Knotty Pine Nickel-Gap Walls for a Jack Lake Cottage


A cottager, architect, designer and builder collaborate on a new lake house.

Our Homes Peterborough Mid-Summer 2018A version of this article originally appeared in the Mid-Summer 2018 issue of   OUR HOMES Peterborough Kawartha Lakes Cobourg Durham Region Port Hope, p.38. Find Find local businesses in our Peterborough directory.

After owning a charming cottage for 23 years on a wonderful spot on Jack Lake, the owners knew it was too small for their needs. After seeing a story about the sensitive restoration of an old Georgian Bay cottage by architect Harry Morison Lay, the owners enlisted Harry’s help in designing a new lake house. “We wanted it to fit into the landscape,” says the owner. 
Rather than an open concept, they favoured separate spaces for the kitchen, dining and living rooms. “The owners really wanted the replacement cottage to have the same aspects of inner tranquility and outlook as the original building,” says Harry. “What they loved most about the cottage was how the forest embraced it. It’s on a point, but completely shielded by a veil of mature birches and pines.”
With the 900 sq. ft. footprint of the original cottage, the new home was extended back from the shoreline and a second floor was added, with four bedrooms and three baths. “From the lake, you would never expect that the building has changed at all,” says Harry. 
Gord Tucker Cottage Services Inc. served as general contractor for the project. Designer Christine Hains of Environment By Design brought considerable elegance to the work. 
Local materials, furnishings and skills were insisted upon by the owners. Stone from three different quarries forms the main floor fireplaces, floors in the foyer and Kawartha room, as well as exterior walkways and stairs. A cedar tree felled to make way for construction was hewn into fireplace mantels. Large red and white pines from the property were milled on site and installed as beams in several parts of the cottage.
Peter Goodwin of Goodwin Creations built a dinner table of local elm, a drop-leaf walnut table for the cottage entrance and the fireplace mantels. Derek Julian of Wood By Design crafted bathroom vanities, built-in cabinetry and the hemlock mantel face and shelves flanking the propane fireplace in a large upstairs bedroom.
In the three-season Kawartha room, pitted, honey-coloured limestone covers the floor. It matches stone in the outdoor fireplace, one of two fireplaces built by father and son masons Glen and Rob Payne
Trent Security Systems furnished security alarms and monitoring equipment. Gray Landscape Construction groomed terrain around the new cottage with stone walkways, stairs and steps to the lake.