Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh was founded in 1952 by Orville Johnston, and is currently helmed by his children. During tours of the farm, patrons traverse a landscape dotted with cranberries and Muskoka Lakes Winery. At the winery, guests sample fruit-based libations during a tutored wine tasting. Wilderness trails cut through the property and are open year-round. During the winter, visitors can hike them wearing cross-country skis, snowshoes, or old-timey tennis racquets on their feet. Youngsters can also enjoy the farm—though the winery is off limits to them—by joining in on scavenger hunts or wielding nets ideal for catching critters when the weather is nice.
In 1980, Paul Montgomery's ski shop—along with everything in it—burned to the ground. All of his hopes and dreams, reduced to ash. As a teenager, Paul had tuned skis in a neighbourhood ski shop. After earning a degree in computer science, he decided to forego the fast-paced lifestyle of the tech industry—with its outsized salaries and lascivious solicitations from Ms. Pac-Man—and open a 900-square-foot ski shop adjacent to a ski lodge. And that's when he lost everything. But just four days after the fire, he decided he would continue to sell skis out of his home. As it turned out, many of the ski-club members had lost their gear when the lodge burned down, and they flocked to his home in droves. In one weekend, he'd sold more skis than he had in the previous year.
In the decades that followed, Paul struggled through financial difficulties and recurring nightmares about teaching dinosaurs to ski, but continued to expand the business he had once nearly lost. Today, Skiis & Biikes boasts five locations across the country and more than 50,000 square feet of skiing, snowboarding, and cycling necessities. More than 100 dedicated staff members channel their love of outdoor recreation into the kind of dedicated salesmanship that has earned the shop its hard-won success.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory entreats sweet teeth with handmade chocolate confections and sublime snacks and sweets. Peek across the counter at the shop's resident chocolatiers, who massage creamy loafs of chocolate on sturdy marble slabs daily. For additional culinary theatrics, feel free to cheer on the expert orchard orderlies as they kettle-dip Granny Smiths into caramel-coated creations. Caramel apples range from the classically simple (from $5.25) to the cheesecake caramel apple, which is doused in a bubbling caramel, coated in a melted rich white confection, and layered lovingly in crushed graham crackers with liberal discretion ($8.25). For additional brain pampering, strip away the core and go straight for the score with freshly fangled fudges ($13.25/lb.).
For more than two decades, Tee 2 Green has equipped golfers with clubs, outfitted them with apparel, and stocked their bags with accessories by revered brands such as TaylorMade, Callaway, and Ping. The store also specializes in arsenal customization, enabling players to find the right combination of club head, shaft, grip, and cybernetic caddie. Once customers have whittled down their selections, they can put them to the test in the shop’s indoor simulator by playing a virtual round on one of the 38 courses vividly displayed on its 10’x12’ screen.
Internet Cafe connects surfers to the Web with 16 high-speed Internet workstations, wireless Internet, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff. Sign in to browse to your virtual heart’s content ($2 for 15 minutes, $3.25 for 30 minutes, $6/hour) or to challenge co-clickers to a gaming match using a LAN and a 64-bit operating system (up to $6/hour). Word-processing software aids in compiling dissertations on keyboard evolution ($6/hour), and printing services in black and white ($0.25/page) and colour ($1+/page) put philosophies to paper. Candy bars, chips, and sodas fuel mouse fingers so their wielders need not miss a single update on joystick-revivalist message boards ($1).