The welcome mat is out. Sort of.
Cottage owners have been told they may go north this weekend to enjoy the lakes, breathe the fresh air and fire up the barbie — as long as they’re not feeding “a whole whack of people,” in Premier Doug Ford’s words.
Health officials, on the other hand, are advising seasonal residents not to go because of the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. But as Muskoka mayors have observed, many are already there.
Beckoning among the pines on Lake of Bays is the quintessential Muskoka retreat that could become someone’s new year-round home. It’s waiting for a family with a love of cottage life … and $7 million to spend.
The massive log home is custom-made for the “purist” who appreciates the cosiness, warmth and workmanship of that type of construction, said broker Ross Halloran, of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Port Carling.
With its woodsy charm, cedar shake roof and granite outdoor furniture, “it’s like Hansel and Gretel meets the Flintstones,” Halloran added.
“It’s truly an homage to Canadiana, cottage history and years of being on the water,” he said. Despite its grand proportions (the two-storey dwelling has two dozen rooms) “it feels like a cottage.”
The 56-acre, well-treed property has more than 930 feet of panoramic shoreline and is “a beautiful place to retreat to,” particularly for water sports fanatics, he said.
The four-season home, built as “a labour of love by a successful gentleman,” is at the end of a gated, private driveway near Dwight, 20 kilometres east of Huntsville.
Now in his 60s, the city-based owner had an “adult playground” in mind when he built it 20 years ago, according to the agent.
Expansive entertaining areas include a granite patio with hot tub and retractable flat screen TV, and a large outdoor kitchen with stone counter, built-in barbecue, searing grill and warming ovens.
The custom granite table and chairs for dining al fresco “would make Fred Flintstone proud,” Halloran said.
He described the post-and-beam boathouse — built to the same standards as the house — as “absolutely breathtaking,” with sun-or-shade lounge areas, wet bar, wood-burning fireplace and large TV that offer lots of R ’n’ R options for the day that guests are again allowed to visit.
Inside, the jaw-dropping design includes huge logs of B.C. Douglas fir, railings intertwined with branches and light fixtures made from ethically sourced broken-off antlers found in the woods.
A chunky wood spiral staircase, custom wood carvings — including the floor vents — and granite appointments continue the celebration of Canadian themes and nature.
Several gathering areas include a great room with cathedral ceiling and stone hearth, two lounge seating areas, dining room and screened Muskoka room.
The main-floor master suite features a private sitting room with fireplace, a five-piece ensuite and separate walk-out to a screened porch.
The second floor houses four guest bedrooms divided into two separate wings, each with its own full bathroom.
For rainy days, the lower level offers a games room, media room, full wet bar and large sauna. There’s also an office and nanny or in-law suite.
Near the water, a vintage legacy log cabin on a sandy lagoon, along with a guest bunkie and a play cabin, give kids their own hangout space.
“He’s had a great run and great use of the property,” Halloran said of the owner who’s ready to pass the torch.
Price: $6.995 million