What’s Happening in Muskoka – Winter 2018

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Photo Credit: Scott Turnbull

What’s Happening in Muskoka – Winter 2018

Summer weekends in Muskoka are jammed with special events; music festivals, craft beer festivals, triathlons, car shows, craft shows and the list goes on.  There is a special event every weekend, it seems.  Winter in Muskoka is no different.  See what is happening in Muskoka this winter, and plan to check out a few of them.

January 27 – Bracebridge Fire and Ice Festival
This festival transforms Manitoba Street in downtown Bracebridge into a tube run.  Other activities include the skate trail in Memorial Park, ice sculptures, fire pits throughout the downtown core, and other more traditional winter carnival activities.  This event saw hundreds flock to the downtown core last year, and it is expected to be bigger and better this year.  

January 28 – Muskoka Loppet
This event attracts skiers from all over the province to Arrowhead Provincial Park, just north of Huntsville. There are races for all ages, and skill levels.  Spectators can enjoy an exciting finish line and warm up by the fire pits or warm up shack in the parking lot.  

January 31 to February 4 – Recharge with Milk Ontario Tankard
This exciting curling event will determine the team to represent Ontario at the Tim Horton’s Brier in Saskatchewan in March.  5 days of curling match ups is expected to draw a good crowd to the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville, the finals happening February 3rd and 4th.  

February 2 to February 4 – Port Sydney Winter Carnival 
Family is the focus of the small-town celebration of winter.  There are community meals each day, for all to gather together.  Plan to take advantage of traditional winter carnival activities; skating, fun family games and lots of time spent around the fire.  Check out the Facebook Page for more details on the schedule.   

February 2 to February 4 – Port Carling Winterfest 
Plenty of activities to enjoy for the entire weekend.  Bring the family and spend time outside taking in the skating trail, horse drawn carriage rides, children’s entertainment, sliding hill, log sawing contest, polar dip and of course the traditional pancake breakfast and roast beef dinner.   

February 3 to February 4th – Kearney Doglsed Races
Kearney is a small town just a short drive north of Huntsville, and they host the largest dogsled race in Ontario.  There are 5 different races that run over the weekend, for professional and beginner mushers.  The kids race on Sunday (Feb 4) is a great event for all to enjoy. There is an indoor market to explore as well as a children’s activity area, doglsed rides, live music and great food vendors.  

February 9 to February 11 – North America Original Pond Hockey Classic 
This tournament brings hockey back to its roots, and where it all started, on the Pond.  Gather around the multiple ice surfaces at the Gravenhurst Wharf and cheer on your favourite team.  There will be a great party to kick off the weekend on Friday night, and Saturday will see 4 different divisions of 4 on 4 hockey games playing, an indoor beer tent with live entertainment all weekend, and so much more.  This is an event you won’t want to miss.   

February 9 to February 10 – Dwight Winter Carnival 
The 46th annual Dwight Winter Carnival will provide fun for the whole family.  Traditional carnival activities will include a family skate, pancake breakfast, Science North activities and science show, a chili cookoff, horse drawn sleigh rides and much more.   

February 10 – Muskoka Winter Bike Festival 
This is the first run for this event, however with activities such as various races on the 11km race course, a kid race, a bonfire, live entertainment, beer tasting and food. This is a great way to see and try out winter biking – a sport which is seeing a huge increase in popularity.  Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville is hosting this event, check their website for more information on registration and special rates.   

February 15 to February 19 – Gravenhurst Winter Carnival 
There is a long list of activities that fill this 4-day weekend.  Bed races, donut eating contest, a puddle jump, Skokie’s Pizza Party, log sawing, snow sculptures and a chicken wing eating contest, just to name a few.  Be sure to buy your button ahead of time, $5 for adults and $3 for children 6-12 years old – this button will be your pass for all the activities you chose to enjoy over the weekend.   

February 16 to February 17 – Dorset Snowball 
Families will gather to enjoy ice skating, ice fishing, ice sculptures and tobogganing in between other family friendly events over this 2-day carnival.  If you are in the area for Family Day weekend, be sure to make the trip to Dorset.   

February 19 – Baysville Winterfest 
Enjoy the holiday Monday in Baysville at their one-day winter celebration.  Enjoy many free activities at the Baysville Community Centre, there is sure to be something for everyone in the family.  

Photo Credit: Scott Turnbull 

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New Listing! Huntsville Home For Sale

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Virtual Tour

This immaculate Muskoka home for sale is situated in a desirable neighbourhood offering municipal services and natural gas. It has been lovingly cared for and is a well-maintained home, perfect for any family scenario. The eat-in kitchen is a nice size with walkout to a spacious back deck and private treed back yard. The dining & living rooms are bright, generous in size with soaring ceilings. There are 2 main floor bedrooms plus a master bedroom w/4pc ensuite. The family room is welcoming with a natural gas fireplace. The attached insulated & heated double garage allows for inside entry to the laundry & mudroom. The lower level walk-out is partially finished with great potential to finish as an in-law suite. Other perks include newer furnace, central air, newer insulated garage door, front and back yard sprinkler system, large paved driveway, 9′ ceilings throughout and plentiful storage. This Huntsville, ON home for sale is worth a look, be sure to check out the virtual tour.

Contact the Aben Team to book your showing of this great Muskoka Family Home For Sale. 

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Happy Holidays from all of us at the Aben Team!  

May you have a festive holiday season and Happy New Year!

To our clients and colleagues, thank you for a great year and for entrusting us with all of your real estate needs. We are excited to continue to serve you and evolve our business in 2018!  

Warm Wishes, 
John, Mark, Michelle & Casey


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Huntsville Vacant Commercial Lot – Desirable Location

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Virtual Tour

Build your commercial business here, in Huntsvilles Commerce Park. 7+ acres surrounded by big name brands such as Walmart, Home Depot, Holiday Inn, Independent Grocers, car dealerships, auto mechanics and several other reputable businesses. With M1 zoning there are many permitted uses, contact us for more information. Lot fronts onto Howland Drive (219) and Kinton Avenue (482). Acreage to be verified. Severance potential is also an option, confirmed by the Town of Huntsville. Legal description to be revised.

Contact the Aben Team for more information abour this vacant lot

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New Listing! Port Sydney Family Home For Sale

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Saturday November 11th, 2017



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Virtual Tour

Located in a desirable neighbourhood of Port Sydney and a short drive from both Huntsville & Bracebridge. Tennis courts, public beach on Mary Lake & hiking trails are just steps away. Large enough to accommodate a growing family with 3+ bedrooms, 2 main floor living rooms and a finished rec room. Showcasing a newer kitchen, dining & family room with wood burning fireplace. The back deck and screened in Muskoka room are ideal for entertaining. The lower level has a rec room, additional bedroom and plenty of storage. The back yard is very large, and enjoy the mature perennial gardens and trees that surround the grounds of this home. Other features and updates include: attached double garage, natural gas, municipal services, newer furnace, newer garage door, renovated Muskoka room, newer deck and select rooms have newer flooring.

Contact the Aben Team for more information on this Muskoka home for sale

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Consider Buying Your Muskoka Cottage in the Fall

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The leaves are turning, and the nights are getting cooler.  The summer that never really showed up turned into a fall of unseasonably warm and dry weather.  Cottage country is still bustling as the sunny weekend forecasts have brought people to the Muskoka area for one last great weekend at the cottage.  If you fit in to the camp of “we really want to purchase a cottage property, but time got away from us this summer”, it’s not too late.  Fall can be the best time to start looking for a cottage property. If you’ve just made the decision to purchase a cottage next summer, consider starting your search now.  While the market starts to quiet down, there is no better time to view a few properties with your Muskoka Realtor.  This will improve your buying position come spring when you have an idea of what is on the market this fall, and what properties sell for as winter approaches.  Knowing which area of Muskoka you would like to target for your Spring Muskoka cottage search will ensure that you don’t miss out on any listings come April.  Keeping in touch with a Muskoka real estate agent over the winter months can help you get a feel for the market, and ongoing conversation will make you feel more comfortable at the time of purchase. There is always the chance that you may find that perfect spot this fall.  If this is the case, you can look forward to creating some new family memories at the cottage over the winter.  There are still plenty of cottages for sale in Muskoka, and if you decide to purchase, choose a closing date before the snow flies. There is so much going on in the Muskoka area over the winter months, it is no longer just a summer spot, it is a 4-season destination.  There are many community events to enjoy, most notably the Gravenhurst Winter Carnival and Bracebridge’s Fire and Ice Festival.  Arrowhead Provincial Park in Huntsville is a multi-season attraction featuring the ever-popular 1.5km ice skating trail. Throughout Muskoka you will find an abundance of winter activities from snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing, tubing, ice fishing and so much more! If you decide to start your cottage search this fall, consider contacting the Aben Team for all your Muskoka real estate needs.  We know the history of each Muskoka property for sale, how long it has been listed for and if there have been any price reductions.  We can tell you information about the specific lake you’re interested in and other Muskoka cottage sales in this area.  It varies listing to listing; however, keep in mind when you are looking at cottages in the fall season you may run into a scenario where a seller is more willing to negotiate, as they get closer to winter. We hope that no matter when you decide to purchase a cottage, be sure to trust a local Muskoka realtor who can provide expertise on the local market as well as passing along knowledge about the area you are purchasing in.  Enjoy the search process, and know that all the research you put into it now will be worthwhile when you are enjoying your waterfront from your Muskoka Chair on the dock next summer or strapping on snowshoes to hike across the lake after a fresh snowfall this winter.

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It’s Closing Time…

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The following article: It’s Closing Time… was courtesy of Aben Team’s Muskoka Real Estate Blog

Helpful Tips on Shutting Down The Cottage!

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine that warmer days are near, the May long weekend is quickly approaching and you’ve been dreaming of getting back to the cottage all winter long. You can’t wait to get up north and get the summer started!  

Oh, but wait! It just occurred to you that you might have left the cottage in disarray last Thanksgiving weekend! You needed to get back to the city for a meeting or you were just too busy to shut it down properly and you thought to yourself, what could happen? It’ll be fine, right? You thought that you could come back in a couple of weeks and close it up, properly.  Well those weeks have turned into a month and lucky for your old man winter hasn’t arrived in cottage country yet. So this year you caught break and you still have time to get up north, close it up and avoid a heap of problems come springtime.  

Closing up the cottage properly each fall is an important process, regardless if you have a neighbour checking on it or not. Preparing a checklist will protect you and your investment against nasty surprises come May. Make it a family activity by dividing and conquering the tasks.   

Here is a list of some of the things you should do before heading south for the winter:

  • Defrost the refrigerator and unplug it. Leave the door open, prop it open with a stool or piece of firewood to ensure it doesn’t close. To neutralize funky odors keep an open box of baking soda inside.
  • Take home all food and that includes canned goods and food packaged in cardboard or plastic. You don’t want any unwanted visitors over the winter months, rodents are called pests for a reason and they can be very resourceful.
  • Shut down the water and drain the pipes. One the water is shut off, flush the toilets, open taps and drain the water tank. Siphon off excess water from toilets into a bucket with a siphon pump. It has been recommended that installing RV antifreeze protect against the freezing of any remaining water.
  • Unplug all televisions, lamps, big & small appliances, clocks, etc. Conceal any big-ticket electronics such as the TV & stereo equipment.  Just before you lock up be sure to shut the power off at the main electrical box.
  • If it’s feasible, pack up all of your valuables at the cottage including electronics, personal items, alcohol and tools. If not, do your best to keep them concealed and out of sight. Another useful tip – record the serial numbers of anything of great value, jot them down and put them in a safe place away from the cottage.
  • Don’t just turn down the heat, turn it off. That means the furnace and/or baseboard heaters. If you have a furnace, check and clear your chimney or ventilation pipe of obstructions such as leaves, animals or nests. A blockage could cause serious risk of carbon monoxide gas poisoning when the furnace is turned back on. Be sure to book an appointment to have your furnace serviced when you arrive in the spring.
  • Sprinkle some mothballs throughout the cottage, these will discourage rodents from moving in over the winter months.
  • Lock it down! Close and lock all windows and sliding doors. Using a sturdy piece of wood along the bottom of the windows and sliding doors can help to avoid break-ins. Close your curtains and blinds for added protection.
  • Make sure all of your watercrafts & toys stored away under lock & key and away from the winter elements.
  • Last but not least, it is important to ask a local friend or neighbour to be a year-round contact and have a key to your place. Make sure they know your alarm codes as well. Your insurance companies may offer a discount if you have a local contact to watch over your property.


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