A Wild Place in the Kawartha Highlands


This family has enjoyed wilderness getaways for generations and a new cottage enriches that legacy.

Our Homes Peterborough Early Summer 2018A version of this article originally appeared in the Early Summer 2018 issue of   OUR HOMES Peterborough Kawartha Lakes Cobourg Durham Region Port Hope, p.36. Find Find local businesses in our Peterborough directory.

Wilderness getaways have been a pursuit for generations in the Jack family. With their new Kawartha Highlands cottage, Bill and Nikki Jack are enriching that legacy. “We want this to be a family get-together place,” says Bill, whose grandfather pioneered the family’s love of the woods when he bought a cottage on Anstruther Lake in 1962. Bill’s sister and brother, as well as two cousins, all have their own cottages on the same lake.
The couple have been coming to the Kawarthas together since they were teenagers. They bought a tiny, one-bedroom cottage in an ideal waterfront spot 10 years ago, intent on eventually building a new summer home. On their trips north to the lake, they often stopped at Linwood Custom Homes at Young’s Point where they viewed the model home. They went to cottage shows, looked at various designs and ultimately chose Linwood’s model home as the basic plan for their new cottage – a main-floor master bedroom and en suite, an open-concept living space and two upstairs bedrooms.
Brad McFarlane Construction Inc. built the new lake house. Reclaimed hemlock covers the floors.  In the kitchen, driftwood chandeliers, hand-made by Bill’s sister, Nancy, illuminate the dinner table. Alder cabinets with seeded-glass doors, quartz countertops and a pebble-tile backsplash furnish the open-concept kitchen, planned with the help of Lakeshore Designs. Hickory tops the kitchen island.
A Kawartha room adjoins the south side of the cottage. It opens to the exterior deck and stairs leading to the front yard and the sandy beach beyond. In the master bedroom sliding glass doors open to a private deck overlooking the lake.
They enjoy one of Ontario’s most beautiful spots for outdoor activities and adventure. Their Anstruther Lake cottage is at the centre of Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, a rugged landscape of forested hills, rocky barrens, little lakes and wetlands along the lower belly of the Canadian Shield. As a wilderness park, the only camping it offers is along backcountry canoe routes on uninhabited lakes accessed by portage.
With plenty of room for family and guests, Nikki and Bill have welcomed visitors. They had 14 people stay overnight on one occasion. During the Thanksgiving Day weekend, they hosted 30 people for dessert and music after dinner.