Thursday, 29 September 2011

1961 Interview with Karl and Marlies Ruehle

The call box at the entrance to Sun Valley Gardens circa 1964

Some people will have noticed that we have the old call box from Sun Valley Gardens hanging on the wall in the Bare Oaks office. The club had a significant impact on Ontario’s naturist scene. Almost every existing club in Southern Ontario (and a few that have since closed) in some way owe their existence to former members of SVG.

A 1961 interview with Karl and Marlies Ruehle, owners of Sun Valley Gardens, has been posted in the CBC's archives. They are being interviewed by a young June Callwood on CBC-TV's Close-Up.

Note: the CBC archive can be very slow to load. Be patient.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Monday, 19 September 2011

Reuters at Bare Oaks

Mark Blinch, a photographer with the Reuters News Agency, contacted us in June about a project he was doing on "what it means to get back to nature,  movements on how people find alternatives to cope with big city living, and what it means to our health when we are absent from nature."  He wanted to know if he could explore the naturist movement in that context.  We agreed and he spent a few days at Bare Oaks both as a participant and as a reporter.  The fact that he took his time and tried it himself really shows in the resulting video:

These photos also become part of the worldwide Reuters photos library which means that when the media does a story about naturism, they may be using pictures of Bare Oaks with their article.

Mount Albert Family Fun Fest & Music Mania

Mount Albert
Family Fun Fest & Music Mania
Saturday, September 24th

It's not a Bare Oaks event but it is an event in our community which we support.  And it's a fun time!!
The village of Mount Albert is located about 5 km southeast of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.  Maps are available in the office.

Downtown Mount Albert (Community Centre)

Starts at 10 am
Bouncy Castle •  Pony Rides •  Pumpkin Decorating • Vendors •  Festival Games & Crafts • Live Performances • Free “Test Drive Your Fitness” Classes •  Story Time • Contests •  Chaotic Exotic Animals •  Demos & much more


  • Fuzian Pan-Asian Restaurant ~ Nayanna Parcher (Folk) 1pm-6pm, Ewan Dobson (Solo Guitar) 7pm
  • KristineA’s Family Restaurant ~ Karaoke by Elyse 8pm-11pm
  • Mad Hatter’s Bistro & Catering ~ Mose Stephenson (Folk/Country) 6pm-10pm
  • Mount Albert Legion Branch 382 ~ Steve Porter 5pm - 8pm
  • The Prince Albert Pub ~ (Performer TBC)


Sunday, 18 September 2011

Members' Meeting

Each year, there is pressure to hold the members' meeting as early as possible before some of our retired members head south.  That always makes it difficult to effectively evaluate the past season which has barely finished. It also makes it challenging to announce plans for the next season so the projects and ideas are usually vague. To solve this, the members' meeting is being moved to the spring – likely in April. That way, we'll be able to be very specific about the plans for the summer and report much more accurately on the previous year. The change in timing shouldn't have any impact on anyone because individuals who have ideas, issues, concerns or questions bring can bring them up directly with us at any time. The office is staffed 358 days per year and we can also be reached by Phone, Email, Skype, Facebook, and Twitter. ...oh yes, and by old-fashioned postal mail too.

Friday, 9 September 2011

coffee as sunscreen?

A recent Toronto Star article reported on a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It confirms previous evidence that caffeine helps prevent some skin cancers.

We all know by now that there is plenty of evidence that sunshine and vitamin D are very important to our health. (See the May 2010 blog post) But skin cancer remains a concern so treating the sun with respect is also important.  But now it seems, that a cup of coffee prior to getting your sun exposure might be a key part too!

Other research has also linked coffee consumption to lowering the risk of colorectal and liver cancers, asthma, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

It's all about controlled dosage.  Some sun is good for you, but too much is bad.  And so is too much caffeine or too much alcohol.  In all things, moderation!!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Restaurant Hours - September

Given the popularity of the restaurant, we've extended the hours into the fall. In the past, the restaurant switched to weekend-only hours after labour day. But this year, for September, the Bare Bistro will be open:

  • Monday to Friday: 11 am to 3 pm 
  • Saturday: 8 am to 8 pm
  • Sunday: 8 am to 3 pm

Of course, Liz is always happy to stay open a bit longer if the weather is good and there are customers around.

Visit for hours, menu, events and announcements.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Recent Film Shoot Rumours

Over the last week, several members have approached staff with disturbing rumours about the film that was shot at Bare Oaks on August 15th to 17th. We really appreciate those members who took the time to find out the facts by asking us directly. To spread such rumours without even trying to check the facts would be malicious.

But in case anyone has heard the stories but hasn't had a chance to ask us yet, here are the facts:

Not porn
This is the most surprising part of the rumour.  Given our clear position against pornography, it is dumbfounding that anyone would believe that we would allow it to be filmed at Bare Oaks.

We were told that the film would contain nudity and sexuality. That didn't seem shocking given that almost all movies and many TV shows contain "scenes with nudity and sexuality" these days. A person would have to be very old-fashioned to think that a movie with nudity or suggested sexuality is porn. Prime-time TV is full of shows with steamy love scenes. Nevertheless we sought and received assurances that any simulated sexuality would be not be seen by visitors or members of the park because the set would be "closed".  Clearly that didn't happen. Also the sexuality went further than we were led to believe. We are very sorry for anyone who was offended. That will not happen again.

Not produced by Bare Oaks
We had nothing to do with the film. Our location was simply rented by the production company. While Bare Oaks earned over $5,000 for the 3 days, it was not worth it in hindsight given the disruption to our visitors and members.

Not set at Bare Oaks
After the contract was signed, we learned that the movie was actually set in a "nudist colony". But this location is completely fictitious.  Bare Oaks will not be associated in any way with the film. We will not even get a credit.

Content was a surprise
Despite receiving some general verbal descriptions of the movie in advance, the actual content was a surprise. Unfortunately, the script only became available after the contract was signed.

The film crew and cast lacked discretion
We were assured by the producer that when they were filming the "simulated sexuality", it would be shielded from the view of the park's visitors and members. Clearly that didn't happen and we are very disappointed. We apologize to anyone who was offended.

More disruptive than expected
Only small areas of the park were supposed to be used at any one time and generally during off-peak hours. However, the reality is that they used more space than expected and took longer than suggested. For this reason alone, we would be unlikely to rent our facilities again as a film location unless we had more specific commitments and restrictions. We are very sorry for the inconvenience.

We learn from our mistakes
If we decide to rent out our facilities for a film shoot again (and that is a big "if") we will insist on reviewing the script prior to signing the contract. We will not depend on verbal descriptions. We will also be more involved in the scheduling of the filming to ensure minimal disruptions.

This was our second time renting out Bare Oaks as a location.  Our first experience in 2009 was a lot of fun and worked out really well. (see: