Photo by Gary McGuffin, of woman paddling a canoe in the mist.
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Our Story

Smoothwater’s history goes back to 1984 and its founders Hap and Trudy Wilson.

In 1994, Smoothwater was purchased by business partners Caryn Colman and Francis Boyes, who reinvigorated it and built it into a four-season guest lodge and outfitting facility. Upon arrival in Temagam, they quickly realized that their quiet Temagami wilderness lodge attracted the most fascinating people. Guests visit from all over the world, but they have lots in common: all believe in the healing power of nature, appreciate local cuisine, and take pleasure in non-mechanized wilderness adventure. Smoothwater is all about ecotourism.

Over the course of her tenure at Smoothwater, Caryn has been its resident chef and artist, as well as a canoe guide. Caryn wears many hats, overseeing the kitchen and gardens, expertly foraging for wild edibles, and developing the many creative arts and wellness programs.

Francis is a life-long canoe tripper. He is an ORCKA Canoe Tripping Instructor and served that organization as a board member. He is also a founding director of Friends of Temagami, a local conservation organization, and served on Temagami’s local citizens’ committee that advises the Ministry of Natural Resources on forest management planning. Day to day, Francis teaches canoeing and wilderness skills, outfits canoe trips, communes with the office computers, and maintains equipment, buildings and cross-country ski trails. Much of his work happens behind the scenes, but he keeps Smoothwater up and running!

Twenty years into the business, Caryn and Francis are both beginning to spend more time pursuing personal interests. Caryn is an avid equestrian, and is working on becoming a certified equine massage therapist. During the summer, she spends much of her time off-site, painting and riding her mare.

Francis’ creative outlets are photography and carpentry, cultivated over many years in Smoothwater’s woodsy environs (and a previous life as a professional shutterbug). During the fall and winter, Francis teaches outdoor adventure skills and recreation & leisure management at Sir Sanford Fleming and Seneca colleges, respectively. He nurtures a love of teaching discovered through his development of educational programs at Smoothwater.

Caryn and Francis maintain daily involvement in Smoothwater, whether on or off-site. Their expertise and vision continue to fuel Smoothwater’s success in the industry, aided in no small part by their accomplished and dedicated staff! Even the resident dogs and cats help out – collies Max and Juno greet clients and shepherd local wildlife, while felines James, Sophie, and Alfie provide pest-control services and interactive ornamentation.


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winter family portrait of caryn, francis and emily

Find out in this new cookbook, Anita Stewart's Canada: The Food, the recipes, the stories. It's all about Canada's wilderness spaces, the people, their travels, and their roots. We don't know where we're going if we don't know where we're from. Caryn's recipes and stories are featured in this book.
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