Welcome to the website of Silent Pines Retreat

Silent Pines Retreat was a retreat project located in northern Ontario near Algonquin park. It was owned and developed by Silent Pines Properties, a not-for-profit organization in Canada. The mission of Silent Pines Retreat was to be a research facility into spirituality and topics outside of the mainstream: the study of consciousness, sustainable living, ancient sacred sites, extraterrestrial contact, and astral projection, among many others.

The retreat was developed for over three years by a team of dedicated volunteers; however, the time came to move on and the property has been sold and the project closed. 

The team at Silent Pines Properties is very grateful to all the volunteers and well-wishers who supported us over the years, whether in person or here on the blog.

If interested in what was accomplished at the retreat, past blogs and video updates are available below.

Latest Retreat Developments & Summer Solstice

This Summer people from North America, Australia and Europe traveled to Silent Pines Retreat to help volunteer towards its latest developments. With their help, we managed to successfully set up a prototype Shower House structure (with electricity and working plumbing...

read more

Summer Preparations: A New Tent

We are days away from our next arrivals and busy as ever. As some of our main structures are not fully ready, we needed to create a pleasant space for our upcoming volunteers. This space will provide an area where helpers can eat, prepare some meals, relax, and chat...

read more

May Works Continue With Cooler Temperatures

Another week passed as we worked our way in the big field. In just a few weeks volunteers will start trickling in to offer help towards the building of structures, sacred sites and practice spaces. We are looking forward to the extra hands on deck, but we still need...

read more

First Works in May

This past weekend we forgot the taste of winter. A warm breeze kept us in good company, while a shy sun broke through the moving clouds intermittently, which provided a nice exchange of shade and sunshine to the varying opinions of what was ideal weather. But the...

read more

May Fundraiser: New Construction

Hello May! We have been waiting for you! Finally, the warmth of the sun has melted away most of the snow; a few small patches remain in some areas of the forest, but for the most part, the land and nature couldn’t be more ideal. The outdoors beckon, and we have...

read more

Making Progress with the Shower House

If you were following the blogs, you would have known that the team at SPR has recently had the privilege to yet again taste the fresh air of the outside world. The work in our much loved yet much endured indoor barn is over (for the most part) and once again we can...

read more

Sunday Snippets — April 12

Snippets are a little late this week, but not to worry — we’ve been keeping ourselves busy as always over here 😉 This week/weekend we were working on the second shower cabin/change room enclosure for the shower house — so a bit more of the usual:...

read more

Sunday Snippets — April 5

This week/weekend we finished the third outhouse, built the shower house enclosures and platforms, and also made a few final trips “to the cottage” and managed to salvage some final amazing finds from that demolished cottage for free — lots of...

read more

April Fundraiser: Getting Ready to Go Outdoors

April is upon us and that means the snow will soon be melting even up here at Silent Pines Retreat—hopefully sooner rather than later! With that in mind, we’ve got lots to do once we can get back working outdoors. But before we get into that, a quick note about...

read more

SPR Outtakes – Volume Six

Here at long last is SPR Outtakes volume six. We haven’t been shooting too many videos of late, so there haven’t been as many bloopers to compile. However, with the addition of one outstanding from the summer, we now have volume six complete. Watch the...

read more

Sunday Snippets — March 29

Made some headway on a few more projects this week/end ~~ things are beginning to warm up a little, which means very soon it’ll be assembly outdoor time and outdoor building. So finishing as many indoor activities as we can has been on the agenda. Here’s...

read more

Sunday Snippets — March 22

This week/end’s works included more of the same and some new things as well: – Not quite pictured in these snippets is time spent “at the cottage” — sounds like a vacation, but what it really was is a huge operation to extract as many building...

read more

Spring Equinox at Silent Pines Retreat

This  morning, we rose from our beds when the dark of night was just beginning to fade, and quietly prepared ourselves for a walk in the forest that lead us to a clearing where we would watch the rising sun. Just yesterday, Christos and Rich spotted the rising sun as...

read more

Sunday Snippets — March 15

Hi everyone! Here’s the rundown for what we managed to accomplish this week/weekend: – Pieces for another outhouse were cut and we began to put it all together. The platform and one wall were completed so far. – Both outhouse platforms we’ve...

read more

March Fundraiser: Furniture, Fixtures, and More

It’s hard to believe that Spring is just a few short weeks away. With every passing week, our plans become more crystallized, and the path towards events taking place this summer looks increasingly clear. However, that path can look a bit steep at times! We’re now...

read more

Sunday Snippets — March 1

This weekend was dedicated to building the kitchen counters for the public kitchen facility. Last week we showed you a prototype (without the countertop). This week all the parts for the other dozen-or-so counters were prepared. So it was a bit of an assembly line...

read more

Stonehenge at Silent Pines Retreat?

In addition to building a Sacred Gathering Space that we are aiming to have ready by June 2015, and which will be used as an indoor meeting place/practice space, the team at Silent Pines Retreat has begun taking steps towards the building of a large scale sacred site...

read more

Sunday Snippets — February 22

This weekend the group worked on building the kitchen counters for the outdoor camp kitchen, and here you can see some snippets of work on that being done — some sanding, treating, and constructing, as well as re-measuring the outdoor kitchen once more just to...

read more

Sunday Snippets — February 15

This weekend we had a slightly reduced crew — most of us caught a cold/flu so had to take it easy, but some still braved the -30 weather and the works carried on. Here are some snippets of the guys working on the outhouse door and trimmings and the kitchen...

read more

Sunday Snippets — February 8

Welcome back to the 70’s inspired indoor barn tones and the grays and whites of winter here at Silent Pines 🙂 This weekend we worked on the outhouse door — a true team effort, with some wood preserving with linseed oil, some sanding, some gluing, cutting,...

read more

New Quena – Music Exploration Goes up an Octave!

As you know, exploring consciousness and spirituality with sound and music and researching the effects of sound and music on consciousness is one of the areas we’re hoping to one day see developed here at SPR, and music and sound always seem to play a role in...

read more

A Throwback to Summer 2014

With all the winter works, I’m feeling like the shades of grey and white have taken over the SPR blog a little lately. I recently came across some beautiful photos Olga took in the summer and thought it was worth doing a throwback to summer 2014 here. Not that...

read more

Sunday Snippets — February 1

The “works” are carrying on as planned around here. Here are some shots of how the outhouse is coming along: First coat of primer and preservative is currently in the process of being applied. Paint is next — and here’s a sneak preview of the...

read more

Sunday Snippets — January 25

This week we continued to work on the frame of one of the outhouses — outhouse status exterior: 70% complete! We’re finding it’s a little tight working on it in the barn, but also totally manageable. We also realized we needed to get some serious...

read more

Sunday Snippets — January 18

This week & weekend we started out constructing one of the outhouses inside our winterized indoor workshops — exciting!! 🙂 As you’ll see from the photos below, the outhouse frame was the first thing to work on, so that’s what that woodwork in the...

read more

An Interview on the Prototype Outhouse

As Justin mentioned in the most recent video update, we’re moving on to the “indoor works” for the season in an effort to prepare as much as we can for when the snow melts and the weather calms down enough to work outside again. A big part of that...

read more

SPR Outtakes – Volume Five

This past weekend we shot a video all about the snow situation here and how we had to get a new snow thrower as mentioned in the Sunday Snippets – January 11 edition. As I went to edit the video, the sound seemed off – the windscreen wasn’t working...

read more

Sunday Snippets — January 11

This weekend was spent on organizing and optimizing the barn and basement workshops so that the indoor winter work (building outhouses, prepping other structures, making trail markers, etc.) can be done in a cleaner and more efficient workspace. But before we get to...

read more

Sunday Snippets — January 4

Happy New Year! This week we’ve been busy transitioning to “indoor works” for the winter. Below are some photo snippets of what’s been going on — a video update will be up within the next few days to explain everything we’re up to,...

read more

Sunday Snippets — December 28

We’ve been roofing — everywhere! We’ve taken a bit of a breather after an intense month of big works, so taking things easier, marking the winter solstice, taking time to enjoy nature, and of course spending time with friends and family this holiday...

read more

Big “Works” — Excavator Update

Mixed news to report today — want the good or the bad news first? Bad news first it is: the weather seems to have defeated us a little… 🙁 . Oh, the challenges of living in a cold climate! Cheer up though, there is some good news in the end 😉 We had the...

read more

A Flute, a Guitar, and a Starry Night

Hrvoje who recently visited us from Croatia to help with some building work at the retreat shares his experience of one beautiful night of sight and sound… It was around 9:30pm when I was about to meet a friend outside at Silent Pines Retreat. I got ready to go...

read more

Milling Our Own Wood?

Heading back to some footage from earlier this fall again as we work on straightening out some posts this week, here’s a clip showing a contraption one of the volunteers put together in order to see if we could mill our own wood when needed right here at the...

read more

Big “Works” — Our Efforts Continue

We are still continuing with our efforts to finish the building skeletons in the big field, with winter seemingly starting up again over here! I thought I’d leave you with a few photos of our progress on the big pavilion (almost finished — we’re...

read more

A reminder to why this is all possible…

Every so often something happens, someone says something, or we manage to stand the heaviest pavilion tree posts you can imagine… and all my doubts vanish. Not too long ago, a good friend of mine shared a quote on social media from a person who’s life...

read more

Covering the Barn Roof

So as you will have seen from Jenny’s update on aligning the posts yesterday, the billboard vinyl that we got to cover the roof of the barn has unfortunately succumbed to the elements. There was a furious wind storm up here and as Christos and I were on our way...

read more

SPR Outtakes – Volume Four

So as Jenny mentioned in her Day Five update on the “big works,” we’ll be spending the next few days working on straightening out, levelling, and temporarily securing all the posts in place so that the cement can be poured in to anchor them...

read more

Sunday Snippets — November 23

The weather surprises seem to not cease around here. Today the retreat was enveloped in a thick fog all day! Because clearly we haven’t had enough weather challenges thus far… 😉 Tomorrow we’re back to working with the contractors, but today being...

read more

It’s Getting Brrrrrr —- Busy!

Tomorrow is one of our hugest days yet! After reaching our recent Fall Fundraising Campaign we are ready to get on with serious work to prepare the main field for our 2015 Summer Solstice Events. An excavator is arriving in the morning to dig out a trench for...

read more

Fall Fundraiser Update — Thank You

Forty-four days ago, we set out the roadmap for getting Silent Pines Retreat ready for the 2015 Summer Solstice. It was (and still is) a very ambitious goal, with a very tight timeline. We also mentioned how a crucial factor in meeting this goal was raising the...

read more

Sunday Snippets — November 16

This week has been all about tying up loose ends outdoors as we transition into working inside for the winter. We’ve managed to get some exciting things lined up for the works this coming week against many odds, including some excavating, electrical work, and...

read more

Beginning Work on the Camp Kitchen

As those of you who’ve been following our journey thus far likely know, one of the main projects we’d like to complete in order to open for summer events next year is our camp kitchen. Here’s a quick video update from the beginning of October showing...

read more

Sunday Snippets — November 9

Here is yet another photo update on what’s been cooking (or chilling? 😉 ) at Silent Pines Retreat. Come see what we’ve been up to lately: This weekend’s focus has been to rescue and prep the wood logs that are going to be used for building the shower...

read more

The Good Old Big Red Tractor

Here’s a quick video about the much talked about big red tractor we’ve got at the retreat. Despite what was said at the time of shooting this clip, it’s now been going strong (after having been quick-fixed again) and working well since, and has come...

read more

A Tree Felling Tale

Trees make a big part of our lives here at Silent Pines Retreat. With over one hundred acres, we are surrounded by many species of beautiful trees. Pine, Birch, Maple, Cedar, and so many others that help us towards our goals in self-sustainability while bringing...

read more

Winter Came Early?

Well, good thing we got all bundled up recently, because this is what we awoke to this morning at the retreat: Rain, shine… or snow — Christos is always ready to go! (See, I’m a poet and I didn’t know it! 😉...

read more

Fall Fundraiser: An Update with Twenty Days to Go!

Hey all, I just wanted to give an update on our Fall Fundraising progress and how our plans for Fall developments are shaping up. Progress to Date During the first twenty days of the fundraiser, we’ve raised $2,455. Thank-you to all those who have chipped in. Although...

read more

Harvesting Potatoes

Back at the end of August, we harvested a small crop of potatoes from our hugelkultur garden beds that we had planted earlier in the summer. We ended up getting about thirty pounds of them or so altogether – and they were very good! Here’s a video showing...

read more

A Heartwarming Experience at SPR

Sitting at home, I find myself questioning; What to do next? Everything around me is fine but within I feel strange, a feeling saying “Listen Roy, something needs to change!”     It is asking and looking within that gives me direction and tells me where to...

read more

SPR Outtakes – Volume Three

It’s that time again — here are some of the outtakes, missteps, and back by popular demand, a return to Middle Earth during video production over the past month or...

read more

Personal Experiences (Coming Soon)

While a lot of work is getting done here at Silent Pines Retreat, we have a lot to show for it with every new development, repair, building structure and project. But meanwhile, so much is happening on a whole other level. Externally we have a vision, a plan and a...

read more

Celebrating the Autumn Equinox

As I mentioned in the post last week on building sacred sites, many of those who have been helping out with things here over the summer took a bit of a break from building and construction to celebrate the autumn equinox together. Here’s a video update below on...

read more

To the Warriors of Silent Pines Retreat

To the Warriors of Silent Pines Retreat, who have come from far and wide, who love, who laugh and who believe in the impossible. To the Conscious Warriors who have come to grow, learn and tune in to the unseen, the invisible and the beautiful sparks of life. To the...

read more

An Update on the New Wood Shed

As Olga mentioned in a recent blog, we’ve been working on various things around the retreat of late in order to allow us to keep working on improvements throughout the winter! The main project is converting the barn into a workshop and winterizing it; however,...

read more

SPR Outtakes – Volume Two

For those who have been following along on our journey so far, you’ll know that we like to put together some outtakes and bloopers from the video updates as we go along. So join us behind the scenes for volume two of some of the lighter moments and running...

read more

A Pleasant Encounter

Today I took a walk in the late afternoon, amid the changing colours of autumn. The scenery was vibrant and uplifting.  It affected me on an inward level, making me feel much more relaxed and at peace than I was before. I continued walking down one of the forest...

read more

Building Sacred Sites

Today marks the autumn equinox and we’ll be taking a bit of a break from our regular building and construction activities to celebrate. We’ll likely have some articles and videos about that coming up sometime in a week or two. In the meantime and very much...

read more

Where We’ve Come From, Where We’re Going

These are some personal reflections on the experience of building the retreat so far. It’s definitely not a definitive account — just a glimpse through one person’s eyes. It was a cold winter morning in February, 2013, and I was in the back…

read more

Collecting Lumber for Building Projects

We’ve been busy of late heading out into the woods to collect lumber from our own property. The posts we’re finding will be used in many different building projects coming up. It’s hard work of course, but will make for some beautiful structures, not...

read more

New Wood Shed in the Works

With all the firewood collection going on of late, we thought it’s about time there were a more permanent wood shed here on the property. The new wood shed will allow for a more orderly and pleasant place to stack the wood, not to mention help in the process of...

read more

Mystical Nights around the Bonfire

We gathered on long rustic wooden benches, pushed close together around a glowing fire. The light of the sky fading into night as we quickly lit citronella candles and incense to ward off the mosquitoes. An Andean flute and an acoustic guitar inspired song and chant...

read more

Celebrating the Summer Solstice at Silent Pines Retreat

On the morning of Saturday, June 21st 2014, several attendees gathered to take part in the annual Summer Solstice celebration as part of a new series of activities at Silent Pines Retreat. Read the blog below for a glimpse into this special day focused on connecting...

read more

Yurt: The Advanced Stages

In this blog you will get to see some of the more advanced stages to the building of our first ever Mongolian-Inspired Yurt. You can read about the earlier stages here. We are not done just yet — but are nearly there. The transformation process has been magical, and...

read more

A Look inside the Forest…

I recently went for a walk in the forest and took some pictures. Here’s a glimpse into some beautiful forest and nature scenes that are right in our backyard. A place where surely many walks will take place in the next while by visitors on retreats. A...

read more

Yurt: The Early Stages

Our first yurt is nearly complete. But before it’s revealed, I wanted to show you some of the early stages that also deserve some proper recognition — as it was in these moments that the foundation, form, and structure of the yurt were methodically...

read more

Outhouse — Latest Developments

We have been working fast to finish the outhouse before the start of the first summer events. Have a look on the previous outhouse blog to read more about this amazing sustainable feature we are adding to the retreat. The past few days Christos has been working on the...

read more

Bonfire Benches and Area Complete!

A big THANK YOU to Stas who recently helped build five benches for our new bonfire area from spare wood we had on the property. He took some of the old wooden fence posts that we’ve been removing and sawed them down into pieces suitable for benches. So now, our...

read more

Yurt Sneak Peak

Over the last few weeks we have been racing against time to meet some important deadlines before our summer events kick off. One of our primary projects was the making of our own original yurt inspired by the Mongolian style. However the one we have built is suited to...

read more

The Newly Painted Retreat Lodge

Last weekend there was a huge collaborative effort to paint the main lodge. We managed to make a lot of progress on the retreat. In addition to the painting, we also levelled the ground for the yurt which was then placed and aligned in our chosen space, as well as...

read more

The Outhouse: Creating the Vault

Right now, composting toilets are thriving initiatives in sustainable living. These waterless structures mean there is minimal impact on the environment irradicating the risk of contamination of ground water from the septic tank (aka sewage), and they are huge helpers...

read more

Extending Our Forest Paths

There are some beautiful walking trails in the forest on the property but we want to extend them to create a variety of long and short walks with interesting lookouts and places to sit and reflect upon nature’s beauty and stillness. Currently we have only pathed...

read more

Another Busy Weekend

Over the long weekend we managed to get a lot of work done at the retreat. It seems the more we go the more we get done. We are now a month away from some fantastic activities which will be happening at the retreat (info on that coming soon). So we have been working...

read more

A Visitor in the Garden

A few days ago I went to take a break from work to talk to Michelle who was working on removing an old broken fence near the barn and the old chicken coop. Suddenly something moved in the chicken coop next to us, and Sam was sniffing it out. It was a little bunny....

read more

The White Cedar Planting Project

Over the last weekend, several people came together to help at Silent Pines Retreat in a mission to plant a few hundred White Cedar trees. A big big thank you to everyone who came and dug, planted, watered, cooked, and gave their time and support to this great...

read more

Trailer Removal: Part Two

As promised here is an update on the progress of our trailer removal saga. We are very close in finally turning this great meadow space into an open clearing for retreat activities as well as a beautiful lookout without any jarring trailers. Last weekend, success was...

read more

Signs of Spring

Spring is always a joy to experience. After a long and cold winter when nature slept and maintained a peaceful stillness, spring emerges from her dream. Small plants begin their struggle through the dirt, leaving at first tiny pockets of life on various surfaces of...

read more

Pre-Planning Tree Planting

In a few days five hundred White Cedar trees are going to be picked up and delivered to Silent Pines Retreat. The trees are going be planted along the property front which is bordered by a small road. To be ready, we got out to plan the exact area for the trees last...

read more

The Food Forest Growth Continues…

This past weekend at Silent Pines Retreat we continued building our food forest with the additions of a variety of naturally grown, cold climate fruit and nut trees, berry bushes and grapes. In a cold climate it can be very difficult to grow perennial food so you need...

read more

A Winter’s Farewell

It’s been a long and cold winter, with snow reaching almost up to the waist. Winter has its beauty, its silence and purity, and it’s amazing to be in the middle of a snow fallen forest, especially when the sun is shining and turning the snow into sparkling...

read more

Retreat Garden Sneak Peek!

In order to take advantage of the short growing season in northern Ontario, seeds have been started early in an indoor greenhouse. Using local organic open pollinated and untreated seeds, the beginning of the annual crop gardens and perennial flower/medicinal plant...

read more

Trailer Removal: Part One

With over one hundred acres of land and scenic meadows, marshes and forests, Silent Pines Retreat still has some work to do to turn pockets of what resembles a deserted junkyard and collections of vintage rubbish left from previous owners into nature’s own sanctuary!...

read more

Fruit and Nut Trees Arrive This Week!

As part of a permaculture design plan that is currently under development for the retreat property (more details to come soon!) the first new fruit and nut trees for planting this year are arriving this week. Growing a permaculture food forest is an essential part of...

read more

Insulating the Yurt

For yurts to be durable and useable all year long, they must be insulated. This helps maintain a comfortable temperature within the yurt, whether it may be a hot or cold day — you’ll be glad there is insulation. The insulation directly helps to keep the...

read more

Projects Underway…

Stay tuned for lots of new developments at Silent Pines Retreat in the next couple of weeks. As we work towards our goal for opening in summer, volunteers have been busy preparing the facility to make it efficient and enjoyable for future attendees. We’ve been...

read more

April Yurt Developments

It’s already been a month since we purchased construction material for our first Yurt (also known as a Ger in Mongolian), and we’ve been busy planning, measuring, painting, cutting material, and installing the yurt with its various components....

read more

Prototype Yurt Now Under Construction!

We have just begun the process of building a yurt that will facilitate many different activities here at Silent Pines Retreat. The yurt will have twelve foot diameter, which will allow about ten to fifteen people to sit comfortably around the walls inside, serving as...

read more