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Summer Cottage in Muskoka

Updated on June 9, 2020

A Summer Cottage

Summer Cottage in Muskoka
Summer Cottage in Muskoka | Source

Muskoka Summer Cottage

The Victoria weekend in May is a special date for many cottagers in Muskoka. It is time to open the cottage for another summer. The checklist is reviewed and in anticipation, talk centers around this yearly ritual of opening the cottage.

The Labor Day weekend marks the closing of the cottage and this, too, is a yearly ritual that creates much bonding among family members. Slowly, though, these rituals are changing with cottages now becoming primary residences for many families. With all the modern amenities, cottages are now comfortable even in the winter that people go all year round. Still, for many of us who only summer in our cottages, the Victoria weekend is the day. From then on, the whole summer all you hear about from cottagers will be mostly on this special place: The Cottage.

In our family and small circle of friends with cottages around us, there is an agreed upon date when we can start talking about the cottage. Starting March, we are allowed to talk about the cottage. Before that, we try not to. But going to the cottage has a very special meaning for those Ontarians who have this all their lives. They seem to be talking of a very special place, more special than their homes in the city.

Old Muskoka: Century Cottages and Summer Estates
Old Muskoka: Century Cottages and Summer Estates
Featuring 40 old Muskoka cottages built for many of the Americam moguls who summered in Muskoka, this is full of stories of the life then and how Muskoka has grown to become what it is now. Even then, it was already a playground for many Americans who loved the natural beauty of the place. This book makes you appreciate what Muskoka is with all the stories about these grand old dames in cottage country. It is not just the stories of these 40 old cottages. It is the story of Muskoka itself.

Enjoy your summer cottage - Have your morning coffee in the dock

Lake in the Muskokas
Lake in the Muskokas | Source

What do you enjoy most in the Cottage?

What's really enjoyable about the cottage is often you can find places to spend some moments of solitude and rest the mind from any social interaction. This is more true when the cottage is not connected. What bliss.

Our Summer Home in Canada - The Cottage

Summer Cottage Floating Dock Cruise
Summer Cottage Floating Dock Cruise

The Summer Cottage

The Cottage. This is our summer home in Canada now. We have given up our city home as all of us want to be in the cottage when we are in Canada which is summer for all of us in the family. As family members are in Europe and with us working in Asia, this is the place where we see each other every summer.

We all Summer in the cottage. For us, an experience of family, togetherness, tradition, stability, history, simplicity and friendship. We have given up homes, lived in different countries, and given up many things. The Cottage is the only constant in our lives. All the grandchildren have never missed a summer in the cottage. The Cottage for us is in Skeleton Lake, a smaller lake beside the 3 big lakes of Muskoka. It boasts, however, of its crystal clear lake water not found in the big lakes.

Going to the Cottage - Memories of a Lifetime

Canadians' Attachment to their Cottage

For many Ontarians in Canada, going to the cottage evokes memories of a lifetime when as kids they all troop to the cottage to have a life closer to nature, let go of the demands of city life and live a life free of the encumbrances of modern amenities. For the men in the family, it is time to try their hard earned do it yourself skills from hours of browsing through Home Depot.

For the women, the joy of having the family and preparing food together is enough to draw them there every weekend. For the kids, it is special. They can play all the time, swim, explore the woods, feed on food their doting grandparents allow them to eat and somehow everyone is more relaxed and having fun.

As I did not grow up in Canada, the cottage is not part of my psyche. It is beautiful and I like being there but I don't have the same attachment to it. This came after more than 20 years of being there every summer. Just like the rest of the family, I often catch myself saying wherever we travel, "Oh that is just like the cottage".

Cottage in the summer? - Do you go?

Summer Cottage
Summer Cottage | Source

Do you go to a cottage in the summer?

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RMS Segwun: Queen of Muskoka

RMS Segwun: Queen of Muskoka
RMS Segwun: Queen of Muskoka
Reading is one of the things one do in the cottage. And what better to read than a book on one of the icons of Muskoka, the Royal Mail Ship, Segwun built in 1887. Considered the oldest operating steamship in North America, this ship offers cruises for cottagersand visitors to enjoy. Written by those who regularly vacation in Muskoka, this book is a good read for steamship and history fans.

Your Cottage Experience - Fun?

Steamships of Muskoka
Steamships of Muskoka

Do you enjoy going to the cottage in the summer?

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Rent a cottage in Muskoka this summer

Try a cottage experience

Before you take the plunge to buy a summer cottage, rent one first. This way, you will have a sense of the things required of a cottage owner. It may not be for you. Or, you might enjoy it immensely you can't wait to get one. Here is one area in Muskoka you might like.

Take a Tour of Muskoka

The Quaint Village on Lake Rosseau
Rosseau is a tiny village perched on the top of a hill peering over the famous Muskoka lake of the same name. The heart of the village since the late 19th ce...

Why is the Cottage so Special?

Why is the cottage so special for many Ontarians? Why do many especially from Toronto drive through many hours of traffic every Friday evening and do this again Sunday evening? When we were in Ottawa, we drove the requisite 4-5 hours every weekend to be in our cottage. Many families in Ottawa drive only a short time as they have cottages in the Rideau. But ours which we have inherited from my husband's parents require this drive. Not a complaint at all from any family member, only anticipation and excitement to be there.

There are a million fun things to do especially for the kids. They meet family members they usually don't see the whole year. They share life with a much bigger family. They can go fishing with grandpa or cook with grandma. They can learn new water sports each year from canoeing to kayaking, driving boats, sailing, swimming, skiing and fishing.

Why is the cottage so special to many Canadians? - What makes the cottage so special?

Lake Rosseau Muskoka
Lake Rosseau Muskoka | Source

Is it worth having a cottage? - What do you think?

Many cottage owners often make assessment as to how much they spend on the cottage. Each year, as taxes and insurance go up, they start thinking whether it is worth spending so much for upkeep for a place used only for 2 or 3 months. The debate continues until it becomes really hard for some people to maintain the property. Some inherited their cottages and a number are now retired. With many people buying into the area, real estate has gone up and so has taxes that cottage owners living on retirement income are no longer able to maintain their property. Some have sold out b ut a number want to still keep it for their families so they rent these at certain times. The debate continues on whether it is really worth having a cottage. Share us your own thoughts.

Here's a poll on summer cottages

Do you think it is worth having a summer cottage?

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Cottages are where memories are made - What the family treasures

Summer Party at the Cottage
Summer Party at the Cottage | Source

Place of Memories

Cottages are places where memories abound. It is here that we mark heights of grandchildren at certain ages. It is here that we keep family mementos treasured by the family and kept for everyone to enjoy. The old table lamp that great grandpa did, grandpa's first project in school, and grandma's special teapot. Recipes are kept as well to be savoured only in the cottage. It doesn't taste the same in the city. Pictures abound as well and each year, these are looked into hoping for new insights and surprises.

More Cottage Memories - Simple Fun

Climbing Trees in the Cottage
Climbing Trees in the Cottage | Source

Days in the Cottage

Days in the cottage are often spent creating your own adventure. The cottage environment offers more challenges and fun for the kids. Nature is the biggest challenger.

Ride a biscuit - So much fun

Riding a biscuit
Riding a biscuit | Source

Learn to balance and hold on on this biscuit.

More Fun in the Water - Try this one

Boating | Source

Enjoy Nature - The Living Creatures in the Lake

Loon | Source

The Call of the Loon at the Cottage

Listen to the call of the Loon. Watch the chipmunks gather food for the winter. Listen to the birds especially the hummingbird whizz by.

Have time to commune with nature - Easy to do in the cottage

Silence | Source

Swimming in the natural water of the lake is most refreshing.

Look at these kids play - What beautiful memories they'll have

Playing with simple things in nature contribute something to the growing up experience of these kids.

Have fun in the seadoo with your kids - So much bonding takes place in the cottage

Fathers and kids having so much fun.

Go rock climbing - Fun for the teens

Float in the water - It is relaxing

Just floating in the water gives one a very relaxing experience.

Or read - One of my favourite things to do at the cottage

Copyright: aesta1
Copyright: aesta1

Lazy afternoons is best for reading.

Cottage Traditions

Traditions develop and grow. We even have movies we watch every year without fail. This has taken the place of the slides great grandpa has shown of their travels. We each have our favourite accessories or furniture. It took us forever to give up a sofa as one of the grandsons really love to sit on it. Even the paint of the cottage cannot be changed easily. The cottage seems to give the continuity and stability so much lacking in many family lives these days.

Evening Fires - Sing songs around it


Once, friends came with their guitars and sang with the kids around the fire. The kids got very interested after that to get back to their musical instruments.

Often, just the family around the fire is a bonding experience. Share with your neighbours and double the fun.

Floating Dock for your Cottage - Best Ever Investment in Our Summer Cottage

Summer Floating Dock
Summer Floating Dock | Source

Floating Dock at the Cottage

This floating dock which we christened The Garlic has contributed so much fun in our summer cottage. With motor attached, we can bring it to the middle of the lake and swim there.

Dinner in the Middle of the Lake - Something different for the summer

Floating Dock Summer Cruise
Floating Dock Summer Cruise | Source

Just Go Away from it all - A great summer get away

Cruising in the Lake in Summer
Cruising in the Lake in Summer | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Mary Norton


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