Bay Harbor

View Website

Vintage Golf Getaways

The Briars; Jackson's Point, Ontario.


Hugh Sibbald, the fifth generation Sibbald managing the resort, began earning his keep at nine years old by filling the pop machine and carrying luggage. “I got a penny for a can of pop, which was pretty good commission in those days,” he said with a laugh. “Luggage was heavier then too…full of bottles as we didn’t have a bar at that time.”

Sitting in the dining room, overlooking carefully groomed shrubbery and surrounded by art and photos of another era, I felt like I’d fallen through a wrinkle in time. Having grown up in a house built in 1854, I recognized the authenticity of the manor house that serves as the centre of the resort. The large windows, woodwork, delicate craftsmanship of the antiques and enormous framed pictures of old maps (Hugh said is father John has an affection for maps), make The Briars a truly unique place.


The Story of The Briars:


The Briars has enjoyed a distinguished evolution into a classy country destination with a spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, solarium, whirlpool, games rooms, boating, kids clubs and 18 hole golf course. The original land belonged to British Navy Captain William Bourchier, who built the Regency Manor house in 1840, which is now the resort’s main building. He dubbed the property “The Briars” after a home of friends in St. Helena. The captain died just four years later, and his widow and children chose to rent the house rather than stay in the remote area. In the late 1870’s, Dr. Frank Sibbald acquired the property from Mrs. Bourchier. Dr. Sibbald added two wings to the manor house, a coach house, stables, a gatehouse, a barn for his championship shorthorns and a peacock house. All of these original buildings are still standing. The barn is now the Red Barn Theatre, Canada’s oldest summer theatre, and the peacock house is the only one of its kind in Ontario. 

The Briars has gone through various additions but kept its focus on restoration rather than modernization. Notably, one guestroom wing was built and named after Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock who grew up nearby and often visited. Leacock is buried just a stone’s throw from the resort property on the premises of an old cobblestone church. 
John and Barbara Sibbald are still the flagships of the resort, helped by their younger sons Hugh and Andrew. Their oldest son Peter is a photojournalist of much of his work can be seen throughout the resort and the pages of this issue.

The Briars has 90 rooms with a capacity for about 180 guests. The accommodations are a mix of inn rooms and lakefront cottages. The cottages sit elevated from the shoreline, and when you sweep back the curtain a bowl of blue looks back at you in such a way that you seem to be floating on Lake Simcoe.


Where to Play:


The Briars Club was established in 1922. The first nine of the golf course was designed by Stanley Thompson, and the second nine was built in the seventies by Robbie Robinson, who kept its Thompson spirit. This is a very natural golf course, and the layout is traditional. Narrow fairways, subtly undulating Thompson greens and no housing characterize this course in a snapshot, but what sets it apart as truly unique is the ancient trees, their branches split and twisting like the Waking Trees in the Lord of the Rings. 

The Briars Club is a private facility and offers playing privileges to guests. “It’s a unique partnership between resort and private club,” says Sibbald. Even more unique were the two members jumping out their car, clubs loaded onto pull carts, ready to play golf on January 3!


The Briars

55 Hedge Road,

RR1, Jackson’s Point,

L0E 1L0


1- 800-465-2376

































Boyne Alpine



Boyne Alpine

The Bridge