Here in Muskoka: Lake of Bays Garden Centre

Here in Muskoka

Here in Muskoka:
Lake of Bays Garden Centre



Interviewee: Linda Boothby (née Clark)

Q: Lake of Bays Garden Centre opened in 2001 selling annuals and bags of soil off a flatbed trailer. Today the flatbed has been upgraded to two greenhouses and a 2400-square-foot building housing the garden centre, home & cottage décor store spanning across eight acres. Can you tell us more about your story?

You’ve captured our story in a nutshell but to go into a little more detail, our business is about family. You’ll often see my family at the garden centre, whether it’s my dad helping to fix/maintain various things around the property, or my kids, Tom and Emily, who have an office and a shop for their business – Fivepoint Landscaping – on the same property as well. The Garden centre did start out with some annuals on our flatbed truck, but we have grown a lot since then. We are now home to many varieties of annuals, perennials, shrubs, large calibre trees and flagstone material for your next patio project. We also offer bulk products like mulch, stone and soil. We are a full-service garden centre as well as a large-scale landscape yard for both DIY-ers and contractors alike.

Q: You initially purchased the eight acres of bush in 1996. What was the land used for before you opened the garden centre in 2001?

In 1996, the land was vacant. We spent five years determining what we wanted to do with the land, carefully planning and eventually clearing the lot for building. We then created the building that is the retail store at the Garden Centre today.

Q: Lake of Bays Garden Centre is open year-round. What do you do during the winter season?

In the fall, we are your pumpkin and fall decor headquarters! We have a fall vendor market in September and throughout November and December, we turn into a Christmas wonderland. From Christmas trees and outdoor decor to snow globes and stocking stuffers, we’ve been referred to as a “hidden gem” at Christmas time. We host a Christmas vendor market at the end of November complete with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Being right off the snowmobile trail, during the snowmobile season our food truck serves as a destination in Dwight! The garden centre also offers a full selection of animal food – bird seed, deer feed and horse feed.

Q: You also host workshops and events, enhancing local knowledge of gardening and sustainability! Do you have any events coming up? Where can individuals learn more about workshops or events taking place?

We host workshops on-site, as well as in the community. Our next workshop is a spring bulb workshop that is taking place at Canvas Brewery on Wednesday, March 29th at 7 pm. You can check out our website at and click on the “Workshops & Events” tab. We have our Farmer’s Market that will be running for the second season, every Wednesday from 9 am-2 pm in July and August. You’ll find over 40 vendors every week showcasing their handmade crafts, as well as baked goods, locally grown produce and many other treasures!

Q: What does the Muskoka community mean to Lake of Bays Garden Centre?

Here at Lake of Bays Garden Centre, the community is a top priority. As previously mentioned, we host the Farmer’s Market weekly throughout the summer which brings together vendors from all over Muskoka, as well as visitors from all over the world. We have many weekly visitors from the Muskoka area, but we have also had visitors from Germany, British Columbia, Alberta, Philadelphia and Maine to name a few! Every year, we host fundraising campaigns to support our local school here in Dwight – Irwin Memorial Public school, as well as Huntsville Hospice, The Dwight Branch Lake of Bays Public Library and Huntsville Hospital Foundation.

Q: What are some of your favourite things to do in the Muskoka region?

Some of my favourite things to do in Muskoka include camping, fishing, hunting and snowshoeing. Basically, anything that allows me to get outside and enjoy all that Muskoka has to offer.