TV’S Bro­jects puts its unique take on va­ca­tion homes

The Queens County Advance - - REGIONAL - BY SAM MAC­DON­ALD THE NEWS

Kevin and An­drew Buck­les are help­ing to make peo­ple’s va­ca­tion get­aways more fun and en­tic­ing – and are do­ing it on TV.

In their TV show Bro­jects, the Buck­les brothers are fea­tured over­haul­ing cab­ins and va­ca­tion prop­er­ties with cre­ative ren­o­va­tions in Nova Sco­tia.

Al­bion Lodge, the Lake­side home away from home of the Steeves, Macleod, Ma­claren, Hen­shaw and Chev­erie fam­i­lies of Pic­tou County, was one of the many projects taken on in Bro­jects. The Guys­bor­ough County-based camp has a spe­cial place in their hearts.

In a let­ter, Dave Steeves – one of the own­ers of the camp – wrote that he and his friends bought the prop­erty at Eight Is­land Lake to cre­ate “a spe­cial place to call our own and make me­mories.” Steeves and four of his friends bought the prop­erty from a pre­vi­ous owner who had used it with four of his own friends as a com­mu­nal es­cape from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the world. The fact that Steeves and his friends’ sit­u­a­tion mir­rored that of the pre­vi­ous owner was some­thing Steeves found sig­nif­i­cant. “As Harry (the for­mer owner) re­counted old tales and days gone by, a smile would come across his face as he re­mem­bered the good times…. He was sell­ing some­thing that meant so very much to him for so long,” wrote Steeves.

Steeves and his friends knew they wanted to pur­chase the prop­erty from its pre­vi­ous owner and, with the help of fam­ily, they pooled enough money to­gether. From that point, the fam­i­lies who va­ca­tioned there saw “the po­ten­tial of what it held could be seen by us all.”

Part of re­al­iz­ing that po­ten­tial was fix­ing up the in­fra­struc­ture of the camp, im­prov­ing liv­ing spa­ces and a dock to make the camp safer and more fam­ily-friendly. “The walls of our lit­tle shack have brought great hap­pi­ness to us all for the rea­son they were in­tended,” wrote Steeves, but as time passed and fam­i­lies grew, those fam­i­lies knew that the camp would have to grow with them.

That’s where the Buck­les brothers of Bro­jects got in­volved. Their ob­jec­tive was to make the get­away at Eight Is­land Lake an even more ex­cit­ing es­cape. What they built was noth­ing less than a float­ing wa­ter park.

“Ba­si­cally, we built it for the kids mostly, but there were a few adult fea­tures on it, like a hang­out spot for the adults,” said Kevin Buck­les. “Mostly, our aim was to make it like a wa­ter theme park for kids that floated on a lake.”

The float­ing wa­ter park was one of the most chal­leng­ing builds for the Buck­les brothers – some­thing that very quickly com­pli­cates the most straight­for­ward plan.

“It’s chal­leng­ing to build on wa­ter, be­cause once you’re out there you’re mov­ing tools back and forth, and if you drop some­thing – it’s gone,” said Buck­les. “There’s also no power at the prop­erty, so we had to use a gen­er­a­tor.”

In the end, Buck­les said the mea­sure of suc­cess “was see­ing how ex­cited the kids were, when they saw it.

“They flipped when they saw it. It was such a good reaction from the kids, who are bru­tally hon­est, some­times,” said Buck­les. “There were a bunch of fam­i­lies in­volved with the cot­tage and a bunch of chil­dren there, and they all re­ally en­joyed it. I was ex­cited that we did that one right.”

Re­cently, the Buck­les brothers also com­pleted ren­o­va­tions on a lo­cal sum­mer prop­erty in Chance Harbour, N.S. That project was an out­door kitchen, and as a nod to its lo­ca­tion by the sea, it was built to re­sem­ble a boat.

“It was beau­ti­ful work­ing on that prop­erty down there. It was a beau­ti­ful field lead­ing to the ocean, with those beaches out there. It was great be­ing down there for a week,” said Buck­les.

Fish­er­men who break speed lim­its in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence could face hefty fines as Ot­tawa an­nounced a raft of pro­tec­tions for crit­i­cally en­dan­gered North At­lantic right whales Wednesday.

Fish­ing ves­sels in the gulf must ob­serve a 10-knot speed limit or face a $6,000 penalty for a first of­fence, while re­peat vi­o­la­tors can be fined up to $25,000, warn Trans­port Canada and the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s speed re­stric­tions ap­ply to all ves­sels longer than 20 me­tres and run from April 28 to Nov. 15, sub­ject to change as needed.

“2017 was a dev­as­tat­ing year for North At­lantic right whales. At least 18 of th­ese iconic and highly en­dan­gered ma­rine mam­mals were found dead in the last year alone,” said Do­minic Leblanc, min­is­ter of Fish­eries, Oceans and the Cana­dian Coast Guard.

As such, fish­ing ves­sels may only travel at nor­mal speeds in two sea lanes north and south of An­ti­costi Is­land when no whales are seen in the area. A 15-day manda­tory slow­down of 10 knots will be en­forced within any sec­tion of th­ese lanes if any right whale is spot­ted and the speed limit can be ex­tended as needed.

Other pro­tec­tive mea­sures in­clude open­ing the south­ern Gulf snow crab sea­son ear­lier if pos­si­ble and clos­ing it ear­lier, with all fish­ing fleets in area 12 be­gin­ning op­er­a­tions si­mul­ta­ne­ously. All snow crab gear must be re­moved from the wa­ter by June 30, 2018, two weeks ear­lier than nor­mally sched­uled.

Area 12 will also see fewer traps set com­pared to last year, while all ves­sels must re­port any in­ter­ac­tion with ma­rine mam­mals and cer­tain fish­eries must keep track of ropes, buoys and re­port any lost gear.

Fish­eries man­age­ment ar­eas will be sub­ject to both tem­po­rary and fixed clo­sures any­where right whales are ob­served. Fixed clo­sures will oc­cur in those ar­eas where the whales were seen last year and will likely re­turn to for­age for food.

Snow crab fish­ing boats will face another re­quire­ment to more fre­quently re­port their ac­tiv­ity at sea via the DFO ves­sel mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem to en­sure com­pli­ance with the new mea­sures.

“This gov­ern­ment – and I be­lieve Cana­dian so­ci­ety – is ded­i­cated to the preser­va­tion and restora­tion of en­dan­gered species,” said Min­is­ter of Trans­port Marc Garneau.

Of the 18 North At­lantic right whales known to have died last year, 12 per­ished in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the rest in Amer­i­can wa­ters, a num­ber that Ot­tawa says is un­prece­dented.

Leblanc said there are only about 450 right whales in ex­is­tence world­wide with just 100 fe­males of breed­ing age.

Post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tions of whale car­casses re­vealed that boat col­li­sions and fish­ing net en­tan­gle­ments were ma­jor causes of deaths.

Other threats to ma­rine mam­mals such as right whales in­clude avail­abil­ity of food, wa­ter pol­lu­tion and in­creased noise lev­els from hu­man mar­itime ac­tiv­ity.

“Last year’s deaths rep­re­sent a stag­ger­ing loss to a species that is al­ready crit­i­cally en­dan­gered,” warned Leblanc.

The fed­eral Lib­er­als’ 2018 bud­get in­cludes $167.4 mil­lion over five years to help pro­tect and re­cover en­dan­gered whale species in Canada, in­clud­ing North At­lantic right whales, the south­ern res­i­dent killer whale and the St. Lawrence es­tu­ary bel­uga.


Nova Sco­tia’s tool-wield­ing brothers An­drew and Kevin Buck­les have a new se­ries for the Cot­tage Life net­work called Bro­jects: Built for the Week­end.

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