Tag Archives: 30000 Islands

Canadian Cottaging

9 Aug

After a hedonistic start to the weekend involving tequila, dancing and an ass contest in Toronto’s gay village, we were in dire need of some quiet cottaging.

Apologies to Canadians; us Brits can’t help but resort to seaside humour at the mention of your favourite summer pastime. Headlines like this are just plain titter-inducing. This probably isn’t news to you, but our definition of cottaging is a little…lewder than yours.

Chortling aside, we really did decide to escape the city over the long public holiday weekend, heading to Parry Sound – just three hours north of Toronto (the ass contest bit also really happened…but that’s another story).

The 30,000 Islands – for which Parry Sound is the jumping off point – were beautiful. Cruising around them on the Island Queen’s four hour afternoon wilderness tour was the ideal way to escape the 37 degree heat and see areas that are only accessible by water.

But we couldn’t help but observe that many of the “cottages” were rather grand, often with their own boat dock, a yacht or speed boat, or at the very least several jet skis and canoes.

Here’s an example of one such “cottage”:

Canadian cottage

A Canadian “cottage”

And here’s a typical English cottage, with thanks to www.cottagehomedecorating.com:

English cottage

A typical English cottage

I’d be pretty chuffed if a friend invited me to their out-of-town cottage if it turned out to be on a private island:

Parry_Sound island cottage

One of the many private islands we passed

On our second day, we took out some sea kayaks and battled against seriously choppy waters, passing hot stony ledges that we swore were buzzing with the sound of Massasauga rattlesnakes, to reach a deserted strip of white sand and sunbleached rock on Franklin Island. The water was crystal clear – what a stunning place. I just wish I’d bought a waterproof bag so I could’ve taken my camera.

Definitely somewhere that warrants a return visit – hopefully in a tent – once all our camping equipment arrives from the UK.

John Howson

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