Muskoka Mosaic: Finding your own fun
Introducing Chris Watson
/ Mandi Hargrave
Returning to Huntsville was an easy decision for Chris Watson and his wife, Kelly, after living in the city for a number of years. Especially since it meant gaining more quality time with his family.
HUNTSVILLE – Returning to Huntsville after life in the city gave Chris Watson more of what he was seeking, time with his family.
He’d been working at Canada’s largest law firm in Toronto and while the work was interesting, something was missing.
“At the end of the day, I came full circle feeling like the number of hours in the day were limited and they just kept getting eaten more by commitments and I have two young kids and a wife and I want to have a balance; it just wasn’t affording me the balance,” said Watson. “Huntsville was always a place that was on the radar.”
Both he and his wife Kelly are from the area. They went to high school together, but didn’t date until years later and were married in 2002.
“It was a hot day, Aug. 3, and I remember we were getting our pictures taken out on the dock (at Hidden Valley Resort) and our guests had changed out of their suits and were in their bathing suits and were going for a swim in the lake and I felt we should be going for a swim with them,” he said with a laugh.
Watson said if he and Kelly had dated in high school they likely wouldn’t have gotten married.
“I was certainly a different person in high school,” he said. “And I’ve matured some since then, but we knew each other so there was always that familiarity.”
The timing clicked when Watson had returned home to Huntsville for the summer after his first year of law school.
He had already finished a post-secondary education at the University of Waterloo for engineering and during that summer he was painting cottages while Kelly was working at a dental office.
The two ran into each other and fate interjected.
“One thing lead to another,” said Watson.
Eventually, while the transition for him and Kelly to move back to Huntsville was easy on them, it was a bit of change for their children, Kaitlyn and Rix.
Watson said the two weren’t excited about leaving their friends behind but have enjoyed taking advantage of the playground the great outdoors in Muskoka offers.
“They both love swimming and rooting around in the forest, making their own fun,” he said. “I think that part made it easier.”
While Huntsville may be a tourist destination there’s more to the small town than might first meet the eye he said.
“People might have an impression of what Huntsville’s like but my impression is there are a lot of interesting people who are community oriented. Huntsville has everything you would want for many age groups,” said Watson, noting there’s an abundance of sporting opportunities and a major arts hub. “It may be lost on people that there is a community like this (here). Certainly it still is largely tourist country but I really think there’s more to it than that.”
Now working at Lang & Watson, he’s five minutes from home and able to have dinner every evening with his family, something that was lacking in Toronto.
“In Toronto I don’t think I could get around the block in five minutes … It’s enabled me to have more meaningful time with the family and do things together,” he said.
Watson’s philosophy on life is simple but powerful.
“I tell my kids this: I think you can never be bored. There’s never an excuse to say, ‘I’m bored’ because there’s always something to do, there’s always something fun,” he said. “You gotta make your own fun.”
Thank you to Martha Watson for recommending Watson. If there is someone in the community you would like to recommend contact Mandi Hargrave at 705-789-5541 ext. 285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.