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HALIBURTON, ONTARIO November 18, 2003   As a former cottager who experienced vandalism at his own cottage, Mr. Garfield Munshaw recognized the need for a security service that would give cottagers some peace of mind during the off-season.  GSM Cottage Watch Services visits clients’ cottages in Haliburton and the Kawarthas at regular intervals to check for signs of break in, weather or animal damage and even snow load.  “Some of my clients live in the United States and it is impossible for them to visit their cottages regularly during the winter months.  The services Cottage Watch provides gives them the confidence that their cottage is safe,” states Mr. Munshaw.  


Mr. Munshaw now resides in Haliburton year-round and has been providing cottage watch services through his company GSM Cottage Watch Services for several years now.   “When I was cottaging here, our cottage was broken into. Luckily nothing was stolen but our cottage was left a mess and who knows how long the door was left open,” remembers Mr. Munshaw. “It was then when the idea for GSM Cottage Watch Services was born; I realized what a convenience it would be if someone could check in on my cottage when I wasn’t able to be there.”   


The basic cottage watch service consists of a visit every two weeks although Mr. Munshaw will tailor service to suit an individuals needs.  “I recently had a client that found that her insurance company is requiring that someone be at her cottage as often as every 72 hours. We were able to set up a schedule that was specific to her situation. My main job is to meet my clients’ needs and if that means more frequent visits or being an alarm contact then so be It.,” explains Mr. Munshaw. Mr. Munshaw has found that many cottagers are installing alarm systems in their cottages.  “The problem is that if there is an alarm call and you live in Toronto it is not exactly convenient to drop by to assess the situation.  GSM Cottage Watch Services will act as a local contact for the alarm company on the clients’ behalf,” mentions Mr. Munshaw.


 While GSM Cottage Watch Services primarily provides off-season security, the business also branched out to include maintenance and repairs, general contracting, and even cottage cleaning.  “I have found my clients have needs that extend beyond simple cottage watch.  With cottage watch, I developed trusting relationships and my clients value my opinion and often turn to me when they need repairs or other cottage related services.  If I can’t perform the service myself I am able to contract it out on their behalf,” remarks Mr. Munshaw. “I even have clients who call for weather updates or to ask me to turn on their heat so their cottage is warmed up when they arrive later in the day.”


 GSM Cottage Watch Services is gaining quite a reputation in the Haliburton area, particularly around Drag Lake.  Recently a break in at a Cottage on Drag Lake had Mr. Munshaw’s phone ringing off the hook, with people inquiring about Cottage Watch Services.  Of course, the break in did not occur at a cottage enrolled with GSM Cottage Watch Services.  “Cottages are a huge investment and cottagers owe it to themselves to ensure that their cottages are looked after when they can’t be there.   Everybody deserves peace of mind.”


Butch (Garfield) Munshaw

GSM Cottage Watch Services



email: mrhandyman@sympatico.ca


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