A version of this article originally appeared in the Early Summer 2017 issue of OUR HOMES Parry Sound Muskoka Huntsville Haliburton, p.62. Find local businesses in our Muskoka directory.
An original family cottage built on the Moon River in the Muskokas in 1961 has seen five generations enjoy it. The extended family has grown to include children and great grand children, and the owners wanted a larger space.
The solution was a larger, more accessible cottage that eliminated the need to trek up and down the long set of stairs that led to the old cottage. They have built a new five-bedroom log house by True North Log Homes. The 4,400 sq. ft. design is a hybrid that combines the family’s love of log buildings and a penchant for lots of windows.
To create easier access, they blasted and hauled away 210 truckloads of Muskoka granite. “Now you can drive right into the carport, get out of your car, take one step and you’re in the cottage,” says the owner. “Nine steps down and you’re on a beautiful sandy beach.”
The great room and adjoining Muskoka room were comfortably furnished by Urban Rustic Living. Twig supplied accessories and décor to lend the lake house a modern, rustic Muskoka vibe.
The main floor, built with doors wide enough for wheelchairs, contains two master bedrooms. One has a private sheltered deck overlooking the river. The other has double doors to a large all-season Muskoka room.
The ground floor also holds the Legacy Room, a large family gathering place that celebrates kindred heritage. Sofas, chairs, lamps and a gas stove from the original summer house furnish this area. Walls are clad in two-and-a-half-inch-thick tongue-in-groove pine boards, saved from the old summer house as it was demolished. Georgian Water & Air supplied the water filtration and purification system.
Upstairs are three bedrooms for the grandchildren and a loft office overlooking the great room and the Moon River beyond. Northern Iron crafted antiqued iron balusters for the staircase railings as well as a large chandelier in the covered exterior entry.
The gardening and yard construction was a labour of love for this family, incorporating 100 big boulders from the excavation for retaining walls, gardens and a path to the water. The family expects to use the new lake house, with its modern amenities and all-season construction, a lot more than their original summer cottage. That modest summer home may be long gone, but it’s not forgotten.