Posts Tagged ‘Briars’

Sheila Maxwell and Mark Rich

Celebrating the presidents evening

On March 28, 2011, Resorts of Ontario held its annual general meeting and preferred supplier’s tradeshow at Nottawasaga Inn and Resort, located in Alliston, Ontario. Sheila Maxwell of the Briars Resort and Spa was elected as the new president of Resorts of Ontario.

Born in Scotland, Sheila grew up in Toronto where she attended York University. During her summers she worked at seasonal resorts in Haliburton and fell in love with the tourism industry. With an educational background from York, Sheila also graduated with honours from Hotel Management at George Brown College. Sheila has worked in the industry for 25 years and is currently the Director of Food and Beverage at the Briars Resorts and Spa.  

Sheila has served on the Board for Resorts of Ontario for the past 8 years. She succeeded Mark Rich – Director of Sales at Blue Mountain Resort who served as president from March 2009 – 2011. As outgoing president Mark will continue to serve the board of directors as chairman of the board.

As part of the evenings festivities, Resorts of Ontario also took the time to recognize the dedication and contribution of individuals from the industry who have facilitated the growth and progress of the Association.

The George Martin Award which shows outstanding contribution to the growth and success of Resorts of Ontario, was awarded to Anne Marshall of Elmhirst’s Resort. Anne has been involved with the association as a board member for 20 years. Anne is also a past president and represented the industry on the provincial and national level. Her passion, experience, leadership and dedication are greatly appreciated.

The second award given was for Outstanding Contribution. The recipient of this award went to Jamie Staring of Raesgo Advertising Graphics. For nearly 20 years, Jamie has made enormous contributions and has played a significant role in portraying our image. He understands the essence of “ resorting in Ontario “ , the culture of Resorts of Ontario, playing a key role in conveying our story in print, electronically, and to our key audiences.  

Congratulations to Sheila and thank you to Mark, Anne and Jamie for your contributions and dedication to Resorts of Ontario.

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The Briars’ archivist Diana Rowney in action

The Briars’ archivist Diana Rowney in action

The prospect of a “History Tour” at The Briars did not immediately fill me with anticipation. I was more interested in clambering around the rocky shores of Lake Simcoe taking pictures with the Nikon, or hanging out in the dining room with Carlos and Hylton, listening to their stories about “back home” in Jamaica.

Service at The Briars is excellent and very friendly

Service at The Briars is excellent and very friendly

Diana Rowney

Diana Rowney

Don’t get me wrong, I like history, but there’s lots more to do here. Anyway… my mood improved when we rendezvoused with a gaggle of nurses in the foyer to start the tour. Then my mood improved considerably more when we were introduced to our tour guide, the incredibly engaging archivist Diana Rowney. She’s got a way about her that makes the stories come alive. And there are many stories too. Not just dusty, old grade school stuff. No sir. These stories are bawdy and raucous, as, I think, all good history should be. Here’s a link to some of the stories from the Briars’ history to whet your appetite.

It was all very civilized. After the tour we retired to the main veranda where the proprietor, Mrs. Sibbald, served us sherry. The conversation drifted between the modern resort industry in Ontario and the state of the nursing profession in that province.

Mrs. Sibbald entertaining guests on the veranda at The Briars

Mrs. Sibbald entertaining guests on the veranda at The Briars

The resort is in Jackson’s Point on Lake Simcoe. It has been here for over 165 years. If the traffic is not bad, it’s about an hour north of Toronto.

Main entrance to The Briars Resort, Spa and Conference Centre

Main entrance to The Briars Resort, Spa and Conference Centre

The accommodation is very comfortable and the service is fantastic.

The hallway just outside of our room at The Briars

The hallway just outside of our room at The Briars

Lake Simcoe shoreline

Lake Simcoe shoreline

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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 www.resortsofontario.com.

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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