Fairy Lake Cottage

Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

Muskoka cottage and boathouse with steel and poplar siding

Situated on Fairy Like, within the town limits of Huntsville, this project integrates the relaxed lifestyle of Muskoka shoreline-living with the amenities of the largest town in the region.

Because of the uniqueness of the site, we approached the design of this project differently from most of our other cottages. The lot is unusually flat and low in contrast to the steep granite topography typical throughout Muskoka. Being within municipal limits, lot size and setbacks are smaller than in more remote locations.

Cottage living room with floor to ceiling windows modern gray sofa and chairs and wood coffee table
Living room with rotating wood burning fireplace. Contemporary ceiling fan and colour matched poplar ceiling

Additionally, the site is located at the narrow neck of a peninsula, with the result that it enjoys lake views to both North and South. These factors contributed to our unique approach to this vacation home.

To capitalize on the panoramic view, we inverted the typical home layout and put living spaces on the second floor with bedrooms on the first. A potential drawback of this approach is that it can cause the living spaces to feel disconnected from the outdoors—not ideal for a cottage.

Second floor Canadian cottage living room with corner window view of wooded Muskokas and Fairy Lake
Open Cottage kitchen with dark gray gable end quartz countertops, poplar cabinetry and recessed valance lighting

To mitigate this effect, we introduced a screened-in porch on the lake-facing side halfway between the two levels. In this way, the role of the Muskoka Room is extended to mediate between high and low as well as interior and exterior.

The living room faces south, looking over a green-roofed boathouse to a spectacular view across Fairy Lake. Between the living room and screened-in porch, a rotating wood stove provides firelight to either space; a glass guard at the top of the stairs provides an unimpeded view.

Cottage entrance with firewood storage Kebony decking colour matched poplar siding
Screened in porch with Charcoal gray Maibec wood siding translucent wall panels and Douglas fir trim
Muskoka boathouse with green roof corrugated steel siding and Kebony decking dock

The core of the building is a prefabricated module assembled in our Parry Sound facility and installed on a helical pile foundation. A carport, screened-in porch, and high-ceiling living room were site-built following the installation of the module. This resulted in a significantly reduced construction timeline compared with our traditionally-built projects.

The kitchen occupies the North half of the second floor. Upper cabinets have been omitted in favour of windows to take advantage of the second lake view to the North.

The house accommodates a family of three. The ground floor contains a master bedroom, bathroom, and four-bed bunk room, with guest room, second bathroom, kitchen, dining, and living room upstairs.

Interior of Muskoka Ontario boathouse with colour matched poplar on ceiling and walls and Kebony docks
Muskoka kitchen with dark gray satin quartz countertops pendant lighting and poplar cabinetry
Kitchen and dining room in Ontario cottage with large harvest table with bench seating and hanging lamp
Living Room with rotating fireplace made from Pre-fabricated home module

A deck off the East of the living room doubles as the roof of a carport, providing outdoor cooking and dining space at the level of the second storey. Half a flight of stairs down to the West, the screened-in porch provides sheltered outdoor lounging space away from the omnipresent mosquitoes and black flies.