Family portraits


I am a member of the dynamic team that brings you Avalon Clearview.  I like to be involved in a variety of different things all at the same time – multi-tasker is my middle name!

Elaine’s Typical “To Do” List at the B&B – in no particular order

                  • Feed guests
                  • Feed dogs
                  • Feed cat
                  • Feed Stephen
                  • Watch Barefoot Contessa (my idol) on the Food Network
                  • Do my insurance consulting work
                  • Stave off 6 telemarketing calls
                  • Think about food


How I got involved in the insurance business:  No, I don’t think you really want to hear about that.

How I got involved in the B&B business:  My friend Lynne and I used to work together a number of years ago and she wanted to open a B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  For her birthday, I bought her a book about how to run a successful B&B.  Before I wrapped it up, I sneaked a peak and then another and then another, and by the time I finished I was also hooked on the idea of opening up a B&B.  Lynne wondered why the book looked a bit dog eared by the time she got it, but what are friends for if you can’t share?

How I got involved in the culinary arts I would like to tell you I’ve been cooking since I was three and learned everything there was to know about good food from my mother.  I’d also like to tell you I’m a former runway model and concert pianist, but that isn’t true either!  I started cooking and creating recipes later in life, and the more I do, the keener I become.   I love to create wonderful meals for family, friends and clients.  Good food celebrates life and I’m all for celebrations!

I now write a food column for the Creemore Echo called “Creemore Dish” and I am working on a cookbook in my spare time.


With apologies to the Beverly Hillbillies.

    Come and listen to my story ‘bout a man named Steve,
    Poor city boy, who couldn’t wait to leave.
    And then one day he was laying by the pool,
    Elaine said “B&B!!! You’d better grab your tools”

    Well the first thing you know, more debt than millionaires.
    The kinfolk said “Move out to country air”.
    They said “Up in Clearview is the place, so you be gone.”
    So we loaded up Steve’s tools and moved to Avalon.
    Clearview that is.  Evening Stars.  Deep Snow. 


Steve is one of your hosts at Avalon Clearview (not the good looking one), and jack-of-all-trades.  Steve’s specialties are stained glass (you’ll see this) and singing along with his iPod while cutting grass and clearing snow (with any luck you won’t hear this).  Some of his other specialties are:  financial planner, laundry assistant, house designer, busted thing fixer, investment and tax guy, TV clicker manager, doggie scratcher, sweetie soother, shopper, driver, bill-payer, weed puller, euchre loser and bad-joke-teller.  Steve helps Elaine with fabulous breakfasts at Avalon – she does “heat” and he does “sharp” – so Steve doesn’t burn anything and Elaine still has all her fingers.

Steve is a simple man (that’s redundant) who loves life at Avalon for three seasons of the year, and loves to travel and home exchange for the other season (hint:  when it’s cold).  Steve is a rugged independent thinker, a decisive man of action, and bold taker-of-risks – when Elaine tells him it’s OK. 


The afternoon sun had just begun to fade when Steve and Elaine noticed the group of Bruce Trail hikers milling about the stile, directly across the road from Avalon Clearview.  We had come on a Sunday, after lunch, to peruse the construction site - to examine - to discuss - perchance to dream.  Anyway, the sight of "milling hikers" usually meant one of three things: lost or thirsty or need a phone.  Not this day.

"We've been hiking all day and these little guys have been following us all day".  And there were the two kittens.

One little guy was black and white and promptly followed a couple of hikers who had started off again.  We’re sure his adopted parents soon had him fully equipped (leash, boots, maps, flares, etc) for twenty odd years of hiking with them.

The other kitten was stretched out on the top platform of the stile: "... think I'll take a little nap …".  Steve was immediately struck by the incredible resemblance to our last, lost cat Desi - the same colour and the same ability to stretch out to roughly 50 times normal cat length!  Elaine came over to join the crowd, and she was immediately taken with the little guy's bravery and his friendliness - he had started nuzzling her and climbing her shoulders. 

We drove the little fellow around to all the neighbours to see if anyone had lost their kittens.  Lucky for us - no takers - let the adoption process begin.  We drove home, with the kitten wrapped around Elaine's neck, snoozing. 

BT is now a member of our family.  When you visit Avalon Clearview you can certainly meet him.  He will likely try to boss you around the way he bosses us and the dogs.



Claire joined the Avalon team in May 2012. She was a rescue pup, through the fine work of our friends at Golden Rescue. She was about 17 months old at the time, so, we have decided that she was born on Valentines Day 2011 - pretty romantic.

Claire is, to put it mildly, an independant spirit. To quote Rush ... "she young, she's wild, she's freeeeeeeee". She's more than happy to do what she's told, but when she's told - not so much. But that's OK. Every day she get's a little more calm, a little more behaved, a little more obedient - just like Steve.

Claire was something of a land lubber when she first arrived at Avalon. Her foster parents - Brenda and Mike - said she took her very first swim in their pond, just before she joined us here. Well ... just try keeping her out of our pond now. She has taken on full time responsibility for watching and managing all the frogs in the pond. To make this work easier for her, we installed a lovely (albeit tiny) beach. Not only does this make frog-patrol easier, but provides an excellent launch and landing pad for the equally important work of fetching sticks and tennis balls.









Say hi to Shelby. She'd love to say hi to you, give you the high five, check for that cookie you're hiding ... and then go have a nap. Shelby became Claire's new older sister in July 2012. She brings a calming influence. (Thank goodness!!!)

Once again, Shelby was a golden retriever undergoing some life issues when she joined our little family. Although eight years old, and the sweetest thing on four paws, her original family gave her up to Golden Rescue. Steve and Elaine were johnny-on-the-spot and Claire gets a sister. And we get a wonderful doggie.

Shelby loves to go for her walks on the property, riding in the car (back seat - drivers side), and meeting new people and other dogs. She even successfully ignores BT.

Recently, Shelby "paid it forward" by joining Elaine at the Golden Rescue booth at the Kempenfest Festival in Barrie. She was the belle of the booth and did a great job talking to interested people, handing out brochures, blowing up balloons, and if any small children had been lost - she'd have found them.






Winter snows on pond

No barky dogs are around

Think I'll eat these trees
















When Elaine and Steve first came to Avalon, the property had gotten overgrown and in the battle of the bugs and the birds, the bugs were winning.

But after a few years of blood, sweat, tears, grass cutting, stream digging, tree planting and chiropractor bills, the birds are back.  Hooray!!!!

The turkey vultures give us the greatest aerial display.  The finches and the swallows eat the “skitters” during their daily air shows over the pond.  “Red” the red-wing blackbird chases the ravens and dive bombs Steve on the tractor.  The Canada geese and the mallards visit us each spring and fall.  And as you can see, the robins make themselves right at home.





" ... hey Claire ... I think they're talking about us ..."

the avalon clearview B&B greeters memorial hall of fame


Hi.  My name is Lucy and I am the happiest luckiest Golden Retriever in the world!!  .  I'm a Virgo - my birthday is in September if you would like to buy me a lovely present.   My favourite movie is “Air Bud” and my favourite colour is food.  I'm a female Golden Retriever and I’m made for love. 

I love you.  I love lots of stuff.  I love licking – anything.  I love the mud.  I love swimming around the pond – chasing other critters.  I don’t love chasing beavers anymore – but that’s another story.  I love the snow.  I love when the snow melts in the spring and delicious smelly things emerge.  And there is mud.  Mud is my favourite thing.  I love mud.  Everywhere.  Mud makes me beautiful!

I love sleeping – it’s my favourite thing – except chasing Noelle and BT and bossing them around. My other most favourite thing is running around our place, looking for important stuff like sticks and ducks. 



Update: Lucy passed on to Rainbow Bridge in February 2012. She spent her entire 15 years with our family, and we were the better for it. What a sweetie.









I'm the newest member of the staff at Avalon - and I'm the luckiest doggie in the world. My new Mom & Dad adopted me into my new forever home at Christmas.

With a big thanks to my friends at Golden Rescue.

Lucy and I are new best friends and sisters. She welcomed me to the house, showed me around, and explained very clearly about keeping my nose out of her food bowl. BT is OK too.

I love meeting new people - so please come and visit with us. And you can bring me a cookie if you like. Hey - is that a cookie I see over there ???

Update: Noelle spent her last four wonderful years at Avalon. She was a wonderful girl and we loved her very much.








Hi, my name is Frisco and I'm the boss - of everyone - except Lucy - and sometimes BT too - and Mom and Dad of course.  But except for them, I'm the boss.  I am 14 years old which makes me old enough for mature judgment and (sometimes I still feel) young enough for boundless energy - perfect for being the boss.

Look into my eyes.  Deeper.  Deeper.  I'm telling you because I'm the boss.  I am so handsome it hurts.   I think "my momma was a rollin' stone".  I think I'm part Setter, part Retriever, part Chow, part German Hunting Terrier, part this and part that.  I'm surprised that with all these parts, that I'm not a lot larger.  But I AM the boss.

I know my goofy sister Lucy likes the springtime the best.  Its okay, but us guys like the snow way better.  Super workout.  Easier to see things so I can protect my property.  Cool to lie down in.  And I am cool.  Cool boss.



Our very sad update:  Frisco passed away suddenly in October 2007. 

                                 We all miss him very, very much.




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1651 County Rd 124 705-444-8541 or toll-free1-866-226-6621