Habitat for Humanity Plays an Important Role in Muskoka

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has worked to bring communities together with the goal of helping families in need to get access to affordable homeownership. Last year, 238 families found a new home with Habitat, including 612 children and 16 newcomers to Canada. Thousands of Canadians have volunteered their time with the nonprofit to make these efforts possible, helping to add millions of dollars to Canada’s affordable housing portfolio. Recently, Muskoka Window & Door Centre was lucky enough to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North, working alongside other volunteers to help out local families in need.

A total of 54 Habitat for Humanity chapters can be found in every Canadian province and territory, helping local families in 400 different communities become homeowners with the generous support of volunteers and donors. Habitat for Humanity’s Ontario Gateway North has helped families all around the Muskoka region achieve stability and independence through affordable homeownership.

Thank you for your contribution

How Habitat for Humanity helps families in need
Habitat for Humanity helps families in need by giving them a path to homeownership that requires hard work and dedication, but ensures long-term success. Qualified families who are accepted to the program become homeowners through an interest-free mortgage that requires no down payment, volunteering a minimum of 500 hours with Habitat for Humanity in return. In order to qualify for a home through Habitat, families must be able to prove that they are in need of better housing, willing to volunteer their time with Habitat, and must be able to make affordable mortgage payments that don’t exceed 30% of their gross annual household income.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Another way that Habitat for Humanity has been able to help families in need is through Habitat ReStores, which act as home and building supply stores. ReStores accept new and used building materials, reselling it to generate funds for local home building projects. Donating to ReStores is an environmentally conscious decision, helping to avoid products from ending up in a landfill. ReStores accept many items including furniture, home appliances, electronics, floor and tile, lighting, windows and doors, clothing, and so much more. Rather than putting these items to waste, you can donate them to your local Habitat ReStore and contribute to a building project!

Our involvement with Habitat
In 2017, Muskoka Window & Door Centre was lucky enough to get involved in a local Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North project. The new development was a duplex situated in Huntsville, and would house two families in need. The team was excited to be part of such an important community initiative, and went to work to provide families in need with quality windows. Our workers donated their time to install windows in the home, with all window units donated to the project by Andersen Windows & Doors. Andersen has a long history of supporting Habitat projects in the United States, and they were happy to help.

How you can help
The holidays are the perfect time to get involved with local and international charities. There are a number of ways you can give back to Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North, including making a holiday donation, volunteering your time with a local home building project, or donating new and gently used home and building materials to our local ReStore in Bracebridge or Huntsville. The Bracebridge and Huntsville ReStores are the perfect place to visit when clearing out holiday clutter before and after the new year, with your donations going a long way to support those in need. Our local ReStores can be found at:

Bracebridge ReStore
505 Muskoka District Road 118 West, Unit A3
Bracebridge, ON P1L 2G7
(705) 646-0106
Monday-Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

Huntsville ReStore
70 King William St,
Huntsville, ON P1H 2A5
(705) 788-0305
Monday-Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PMSunday: Closed To find out how you can make a difference to families in need by making a donation or volunteering your time this holiday season, visit Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North’s website today.

December 2019 in Muskoka: Fun Holiday Events for the Whole Family

Nothing beats the sights and sounds of Muskoka during the holidays. Throughout the month of December, the entire Muskoka region has plenty of holiday events to help you and your family get into the Christmas spirit. Whether it’s bringing the kids to Santa’s Village, taking in a holiday favourite stage show, or checking out New Year’s Eve fireworks, there’s no shortage of great holiday entertainment in Muskoka this year.

December 7th/8th, 14th/15th, 21st/22nd – SantaFest at Santa’s Village
Where: Santa’s Village in Bracebridge ON
When: Weekends of December 7th/8th, 14th/15th, and 21st/22nd
Cost: $14.95, free admission for children 3 and under

Each year, Santa Claus take a break from his busy pre-Christmas schedule to stop by Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, visiting with kids and families from all around the area. SantaFest is the perfect opportunity to bring out the entire family to meet Santa Claus, and to take part in a full day of Christmas fun. In addition to meeting Santa, kids can enjoy fireside hot chocolate, ride a horse drawn carriage through Whispering Pines Campground, decorate gingerbread cookies, make Christmas crafts, and take part in the unique VR dog sledding experience.

Grab your tickets to SantaFest on the Santa’s Village website.

December 11th – Warren Miller’s Timeless
Where: Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville, ON
When: Wednesday, December 11th
Cost: $18.08 for adults, $14.13 for children

The late Warren Miller was the world’s most famous skiing and snowboarding filmmaker, helping to advance the popularity of these winter sports throughout North America. Warren Miller’s Timeless, presented by Volkswagen, celebrates 70 years of skiing and snowboarding films with some of the sport’s leading athletes and personalities. Warren Miller’s Timeless brings viewers on a wild adventure to some of the world’s most popular skiing and snowboard destinations, including Arlberg, the Matterhorn, Jackson Hole, and Eldora, Colorado.

More information about this very special screening can be found on the Algonquin Theatre website.

December 14th – A Christmas Carol
Where: Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville, ON
When: Saturday, December 14th
Cost: $20.00 for adults, $10.00 for children, $50.00 family pass

Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale comes to the Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville, presented by Dufflebag Theatre. This family friendly stage show sees the iconic penny-pinching curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge be visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future on Christmas Eve. As with any good adaptation of A Christmas Carol, all your favourite characters from Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit to Mr. Fezziwig and Jacob Marley will be present.

Tickets to A Christmas Carol can be found on the Algonquin Theatre website.

December 14th/15th – Noel North
Where: The Annex in Bracebridge, ON
When: Saturday, December 14th and Sunday, December 15th
Cost: Donations accepted

The holiday season is the perfect time to shop locally and celebrate the wonderful artists and artisans of the Muskoka region. The first ever Noel North brings some of the region’s finest creators to The Annex in Bracebridge, giving shoppers a great opportunity to pick up hand-made jewellery, fine art, pottery, home goods, artisan food and clothing, and so much more. The show runs on Saturday, December 14th from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday, December 15th from 10 AM to 4 PM.

More information about this great event can be found at the Noel North Facebook page.

December 24th – Torchlight Parade
Where: Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area in Huntsville, ON
When: Tuesday, December 24th
Cost: Free

On Christmas Eve, Huntsville’s Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area is bringing back an annual holiday favourite – the Torchlight Parade. The Parade features ski patrollers and snow school instructors descending the Flying Dutchman with brightly lit torches to create a gorgeous procession of lights. The annual event is capped off by a special appearance by jolly old Saint Nick. The Parade will begin at 6:00 PM, with hot chocolate, cookies, and live music in the Chalet beforehand.

More information about the Torchlight Parade can be found at the Hidden Valley Highlands website.

December 31st – New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Where: Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area in Huntsville, ON
When: Tuesday, December 31st
Cost: Free

Ring in the new year in style with New Year’s Eve fireworks at the Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area in Huntsville. Bring out the entire family for an evening of live entertainment, cookies, hot chocolate, and fireworks. The fun begins at 5:00 PM and ends at 8:00 PM, with fireworks kicking off at 6:00 PM. For more information about the New Year’s Eve Fireworks, visit the Hidden Valley Highlands website.

Kick Your Holiday Off the Muskoka Way

Now that the leaves have fallen and we’ve had our first snowfall, it’s safe to say that the holiday season is fast approaching. The holiday season is Muskoka is unlike any other, featuring dozens of fun festive events for the entire family. This year’s season officially kicks off on Friday, November 29th, when communities throughout the Muskoka region will be celebrating in style with Christmas walks, tree lighting, night shopping, and so much more. If you’ve never experienced the start of the holiday season in Muskoka, this is the perfect year to join in on the fun!

Huntsville – Christmas Tree Lighting and Santa Claus Parade
Where: Downtown Huntsville ON
When: Friday, November 29th: Tree Lighting at 6:15 PM, Santa Claus Parade at 7:00 PM
Cost: Free

Bring the whole family for an unforgettable night in Huntsville’s historic downtown. The festivities kick off at 6:15 PM on the steps of Huntsville’s town hall, where the annual Christmas tree lighting will take place. This year’s tree measures 15 feet tall and will feature plenty of lights and ornaments to adorn the steps of the town hall throughout the holiday season. Once the tree has been lit, the focus will shift to everybody’s favourite jolly old Saint Nick as the annual Santa Claus Parade kicks off at 7:00 PM. The Parade route will go along Main Street and King William Street, beginning starting at Centre Street and ending at Huntsville Mall. This year’s holiday kickoff celebration is sponsored by Downtown Huntsville, the Rotary Club of Huntsville, and the Town of Huntsville.

More information about the Christmas tree lighting and the Santa Claus Parade is available on the Downtown Huntsville website.

Gravenhurst – Christmas Tree Lighting and Black Friday Deals
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House, Gravenhurst ON
When: Friday, November 29th from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM
Cost: Free

The holiday season kicks off at the Gravenhurst Opera House with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. The tree will be beautifully decorated with lighting and ornaments and is sure to wow everybody in attendance. After the tree has been lit, the whole family can explore the downtown area and take advantage of some great Black Friday deals. Stores are set to be open late, giving shoppers an opportunity to stock up on Christmas gifts until at least 8:00 PM. Add in carollers and delicious treats, and you have a recipe for a perfect holiday season opener.

For more information about the Christmas Tree Lighting, visit the Downtown Gravenhurst website.

Bracebridge – Santa’s Festival of Lights and Shopping Party
Where: Downtown Bracebridge ON
When: Friday, November 29th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Cost: Free

Santa’s arrival in Bracebridge will kick off the holiday season on a high note, bringing with it fireworks, beautiful sights, shopping, and so much more. Santa is set to arrive in town at 6:00 PM, with fireworks to follow at 6:45 PM. You and the entire family can enjoy sleigh rides all night long, running from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. In addition to Santa’s arrival, downtown Bracebridge will get an opportunity to enjoy caroling, living window displays, live entertainment, kid’s activities, and some late night shopping. There’s a little something for everyone to get you into the Christmas spirit.

For more information about Santa’s Festival of Lights, visit the Downtown Bracebridge website.

Bala – Bala Tree Lighting and Carol Sing
Where: Bala Community Centre, Bala ON
When: Friday, November 29th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cost: Free

Bala gives Muskokans another great chance to witness the magic of a tree lighting festival with the annual Bala tree lighting event at the Bala Community Centre. A barbershop quartet will be in attendance to help you ring in the holiday season, singing all your favourite Christmas classics. All are welcome to attend and sing to their heart’s content! Find more information about the Bala Tree Lighting event at the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce website.

October 2019 in Muskoka: Fall Festivities, Cranberry Festival, Halloween, and More

The summer might be over, but life in Muskoka is still as exciting as ever. The fall season is finally here, bringing with it plenty of beautiful colours and landscapes to enjoy. Whether it’s outdoor activities for the whole family, live music and comedy, or unique festivals, the Muskoka region always has something for everyone no matter what season it is. With Thanksgiving and Halloween right around the corner, there’s no shortage of things for you and the family to do in Muskoka this October.

October 12-14 – Bethune Memorial House Thanksgiving Festival
Where: Bethune Memorial House in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Saturday, October 12th – Monday, October 14th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $3.90 for adults, $3.40 for seniors, free for children

Each Thanksgiving, the Bethune Memorial House in Gravenhurst hosts the annual Thanksgiving Festival, welcoming visitors from China, Canada, and all around the world to pay their respects to physician Norman Bethune. The Thanksgiving weekend gives visitors an opportunity to see the Bethune Memorial House at its busiest, with tours available all day. The Thanksgiving Festival is the perfect opportunity to see Muskoka at its most beautiful, and learn about Bethune’s humanitarian work in rural China.

Admission and programs available on a first come, first served basis. More information available on the Parks Canada website.

October 18-20 – Bala Cranberry Festival
Where: Citywide in Bala, ON
When: Friday, October 18th to Sunday, October 20th
Cost: $10.00 for adult passes, free for children

The Bala Cranberry Festival is a weekend long event that features hundreds of vendors, entertainers, and performers. Bring the whole family for a full weekend of great food, gorgeous scenery, local shopping, live entertainment, and most importantly – a celebration of the beloved cranberry. The festivities will take place throughout the city of Bala, with plenty of different areas to see, including a petting zoo, beer garden, museum, farmer’s market and much more. Shuttles are available to transport families back and forth, including to and from Gravenhurst. Saturday is the festival’s busiest day, with Sunday designated as Family Day.

For more information about the 2019 Bala Cranberry Festival, visit their website.

October 20 – Orillia Silver Band Fall Harvest
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Sunday, October 20th @ 8:00 PM
Cost: $10.00 to $25.00

The well-known Orillia Silver Band is set to return to the Gravenhurst Opera House for a memorable fall harvest concert. The acclaimed band, conducted by Muskoka region favourite Neil Barlow, will be playing a variety of pieces, beginning with The Light Fantastic by Paul Lovatt-Cooper. Also included in the evening’s performance is A Redbridge Raga by Chris Wilcox, Steven Verhelst’s A Song for Japan, Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, and more. The performance will close with a spectacular rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with cannons, bells, and more.

For tickets to the Orillia Silver Band Fall Festival, visit their website.

October 26 – Let the Spirits Rise in Downtown Gravenhurst
Where: Downtown Gravenhurst, ON
When: Saturday, October 26th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Cost: Free

Gravenhurst’s annual Let the Spirits Rise event takes place returns! For one morning every year, downtown Gravenhurst collectively embraces the spirit of Halloween, hosting a variety of family fun activities. Bring the kids out for trick or treating at downtown shops, and other free family activities at the Gravenhurst Opera House, including face painting, live music, and crafts. Last year’s event featured a costume contest, zombie walk, and a dancing zombies flash mob – who knows what kind of spooky fun this year’s event has in store?

More details to follow – see the Downtown Gravenhurst website for more information.

October 31 – Great Pumpkin Trail
Where: Muskoka Heritage Place – Pioneer Village in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Thursday, October 31st from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (last entry at 7:30 PM)
Cost: $10.00 per family, or $3.00 per head

The Great Pumpkin Trail serves as a fun alternative to sending your kids out treat or treating from door to door in the dark. The fun begins at 5:00 PM on Halloween Day at the Pioneer Village at Muskoka Heritage Place, letting you and your family trick or treat in a traffic-free environment. Pioneer buildings are decorated by locals, with themes kept on the “not so spooky” side to stay appropriate for younger trick or treaters. The Great Pumpkin Trail is as much an event for parents as it is for kids, giving you a great opportunity to socialize with other parents and take in the music, magic, and mystery of Halloween night while your kids have a safe and fun evening gathering plenty of goodies. For more information, visit the Muskoka Heritage Place website.

What to Do on a Rainy Day in Muskoka

Muskoka features hundreds of opportunities for you to spend quality time outdoors with your family and friends. Unfortunately, grey skies can appear from time to time, leaving plenty of cottage goers and locals unsure of how to spend their time; there are only so many board and card games you can play. Thankfully, Muskoka is home to a wide variety of fun, interesting, and informative indoor activities that will help you and your friends and family pass the time while you wait for sunny skies to return. Here are just a few of the things you can do in Muskoka when the weather turns sour.

Bring the kids out for a day full of fun
If you’re a parent, you might be wondering what you can do to get the kids out of the house before they get restless – there are plenty of child-friendly outings that are perfect for this exact situation. Parents of children 0-10 years old can take their little ones to The Play Pit in Bracebridge. The Play Pit, Muskoka’s Indoor Playground, is an unsupervised play facility that offers full day “play all day” packages for rainy days, as well as birthday party packages for special occasions. Kidzone at the Discovery Centre in Gravenhurst is another beloved Muskoka hotspot for the kids, offering up a hands-on, active, and multi-sensory experience for children of all ages. Your kids will be able to enjoy opportunities for interactive fun, learning, and a stimulating environment that encourages creativity and curiosity.

Brewery Tours
After you’ve found something fun for the kids to do, you’ll have time to take a load off and find a way to pass the time. Muskoka offers plenty of opportunities for entertainment in the form of brewery tours, playing host to three of Ontario’s most renowned breweries. Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge offers free guided tours five times per week between the hours of 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM, where you’ll be able to take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the brewery. Muskoka Brewery also regularly hosts live music throughout the afternoon and evening, giving you and your group a reason to stick around and have a beer or two.

Gravenhurst’s Sawdust City Brewing Co. also has tours available to the public every Saturday between 1:00 PM and 3:00, letting you get a glimpse behind the scenes to get the inside scoop on their beer-making process and how the brewery functions. Finally, Lake of Bays Brewing in Baysville offers tours of their impressive brewing facilities every Saturday between 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM by appointment, and on Sunday’s by chance.

Bring your friends and family to an escape room
Escape rooms have become increasingly popular in recent years, taking you, your friends, and your family members to the limit as you attempt to solve puzzles, tackle problems and discover secrets in real time in order to escape from a themed room. Zig Zag Escape Rooms in Huntsville is the perfect way to spend a rainy day as a family or group of friends, creating fun memories that are sure to last and giving you an opportunity to finally find out what the craze is all about. Zig Zag currently offers two escape room scenarios titled “Sven’s Last Secret” and “The Artist is Missing”, each of which offers its own themes, secrets, codes, and of course, difficulty level.

Learn about the history of Muskoka
Muskoka has an extremely interesting history that goes underappreciated by far too many people. The Muskoka Lakes Museum in Port Carling is one of the best places to get in touch with the history of the region, offering up self-guided tours and group tours from May until October all week long – the museum is even open until 5:00 PM each day throughout July and August, making it the perfect rainy day destination. The museum features a full-size pioneer log cabin, the First Nations Gallery, a “Modern Inventions” room, a marine exhibit, and a resort room that resembles the lobby of a typical Muskoka resort from the early 20th century.

For more information about Muskoka Window & Door Centre’s high-quality line of window and door products, visit our website or contact us today.

June 2019 in Muskoka: Father’s Day Weekend Festivities, Live Events, and More

Summer is fast approaching! June in Muskoka features a wealth of fun events for the whole family to help you celebrate the beginning of cottage season. Now that all the maintenance and housekeeping has been taken care of, you can enjoy beautiful weekends on the lake, attending events and making the most of the beautiful early summer season in Muskoka. From concerts and Father’s Day celebrations to hobbyist events and conventions, there’s something for everybody in the month of June. Here’s how you can spend your time in and around Muskoka in June.

June 15 – Carlos del Junco and The Blues Mongrels
Where: Peter’s Muskoka in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Saturday, June 15th @ 8:00 PM
Cost: $75.00

Hailing from Havana, Cuba, Carlos Del Junco has been called the Jimi Hendrix of the harmonica, having mastered the art of the ten hole diatonic harmonica. del Junco was taught to play by Grammy-winning jazz virtuoso Howard Levy. His playing has been called simultaneously sophisticated and raw, spinning not only blues but also ska, hip-hop, swing, and more. This evening of raw, soulful and sexy blues music is sure to be unforgettable, and will change the way you look at harmonica-driven music.

Don’t miss your opportunity to attend Carl del Junco and the Blues Mongrels. For tickets and more information, visit their website at https://www.petersplayers.com/event_post/carlos-del-junco-the-blues-mongrels/.

June 16 – Father’s Day Mini Putt
Where: Northern Escapades Mini Putt in Bracebridge, ON
When: Sunday, June 16th from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free for dads, $5 per additional player

What better way to spend Father’s Day afternoon than taking dad out for a fun round of mini putt? Northern Escapades in Bracebridge is hosting a full day of mini putt, and it’s free for dad’s! Additional players can join for only $5 per person, making it the perfect option for families looking for a great afternoon out. Check out their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/2413302015623741/.

Other Muskoka Father’s Day Events:

Father’s Day Beer Tasting Cruise aboard the SS Bigwin sponsored by Lake of Bays Brewing at the Baysville docks in Dorset, ON at 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM.

Father’s Day Car Show in downtown Bracebridge, ON from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

June 26-July 19 – Harvest: Comedy by Ken Cameron
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Wednesday, June 26th until Friday, July 19th
Cost: $40 Regular, $36 Group, $30 Student

Running from June 26th until July 19th, Harvest brings Ken Cameron’s blend of sardonic and poignant humour to the Gravenhurst Opera House. Harvest sees a newly retired couple trading their quaint country life, leasing their farm home to a nice young man and trading it all for a condo in the city. The couple soon finds out that the young man they’ve leased their home to is growing a much different crop than they expected.

Harvest is a can’t miss show that the Globe and Mail hailed for its “memorable characters” and “deliciously sardonic one-liners”. More info and tickets available at https://www.gravenhurst.ca/en/explore-and-play/what_s-on.aspx.

June 29 – Surfin’ Safari
Where: Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville, ON
When: Saturday, June 29th @ 8:00 PM
Cost: $39.00

What better time for surf rock hits than June? Surfin’ Safari brings the hits of the Beach Boys, Frankie Avalon, Jimmy Buffet, Jan & Dean, and the Ventures to Huntsville for a fun-filled beach party show with plenty of audience interaction. Come on out to the Algonquin Theatre for a full evening of your all-time favourite beach party classics, including “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “Surfin’ USA”, “Surf City”, “Kokomo”, “California Girls”, and many more.

For tickets and more information for this sunny and interactive show, visit https://tickets.algonquintheatre.ca/TheatreManager/1/online.

June 29 – Walkers Point Marina Canada Day Fireworks
Where: Walkers Point Marina in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Saturday, June 29th at dusk
Cost: Free

Celebrate Canada Day early at Walkers Point Marina with a big and bold fireworks display. The show will take place at dusk, with viewers welcome by boat and by land. This year’s festivities promise to be bigger and better than ever before. For more information, visit Walkers Point Marina’s website https://www.walkerspointmarina.com/.

For more information about Muskoka Window & Door Centre’s high quality line of window and door products, visit our website or contact us today.