Cottage on First Nations Island



Project Type

New build



Cottage on First Nations Island

This summer cottage is located on a First Nations island in Georgian Bay near Penetanguishene, ON. The buildings are framed in spruce and clad in pine, and were constructed entirely by local native carpenters.


A fragile layer of topsoil covers most of the island, supporting a mixed hardwood forest of birch, beech and maple trees. Ancient sand dunes below the surface have produced a widely varied topography that slopes gently toward a spectacular sandy beach.


A high ridge of land running the length of the cottage site establishes a strong natural orientation for building and movement through the landscape. The path up from the beach winds into a passage between two small buildings: A long, protective sleeping building is connected to a wide open kitchen building by a raised deck open overlooking the forest canopy.


The sleeping building affords quiet and privacy. The open kitchen and living building provides a focal point for family and visiting friends. More often than not the space between is filled with rushing children scrambling over the deck and stairs and then back into the forest.