The property was in pretty decent condition when they purchased it, and no major renovations were required. Susan redecorated the entire house, and many of the furnishings came from a container of antiques that the couple had brought with them from England. Antiques were much more plentiful and reasonably priced in Europe than in North America. Susan’s husband often joked that the 20 foot container that they had left with had miraculously turned into a fourty foot container upon their return from England.
Country romance in the canopy bed
Even today Susan continues to attend country auctions to buy period pieces to add to her furnishings. The house itself has a lot of history: it dates back to the 1850s and the original owners were a couple by the name of Sarah and Levi Payne. For many decades the property was operated as a dairy farm until it was converted into a bed and breakfast by the previous owners.
The recently renovated barn
55 acres are still part of the property which also features several kilometers of walking trails. Old stone fences surround the property, and the couple recently renovated the historic barn that is located steps away from the main house. Now equipped with electricity and a new reinforced wooden floor, the barn has become a venue for special events – Susan’s daughter recently got married here.
Breakfast is ready
After our filling breakfast Susan excused herself since she had to attend a country auction. She told us to take our time to leave, trusted us with her property, said goodbye and drove off to her country sale. It always amazes me that bed and breakfast owners have such amazing trust in their guests. We were glad we did not have to rush out of this beautiful place and spent another hour or so enjoying the beautiful country property that surrounds the Shining Waters Bed and Breakfast. My absolutely favourite part was the east-facing veranda where I sat for a while and watched a chipmunk gather food and dart in and out between the flower pots.
My favourite spot: the veranda
We all commented on the fact that Shining Waters, with its cozy bedrooms and expansive, well-kept lawns and gardens, had an extremely serene feel to it, just the perfect get-away for city-weary travellers. We walked around the property, checked out the barn and thought that this was indeed a great place for a celebration. We also had a look at the brook that surrounds the property on the south side and the meadow that features a French-style gazebo and several well-kept flower beds.
The French gazebo
Just across from the main house is a separate building called the Gathering Room, a large space dedicated specifically to the guests, which features a wood stove, television, a collection of books and various board games and jigsaw puzzles.
The Gathering Room, a separate building
This is the perfect place for guests to congregate and relax. Even high-speed Internet is available upon request. Spa services are also available by special arrangement where a local beautician comes in to provide treatments on location. The Shining Waters Bed and Breakfast offers everything for rest and relaxation in a peaceful country environment.
Inside the Gathering Room
Since we still had to cover a lot of ground in our Ontario country tour, we finally had to tear ourselves away from this beautiful place and started to head north from Lakefield into the Kawartha Lakes region. This lake district stretches east of Lake Simcoe to about Belleville, and the major lakes include Balsam Lake, Sturgeon Lake, Buckhorn Lake, Stony Lake and Rice Lake. Many of these lakes are connected through the Trent-Severn Waterway, a canal system that links Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay.
The Trent-Severn Waterway in Buckhorn
Construction of the canals started in 1833 to facilitate transportation of lumber from the logging communities in Central Ontario. Due to the ascent of railroads in the second half of the 19th century and the opening of the Welland Canal in 1932, the Trent-Severn Waterway become obsolete for economic purposes, and today is a popular destination for recreational boaters.
The Trent-Severn Waterway in Bobcaygeon