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SO MUSKOKA - what you've missed
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May, 2001


Right off the bat let's get one thing straight - May was in April this year. Call it "global warming", call it "El Nino", or just call it poor planing on the part of the powers that be - April was sunny and warm and beautiful and May, while it started out nice, was rainy and cold. Go figure.

Speaking of miserable conditions, the first two days of May were officially declared dangerously smoggy in Muskoka. That means the smog-sucking masses weren't sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Don Valley Parkway - they were buying crested sportswear in Port Carling! Ain't that a switch! Apparently the toxic tradewinds were out of Michigan, which is fair because that's where Toronto sends its garbage these days.

Gravenhurst is crawling with the walking undead! That's the news from Cogeco Cable Megasystems Inc., anyway. You may recall that Cogeco recently purchased Muskoka Cable Systems and soothed the public's apprehension about the deal by promising to maintain a human presence in town. It was one of their top priorities, in fact! Yet no sooner had their butts hit the chair when they fired every Muskoka Cable employee in town and closed the local office. The reason? Zombies - all of them. The walking undead. No doubt they'll open the office again when and if living, breathing humans are found in Gravenhurst. We have Cogeco to thank for bringing all this ugliness to light.

The Bracebridge Festival of the Falls was a resounding success again. By 'a success' I'm using my usual gauge - no one was killed by the security staff, no one was trampled in a rush for the gates, and charges were dropped when someone got her father to listen to reason. Apparently the festival included a 'Waterwalker Film Festival' but I passed on that - too many movies about Jesus in a row maketh me speak with the tongue of a Philistine for a fortnight.

The Diamond In The Ruff Golf Course is for sale - even amidst its recent move to build 60 estate homes on the property. Can you say 'liquidity crisis'? Sure you can. One can only hope the buyers can come up with a better moniker. Sorry - Kirrie Glen is already taken.

Speaking of how to name your golf course, how about this one: Taboo - the new course at Muskoka Sands Resort! Who the hell came up with that? And does it mean that societally frowned-upon behaviour is encouraged during play or merely tollerated? For answers to these and other burning questions give their pro Jeff Dahlmer a call at 666-1812

The Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce has requested an additional $12,000 to run the information office at Bird Mill Mews. They currently receive $31,855 to stand there and pass out brochures encouraging tourists to visit local businesses. We here at guardian publications think that we could increase business downtown for a lot less coin than that. Our secret plan: the immediate beheading of every parking meter in town! Our advanced business degrees tell us that penalizing people who venture downtown is not only no way to run a railroad - the enforcement costs have got to outweigh the revenue taken in. That'll be $43,855.00 please. Cash would be nice.

If you haven't seen the four foot long ornamental canoe hanging outside the Tim Hortons on Hwy 60 in Hunstville don't bother making the trip now - four drunken 'yutes stole it and while they've since been apprehended they can't recall what they did with it. Everything after that second Canadian was a blur...

A Beaver Creek inmate recently appeared in court claiming that he didn't escape from the institution - he was just late getting back from shore leave. He left the minimum-security correctional facility in July 2000 to visit his wife and family and was next seen January 9th 2001 when the police picked him up at his mom's house in Hamilton. Which makes you wonder - how is it that Corrections Canada takes 6 months to round up missing prisoners? Who are and have been living at their mom's house the whole time??

A school bus was rear ended on Hwy 11 as it took on students but luckily no one was injured too badly. Charged with careless driving and failure to stop for a school bus was a local rocket scientist who said that he didn't notice the brilliant yellow wall with the flashing red lights in the middle of his lane. And damn if he didn't drop his cell phone and spill his double-double all over the day's Sunshine Girl, too.

A bid to build affordable housing on Pine Street in Bracebridge was shot down at a recent council meeting by a town employee who claimed the area was a 'single family' kinda area where them renter-types didn't belong. One local press baron was so outraged by this NIMBY attitude that he plastered an editorial on the front page of the next Weekender slagging the folks who opposed the plan. Sure the move kinda takes the 'news' out of newspaper but hey - when it's your organ you can play what you like!

The Baysville Council and Empire Builders Association has big plans that include $11 million worth of municipal water and sanitary sewer hookups for everyone in town! And it's only going to cost each household $6000 up front plus the cost of connections from the property line to the house plus the cost of officially decommisioning their old wells and septic systems plus higher taxes from here to eternity. And the ungrateful fixed income residents have the nerve to be ungrateful! C'est la vie, folks - just don't try to dodge the bullet by moving to Pine Street in Bracebridge...

Hey look mom - I'm in the paper! May's 'Zamina headline of the month: "Trio of underachievers sporting woeful records". There's no such thing as bad press, right?

How many times have you heard it - build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. Well forget mousetraps - nobody aspires to rodent removal greatness anymore. But in this brave, new millenium build a better Cell Phone Tower and a lot fewer people will be pissed to see one crappin' up the landscape. Milford Bay is currently up in arms after hearing plans that a tower is going to be built on what used to be a fairly picturesque stretch of Hwy 118W. Maybe if they made it look like the Eiffel Tower the residents wouldn't mind - that's ritzy! Or how about a McDonald's Golden Arch - they're usually welcome sights! No wait... a giant Inukchuk - that's pretty cottagey.

The Winston Cigarette Man appeared at Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Secondary School as the oldest surviving cigarette mascot. He spoke to the kids about the evils of smoking but conceded that it did give him a great career in movie-trailer voice-overs.

Is it just me or is an Earth Day contest that gives away a one day spa treatment not a bit of a paradox? And the spa's name - Beauty Comes Naturally! So the clients are paying for what?

The OPP is warning local business to watch out for a fax from a doctor in Nigeria who says he wants to deposit $31.5 million into their bank account - it's a scam! Anyone needing to be told that a fax like that is scam should have any money they may have stumbled across taken away by the government and placed in trust for them but hey, I guess that's beside the point.

Found: one skateboard. Owner must identify and account for why it sailed through a store window in Hunstville. Note to skate corps: practice at home... come downtown when you know your chops.

The sign from the China House Restaurant in Gravenhurst was recently reported absent without leave. The Bracebridge detachment of the OPP are now on the lookout for a rogue China House Restaurant springing up in the area.

The silver bridge leading into beautiful downtown Bracebridge is now half open. Maybe now downtown businesses will only be half dead.

A Gravenhurst frequent flier in the DWI department begged a judge not to send him to jail for his most recent offence because he was afraid the bad boys in the big house would pick on him because of his last name. And no, it's not Fartsalot. It's Homolka. No relation but still...

The new library in Port Carling is going to be called The Norma and Miller Alloway Library. Their claim to library fame - a chequebook capable of floating a major portion of the project, that's what. If I had the bucks I think it would be cool to have a library named after a dearly departed member of MY family, too. Just think - the Popper MacKenzie Public Library. Woof!

What is it with Bracebridge and golf-ettes? Some gal named Ryley Webb gets more ink around here than the mayor of the town and she's going to school in Cactus Crotch New Mexico! I want her agent...

And finally, is it just me or does the new product from the folks at Saran Wrap - shower caps for bowls - not amount to a blatant admission that their product never had the cling they claimed it did?

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