Restoration takes time, talent, patience, and a whole lot of care — all part of the current scene at Clevelands House on Lake Rosseau as crews restore this iconic summer resort.
“This week we started by pitching all the 1970s furniture,” says Greg Knight, VP of Development at the Muskoka landmark hotel. Teams have been photographed removing mattresses, bedframes, and mirrors — wiping the slate clean for the multi-million-dollar renovation that will update the resort’s interior in time for Summer 2017, while at the same time restoring it to its original splendour.
“Next we’ll burrow under the hotel to level and strengthen the floors,” says Knight. “We don’t want to make it perfect. Part of the charm at this grand old hotel is its sloped hardwood flooring. But there are a couple of big humps we need to get rid of!”
As recipients of awards for conservancy and restoration, Knight and his team are committed to adhering to a period-appropriate restoration plan throughout the winter.
“We’ve begun peeling back the layers of renovations that have gone on over the years,” he explains. “We are going to have much brighter, more open spaces as we return Cleves ceilings to their original 9-10 foot heights, just as they were when C.J. Minett built the building so many years ago.”
Built in 1869, Clevelands House Resort Village — is one of few Muskoka grand hotels still standing and operating. Once interior renovations are complete, crews will turn their attention to restorations of the main building’s exterior in Fall 2017. The entire historic project is aimed for completion in time for Cleves 150th anniversary celebrations in 2019.
A Major Renovation Planned for Muskoka’s Historic Clevelands House
MUSKOKA, ON — It’s a new era for a classic Muskoka landmark. Clevelands House on Lake Rosseau is undergoing a series of renovations aimed at restoring this iconic summer resort to its original splendour.
The multi million dollar renovation is focused primarily on the resort’s historic main building. Plans include a period-appropriate restoration of the building’s exterior including replica windows, doors, porches and wood siding; new HVAC and insulation installations to ready the building for year round use; and an exciting renovation of the building’s interior, including restoration of the original hardwood floors, luxurious furnishings and brand new baths with high quality fixtures and stone. Interior work will begin this winter and exterior restorations will commence following the 2017 summer season.
“Clevelands House holds a special place in the hearts of so many” says Greg Knight, VP of Development at “Cleves”. Since 1869, families have spent their summers at this historic hotel, canoeing, waterskiing, golfing, dining and dancing. “Memories are made at a place like this. 2019 marks Cleves’ 150th anniversary so we are preparing the property for the next 150 years of memories!”.
Knight, a longtime Muskoka cottager and experienced developer of heritage properties, is overseeing the Clevelands House Resort Village project on behalf of Ken Fowler Enterprises.
“Investment in heritage structures isn’t a financial decision, its an emotional one. I am grateful to Ken Fowler for continuing to invest in the stewardship of this special place and am thrilled he’s entrusted me with it.”
Knight has been recognized by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, the Markham Village Conservancy, and was the recipient of the 2013 Heritage Award for Adaptive Re-Use for his restoration of the Connaught School (circa 1884) in Collingwood, Ontario.
For more information on Clevelands House Resort Village, please contact Kit Redding, Director of Sales and Marketing at 705 765 3171.
A summer at Clevelands House Resort is almost indescribable, not many experiences could match the unique opportunity a summer at our 145 resort can bring. A question that is asked on a daily basis to our team (and myself) is “how do I get a job here?” or more commonly “how do my kids get a job here?” They’re very valid questions and many people want to have that experience that sticks with them forever. For some people, it’s a chance to move away from home for the first time, for some it’s the ability to meet new friends or maybe it’s the ability to swim in Lake Rosseau every. single. day.
With thousands of staff who have worked with us, it’s incredible to see the magic happen for young individuals over and over again. Here are three top ways our staff have found their way into our family.
1. A Long History with the Resort
For many people they see themselves at the resort very easily because they spent 18
Michelle Millar (centre) pictured on the ski dock also worked with us in 2010 & 2014
2. The Power of Friends
Word of mouth never fails to be the most important method for our hiring process. A little inside scope, Clevelands House does very little to get the word out that we’re hiring! It’s incredible that hundreds and hundreds resumes come flying in at the turn of the new year and it’s all because of word of mouth. Many cover letters we read mention alumni staff who told them about our resort and all the reasons they must apply! It’s great to see such a large group of applicants each year eager to learn more just because of the stories shared by friends. When I started six years ago, it was a group of friends gathered at Wilfrid Laurier that couldn’t stop saying “A summer at Clevelands House would be INCREDIBLE,” that got me eagerly applying and crossing my fingers! Not to mention the friends you meet on the job. A summer at Clevelands House comes with a sun tan and more friends than you can count, the life long kind too!
It’s the characteristics that so many of our team share that sets us a part. If I could summarize our candidates, not only would each be extremely friendly, out-going and hard working they also all share this unique sense of adventure. Clevelands House is an incredible jumping off spot for many people. Our resort is the place where people find that special someone to backpack Europe with, or a friend to move to Australia with or maybe even meet someone from another country and you move for good! The places people will go from our driveway is never-ending. In combination with the incredible staff that join us from around the world, the sense of adventure running through the staff quarters is always at an all time high! It’s very common for us to say goodbye to our staff in the fall, wish them luck on their adventure out west and welcome them back with open arms come spring time!
We’re very lucky to have had such incredible staff work with us over many decades. We can’t wait to see what the next bunch bring and we can’t wait to provide them with an experience that they won’t ever forget.
We’re ready for an incredible month of interviews! Here is a video of our interview weekend in 2014.
What a weekend it was here at Clevelands House! This past weekend we were ecstatic to have a sold out studio of 71 yogis in attendance!
In February I called Jenn Dwyer from Power Yoga Canada and asked her what she thought of a yoga retreat at the resort hosted by Power Yoga Canada!
Her response was incredible and she was thinking of doing the same thing. We spent a few weeks brainstorming logistics of the retreat and then hit the market! We were thinking 30 – 40 people would probably be the max, fortunately the word went viral and we sold out with 71 people. Jenn was even turning people away! All the more reason to run the same incredible retreat this fall (more details to come!).
I’ll start from the beginning so everything can really understand what happened this weekend and what the weekend was all about. Maybe you’re curious about yoga and looking to get into it, maybe you’re a dedicated yoga lover and you think this will be the next step for your practice!
Friday, June 6th
Everyone arrived throughout the afternoon, with the beautiful weather people were antsy to get up to Muskoka! People had time to unwind, relax, have some dinner at c.j. minett’s kitchen and tavern and get into their yoga clothes before the first practice of the weekend!
Friday night was the first practice of the weekend, the theme was “Journey into Power”, figuring out what’s in your way, what to you need to get there! If you’re unfamiliar with the teaching of Baptiste Power Yoga, it is a challenging, fast pace vinyasa flow. It does follow a loose structure but it does always keep you on your toes not knowing what’s next. With incredible teachers Pino and Jenn both leading the class, using each others energy to keep the class fun, exciting, challenging and allowing you to see new perspectives. (I was even lucky enough to join in the class after a long work day, no better way to finish your day!) This class was just over an hour and a half and everyone was ready for bed! It was now time to hand out the Intention to Action workbooks, give everyone some things to think about, reflect on and bring to the next day!
Saturday June 7th
7:30am everyone was up and ready for breakfast. The morning was filled with early morning mediation and practice. The theme was “Playful, handstands, Drop Fear and Stepping Outside”. Pushing people to do something outside of their regular practice, to show them how you can push yourself outside of your own boundaries. The morning focused on more steps to Intention to Actions, what do you want to feel? How you get yourself to feel that way?
With absolutely beautiful weather it now time for the afternoon off, time for you to whatever you’d like! After a great greek buffet everyone hit the beach, played tennis, kayaked, relaxed! I was fortunate to lead a hike for some of the group through our 15KM of marked trails. Minus the mosquitoes, it was incredible!
Before dinner it was time for another practice! I was also in attendance and loved every second. The theme of the class was “taking ownership of your life”. You create your own happiness, you can shape your own life, you can change your life if you’re not happy with your path. The open air boathouse studio was full of yogis everyone was incredibly happy with the space. Power Yoga Canada Muskoka is situated on Lake Rosseau and the views, breeze, serenity of it all, is not like anywhere else.
Saturday night was ended with a 3 course meal and live music and optional wine!
Sunday June 8th
Everyone got to sleep in a little later today! The morning was filled with mediation and the final practice of the weekend, “Celebration, anything is possible”. Your life, you decide what is ahead of you. This hour and a half practice was followed by declarations and discussion of results from the program.
I had home-made granola for everyone at check-out to take home and was so happy to hear all of the amazing feedback was people were leaving. Great to hear so many people are returning this summer and next year for our next spring retreat.
Stay tuned for more details on our fall retreat!
Thank you again to everyone in attendance and thank you to Jenn and everyone at Power Yoga Canada for making the weekend so incredible!
We will be highlighting golf tips ‘n’ tricks from our Director of Golf at The Rock Golf Club!
Have you ever noticed how the start of your round is often a struggle?
A lot of the time you don’t start to hit good golf shots until the third or fourth hole. Perhaps your warm up routine is actually counterproductive.
As I often observe golfers prior to the round the first thing I notice is they always grab the big stick first and start swinging for the fences. Rather than starting with the driver try starting with a stretching routine focusing on hamstrings, oblique’s, rotator cuffs, calf’s, forearms/wrists.
After stretching proceed with a wedge hitting pitch shots and work your way to a full swing. From there work your way down to the longer clubs until finishing with the driver only hitting between 5-10 drives. This will assist with making sure you hit quality shots your first few holes.
Clevelands House Resort Special Offer!
All Clevelands House Guests are encouraged to join Director of Instruction Spencer Morland Saturday afternoons in June at 3pm for Golf clinics.
Anyone who has ever been to Clevelands House Resort knows just how important the two Adventure Directors are. We are a unique family resort and are known for our incredible Children’s Program and our action packed Social Program, led by 2 outgoing, friendly, fun, exciting, personable, creative people.
Our 2014 Adventure Program have been hired and we’re excited for all of our guests to meet them! These two were some of the best counsellors Playworld has had and the recreation department is lucky to have them! If you’re vacationing with us this year, I can ensure you, these two gals will make your vacation an extraordinary experience!
I think they’re both ready for their first bocce ball tournament, guided canoe and welcome party!
Our 2014 Adventure Directors are:
Michelle Millar & Rachel Hunter
Rachel is an (almost) Queen’s University graduate and is going into her second season at Cleves!
If your friends were to describe you as an animal, based on your personality, what would you be?
If my friends were to describe me as an animal they would say I am a monkey. I am high energy and always moving. I find the humour in everything but can also be quite cautious and concerned, looking out for others in large groups. I love to surround myself with fun and motivated individuals, as every day is a new opportunity for play! I am committed and cherish long last friendships, many of which I have made at Clevelands House.
What’s your favourite Clevelands House pastime?
Watching the SWS Ski Shows as a child. I believed every single character in the show and couldn’t wait to cheer on the good guy and boo the bad ones! The splash zone was always my golden spot, anxiously waiting for the one skier to come in and soak us all in the chairs. Clevelands House is also where I first got up on skis. It is amazing the memories that impact you as a child, and how they foster a love and appreciation for a place such as Clevelands, encouraging people to return over and over again.
I am looking forward to providing Muskoka’s most memorable experience for not only the children but for their parents as well. I cannot wait to work with Michelle and create new and innovative program ideas for our guest at Cleves, bringing to life endless vacation opportunities. Clevelands House offers an amazing setting and environment to build and expand on activities and events that continue to provide a fun and safe summer for all members. These are the types of experiences I cannot wait to be a part of while expanding on the endless possibilities the resort has to offer.
What’s your favourite Clevelands House memory?
Working as a Kids Camp Counselor and taking the campers on the banana boat. This is where the campers really get hyped up and excited! It is so much fun participating in their games, whether it’s trying to lean over as far as you can without falling off, or putting your hands up like a rollercoaster! There seems to be a sense of independence and freedom when campers get out on the water and try new activities and sports. Lucky for me I got to join in!
Michelle is an (almost) Ottawa University graduate, who is coming back to Clevelands House after a couple summers away!
I would be a bird. Because they travel in flocks and I am someone who loves to be in the company of others, rarely alone. They would probably say I would be at the front of the flock because I am leader always searching to find new adventures all over the world. Plus I would get to fly how cool would that be!
What’s your favourite Clevelands House pastime?
Mine is kayaking (or really anything in the water!) living in the city all year round I always look forward to spending as much time as I can out on the lake as possible.
Why are you most excited to be our 2014 Adventure Director?
I look forward to returning to Cleveland’s house my home away from home and getting to know the guests personally so that I can ensure that their summer getaway experience is as memorable as mine have been over the years!
What’s your favourite Clevelands House memory?
Mine would be the first time I got up on my water skis. It took me 3 summers to finally get up I told everyone for years I went around the whole lake (a little exaggerated but it was my proudest moment of my childhood and it happened right here off Cleve’s dock
Are you ready to meet the final members of our 2013 Cleves Crew? If you haven’t already please check out our meet and greet of other team members Dani and Ellie, Syd and Andrew and Jessica and Alex! We are all looking forward to meeting you in person. How many sleeps until your CH vacation?
I spent the last 6 months: Cook/private in home catering
If I could be one Muskoka animal, it would be: Moose
My favourite Muskoka pastime is: wake boarding
My favourite Cleveland’s house staff vs guest game is: Ball hockey
Muskoka in one word: Legendary
Position: Food and Beverage Supervisor
I spent the last 6 months: Completing the second year in a three year program
If I could be one Muskoka animal, it would be: Loon
My favourite Muskoka pastime is: sitting on the dock at sunset
My favourite Cleveland’s house staff vs guest game is: beach volleyball
Muskoka in one word: Paradise
Position: Adult Social Director
I spent the last 6 months: backpacking through NZ, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
If I could be one Muskoka animal, it would be: a friendly chipmunk!
My favourite Muskoka pastime is: hanging out on the dock enjoying the sunshine or boating
My favourite Cleveland’s house staff vs guest game is: volleyball
Muskoka in one word: escape
We are getting excited for another summer to remember at Clevelands House. Ready to meet more of our 2013 Cleves Crew….
Position: Assistant Children’s Program Director
I spent the last 6 months: In Halifax studying at Dalhousie University
If I could be one Muskoka animal, it would be: Duck
My favourite Muskoka past time is: hanging out down at the dock
My favourite Clevelands House Staff vs. Guest game is: Volleyball
Muskoka in one world: Unforgettable
Position: Front Desk Agent
I spent the last 6 months: Studying (here and there), procrastinating (always), partying (not enough) and living the cheap student life!
If I could be one Muskoka animal, it would be: A fishy
My favourite Muskoka past time is: Swimming in beautiful Lake Rosseau (Being a fish and all)
My favourite Clevelands House Staff vs Guest game is: To be determined
Muskoka in one word: Freedom
Introducing two more team members for our upcoming 2013 season…let’s get ready for a summer to remember!
Name: Andrew Brownlee
I spent the last 6 months: in school at Western Uni
If I could be one Muskoka animal, it would be: bear…duh
My favourite Muskoka past time is: anything outdoors
My favourite Clevelands House Staff vs Guest game is: hockey, undefeated 2 years running
Muskoka in one word: utopia
Name: Syd Hannah
Position: Sports Head Counselor
I spent the last 6 months: Daydreaming about Cleves!! … and trying to Graduate University!
If I could be one Muskoka animal, it would be: A chipmunk… Because everyone feeds chipmunks!!
My favourite Muskoka past time is: Buoy swims, Friday night Fishing Derby, and jamming out to Jamie Williams at Dukes!!
My favourite Clevelands House Staff vs. Guest game is: Beach Volleyball!!
Muskoka in one word: SUPERCALAFRAGALISTICEXPIALADOSHUS!!
We will be introducing other members of Cleves crew so check back SOON!
Over the next few weeks, we will introduce you to some of the people responsible for making the summer of 2013 one to remember at Clevelands House.
Thank you to the greatest team of people in Muskoka … let’s get ready for a summer to remember!
Name: Alex Szabo-Day
Position: Adult Social Director
I spent the last 6 months: Harnessing my inner fisherman at Dalhousie University in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia.
If I could be one Muskoka animal it would be: Shakespeare the Porcupine
My favourite Muskoka past time is: Catching some rays in the green, yellow and red Muskoka chairs at Cleves.
My favourite Cleves staff vs. guest games is: Beach Volleyball!
Muskoka in one word: Memories
Name: Jessica Schiedel
Position: Food and Beverage Supervisor
I spent the last 6 months: Studying at the University of Guelph, in my third year of Hotel and Food Administration
If I could be one Muskoka animal, it would be: A bear
My favourite Muskoka past time is: Boating or sitting by the lake in a Muskoka chair catching some great sun
My favourite Clevelands House Staff vs Guest game is: …. not too sure but I’m excited to be involved this summer!
Muskoka in one word: Beautiful