Top 5 Photo Spots at Viamede

by Nicole Rogerson, Marketing Manager

Photos are one of the best souvenirs of a vacation. The memories and moments that can be captured in a single snapshot are wonderful ways to remember the trip, the people you were with, and the sights you saw. One of the fun things about Viamede is that there is such a wide variety of things to do and see, that it makes for tons of photo opportunities. It was hard to narrow it down, but I’ve picked my top five favourite spots:

Indoor/Outdoor Pool

Indoor pool at Viamede Resort; Ontario resort in the Kawarthas

The indoor pool area at Viamede has beautiful wood paneling, lots of natural light with its floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, and a swim-through section to an outdoor pool area. It captures really well in a photo and you can either get some action shots of the kids cannon balling into the pool or relaxing by the side of the pool taking in the view of Stoney Lake. This lends itself to various shots as well, whether the trees are changing to autumn colours, snow flakes are falling, or boats are drifting past on the lake.

Photo Tip

For a different angle, grab your camera and walk back out the pool entrance and then take a quick trot up the stairs to the second floor. This will take you to the balcony overlooking the pool which makes for a really cool perspective. Another angle, which I took in this photo, is sitting the camera low to the floor so you get the reflection from the window in the water.

Viamede Farm

Who doesn’t love a picture with a cute little pig?! Our farm animals love visitors and they are adorably photogenic. Head down to the farm at any time to snap a pic or you can also join a farm tour to get up close and personal as well.


It’s such a quintessential Canadian summer photo: sitting by a lake in a Muskoka chair with a drink in hand, watching the sun set over the trees. You can picture it right? That’s why the docks in front of the main building area make for a great photo spot. You might even catch a loon passing through.

Photo Tip

Take advantage of golden hour! This is the period of time just after sunrise or right before sunset. The daylight is softer and warmer, which provides beautiful lighting (whereas when the sun is at its peak midday, shadows have a harsher contrast and squinting is unavoidable). For more dedicated photographers, there is even a website that calculates when golden hour will occur on a given day.

Viking Oak

Viking Oak on the Stoney Lake Trails, Kawarthas; Viamede ResortHit the Stoney Lake Trails and discover the Viking Oak. We’ve been told this tree is 450 years old, but we’ve also been told it’s rude to ask about age. This is a beautiful spot tucked away on the trail and a really neat place to snap a picture. This is also another spot which looks so different in all seasons, whether it’s bursting with green leaves, surrounded by fall foliage, or covered in snow.

Photo Tip

Get someone to pose next to the oak; on its own in a photo, it’s hard to tell just how massive it is! Having a person (or more!) in the photo helps give it perspective.

Viamede Chapel

Where else do you go on vacation to a resort and find an 1800s chapel? This is a really neat building to check out and there are a couple different perspectives to try shooting. You could get a shot sitting on the steps outside the door among the gardens or try having someone silhouetted in the open doorway with the wood paneled interior and old pews on display. It’s a unique and unexpected location which is why it makes my list.

1800s chapel at Viamede Resort; Ontario resort in the Kawarthas

Honorary Mentions: Wedding Point (hello floral-lined gazebos), The Boathouse patio (#foodie), kayaking on Stoney Lake

We enjoy seeing your photos online! Tag us directly or use the hashtag #viamederesort so we can show it some love.

Ontario Turtle Conservation Conversation

by Wendy Baggs, Education Coordinator, OTCC

The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) is home of the “Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre”. Our mission is to protect and conserve Ontario’s at-risk native turtles and their wetland habitats. The OTCC is a multifaceted hospital that uses a multi-pronged approach to conservation, employing Hospital, Science and Education. The centre is supported by a province-wide network of local veterinarians, private clinics, and other wildlife centres who perform admissions and emergency care. The OTCC holds “Turtle Trauma Workshops” to help train veterinarians and rehabilitators throughout Ontario. The centre has a network of over 5oo Turtle Taxi Volunteers that transport injured turtles. Injured turtles arrive from all across Ontario!

Photo of large turtle; Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre; part of Viamede Resort's summer recreation programmingOntario Turtles At Risk

Seven of the eight species of Ontario’s turtles are now listed as ‘species at risk’. Habitat destruction is the primary cause for many of the species’ decline, followed by injuries and early death from automobiles, boats, fish hooks, dogs, and humans. Other species of wildlife are also injured and killed, however most animals have young from the previous year to mate and replenish their population. Less than 1% of turtle eggs and hatchlings survive to adulthood. Turtles can take from 8 to 25 years to reach maturity. It can take 1500 eggs and up to 60 years to replace one nesting female killed on the roadside. Therefore, every turtle saved is beneficial to the population.

Conservation Efforts

The OTCC treated 940 turtles that were admitted into the hospital in 2018, and incubated over 3700 eggs that came from injured females admitted.

We are currently taking care of over 800 turtles that have been staying with us for the winter. Our Education Program reached over 15,000 people. Currently, we are radio-tracking a group of our ” headstarted” juvenile Blanding’s turtles, alongside a group of wild juveniles, to ensure they are surviving and thriving. We are entering our 7th year in this study.

The OTCC strives to increase awareness of the challenges facing Ontario’s turtles and to inspire individuals to act!

The OTCC will be holding turtle workshops as part of Viamede Resort’s summer recreation programming. Come meet a turtle and learn more about conservation efforts! You can also follow OTCC on Facebook and Twitter.

Spring Has Arrived

by Bob the Gardener

April showers bring May flowers! At this time of year, it’s time to prepare flower beds and lawns for spring. The time that you spend in prepping will help your plants thrive and makes maintenance easier later. Here are some simple steps for getting your gardens ready.

Flower Beds
  1. Remove all leaves.
  2. Cut back perennials if required.
  3. Clean all leaves from Hostas if present.
  4. Prune shrubs (flowering).
Lawn Care
  1. Remove leaves from the lawn.
  2. Around the end of April, cut the lawn on a high setting (3-3.5 inches).
  3. Overseed lawn with grass seed; by overseeding, it will help with the weeds.
  4. Apply fertilizer to the lawn (high nitrogen, e.g. 24-5-5). To save a step, you can use a farm fertilizer seeder with maximum 50% fertilizer and 50% grassy seed.
  5. Always water after applying or seed on a day when rain is in the forecast.
Seed Preparation

It’s time to start seeds inside for your garden. For a vegetable garden, start your tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, and lettuce. For flower beds, start seeding blooms such as marigolds, dahlias, and zinnias. Use a good seed-starting soil for your seeds. When seeding:

  1. Fill container with soil.
  2. Water with warm water.
  3. After seeding, cover container with plastic.
  4. Remove plastic when you see plants.
  5. Keep plant soil moist.
  6. Place seeds in a sunny location.

Bob will be leading garden tours as part of our summer recreation schedule.

Spring Cleaning at Viamede

by Ben Samann, General Manager

My family has a long tradition of spring cleaning. There’s something so satisfying to seeing the first signs of spring, going outside in a t-shirt, taking a breath of (what seems like) warm spring air, then dashing into some unseen corner of the house to purge whatever’s accumulated there.

Both at home and at Viamede, we’re often surprised by what comes out, really.

Every year, Viamede closes in April to get ready for summer (we will be open for the Easter weekend!). Usually we do a lot of small projects we never get to otherwise, as well as just a general property clean up.

This year, we’re doing it a bit differently.

I’ve owned Viamede for over 8 years now, and honestly, there are crawl spaces and storage rooms I probably go into less than once a year. We have outbuildings that probably served a purpose at one point, but they’ve just been sitting here for a decade, housing wildlife and… stuff.

So, amid a dozen other projects (replacing some railings, building a more permanent sun shelter, changing our lock system, painting, staining, and similar), we’re also doing our first (annual?) yard sale, to raise money for Kawartha Land Trust.

We’re selling over 100 dining room chairs we no longer need, tables, old tools, mismatched wrenches, lamps, and just about anything else you can imagine. We have random odds and ends that came from the top shelf of a storage room that have been here longer than I have. There are kitchen implements we bought last year and just never used. There’s a box of St Patrick’s Day decor, and some oddly over-sized cocktail glasses (click here for event information).

Anything we don’t sell will be donated to Habitat For Humanity, or other charitable shops.

Now, as to our big projects for the season:
  • We are long-overdue to rebuild our railing on the second floor. We’re just waiting for the glass to arrive.
  • After a few years of an electronic keycard lock system, we’re ready to move on. That system is being replaced with a keypad lock, which will reduce plastic waste and cut down on guests who have lost their keys needing to find us.
  • We are getting rid of our umbrellas at the pool, and replacing them with a permanent shade structure. Additionally, we may or may not be able to make some changes to the pool fence to open up the view a bit more.
  • We’re replacing our conference tables (currently plywood) with solid maple tops, as well as replacing the bar in 1885 with a solid maple end grain butcher-block.
  • Plus lots more spring cleaning. Keep an eye on our Instagram to stay in the loop on what’s going on!