The idea for Paint Lake Camp was sparked by a camp owned by my uncle, Wayne Trefz, Jr., in Desbarats, Ontario, east of Sault Ste. Marie, called Hidden Well Camp.  During the 30 plus years which my uncle owned that camp, I became “hooked” on my yearly trek northward.  However, in the early 1990’s my uncle sold that camp and visiting there never seemed quite the same.

 During my final visit in the summer of 1994, we decided to take the Agawa Canyon Train Ride on the Algoma Central Railway.  This tour leaves Sault Ste. Marie and travels about 4 hours northward, stopping just south of Wawa in the Agawa Canyon.  During this ride I received information on leasing land from the Algoma Central Railway.  The dream had begun!

 During the next few months, I made countless phone calls and wrote many letters, obtaining the details of land leasing, cabin building, customs, importing and seasonal residents.  I obtained many maps showing available areas and existing lakes.  Finally, in October 1994 I was ready to check out the areas I was interested in.  With friend and co-scout, Brad Cash, I headed to Wawa.  During the next two days we checked out many potential lakes, narrowing it down to just a few possibilities.  (This weekend could be a book in itself!)

In May of 1995 I returned to Wawa with Brad and also brought my uncle along for his professional advice.  We brought a small boat along to check out the lakes we had decided on in October.  (This weekend could be another book… …..bigger!)  We checked out all of the lakes we had looked at and not finding any suitable, we returned to the Soo for more maps.  Several hours later, we came upon Paint Lake.  I immediately loved the location, with it’s solitude, but fairly easy access, a small lake, but with several larger lakes close by.  A quick trip around the lake was all it took to hook into an eager Northern Pike, and subsequently, for me to be hooked.

In July of that year, 1995, I returned with my dad and another friend, Brett Collins, who helped clear the site and driveway and build the privy and dig the well.


The end of July found me building the cabin with the help of my dad, mom and brother Tony.  We had it under roof in two weeks but had to leave shortly after that.

In the summer of 1996 I added on the sauna to the cabin.

 In 1997, with the help of my parent, Brad Cash and my nephew Nathanael, I insulated the cabin and put of the paneling and shelving.

In 1998, my foster son, Ryan and my parents helped me build on the front deck and also do a lot of clearing.  We lined the walks with rocks and put down a layer of sand.

In 1999 we installed the upstairs floor, stairway and upstairs windows to make the upstairs sleeping quarters.  We also added on a utility compartment to the north end of the cabin to house the propane tank in.

 Even now, the work continues to make it an enjoyable place to stay, even in the solitude of the Canadian wilderness.

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