These are the Top 3 Places I’d Love to Build a Cottage in Ontario

Unlike many Ontarians my age, I’ve never dreamed of owning a cavernous mansion in Oakville or a high-rise condo on Front Street. What I would do instead, if through some unlikely event I ever came into a lot of money (perhaps because I won the lottery, or I was the only carrier on earth of the antibody to a world-ending virus), I would instead build myself a cottage and never return to the outside world again.

It’s not like I’m nostalgic for cottages. My family never had a cottage growing up, nor did anyone else I knew. But I love camping, I love living off the beaten path, and I love the idea of being a homeowner without the baggage of owning a house. Houses are stressful – they involve banks, and HOAs, and door-to-door salespeople. Cottages, on the other hand, are just lovely.

Having established my desire to have one, these are the top 5 places in Ontario where I’d love to build a cottage – and why.

1. Kincardine

The most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen were out over the waters of Lake Huron in Kincardine. I would seriously love to build a cottage in one of the surrounding towns like Amberley or Point Clarke. It’s not really cottage country, exactly, but more like a coastal farm town, where you can find a Great Lake in one direction and rolling fields ten minutes down the road. In other words, it combines the best of two really beautiful worlds.

What makes is it even better is this: it’s an area where regular people can still afford to build a cottage in Ontario. I’ve seen empty lots literally minutes from Lake Huron go for $50,000 – sure, they’re campsite-sized lots, but that’s really all you need when you buy into the cottage dream. It’s attainable, and that’s the best kind of dream there is.

2. Elora

Again, not your typical cottage country. In realty, Elora will probably be counted as part of the ever-expanding Greater Toronto Area in a few years’ time. But it will hopefully be much longer than that before the town loses its personality, which is wonderfully weird and old-fashioned at the same time. It’s like a big Eden Mills or a smaller Guelph.

3. Minden

The problem with Muskoka is that it’s rife with people in the uppermost tax bracket. There is probably more wealth concentrated around Lake Rosseau in Muskoka than there is on Bay Street. Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with the wealthy — they’re just not my people.

Minden, on the other hand, is an undiscovered gem of a cottage town out by way of the Kawartha region. It’s small and quiet. There is an even mix of modest, country houses and picturesque cottages (many built by sustainable home builder Royal Homes – click here to check them out). The lakes are small, but pristine and healthy.

My favourite part of Minden is this: the lazy river that runs through the middle of town, and the beautiful walking trails that run on either side of it. You can board a raft upstream at the park and float down the river to the ice cream shop (which is actually shaped like an ice cream cone).

What I Enrolled My Kids In

As a parent, I’m always looking for the best ways to get my kids to stay active and learn new things.  That’s why I enrolled them in activities when they were as young as 5 years old.  I believe it helps development for the child and they’re gaining exposure to other things rather than just school and homework.  Here are some of the activities I enrolled my kids in and an short explanation of why I picked that activity.

I believe every child should learn how to swim.  It’s almost like a survival mode that everybody should know.  As a young child, my parents put me in swimming lessons when I was 6 years old, and I’ve been frolicking in the water ever since.  They say swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, and this definitely helps children stay active and healthy.  They also learn pool safety and safety in general which is always important knowledge to have.

I made both my son and daughter take soccer lessons because it encourages teamwork and companionship.  Kids should learn how to play with others and be able to work together as a team to achieve a common goal.  I think it’s also important for kids to learn how to win or lose.  Put them in these different situations, and they’ll understand sportsmanship.  People think that soccer can’t be played year-round which is one complaint I’ve always heard.  However, you can find an indoor dome for playing soccer during the cold weather months.

To me, it’s always been important that both my children know music.  This might be a personal thing, but my parents put me in piano lessons at age 4.  They say kids who know how to read music develop a more strategic brain that helps in learning math and languages.  I let my kids pick which instruments they want to learn.  My daughter picked piano, and my son chose guitar.  As long as they know how to read and write music, that’s all that matters to me.  It’s a different way of thinking from sports and activities.  Music also teaches your children the lessons of patience and how to learn something new.  It also keeps your kids out of trouble in their teenage years because they’ll be busy practicing their instruments.

The last activity I enrolled my children in is tennis.  Tennis is one way for your kids to really be able to excel at something if they work hard enough.  There are so many techniques and tricks in tennis that if they aren’t focusing or giving it their all, they’ll be beat.  Tennis helps kids to focus and know how to really excel at one particular activity.  Since for my kids it’s an individual sport, they try really hard to beat each other.  I think it gives kids a healthy competitive edge.  The only complaint I have here is that tennis can be expensive to learn.  You’ve got to rent out tennis courts and instructors are expensive as well.  You could check out the cost of tennis court bubble for the colder months and look at prices to determine if you want to enroll your kids or not.

I hope these activities can serve as a guide to what activities you’d like to enroll your kids in.  Keep in mind that you have to be available to take your kids to each of their lessons.  My week is usually packed with car pool and just driving my kids from place to place.  However, in the end I truly believe the experiences they have will be worth it.  As your kids get older, they will also determine which activities they want to continue and become serious with, so some activities might drop off as they enter their teenage years.

Sports And Arts Activities To Put Your Children In


Are you wondering which activities your kids would enjoy the most when they’re young?  There are many sports activities such as soccer, baseball, basketball, swimming, dance and tennis.  Then there are the arts activities.  These include music, drawing, crafts and writing.  Depending on what your kids are interested in, you should definitely enroll them in many different activities, so they are able to determine which one they like best.

It’s always a good idea to put your kids through both sports and arts activities so they can be well rounded.  You can also figure out quickly which they lean more towards or if they enjoy both equally.

Most kids need these leisure activities in addition to school and homework.  They are able to learn skills through these outside of school activities and bond with children from different schools as well.  Children can also use these activities as an outlet for their emotions that they might not know how to express.