Posts Tagged ‘Bayview Wildwood’

Resorts are in the business of having fun, making and event out of any occasion and this year Halloween is no exception.

For some live entertainment starting at 9pm on Oct. 30th check out Jamie “Spooky” Williams playing at Bayview Wildwood Resort for an all ages show. You can find a tombstone to rest your head on and a plot to lay on for only $59 + taxes based on dbl occ. Donations are being collected at the door for the local food bank. Reservations are required so call ahead to 1-800-461-0243.

For a more adult party consider Horseshoe Resort which is also getting set for their “Costume-rific Party.” This 19+ event being held in the Crazy Horse restaurant, will feature live entertainment, apple bobbing contest, dancing and best costume prizes. There will also be Molson girls handing out prizes and samples.

Pillar and Post      Looking for a truly haunting experience, then you have to visit Pillar and Post in Niagara on the Lake. This old town with a rich history from the war of 1812 has haunted tours at Fort George located down the road. Pillar and Post also has a rich history of eye-witness accounts claiming to see a disappearing person. People have even seemed to walk through this “person” from time to time when rounding the wooden Pillars in the dining room.

An excerpt from “Ghosts of Niagara-on-the-Lake” reads:

“The Pillar and Post’s Vintages Wine Bar and Lounge is a paranormal hotspot. This cozy, fire-lit room is intimate and charming, the ideal place for a quiet glass of wine and a hushed conversation. Yet, despite the warmth of the hearth, some suggest there’s something cold about the room, an intangible chill that seems to be centered upon a painting of Lieutenant Colonel John Butler that hangs upon the wall.

Folklore suggests this oddly unsettling painting was the Colonel’s favourite portrait of himself, and that his spirit followed it to the Pillar and Post and often sits in the chairs that sit beneath it. According to Restaurant Manager Bill Putman, several members of the serving staff are afraid of Butler’s painting. “They say they feel as if his eyes actually follow them as they walk through the room, and some servers have felt the hair on the back of their necks rise as if they could sense someone unpleasant watching them,” he explains. “It’s also said that temperatures sometimes change suddenly and drastically in the lounge, for absolutely no reason.”

The door just to the side of this painting is said to open and close on its own accord, and people have inexplicably tripped in front of these chairs—as if stumbling over the invisible Colonel’s outstretched legs. In addition, cutlery and plates are said to mysteriously move from table to table, much to the frustration of staff.

These stories are just some examples of how the Pillar and Post’s rich past is a spirited part of its charm.” 

Andrew Hind and Maria Da Silva, authors of Ghosts of Niagara-on-the-Lake (Dundurn, 2008)

 With options of fun for the whole family, why not come up to our place and start a new Halloween tradition for you and your ghoulish family.

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I recently had the opportunity to go fishing with my dad and father in law. We had been trying for a while to make time for a trip out together and after carefully watching the weather forecast we  picked a day just before Father’s Day to do some much-needed fishing. Venturing out on the waters of Sparrow Lake in a boat rented from Bayview Wildwood Resort, we were determined to catch fish. We were on the water by 7:15am and had cast our lines by 7:20.  Throwing every possible lure at the fish, we casted for hours, trying different weed beds, shoals, drop offs, and sunken logs with hardly any luck at all. We had a few bites and a few very small perch follow lures in but nothing that resulted in a fish Fishing on Sparrow Lakebeing landed in the boat. The sense of frustration and discomfort from the days heat was starting to take its toll on us. At one point we even tried to net a fish that was a foot beneath the boat was we drifted by but it quickly retreated from our presence.

My dad and I had only been out once before this trip in the last few years so I was really hoping he would catch something. He let us know that he was about to call it a day and was trying his last “lucky” lure – the “Wobblin’ Minnow,” when he got a hit. After a quick fight he landed his first bass of the season (and actually first one in a few years as he doesn’t have the time to get out fishing very often.) After he released his fish, I quickly had a hit but was unable to land the fish. Just as quickly as I lost one my dad hooked his second. After hours of trying it seemed the fish had finally decided they were hungry. While the action didn’t last long, it was long enough for us to remember why we enjoy fishing so much.

My father in law and I went back empty-handed but my dad ended a several year-long drought and was happy which is all any of us could ask for. We were able to relax and enjoy each others company and learned that next year we leave my dad at home but take his “Wobblin’ Minnow” with us.

Ontario has so many great fishing opportunities and if you enjoy relaxing while casting a line please check out some of these resorts: Sand Beach Lodge, Sunny Point Resort, Pleasant Cove, Southview Cottages and Shamrock Lodge to name a few. If you hook into a nice sized fish be sure to enter the Resorts of Ontario Big Fish Competition.

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lobby of the Pillar & Post Inn, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Holiday decorations at the Pillar & Post

Every Christmas we used to be like hamsters running flat out on one of those wheels. His mother would want us to spend Christmas with his family. My mother would want the same. Our holidays were one big blur.  We’d entertain his family with a Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange, then stay up into the wee hours cleaning up before heading out at some ungodly hour to make it to my family’s Christmas gift-opening. Then one year I got smart and told my husband, “That’s it, no more. Let’s make this easy for ourselves and start to truly enjoy our families and the holidays.” Now we book dinner for everybody at a fabulous country inn. And you know what, everyone loves it. No dishes, no cooking, not even any Christmas shopping to speak of.  Just great conversation, good food and fine wine. So, if you’re the ‘old us’ trying to keep everyone happy during the holiday season, here’s some ideas to inspire you to try something new. Check back often. We’ll be posting more over the coming weeks:

book cover Beeton’s Book of Household Management

Beeton’s Book of Household Management

Calling all foodies! Isabella Mary Beeton was a contemporary of Charles Dickens and the author of “Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management“. One of the famous cookery writers of the Victorian era, Mrs. Beeton’s recipes are the inspiration behind a Dickens Dinner to be held at the Idlewyld Inn in London, Ontario on Sunday, December 6th. Intriguiing dishes like Mulligatawny Soup from the days of the British Raj and Nesselrode Pudding, a frozen pudding with ground chestnuts, candied fruit and liqueur will be served at the six course dinner. There will be readings by Charles Dickens and carolers too. Two seatings are planned for 5:30pm and 8pm. $65 per person. To reserve, call the Idlewyld Inn at 519-433-2891.

If you’re looking for a storybook setting to celebrate, Niagara-on-the-Lake is about as picturesque as it gets. You won’t find the golden arches in this architecturally pleasing town. Home to the Shaw Theatre Festival, this  historic town’s buildings are beautifully decorated and strolling carolers are known to take to the streets during the holidays. At the town’s Pillar & Post inn, a former Niagara fruit cannery, they’ve put together an Icewine Lovers Getaway. Available until the end of February, it includes a three-course dinner and full breakfast in the inn’s Cannery restaurant as well as a night of accommodation. If you book mid-week, it is priced at $143 per person, double occupancy. Weekend rates run from $163 per person, double occupancy.

Since  the 1880s, the Stanton family at Bayview Wildwood Resort has been involved in the business of travel in Ontario. So you might say they’ve figured out what makes a resort family Christmas truly special. Just 90 minutes north of Toronto on Sparrow Lake, this classic lakefront resort is a picture postcard setting. In winter, skating, snowshoeing and tobogganing are all popular and it’s not unusual to see families face off in a lively game of broomball too. Traditional horse-drawn sleigh rides always draw a crowd, and for the young fry, a popular entertainer hosts a special Christmas Eve family music revue which culminates with a visitor from you-know-who. Besides an indoor pool and whirlpool, the Bayview Wildwood has its own squash courts to work off all the good food. A three-night family package running from December 24-27th includes eight full meals, supervised children’s programs, evening entertainment and all the fun you can manage. Priced from $354 to $441 per person, double occupancy. One child stays for free.

Shamrock Lodge in winter snow

The Shamrock Lodge

Finally, for all you sledders looking for a place to park your special “sleigh” Muskoka’s  Shamrock Lodge in Port Carling is an affordable choice if you’re looking for somewhere to head during Christmas week. Open from December 27th, this cozy lakeside lodge has easy access to OFSC trails. There’s also homecooked country meals, a floodlit skating rink, Hot Stove Lounge and games room with billiards, and indoor pool, hot tub and sauna. Call for rates which include most meals and box lunches for the trails.

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Monday, September 7, 2009 is Labour Day. Here is a short list of Resorts of Ontario members that are running two- and three-day Labour Day Weekend packages. The prices mentioned here are approximate, so check the links below for specific details.

Bayview Wildwood Resort – 1-800-461-0243    Viamede Resort – 1-800-461-1946    Sunny Point Resort – 1-800-265-0432    Fern Resort – 1-800-567-3376    The Briars Resort – 1-800-465-2376    Pine Vista Resort – 1-800-634-2848

Packages can also be booked online at

Bayview Wildwood Resort is a great place for kids and families.

Bayview Wildwood Resort is a great place for kids and families.

Bayview Wildwood Resort on Sparrow Lake in Muskoka has a three-night Labour Day special Starting at $384 pp/dbl. Friday, September 4 to Monday, September 7 – two Children stay for free. Their website has lots more information and there is a great photo gallery here.

Viamede Resort, “the Grand Lady” of Stoney Lake, has been hosting families and groups in the Kawarthas since Colonel Sam Strickland’s time in 1870! This luxury conference resort and spa is about 30 minutes north of Peterborough, Ontario. I just got off the phone with them… if you book for the three nights over Labour Day, they will give you 15% off the regular rates. Nice people. This is their website.

Sunny Point Resort is on Otter Lake, two hours north of Toronto. It has pet-friendly, waterfront, private housekeeping cottages and a main lodge/inn. Their three-night Labour Day Weekend package includes a boat and motor rental. It starts at $525 for three people in a Junior Suite, to $1995 for up to 14 people in the Grand Muskokan. Sunny Point Resort, Cottages & Inn

Fern Resort near Orillia – the home of rolls and honey

Fern Resort near Orillia – the home of rolls and honey

Fern Resort has introduced RSVP rates (Recession Sensitive Vacation Plan). Three nights over Labour Day weekend at Fern for a family of four will run about $1300. Fern Resort is an “American Plan Resort”, which means that all meals, entertainment and most sports and recreation facilities are included in quoted prices. Check the site or give them a call for exact details. Previous blog post on Fern Resort.

“The Briars” has been a fixture of the Ontario resorts industry for generations.

“The Briars” has been a fixture of the Ontario resorts industry for generations.

The Briars Resort & Spa has been at Jackson’s Point on Lake Simcoe for about 165 years! They have a wide variety of inn rooms and housekeeping cottages beside the golf course and along the lake. Check their website for availability. They have both two-night and three-night Labour Day packages starting at about $700 for two adults.

Pine Vista Resort in The Kawarthas is one of the finest housekeeping resorts in the province.

Pine Vista Resort in The Kawarthas is one of the great housekeeping resorts.

Pine Vista Resort on Stoney Lake has a two-night Labour Day package that includes a boat cruise and organized activities. It starts at about $500. Here is the website if you need details. 1-800-634-2848

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The Ridge at Manitou, next door to the Inn at Manitou. Photo credit: Clive Barber

The Ridge at Manitou, next door to the Inn at Manitou. Photo credit: Clive Barber

One of the advantages of working in the Canadian tourism industry is that I get to play a lot of golf on different courses across the country. In the province of Ontario where there are over 800 courses to choose from, we’re working with Resorts of Ontario this year. Many of its one hundred resort hotels, lodges, country inns and cottage resorts either have golf on-site or they have playing privileges at private and public courses nearby. Several have famous golf architects attached to them like Brookstreet‘s Trent Jones course near Ottawa. It’s owned by Sir Terry Matthews who also owns the Celtic Manor in Wales, the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup. Others may not be as well known but they still offer challenging play. A couple of weeks ago, I asked the resort owners if they would send me their golf news for 2009. Many included their new golf packages as well and there are a number of good deals. Here’s is just a small sample of what I was sent:

Pine Vista Resort in the Kawartha Lakes, is partnering with Wildfire this year, a new McBroom-designed course just five minutes away. • Clevelands House in Muskoka, has its own ‘executive 9’ which is great for families and this year it is also packaging with The Rock, the redesigned Nick Faldo course, one minute away. Also in Muskoka, Deerhurst Resort has a new Island & Highlands golf package that includes a round of golf for two at Deerhurst Highlands and Bigwin Island. Its 18 hole Lakeside course is also good for families. • At Bayview Wildwood, guests can opt to play two out of five courses on a two-night package offered all summer long with dinners and breakfasts included, starting at $344pp/do. The choice of courses are: Hawk Ridge, South Muskoka GC, Bonaire GC, Lake St. George GC and Settler’s Ghost. • Closer to Barrie, Carriage Ridge Resort partners with Settler’s Ghost, Horseshoe Highlands with Horseshoe Valley and Hawk Ridge, and has an early spring rate starting at only $89pp/do. • The Briars on Lake Simcoe, has a mid week spring special that includes two nights, two breakfasts and two rounds of 18 for just $129 per person per night based on double occupancy. Cart is additional.

Lots more can be found by clicking on “Golf” at Resorts of Ontario.

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