autumn in ontario

October 3, 2013

dear house,
if you were by a lake,
– or, better yet, on an island in the middle of a lake –
that wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

Hi friends!  I just got back from a nice, quiet vacation in Ontario, Canada.  Oh my goodness, it was nice just to exhale for a while.  A lot of time was spent reading, exploring, and just taking in our surroundings.  We managed to get every type of weather:  hot days, cool days, freezing nights, warm nights, sun, gloom, downpours, morning mist, and thunderstorms (my favourite).  I love going at this time of year as the fall colours are almost at their peak.

We spent most of our time in the northerly part of southern Ontario known as Muskoka, or Cottage Country.

Now, I thought I’d take some time to explain what a cottage is in these parts.  It’s not exactly a cabin.  Summer house?  Lake house?  It’s some combination of these.  I believe use of the word itself must be a carry-over from Canada’s British roots, where you can find holiday cottages in the countryside, for example, in the Lake District of England.

In Muskoka, cottages are usually situated on lakes.  And there are thousands of lakes in this region.  I would say that nearly all cottage inhabitants don’t live in their cottages year round.  Instead they come up for weekends and holidays from the south, mostly from Toronto.  It is of course possible to rent a cottage, though a lot them are private and shared by families.  This situation makes for glorious quiet on the smaller lakes, especially in the off season.

One tip for any cottage-curious out there:  go in late August, September, or even early October.  Yes, it’s cooler and you probably won’t want to swim, BUT the bugs (mosquitoes and the infamous blackflies) are mostly dead.  Go in May or June and you may be eaten alive.  You’ve been warned.

We happen to be so lucky to have a cottage in the family, owned by David’s parents.  They have put an incredible amount of work into renovating it from a poorly-insulated little house to its current much more stately form.

Isn’t it adorable?  The answer is yes, and I may have had a hand in choosing those exterior lights.

I’ll be posting more from the trip over the next week or so – stay tuned!

For those in need of more entertainment in the meantime, please consider:

  1. Nuances of the phrase ‘cottage country’, according to Wikipedia; and
  2. Canadian House & Home editor Suzanne Dimma’s amazing modern cottage.

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  • Reply hannah m October 4, 2013 at 3:55 am

    I really, truly need to immerse myself if cottage country one autumn. There is no doubt about it. These pictures are stunning – I’m so excited to see more! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Reply karolina October 8, 2013 at 5:59 am

      Thanks Hannah! There is more to come – especially on the design-y side. I was quite inspired by this trip. The longer I’m away, the more I see Canada with new eyes every time I come back. It’s nice to appreciate that which had become quite familiar growing up.

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