The John Pyke Property
In the fall of 2007 the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation entered into a Stewardship Agreement with the Ontario Heritage Trust for the John Pyke Property. This 100-acre lot is south of Hwy 117 near Brown's Brae Road. The generous donor, Mr. John Pyke, is a retired school teacher with experience in outdoor education. He purchased the land in order to have a piece of the Ontario wilderness. In the 20 years since he has been the owner he has visited the property several times a year in all seasons. His donation was made to protect this land for the future.
The Pyke property was one of two lots settled by William Booker in the 1870s. There are numerous stone fences and stone piles and the adjoining lot to the East has the remains of the Booker homestead. The property was cleared for farming at the time it was settled and the forest has regenerated since the fields were abandoned. There is a variety of habitats ranging from hardwood uplands and coniferous forest to a beaver marsh and a black spruce swamp.
In May of 2008 Paul Heaven, a wildlife biologist from Glenside Ecological Services, conducted a biological survey of the property for the Foundation. His report will serve as a guideline for the stewardship plan for the property.