We are open!
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 8, 2021 our region has been returned once again to the “Red Zone” of Ontario’s Provincial Covid Framework.
This for us means, in a nutshell, that all meals will be take out only(while in red zone, we can’t do only 10 people in the dining room at a time pursuant to red zone rules, so we are opting for 100% take out to be fair to everyone, and while in Grey Zone, inside dining is not allowed at all). The games room and fitness cabin will still be closed, masks and social distancing are required everywhere except inside your own cottage, and the lounge is for passing through only to obtain your take out meals in the dining room. Outside activities such as skating on the lake, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and toboganning will all be available, weather permitting. Given the short season for ice fishing, we’re really sorry but we will not be putting our ice hut out this year.
Not sure which health unit or zone you are in? See here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions
More details on the latest Provincial effort on Returning to the Framework, a list of Heath Units and their status, and a list of the colour regions under the Framework for the region that you live in can also be found here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions
Please email us with any questions.
Check in time is the same as always: 4pm. PLEASE, this year especially, please do not arrive ahead of the 4pm check in time. We need more time to ensure the property (including the main lodge and outside areas) is ready. We also don’t want the outgoing and inbound guests overlapping to ensure physical distancing.
Here are some FAQ’s with a bit of info. If there is something that you specifically need to know about, please ask us by email [email protected]
CHECK IN: Please send one person into the office when you arrive to obtain the key to your cottage and Welcome Package. Please note wearing a mask inside the main lodge/office is mandatory.
MEALS(Updated December 12, 2020):
Here are some questions we have received, starting with the most recent(Updated Feb 23, 2021):
Is there wifi in the cottages? We do offer wifi to our guests in the main lodge. However, we’re really sorry but the wifi does not reach as far as the cottages. We are in a rural area with very old communications infrastructure and unfortunately we do not have high speed internet available to us. There is excellent cell phone reception if you wish to use your data plan on your cell phone.
Have you lowered your rates since some amenities are not available and/or meals are by take out? No.
Where can we buy food for lunches? During the Provincial Lockdown we are asking that our guests please bring with them whatever food they would like to eat in their cottage for lunches, and not go into our local grocery stores.
Can we watch our favourite TV show or movie in the lounge? Normally, yes, but during this pandemic and especially during the current Provincial Lockdown, the satellite TV in the lounge is not available.
Can we take a board game and/or puzzle from the lounge back to our cottage? Yes, please feel free to bring the games/puzzles to your cottage to enjoy there instead of in the lounge. Please note that it is impossible for us to sanitize the board games and puzzles, so use them with your own discretion.
For Take-Out meals, do you provide cutlery and real plates? Do we have to eat with plastic forks? We provide you with our normal stainless steel cutlery for eating in your cottage. We’ve also invested in what we think are good quality plastic disposable take out containers (not styrofoam or thin cardboard), so your in-cottage dining experience is as nice as possible. Some guests still decide to bring their own plates. We have also purchased and put into each cottage a card table and folding chairs (Bluebird has 4 nice wooden “TV Trays” instead of a card table due to it’s living room configuration).
Is your winter sports equipment still available for us to borrow for use onsite during our stay? Yes it is! We will have sanitizer near to the equipment for you to use.
Will the ice hut be available this winter? Yes, as soon as the ice is thick and safe enough. You can book the ice hut in 2 hour increments for your private enjoyment, one family only at a time.
Are you booking every other cottage, or are you booking all of your cottages? We are booking at full capacity (all cottages). There is lots and lots of space between each cottage, and with our acreage there is lots of space for every family to spread out and enjoy the property.
Can we get our ‘usual table’ in the dining room? No
Can we request which seating we would like(early or late)? If which sitting time you are in substantially effects the enjoyment of your stay, around 2 weeks prior to arrival send us a quick email letting us know your preference and we will do our best. Requests received one week or less from arrival have less chance of being successful. Mixing social distancing with the very fine webbed origami called our dining room leaves us with very few configuration options. Please be patient with us as we navigate our new dining room normal.
Do we need to bring our own facial masks? Yes. Please bring masks for your whole family, for the length of your stay. Masks are required in the main lodge, including entering and exiting the dining room for meals. Masks are required whenever you are within 6 feet of staff or other guests not in your family circle. As of July 13, 2020 masks are mandatory in Muskoka inside public spaces such as the main lodge and games room. Masks are also mandatory on our pontoon boat cruises.
Can we use the boats? Yes, all boats are available. Disinfectant will be available for guests to sanitize their own equipment.
Will there be water-skiing and tubing– Yes, though this is not the year to learn as we won’t be doing one-on-one up close lessons. We will pull the skiers, with no guests in the boat and without the boat coming to the dock. You need to be able to get yourself back into the boat if you fall. Gary and Bill are in a vulnerable category, and we please ask all guests to respect the social distance between you and them. The end of the big dock is our “waterskiing and tubing safety zone”, and only the family whose turn it is can be at the end of the big dock.
How is Bonnie?– She is good and she is back to work, but we have formulated a plan to keep her safe. She is not loving our ideas because she wants to hug and greet all of you, but she is our National Treasure and needs protection! (Please also be sure to socially distance from Gary, or wear a mask when you chat with him – he’s no spring chicken!)
Do we have to socially distance? Yes
Do we have to wear a mask in the main lodge? Yes. As of Monday July 13, 2020 it is mandatory in this area’s health unit.
Do we have to wear a mask on the dock? Not if you are more than 6ft away from anyone not in your family bubble.
Are you leaving a 3 or 4 day gap in between bookings? No
Will there be daily housekeeping? We will not enter the cottages during your stay(unless emergency). We will do a towel exchange and provide you with the things you need, and take away your garbage, outside on the deck.
We come from a place with many cases, like Peel, can we still come? Yes, but if you feel you are exposed a lot or if your risk is higher than average, please don’t come, please cancel or don’t book. Consider a 2 week quarantine before your arrival, or getting a test (and positive result) within 3 days before arriving.
Do you think Cedar Grove will make it through the pandemic and still be open at the end? Yes.
Have you had any staff or guests test positive? No
Will you take our temperature? No
Will all your wonderful American guests that are now our friends still be coming? While the Canada/USA border remains closed, our American guests won’t be joining us
Will the trampoline be out, or the Jungle Jim? Yes, in the summer.
Will there be wildlife shows? Yes, both Speaking of Wildlife and Birds of Prey in Summer 2020.
Can we use the Games Room? Yes, but it will be one cabin or family at a time, and you can book a time.
This would be our first time, is it still ok if we come this year? Yes, just please come with the knowledge that things are different this summer, please come with patience and flexibility.
Can we use the lounge for work or school? We won’t have too many in there at a time but you can use that to get onto the wifi, a few at a time.
Is the water warm? YES! It is warmer than it would normally be(June 2020).
Are there any changes to your Pet Policy? No. We still welcome family pets, and the rules are still the same.
******* Covid Update May 29th
Concern, Confusion and Candidness…
Good Morning from Cedar Grove,
We know many of you have been waiting for an update. With the warmer weather and the calendar closing in on June, peoples minds turn to summer and to summer vacations. Having said that, we are also getting many questions about Fall as the deposit deadline for those who rebooked from last year is this Sunday.
Here at the lodge things have changed over the last 2 weeks. We have been able to bring back staff 2 days a week. This has allowed us to get the work done that is commonly done in April, and get closer to a possible June opening. It has been so great to have the staff around. They were anxious to get back to work and are happy to have something new to do. We have socially distant coffee breaks together and catch up. As you can imagine, the staff are, like you, eager to know what we are doing and when things can get open. Today is Bonnie’s first day back since March. Everyone is in full “masks on’ mode and keeping 6 ft away. She wore us down as, as I bet you can imagine, she wanted to get back to the lodge and to see what Sarah has done to her dining room 😉 . She had not spent this much time away from the lodge in about 60 years.
The most honest answer to the daily ‘when can you open’ question is that we still do not know. Our industry is not being led by any one governing voice, but rather, it seems, many many voices, none of whom are willing to give any semblance of a definitive answer.
You have probably by now seen that some resorts in the province are opening and are wondering why then Cedar Grove can’t open. Good question…. We will not speak to any other properties decisions as we know these are heartbreaking and painful decisions to make either way. We understand the confusion is overwhelming and for some, the pain is just too great to wait and they must open now. We get that. However, for us, and in just our opinions, it is too early. We feel it is not fair to our staff, to our community, and to our guests, to be willing to have people from potentially highly infected areas of Southern Ontario come to Cedar Grove and to Huntsville. Muskoka has not had a case in 24 days. We feel it is irresponsible and reckless to disregard the fact that we are still in Stage 1 of a State of Emergency, with a current recommendation to avoid unnecessary travel and open our doors to guests. Some resorts feel they are ‘essential’, even though you can’t get an ultrasound or get your hair cut yet. Others feel that if the OPP says they won’t fine you, that means you are free to open.
What’s next then? We will continue to watch the numbers and monitor guidance’s from wherever we can. Without a true compass to guide our industry, we are left somewhat alone in these decisions, which is a big part of the problem. What we will be looking for before opening is threefold: 1. decrease in daily infection numbers 2. some guidance of any kind as it pertains to our dining room 3. a comfort level that we can sleep at night with.
We will also be honest with you however; after losing half of March, all of May and half of June, we are now staring right down the barrel of losing the rest of June and July. Does the pressure mount every single day? Yes. Do we feel a great sense of responsibility to our staff to be able to allow them to provide for their families? Yes. Can we simply stay closed until everyone is vaccinated? No. We are finding that everyone’s comfort level and everyone’s tolerance to risk changes daily. Ours has changed and I suspect it will continue to evolve as we enter June.
Our opening plans as it pertains to how things will work have not changed too much since the May 14th post. We have pretty much locked in the 2 seating idea with a packed lunch. The other activities we spoke of also seem to have stayed with our original ideas. Water inflatable toys are still a question mark.
What else have you done to prepare? We have spread out the picnic tables to give you more space to have your lunch or have your own space. We have purchased over 35L of hand sanitizer. We have over 300 masks and more are coming. We have continued to refine our cleaning and sanitizing plans. We have held informal staff training meetings to get everyone prepared. We have 2 snazzy shields in the office on the desk. We have social distancing signs and placards to put up throughout the property. I can’t think of anything else, but at least 1/2 our day, every day, is spent on preparing and planning for your stay.
If anything firm comes up, we will let you know right away. Until then, we apologize for the lack of clarity and direction.
Believe us, no one is more eager for some firm answers/targets/direction than us. We would prefer nothing more than having a firm date to work towards and plan for.
Thank you so much for all of your support and for sticking with us throughout this hard time. We miss you, and we hope to see you very soon.
*****May 28 Covid-19 Update: We will be posting all updates here on our new Covid-19 page on our website.
June 12th is just a tentative opening date. Unless the #’s go down and the message gets clearer, we will not be bringing people from hot spots to Huntsville. We currently think, for us, opening is irresponsible, dangerous and reckless. Our staff, guests and community mean too much to us.
***Update April 29 and May 14th: We have moved opening day to June 12th.
Glimmers of Hope and New Beginnings…
For previous updates please scroll back through the feed.
It is now mid May and we are into a period where we would have had the lodge open. We missed seeing our “Quilting Ladies” and our group from the Bruce Trail Hiking Club. We continue to only have the three of us here and the staff are safe in their homes. As you saw from a few posts ago, Nicole had her baby and we are all really happy for Nicole, Matt and sweet little baby Shelby.
I have been in constant contact with the staff and they are all anxious to get back to work, which is music to our ears as we are really looking forward to seeing them and getting the lodge ready for a potential opening. We have waited and shut everything down as long as we could, but are now ready to get the lodge up to opening standard. In talks with Resorts Ontario, we do know that we are permitted to have some staff on site to “protect the asset”, and we need to move forward with tasks that have been put off. With so much area and many buildings, it is easy for us to all be apart while we work.
We have started to purchase things we will need in order to operate responsibly and safely. Muskoka-style masks made by the local business “Baggy Pants Muskoka” have arrived, and we also ordered less cool looking plain masks. We have ordered a plexi-glass shield for the front desk from Near North Business Machines. We have also started to ramp up the volume and style of our linen set up so that we can do a thorough and proper disinfection at check out. In anticipation of giving everyone their own life jacket that they can keep at their cabin for the duration of their stay we are ordering more life jackets.
We are now prepared to give you a feel for how things might look at the lodge for this summer and maybe fall. Please be mindful that this is new to everyone and things change daily. We wanted to start to give you a sense for our plans but these are not set and are likely to change before you actually arrive.
Meals- This is the big one. This will be our biggest challenge and will have the most changes. We are currently contemplating having 2 seatings for breakfast and dinner and either no lunch or packed lunch. The tables would be spaced out so that during one seating 1/2 the tables are used and the other seating the other 1/2 are used. People will probably still have their same table for the duration but will need to be flexible if this year it is not your ‘special normal table’. We would also ask that multiple families don’t sit together, and that large families possibly have 2 tables.
Guests would come in the normal lakeside entrance, go through the lounge to the dining room but exit from the 2 fire exits out of the dining room. There would be no buffets and no BBQ’s. Servers would wear a mask, and guests might be too to keep our staff safe. Much more to come but that gives you an idea.
Games Room– Instead of closing it we thought each family could book a time to use it alone.
Boats- You can use all the boats as usual. We would be disinfecting them a few times a day and placing disinfecting wipes in the boathouse. Each guest would be able to pick up a life jacket on check in day and keep it at their cabin for their stay.
Dock/Muskoka Chairs– We are blessed with over 1600 feet of lakefront, 65 acres, over 40 chaise lounges, over 95 Muskoka Chairs and 6 docks. Unfortunately usually 80% of the guests all go to the ‘big dock’ area, but moving forward we will need you all to spread out more. There is ample space to do this although I know socially it won’t be as enjoyable for you.
Lounge- The lounge will be open, it will be needed to get to the dining room. We may take some of the seating out of it to more safely allow people to spread out if there happened to be a bottle neck entering the dining room. The coffee station is so popular, we may leave it but have both hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes right there.
Tennis- Open! We can wipe rackets down and we will spray the balls.
Wildlife Show/Birds of Prey Show– Booked and on! We can easily spread out for these. If it rains we won’t be able to do it in the boathouse though and it would have to be cancelled.
Waterskiing– We can do this! No guests in the boat and it might not be a good year to learn to drop a ski or to learn to ski but we plan to go out and pull you. If you fall you just have to swim back. (just kidding)
Tubing- On! If required we can wipe the handles down for each use. Again, no guests in the boat.
Housekeeping- We plan on not doing ‘make ups’ or doing them once per stay and book a time when you are out. We can give supplies and take garbage if needed from the deck hands free. The cleaning and disinfection of the cabin between guests is a hot topic and one we are currently researching and figuring out, more on this later but suffice to say this will be done well and in a thorough manner.
Check in/out- Guests can simply drive straight to their cabin when they arrive! We will have a clear barrier at the front desk for check out and ask that people not all wait until check out day and line up, instead come in one at a time over the week. Check in and out times will be adhered to PLEASE 😉 This year especially we need extra time to get your cottage ready in the right way, so please please please do not arrive at the lodge until AFTER 4:00pm. 4:00pm has always been our check in time, and this year we really need everyone to respect that.
It is important to remember that we are not a hospital and we do not have hospital staff. We plan on doing everything we can to make you stay safe but there is a limit. Some people may not be comfortable traveling yet and some people may expect a level of safety that we are not reasonably able to provide. We will not be “policing” the property, guests will be expected to perform social distancing and adhere to the guidelines on their own. Kids from different families will probably not be able to play together, but if they do, we will not stop it, it is up to the individual families to make these decisions and decide where on the safety pendulum their comfort level resides. We will however be monitoring the safety levels as it pertains to our staff. The staff will not be put in an unsafe position and if they are, we will speak up at that time on their behalf. You will need to bring extra patience and flexibility with you in order for this to work for everyone.
Now we want to hear from you! If you have a booking between June 12 and the end of October, what do you think? Would you still come with these ideas in place?
*** UPDATE APRIL 14, 2020: WE ARE WATCHING THE SITUATION WITH THE CORONAVIRUS VERY CLOSELY. YOUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF OUR STAFF ARE PARAMOUNT TO US. WE DO NOT CURRENTLY KNOW WHEN OUR REOPENING DATE WILL BE. AT A MINIMUM, WE WILL REMAIN CLOSED WHILE THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO STATE OF EMERGENCY IS IN EFFECT. WE WILL POST MORE INFORMATION REGARDING OUR REOPENING WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO. AS TIME PROGRESSES, WE WILL BE CONTACTING GUESTS WITH EFFECTED RESERVATIONS STARTING WITH THOSE IN THE FIRST 2 WEEKS OF MAY. IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD DIRECTLY FROM US YET, IT MEANS WE ARE HOPING TO BE OPEN FOR YOUR DATES!! ***
**COVID-19 UPDATE: MARCH 17 11AM: IN LIGHT OF THE ONTARIO REGULATIONS ANNOUNCED TODAY, WE HAVE TEMPORARILY CLOSED OUR RESORT, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. ALL FOODSERVICE HAS CEASED, AND IN-HOUSE GUESTS ARE ENJOYING THEIR LAST SKATE ON THE LAKE AND SLIDE DOWN THE TOBOGGAN HILL BEFORE HEADING HOME.