Cabin fever: Coffee-table book presents beautiful hideaways in Canada

Thought remote cabins were creepy? Think again: Lavish coffee-table book presents spellbinding hideaways in Canada, from lakeside boathouses to magical mountain retreats

  • Northern Hideaways, Canadian Cottages and Cabins shows that horror films have given cabins a bad rep
  • The beautiful new coffee-table book is a ‘carefully curated selection… of stunning contemporary retreats’
  • It includes a ‘stylish retro’ lakeside retreat inspired by Frank Sinatra and a chalet perched on an old ski slope 

Horror films have given remote cabins a bad rep, as a beautiful new coffee-table book highlights.

Northern Hideaways, Canadian Cottages and Cabins, published by The Images Publishing Group, shows that cabins aren’t always creepy – they can be breathtakingly enticing.

The tome, the publisher explains, is a ‘carefully curated selection… of stunning contemporary retreats by Canadian design firms set amid the beautiful Canadian landscape’.

The publisher continues: ‘It’s long been a Canadian tradition to “head to the cottage” for holidays. Across the wide expanse of Canada, there are numerous opportunities to do just that. 

‘Whether it be a chalet in the ski fields, a boathouse on a fabulous lake, or even just a remote getaway in a secluded forest, Canada fields a wide range of options for places to unwind and spend time with family and friends, and to make the most of all seasons. 

‘This compelling book provides an insight into the Canadian love affair with holiday homes.’ Scroll down for a sneak peek at some of the stunning properties featured in the tome… 

Pictured here is Cottage on the Point, a renovated holiday cottage in Lanaudiere, Quebec, that has been in the owner’s family for 40 years, the book reveals. The log cabin underwent a revamp to make an ‘open, fluid and bright space that takes advantage of the beautiful views overlooking the lake’, says the tome

The master bedroom at Cottage on the Point features floor-to-ceiling glazing to create what the book calls an ‘observation post’. The book continues: ‘From their bed, the owners have a breathtaking view of the point with its beautiful tall pines, as well as the lake and the starry night sky’

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This photo shows a holiday home known as Smith House, which occupies a two-acre site on the seafront in Upper Kingsburg, Nova Scotia. The combined kitchen, dining and living area is ‘almost completely glazed, emphasizing the ocean horizon’, says the book. It also notes the ‘imposing’ granite fireplace ‘with a mantle stone that still carries the marks of its making’

Named after the body of water that it overlooks, Lake Brome Residence in Foster, Quebec, is a single-level building with windows designed to ‘take full advantage of the sweeping lakeside views and surrounding mountainous landscape’, says the tome. The book highlights its natural wood and stone finishes, which it says allows the home to ‘integrate in a refined, elegant and yet modest way into its environment’

Pictured here is a cosy-looking retreat in Lac-Brome, Quebec, known simply as Lakeside Cabin. The book explains: ‘Conceived as an archetypal house, the building has three entrances, forming a loggia at the entrance and at the back, and a covered terrace on the side. The cabin’s central focus is an atrium that opens to the outdoors. The design was developed around a fireplace set beside a triple-height area that makes it visible from everywhere within the cabin thus generating a canyon of hospitality’

Laurentian Ski Chalet, pictured here, sits on a former ski slope in Saint-Donat, Quebec. ‘Surrounded by a dense forest of spruce, maple, beech, and birch trees, the chalet commands panoramic views over beautiful Lac Archambault,’ the book says. It adds: ‘To maintain the natural topography of the steep mountainside and to minimize the footprint of construction, the house was built on a series of western red cedar pilotis. Elevating the house allows snow and spring run-off to flow freely beneath the structure’

Overlooking Lake Manitou in Ivry-sur-le-Lac, Quebec, this building – which the book refers to as Prefabricated Country Home – is ‘comprised of five prefabricated custom modules, each approximately 50ft (15 meters) long, that were constructed before being shipped to their final destination’, says the book. It adds: ‘Transporting the giant modules proved to be quite a challenge. The process included preparation, coordination, and navigating through country roads with 90-degree turns in inclement weather’

The ‘unique’ construction method of Prefabricated Country Home allowed the owner and architect to create a building with an ‘extremely low environmental impact’, says the book. This image of the open-plan kitchen and dining room shows the ‘large windows that capture the beauty of nature in all its glory’ but also help in ‘reducing both heating and lighting costs’

Based on the shore of Lake Memphremagog, Quebec, The Slender House is a ‘contemporary reinterpretation of the bungalow of the 1960s’, the book says. It adds: ‘Large bay windows, skylights, and immaculate white walls literally flood the space with light and offer breathtaking views of the lake’

Pictured here is the living space of Go Home Bay Cabin, a ‘serene, sustainable place of escape’ in Georgian Bay, Ontario. The book continues: ‘A rough-hewn fir roof spans the entire volume, with more intimate areas defined by a solid concrete thermal mass structure that provides lateral resistance and stores heat produced by the two embedded wood-burning stoves’

Over in Dorset, Ontario, Kawagama Lake Boathouse intentionally offers only ‘very basic’ facilities, says the book. It explains: ‘It was designed with a particular focus: not only to provide boat storage, but a small dwelling to maximize the lake experience… An outdoor fireplace sets the stage for lakeside star gazing with a large wood deck structure’

‘The boathouse provides both seasonal storage of watercraft and waterside living,’ the book says of Kawagama Lake Boathouse (above). The book continues: ‘It sits gently on the site with small-diameter pier foundations and the materials used allow the building to quietly fade into the surrounding forest. On most days from almost all vantage points, the boathouse reflects the forest or lake and is challenging to identify until you are immediately in front of it’ 

The book describes Ontario’s Muskoka region as a popular summer getaway destination that faces a ‘rapidly developing recreation economy’ and ‘obtrusive structures’. It adds: ‘Lake Joseph Cottage (pictured above) disrupts this narrative by skillfully inserting a contemporary, year-round living space into a natural landscape. A holistic understanding of site conditions, climate, and views guided the siting of the project’s three low-slung volumes, unified by a series of formally expressive overlapping hip roofs that also function as a sunshade’

The clients of Lake Manitouwabing Residence in McKellar, Ontario, posed a unique brief to the architect. According to the book, they asked: ‘Can you design a Canadian cottage where Frank Sinatra might like to hang out?’ The result was the holiday home pictured above, which the book describes as ‘stylish and snug’. It continues: ‘The design pays homage to the flat roofs so typical of warmer latitude midcentury precedents, such as Palm Springs, while the interior is sleek and rich in stylish retro chic’

‘This cabin is an important, positive alternative to the prevailing trends of overdevelopment,’ the book says of the dwelling pictured above on Bowen Island, British Columbia. It adds: ‘True to its cabin ideals, the remote Bowen Island House is able to operate independently from the grid when necessary, with its own generator for use during extreme weather conditions. Under normal circumstances, the house is connected to the local hydroelectric power grid. All other services are completely off-grid’

Northern Hideaways: Canadian Cottages and Cabins is out on June 29, 2022, published by The Images Publishing Group

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