Fear and ATVing in Blind River: A Newcomer Family’s Experience

Granary Lake Retreat is a cottage resort near Blind River that is owned by a family of newcomers with roots in Trinidad and Tobago. All of the investors featured in this series are first time cottage resort owners, but you could say that our guest Chris Jaggarnath, his father Anand Jaggarnath, and his stepmother Bettina Abraham were truly rookies. They’d never even been to a cottage before. 

In episode 4 of the Destination: Northern Ontario podcast, Chris shares their story, from the fearful beginning to now. It’s a journey of resilience, hard work, and embracing the northern lifestyle. 

Listen to the episode, or read on for highlights.

How to Make Friends in a New and Established Community

Chris was fresh out of university when he moved from the Greater Toronto Area to Blind River, where he didn’t know anyone. He says it was hard at first, especially in a small community where social groups have been established over many years. His strategy to break in was to join local groups and clubs, and leverage his other job with the East Algoma CFDC to meet people. 

Now he’s playing golf with business owners and doing as the locals do: embracing the outdoors. He loves spending time in the bush ATVing and fishing. He’s also found that his loved ones from Southern Ontario are happy to visit the beautiful north.

Leveraging Innovative Partnerships To Do More With Less

Granary Lake Retreat is a small resort with five cabins. Two didn’t need any work but one was a tear-down and the remaining two had to be gutted. Rather than take on more debt, they’re doing the work slowly and using business revenue, a process that’s a little slower than they’d like. To speed things up, they’re looking for innovative partnerships, like getting investors to foot the bill for a geodome and profit-sharing for four or five years.

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Are all of these stories making you seriously think about buying a cottage resort? In episode five, we’re talking about financing options that could help you achieve that dream. Follow us on your favourite podcast platform to be notified when it drops.