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Val Gagne (Northern Ont)
All Year: May to August
Area (ha): 17
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 5673
Region: Ontario

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Last Updated: September 5, 2013

Update August 29, 2013 - Ignore the last update, we need some immediate assistance. Our road trip never took place because Regis was not up to the travelling. Regis is no longer able to do much physical work. The firewood needs moving into the wood shed and the porch needs to be finished before cold weather sets in. If you can swing a hammer or use an electric drill, we need your help.
Do a Google search on Regis and Noreen Daigle to see exactly where we are located and there's a link to lots of photos there as well. Thank you.

Update March 25, 2013 -
We are not really in a position to accept any help at this time. Regis was diagnosed with cancer at the back of his tongue in Feb 2012 and is doing naturopathic treatments rather than radiation & chemotherapy which gave him less than a 40% prognosis for success. He is doing well, and this summer we are planning a road trip to the west coast, which we have put off for too long.

Your prayers and thoughts would be most welcome with focus on calm and hope in and around Regis.

I will leave our profile info available for future use.

We are an older couple (late 50's / early 60's), who retired from city life in southern Ontario and bought an old 42 acre farm in Northern Ontario (near Timmins). It had been neglected for many years - the house needs lifting and levelling some how, the yards have now been reclaimed to grass (and dandelions LOL), the raspberries still need work. Construction of the woodshed is the major project for spring/summer 2013.

Volunteers sleep in a 21 ft house trailer or there is room for tents. The trailer has a furnace but if it is too cold outside, we do have spare bedrooms upstairs. Meals are eaten together in the house or on the picnic table outside (weather and bugs permitting). There are 2 bicycles and a canoe you are welcome to use in your spare time.

We like to sleep in, take our time over our first morning coffee(s) and breakfast and take lots of breaks. If company drops by, you are welcome to stop work and join us in their visit. We have high-speed DSL internet (with wireless) but no T.V., so we play cards, do crossword puzzles, read, play guitar (there's an extra one of those if you play), have bonfires (if the mosquitoes and wind co-operate) and watch the occasional movie or sit-com on the computer.

Val Gagne is a very small, very rural, mainly french, country community; mostly large acre properties. There is a restaurant/motel/bar within walking/biking distance (about 1/2 mile), a small country store that is also the video rental, beer/liquor store, post office and hunting/fishing licensing office in one. The closest towns with a REAL grocery store, hardware, auto parts store and hospital is Matheson or Iroquois Falls, both about 20 minutes drive away. Timmins is an hour west and Cochrane an hour north of us.

Note: WE SMOKE, and most of our friends smoke, in the house, so please make sure you're OK with that prior to agreeing to come. However, the trailer has been kept smoke-free. We are not religious, but do not discourage you from practicing as long as you do not impose on others. If you like to attend church, we will gladly drive you or introduce you to someone you could go with.

I am not a fancy cook but everyone tells me it is good. Breakfast is usually high fibre cereal with fruit or yogurt if you choose, toast and juice (occasionally I will make eggs or french toast), lunch could be a sandwich (or 2) on homemade, whole wheat bread or salads (potato, macaroni, 3 bean or garden). If you prefer a vegetarian diet, I will try my best to accommodate. Because we sleep in, meals are usually later than what you might consider "normal". Of course any time you want to cook a favourite meal for us all, just say the word and I'll turn the kitchen over to you :) I try to keep yogurts, fruit, nuts, snacks and juices or homemade green tea ice tea on hand. We don't drink alcohol too often, but the occasional beer after a hard day's work is o-o-o-h, so refreshing.

My mother had a plaque in our house that said "My home is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy" I guess that's what you could say about our home also. Please DO NOT take your shoes off at the door (unless they are caked with mud of course :D). I have a variety of slippers to choose from. I am also accumulating a variety of sizes of rubber boots. We supply work gloves and safety glasses. There is a near-by used clothing store that has extremely cheap clothing and footwear.

Photos - Photos of volunteers are from HelpX and WWOOF. Also go to my Skydrive site to see lots more photos.

LINKS
Bus service changed drastically sometime around the end of July 2010. We no longer have good connections from here going west. The easiest way to get west is from Toronto so if you want to see Toronto while you are in Ontario, come here first and then go back to visit Toronto/Niagara Falls and leave for the west from Toronto.
Ontario Northland from Toronto to Val Gagne - http://www.ontarionorthland.ca

Greyhound from Montreal to North Bay then Val Gagne - http://www.greyhound.ca

couchsurfing.org - for places to stay (free) on the road across Canada or around the world. An alternative to hostels/hotels.

We have spare sleeping bags, bed pillows and warm blankets.

Please mention that you are OK with the smoking in your first email contact. Thank you.

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