The Place: A Lake Muskoka cottage with a large boathouse on Skinner Bay.
Address: 9 Felsman Lane
Neighbourhood: Parry Sound
Agent: Judy Parks, Paul Heenan and Linda Heenan, Royal Lepage Lakes of Muskoka; and Mike Timmins, Royal LePage Team Advantage Realty, Brokerage
The Place: A sprawling, 5,700-square-foot cottage with a guest bunkie, located on the shores of Georgian Bay.
Stephen Grant is one of Toronto’s top divorce lawyers, the man one-percenters like David Thomson and Michael McCain go to when their marriages falter. He’s also a city guy who never dreamed of owning a cabin in the woods. That is, until he met his wife, Sandy Forbes, in the early ’90s. She’s a lawyer too, a partner at Davies who specializes in commercial litigation. She yearned for a weekend escape from their frenetic schedule. “Sandy wanted a cottage,” says Grant, “and like any sensible husband, I said yes.” (His line of work has made him an expert on matrimonial arbitration.) Their decade-old retreat is on a forested lot in Haliburton facing a quiet lake. But its design, by architects Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, is thoroughly urban. The structure is encased in Shim-Sutcliffe’s signature rusting steel, and the burnished concrete floors belong in a downtown loft. In these modern surroundings, Grant has learned to enjoy the relaxed pace of country life: while Forbes lounges for hours with a paperback, he passes leisurely afternoons trying out recipes from Saveur and Bon Appétit.
A few years ago, my brother and I inherited the family cottage, on Lake of the Woods near Kenora. He and his family live a half-hour away and use the cottage a lot. My partner and I can only make it out there about three times a year. My brother told me he’s buying a new $850 barbecue for the place, and he wants me to split the cost with him 50/50. I don’t feel that this is justified. Shouldn’t I be paying less? How should I respond?
—Weber Warfare, Richmond Hill
The Place: A 12-acre property on Lake Rosseau with a four-bedroom main cottage, a three-slip boathouse and a separate building for a gym or workshop.
The Place: A 300-square-foot cabin and shared ownership of Chateau Woodland, a old resort overlooking Kashagawigamog Lake near Haliburton. Everyone who owns one of these former rental cottages pays a small yearly fee to cover the property’s taxes and general maintenance.
The Place: A 20-acre property with a beautifully maintained cottage and a 1,360-foot stretch of waterfront on Fairy Lake.
The Place: A millionaire’s playground in Georgian Bay that includes half a kilometre of sandy beach, a private harbour and a large stretch of forest filled with nature trails.
The Place: A five-bedroom family compound on the western tip of Masson Island, just off the shores of Parry Sound.
The Place: A wooded property with a four-bedroom cottage, a guest house, a bunkie and a boathouse on the Kawarthas’ Pigeon Lake.