Arizona meets Muskoka for Former NHLer in Blue Mountains


A retired NHL veteran and his wife find their new happy place on the Georgian Bay waterfront.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of  OUR HOMES Southern Georgian Bay, p.136. Find local businesses in our Southern Georgian Bay directory.

Owners Brett and Annie Callighen and their dog Bandit.
After a successful professional hockey career, Brett Callighen hasn't strayed far from the ice. The new Town of the Blue Mountains resident played with the NHL Edmonton Oilers from 1976 to 1982 and was Wayne Gretzky’s first regular left winger. He has been working since as a player's agent, placing North American hockey players overseas, alongside his wife Annie Callighen. 
They had raised their family in Unionville, cottaged in Muskoka and spent time living in Arizona, but now, nearing retirement age and with two adult children, daughter Harli and son Ryan, the Callighens were looking to set down roots in one place. “Southern Georgian Bay ticked all the boxes,” says Annie. They scooped up a piece of waterfront property and sought the expert advice of Chris Allen, co-owner with Scott Carter of Thornbury home building firm Carter Allen Ltd.
Carter Allen built the Callighens a 2,500 sq. ft. modern bungalow just steps from the bay. Annie, who practised for many years as an interior designer, helped to plan a sleek, yet warm, open space that takes advantage of the property’s most advantageous feature – the waterfront. 
Simple yet elegant landscape designs by Rock Solid Landscapes, made up of a mix of several perennial plants for easy maintenance, surround the wood bungalow, painted in Behr’s Intellectual, a medium grey, on all sides. Black window and door frames create a sleek look for the home, tucked away on a quiet street. A mix of wood deck and stone patio extends the length of the home at the rear with plenty of areas to relax and enjoy the view. Muskoka chairs circle a modern fire bowl. Green Love styled the backyard.
The décor is a blend of woodsy Muskoka and southwest Arizona, including heirlooms from the couple’s history together. Annie’s father’s workbench has been refashioned into a serving area off the kitchen. Across from the workbench is a large pantry, which makes up for the absence of upper cabinets in the kitchen, a choice Annie says makes the open living space more intimate. Stainless steel appliances from Macdonald’s Furniture and Appliances and a washed grey stone tile backsplash, complete the classic kitchen.
Annie chose one colour for the entire home, Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak, a “greige” with warm undertones to achieve the cosy look she was after. The dark furnishings and window frames, coupled with polished concrete floors, achieve Annie’s other design goal – a modern look.
Concrete floors feature in-floor heating and stretch the 2,500 square feet of the home. The house is fully automated and secure, thanks to Red Brick Group Inc.