Sunday, 30 December 2012

Chandos Ice In Date 2012

I may have jumped the gun with the Chandos Lake ice in date yesterday. 

This morning the north end of the lake has significant open water.  The south end of the lake is frozen well past Buck Island as you look north.  About a mile north of Buck Island there is a large amount of open water.

Please do not even think about heading out on the ice at this point.

The actual ice in date was January 4, 2013 this year.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Chandos Lake Ice In/Ice Out Dates 2007 - 2012

The ice in and ice out dates have fluctuated somewhat since I started recording the dates after we purchased our place on Chandos Lake in the spring of 2007.

Chandos Lake Ice In/Ice Out Dates 2007 - 2012

                                  Ice Out                              Ice In

2007                                                                    December 10, 2007
2008                         April 21, 2008                    December  8, 2008
2009                         April 16, 2009                    January 4, 2010
2010                         April 3, 2010                      December 21, 2010
2011                         April 20, 2011                    January 15, 2012
2012                         March 23, 2012                  December 29, 2012

At this point the ice is far from safe for travel.  The forecast calls for well below zero Celsius temperatures right through the first week of 2013 with very little snow so the ice should build quickly.

Be extremely careful travelling the lake even after the ice has frozen sufficiently to permit travel across it.   

Chandos Lake 2012 Ice in Date December 29

The ice is in on Chandos Lake this morning.  Yesterday afternoon there was ice starting to form in the bays of the lake but the main north south section of the lake remained open and disturbed slightly by the wind from the north.

This morning after another night of minus 15 Celsius temperatures and very calm winds the lake is frozen.

Buck Island, Chandos Lake, December 29, 2012

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas from Clark Breuls Re/Max in Apsley ON

Merry Christmas to all from Re/Max Country Classics in Apsley ON.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a prosperous, safe and happy 2013!!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

2012 Apsley ON Christmas Tree

This years tree in the centre of town is decorated and is lit up each night with many coloured lights.

Here is a little bit of Christmas from downtown Apsley!!

Friday, 14 December 2012

2012 North Kawartha Cottages Holiday Newsletter

Happy Holidays to all from Clark Breuls, at Re/Max Country Classics Ltd. in Apsley, ON. This is my first holiday newsletter since joining Re/Max and I thought it would be good to reflect on what has occurred in, and around, our beautiful cottage area town over the course of this year.

In January, there was the installation of brand new Ministry of Transportation signs for Apsley on both northbound and southbound Highway 28.  This is a nice improvement and will provide more recognition for the village of Apsley, by those travelling on Highway 28.

On Saturday, February 4th, the Apsley Tyke hockey team participated in the Campbellford Colts 2012 Senior Tyke Tournament.  Apsley entered the tournament with a record of 4 wins, 13 losses and 2 ties.  Against all odds, Apsley won all three of their games and clinched the championship title, the “Crosby Award”.  Also in February, another excellent Apsley Winter Carnival took place with events sponsored by the Apsley Lions and Apsley Legion.  On the Friday night, there was a Casino and Wing Night and on Saturday, there were all of the outdoor activities including Dog Sled races, ski-joring, snow sculpture contests and other games.  On Sunday, brunch was offered and from what I hear, no one left hungry.

March brought the 36th Annual Trappers Carnival and the North Kawartha Skating Carnival to the ice surface at the community centre.  There were excellent performances by all of the skaters including a special performance by Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, the 2012 Canadian National Bronze Medalists.  We saw the ice officially out on Chandos Lake on March 23, 2012, which was the earliest “ice out” date recorded in several decades.

April brought warm spring weather to Apsley and our area lakes.  The weather was beautiful on Easter Weekend and I launched our boat and floated our dock back into position with the help of Darryl Sanderson of Cottage Docks for the upcoming season.  This was also the earliest we have been able to do this since buying our cottage in 2007.  On April 13th, the Apsley Gymnastics Club held a gymnastics show and tumbled to a “Springtime in the Kawartha’s” theme and the event had a great turnout for all who participated.

In May, the Lions held their annual Mother’s Day brunch at the community centre.  The annual Walk for Guide Dogs was held on May 27th and this walk is held to raise funds for the Lions supported school in Oakville ON.  It is absolutely amazing to see how these very special animals can be trained to perform seizure response, guide for the blind, dog for the deaf and special needs dogs for children with autism and other medical conditions.  It costs about $20,000 to train just one dog so these fundraisers are extremely important to the program.

June weekends saw the Apsley Market in full swing, with local vendors offering their products in the centre of Apsley.   The Township of North Kawartha Council approved switching their legal business to the firm of Ewart O’Dwyer.  The decision was made because the new legal firm’s rate, to process shoreline road allowance purchases will be significantly less than the previous legal firm.

July was welcomed in with more beautiful summer weather.  The Lions ran another excellent Canada Day Parade in Apsley which was followed by children’s games and other festivities at Lions Park.  The day ended with a tremendous fireworks display to fully celebrate the July 1st birthday of Canada.

In August, we continued with great summer weather.  The Apsley Legion held a very successful Horseshoe Tournament with 62 players participating in the event.  Council gave its support to a proposed solar panel project that is in its early stages and if approved, the project would consist of 2200 to 2400 ground mounted solar panels, generating a total of about 500KW.  The panels would be located on the south side of Jeff Road, East of Hwy 28. The project will have to meet strict setback requirements so that there is no visual impact to area properties.

September saw a very successful CIBC Run for the Cure in Apsley and our local group of participants had a goal of raising at least $15,000.  They successfully raised a total amount of $17,100.00.  An outstanding job to a very committed group!  After a very dry summer, September brought some much needed rain to our area, and even though the weather was not the best, the autumn Apsley Studio Tour, saw another successful year.

The dry weather throughout the summer had many people predicting that there would be a very poor display of fall colours this year, but they were wrong.  In fact,  it appears the substantial amount of rain we had throughout the month of September,  helped to produce one of the most stunning fall colour displays in years for the area.  October saw a major personal change for me when I made the decision to join Re/Max in Apsley.

November brought colder temperatures and we saw the tail end of hurricane Sandy.  Fortunately for us all, we were spared any extensive damage from the significant storm that wreaked havoc in the eastern U.S.  On November 10th, my wife Debbie, and I, along with a group of very committed volunteers, held our 22nd Annual Children’s Wish Car Rally.  This is an event that Debbie started and this year was record breaking in both attendees and donations.  We had 278 attendees and raised in excess of $35,000.00.  In addition, we had another surprise donation of $90,000.00 that came through a co-executor that contacted Debbie because the money had to go a Children’s charity.  We are so grateful for all the donations and grant some very special wishes.

Now some interesting Real Estate statistics for 2012, where we had the following MLS sales on our area lakes:

Lake             Sales    Average Price    Median Price    Percentage of List

Anstruther         6          $293,667           $224,000                   92.6%           

Chandos           25          $493,320           $398,000                   95.1%

Eel’s                   2          $263,500           $263,500                   95.8%

Jack                   6           $338,750           $321,250                  93.9%

Paudash              3         $238,500            $225,000                  94.3%                      

Wolf Lake          1          $295,000           $295,000                  98.6%

After a long hard winter, there is nothing better than thoughts of another beautiful summer at the cottage, and the first step is the spring Cottage Life Show.  Nothing gets you back in the mood faster than being able to enjoy a day of new cottage toys, or even boring stuff, like new plumbing options or animal control products.

I'd like to invite you to the 2013 Spring Cottage Life Show where we can chat about what North Kawartha has to offer you, your family or even your friends. Whether it’s on Jack, Chandos, Anstruther, or other lakes in our area, we can help you find something that will fit your lifestyle and budget.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, please call me for a free, no obligation opinion of value. The 2013 Cottage Selling Season begins with the Spring Cottage Life Show from April 5-7, 2013. Property listings will be extensively promoted at the show.

I look forward to what 2013 will bring to the town of Apsley and am very happy to be part of the community. From my family, to yours, have a happy and safe holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Clark Breuls
Re/Max in Apsley, ON
705-656-1044 Direct

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Winter Arrives in Apsley ON

Winter has definitely arrived in Apsley!  Yesterday there was a considerable amount of freezing rain in the morning which made a number of roads including Balmer Road and Antelope Trail very slippery to travel on.

Through out the day the temperature warmed up and the freezing rain turned to rain and then stopped.  By late afternoon the weather was clearing and a high pressure system was moving in.  Overnight temperatures feel to minus 14 Celsius on the shores of Chandos Lake.

Tuesday is a bright sunny winter's day in Apsley.  Several more days of sunny weather are forecast before we receive some snow on the weekend.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Apsley ON News Update November 24, 2012

It seems winter may have arrived in Apsley ON.  Snow flurries are in the air and there is a cold wind coming from the northwest this morning.  In between that the sun continues to shine through.  The current temperature is minus 3 Celsius and the forecast calls for a low of minus 8 Celsius tonight.  Above zero temperatures are not forecast until Monday and even then the prediction is only plus 2 Celsius.

In town today, the Christmas Gift Bazaar is being held at the Apsley Legion.  There seems to be a steady stream of folks stopping by to see what the local artisans have to offer this year.

Stop by and see what is available today and tomorrow.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Cottage and Capital Gains Tax

Canada Revenue Agency allows for tax free capital appreciation on one principal residence.

This is a particular concern for those that own more than one property such as a home in the city and a second residence or cottage in the country.  When one property is sold it is prudent to make a decision on which residence should be declared as the principal residence.

If the value increase of the cottage has outpaced the home it may be better off for the capital gains tax to be paid on the increase in value of the home and there by protect the increase in value on the cottage from possible future taxation even if there are no plans to sell the cottage in the foreseeable future.

Power Outage in Apsley ON

The power went out in Apsley around 9:30 AM this morning.  Rather strange for such a calm and beautiful day.

It was a significant outage for our area with 7,930 customers effected.  No word on what the reason for the outage was but as of 1:30 PM the power was back on.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

22nd Annual Children's Wish Car Rally

Today is the day for the 22nd Annual Children's Wish Car Rally.

From a small group of friends getting together to have fun and raise some money for charity the Car Rally has grown tremendously.  Today we will hold the largest rally in our history with 280 attendees and 75 cars participating.

All 75 cars left the start point by 9:30 AM and are on there way to the mystery destination.  This evening there will be a dinner dance with a silent auction.  Over night accommodation will be at a five star resort in Ontario and a full hot breakfast will be served tomorrow morning.

Most rally participants will head home tomorrow while some people will elect to stay and additional night and enjoy the resorts facilities on Sunday afternoon and evening.

All the best of luck to all of the rally participants! 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Apsley ON News Update November 7, 2012

It has been a couple of cold but sunny days on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  Lows both mornings were below -10 Celsius on Chandos Lake.

The hunters are out and this morning just past 8:00 AM a rifle shot could be heard going off.

All of the ponds along Balmer Road had a skim of ice over them.  There was even ice close to shore on Chandos Lake where Antelope Trail runs along side the lake.

Another cold night looks to be in store for us tonight. The forecast calls for cool temperatures again tomorrow before things start to warm up towards the weekend.

Absolutely excellent news was received this afternoon from Delores Wilson the Township of North Kawartha Tax Collector/Deputy Treasurer.

The Common Block Tax Issue in Chandos Lake Estates has been resolved as a result of regulatory changes made by the Province of Ontario.  These changes will take effect for the 2013 taxation year.  Below is a copy of the email received from Delores.

Subject: Common Block Properties

Great News  Everyone!  A Regulation  has been filed dealing with the Common Lands.  Please pass this on to any who may be interested!  We will need some time to come up with a  plan at our end to review what has transpired prior to 2013.


Under the new regulated approach, where a recreational lot in a residential subdivision is owned jointly by multiple residential property owners, the commonly-owned recreational lot will not be given a separate assessed value, but rather, its value will be incorporated into the assessment of the individual residential lots.  This regulation takes effect for the 2013 taxation year.


The regulation is available on e-laws at  It is Ontario Regulation 341/12, amending Ontario Regulation 282/98 under the Assessment Act.

Many thanks to all who worked on this issue over the past several years.  Our efforts have paid off.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Apsley ON News Update November 2, 2012

This morning was the first morning of snow on Chandos Lake and in the town of Apsley ON.

The past week has seen significant weather in the area.  Fortunately there was relatively little damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.  Monday evening and over night into Tuesday saw significant wind which caused some trees to fall and a number of power outages.  These were resolved during the day on Tuesday.

The remainder of the week saw rain each and every day with a dusting of snow falling Thursday into Friday.

The weekend forecast calls for clearer weather but much colder temperatures.  Each day next week is forecast to have overnight lows below freezing.  It should make things feel much more like this time of year and hopefully have some brighter days than we have seen in the last week or so.


Sunday, 21 October 2012

News Update Apsley ON October 21, 2012

Yesterday and today are mostly overcast, but really very warm for this time of year.  Both days have been quite windy which is quickly bringing down what is left of the leaves in the trees.

Chandos Lake looks cold and winter like, when viewing it towards the north from our place on Antelope Trail.  What a difference a couple of weeks make at this time of the year.  Now that most of the leaves are down it seems that winter is just right around the corner.

Plans are being made for the Cottage Life show in the spring of 2013 where I will be attending in a booth representing North Kawartha Cottages and our area Cottage Real Estate.

If you are considering selling I would be pleased to provide you with my thoughts and an opinion of value at absolutely no cost to you.  Please feel free to contact me at my direct line 705-656-1044 at any time.  It would be great to hear from you and I will be happy to help in anyway that I can.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Chandos Lake History

The first settler to Chandos Lake was Cornelius Maher.  He arrived in 1862 and owned several thousand feet of shoreline along the north shore of West Bay.

In the mid 1920's many young men residing in Chandos Township at the time were attracted to western Canada as they saw little hope of prosperity at home.  Many of the young men saw no value in the Chandos properties that they owned and left the area without even bothering to sell their land.
Once the properties were put up for Tax Sale an entrepreneurial Toronto Coal Dealer purchased several hundred acres of land.  He subsequently went on to divide and sell them at a handsome profit primarily to Americans seeking summer properties at Chandos Lake.

Some of the earliest summer hotels were established in West Bay as well.  Over the course of the 1920's waterfront properties were sold to other Americans such as Dan and Theresa Galbraith of Rochester NY.  Dan and Theresa purchased Ramona Lodge from Arthur Hall in the spring of 1925.  The following year Dan began to sell off some of his waterfront lots.  The first was sold to Rochester merchant Herbert Johnston and his wife Gertrude in 1926.  This property was subsequently purchased by Roy Parsons of Peterborough in 1934.  In 1927 and 1928 two other Rochester residents David Morrison and Dr. Rosco Wilcox purchased properties.  Then in 1933 two Peterborough residents, Norman Paterson and Allan MacNab purchased property from Galbraith and built cottages beside each other along the same shore.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

MPAC Information and How it Works With Cottage Properties

MPAC, established by the Ontario provincial government in 1998, is a non-profit corporation charged with putting a value on each of more than four million properties in the province, based on a current value assessment (CVA). Each municipality sets its budget and then determines the tax rate.  This tax rate is then applied it to that assessed property value to come up with the property tax amount. So if MPAC assesses your property value at $300,000 and your municipality sets its tax rate at one per cent, your taxes will be 300,000 x .01, or $3,000.

How does MPAC really know what a cottage property is worth when each is unique and there are few comparables?  Some are critical of the system in place, which requires MPAC to put a value on these difficult-to-assess properties using limited data; however, Larry Hummel, chief assessor at MPAC, explains that the corporation assesses all properties by applying variables from a list of more than 200 possibilities.  It’s more complicated to figure out the value of a waterfront property than, say, a house in an inland suburb because there are more variables involved.  They include, for instance, the quality of the shoreline: Is it rocky, weedy, gently sloped, steep?

Still, 85 per cent of the value of any property is typically found in just five key variables: location (which includes the lake the property is on), size of lot (which includes water frontage), size of cottage, age of cottage, and quality of construction. Hummel is confident that MPAC gets it right most of the time.  He says the question to ask yourself when you scrutinize your cottage property assessment this fall is: “Could I have sold my property for that price on January 1, 2012 (the current assessment date for all Ontario properties?)”  If the answer is yes, then MPAC did its job.  If the answer is no then an appeal of the assessment should be filed.

If you disagree with your assessment you can find and request more information at where you can view your own and neighbours’ assessments in detail and you can appeal your assessment.  Details of the appeal process are on the MPAC website.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

First Frost of the Fall 2012 on Chandos Lake

This morning the temperature feel as low as -5 degrees Celsius at Chandos Lake resulting in the first frost at the lake so far this Fall season.

There has been a heavy frost in the town of Apsley ON the past two mornings.

Certainly there will be more to come as we head towards the month of November.  However, there will be a reprieve over the next 24 to 48 hours as rain and much warmer temperatures are forecast for our part of the world. 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

News Update October 11, 2012

Wednesday sure was a strange weather day in the Apsley ON area.  One minute it was pouring rain with strong wind gusts and the next minute the sun was shining and you could see a rainbow in the distance.

The strong winds and rain have taken down at least half of the leaves already.

Part of the day was spent on a trip up to Eels Lake to view two cottage properties.  The lake level was very low after such a long dry summer drought.  The much needed rain we have had so far this fall will help.  Hopefully, we will see snow this winter to help raise the lake levels in the spring.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Fall Leaves Falling Quickly in Apsley ON

It is Wednesday October 10, 2012 and the fall leaves are quickly coming off the trees in the Apsley ON area.

After one of the best fall coloor displays in years the rain and wind forecast for the next few days will likely take down a great deal of the leaves still remaining in the trees.  Then begins the task of clearing the leaves from those cottage driveways that will be used year round.

The contruction crews are completing the resurfacing of Hwy 620 as you leave town.  They should be done by Friday October 12 weather permitting.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

North Kawartha, ON 2012 Fall Colours

The Fall colours around the lakes of Apsley, ON are absolutely stunning this year.  So much for the weatherman saying that as a result of the summer drought we would not see much of a show this year.

Not sure what the reason for the vibrant colours is, but perhaps all of the rain we had in September helped them to come out.

I have been out to a number of cottage properties on Chandos Lake and Jack Lake over the past few days and the show of colour around both lakes is just outstanding.

Barring any severe inclement weather over the next few days those planning on spending the Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend in North Kawartha, ON and more particularly on the lakes around Apsley, ON are in for a great treat this weekend!

Reservoir Lake Concerns

Reservoir lakes are any lakes connected to a watershed used to provide water in order to support waterways within that watershed.

There are many reservoir lakes in southern Ontario that are used to provide and maintain appropriate water levels for the Trent Severn Waterway.

With the drought we have experienced in Southern Ontario in the summer of 2012 many lakes in water sheds connected to the Trent Severn Waterway have experienced extremely low water levels.  This has been caused by the drought and then exaggerated by the need to use these reservoir lakes to support the Trent Canal.

Many of these reservoir lakes are located in the Haliburton area as well as other areas across southern Ontario..

Chandos Lake in North Kawartha is not a reservoir lake.  It does not drain to the south and is not impacted by supporting the Trent Canal.

For anyone interested in purchasing a waterfront recreational property there should be an investigation into whether the lake is a reservoir lake or not.  If it is then time should be spent checking out the impact on the lake levels as well as water quality before any purchase is made.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Cottage Closing Tips

Well here we are approaching the end of September 2012.  While many cottages in the North Kawartha area are used year round there are still a number of summer only residences on Chandos Lake as well Jack Lake and other area lakes.

With that in mind here is a short list of things to consider for those that will be closing up the cottage for the fall and winter over the next few weeks.

1) First of all and probably the most important the water needs to be shut off and the system completely drained.  In properties where no heat is left on over the winter this should be done no later than Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend. 

2) Empty the refrigerator, unplug it and defrost it.  Use something to prop open the doors to keep them open over the winter.  Place an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator and freezer compartments in order to help absorb any smells.

3) Make sure all of the windows are closed and locked.  If possible remove the screens and store them inside to avoid damage from winter storms.  Close all curtains and window blinds.  If you have windows without curtains they should be covered with some other material.  This will keep people from scoping the place out while you are away as well as reduce the risk of birds flying into and perhaps through the window glass.

4) Place moth balls in the attic as well as the living area to discourage critters moving in while you are away for the winter.

5) Pack up all the food including canned goods and take it with you.  Canned goods can freeze and also the food should be used up and not left unused for extensive periods of time.

6) If you have a dock make sure it is protected over the winter.  Floating docks with over two kilometers of open water in front of them should be moved to a more sheltered place such as the bottom of a bay nearby.  All docks with ramps attached to the shore should be disconnected from the shore to allow free movement over the winter.  Of course the safest way is to remove the dock from the water all together.  However, this is not always possible or practical.

7) Put gas stabiliser in the fuel tanks of any motors that you are storing.  The motors should be started and run to allow the stabiliser to run through the fuel system.  This prevents the gas from breaking down and gumming up the fuel system over the winter.  Insure that all the water is drained out of your outboard motors and that the lower unit lubricant is changed especially if they will be stored where there is no heat.

8) Make sure your boats are out of the water and well away from the waters edge.  The water will likely be much higher in the spring than it is in the fall.

9) If you have year round neighbours or people who use their properties year round then let them know that you are finished for the year and ask them to keep an eye on the place while you are away.

10) Have one last look around and lock up the place.

Enjoy the winter and look forward to another year in paradise next year.