When it comes to perfect cottage getaways, Ontario holds the coveted crown. Awash in picturesque islands, pristine beaches, and historic small towns, the province is a premier recreational destination in Canada’s great outdoors. Whether you’re venturing to Muskoka Lakes or the 1000 Islands, Ontario’s cottage country offers good food, great festivals, and the chance to unplug from hectic city life. From lakefront views to suppers beneath the stars, from cozy, wood-panelled dens to roaring fireplaces, see why weekenders and celebrities alike love to escape to Canada’s central countryside.
Lakes for Days
No retreat is complete without water, and lakefront living is the hallmark of Ontario cottage country. Whether you’ve found a forested oasis alongside Lake Joseph or a convenient hideaway near Lake Huron, Ontario’s lakes are some of the most stunning and easily accessible in the country. Test the waters in this Lake of Bays cottage where panoramic views and a multi-level dock guarantee that whatever your aquatic pastime, this property can deliver. A gourmet country kitchen, detached bunkhouse, and sandy beach provide ample space for entertaining guests, meaning that you can be in and out of the water with your preferred company all season long.
Ontario’s cottage country benefits from being both off the beaten track and right in the middle of the action. When you’ve had your fill of relaxing chez toi, Ontario offers golfing, theatre, craft breweries, and boutique wineries all within easy distance of the nearest lake. Venture to the renowned Stratford Festival or the Burlington Golf and Country Club from this expansive Burlington estate primed for excursions of all kinds. Meet for post-festival drinks on the large covered terrace, unwind in the spa, cook celebratory meals in the outdoor kitchen, and let the soothing sounds of the countryside refresh you for your next cultural event.
The New York Times once called Muskoka “The Malibu of the North,” and it’s not hard to see why. Ontario’s stunning vistas, ample waterfronts, and relaxed pace have drawn well-known names from all corners of the world, with recognizable stars like Goldie Hawn and Cindy Crawford taking up anonymity along the province’s halcyon shores. Conveniently, you don’t have to be a celebrity to live like one when it comes to cottage country: take the party outdoors in this lavish Cobourg home, where an indoor/outdoor bar and elevated pool area make the most of the sultry months. At the end of a tree-lined drive and spanning 10 acres of forest, mature landscaping, and ponds, this elegant designer listing offers myriad opportunities to diverge from the everyday for those looking for an unstructured, glamorous escape.
The Old Cottage Charm
Even when building from scratch, vacationers in Ontario’s cottage country are looking to capture the rustic whimsy of the county’s historic homes. Exposed beams, timber frame accents, whites, and wainscotting are all hallmarks of the traditional cottage country style, and when a home is a personal oasis, the possibilities for creative décor are endless. Embrace colour, natural materials, and joie de vivre as part of your Ontario cottage plans: at this imminently winning Hunstville hideaway, bright art, trompe-l’œil murals, and mix-and-match furnishings are paired with a fairytale facade without giving up the refinement of a grand old house.
The true wealth of Ontario’s cottage country is in its outside recreational potential. And while we tend to think of a cottage as a summer retreat, Ontario’s lakes offer activity year-round: there’s swimming and boating out your front door in summer, skating and cross-country skiing in winter, and hiking in all seasons. Bonfires, skating, picnics, and canoeing are all to be had along Ontario’s shores. Take your outdoor game up a notch at this St. Catherine’s gem on Lake Ontario that makes the most of its privileged water post with a four-seasons sunroom, two-tiered balcony, and lower-level beach walkout all facing the waves. A fire table and peak patio furnishings mean that whatever the time of day, the outdoors is yours for the enjoying.
While blissfully removed from hustle and bustle, Ontario’s cottage country remains conveniently within reach for city-dwellers. Those seeking their own piece of countryside perfection will be swept off their feet by Ontario’s cottage country.
Whether you’re looking for a lakefront estate or woodsy villa, find your dream cottage from amongst these Canadian gems, and join the connoisseurs in Ontario.
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