A Delightful Return to Kushog Lake in a Log Home


A family returns to their favourite lake in the Algonquin Highlands.

OUR HOMES Muskoka Fall 2018
A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of   OUR HOMES Parry Sound Muskoka Huntsville Haliburton, p.62. Find local businesses in our Muskoka directory

Once their kids had gone off to university, Brian and Donna Conroy's cottage days were over. They sold their Kushog Lake cottage and planned their summers otherwise. But it was only a few years before the allure of the Algonquin Highlands proved irresistible.
The couple’s new five-bedroom log home on Kushog Lake may be new, but the property at the end of the lake is near friends and full of memories. “Kushog is a long, narrow lake," says Donna. "You can go for a nice long boat ride and you can just see things on both sides of the lake,” she says. “There are enough bays for the guys to go waterskiing, wakeboarding or whatever else they want to do.”
The one-acre property’s southern end is a tiny wooded peninsula overlooking Kushog Island, nearly surrounded by water, where the original cottage, built about 75 years ago, still stands, bright yellow and red.
They took their plans and ideas to 1867 Confederation Log & Timber Frame who supplied logs and timbers for the two-storey home. The Conroys wanted a main-floor master bedroom as well as an office. Upstairs, they created two wings, each with two bedrooms and a bathroom, separated by a central games room. A single-stringer, pine staircase with timber treads, an original Confederation design, connects the main floor with the upstairs.
Francis Thomas Contracting Co. Ltd. prepared the building site, excavated the basement and built the insulated concrete form foundation. The company also installed the septic system and driveway. Builder Scott Doan of S&S Construction impressed the Conroys with his attention to detail as he laid engineered hardwood flooring and tiles from Modern Home Carpet One. He also installed trim, doors and ceilings and built a fixed dock as well as a path with handrails leading down to the lake.
Emmerson Lumber Limited furnished the kitchen cabinetry with granite countertops from Delray Granite while Haliburton Timber Mart supplied finishing materials and shaker-style doors throughout the home.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f24
Photography by Sandy MacKay
A new log and timber frame cottage overlooks Kushog Lake.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f2
Photography by Sandy MacKay
Dovetail corners, as seen at the edge of the front porch, are self-tightening, shed water and conceal the double tongue and groove log joinery.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f22
Photography by Sandy MacKay
Builders installed pine cladding on the existing garage so that it would match the log cottage.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f27
Photography by Sandy MacKay
Tile flooring is a practical choice in the cottage foyer.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f28
Photography by Sandy MacKay
High arched windows in the great room catch the afternoon sun. They overlook Kushog Lake and Kushog Island.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f29
Photography by Sandy MacKay
A vaulted pine ceiling, intersected with beams, soars above the great room fireplace.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f211
Photography by Sandy MacKay
The kitchen is tucked under one wing of the home. The island seats four and is topped with granite. A built-in vacuum makes for easy removal of kitchen crumbs.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f213
Photography by Sandy MacKay
A metal bear oversees the dining table. A door at one end of the room leads to the ground-floor mechanical room.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f215
Photography by Sandy MacKay
This sturdy, single-stringer staircase with thick pine treads connects the cottage’s two main levels.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f214
Photography by Sandy MacKay
Shaker-style doors, inset with frosted glass, open to the main floor home office.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f216
Photography by Sandy MacKay
The main-floor master bedroom had large windows to keep the room bright.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f217
Photography by Sandy MacKay
A main-floor master bedroom with an en suite was an essential part of their cottage design.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f25
Photography by Sandy MacKay
A fixed and floating dock system adjusts to fluctuating lake levels.

Slideshow webgallery mus fall18 f23
Photography by Sandy MacKay
Painted bright yellow with red trim, the original cottage on their property has been left standing on a south-facing point of land.