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ABOUT THE LAND

158 Keatley Road, Dryden, ON, P8N 0A2

In 2015, when Rhonda, Brad and Alexander snuck onto the property that was advertised for sale at 158 Keatley Road, they were welcomed by fields blanketed in snow, large towering spruce and poplar trees, and quaint little outbuildings on 167 acres of land. After searching for years for "the one" they just knew that this would eventually be home. They signed on the dotted line and rolled up their sleeves, driving between Red Lake and "the farm" for the next 7 years.

 

In 2022, they decided it was time to make Dryden their home, and went forward with the construction of The Bird House, a log building created by traditional log builder Randall Norgate, with the other construction work done by Mike Bobay and sons Lucas, Jonah, and Benadict. The Bird  House was made possible by funding from both NOHFC (Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation) and PACE (Patricia Area Community Endeavors). 

Since 2015, we have:

  • cleared out 8 derilict buildings

  • knocked down 3 of those buildings

  • lived in a 10x14 foot "love shack" with a 30 amp power service (enough to plug in a heater!)

  • gutted an old house and "glamped" for years as we travelled back and forth (no plumbing, no running water for years, no interior hydro, and just a wood stove for heat)

  • built a new outhouse

  • built an outdoor shower 

  • cleared kilometers of trails

  • thatched tangled fields

  • built a dog pen for Willow the escapee dog

  • brought in two shipping containers that we thought we would use for building a studio

  • developed a road system

  • dragged an annex hotel from Red Lake to the farm to live in

  • installed new electrical 

  • installed a new well

  • installed a new septic system

  • created a plan with Jerry Pokrupa to build a slab on grade studio and retreat 

  • covid happened and we threw our dream away

  • bought a cabin from Randall Norgate

  • received funding to go ahead with the artist retreat and art studio

  • are in the final stages of completing The Bird House

  • continue renovations and development of The Bunkhouse as supplemental rooms for the artist retreat

  • started teaching workshops in The Bird House Studio in March of 2024 

  • we've only just begun 

Come and creatively explore the land

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