Funky older cottage on private island. Spectacular water views all round, yet secluded from other people. 100 year old base with add-ons over the years, now renovated while maintaining original charm, Pet friendly, great Canadian cottage experience! WEEK-LONG BOOKINGS ONLY.
Bookings are (mostly) restricted to FULL-WEEK rentals, Saturday to Saturday. 5 DAY RENTAL MINIMUM.
The cottage is a wilderness paradise. It's a very special place to us! We own the whole island on which it is built (not large, perhaps one acre) but it's very peaceful. It sits across a bay looking out to the main lake and also has a huge shallow back bay behind it. Good fishing in the lake if you like that (I'm not a fisherman), canoeing, kayaking, sailing, boating. Wildlife includes herons, loons, ducks, geese, turkey vultures, turtles, mink, muskrat, beavers, bullfrogs, the occasional deer, garter snakes, dragonflies, monarch butterflies and lots of bird life. Canadian wilderness at its best.
The cottage is located on Big Rideau Lake. It is located approximately 20 minutes southwest of Perth, Ontario, on a bay on the north side of the lake called Horseshoe Bay. It is a little bit southwest of Murphy’s Point Provincial Park.
It takes about 90 minutes to get to the cottage from central Ottawa, including a 10 minute canoe ride.
I’ll send you detailed directions as to how to get there if you decide to rent.
Style of cottage
The core of the cottage is almost 100 years old. Over the last ten years we have been renovating and expanding the cottage extensively, but it is not our intention at any stage to convert it to a modern house. Our approach is to do everything we can to minimize the impact of our activities on the landscape and to assist the ecology of the island and the area.
In the interests of full disclosure, I have to admit that the cottage does sometimes have ‘wee beasties’ such as mice, spiders, daddy-long-legs and the occasional wood roach. They come and go in cycles, you may see them or you may not. If you want to get away and commune with nature you can’t always control how nature communes back with you. THIS IS A FUNKY OLDER COTTAGE. IF YOU THINK A COTTAGE MEANS PROTECTION FROM MOTHER NATURE, A DISHWASHER AND AIR CONDITIONING, THEN THIS IS NOT FOR YOU!
One of the 'wee beasties' that MAY show up is wood roaches. They only showed briefly twice last year but one of the times resulted in a one-star rating from the guests and a temporary de-listing from Airbnb because they were described as cockroaches and that the place was thereore unclean. They are NOT the latter and he cottage is thoroughly cleaned for every visit but this is one of the 'risks' of comuning with nature that I describe elsewhere. I hesitatd in adding this paragraph because it is unlikely you will see any, but I do not want to get another one-star rating (which was totally unfair, especially since they liked everything else about the cottage) because of the WOOD roaches
It is ideal for individuals and families who want peace and quiet and relaxed play. Although it can accommodate large groups, it is not designed to be a party palace and we do not rent to people whose only idea of fun involves loud music and intrusive water activities.
Because it is an old structure, some of the facilities are relatively primitive. We have hot and cold running water, but there is a limit to the amount of hot water that can be generated at any one time. The environmental toilet works very well, but also requires a little bit of understanding and water conservation measures.
Climate change and water supply
This is a new paragraph promted by an unusually cold October. If you make a late fall booking, please note that it is possible that the water might be turned off to avoid freezing. Getting water from the lake and heating it on the wood stove is easy enough, but may be too 'primitive' for some people, and it would mean the shower is off. Normally this might only be an issue from November on, but with climate change it appears to be a possibility even in October, so please consider your fall bookings accordingly.
With hotter summers likely, you should add 2°C to "average" seasonal norms. Global warming may also result in warmer springs and falls.
The cottage is about 1,200 square feet, centred on a large family room with a cathedral ceiling. The front porch looks down to the main lake while the kitchen overlooks the back bay. It has three bedrooms, one of which is a loft that also has a view over the whole back bay. It’s got a large kitchen where three cooks can work concurrently! It can easily sleep six and with other futon beds, the capacity gets up to nine before you even start talking tents or mattresses. And we have recently built a ‘bunkie’ that can accommodate another couple of people or perhaps all the kids. However this size of group has to be negotiated since we are concerned with the capacity of the island to handle a lot of people, For example, large groups early in the season are not possible since one small shower is really not sufficient and the lake isn't warm enough for bathing then.
It has a Sunmar environmental toilet, easy to use, minimal smell and we do all the upkeep. Cell phone is somewhat limited (1-2 bars most phones), so may restrict internet junkies. No air-conditioning but good breezes off the lake. There’s a wood stove for heating if needed. Other facilities include a propane barbeque, a fire pit, two docks, good swimming from the dock though a bit weedy, small beach as well (see below), flower gardens, a vegetable garden, an installed labyrinth (Vanessa's specialty), two hammocks and a large library with lots of good reading material. There’s a wind up radio but no TV.
The cottage has decks all around which means you can always find sun or shade in which to sit depending on your preference.
We have two canoes, two kayaks, a small sailing boat and a rowing boat. The back bay is shallow but out front big boats have no problem for docking.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to living on an island.
Ø No neighbours
Ø Privacy and quiet
Ø No need to tether pets
Ø Lots of shoreline
Ø Many different types of landscapes
Ø Time of canoe ride (8 minutes)
Ø Transportation of food and drink
Ø Transportation of building materials, tools and repair items!
Ø Isolation in case of accident
Ø Travel to the island after dark
There are lots of things for the children to do, but primarily non-electronic!. No music system ,no television. We don’t mind other people bringing these, just don’t expect them to be supplied.
There are lots of games and puzzles, swimming masks and flippers, a badminton set, climbing, fort building, frog-spotting, crayfish baiting (use bacon!) and other old time honoured cottage pursuits.
We have built a basic tree house (June 2014)!
The level of the lake is regulated, and can change over the course of the season by up to 30 inches. Thus diving off the main dock is possible until August but after that may become less so if the level of the lake is considerably down. The water is clear and good, but off the main dock is weedy. We have a small beach a little further down the island and from this you can walk out with no weeds. The sand is fairly gritty (we provide water shoes) and the beach itself is only exposed at the end of the year when the water level is at its lowest.
I would rate the quality of the swimming as good but not excellent.
Big Rideau Lake is part of the Rideau Canal System that stretches between the Ottawa River at Canada's Capital, Ottawa, and Lake Ontario at Kingston, a total of 202 kms or 125 miles. Throughout the Rideau Canal System, you can expect to find excellent smallmouth bass and largemouth bass fishing, and in certain areas, walleye, pike and muskellunge fishing. The fishing is supposed to be good in the main lake, and we have had some guests catch fish from the island itself.
Small boats may be launched from the landing dock, otherwise there is a public launch about half a kilometre away from the cottage. If you bring your own motor boat you can travel long distance both up and down the lake. You can also make long voyages by our two kayaks or two canoes. Our son has been to the far side of the lake to Portland, but some caution is required as the weather on the main lake can occasionally get extremely rough (six foot waves with whitecaps). It is almost always relatively calm within the bay which can only occasionally lead to problems in getting the sailboat out!
The cottage is located 30 minutes from Smiths Falls which is the headquarters of Canopy Growth Corporation, better known as Tweed, the largest marijuana producer in Canada. For guests from outside of Canada who wish to buy Canada's newest legal recreational drug (!), it is likely that there will be a retail outlet in that town. Tours of their facility may also be available. They are growing like crazy (pun intended!), 800 jobs created so far. Since some information is lackingabout how and where retail sales will operate, I'll provide you with up-to-date information when you book.
We use the cottage ourselves usually in the early/late parts of the year. In July and August we prefer to rent it by the week, Saturday to Saturday. September is best if you can make it, no one else around, superb colours, great weather and the best rates for week stays. A great location for homeschooling in a different environment.
We have rented it as early as April and as late as November, but please realize that if the weather gets cold enough to freeze the pipes then we may not be able to provide a running water system. Buckets from the lake and hot water from a large saucepan on the wood stove works really well, but it's not for everyone!
We have lots of arts supplies as well as metal and wood potential sculpture material. You are urged to indulge your creativity!
There is an extensive library in place, heavy on the science fiction (Azimov, Piers Anthony, but also with complete sets of Tom Clancy (John Ryan series), Georgette Heyer (the original, well written and well-researched regency romance author), Stieg Larson (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Arthur Ransome (kid's English author), Matt Helm series, Agatha Christie, Harry Potter and many others.
The island is great for pets because you can just let them run free. But although we vacuum thoroughly, if you react to pet hair etc., we can't always make it sterile enough that your allergies won't be triggered.
We ask that you bring the bedding you require. If we provide it, there is a further charge of $100 per week.
Well trained pets are allowed, please clean up after them. No smoking inside the cottage.
The cottage has a good selection of spices, condiments and other basics but we ask that you replace anything you finish or let us know what needs replenishing. There is a selection of other food there that can also be used for emergencies!
Yes there is a wood stove and yes there is pre-chopped wood for it but depending when you want it, the place may not be your ideal winter retreat for two much more practical reasons
1) the cottage is not insulated and could get REALLY cold
2) because it is on an island you can’t get across to it in December/early January and again in March. At those times there is ice but not thick enough to walk on and yet still too thick to break through in a canoe.
Owners: Michael Fletcher
Perth, SW of Ottawa, Ontario
Perth, Ontario, Kanada