Algonquin Eco-Lodge

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is included in the price?
  2. Can we bring pets?
  3. What makes the Eco-Lodge so unique?
  4. What makes the Eco-Lodge ecologically friendly? Do you have an Environmental Policy?
  5. Are you inside Algonquin Park?
  6. Where are you located?
  7. What is your "Micro-Hydro" system?
  8. Do cellular phones work in your area?
  9. Do you have ensuite bathrooms?
  10. Why do you have a trade mark?

Answers:

  1. Price: The price includes meals (from dinner on your arrival to lunch on your departure). Also included is use of our canoes and other boats on our small lake (there is a small fee for the canoes used to get top the York River), access to the hiking/ski trails, sauna, and hot tub (in winter only).
  2. Pets: Unfortunately we can not allow pets (even though the owner does have a dog). We have had several "incidents" with previous guests and their pets, and with the Lodge being an open concept communal area we can't have several animals running loose. Also, in the past 2 of our cats have been eaten by wolves in the area.
  3. Uniqueness: The Eco-Lodge is unique is several ways:
    3a) The Setting - The Eco-Lodge is one of the rare lodges that is completely remote and private. We are deep in the forests where there is no access for cars. You will not hear vehicles driving by on the road like at other resorts.
    3b) Private Lake - We are on the shores of a private lake. Moffat Pond is a 30 acre (12.5 ha) lake bordered by Algonquin Park on one side and Crown Land on the others. There are no other cottages or buildings on it, and the only direct access is through our property. The only other people you will encounter while staying at the Eco-Lodge are other guests.
    3c) Waterfall - The Eco-Lodge is situated by a cascading waterfall. You can swim in parts of it, and you can hear its' soothing sound from our front deck.
    3d) Micro-Hydro System - As far as we know we are the only lodge in southern Ontario to generate their own electricity from a waterfall. We are completely "off grid" and self sufficient. You can read more about this innovative project below.
    3e) No Phones or Internet - Cell phones (and Blackberries) don't work in our area so you are forced to forget about your working day problems and just enjoy yourself, your family, and the wilderness setting.
    3f) Archeology - Over 100 years ago there was a large lumber camp where the lodge now is. We have found the remnants of the old log chute and also the stone foundations of 3 buildings. In the future we hope to develop this into a "cultural heritage site", but are looking for some historians to work with.
    3g) Wolves - We are fortunate to have a pack of wolves that live in our area. Since the wolf pack has a large territory sometimes they can be nearby and other times they may be 20-30 km away. We have a lot of success with our wolf howls around the bonfire in the autumn season, however wolves have been spotted on our trails at all times of the year. Winter is a particularly good season to see evidence of them nearby.
  4. Ecologically Friendly / Environmental Policy: The Eco-Lodge strives to reduce it's overall carbon footprint by eliminating any reliance on grid supplied electricity. It is also ecologically friendly in the following ways:
    4a) Low Water Consumption - we are on a well water system and have a limited supply of fresh water. As a result we encourage guests to limit their water consumption by having short showers and turning off the taps while using the sinks. We also use the "2 sink" method for washing all dishes, greatly reducing the amount of water we use in that task.
    All waste water is processed through our sceptic tank and weeping tile bed, thus being cleaned and returned to the natural environment.
    4b) Low Energy Consumption - we use high efficiency appliances, CFC and LED lights, and human manpower. The Lodge is a wilderness setting, and at night it is kept dark outside so that you can appreciate the stars and the Milky Way galaxy.
    4c) Cleaning - while we endeavour to keep the Eco-Lodge very clean, we only clean guests rooms before they check-in. We do not change your bedsheets every day, and guests bring their own towels. We use natural cleaning products like vinegar to clean all surfaces.
    4d) Off Grid - Alternative Energy - we use our micro-hydro generator to create 100% of our electricity, and this is combined with some solar lights, wood heat, and human power.
    4e) Locally Grown & Organic Foods - we try to buy most of our food from the local farmers market, or direct from the farmers. We also grow our own organic herbs.
    4f) Light Vehicle Traffic - we minimize the trips we need to make with our van by maximizing the tasks we perform in one trip. We also use an ATV or snowmobile with trailer to bring in supplies or take out rubbish, waiting until we have a full load.
    4g) Support Local Economies - we make use of local businesses and services for all of our needs and supplies. Everything from food purchases, vehicle repairs, and laundry are performed or provided by people in our local community.
    4h) Promote Environmental Awareness and Wilderness Appreciation - we will happily teach people about the local environment, the wolves, how to paddle a canoe. We also have a number of animal and plant guide books that guests are free to utilize.
    4i) Spreading Knowledge of Environmental Technologies - we increase the knowledge base of local contractors in environmental technologies by involving them in the design and installation of our micro-hydro turbine system. Furthermore, we have an active outreach program to schools, colleges, and universities in Ontario offering tours of our micro-hydro plant.
  5. Inside the Park: Technically the Eco-Lodge is about 100 metres outside of the Algonquin Park boundary. However, our access is a 2.5 km trail through Algonquin Park to get to us. At some point in the middle of the forest you are no longer in Algonquin Park but are actually on private property. We are surrounded on the other side by Crown Land. Since there is no difference in the forest there is no way of knowing if you are in the Park or not - it's all deep forest!
  6. Location: We are on the very southern tip of Algonquin Park. The nearest big town is Bancroft (45 minutes away) and the nearest towns are Harcourt and Maynooth (both 15 minutes away by car). It is about a 1 hour drive to get to the East Gate of Algonquin Park on Highway 60. The drive from Toronto or Ottawa should take about 3 hours.
  7. Micro-Hydro: The micro-hydro system we have is a set of 2 turbines connected to a large pipe that we have installed beside the waterfall we have. As the water flows through the pipe it turns the turbines and creates electricity. We step up the power to 600 volts, send it along a cable up to the Lodge, and then step it back down to 120 volts. Since we are making use of the existing dam and lake we do not need to dam the water flow. We are just redirecting some of the natural flow of the river and then putting it back in the river at the bottom of the waterfall. It should produce about 10 kW in the winter and 4 kW in the summer. This will be enough for us to replace the propane powered fridge, lights, and hot water heater with electrical versions. It should also allow us to burn less firewood by using some electrical heating and a blower fan on the wood furnace. We have calculated that this will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by over 7 tons each year! We have some photos of the whole construction phase.
  8. Cell Phones: No, cell phones do not work (there is no signal) and we are too far in the forest for a land line. So, you are forced to relax and "get away" from work!
  9. Bathrooms: No, there are no ensuite bathrooms. However, we do have a Men's and a Women's bathroom inside the main lodge. There are also 2 private shower stalls in the lodge.
  10. Trade Mark: We were forced to get a trade mark (at great trouble & expense) after we were the victims of an unfortunate incident involving "corporate identity theft". Details can be read in these Federal Court documents, as well as our actual lawsuit.
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