Real Housewives of Toronto episode three recap: the dock party


Money is wasted on the rich. This week’s episode of the Real Housewives of Toronto takes place at Joan’s Muskoka dock party, and it is hard to bear. I can pass on the city high-life: I don’t need the fancy lunches, the Forest Hill mansions or the designer shoes. But Muskoka should be for the people. I spent three summers during university working at lakeside resorts in Muskoka, so when it comes to cottage country, I know what I am missing.

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The first episode of Real Housewives of Toronto, recapped

The first episode of Real Housewives of Toronto, recapped

But first, we start with Roxy, who is having lunch with her squad at Lavelle—the King Street West rooftop where patrons pay $24 for cocktails to take in the “Miami vibe.” We meet some of her oldest friends, who listen to her dish about her fight with Kara and analyze Kara’s recent Instagram post, which includes the hashtag #forgiveness. Roxy refuses to apologize, even though she started the drama by spreading the story of The Face Hickey of 2002. Roxy is pissed that Kara will be coming to Joan’s dock party. “Anyone who’s anyone will be at Joan’s dock party—and Kara will be there too,” she says.

The irony is that Roxy’s refusal to apologize leaves her and her husband with nowhere to stay for the party in Muskoka. Kara was supposed to put them up for the night, but uninvited them after their snafu. Roxy can’t find a single hotel room this late into prime cottage season (the episode was filmed last summer). Booking agents tell her it would be easier to go to Europe or the Hamptons for the weekend. Luckily, Ann steps in and offers to let Roxy crash at her cottage. Crisis averted.

We then get our first glimpse of Joan’s cottage, a.k.a. her “family compound,” which consists of three cottages, three boathouses and a private island that also appears to be covered in cottages. Joan says they bought the island “because it was available,” and it now serves as her little getaway from her big getaway. She also reminds us that they aren’t making any more waterfront properties, “so it’s really special to be on the lake.” I bet it is.

It turns out that Joan is expecting more than 700 people to attend her dock party, and the logistics are nuts. There are multiple DJs, a band and Cheffy, her private chef, who is making something like 1,000 burgers. The craziest part is that she has also tasked Cheffy with preparing breakfast for 150 people the next morning. Why would anyone do that to themselves? There is no amount of social clout that would motivate me to host breakfast for 150 people the morning after a giant dock party. Isn’t Muskoka supposed to be relaxing?

Short answer: no.


As we know from other Housewives’ franchises, group trips do not exist unless we see the women partake in packing montages ahead of time. The best one belongs to Grego, who packs with her two adorable children by her side. At one point, she picks each of them up and tosses them onto the bed joyfully as piles of silk and giant hats spill out of her suitcase.


Instead of a packing montage, we get to visit Ann’s seamstress. As every Muskoka-bound woman is wont to do, she is getting a fishing vest made into a crop top and strutting around in over-the-knee green rubber boots. Ann tells us that every item of clothing she owns is fitted, even t-shirts. This seems like overkill until we see her in a tailored wetsuit and it looks freaking amazing. You win, lady.

Kara invites Joga Jana over to her house before the trip and they bond over matcha juice. Kara tells Jana about matcha’s aphrodisiac properties and credits her long marriage to the power of her husband’s “boner smoothies.” Jana thinks this is weird and doesn’t seem keen when Kara tells her about her frequent role as a matchmaker for her single friends, but she still walks away with a gentler opinion of Kara.

Jana had been wary of Kara ever since she talked over everyone at the procedure party, but Kara explains that she was acting weird because watching the plastic surgery triggered her memories of being a triage nurse in Ecuador. If this seems bogus, that’s because it is. Kara became a triage nurse on vacation in Ecuador when she decided to “dress for the job she wanted” and purchased some scrubs. She worked in a clinic but didn’t do much other than check patients in. (This is why there are so many online articles about why “voluntourism” is problematic.)


Kara then happily tells us about her own cottage in Muskoka—a mere three-building blip compared to Joan’s. She raves about cottage living but also laments the travesties of the cottage: having to drive the boat, boat hair, getting bugs in your lip gloss while on the boat.


Ann doesn’t want to sit in traffic on the 400, so she rents herself a private plane and offers Roxy and Jana a ride. Decent idea, except Ann is terrified of planes—something you think she might have taken into consideration—and has a panic attack the whole flight. All seems to be forgotten when the seaplane glides in a few metres from her cottage dock. None of these people are allowed to complain about anything anymore.


At Ann’s, while she is deciding which pair of four-inch silver gladiator heels to wear to the dock party, Roxy keeps asking whether her sheer blue caftan is see-through. It clearly is, but Ann keeps telling her it’s not. Once Roxy is satisfied and leaves to change into the dress, Ann turns to her daughter and says, “It’s totally see-through.” Shade!

The party starts and it is clearly amazing. There are tons of people there and everyone is dancing on the dock. Kara and her husband cruise up in a gorgeous antique wooden boat; I guess the SUV limos got left in the city.


The women all head to one of the spare boathouses to chat and show off their long dresses and impeccable postures. Grego calls it the VIP area, but it is clearly the less-fun area that is practical for the camera crew.

This is Roxy’s first encounter with Kara since their fight in the dog park. It’s awkward, but things really get messy when Kara invites the ladies to a dinner party at her cottage: it’s on Wednesday, which is Roxy’s birthday, and it will have an Italian theme, which is what Roxy told Kara she wanted on her birthday. “Here she is, not only taking the day my birthday is on, but also taking my theme. Gimme a break,” says Roxy. She keeps it to herself, forces a smile and accepts Kara’s invitation.

The rest of the VIP scenes are spliced with off-camera testimonials of Kara (who is, in her words, not a teetotaller but just very “disciplined”) judging the women for drinking too much wine and for suggesting a late-night skinny dip. She takes off early. “After the sun goes down, I really don’t know what happens at the dock party, and I don’t want to stay around to find out,” she says. Roxy is unsurprised: “She’s no fun.”


All of a sudden, Ann gets dizzy and needs to throw up. It’s unclear whether this is alcohol-related, but the important thing is it breaks up the VIP-bore and frees the women to go hang out at the real dock party. Grego could not be more excited about this. Soon, she is up on a man’s shoulders ruling the dance floor while Jana crowdsurfs a few feet away. Later, Grego, Jana and Joan complete their mission and go for a late-night skinny dip. Okay, maybe money isn’t wasted on all of the rich.


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