Toronto Helios Society

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The Toronto Helios Society was a nudist/naturist club located at Sharon, north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

In 1972 Eric and June Jarvis purchased a 20.25 hectare (50 acres) property. The land consisted of a road to a bridge over the river, and three cleared areas that were covered with ferns and brambles. The first year was spent dredging a lake fed by a creek and natural springs. (Now known as Jarvis Pond) They also dug a well for drinking water, working weekends and living in Toronto while holding down a job during the week. 1973 was their first year as an official nudist club. Only eight couples joined that first year. Most visitors found the facilities too primitive.[1]

They were disappointed with their first year but they persevered and gradually added facilities including another bridge, an extension to the lake, hook-ups for trailers, extensive grass seeding and grading for new lawns, and a clubhouse that is today known as The Outback. In 1978, the Jarvis’ started building a new house with 3,000 sq ft (280 m2). of living area for themselves and a full basement to serve as a winter clubhouse for dances and parties. They also added flush toilets with showers in both the tent and trailer clearings. They moved into the new house in September 1979.[1]

In May 1984, the American Sunbathing Association (ASA) (now known as the American Association for Nude Recreation AANR) was notified by Eric and June Jarvis that they could no longer operate Toronto Helios as a club for nudists only and were changing it to a trailer park open to the general public. According to Eric, it was a sad decision that was based on a variety of factors (increased taxes on the property of an additional $1200, loss of job for Eric, etc.) They hoped that by converting it to a regular campground the income would increase and give Eric gainful employment. [2] April 29, 1992 Eric and June Jarvis sold the property to Town & Country Resort Inc. For the next eight years, the land hosted a variety of non-naturist businesses including an attempt to open a KOA campground.[3]

On February 12, 2001, Carol and Larry Bean purchased the assets of Town & Country Resorts Inc. out of bankruptcy with the plan to return it to its former status as a naturist club. They renamed it The New Forest Family Naturist Resort . Unfortunately, the property had not been well maintained in recent years and much of the infrastructure needed significant work. The next several years were spent upgrading and repairing the facilities. [4] On December 22, 2006, Carol and Larry sold the property to Linda and Stéphane Deschênes. It was more of transition than a sale since Carol and Larry ensured that the property was sold to someone who would continue to develop the park as a naturist club. The park was renamed Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park for a variety of marketing reasons and as a wordplay on their last name. (Deschênes is French for ‘of the oaks’)[5]


  1. ^ a b Au Naturel: The History of Nudism in Canada, James Woycke Ph.D.,ISBN 0-9682332-3-6
  2. ^ Original letter from AANR archives
  3. ^ Interview with Eric Jarvis
  4. ^ 2006 Interview with Carol Bean
  5. ^ [1] Official website

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