Bass Lake

A simple cottage in the woods that brought joy to the Post family!

If you drive north from Toronto on Highway 400 to Barrie and then take Highway 11 north to Orillia you will come to the Coldwater Road exchange. Turn onto Coldwater and go West and in a few short kilometers you’ll come to Bass Lake. When we were teenagers this was way out in the country. Very rural with cows and fields and clear little streams and forest everywhere. It was magical.

Bass Lake is a small fresh water lake a kilometer across in any direction but it was heaven. Burt and Ilene Post had a cottage there. I think they must have gotten it from Dad and Mamie because I have old photo’s Dad took of the lake years before I knew it. When I was dating Nora before we were married we spent several happy weekends there. It wasn’t much, more like camping out. But it was enough to be enchanting, especially when you are in love and so very young!

The cabin was very secluded. It was a long drive in through fields and trees and you felt like you were at the end of the world.

Off to the left of the cabin was a point of land we could walk to in the evening and sit to watch the sun set.

The cabin was not much to look at. Just a roof and four walls. Bare 2x4’s inside.

The little dock was not very solid and if it was not pulled in every winter the ice on the lake would carry it away.

The evening sun in summer set across the lake flooding the cabin with a warm glow.

There were two boats: a green canoe and a small white punt . Nora is standing on the little dock.

I spent only a few weekends at the cabin because I only met Nora my last Christmas before going away to University.

In those days I did not shoot much color film. It was expensive, I couldn’t process or print it myself, and I had very little money. What I earned with my paper route and allowance went to my other hobbies and there was very little left for photography. But I did take a roll up at Bass Lake!

Up and to the right is Nora with her Green Canoe. It was a beautiful wood canoe covered in green canvas. I bit heavy but a beautiful thing to look at and to paddle about in. We spent hours and hours on the lake in it.

One night we went out after dark and lay in the bottom of the canoe where we could hear the water and look up at the stars and Milky Way above us. It was utter magic! It is one of my strongest memories from those days and I have loved canoes ever since.

On the right I am out taking pictures. The camera is my Minolta SR-1 so this must be the summer after my first year at Queen’s. It would be a new camera to me then and so I am sure I was totally excited and never put it down. The rock I am standing on is on the point of land just to the left of the cottage (as you are looking out onto the lake).

Behind the cottage there are trees but they are a thin line and then the country gives way to rolling hills and farms. We walked there for hours. It was open country with few fences, a few cows, and paths everywhere. And of course I had my camera with me.

This one day we were walking in small white daisies and I began to put the flowers in Nora’s hair. It was a beautiful day, warm, lazy, and we had nothing to do but walk and enjoy. And take pictures.