Cabins Are Go

We did it!

Res App 4

15 University of Manitoba students from a range of faculties (architecture, landscape architecture and engineering) along with numerous volunteers came together in May 2014 to complete the 3 rental dwellings fondly known as the Clearwater Cabins.

When we left off working on the project in 2013, the cabin structures were more or less complete—complete enough that some of our favourite local musicians, Chic Gamine, could stay there during the Harvest Moon Festival in September 2013. The walls and roofs were up and clad, but there was much left unfinished. This included insulation, ceilings, flooring, trim work and furniture.

Over the course of two pretty magical weeks, from May 20 to June 2, all of these things were completed… and then some! We also managed to erect the 2nd half of the Honey House cabin, which we will use as a workshop and teaching space for those coming to the cabins interested in farming, gardening, bees or any of our other farmstead activities.

The recent course, named Sustainable Design through Community Engagement, also had the students rooted in the community of Clearwater for the two weeks. During the days the students and volunteers worked together, learning many new skills, including how to work together and how to work with reclaimed lumber. For some, this was the first time they had ever picked up a power tool or built anything other than the plans of buildings.

In the evenings, meals were prepared by many community members and organizations, including the Clearwater Memorial Hall Board and the Clearwater Women’s Institute. This enabled locals to come together with the students, sharing stories and community history.


Each cabin now has two or three beds, some singles, some doubles. Though rustic, all three are completely insulated and comfortable. Rentals are open now! The cost to rent is $30/night/person, with part of the proceeds going to the Harvest Moon Society.

When you rent the cabins you will need to bring your own mattress or Thermarest and any bedding you will need. There are no showers, no WiFi, very limited cell reception and no flush toilets, so come prepared for a camping experience. Coming soon: if you prefer some additional comforts, you will also be able to rent the use of an all natural wool mattress and organic bedding.

Showers are available at the Harvest Moon Learning Centre (just up the hill) for $2. You may make coffee and breakfast either over a fire or camping stove near your cabin, or in the Learning Centre kitchen for $5 per use. Breakfast or dinner (evening supper) may be ordered with your cabin rental, B&B-style, with advance arrangements (number below).

Cabin renters will enjoy waking up on the farm of Carissa and Greg deJong, to quiet, beautiful views and perhaps some farm work. Guests are encouraged to roam around the Cypress Creek valley, use the Lessons from the Land trail system and check out Clearwater, especially the Clearwater Country Junction Restaurant.

For more information or to book contact Carissa and Greg deJong at 204-873-2331 or visit

The Big Move

What’s that rolling into town at Clearwater, the morning of Sunday, August 11?


Yes, all the pieces came together for the big cabin move, to transport each of the buildings from their construction site at Robert Guilford’s farm to their new homes on the property of Greg & Carissa deJong adjacent to Clearwater.

Leading up to the move, the sites for each cabin were staked out, local Bobcat operator Willis McKay was hired to clear topsoil from the footprints, gravel was delivered and spread onto each pad, the gravel was leveled and tamped, and lengths of rail ties were cut and prepared.

A stack mover trailer generously donated by Steve and Lyle Johnson, with conveyor belts and the ability to tilt, was hired and, with the capable piloting of Robert Guilford plus the diligent help of numerous neighbours and project participants, each building was loaded, transported (at 10 mph; each 6 mile trip took 45 minutes) and gently set down on blocks.

This marks a great benchmark in the project. Leveling, finishing, inspections and other completion work can now carry forward.

ENORMOUS thanks to all who have helped this project thus far, in even the smallest ways.

Note: a project tour is planned for the Saturday (Sep. 14) of Harvest Moon Festival.

Review – April 13

Students presented their work thus far, to Clearwater residents as well as some University of Manitoba faculty.

Photos by Greg deJong

Build Photos – April 10

Build Photos – March 31

Photos by Dominique Rey