Mary Lake Home

New Home — Port Sydney, Ontario

Here in Port Sydney, we were asked to recapture the essence of the old cottage that had previously stood on the property for a century. To do so, we salvaged the original rafters and Douglas Fir sheathing from the old building, and wove them into the new building along with solid wood planking and paneling.

The exterior features classic Muskoka siding and shingles, in muted colours that allow the cottage to sit discreetly behind the veil of a birch grove. The nostalgic façade treatment of exposed rafter tails and hipped roof with dormer windows came about in response to the Owners’ request that the cottage look quite old. The design appears to have responded to that criterion: neighbours passing by in their boats, knowing that a project was in the works, were given to asking when this cottage (the successor!) would be demolished and the site cleared.

The same philosophy about age played out in the selection of interior finishes. The flooring, for example, is reclaimed hemlock planking. Its sepia and rose tones are wonderful to see. For all the wood that figures inside the cottage, the interior is nevertheless bright and airy, featuring tall 10’ high beamed ceilings in the main rooms. Bedroom sizes are deliberately modest, with the principal rooms getting the benefit of extra volume and height. The overall size of the cottage is 3200 square feet.

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