Newsletter January 2015

As I write this, in mid-January, the snow lies deep on Big Rideau Lake and the ice is getting thick enough to drive a car on. Next weekend is the Skate the Lake event, a long distance speed-skating race hosted by our local village of Portland –“one of the few towns in Ontario that owns a Zamboni but not a hockey rink” according to Rick Mercer, Canada’s court jester. Watch Rick at Skate the Lake here to get a glimpse of Big Rideau Lake’s winter fun fest.

shelter Although Fancy Free is in a snowy slumber for the next few months, we are gearing up for another perfect cottage summer. We have received permission from all authorities to repair and slightly expand the Fancy Free boathouse. It took longer than expected to say the least but our perseverance and persistence has been rewarded with a successful application for a building permit. Many thanks to Kathy Sonnenburg of Parks Canada’s Smith’s Falls office for her advice and guidance.

The newly repaired Fancy Free boathouse will add extra storage for boats and equipment. Materials and design will be in keeping with the original heritage architecture of Fancy Free cottage. Our goal is to increase the aesthetic charm of Fancy Free island’s built environment, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Fancy Free is the oldest cottage on Big Rideau Lake and we are pleased that the boathouse on the island will shortly be as pretty as the cottage, as well as being stronger and more able to shelter our boats from the storms that occasionally blow across the lake.

The construction period will be timed to avoid any inconvenience to guests and to comply with restrictions on building on the water during fish spawning season. Stay tuned for more developments and photos of the newly repaired boathouse.