Woman holding vinyl record with SOLD sign

Did you Know?

A Real ‘Knack’ at Real Estate

Perhaps I’m aging myself but remember the song My Sharona by the Knack?
Some of us remember all too well jiving to that song on the dancefloor thinking we were as amazing as Kevin Bacon in Footloose. Although I’m sure those on the sidelines could probably better describe us as Elaine from Seinfeld and her attempts at dancing.

Sharona Alperin was just in her teens when the band member was so taken by her he was inspired to write the hit song bearing her name. The song hit number 1 and stayed there for six weeks.

Her boyfriend, Doug, The Knack, would have her preview homes for him while he was away.  While searching for his new home Sharona caught the attention of top real estate agents who were impressed with her ability. So much so, she ended up getting her real estate license by the time she was twenty-five.

She is still passionate about her career, selling high-end Real Estate to this day with many of her clients being those in the entertainment industry. If you're looking to relocate to the Los Angeles area visit Sharona's website

This has to be the most unique answer to “how did you get into the business?

Photo credit: Lisa Fotios


My Sharona Official Video
Remains of the Roundhouse

Ghost Town

Depot Harbour

Have you ever strolled through a ghost town? Visitors are intrigued as they wander about these remnants of the past. It’s one thing to read history books but ghost towns offer a look back in time up close.

Did you know a ghost town exists right in our area?

Bruce Forsyth explains: “A ghost town is a once flourishing town that is wholly or mostly abandoned, usually as a result of the economic activity that supported it has failed, due to resource exhaustion, natural disasters or government actions that make the area economically non-viable.
One such ghost town in the Parry Sound District in Ontario is Depot Harbour.”

Founded in 1892 by J.R. Booth, Depot Harbour is said to be the largest town in Ontario that became a ghost town. It was once home to 1600 permanent residents, which may have grown to 3,000 in the summer, the town located on Parry Island, which is part of the Wasauksing First Nation, was a bustling shipping port.
There were 110 houses, two grain elevators, docks, a railway station, hotel and shops.

An old photo of the elevators can be found at 1000 Towns of Canada. 

It became one of the most important Great Lakes shipping ports having the best natural harbour and was the shortest route for shipping grain to the Atlantic Ocean. Trains were coming and going every twenty minutes.

On August 14, 1945 while the grain elevators were being torn down they caught fire. A strong wind carried the sparks from the fire. The fire quickly spread lighting the sky so much so it has been said you could read a newspaper in Parry Sound by the light of the fire.

What was left of the town went up in flames.

Sarah Hewitt was able to capture the emptiness of the area in her Travel article at BBC

Little remains of the once bustling town except scattered foundations frozen in time. The bank vault can still be found.  The harbour sits empty. The bush and trees have hidden most of what remains.

Photo credit of the Roundhouse remains: Jeffrey Robb from Pexels

Depot Harbour Video

Camping in Comfort

Glamping in the Parry Sound District

With the arrival of Spring and the snow slowly melting away your thoughts may have turned to sitting outside in the warm weather. After the long winter months of hibernating, the excitement wells up inside us to head outdoors once again.

How do you like to spend your time in nature? Do you like to rough it camping, taking in as much fresh air as possible?
If a hotel is more your style, there’s good news! You can enjoy the great outdoors in comfort.

Glamping is short for glamorous camping. Imagine outdoor camping with the comfort and amenities we take for granted every day. Things not usually available such as beds, electricity, and plumbing so you can enjoy the great outdoors in comfort.

Recently I came across an article featuring the Glamping sites in Ontario and found some of those mentioned are right here in the Parry Sound District!

The Harmony Outdoor Inn located in Parry Sound offers a glamping experience on their secluded woodland property conveniently located close to town. If you want to enjoy nature without venturing far, this might be perfect for you.

The Northridge Inn & Resort on beautiful Lake Bernard in Sundridge, Ontario is located in a rural area. Guests enjoy this quiet setting while unwinding at the beach.

Northern Edge Algonquin located in South River, Ontario offers a variety of group getaways where you can relax and enjoy adventures in the woods and on the water.

While searching this topic I stumbled across this secluded cute cabin in the woods near Turtle Lake. This little place has great reviews and comes highly recommended.

So why not try glamping in the Parry Sound District! These are a few of the places you can book your stay where you can look at the stars and connect with nature. After all, why shouldn’t you unwind in luxury!

Once you’ve spent your holiday here don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you decide you never want to leave. Together we can find your permanent cottage country getaway! 


Wonderful Nature - Poem by Andhra Pradesh 12 years old

Building a Cottage on an Island

Is this right for you?

If you were fortunate enough to grow up heading to the cottage you know this is where some of the best memories are made.

Cottage means family. It’s the place where every relative gathers around.

If you are considering a permanent getaway location for your family perhaps you’ve given thought to building your own dream cottage. A family cottage is an emotional investment, so you'll want to do your research.

Building on an island has challenges you don’t face when building on a property with road access. Weather alone can have a huge impact on the build since materials must be transported by boat.

What does it take to build a cottage on an island? A recent article from Real Estate Wealth by Corben Grant outlines things to consider with questions one might ask. 

You can find more information related to building on a water access property in our beautiful area in cottage country right hereRick Zanussi also points out things to consider before taking on a project in this article by Andrew Hind.

Pointe au Baril is made up of a collection of islands, with access to the mainland on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay. 

While researching this topic I stumbled across the company "Cliff and Evans". They showcase an off-grid dream cottage their clients were wanting to become a reality. Have a look at this spectacular beauty on Georgian Bay!   

One can easily get lost in the overwhelming beauty of Georgian Bay. However, sometimes living right next door we can take it for granted and forget how truly fortunate we are. I thought of this after reading the words of Nora Dunn "The Professional Hobo":

“A childhood friend of mine who lived in London, England for a while & worked at a travel agency laughed when they sat all the employees down one day & said, “today we’re going to learn about ‘Cottage Country’ – a world famous place in Ontario, which is in Canada”.…. sometimes we have to travel around the world to find out what we’ve got on our own doorstep.”

Anne Randell, Board Member of Georgian Bay Foreversums up perfectly the feeling one has enjoying the cottage on Georgian Bay, I am never happier than when I’m enjoying the beauty of Georgian Bay at our family cottage in Pointe au Baril.”

While the private island life may be appealing there are many factors before deciding if building an island cottage is the right fit for your family.

Feel free to reach out to me to discuss your options!

Georgian Bay Photo

Why named Pointe au Baril?

Pointe au Baril is a village situated in the heart of the 30,000 islands on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay.

Have you wondered how our village got its name?

It all started in the 1870s when fur traders lost a canoe on Georgian Bay. The story goes that the canoe was discovered by those who enjoyed a barrel of whiskey they found onboard. They left the empty barrel on the point as a marker, and soon the place became known as Pointe au Baril, meaning “Barrel Point.”



A tradition started where the first returning fishermen would light a lamp in the barrel as a guide for others.
That’s right. A simple wooden barrel would guide them. That is until a lighthouse was built.


Carl Madigan served as the lighthouse keeper for several years. After Carl’s passing, his wife, Emmaline, carried on in the role, becoming the last lighthouse keeper of Pointe au Baril. The following video by Coty Forth shows the love Emmaline had for the area. This video earned Coty the winning vote in the Doc Studio Contest.

See the following for a lot more information about the history of our lighthouse as well as gorgeous photos.

Joe Grant, a member of Tanglefoot wrote a song entitled Emmaline about Emmaline Madigan’s life as a keeper. 

I enjoyed the following article by Edward Trippel about the historical significance of the Pointe au Baril barrel.

The next time you're with family or friends on the Bay and find yourself passing by our lighthouse be sure to share this bit of history!


Song: Emmaline by Tanglefoot
Candles burning in the dark

Are you Prepared for a Power Outage?

What to do before it happens...

When a natural disaster strikes you want to be ready. What can you do to prepare your family?

In most cases a power outage is weather related. Follow weather warnings and prepare accordingly. If you hear of a storm heading your way, be sure you have water and non-perishable food on hand. If you have medication that requires refrigeration, consider how you will keep these without power.

Store emergency food supplies somewhere in your home along with an emergency kit full of necessary items. Make sure these are easy to find. When the lights go out you’ll want to find your flashlights with little effort.

With the cooler weather consider how your family will stay warm. If you own your home, do you have a woodstove? Having one will keep you worry free when it comes to keeping warm in the winter. A recent article in caa magazine recommends buying a backup generator or installing solar panels.

Having necessary items in your home will ease your mind when the lights go out. Following is a list we are advised to have on hand:

Basic emergency kit
  • Water  
  • Non-perishable food
  • Can opener
  • Flashlights
  • Wind-up or battery-powered radio
  • First aid kit
  • Prescriptions
  • Extra keys to your car and house
  • Change and cash in small bills
  • Contact information
Recommended additional items
  • Candles and matches
  • Clothing
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • A whistle
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper and personal care items
  • Gloves
  • Small fuel-driven stove and fuel
  • Water for cooking and cleaning

To see a more detailed description of the above on what you may want to store in your home visit the Government of Canada "Get Prepared" for this as well as other tips.

Having supplies ready will ease your mind if you lose power. Your family will have what they need and you can remain calm.

Perhaps the only thing left will be to add a few games and books to ease boredom! Is there anything you would include in your list of supplies?


Beating the Heat - Tips to Keep Your Home Cool

With the recent hot summer weather many have been looking for ways to keep cool. Perhaps you have been struggling to keep your home comfortable. Here are a few tips:

Close your windows
If it’s warmer outside than in your home close the windows to keep the cool air in.

Close the blinds or drapes
Keep the heat out during the sunniest part of the day by closing your blinds

Set the ceiling fan
Be sure the fan is rotating counterclockwise in the summer. A fan moving counterclockwise will push air down and make you feel cool. 

Insulating your home will keep the cool air from escaping

Weather stripping
Keep the cool air from escaping by weather stripping around doors and windows

Exhaust fans
Be sure to use your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to push the hot air out of your home
Set your fans where you can move cooler air around the home
Change the way you cook
On warm days cook outside on the BBQ or use your slow cooker. Doing this will prevent heating up your kitchen.

Air it out
Open your windows at night when the air is cooler


It's Hot! Poem by Shel Silverstein
Cat in window

"Crazed Cat" guards Home

Do you have a four-legged friend at home? Many people are pet owners. After all pets offer companionship and bring us joy. However, when we prepare to sell our home there are some things to consider.

Selling a home with pets requires extra effort to make it attractive to potential buyers. Take the time to make your home appeal to those who may not be pet lovers.  

In addition to cleaning and preparing your home, think about how you’ll manage your pets for showings. For scheduled showings consider removing pets from your property.

Place the litter box out of sight if possible and you may want to clean it more often. If you are short on space an enclosure similar to this may help at least conceal the litterbox. 

If you don’t think your cat is a concern when strangers enter your home have you heard of the real estate agent who ended up trapped at a showing by a crazed cat?

article claims the cat chased after her and her clients....all the way to the front door!

Most likely thinking no one would have believed her she recorded her predicament. Have a look at the video to see the ‘guard cats’ reaction to the Realtor entering its home.

Lastly, please
review the advice from the OSPCA on selling your home with pets around.


“For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.” Roger Caras, American Activist


VIDEO "Crazed Cat" guards Home

Journey through Time

Are you in search of ways to occupy your time while in lockdown? If the stay at home order is putting you in the doldrums a trip down memory lane may just be in order!

You most likely have a stack of old photographs you keep telling yourself you’re going to organize one day. While stuck at home this is the best time to tackle just such a project.

Sifting through pictures from long ago brings a sense of nostalgia. Memories from the past may bring joy of moments forgotten.

As you enjoy your trip down memory lane share it with others. Reach out by zoom to those who would love to reminisce along with you. 

You may find yourself so distracted while looking through your photos you probably forgot to organize….here’s a quick

  • Gather all your photographs in one place and organize them.
  • Sort & discard duplicates, blurry or damaged etc
  • Scan them.
  • Organize into labelled storage boxes.
You're sure to come across some favourites. There are fantastic ideas out there on creative ways to display these.
Looking for more
ideas on what to do with your old photos?
Create a collage, make a table runner, turn them into wall art!
unique ideas here! Have that one friend who loves puzzles? Surprise them with a personal photo puzzle. 

Couldn't say it any better than
Gretchen Rubin in the HuffPost 
"One of the best ways to make yourself happy in the present is to recall happy times from the past. Photos are a great memory-prompt, and because we tend to take photos of happy occasions, they weight our memories to the good."

Life is a Picture

I took a little time today,
to reminisce of yesterday.
To review our lives in the past
recorded here in photographs.

As I page through the years,
Sometimes I may shed some tears.
So many faces I have known,
some passed away and others grown.

Sometimes it's hard to realize,
when all spread out before my eyes,
With all the pictures that I took,
our whole lives are in this book.

Author: Unknown 


Disaster Strikes near Pointe au Baril

Did you Know?

All are familiar with the story of the Titanic but did you know the eighth worst maritime tragedy in history took place a lot closer to home?

The two only survivors actually ended up on the shores of Pointe au Baril.

That night the SS ASIA was carrying a heavy load. They set out for French River, and had on board horses, equipment and a larger than usual number of passengers. Although she was only allowed to carry 49 people, she had about 125 passengers and crew aboard.

It seems as well that she wasn’t loaded properly, so she was top-heavy. To make matters worse she was fitted with flimsy lifeboats, which repeatedly overturned in the stormy waters.

Once the storm struck the Asia had no chance. The ship personnel tried to lighten the vessel by throwing horses and other livestock off, but it didn’t help. The storm was far too strong.

One of the survivors said of his struggle to survive: 
"Between ten and eleven the excitement was terrible. Men and Women, crazed with fear, were rushing around tearing the hair from their heads in handfuls. The wind suddenly chopped from the south west to the northwest, and with a crash the vessel rolled over on her beam ends. The sea was now a mountainous whirlpool and the ship was helpless. The horses in the meantime-there were about ten or then aboard -- had broken loose and at every roll they were thrown from one side of the main deck to the other. At last about 11:30 she pitched up at the head and went down stern first, the cabin breaking off, and the boats, crowded with people, floated as she did so. "About 7:30 in the evening we came in sight of Byng Inlet Light. The wind had gone down, but the sea was still high.”   Read the full account at Maritime History of the Great Lakes by Duncan 

Owen Sound Hub tells Christina shared the events of that day: “We drifted about on the open stormy lake with only one oar to guide us to safety. Our plight seemed hopeless until in the evening we sighted land and someone started to sing, “Pull for the shore, sailor, pull for the shore,” all of us promptly joining in the chorus. During all that dreary night we drifted slowly toward land and although it was only a question of hours before our efforts would be rewarded, one after another of the brave occupants of our boat succumbed to the strain and exposure.”

Christie Morrison and Duncan Tinkis made it to shore near Pointe au Baril.
Big Water is a book inspired by the disaster and the survivors written by Andrea Curtis.

It's been said fishermen in the Byng Inlet area find their nets have caught on something underwater. Perhaps the Asia lies hidden beneath this area waiting to be discovered?

Song "Wreck of the Asia"
Pointe au Baril Real Estate

Working from Home

Your Office Space

During this pandemic more and more people are finding themselves working from home.

If you’re one of them, how is your home office working out for you?

Staying productive takes a little extra effort.

If you find it a challenge to stay focused you may want to consider turning your attention to your office area.

It definitely helps if you have a dedicated space for working from home.

Perhaps it’s time to spruce things up? Your home office should not only be functional but comfortable as well; after all you’re going to be spending a lot of time there.

And the added benefit of this being YOUR office is you have a say in how it’s going to look!

Bringing a bit of your own creativity might just inspire you to be more productive while working from home.

HGTV has an article with fantastic ideas from decluttering your workspace to finding the best lighting.

Personally, I like the ‘change your perspective’, it makes for a nice spot with all that natural light while you’re at the desk.

Create a space where you are able to concentrate, work efficiently, and be creative without distractions.

To avoid repetitive strains it's very important to be sure you’re comfortable.

Galen Gruman Executive Editor for Global Content, Computerworld offers these tips:

 “You know your work surface is at the correct height if, when you sit up straight, your forearms are parallel to the ground and your wrist is not bent up or down when you type or mouse. The top surface of your wrist should essentially be on the same plane as the top of your forearm, with your fingers dangling slightly down to the keyboard. Bending the wrists for prolonged periods is an easy way to cause injury.”

If working from home is an option for you, make the most of it. Create a home office where you can not only showcase your personality but be a productive employee too!