they’re spending the
night at area hotels.
These events can occur at any time of year and can
serve as a much needed financial boost in the shoulder
and off-season.
Smaller in size, these events don’t have the promotional backing of their larger counterparts. However,
their significance to the economy demands they get
more attention.
Through co-operative advertising, the promotion of
tourism organizations and even through one-on-one
invitations, these events can bring more tourism dollars to Muskoka. Each of us should encourage friends
and family to attend.
Better still, many Muskokans sit on the boards or are
members of regional, provincial, national and even
international organizations. Why not throw out the
welcome mat?
Encouraging these groups to host events like board
meetings and workshops in Muskoka will bring more
tourism dollars to our communities. In short, every bit
helps.
If we promote it, they will come.
We welcome letters to the editor. Send your letter to:
[email protected]
Box 180, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1T6
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
Travel Gay educates Muskokans
The Gravenhurst Chamber of
Commerce recently completed
LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender) Travel Market and
Diversity Training sessions.
Facilitated through Travel Gay
Canada, the Chamber invited businesses and tourism stakeholders to
attend the sessions. Working with
local partners and Travel Gay
Canada, the Chamber strives to
increase the number of the number
of LGBT visitors and facilitate a
sustainable network of tourism
products and services that meet the
demands and needs of the LGBT
travel market.
On Nov. 22 over 40 stakeholders
attended the LGBT Travel Market
Seminar. The Travel Market Seminar examined the economic impact
and opportunity of attracting
LGBT travellers to the community.
Travel Gay Canada shared statistics including:
• Canadian LGBT travel market
is lucrative, with over $7 billion
spent annually
• LGBT travellers on average
spend twice as much per trip compared to the general population
Gravenhurst
Chamber of
Commerce
• Travel frequently with an average 4.6 trips planned annually
• 58 per cent of trips are taken
within Canada
• LGBT travellers are well traveled and well educated travellers
• Canada is a top destination for
American LGBT travellers
To welcome and appeal to
LGBT travellers, a community
must be sincere. Market readiness
is key and staff training is integral
to establishing genuineness.
LGBT travellers want to be
treated like everyone else, the difference being with the majority of
national travellers, safety and
acceptance is rarely a concern. For
an LGBT traveller to enjoy a Cottage Country retreat, they must feel
relaxed and comfortable that their
vacation is free of judgement and
prejudice.
Gravenhurst has attractions and
Designed to punish wrongdoer
One type of damages you may
read about in the newspaper, especially about cases in the United
States, is punitive damages.
As the name suggests, punitive
damages are designed to punish a
wrongdoer. To meet the test in Canada, the conduct of the wrongdoer
must not be ordinary conduct.
The conduct must be so highhanded, malicious, vindictive, and
oppressive as to offend the court and
warrant the court’s censure as being
unacceptable to community standards.
One Ontario case of interest dealt
with fraudulent transfers of property
and mortgages by one of the defendants to his wife, friends, certain
companies, and a family trust. The
court found that the family trust was
a complete sham because that defendant was really the owner indirectly
of all of the assets of the trust.
What really got the court upset,
Lange
on Law
By Donald Lange
however, was how the defendants
conducted their defence in the litigation. Here are some of the judge’s
comments: “In light of the conduct
of the defendants throughout the
proceedings to obfuscate, delay, be
less than forthright in their evidence,
their conduct warrants punitive
damages . . . This was accomplished
through lies, deceit, false affidavits,
and fraudulent conduct involving
municipal authorities. All of this
behaviour, directly or indirectly, had
a profound affect on the plaintiffs
and the litigation.” The plaintiffs had
already been awarded $2 million in
general damages. The court added
North Country Business is published by Cottage
Country Communications, a division of:
Donald Smith
Sandy Lockhart
Marc Bonitatibus
Publisher – Print & Digital
Editor – Print & Digital
Production Manager
Matt Driscoll
Addie Collins
Matthew Walker
Donna Ansley
Shannon Donnelly
Lisa Edlington
Martha Gillan
Laurie Johle
Connie Zator
Assistant Editor
Advertising Sales
Photographer
Design Department
Chris Occhiuzzi
Journalist
Corey Wilkinson
Angy Gliddon
Ken Northey
Susan Smith
Reader Sales
and Service
outdoor recreation opportunities
already developed, the training sessions were the first step to ensuring
market readiness. Working with
local businesses, the Chamber will
continue to develop the community
ensuring an open, safe and accepting destination.
The follow up Diversity Training Workshop took place on Dec.
5.
The workshop was an intensive
session educating participants how
to deliver open, safe and comfortable experiences for LGBT travellers. Travel Gay Canada outlined
the following best practices for
accommodating LGBT travellers.
• Avoid making assumptions
• Treat others as they would like
to be treated
• If you don’t know how people
want to be treated, ask them
• Respect privacy of LGBT disclosure
• Use inclusive language
The Gravenhurst Chamber supports diversity and believes that
attracting and accommodating
LGBT travellers preserves and
See TRAVEL GAY – p. 5
Copyright© 2012, Sun Media Corp.
All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material
published in North Country Business is strictly
prohibited without the written permission of the
publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility
for unsolicited material.
another $200,000 in punitive damages.
In England, punitive damages are
more narrowly applied than in Canada. They are limited to situations
such as oppressive or arbitrary conduct of government officials or
where the defendant’s conduct
results in profit that cannot be fully
restored to the plaintiff by general
damages.
The United States, of course, is
notorious for awarding large punitive damages compared to Canada.
One reason is that they have more
jury trials. U.S. juries hear evidence
relating to the harm not only suffered by the plaintiff but also to the
harm suffered by third parties from
the systemic wrongdoing of the
defendant. Recent U.S. examples
are the cases of corporate financial
wrongdoing where juries are willing
to “make an example” by awarding
large punitive damages.
Address changes should be sent to the address
below.
How to contact us:
Mail:
P.O. Box 180, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1T6
Street Address:
12 – 440 Ecclestone Drive, Bracebridge
Phone: (705) 646-1314
Fax: (705) 645-6424
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.northcountrybusinessnews.com
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December 2012
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WELCOME HOME: Bracebridge mayor Graydon Smith and lawyer Cara Valiquette cut the ribbon at the new legal firm of Oldham and Valiquette on Wharf Road in Bracebridge
New law office tackles many fields
New lawyer joins
established names
in Bracebridge
By Matt Driscoll
Cara Valiquette did her
homework before deciding
to establish her legal office
in Bracebridge.
“I chose to move to
Bracebridge after visiting
and comparing various
towns and meeting informally with a number of
lawyers,” she says. “I wanted to be in a place that had a
lively downtown and a
strong independent small
business
community
because that’s what gives a
town character.”
The Oldham & Valiquette
Law
Group
officially
opened the doors at their
Wharf
Road
location
recently. The firm specializes in all legal fields except
criminal law.
Oldham & Valiquette is a
separate company, but has a
sister firm in Parry Sound
(Oldham Law Firm) and
satellite offices in Magnetawan and Burk’s Falls.
“We purchased Ron
Burk’s building in May,
located next to the (Bracebridge) falls, and Ron still
works with us part-time as
he prepares for retirement,”
says Valiquette. “At the
Bracebridge firm, where I
spend most of my time,
there is a strong focus on
real estate, family law,
wills, estates and corporate
work. With the new sections
of highway that have gone
through, I’ve been doing
some expropriation work,
helping people get a fair
price for their expropriated
land.”
Before moving on to her
second career, Valiquette
owned an IT sales and con-
sulting company in downtown Toronto for seven
years.
The company
focused mainly on small
business clients, especially
in the film, television and
creative industries.
“I decided to move up to
Muskoka after working at
various legal positions in
the Toronto area because
there is a need for lawyers
in smaller towns,” she says.
“Rural lawyers tend to be
nearing retirement age and
there are a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurial
lawyers like me who are
looking for more control
over their life and their
practice.”
Valiquette says her background in technology and
business has also helped to
make the new firm more
efficient, paperless and
mobile.
“The first thing I did was
switch the office over to
Macs. We use web-based
programs, secure Cloudbased document storage and
online calendar functions as
much as possible,” she says.
“Other lawyers still send me
paper documents, which I
then have to scan back into
electronic format, but it’s
worth it for the sake of not
having to store huge files of
paper, which are prone to
loss or damage. I pretty
much work from a MacBook and a Cloud. If my
office burned down, I’d be
back to work the next day.”
Valiquette says she is
enjoying Muskoka thus far,
particularly the proximity to
lake and rivers, and the
myriad of hiking trails
throughout the area.
“When I hear my colleagues in the city complaining about their stressful 80 hour work weeks, I
just laugh and say, ‘I have a
dog at my office.’”
Travel Gay brings message to Muskoka
Continued from – p. 4
expands a culturally rich
community. By sincerely
and openly accepting persons who identify as LGBT,
we are raising the bar as a
tourism
destination,
increasing our cultural
assets and proving diversity
enriches a community’s val-
ue and strength.
The LGBT market readiness program was made
possible through Explorer’s
Edge and with support from
the Residence Inn by Marriott, Gravenhurst, Muskoka
Wharf.
The LGBT sessions
engaged close to 90 local
businesses and partners.
Short term tactics include
providing rainbow flag
decals for LGBT welcoming businesses, creating a
committee dedicated to
establishing LGBT niche
marketing strategies and
working
closely
with
Muskoka Pride to support
initiatives advocating diversity.
For more information on
LGBT market readiness or
upcoming initiatives, please
contact Gravenhurst Chamber manager Danielle Millar
m a n a g e r @
gravenhurstchamber.com or
call 705 687 4432.
440 Ecclestone Drive
Unit 19
Bracebridge
866-461-7599
P 705-646-1600
F 705-646-1630
CHAEL LITTL
I
M
.
J.DCHARTERED ACCOUNTANT, CPA (ILLINOIS) E
MASTER OF TAXATION (UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO)
Income & Commodity Taxes
Small Business Accounting
Personal & Corporate Planning
97 Kimberley Avenue
Bracebridge, ON P1L 1Z8
Tel 705-646-1100
Fax 705-646-1196
RAIL BALLAST • GOLF/SPORTSFIELD MIXES • BOOM TRUCK/EQUIPMENT SERVICES
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705-765-6447 • 866-478-2779
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Chartered Accountants
Professional Corporation
With Offices in Huntsville, Burk’s Falls and Parry Sound
Carl W. Pahapill, CA
Partner
Head Office
6 Main St. W.
Huntsville, ON P1H 2E1
Huntsville: 705-788-0500
Cell: 705-774-0574
Email: [email protected]
6
ADVERTISING FEATURE
December 2012
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
Chambers work together for Muskoka
By Chris Occhiuzzi
The Muskoka Chambers
of Commerce want the
community to know it’s
time for businesses and residents alike to “Keep It In
Muskoka” and “Choose a
Chamber Member First.”
Coming together as a
united
collective,
the
Huntsville/Lake of Bays,
Port Sydney/Utterson and
Area, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Muskoka Lakes and
Georgian Bay chambers
have begun a new initiative
focusing on growing the
local economy and strengthening the ability of the
chambers to promote the
area.
This new campaign aims
to encourage individuals
and businesses to understand why it’s beneficial to
support local Chambers of
Commerce and their members.
“By choosing to spend
money at a chamber member’s business, they are supporting good business practices and business health,
not only in the particular
community, but in Muskoka
overall,” says Kelly Haywood, executive director of
the Huntsville/Lake of Bays
Chamber of Commerce.
She says part of the
Choose a Chamber Member
First-Keep It In Muskoka
campaign’s objective is to
inform residents about what
a chamber does for the community and why supporting
a chamber member creates a
strong local economy.
KEEP IT IN MUSKOKA: Muskoka’s chambers are working together asking chamber members
to support each other and shop locally.
From signature events
such as the Bala Cranberry
Festival and Ontario Winter
Games, to marketing and
promoting Muskoka across
the province, nation and the
world, chambers of commerce are busy behind the
scenes creating opportunity
and bringing visitors to the
area.
Haywood says these are
just a few examples of the
work being done at chambers of commerce throughout Muskoka. To find out
SHOP LOCAL: The chambers in Muskoka are reminding people to
buy gifts in Muskoka.
more, she says get in touch
with the local chamber and
ask what it can or already is
doing for businesses and the
community as a whole.
Nancy Ewing, general
manager of the Port Sydney/Utterson and Area
Chamber of Commerce,
says it’s important all the
Muskoka chambers joined
together in this initiative.
She says they are all partners and the project is one
they all agreed would be
great for not only the chambers and their members, but
Muskoka’s communities as
well.
“It’s important economically for all of us who live
in Muskoka,” says Ewing.
“Why would we go to
Toronto and shop when we
can shop here. The shoulder
season is a difficult time
and so we’re trying to target
permanent residents of our
communities and local businesses – definitely a joint
endeavour on the part of all
the chambers.”
John Crawley, general
manager of the Bracebridge
Chamber says this campaign is important in terms
of promoting the economic
growth in Bracebridge and
Muskoka as a whole, which
comes with shopping locally.
“Any campaign or initiative that could have impact
on the business community
in Bracebridge and the other communities within
Muskoka is a campaign to
be enjoyed and promoted by
all of the chambers, as this
one is,” says Crawley. “To
bring as much economic
benefit to Bracebridge and
the other towns as possible
through the promotion of
local shopping, local spending, local purchasing. It
helps sustain and grow the
community.”
He says being a chamber
member is similar to being a
part of any community,
team
or
organization
because there is a strength
and commitment which
comes about due to having
greater numbers of people
focused on the same goals.
With the many events
organized and run by chambers of commerce, the community as a whole benefits
and by joining a chamber,
businesses can help give
back, says Crawley.
“The community benefits
and they’re part of the community from the work that
is done by the chambers of
commerce, by the municipal economic development
department. All of those
things contribute to a
healthy community,” says
Crawley. “I would encourage all businesses to participate by joining their local
chamber of commerce.”
Jane Templeton, general
manager of the Muskoka
Lakes Chamber of Commerce, says the “Choose a
Chamber Member First”
and “Keep It In Muskoka”
campaign is important
because there is a need to
instill knowledge in full
time residents, seasonal residents and visitors about the
goods and services found in
the area.
“We don’t need to leave
Muskoka, we have everything here,” she says. “By
shopping here, we’re keeping the jobs in Muskoka.
We’re enabling our young
people to stay and work
here in Muskoka rather than
having to leave, which is
where they want to be if
there is work.”
Templeton says once one
takes into consideration the
time spent traveling away
from home and money
spent on gas, it just makes
more sense to support businesses in Muskoka, and if
one is to do so then they
should choose a chamber
member.
“All of us working
together can certainly make
a stronger Muskoka,” says
Templeton. “As well as promoting businesses and
encouraging businesses to
come here, which helps
strengthen business, chambers are also a catalyst for
great things to happen.”
Templeton points to the
Muskoka Lakes Chamber
putting on the Port Carling
Santa Claus Parade and running three farmers markets
in the area.
“The reason we do the
markets, is to promote our
local artisans but also to
encourage visitors coming
for the markets to shop at
other stores while they’re
here,” she says. “We support all of the art tours, the
garden tours and many other local events.”
Supporting one’s local
chamber and chamber
members helps to keep jobs
in Muskoka and grow the
economy. Choosing to shop
at a chamber member keeps
the money flowing through
the various Muskoka communities and is a good practice for everyone.
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
December 2012
ARE YOU A MEMBER?
Your Muskoka Chambers of Commerce
are launching a
‘Choose a Chamber Member First’ Campaign
We will be actively advertising our supportive members
Visit MuskokaChambers.com
Connect with your local Chamber of Commerce
Join Now & Get Noticed!
7
8
December 2012
ADVERTISING FEATURE
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
Business Networking
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Chris Rhody of Staples in Bracebridge has a multitude of gift ideas for
Christmas, in addition to Staples’ huge selection of products for the home
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705-787-0349
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This Employment Ontario service is funded in part by the Government of Canada
There is much more than
just office and business supplies available at the two
Staples locations in Muskoka. There’s also great gift
ideas for the holiday season.
“We have a huge selection
of the latest technology gifts
and toys,” says Chris Rhody,
the general manager for the
Bracebridge
Staples.
“We’ve seen a big surge in
computer tablets, they are
the hottest item right now.”
Staples carries a wide
variety of tablet computers
including Android tablets,
and those running the
newest Windows 8 touch
screen OS.
Staples has other great
gift ideas including MP3
players, laptops, consoles,
computer and video games,
and a wide array of electronics accessories. “Digital
cameras are always a hot
item this time of year,” says
Rhody. “We have all the
major brands, Canon, Nikon
and Sony, in point-andshoots all the way up to
DSLRs.”
The Bracebridge store
opened in 2010 while the
other Muskoka Staples in
Huntsville opened in 2007,
and there are over 300 Staples stores nationwide. Each
store offers approximately
16,000 sq. ft. of retail space
and carries over 5,000 different products.
“If you need something
for your office, we have it,”
says Rhody. “Our goal is to
be the total business solution provider for small businesses.”
Staples makes setting up a
small business or home
office as easy as pushing a
button. With everything one
needs in one store, taking a
quick trip over to the
Huntsville or Bracebridge
Staples locations will make
short work of your shopping
list.
Some of the many business
products
carried
include
printers,
fax
machines, cash registers,
computers, pens, ink, toner,
organizers and a large selection of colours and types of
paper products.
Also available is a wide
selection of furniture for
your home, office, or home
office, including desks,
chairs, and filing cabinets.
On top of the products
available, Staples has a vari-
ety of other services including the Copy Centre and the
Easy Tech Force. The Copy
Centre is your one-stopshop for all your printing
needs, including copying,
faxing, printing, business
cards, binding and more. At
the Easy Tech Force the staff
can help set up your new
computer, transfer files from
your old computer, perform
repairs and install upgrades.
“We pride ourselves on
having friendly knowledgeable staff that you can rely
on and trust,” says Rhody.
“You come in with questions
and leave with answers.”
In order to help people
find the gift they need, or for
last minute shoppers, both
Staples locations in Muskoka will be open extended
hours on the weekend before
Christmas. On Sat. Dec. 22
they are open from 9 a.m. to
9 p.m. and on Sun. Dec. 23.
they will be open from 11
a.m. to 7 p.m.
Staples will be open on
Boxing Day, offering great
deals and markdowns on
many products, from 8 a.m.
to 6 p.m., with many of the
items remaining on sale for
the whole week.
Susan Friedman
705-646-0115
126 Kimberley Avenue,
Bracebridge
www.smartaxsouth.org
Tell Muskoka
residents
who you are
and what you
offer!
Spotlight your business in
this advertising
feature - includes both
advertising and
editorial content.
Call your Sales Rep. Today
705-646-1314
December 2012
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
9
LCBO store on the move in Bracebridge
New location
to occupy much
of retail plaza
By Corey Wilkinson
The LCBO in Bracebridge will have a new
home by the end of 2013, if
all goes according to schedule.
The LCBO will be moving from its current location
next to the Beer Store to
125 Muskoka Rd 118 West,
next door to Source for
Sports and Crabby Joes.
“I can confirm that the
store will be moved,” says
Heather MacGregor, the
media relations co-ordinator for the LCBO. “It is
scheduled to open by the
end of 2013.”
The new LCBO will be
around 12,000 sq. ft. in
size, including retail and
warehouse space.
With Crabby Joes and
Source for Sports staying,
that leaves P.D. Murphy
Jewellers and the Griffioen
Medical Clinic looking for
new homes. They were
notified that they would
have to leave the plaza in
October.
“We’re supposed to be
out by the end of Decem-
ON THE MOVE: The LCBO in Bracebridge will soon occupy most of this retail plaza on Highway 118 West.
ber,” says Sherry McVittie
from P.D. Murphy Jewellers. A new location hasn’t yet been finalized but
McVittie added that they
are hoping to move into
downtown Bracebridge.
The future of the Grif-
fioen Medical Centre is
more uncertain. Dr. Timothy Griffioen has yet to
make a decision on the
future of the clinic.
The news came as a surprise to Cheryl Kelley, the
economic
development
officer for the Town of
Bracebridge. “There’s no
application, as far as I am
aware of, that council has
heard as of yet,” says Kelley. “I have no comment, I
can’t comment on a proposal we haven’t yet seen.”
Diesel House re-locates downtown
By Corey Wilkinson
Muskoka’s own Diesel
House Coffee Roasters are
moving into downtown
Bracebridge and opening
their first café.
“We’ve had the idea on
our radar for a couple years
to open a café,” says Todd
Willford, one of the business
partners. “The opportunity
arose and we jumped at it.”
The new café will be
located in the former home
of the Muskoka Bean Café,
at the intersection of Manitoba Street and Taylor Road. It
is scheduled to open in early
January. The Muskoka Bean
is set to re-open at another
location a few stores down
on Manitoba Street.
“It’s a complementary
expansion of our existing
business,” says Willford.
“We’re excited about it, and
we want to get it open in
short order.”
Diesel House is a craft
coffee roaster that concentrates on offering premium
fair trade and organic coffee.
They use a unique fluid-bed
roasting process for their
coffee, as opposed to traditional drum roasting.
“It gives the coffee a very
bright finish and taste profile,” says Willford. Only
five to 10 per cent of coffee
worldwide is roasted this
way, and according to Willford no one else in Muskoka
or the GTA roasts coffee
Donald J. Lange, LL.B., Ph.D.
Barrister-at-Law
Civil Litigation - Ontario Superior Court
20 years Toronto experience
Defending or launching lawsuits
• Property disputes • Road access • Sale/Purchase problems
• Family Cottage issues • Estate litigation • Legal opinions
Phone: 705-489-4974
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.donaldlange.com
Office Location:
69 Main St., Minden
(by appointment only)
beans in this manner.
“We’ve been growing continuously,” says Willford.
Diesel House opened two
and a half years ago, as a premium coffee roaster. Their
coffee can now be found in
local grocery and specialty
shops and in over 60 locations in the GTA.
“The café itself will serve
all of our coffee and we’ll
have a rotating selection of
our coffees,” says Willford.
“It’ll give people the opportunity to try all of our coffee
blends.”
They will also serve fresh
baked goods, and lunch
offerings. The café will also
have free Wi-Fi for customers.
“We want the café to be
very comfortable and have a
Muskoka atmosphere,” says
Willford. “We can’t wait for
people to come in and give
us a try.”
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plus exclusive articles and photos
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705-746-5828
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10
December 2012
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
Company works to restore Muskoka’s heritage
By Chris Occhiuzzi
Heritage Wood and Stone
in Bracebridge is dedicated
to fixing up old buildings by
using the owners’ well
learned skills.
With a passion for restoring old buildings, especially
those with historical significance, Jocelyn Latter and
Michael Spence decided to go into business
for themselves and
had a great first project to work on.
Already working for
a company doing new
cottage constructions,
the opportunity arose
for Latter and Spence
to help restore the
Duke Marine Services
building in Port Carling.
“To be able to work with
people who are so concerned with saving old
buildings was amazing,”
says Latter. “They were
super motivated to preserve
the building and totally got
the cultural significance of
the building.”
Spence says after thinking
about it for a while, he and
Latter knew it was time to
do what they always
planned to and open their
own business.
“I don’t think I could have
had the opportunity to fix up
that building and not done
“It was nice to start
with a big, well
known building”
it,” says Spence. “It was
nice to start with a big, well
-known building.”
Both are graduates from
Algonquin College’s Heritage Institute, and Latter
and Spence appreciate the
finer points of traditional
building techniques.
Working on old homes
means going in with a different mindset than building
new, says Latter. Having an
appreciation for the history
and techniques used in the
past is key, such as double
joint mortis and tenon to
keep frames together. Being
located in Bracebridge
allows Heritage Wood and
Stone to grow because
of the many heritage
sites and historical
buildings in the town
and the surrounding
Muskoka communities.
“We have specific
training geared towards
traditional woodworking and traditional
building techniques,”
says Latter. “Muskoka is an
amazing place to work
because people are really
willing to invest money to
do unique and challenging
things. Communities aware
of their heritage and who
appreciate old buildings find
a slew of social benefits
attached to them as well.”
Rancho Luna sees bright future
By Matt Driscoll
Laura Henderson sees a
revival coming to downtown
Gravenhurst and she wants
to be a part of it.
The owner of Rancho
Luna clothing boutique on
Muskoka Road North, Henderson marked her official
opening last month.
“I’m seeing a lot of new
business coming back into
downtown Gravenhurst,”
says Henderson. “That’s a
big part of the reason I started this business here. We
need stores like this one.”
Rancho Luna primarily
offers casual women’s
clothes and accessories,
along with a few antiques –
a hobby Henderson had
been working on out of her
home.
“There was a need for
more of this type of clothing
store
in
Gravenhurst,
women’s clothing at midrange prices,” she says.
“I’ve spent a lot of time
watching what people are
wearing in Gravenhurst and
there are many people who
are wearing more casual
clothes.”
Henderson is no stranger
to doing business in Gravenhurst as the former owner of
Vacation Time Real Estate,
which she operated out of
the same building up until
four years ago.
When Henderson sold
Vacation Time, she decided
PASSIONATE PAIR: Jocelyn Latter and Michael Spence of Heritage
Wood and Stone turned their love of fixing up old buildings into their
own business. The duo are eager to put their knowledge into action.
Restaurant gives back
FASHIONABLE CHOICE: Laura Henderson
shows off some of her wares at Rancho Luna.
to purchase the building it
had been located in and
open Rancho Luna.
The business is a tribute
to her pooch, Bambita, who
welcomes customers at the
front door. Bambita was
originally a stray that Henderson met while vacationing at the Rancho Luna
Resort in Cuba.
“She came around look-
ing for food and stayed
around all week,” says Henderson. “Three weeks later I
came back with a dog crate.”
That was 15 years ago and
Bambita has been close by
Henderson’s side ever since.
Now the business partners
are hoping that boom times
are headed for Gravenhurst
and they’ll be in the middle
of it.
LUNCH LINE-UP: Bessie and Dino Georgas of Family Place Restaurant play host to a full house of guests on Dec. 3 during the annual
Christmas luncheon, with proceeds going to the Salvation Army.
Visit our website
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
December 2012
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
11
Bridal boutique works wedding magic
By Sandy Lockhart
Creating one-of-a-kind
gowns is a passion for Edna
Stevenson.
Through her new business, Muskoka Bridal Boutique, she is creating wedding gowns, prom
dresses and even
classic vests for
men.
“I make all
kinds of formal
wear,” she says.
“For the most
important occasions of your life,
we will make you
feel and look fabulous.”
Stevenson encourages
clients to bring ideas and
photos and then she can
design and create whatever
the wish.
“It can be your design or
mine,” she says. She enjoys
designing and sewing bridal
gowns but has also been
called in to make something
special for the mother of the
bride.
Dealing with weddings
and proms, Stevenson is
good at working under
pressure.
“I can keep brides calm,”
she says, adding she enjoys
working with people.
She likes to have a few
and resources of the Self
Employment Benefit program.
Having created more than
15 wedding gowns, countless bridesmaid and flower
girl dresses and much more,
Stevenson
is
excited
about
sewing even more
through her new
business.
Stevenson
knows how to
make sure the
dress fits perfectly
and can help
choose a design
that’s right for
each customer. She also
offers an expert alteration
service.
Clients can arrange to
visit Stevenson at her boutique near Huntsville or she
can also come to the client’s
home.
By creating a beautiful
dress for the bride and the
wedding party while keeping the bride calm, Stevenson says, “I can help the
bride to enjoy her day.”
“For the most important
occasions of your life, we
will make you feel and
look fabulous”
months to create a dress,
longer if there are lots of
sequins and beads. While
more time is always better,
she has worked with some
tight timelines.
“I made a dress for one
bride in just two weeks,”
she says, adding it was a
special situation.
After more than 20 years
of sewing, Stevenson
decided to start her own
business with the support
CREATING DREAMS: From prom dresses to wedding gowns, Edna
Stevenson can create the formal wear for just about any occasion.
Active advertising
Leisure
Easier Layout
GUIDE
Putting the fun in day
camp
children
25 Local businesses support
31
and youth programs – page
better
Feel different, feel
Be a part of the summer
12
Ultimate Challenge – page
Trusted for over 150
years
e,
Combined years of experienc
certified fitness/aquafit
instructors – page 8
Town leisure guides serve as a useful
resource tool for members of the
community. They are used time and time
again during the course of the seasons
and assist in planning activities for all
members of the household.
and
Bracebridge Culture nt
Recreation Departme
2
SPRING & SUMMER 201
705-6 45-30 37
• www. brace bridg
T RECREATION
GRAVENHURS
& COMMUNITY
SYSTEM
ONLINE REGISTRATION
e.ca
TMENT
SERVICES DEPAR
2012
Spring
&
Summer
nniversary
hA
fu n ha pp en!
eg
wu
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t
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Offering a wide range of activities
and programs, from aquatics to
special interest programs.
Something for all ages – pre-school,
youth, adult and older adults.
Containing a community
contacts directory.
Include the town Leisure Guides
in your marketing.
t.ca
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705- 687- 6774
Huntsville
ITY
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Advertising Deadlines:
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Gravenhurst - Feb. 6, 2013
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705-789-1751
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12
December 2012
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
Construction underway at Deerhurst
With half the cottages
already sold, Skyline International Development held
an official groundbreaking
ceremony for the new Deerhurst Golf Cottages at Deerhurst Resort on Dec.6.
Crews have
been preparing
several of the
homesites for
construction,
and the roads
in the community are being
paved.
“For golflovers,
the
opportunity to
live right on
one of Canada’s
finest
courses is a
dream-come-true,”
said
Skyline’s CEO, Michael
Sneyd. “Construction on
their neighbourhood is well
underway, and we are happy
to be bringing their dream
to life.”
“Skyline is doing amazing work at Deerhurst
Resort,” said Huntsville
Mayor Claude Doughty.
“These Golf Cottages and
homesites offer a unique
residential opportunity that
adds to the year-round
appeal of these incredible
surroundings.”
Over 50 per cent of this
limited release of just 39
homesites and Golf Cottages is already sold.
They are an
exclusive collection
of
whole-ownership residences
situated on the
Highlands Golf
Course. Purchasers appreciate
the
opportunity to
enjoy
yearround
vacation-style living, with a
world of entertainment and recreation at
their doorstep.
“Buyers love the fact that
they have the option of
placing their home into a
professionally
managed
rental program for all or
part of the year,” Sneyd
adds. “In addition to having
access
to
Deerhurst’s
Concierge services, owners
can recoup some of their
costs through this no-muss,
no-fuss program.”
“For golf
lovers, the
opportunity
. . . is a
dream come
true”
BREAKING GROUND: Construction is now officially underway at Deerhurst in Huntsville.
Home Depot shares the cheer
Continued from FRONT
Home Depot assistant
manager, the hardware
store considers itself part
of the Bracebridge businesses community and is
concerned with driving
the area’s economy forward as a whole.
“We’re just trying to
support the local community the best way we can,”
she says.
The money, which is
collected by staff as part
of a social committee
throughout the year, is
helping to keep Bracebridge shoppers in town,
and also drawing in a few
new faces.
“I live in Barrie, but
after getting these gift
cards I’m going to be
doing my shopping in the
Bracebridge area and seeing what’s available here,”
says Lowrie.
HOLIDAY HELP:
Home Depot’s Jessica Bell shops with
Jennifer Specht of
Chancery Lane Co.
DJ has important message
Contest helps
promote positive
action at school
By Matt Driscoll
A Muskoka entrepreneur
has partnered with K.P.
Manson School in Gravenhurst to help champion an
important cause.
Allan Robertson of
Gotchatunes
Disc
Jockey
Service,
along with teachers
at the school, recently established a program to reward students who show initiative towards eliminating bullying in
school.
“It has a lot to do
with Amanda Todd,”
says Robertson, referring to
the B.C. girl who recently
committed suicide as the
result of bullying. “We
were inspired by that. As
grown-ups we don’t really
think about it too much but
I was reading the story and
though we should look into
it a little more. We did and
decided to do an event at
K.P. Manson.”
Gotchatunes has hosted
school dances at K.P. Manson for the last two years,
but this year they decided
to hand out anti-bullying
information and start a student rewards program.
“We took all of the proceeds from the dance, the
and 8 classes are selected
by their teacher for action
they have taken against bullying throughout the year.
“We’ll then take the
money and get something
cool for the kids, whether
that’s a gift card or something to do with school,”
says Robertson.
During the October
dance at K.P. Manson, the
students raised $285 to go
towards the contest.
That’s in addition to
118
non-perishable
food items donated by
students for area food
banks.
Robertson says the
contest is a trial run,
but it could be the start
of much bigger things.
“We started the contest with K.P. Manson
but we’re hoping to do it
with other schools in the
future,” says Robertson.
“Maybe if we can get them
involved now, this is something that will carry on
when they get to high
school.”
“Maybe if we can get
them involved now, this
is something that will
carry on when they get
to high school”
kids paid $5 to get in, and
all of that goes back into
the school’s pot,” says
Robertson.
With that money, the
school has started a contest,
wherein two students from
each of the Grade 5, 6, 7
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
December 2012
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
13
Expect little change in the market for 2013
Continued from – FRONT
White says the whole
process of selling a home,
from start to finish is much
more difficult in a buyer’s
market. The biggest challenge for realtors is to get
buyers to step up to the
plate, then make sure to
close the deal, says White.
He says in a seller’s market
buyers are elated to lock
into the home they want
and buyer’s remorse is low.
However, in the current
buyer’s market, the mentality is the opposite.
“Remorse is at a high,”
says White. “The minute
they do step up to the plate,
they start thinking that
maybe they should be waiting for something else to
come along and they
almost start playing this
mental game where they
should look for a way to get
out of the deal.”
White says in an “up
market,” about 90 per cent
of real estate deals
occurred when an offer was
written and would then
close. However, now he
says it’s closer to 50 per
cent will close in the same
situation.
“Lots of deals don’t even
get accepted and if they do
then we still have to get
through the conditional
period and they’re antsy,”
he says. “It’s a combination
of things. It’s not just attitude, it’s the
whole economy. The banks
are
making
things more
difficult, money’s getting
tighter.”
Although
it’s been a difficult
year
overall, realtors such as
White
and
Peter DeGraaf
of
Re/Max
Bracebridge
still were able
to be successful, albeit having to work
harder for the
sale.
“This year
for me was a
good year,” says DeGraaf.
“But, I had to work more
and harder to maintain the
same amount of market
share for myself. I found it
a lot more unpredictable
this year. I found it to be
more price sensitive than
ever.”
DeGraaf says the market
continues to be more price
sensitive, especially with
the difficulties in getting
loans and mortgages from
banks.
“The tightening of bank
restrictions have removed
some buyers from the market, which has then lowered demand and of course
the buy/demand relationship changes and lowers
prices,” he says. “It’s more
of a buyer’s market than
what I’ve seen in the last
five years.” He adds high
quality products are still
fetching
good
prices
because it’s always in high
demand. “But, the run-ofthe-mill, average product is
starting to slide,” he says.
As far as 2013 is concerned, DeGraaf believes it
will be a continuation of
the 2012 market and until
economic
stability
is
achieved across the board,
those in the real estate sector will continue to face
many challenges.
“The best case scenario
would be a stabilization of
prices, the worst case scenario of course would be a
decrease of volume and
sales,” says DeGraaf.
Cory Clarke of Royal
LePage in Huntsville says
his 2012 took an upswing
from 2011 and he was especially pleased with how
well he did in the fall.
Clarke was doing a bit
more business
in commercial
real
estate
including land
development
and leases.
“It’s definitely a more
balanced market than it’s
been the past
four or five
years,” says
Clarke. “The
volume
of
sales
in
Huntsville is
down
compared to last
year, I would
say about 10
per cent. The
prices
have
held up so far.
There’s been a
small increase in residential real estate, but it’s been
pretty small.”
Clarke is in sync with
DeGraaf in his belief that
2013 will be similar to
2012 in terms of the real
estate market.
“I think there’s going to
be more properties for
“It’s more
of a buyer’s
market than
what
I’ve seen
in the last
five years”
FOR SALE: This True North Log Home on
Benzinger Road is listed by Peter DeGraaf of
Re/Max for $369,000. Most agents say it is a
buyer’s market in Muskoka.
sale,” says Clarke. “I don’t
think you’re going to see a
big drop in prices, but I
think it’s going to be a
more balanced market and
it’s going to probably be a
little bit better for the buyer in 2013.”
With selling a home or
cottage more difficult than
ever, the realtors have some
sound advice for those
wanting to or needing to
list their property in these
uncertain times.
White says first and foremost to find an honest realtor and listen to their
advice.
Keeping
the
price competitive and reasonable will go a long
ways towards selling one’s
WANTED
People who...
Love fashion & beauty.
Care about the community.
Want to earn money while having fun.
Seek work/life balance.
Love to meet new people
Wish there were more hours in a day.
AV O N
705-385-4034
[email protected]
property.
“Quite often the highest
prices are way out of line,”
says White. “There’s no
sense listing your property
if you’re going to over
price it. We do see properties from time to time that
go for more than they probably should have. I would
guess that’s about 10 per
cent of the time.”
While admitting he doesn’t have an exact figure,
White guessed about 40 per
cent of the listings will sell
any given year during a
buyer’s market like this
one. He says sellers need to
figure out if they want to be
part of the 40th percentile
who actually move their
property
or
languish
amongst the 60th percentile
who are sitting on their
homes or cottages.
“Once you start to sit, if
you do eventually sell,
you’ll likely end up accepting less than you could
have if you moved it in the
first three weeks of the list-
ing,” he says. “Some of the
best deals I make for buyers are properties that were
overpriced from the beginning. You shouldn’t be
leaving any money on the
table if you price it right.”
DeGraaf agrees with
White and says selling real
estate in this competitive
market is about outshining
the rest of the product
that’s out there. He says
many buyers are looking at
six to 10 houses, or even
more, before choosing
what they deem to be the
best of the bunch.
“They’re either going to
buy the one that suits their
needs the best, or in this
market especially they’re
going to choose the one
that gives them the very
best value,” says DeGraaf.
“It has to be very well
priced and their property
has to be ready to go more
than ever because it’s all
about presentation and it’s
more important than ever to
have all the stars lined up.”
2013
MEMBERS
DIRECTORY
• An advertising opportunity
exclusively for members
of the Muskoka Builders
Association.
2012
• Distributed
at shows
throughout
Ontario and
directly to
cottagers.
MEMBERS’
DIRECTORY
An informative, easy
to use directory
of products and
for local home, cotta
services
ge and commercia
l building owners
www.muskokabui
lders.com
For information on joining the MBA, call 705-646-3008
Advertising inquiries should be directed to your
multi-media ad representative at 705-646-1314
14
December 2012
MUSKOKA’S CHAMBERS
OF
COMMERCE
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
Port Sydney honours business
15 Robert Dollar Dr.,
Bracebridge
Phone 705-645-3057
Toll Free 1-800-461-5495
www.muskokawindowanddoor.ca
Tell Muskoka
businesses who
you are and
what you offer!
Showcase your business in
our Business Spotlight
feature - includes both
advertising and
editorial content.
Call your Sales Rep.
Today 705-646-1314
Brokerage, Independently Owned & Operated
By Port Sydney, Utterson and Area
Chamber of Commerce
The Port Sydney, Utterson and Area
Chamber of Commerce is excited to
announce the Business of the Year Award
Winners for 2012.
It was tough choosing with so many
great chamber members to choose from but
we did, and we’re happy to say they are
very worthy recipients of the chamber
awards.
The Business of the Year Awards were
presented at our December general meeting
and chamber Christmas event held on Dec.
6 at the Cottage Waterfront Grill.
Our New Business of the Year Award for
2012 went to Scott Paralegal, owned by
Michelle Scott.
Scott is a familiar face in the area having
been the owner of a quaint Main Street bar
in Huntsville several years ago.
In 2006, Scott left Huntsville to pursue
her love of advocating for the public in the
North Bay and Sudbury Provincial
Offences Courts.
She was mentored by her brother and he
encouraged her to open her own practice in
her hometown of Huntsville. Scott was
enjoying her profession and doing well in
business but something was missing. Now
all the pieces fit back together in her hometown practice.
Scott devotes a tremendous amount of
time to researching case law and preparing
for court cases to fight traffic tickets.
She loves speaking for the people and
sticking up for the underdog. Her profession gives her a chance to help people out
of their legal issues and know and understand their rights.
As well as being a busy professional,
Scott always finds time to volunteer in the
community.
Scott can often be found helping out in
the town and community at many charitable events. She is also a strong chamber
supporter.
The 2012 Business of the Year Award
went to Port Sydney Freshmart and was
accepted by Alex Polmateer, whose family
has owned the business since 1996.
They have been outstanding supporters
AWARD WINNERS: Michelle Scott of Scott Paralegal, chamber president Gordon Haig, Alex Polmateer of Port Sydney Freshmart and Dean
Stevenson of Cars 2 Go enjoy the evening at the Port Sydney, Utterson
and Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas dinner on Dec. 6.
of all community events and also strong
supporters of this Chamber of Commerce.
Customer service is a key component to the
Port Sydney Freshmart and all of the staff
demonstrate this by the friendly and helpful
assistance that they provide.
They are always very willing to work
with the chamber and they provide generous donations for many of our events. This
type of support is so very important for our
community and we are very appreciative of
all that they do.
Dean Stevenson of Cars 2 Go was the
2012 Business Person of the Year Award
winner.
Stevenson had various career experiences before deciding on his current business.
He finished trade school in the city and
worked in his trade for a number of years.
During this time, he got married and started a family.
He later chose to leave his trade to work
BRACEBRIDGE
HUNTSVILLE/LAKE OF BAYS
PORT SYDNEY/UTTERSON AND AREA
1-1 Manitoba St.
705-645-5231, Fax: 645-7592
[email protected]
www.bracebridgechamber.com
8 West St. N., Huntsville
705-789-4771, Fax: 789-6191
[email protected]
www.huntsvillelakeofbays.on.ca
15 South Mary Lake Road, Unit 4, (next to
Dean’s Home Hardware) Port Sydney
705-385-1117, Fax: 385-9753
[email protected]
www.portsydneycoc.com
GRAVENHURST
MUSKOKA LAKES
685-2 Muskoka Rd. N.,
705-687-4432, Fax: 687-4382
[email protected]
www.gravenhurstchamber.com
3181 Muskoka Rd. 169, Bala
705-762-5663, Fax: 762-5664
[email protected]
www.muskokalakeschamber.com
P romotional P roducts
Advertising Specialties
Proudly supporting the Chambers of Commerce
www.rlpmuskoka.com
for a large corporation for many years. He
enjoyed the work but corporate changes
happened and so he decided to move his
work and his family to Port Sydney.
What was once his cottage became his
home.
His move to Port Sydney sent his work
choices in a variety of different ways from
contracting to what his business has
evolved into today.
Stevenson takes pride in his work and his
business doing what’s best for his customer, especially in these economic times.
One of the nominations stated that he is
honest, his prices are reasonable and he is
always very friendly and helpful.
Congratulations to all of our award winners and thanks to the great support we
receive from all of our chamber members.
To find out more about the Port Sydney,
Utterson and Area Chamber of Commerce
or to become a member call 705-385-1117
or email [email protected]
Proud Supporter of the
Chamber of Commerce
PENS • LABELS • DECALS
CALENDARS • GLASSWARE
126 Greer Road, Port Sydney
705-385-2311
www.homesmuskoka.com
Box 201 • Port Carling • ON P0B 1J0
(705) 765-5352
Est. 1956
How to contact
your chamber
HELP SUPPORT
YOUR CHAMBER
Call 705-646-1314
to advertise
[email protected]
northcountrybusinessnews.com
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
MUSKOKA’S CHAMBERS
OF
COMMERCE
December 2012
15
Santa visits annual general meeting
Small Business
Financing
•••••
Community Development
Grants
www.muskokafutures.ca
(705) 646-9511
1-800-414-6570
FESTIVE MEETING: The holiday season was in full effect during the Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce
60th annual general meeting held on Dec. 11 at Riverwalk Upstairs (left). Paula Willford and Coun. Mark
Quemby, front, Dave Powley, Theo Veenstra and Richard Borland, back, join in the fun (right).
Events listing
The following events are for chamber of
commerce members only. If you would like
to attend, contact the hosting chamber about
joining or to find out about guest invitations.
January 24
The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of
Commerce Annual General Meeting will be
held on at Clublink/Grandview Golf Club.
Networking at 5:00 p.m. Meeting at 5:30
p.m. RSVP is mandatory. Please RSVP to the
Chamber at 705-789-4771 ext. 21 or [email protected]
January 29
The Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce
invites members and their guests to our
monthly Business After Hours Networking
Meeting being held at Snap Fitness (505
Highway 118 W., Unit 10, Bracebridge)
from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This is an
excellent opportunity to make business
connections. Don’t forget to bring your
business cards.
The Bracebridge Chamber facilitates 10
Business After Hours events each year. We
take a break in the summer months.
To RSVP or for more information on how
to becom a chamber member email: [email protected], call 705-
645-5231 or visit the
www.bracebridgechamber.com
Proudly sponsored by
website:
March 26
The Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce
invites members and their guests to our
monthly Business After Hours Networking Meeting being held at Rotary Club of
Bracebridge, 131 Wellington St. from
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
This is an excellent opportunity to make
business connections. Don’t forget to
bring your business cards.
To RSVP or for more information: [email protected], call 705645-5231.
Welcome to our new chamber members
PORT SYDNEY/UTTERSON AND AREA
Muskoka Woods Sports Camp 416-495-6960
Greystone Project Management 705-789-1418
Muskoka Music Centre 705-783-0603
Two Horse Gallery 705-385-1204
Mixed Mediography Inc. 705-385-1204
Mary’s Maids of Muskoka 705-571-6569
Carpentry Defined 705-571-6569
Bonnie Passmore RE/MAX North Country
Realty Inc. 705-788-1444
111 Manitoba Street
Bracebridge, P1L 2B6
GRAVENHURST
The Rotary Club of Gravenhurst
www.gravenhurstrotary.com
The Security Guys 705-687-2704
The Muskoka Store 705-687-7751
Mr. Sub Gravenhurst 705-687-3820
Robbin's Tucktawayin Bed & Breakfast
705-687-4354
AAAA Sanitation 705-689-5991
Holly Matrimony Weddings 416-508-3370
Town & Country Fine Foods 705-681-1053
Muskoka’s Largest
Sleep Galleries
67 Silverwood Drive
Huntsville
705-789-5589
6 Robert Dollar Drive
Bracebridge
705-645-2279
BRACEBRIDGE
Canadian Tire Gas Station 1655 705-645-9572 MUSKOKA LAKES
The Cottage Care 705-571-4725
Pfender Pipefitting Services Inc.
905-702-8994
Our next advertising
deadline is
Wednesday,
January 16
Jacqui Semkow
Muskoka Mortgage
Specialist
Muskoka and Parry Sound
705-646-4238
705-646-1314
Fax: 705-646-1810
Pager: 1-866-767-5446
[email protected]
YOUR COTTAGE
COUNTRY BUILDING
SUPPLY STORE
Bala • Bracebridge • Dorset
Gravenhurst • MacTier
www.timbrmart.ca
16
December 2012
www.NorthCountryBusinessNews.com
CORPORATE DISCOUNT DEALS
FOR THE NEW YEAR
HELP YOUR EMPLOYEES GET HEALTHY AND HELP
YOUR BUSINESS SAVE MONEY ON ABSENTEEISM!
Offer your employees a discount or better, paid membership at Snap Bracebridge at our incredibly discounted
corporate rate and watch your bottom line grow. Healthier employees are less likely to call in sick!
By joining our corporate deal, we can actually email you a member gym-use report! On the first of the month, you would
receive an email indicating how often your employee(s) came to work out at Snap! Your employee would have to
understand that this information would be disclosed to you in order for them to receive your staff incentive plan!
Most companies pay for their employees membership with the understanding that the employee must use the gym a
minimum of 10 times each month. If they go below this number, you can work out how much your subsidy would be.
Perhaps if they only attend 7-9 times, then you will only pay for 80% of their membership and the remainder comes off
their pay check. Either way, memberships are paid to Snap from the employer and the financial arrangement is worked
out with you and your employee. If they leave your business, just notify us and we will terminate their membership at the
end of the month with an option to join Snap on their own account.
Information like this would be helpful. Snap does this system-wide - a very good program and popular too!
GET EMAIL EMPLOYEE GYM USAGE REPORTS = $ EMPLOYER REBATES
A healthy staff member is a more productive employee!
SNAP HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE – BEGINNER TO EXPERT!
ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW IN FITNESS FOR YOU!
We now have “Fitness On Demand” our 24 hour Fitness Class Instruction system FREE for members where YOU pick the class you want and
take it when YOU want it in our new studio! Dozens of LIVE classes including: Yoga, Pilates, Spin, Kickboxing, Step and more on the way! We
also have live Fitness Instruction FREE to members including Zumba, Cardo-Kickboxing, 2 Yoga levels, Spin and Pilates with the best
qualified instructors around! ALL CLASSES are FREE for members! TRX - we have 3 TRX systems for your fitness routine!
Every member gets a personalized fitness web page to create routines and diet plans. Free Vibration plate use.
Defibrillator on site for your peace of mind and health.
505 Hwy 118 West, Bracebridge
705-706-5673 (LOSE)
www.snapfitness.com/bracebridge
VIBRATION MACHINE • FREE WEIGHTS
PERSONAL TRAINING • FITNESS CLASSES
TRX • SHOWERS • NO CONTRACTS
NO ENROLLMENT FEES

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