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Pointe au Baril Shovels in the Ground Event

Members of the Pointe au Baril community along with Islanders, local officials, business owners and Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North staff gathered to kick off the project on North Shore Road in August.

The Village of Pointe au Baril and the Community

The village is a mainland settlement community on the east shore of Georgian Bay in the Township of the Archipelago, District of Parry Sound, Ontario. By car the community is about 2.5 hours north of Toronto, 1.5 hours south of Sudbury and 30 minutes north of Parry Sound. Parry Sound is the location of the district government, local services and shopping.

The village services a seasonal population estimated at about 8,000 people who vacation in the area. Then seasonal population stay in predominantly water access cottages and lodges. The village is a pro forma for many rural communities in northern Ontario. The affluent summer community has historically funded significant community projects. The winter community of approximately 300 is predominantly owners of the construction and marina businesses that service the summer population and retirees from Southern Ontario who have priced the cost of village housing beyond the reach of the marina and construction workers.  Working families now commute to work, just like large urban areas. The limited number of modestly priced, non-water front homes that come available are generally sub-standard and expensive to heat. Conventional mortgage lenders, such as banks, will not support the purchase of these homes.  The community does not have natural gas service. Electricity, propane and wood are the home heating fuel sources.

The Plan 

The village and seasonal residents, with strong support from the Township, want to lead on creating affordable housing opportunities in the local community. In partnering together and working to amend the Township’s Official Plan to increase village densification, the project will assist in creating opportunity for working families to live in the community.

Working with Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North (HFHOGN), the Pointe au Baril Adopt-A-Home Project plans to build a simple, family home to be sold to a local, inadequately housed family. HFHOGN will manage the process of family selection, support the family and provide a no down payment, no interest mortgage. The family’s principal and property tax payment is limited to 25% of annual household income.

A high performance, all electric home can have annual light, heat and power costs of $1200 to $1400 per year; about one third the cost of standard code built homes. The incremental cost of high performance building can be low, especially with volunteer labour, but over 20 years can save the family $50,000 to $60,000. The building plans will comply with community green energy conservation programs offered by organizations like the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, Canadore College and the Ontario electricity program - htts://www.affordabilityfund.org

The home will be built largely by volunteers recruited from the seasonal, village, First Nations, educational and business communities. From mid-June to the end of August we are searching for volunteers to assist in days of community service. After cottage season and the wind down of the construction season more of the volunteer help will be from the year round community. Licenced trades will be hired as required for work like electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation. The $200,000 cost of the build will be funded by cash, in kind and donated goods and services. The building lot, development costs, and environmental assessment costs have already been donated thanks to the Morels, the Township of the Archipelago and the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, respectively.


Why support this Habitat for Humanity project?

  • Village residents and islanders will be donating time, efforts and finances for a common cause of helping to grow their relationships while helping a family in the Village. This project will encourage new relationships in many ways.
  • Giving to this Habitat build is a unique life changing experience people worldwide have grown to respect and support.
  • Volunteering time and talents affords an opportunity to make new friends, learn a new skill, while helping the village with new energy efficient and affordable housing.
  • An enduring way to honour your family and friends with a gift from the heart.

Beyond 2018

There are opportunities for additional off-water lot home development within the village for families and an independent living seniors lodge. Additionally, needs for volunteers to address sub-standard home maintenance in the village could be addressed through future Habitat for Humanity projects.

The Ask

Donations are needed to get the build underway. Donations can be made in many ways - Cash to buy building materials, donations of service and materials that are integral to the home, and volunteering to help build. Book your own special build day for your social group, neighbours, island crew including mom and dad, children over 16, sons, daughters and in laws, school, business or organization. 

Please consider making a generous donation now to get the project in motion. Donations can receive a tax receipt from Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North.


DONATE NOW Instructions:


Rob Muir – (443) 994-9434 or robertmmuir@me.com

Bob Fisher – (416) 487-2950 or upthebay@sympatico.ca

Tonia Blenkarn – (707) 746-1756 or tonia@desmasdon.com

  • Questions about donations?  Contact:

Amy Graham, Community Fundraising Officer

Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North


(705) 646-0106 ext 211

117A-505 Highway 118 West

Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 1T4


Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is supported by the American Fund for Charities, a US 501©(3) non-profit organization (EIN 52-2109597). Donations to the American Fund for Charities from US taxpayers are tax deductible to the extent allowed under US law.

If you are a US taxpayer and want to support Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North, please print the donation form available here and send it with your gift to:

American Fund for Charities

2 Liberty Square, Suite 500

Boston, MA 02109

Alternatively, give online by visiting www.americanfund.info/donate and selecting Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North. A donation receipt will be issued to you from the American Fund for Charities for income tax purposes.

Checks must be made payable to: The American Fund for Charities.

Memo line: Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North

The American Fund for Charities

T: +1 617-391-3094