Made in Gravenhurst: Muskoka Fire Pits

By Jiun Liao

There is something comforting when you sit by a fire surrounded by people. It’s hard to describe, but it feels like you’re part of something. Everything is dark and quiet, except for the friendships. It brings people together.

Nobody knows this more than the Garrido family, owners of Muskoka Fire Pits. A family run business in Gravenhurst that makes beautiful fire pits and accessories out of recycled materials. I met with Lea Garrido not long ago, current owner of the business, to help me tell their story.

garrido-family-with-their-fire-pit-in-gravenhurst
The Garrido Family enjoying their fire pit outside their workshop.

It all began around 2008 after her father Pascal was laid off from his job, and was looking for work. He had started a few side projects, and making fire pits became one of them because of uncle Roger, as Lea calls him. Uncle Roger asked Pascal to build him a fire pit, and as luck would have it, Pascal remembered someone making a fire pit online using a propane tank, so he decided to give it a go.

The propane tank fire pit was an instant hit. Neighbours and extended family members, captivated by the unique design when they came over to uncle Roger’s house, began requesting their own. Soon after, local businesses like Country Produce in Orillia approached the family to sell these unique fire pits.

Their home operation was no longer enough to handle the growing business. With decommissioned propane tanks filling their garden and workspace running out, it was clear that a change was needed. In 2009, they opened their first store near Webers. They quickly outgrew that space, and moved to their current location in Gravenhurst.

To this day, the entire operation is family run. Lea said that every family member who could wield a screwdriver has worked there at one point or another. Bringing them together like nothing else has. They all have their own fire pits, and often gather around one of them for family cookouts.

Muskoka Fire Pits buy old decommissioned propane tanks that sit in the fields of large gas companies because it’s cheaper for them to store them than to melt them down.

These propane tanks are meticulously inspected and cut into usable parts. Each tank, typically made from 3-inch-thick steel, is repurposed into two fire pits. The tanks are sourced from all across Canada, while any additional steel required is procured locally from Ontario.

The Garrido family’s dedication to sustainability doesn’t stop at just repurposing old propane tanks. They even recycle the dust produced from grinding and cutting the tanks.

Their fire pits can even be fully customized to any design you like for your backyard. There are so many things I could say about their fire pits, but they’re almost an experience unto themselves. I wouldn’t want to ruin your first encounter with them. Once you’ve seen one and felt one, you’ll know what I mean. Visit their website to learn more about them at muskokafirepits.com