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x1cCanyoubelievethiswasthecarriagehouseandstablesx1dJohnasksaswestandinaprivate-functionroomintheformaldiningarea.Hethenwaveshishandtoanotherstretchoftheroom.x1cThispartwasallopenbeforeitwasthedriveway.Andintheolddaysmyfamilywouldhostlargegatheringsx14sometimeswithhundredsofguestsx14outsideinthisareabetweenthecarriagehouseandthemanor.x1dWearestilltryingtopicturethiselegantrestaurantasacarriagehouseanddrive-wayasJohnexcitedlyleadsusontosome-thingelsethathasjoggedhismemoryx1cThischandeliercamefromCasaLomainToronto.MyfamilyboughtitatauctionafterCasaLomax19sbuilderSirHenryPel-lattwentbankrupt.SomeofthewallsconcesarefromCasaLomaaswell.x1dTheBriarswasbuiltin1840byCapt.WilliamBourchieraretiredRoyalNavyof1cer.BourchiermodelledhishomeafteragracefulhomeontheBritishislandofSaintHelenacalledtheBriars.Hebor-rowedthedesignandwhatx19smorebor-rowedthename.In1872Dr.FrancisFrankSibbaldpur-chasedthemanor.Formerlyanarmyphy-sicianandmedicalmissionaryinShanghaihewastheproductofawealthyfamily.HismotherSusancamefromaristocraticstockandownedEildonHallanestatethattodayisSibbaldPointProvincialPark.Dr.FrankwantedahomethatreectedhisstandingandtheBriarscertainly1tthebill.Dr.Frankimmediatelyputhisstampontheproperty.HeaddedthebrickcoachhousethatisnowpartofthediningroomabelltowerusedasaclockforworkersonwhatwasthenafarmthetowerhasbeendemolishedbutthebellispreservedinasmalltoweronthegroundsexpandedthehouseanderectedabarnthatlaterservedasthehomeoftheRedBarnTheatreuntilitwasdestroyedby1rein2009.WhenDr.Frankdiedunmarriedin1904theBriarspassedtohisnieceEliza-bethKempSibbaldwhointurnleftittoFrankJackDrinkwaterSibbald.ItwasJackwho1rstdirectedtheBriarstowardthehospitalityindustryaround1940hebeganrentingoutcottagesonthelaketofriendswhowantedtoenjoythepeaceful-nessoftheestateduringthesummermonths.Aswordspreadabouttheprop-ertyx19scharmsthedemandformorecot-tagesandenhancedservicesgrew.Moreaccommodationswerebuiltandacookwaitressesandmaidswerehired.The70yearssincethenhaveseencount-lesschangesattheBriars.Ithasevolvedintoafull-scalemodernresortwithallofthelatestamenities.OurguideJohnhashadahandinmostofthechanges.Johnpausesbeforeanauthenticsuitofphotographypetersibbaldhistoricalphotoscourtesythebriarsx8Lakex8Simcoex8Livingx8x8Autumnx82010x8x825hehistoricBriarsResortandSpanearJacksonx19sPointonthesouthshoreofLakeSim-coehasbeenrunbysuccessivegenerationsoftheSibbaldfamilyformorethanacentury.Everywhereyouturnthereisauniquex14althoughoftenoverlookedx14featurewithafascinatingstorybehinditastoryinvariablytiedtoSibbaldfamilyhistory.WhobettertoleadusonatourtouncovertheBriarsx19historythanownerJohnSib-baldwhowasbornonthepropertysevendecadesagoandhasseenitevolvefromafarmintooneofOntariox19smostattractiveresorts.TodayJohnrunstheBriarsalongsidehiswifeBarbaraandtheirsonsHughandAndrew.Fromapeacockhousetorarepinesthe170-year-oldBriarsoffersmanyglimpsesofthepastBx1dAx1ax19x18x17wHx14x1ax19Ax1ax19MAx18x14Ax19ASx14lvATLakeSimcoex19slivingheritageMainphotoTheBriarsasitappearstoday.x14nsettopthisgatheringinfrontofmanorasphotographedcirca1900aboeaneegantpartyinthedrieaycirca1900