Three of the swankiest cottages to rent on CanadaStays
This site is your secret weapon for spending the summer in Muskoka
Torontonians looking to get a head start on booking the cottage rental of their dreams should take a peek at CanadaStays this spring. It started in 2008 as a way to help a handful of cottage owners advertise their spots, but now it’s the country’s largest online collection of picturesque properties, both here and across North America and the Caribbean. For splurge-worthy getaways that are only a short drive away, renters can browse the massive selection of envy-inducing lakeside retreats in the sought-after Muskoka region. It’s where high-profile Torontonians and celebs like Goldie Hawn and Martin Short choose to spend the warmer months, either soaking up the peace and quiet of the wooded islands and sparkling lakes, or hosting rowdy dock parties and barrelling around the bay on souped-up jet skis. Though purchasing a chic cottage on the coveted shores will cost millions, renting one for a week or two through CanadaStays (and dividing the cost among guests) can be done way cheaper. Here are a few of the most majestic escapes that you can book online.
This extravagant Lake Rosseau property might just be your best chance to experience summer like Cindy Crawford. There’s no pretense of roughing it in this impeccably designed, five-bedroom, five-bathroom compound, which can comfortably sleep up to 14 of your nearest and dearest. With two dishwashers, a commercial-size fridge and freezer, and a double Wolf range, this kitchen makes whipping up massive feasts (or having a chef come in to do so) a breeze. There are not one but two eight-seater dining tables, with one of them located in a glassed-in gazebo to maximize lake views. The furnishings are straight out of a Yorkville condo, but the pale wooden floors, giant stone fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows make sure guests truly appreciate their natural surroundings. If lounging on the massive dock or one of the many exceptionally plush sofas won’t do, there are plenty of activities available, including Ping-Pong, canoeing, kayaking and—best of all—hot tubbing. The fee includes 14 hours of house cleaning a week, so you don’t even have to worry about scrubbing the countertops.
For picky Torontonians, this six-bedroom cottage located on Drag Lake, about 10 minutes from Haliburton, is the perfect mix of modern design and rustic charm. It was recently completed by Scottish design duo and television personalities Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, who decked it out in Canadiana-chic furnishings and decor (the place was also featured on Season 3 of Cabin Pressure). The bedrooms have super-cozy woolen blankets and unique design touches, like a collection of vintage mirrors or a pair of crossed ski poles hanging on the wall for an outdoorsy feel. The exposed pine walls and screened-in porch scream cottage country, while stylish mid-century furniture makes sure the place doesn’t seem too quaint. Outside, the deck is nearly 2,000 square feet, and has a Fornetto wood-fired oven and smoker, while the outdoor firepit is an ideal place for roasting marshmallows in the evenings. The cedar sauna and hot tub make guests feel like they’re at a wooded spa—as do luxurious touches like heated floors in the bathrooms.
Overlooking the eastern end of Lake Muskoka, this quintessential Muskoka cottage basically has everything Toronto cottagers are looking for—stellar lakefront views, a grand stone fireplace as the focal point and an epic screened-in porch. This place is brand new and is perfectly built for those laid-back, weekend-long summer parties. The two-storey space, which can sleep 14 guests, is just a five-minute drive from Port Carling, but it also has plenty of lakefront square footage that looks out onto a peaceful island. The seven-bedroom, five-bathroom home is grand and spacious, without being too fussy (meaning you won’t have to stress about guests spilling beer on the designer sofa). The views are pretty stellar from every corner outside, and the dock comes with some classic bright red Muskoka chairs and a boat slip for when you inevitably rent that jet ski. Plus, unlike some of the other properties on the site, you can actually bring your dog. Fido will be thrilled to frolic on that rocky shorefront.
With over 100,000 vacation rental properties around the world (including the Caribbean and Latin America), CanadaStays is Torontonians’ best bet for booking a seriously crowd-pleasing holiday. The online marketplace offers luxurious, totally unique experiences that are impossible to come by in hotels. For owners, it provides the chance to get their properties in front of millions of visitors. Visit CanadaStays to learn more.
Exclusive offer for Toronto Life readers: Get up to $50 off your booking fees when you book your perfect stay using promo code TORONTOLIFE1