People & Culture

Our Country: Sergio Navarretta on his favourite spot in Canada

The film director reflects on meteor showers and other magical moments on Lake Simcoe, Ont.

Illustration: Stephanie Singleton/Can Geo
Expand Image

For 20 years we had a place on the corner of Innisfil Beach Park. I would sit on my balcony in the morning and have my phone meetings staring at Lake Simcoe. That, for me, is the spot. In the mornings you see a few canoes. It’s beautiful and serene. There’s a view of Snake Island and Fox Island, two small islands. I consider myself a water person. The feeling of going for a morning swim in that lake before I start my day puts me in an optimal state to work in creative spaces. There’s this fresh, sweet smell that comes off the lake that’s really apparent in the early morning when you’re swimming.

Most post-production houses for film are located in the busiest areas of Toronto. I would go in to edit my latest film, The Cuban, and then come home, sit on the balcony and think about it. It was in those pauses that I would regain perspective. Having that contrast was so important. It recharged me.

I have so many fond memories of going out fishing with my dad and exploring the lake. One night, around midnight, we were swimming under the stars. I had never seen meteor showers so clearly. I’d seen them in documentaries, but seeing it live — while swimming and looking up at the cosmos — was something magical that I’ll never forget. It was so peaceful and so rare. It took me a long time to appreciate how unique that is. I think the pandemic really helped clarify all that I’m so grateful for when it comes to Lake Simcoe.

As told to Thomas Lundy

Lake Simcoe encompasses the territory of the Chippewas of Georgina Island. It is within the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg people, which include the Odawa, Ojibwe and Pottawatomi Nations collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. 


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

This story is from the May/June 2023 Issue

Related Content

A crowd of tourist swarm on a lakeside beach in Banff National Park


Smother Nature: The struggle to protect Banff National Park

In Banff National Park, Alberta, as in protected areas across the country, managers find it difficult to balance the desire of people to experience wilderness with an imperative to conserve it

  • 3507 words
  • 15 minutes

Science & Tech

20 Canadian innovations you should know about

Celebrating Canadian Innovation Week 2023 by spotlighting the people and organizations designing a better future 

  • 3327 words
  • 14 minutes
Andy McKinnon


Canada’s first national urban park

It’s an ambitious plan: take the traditional Parks Canada wilderness concept and plunk it in the country’s largest city. But can Toronto’s Rouge National Urban Park help balance city life with wildlife?

  • 3601 words
  • 15 minutes


Manitoba: Canada’s heart is calling

When your heart needs to roam, these 10 iconic Manitoba experiences will be waiting

  • 1660 words
  • 7 minutes