I thought it might be fun to share with you some of what Mike and I have been envisioning about the development of the property we own. We hold our dreams loosely, what we see as possible today might change as we move forward, not to mention we have a lot of ground to cover between now and when we begin to clear the road and start building. Practically speaking, we need to get an official survey of the property so we know exactly where our property line is. There are probably some environmental considerations that need to be weighed in and we need equipment, a small tractor maybe? Perhaps a Bobcat. Never mind building permits etc etc.... I have taken a few photos and scribbled on them to help you see what we see.
This currently is the back of our garage. It measures 17' x 22' with a small jut out the back. We want to convert this garage into a community art studio. I am fortunate enough to own 2 printing presses - an intaglio press and a letterpress, I hope in the not too distant future to have a lithography press as well. I was a founding member of PRNT Collective in Barrie, the first artist collective dedicated to fine art printmaking. I'm anticipating there are artists around Muskoka who would love to have access to a press again. I also wrote a little bit about the benefits of art-making for hurting people in the last paper I wrote which is attached to my previous blog post. There is space for parking for a handful of vehicles and would also be the top of the driveway leading down into the bush to the future site of the cottage. The driveway that begins by the garage goes down a gradual slope, it may have been a logging road at some point, most of the trees along this pathway
are all young. With the right equipment, clearing this driveway seems to be pretty straight forward. A bridge and/or culvert will have to be installed in order to cross over the creek just off in the distance.
At the bottom of the hill is the creek. Looking up and to the right is the place we see having a small cottage, suitable for a family with up to four kids. 3 bedrooms, bunkbeds, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom and of course a comfy living room. The idea is that this be a place that replenishes the soul. After living in a trailer for 26 nights, I have a very good idea of what would not work for a family with young children and in need of respite because of a crisis.
Even the space where the cottage could be built has very few trees that will need to be cut which makes it easy to visualize. I also want to preserve as much of the natural landscape as possible. The pictures below are from the opposite vantage point, looking back from behind and beside 'the cottage'. Only a 5 minute walk back to the garage/future art studio. The last picture is a space where I see building a screened in gazebo, the view of the creek in both directions is lovely from this spot.
This so far is only the first 1/3 of the property. There is about 6+ acres of bush behind this spot. In addition to the natural landscape, I can see adding in some natural playground equipment to help add opportunities for parents and their kids to connect and play. Once we have a survey we will be able to work on creating some trails and who knows, maybe one day we could add another cabin. There is a really nice spot further back with a view of Skeleton Lake, but I'm not sure if that's our property or the neighbours :). Having said that, there is a small beach only a short 20 minute walk away that families can also enjoy when they come.
There you have it, a brief tour and a glimpse into what we're seeing. I'm not sure how it will all come together but I didn't see us living here either. One day at a time, one step at a time.