My family

 

My family moved from Germany to Canada in the summer of 1980. Various circumstances, including his back, increasing rent for the land he farmed and decreasing returns convinced my dad to get out of farming. Rather than just get out of farming, he decided to get out of the country altogether. He wanted to move away from the hustle and bustle a bit, to the middle of nowhere.

As it turned out, the middle of nowhere is in Northern Ontario, so this is where my folks settled. My dad wanted to settle way into the bush, far away from any trace of civilisation. Fortunately, my mom intervened, as us four 'kids' were in school age (aged 6 to 13 at the time). As such, we only had to spend two hours on the school bus each day, which is pretty moderate for Northern Ontario.

Northern Ontario is very beautiful in the summer, with reliably good weather that is always pleasantly warm but not overbearingly hot. A great place to spend your summer vacation. Not as good a place to live year round, in my opinion.

Another downside of Northern Ontario is that there are very few jobs, and even fewer jobs for somebody with an university education. As my siblings and I all have university degrees, none of us lives within 500 km of home at this point. I find this somewhat unfortunate.

My folks used to earn a living by renting out housekeeping cottages in the summer. My folks bought an older tourist camp called Amogla Camp on Rock Lake in Northern Ontario on moving to Canada. The original camp was from the 1940's and 50's and did not include indoor plumbing. Over a 10 year period, we tore down all the original cottages, and built more modern ones. The cottages are furnished entirely with furniture my dad built. The cottages were always booked solid through the next summer by the fall. Presently, my parents are retired, and only some of the cottages get rented out.

My dad also used to make custom furniture for people during the rest of the year. This has always been lucky for me, as it meant having access to a large and well equipped workshop, as well as lumber. I now have my own, but much smaller workshop

 

Dad showing fish smokery

My dad, with his fish smoking system

 

Mom

My mom

 

markus

My oldest brother Markus

Markus works at Ciena in Ottawa. He stayed at Nortel till the end, and his part of the company was sold to Ciena.
Staying put turned out to be the best strategy. He also has a website, though he hasn't updated it much in recent years.

Johanna

My Sister Johanna

Johanna has a Ph.D in Geography. She is now a professor at the University of Waterloo,
doing work related to climate change, which involves lots of travelling.
Her blog is fun to read, especially about the travelling. She also has a Website

 

marlene

My youngest sister Marlene

Marlene has finished her degree in ecology, and then lived in B.C. for a few years,
planting trees in the summers. She then studied Nursing in Thunder Bay.
She lives in Thunder bay with her husband and two kids.
Check out her blog and her old blog

 

To Matthias Wandel's home page