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Reconnecting with what matters.

Arowhon Pines, Algonquin Park Open June 1st 2018

Over the weekend we received a record number of new bookings – from Canada and the US, but also from Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Japan! How humbling (and lovely) to know that we’ve kept the Arowhon tradition of attracting people from around the world.

We have a lot in common. The quest for a peaceful, not pretentious, retreat from traffic and noise. The love of sharing a meal with our partner, friends and family. Good food made from quality ingredients, lovingly prepared by a team of chefs. The feel of the lake, water like silk, in the afternoon. The simple beauty of the ripple of the paddle dipped into the lake. Standing quiet and still, close to a moose, or a fox, or a beaver. We’re told time and time again by our well-travelled guests, that there are beautiful places all over the world, but nothing compares to the natural beauty of Arowhon Pines.

Have you made your booking yet for this year? The improvements and renovations continue, David’s got some new things on the go in the kitchen, and the lake will be warming up soon.

We can’t wait to see you again.

Love Theresa, David and Adam



Please note that a weekly rate was $ 95.00 per person with food!

Sure Signs of Spring

Seeing wildlife is a big part of every guest's experience at Arowhon. Due to our more isolated location on a chain of lakes and in the middle of the woods, encounters with wildlife are varied and frequent – and real.

Spring is the best time to see wildlife – it seems every creature is either “snowbirding” back home or waking up from months of hibernation - not unlike all of us...

The Friends of Algonquin Park website does a great job keeping us all in the loop – live web cams, up-to-date bird sightings, bear safety information and tips on how to plan for a spring trip.

There’s plenty of research information as well - the common loon and audios of their calls, the Eastern wolf, moose, gray jays and brook trout. Since 1978 the University of Guelph has been conducting research on the painted turtle – closeby to Arowhon Pines and in the spring, you can talk to the students and check on what they are doing! For more detailed information on the Science Behind Algonquin’s Animals, visit: - it’s fascinating!

Happy Spring!

Ellen (Helen) Joan Kates 1930 – 2017

It is with sadness that we announce that Ellen (Helen) Joan Kates died peacefully at her home in Toronto on Wednesday May 17, 2017. She was predeceased by the love of her life, Eugene Kates in 2007 and is survived by the families of her brother, Colin Day of the UK (recently deceased) and the Kates' families (Joanne Kates, Leon Musynski and the late Robert Kates) of Toronto.

Guests will fondly remember Helen as the charming and gracious host at Arowhon Pines. You might also remember her brisk walks around the grounds with her golden retrievers and daily backstroke swims in Little Joe Lake. The staff, in particular the chefs, will remember a strict, demanding boss with a sharp eye for detail but one with an extraordinarily generous heart.

With perfect timing, Helen died on the morning of Arowhon’s hectic moving day from our office in Toronto to Algonquin Park. In Algonquin, the day was breathtakingly beautiful - warm and sunny with a gentle wind. The dogs were in the lake all day. We’ll miss Helen, but we will feel her presence forever.

Loving friends will miss her, especially Theresa Pupulin, Mona Bernardi, Lucille MacDonald, Olive Pester, David Cooke, Edward Munsayac, Adam Falardeau and all the staff, past and present, at Arowhon Pines.

A special thank you is extended to her loyal caregivers, Felicitas and Elaine, the staff from Eldercare, James Mastin and his team at CCAC. With all their support, Helen was able to die at home, surrounded by people she loved and in accordance with her wishes.

To follow Helen’s wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no public service. If you wish to honour her, please do so privately and in your own way, or donate to a charity of your choice or the Golden Retriever Rescue.

For all the regular guests this summer, we’ll have lots of champagne to share with you and toast our friend, Helen. She would like that! If you have a story or photo you would like to share, please email us at


Dear Theresa and Arowhon Staff,

We prefer the very real world of Arowhon Pines and look forward to a reprise of our wonderful experience same time next fall. Please make sure that Theresa sees the photos--particularly the hug to the Medicine Tree. Theresa inspired that and we are sending her our hugs to an equally lovely--albeit younger being:).

Cheers, Cindy (and Norm)


A Few Pictures

"I didn’t take a lot of pics this trip, will get more at Thanksgiving. Pic 2 and 3 are from across the bay at the beginning of the white trail. Thanks for a lovely stay yet again. See you for dinner in a couple weeks." -- Sharon and Mike Arcaro


June Writer's Retreat

"Evening all,

If you could manage to arrange a sort of teleportation device so I didn't have to contend with a 6-7 hour drive from London, that would be great. Otherwise, everything was pretty perfect. The facilities are awesome, the landscape is awesome, the staff is awesome...

I am attaching a photo I took back in June which I had been meaning to send along.

Thank you so much for helping to make the writer's retreat a success.

See you next June!" -- Helen E. Patterson


Arowhon, the Real World By Esther White (who participated in Brian Henry’s fall 2017 Writing Workshop Weekend)

I gladly left the hot hustle of the 407 on a Friday afternoon and headed north to cottage country. It produced a happy giddiness that only cottagers know. The roads twisted past gray-blue lakes edged with forests of vermilion, canary yellow and crimson foliage. The fall colours had arrived early and I felt as if I were the first person in Canada to see them on these lonely paths into the wilderness.

Coming “home” into the familiar gravel driveway, I had a little over seven kilometers to ease into the Arowhon way, slowing my car to take in vistas of wildflowers and evergreens. It had been several months since my last visit and it was good to be back. An hour early for my conference, I took the time to shower and unpack. Skipping down the cottage steps, I headed over to the main dining hall for some friendly smiles and a cup of hot tea on the verandah. As I settled into the cushioned wicker chair, my shoes melted off my feet. I propped them up on the railing, closed my eyes and gratefully inhaled the pungent brew.

Across the lake, a loon called to its mate and a gaggle of canoes paddled to the distant shoreline. My growling stomach was gratified by the scent of roast lamb and lobster bisque effusing the air just outside the candlelit hall with such tempting aromas I was glad I had arrived on time. Right on time, the dinner bell rang and I needed no second invitation. That night, after a busy writing session with my group, I wriggled under my duvet and rested my travel-weary head on the plush pillows and I felt satisfied with the day’s accomplishments.

The next thing I knew, the sun was beckoning me out to explore the camp and it was morning. Quickly, I dressed and headed for the coffee pot in the dining room, laptop bag under my arm. The mists rose off the lake, echoed by the steamy tendrils that escaped my china cup into the morning air. Inspired, I opened my laptop and began writing, using some of the tips we had talked about in our first meeting the night before. Before I knew it, breakfast was ready and it was time to feast again. There were pancakes, kippers, steamed whitefish and heaping bowls of fresh fruit, alongside porridge, fresh fruit juices and much more.

The weekend passed in just that order and all too quickly; eating and resting, working, talking with the new friends I had made that weekend. I wrote more in those 3 days than I had in an entire week at home and I felt it was much higher in quality due to the inspiration I was surrounded by every day. In the evening, pinpoints of light punched through the velvet sky.

Swathed in the Milky Way, they looked close enough to touch. Early morning brought with it a desire to explore the kitchen gardens and flowers as well as the book I had committed to writing. And then there was the canoe trip where I was dubbed the more experienced paddler, having survived the Kayak Incident of The First Conference, and required to sit in the stern of the boat to steer. We logged many oar strokes but never actually made it to the other side. I also discovered that laughing too hard can cause the boat to pitch precariously but it is unavoidable when paddling out with Victoria. We finally headed back to shore for tea and a fresh scone, consolation indeed.

All too soon, it was our last night at Arowhon, dear Arowhon. In the morning, I realized how much I had relaxed, learned and grown in this little piece of heaven tucked away in Algonquin. I also realized you don’t visit Arowhon, it visits with you and if you’re lucky, it lets you see some of its most precious treasures. Taking the time away from a busy city life, this place was just the re-set my spirit needed. I was welcomed as one of the family and free to explore her shores and pathways along with my own inner questions. Here, I have found a liberating sense of reconnecting with God and remembered that He has control of all things. I am in His care always. I am always loved and I would not have owned this reality as part of my heart without the quiet whisper of the evening leaves as they rustled in the twilight and seeing God in every detail of his creation and people. He was in the time alone, meditating in the calm quiet that pervaded this blissful place. Cherishing my last few moments here, I wandered around with my camera to capture some of the magic on film if that is possible. The high dive platform beckoned hot and dusty hikers, pots of geraniums were placed just so without ever appearing contrived. Campers lounged with books, a fresh cuppa alongside a slice of coffee cake, fresh from the oven. Even a sweet sailboat sandbox joined the fun, as it called little would be sailors to play.

Evergreens studied their reflection in the calm pools between the cottages, dipping their feet into the crisp water and feeling their roots down deep in the Canadian soil. This is home. This is where I love to be. Leaving camp was difficult and I am already certain I will return, God willing. I’ve said my goodbyes to the caring and attentive staff and each corner where I’ve picked up a new memory. It will be good to return here in a new season when the snow has melted to search out new truths and re-connect with the real world of Arowhon.

I drove slowly with no great need to rejoin the outside world and then I noticed, I have not looked in the rearview mirror once. Another lesson from Arowhon. Yesterday is a memory. Today is precious. Tomorrow, I will be back again.


"Hi Theresa, Hope all is well, just like to say Ben and I had a wonderful time at Arowhon and it was so nice to meet you. I was cleaning out my desk and came across your email address. Here are the receipts from when we were there in 1976 for our honeymoon, 2001 for our 25th wedding anniversary." -- Martha


Second and third generations Osborne/Roberts on the bridge in August 2009. Fourth generation to visit again in October 2016:

Robert and Christiane Osborne with their daughter and granddaughter in July 2001:


"These aren’t that old, but thought you’d enjoy them nonetheless. We just celebrated our four year wedding anniversary this past week (September 8th) and have fond memories of our wedding despite the rain… and the lack of hydro.

Hope you had a great summer. We enjoyed our time at the cottage next door on Canoe Lake and we can’t believe that another season is coming to a close. Next weekend will be our last trip north for 2016. The season is just far too short! Until next year!" -- Lisa & Simon, Elliot & Thomas


"This picture was taken on 26th September 2004. As you figure out, this is the lake in front of your Arowhon Pines. Twelve years have passed since we stayed…. All the days our staying, we wrapped in the most perfect happiness. We would love to come back to see you all and our unforgettable splendid memories…."

With love,

Miki IMAI (Ms.) from Tokyo, JAPAN


Finn's First Stay at Arowhon Pines

"Thanks for making our first adventure with Finnegan so awesome! It was nice to have him so welcomed and well taken care of by everyone there." -- Tineke, Neville, and Finn


"It was meant to be a “one-off”- a child-free weekend escape from our busy city lives. The year was 1987 and it was our first venture into Algonquin Park where we were booked to stay at Arowhon Pines. We had been hearing about the renowned lodge for years and were looking forward to our stay. We loved every moment of that first visit: the park, the hiking, the food, the rustic luxury, the wilderness. Did I mention the food? After the first day, we were plotting our return and how we could become one of the numerous couples we met on that visit who had been coming for 18, 20, even 25 years.

When Eugene Kates introduced himself to us, he began talking about the camp. We mentioned our 9 year old son and he informed us, in no uncertain terms, that our son should have started camp 2 years ago. A lightbulb went on and we planned a hike to Camp Arowhon for the next day. Suitably impressed with the camp, we spent that Fall and Winter suggesting to our son that he might want to try camp the next summer. Much to our surprise he agreed and thus began our annual pilgrimage to the Pines. In those years, Visitors’ Day was mid-way through the 4 week camp session and it became our ritual to come up to the Pines for the Visitors’ Day weekend.

We have fond memories of large dinner gatherings year after year with the parents of children attending the same camp session as our children. As our son and daughter graduated from campers to staff, they would arrange their day-off to coincide with one of the days of our Arowhon week-end. More than once a parent of a camper would drop by our table to see if they could get some early information on their camper’s summer. Eventually, the 16 summers of our children’s camp life ended, but we couldn’t bear the thought of giving up our Pines “get-away”. So we continued our visits to the Pines, although not on Visitors’ Day week-end!

On one memorable occasion we watched a well-known Canadian dressed in a fringed buckskin jacket enjoy dinner with his 3 adorable little boys. As you have probably guessed, one of those boys grew up to be our current Prime Minister. We have just enjoyed our 30th season at the Pines and we love it just as much now as we did on our first visit. Helen Kates always told us that Arowhon is special because of her fabulous team. A huge shout-out to Theresa, Adam, Dave, Edward and the entire gang. They are successfully negotiating that difficult balance between maintaining the traditions while changing with the times. It’s certainly working for us, as we look forward to our 31st consecutive season in 2017.

Our very best wishes to everyone who makes the Pines such a magical place." -- Brian and Annalee Schnurr, Toronto, Canada


"Here are a few memories of many wonderful vacations at Arowhon. The early morning is the best time to see and be on the lake and many times we have navigated back in the mist by following the smell of breakfast!" -- Michael Cook


"This picture was taken on 26th September 2004. As you figure out, this is the lake in front of your Arowhon Pines. Twelve years have passed since we stayed…. All the days our staying, we wrapped in the most perfect happiness. We would love to come back to see you all and our unforgettable splendid memories…."

With love,

Miki IMAI (Ms.) from Tokyo, JAPAN


"I am a prior Camper and Counsellor at Camp Arowhon in the 70's. My brother Mike headed the sailing dock. Over the years my family will occasionally get together at Arowhon Pines. Here is a painting my sister Shari Orenstein made of one of these visits." -- Dr. Teddi Orenstein Lyall


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