Month: May 2009

Newsletter May 2009

October morning view of Long Island from Fancy Free Island. Photo by Pamela Gough.
October morning view of Long Island from Fancy Free Island. Photo by Pamela Gough

As the largest lake in the 175-year-old Rideau Canal system, Big Rideau Lake has been recently recognized as a world-class destination of historical significance. On June 28, 2007, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named the Rideau Canal a World Heritage Site, confirming it as an international cultural treasure:

“It is the only canal dating from the great North Amercan canal-building era of the early 19th century to remain operational along its original line with most of its structures intact.”

As one of the original cottages on the Rideau system, Fancy Free is a significant historical structure. Entering Fancy Free is like stepping back in time. If you look at the old photos on the cottage walls of the Victorians who once enjoyed their summers on the island, you can easily imagine that you are in another era- a time when life unfolded at a slower pace.

Newsletter May 2009

Posted Friday, 1 May, 2009 18:11 by Pamela Gough

Recently, when reading a traveler’s guide, I hit upon the phrase that describes perfectly what I look for when I travel: the ’search for lovable authenticity’.

I think that the people who come to stay on Fancy Free Island are, like our family when we travel, looking for a very special sort of place with lovable authenticity: a place off the beaten track, in the midst of stunning natural scenery, with beautiful buildings- a place that is full of character, comfortable and slightly eccentric. A retreat that is a true escape from the hurly-burly of day to day life. A place where dreams can be dreamt in peace.

Fancy Free is just such a place-it is magical. The island is as perfect as an island can get- full of trees, with a low rock wall and a little beach, close to the mainland but far enough away for true privacy. The cottage is an authentic Victorian summer home, with a wraparound porch that is twelve feet deep, overseeing the lake. It is a dignified and charming structure that has been lovingly restored and enjoyed by the same family for over 100 years.

Big Rideau Lake is incredibly beautiful. The lake is clean and deep, full of lake trout and bass, unspoiled, with air so fresh and pure that just breathing is a pleasure.

As a private island getaway, Fancy Free Island combines adventure, stewardship, natural beauty and history. It is totally unique. Every year, we welcome a number of families, some with a tradition of returning year after year, others who have come from as far away as Australia for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We invite you, too, to come and enjoy a week or two of island life.