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Dog Days at the Cottage

Dog Days at the Cottage

With more and more households that include dogs, it’s inevitable that many people that rent cottages will want their dogs to join them on their vacation. As a dog lover and owner for many years, I don’t go many places without my dog, so it’s no surprise that we strive to represent cottages that are dog-friendly wherever possible.

Bringing your dog along with you on vacation can be a lot of fun for them and the whole family but, like anything else, it doesn’t come without some uneasiness and pre-planning.

Here are some tips to make your vacation with your “best friend” comfortable and worry-free:

  • Boating – If you plan on bringing or renting a boat and your dog has never been boating, it is advisable to have a life jacket for them. Dogs can get frightened by the noise and motion and may jump out. If you’ve never had a dog jump off the side of a boat, it can be very difficult for them to get back in, not to mention a very unsettling experience for you both. Keep them safe. Most life jackets for dogs come with a handle on top; easy for you to grab and pull them back up.
  • Loud Noise – During the summer there are a lot of occasions for fireworks displays which can be loud and scary, for dogs in particular. There are also thunderstorms which without the lights and buildings of the city seem to be brighter and louder and tend to scare many dogs. During these times, dogs can wander off or run away. It’s very advisable to have a tag on your dog that has his name, address of where you are staying and your phone number, and always bring an extra collar and leash with you.
  • Bears – Yes, there are bears in cottage country. If you’re hiking with your dog, keep him safe by putting a bear bell on his collar to let the bears know you are coming.
  • Comforts of Home – Dogs will go anywhere as long as they are with their owners but it’s always more comfortable for them if they have some of their familiar things. Bring a familiar blanket, food bowls, food, and at least one familiar toy. If your dog is a fussy eater and accustomed to a particular type of food be sure to bring extra. Not all pet stores in cottage country will carry all brands.
  • Safety When You’re not at The Cottage – If you want to take advantage during your rental and frequent some of the local restaurants or events, you will likely be leaving your dog behind at the cottage (an unfamiliar place). If your dog is crate trained, it’s best to crate them if you are leaving the cottage without them. It’s safer for them and will prevent any unforeseen accidents. Bring or rent a crate just in case.
  • Emergency Care – If your dog gets sick or injured while at the cottage there is usually one veterinarian in every town. A list is included in all of our cottage manuals.

Stay tuned for details on Dog Fest Muskoka and our new Cottage Dog kits.


6 Hot New 2019 Cottages

6 Hot New 2019 Cottages

Ever wonder what Jayne’s Cottages gets up to when the lakes are frozen and docks have been put away for the season? We add to our stock of incredible luxury cottages for the summer season ahead, of course!

Scroll through six new cottages that will have you wishing the winter would hurry up and let us get back to lake!

Glenavy Estate

9 Bedrooms | 9 Bathrooms | Cottage in Muskoka Lakes

Designed by renowned architect Greg Weis, this grand estate offers over 600′ of water frontage on beautiful Lake Rosseau! The waterfront boasts a sandy beach area, swim dock with ample lounge furniture and deep water entry, brand new hot tub, and a firepit near the water’s edge! The property also boasts a large 3 slip interior boathouse with upper level living quarters and a furnished sundeck. The grounds are also home to a pickle ball court and golf swing practice area. Glenavy Estate truly feels like a private resort unto itself!

Black Birch Lodge

6 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | Cottage in Minett

Brand new build on Rosseau! Featuring 6 bedrooms, 3 baths, Muskoka room, and large stone firepit area overlooking Lake Rosseau! Sandy beach water entry and level land for kids to play! All day sun! > 5 minutes to JW Marriott, 15 min Port Carling!

Just Beachy

4 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms | Cottage in Nipissing South

Just Beachy is a modern 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom cottage located on a private bay, Mutchinbacker Bay, on Lake Rosseau. Spend endless afternoon catching rays on the 200′ pristine beach waterfront! Features waterside firepit, children’s playground, and gorgeous Muskoka room!

Another World

7 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms | Cottage in Port Carling
Situated on a private bay on Lake Rosseau, Another World is the perfect retreat for those looking for ultimate privacy. Stunning 7 bedroom (4 main cottage, 3 boathouse), 5 bath cottage on Lake Rosseau! South exposure, ping pong table, media room, incredible sundeck! Another World is conveniently located just a 10 minute drive from the village of Rosseau, 20 minute drive to Windermere House, and a 30 minute drive to Port Carling!

Ultimate Private Rosseau Retreat

7 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms | Cottage in Windemere

Nestled amongst two private bays on Lake Rosseau, this Muskoka showstopper is home to two separate sleeping quarters. West facing and tucked in a private bay, this unique property boasts a main cottage, guesthouse, waterfall, tennis court, large Beach, and water toys aplenty! Private Bay Rosseau is located a quick 15 minute drive from the town of Rosseau.

Dock Holiday 

5 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms | Cottage in Mactier

Contemporary build with a clean and sleek interior, Dock Holiday boasts modern comforts and amazing lake views! Located north of Foot’s Bay, Dock Holiday enjoys all day sun and is home to over 1 acre of professionally landscaped grounds, mature trees, and well-manicured pathways down to the water.  Play the day away on your private jungle gym, lily pad, & 3 kayaks. Dock Holiday is centrally-located north of Foot’s Bay on Lake Joseph.


Where to Eat & Drink in Muskoka 2018

Vacationing in Muskoka is hungry work! Whether you’ve spent the day paddle boarding the lake, hiking Muskoka’s natural waterfalls, or just running around the cottage with kids, it is easy to work up a big Muskoka appetite! From casual dining dockside to finer fare you may want to put shoes on for, where to eat in Muskoka is a fun culinary adventure waiting to happen. And we’ve tried them all, so you don’t have to. Here is Jayne’s Cottages top 8 favourite Muskoka restaurants.

8. El Pueblito, Bracebridge

The atmosphere of this unique restaurant reminds us of all the things we love about Mexico. El Peublito has a large menu of authentic Mexican cuisine, including many vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Start with a margarita and homemade guacamole and chips before diving into Muskoka’s best burrito. Excellent service and fun events throughout the week keep the atmosphere lively. Celebrate Taco Tuesdays with the family with $4.00 tacos. Learn a new skill and swing by for ballroom dancing at 8:30 on Saturday nights. Reservations at El Pueblito are recommended in the summer as the restaurant fills up.

155 Manitoba StBracebridge, ON, +1 705 645 1935, No website

7. Abbey’s Bakehouse, Minett

Set up in a rustic, re-purposed church on the lakeside, Abbey’s Bakehouse is a not only a great place to grab a pastry, but also a visual and historical wonder. Set in a 19th century church the bakery offers time-tested favorites like butter tarts, cinnamon buns and chocolate chip cookies, it also offers savory breakfasts and sandwiches as well as an excellent collection of teas, coffees and other beverages. Abbey’s Bakehouse is a great way to start your morning, especially if you have a use for the slips it offers for locals to dock their jet skis. It’s also a short walk away from both the JW Marriott and Cleveland’s House Resort.

Abbey’s Bakehouse, Juddhaven Road, Minett, ON, +1 705 765 7603

6. Loondocks, Port Carling

Loondocks has a spacious waterfront patio overlooking the Indian River, and a chef committed to providing local cuisine with unique flair, making this casual fine-dining venue the perfect place for an evening out. Its eclectic menu offers a unique blend of French, Canadian and Italian items, and a spectacular collection of house-made desserts. Chef and owner Kevin Dynstee suggests the venison tartar, accompanied by wild Muskoka leeks, poached quail egg, prosciutto and taro root. Loondocks also boasts a diverse wine list that offers well-priced bottles from Canada and abroad. Be sure to make a reservation as this restaurant is very popular.

Loondocks, 98 Joseph St, Port Carling, ON +1 705 765 5191

5. Webers, Orillia

This famed hamburger restaurant on Ontario Highway 11 has attracted visitors to Muskoka since 1963. Part fast-food, part Muskoka institution, Webers is synonymous with Muskoka weekends. Webers grills their burgers over charcoal, with a grill man said to be able to flip up to 800 patties an hour! When you arrive at Webers (a converted trailed), there will be a lineup. But don’t worry! It moves very fast and the restaurant even built a footbridge over the highway to provide access for guests from the southbound side. Come with cash because they don’t take credit cards. The restaurant is open weekends from Thanksgiving until Christmas, but closed from January to March break.

8825 Hwy 11 N, Orillia, ON, +1 705 325 3696

4. Windermere Pub & Patio

A favourite for locals and guests alike, the Windermere Pub is the place where family and friends come together in a casual Muskoka setting. Housed in the stately Windermere House, a Victorian-style hotel built in 1870, the pub and patio are a 1-minute walk from the marina and Windermere Park. The patio overlooks majestic Lake Rosseau, providing the perfect backdrop to relax, enjoy a wide selection of beverages, and order from the grill menu, sushi menu, or pub menu. Down a short flight of stairs is the pub and its own patio, menu of snacks, entrees, and draught beer. In summer months the atmosphere comes alive with live music every Friday night by the awesome Matt & Dave Band. Sit back and listen, or get up on the floor to dance the night away!

2508 Windermere Rd, Windermere, ON, +1 705 769 3611

3. Crossroads Restaurant, Rosseau

As a regular at Crossroads Restaurant, Jayne knows that no trip to Muskoka is complete without a stop at Crossroads overlooking Lake Rosseau. Their philosophy is ‘Pure, Simple and Delicious’, and the seasonal menus reflect the availability of ingredients. This commitment to providing fresh and local food also prompted them to keep customers updated with menu changes and new offers through their e-newsletter. This location is the perfect summer destination to enjoy a refreshing gourmet cocktail or craft beer on the patio while listening to great live music.

Crossroads Restaurant, 2 Cardwell Rd, Rosseau, ON, +1 705 732 4343

2. Wabora, Bracebridge

Craving sushi after a day in the sun? Me too. Check out Wabora for the best sushi Muskoka has to offer!

Wabora offers a blend of western and eastern dishes, with an extensive Japanese and Korean menu, including steak, bento boxes, sushi rolls and bulgogi. Along with more than 40 rolls on the menu, from the usual California roll to Crispy Crunch, a melange of fresh avocado, cucumber and shrimp tempura, crab meat and spicy salmon, the restaurant boasts seating for 200, and employs more than 25 wait staff (in the winter) and 14 chefs.

The restaurant is fully licensed and offers customers a “fun” experience with its entertaining hibachi tables where the food is prepared and cooked in front of patrons.

The restaurant accepts reservations and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily except in the winter, when it is closed on Sundays.

292 Wellington St. Unit 17, Bracebridge, ON +1 705-646-9500

1. Turtle Jack’s, Port Carling

Maybe we like beers on patios by water too much… but we couldn’t help but top this list with Port Carling’s sweetheart, Turtle Jack’s.

Turtle Jack’s premium-casual dining experience started with an idea that was born right off the dock, where people could enjoy the best fresh foods served in a relaxing atmosphere. Turtle Jack’s is right smack in the middle of Port Carling, right on the water with a large patio, cozy indoor seating and a private dining area. Indulge in their flavourful cottage inspired menu, pair your meal with a signature cocktail, or simply sit back and enjoy the scenery with a draught beer or wine for an amazing experience by the lake.

123 Medora St, Port Carling, ON, +1-705-765-1753


5 (New) Cottages for the Kid at Heart

In our winter off-season, Jayne’s Cottages’ team stayed warm by welcoming new cottages to our growing inventory. We have expanded our numbers and territory significantly since last summer, adding new cottages on Lake of Bays, Georgian Bay and  of course, the Muskokas.

Jayne’s is proud that our footprint continues to grow and wants to introduce everyone to our New Arrivals. Here is a peek at 5 New Arrival Cottages for the “Kid At Heart” ❤.

Lakeside Landing, Baysville, Lake of Bays

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Lakeside Landing features 7 bedrooms and plenty of space to unwind and play on Lake of Bays. From deep-water swimming off your dock, to the outdoor fire pit and beautiful lookouts, this gorgeous new property shows off the best of Muskoka beauty. Sitting on a private point, Lakeside Landing boasts 600ft of prime Lake of Bays frontage.

The outdoors is very private and features a sun-drenched new boat dock with two covered boat slips, two outside docking landings, and a protected bay perfect for great for kids to paddle around. Muskoka chairs, a fire pit, and new deep-water swimming dock allow you to surround yourself in nature and relax the mind and soul, while the massive collection of water activities and toys bring out the kid in you.

Big Kid Features: 

Fire Pit
Large Dock
Attached Two-Car Garage
Deep swimming area
Muskoka Room

Ping Pong Table
Second Deck Overlooking Lake (With Lounge Chairs)
2 Kayaks

Learn more about Lakeside Landing.

Shore Is Purdy, Port Carling, Lake Rosseau 

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Pull open solid wooden doors and enter into an unrivalled, light-drenched luxurious Muskoka cottage paradise. This lakefront property boasts 5 designer bedrooms and sits on secluded and level land with smooth shorelines and sunshine at every turn. Whip up a world-class meal in the restaurant-style kitchen. Host Poker Night in the rustic-style Games Room, followed by a movie on the big-screen TV. Make family memories in the Muskoka Room by the great fireplace or wall of windows.

Enjoy afternoons in the sun on the dock, lounge on your Lily Pad, try yoga on a stand-up paddle board, kayak to Port Carling for ice cream. Or, simply relax by your boathouse with its huge lower deck space, and let Lake Rosseau’s soothing waves take your worries away.

Big Kid Features:
2 Dining Rooms

Hot tub
Level land
Floating Dock
Lily Pad
Ping pong table
Stand Up Paddle board

Learn more about Shore Is Purdy.

High Life, Dwight, Lake of Bays 

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Fabulous 47 private acres with secure gated entry. This 8 bedroom, 6 bathroom lake house has everything you need for an active, social and private vacation. Gorgeous lake views and large windows looking down onto your semi-private lake bring nature right into your cottage.

Enjoy your own beach with bright yellow umbrellas, a large dock and a variety of water toys to keep everyone busy. If water sports aren’t your thing, move indoors to the theatre room, pool table or fitness room. Or, rev up the ATV and get lost on trails that wrap this property.

Big Kid Features:

SW Sun Exposure and Sunsets
Hot Tub for 8
Fire Pit 
Covered Outdoor Porch
Outdoor Dining and Deck with Umbrellas 
Fitness Room
1 Canoe2 Kayaks1 Paddleboat2 Stand Up Paddleboards
Aluminum fishing boat with oars
​14 HD TVs – 12 Satellite, 1 Gaming, 1 for DVDs
Theatre Room with 3,000 movies on Theatre Room hard drive 
Games: Pool TableFoosball TablePoker Table
Wet Bar with Dishwasher, Fridge, Sink

Learn more about High Life.

Lochside, Pointe au Baril, Georgian Bay

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A stunning Georgian Bay retreat built in 2017, this stunning new property offers all around privacy, all-day sun (north-west exposure), and can sleep up to 14 guests.

Two BBQs, Sonos speakers, a cabana with roll up bar, hot tub, fire pits, and volleyball nets make Lochside the ultimate outdoor playground. A small sandy area to the right of the boathouse for water entry for Kayaks and SUP users, a private boat launch, and excellent fishing (Walleye, Pike, Bass, Perch and Crappie) just out front. The area has many close-by adventures, including cliff jumping, sandy public beaches and wrecks for the avid diver!​

Big Kid Features:

9-person Salt water Hot Tub
2 BBQ’s – Gas and Charcoal
Sonos Music Surround system
Wine Cooler, Outdoor Beverage Center
Outdoor dining for 10 guests
Cabana with 2-pc bath, fridge, and roll up bar with seating
2 fire pits
Volleyball net, Horseshoe pits
Kayaks, SUP’s with sandy docking area
Sandy entry area by boathouse
Private boat launch area and lots of land to park boat trailers

Learn more about Lochside.

Star Acre, Port Carling, Lake Rosseau


Elegance prevails at this Lake Rosseau Island Retreat! South Beach style boathouse and chic new build make this Tobin Island 4 bedroom + bunkie + boathouse cottage a must-see. Centrally situated 5 minutes by boat to all the Muskoka hangouts!

Massive property includes boathouse, firepit, children’s structure, beautiful hammock, and golf cart path to boathouse, cottage and bunkie. Lots of space for a great game of hide and seek or just escaping!  Firepit and beach, outdoor shower and children’s playset, hammock and swim raft – this property has it all for the kid at heart!

Big Kid Features:

2 outdoor, 1 indoor dining area
3 Flat screen TVs
Outdoor seating in boathouse with fireplace
Fire Pit
2 Kayaks
1 Canoe
2 Outdoor Showers
Floating raft
Children’s Playset

Learn more about Star Acre.


Jayne Nominated for RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award

Jayne’s Cottages is thrilled to congratulate our captain, Jayne McCaw, on her nomination by RBC for a Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award 2018 presented by Women in Leadership.

The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award is a premier national awards program that celebrates the achievements of the most successful women in different categories of entrepreneurial work. Over the last 26 years, thousands of women have been nominated and recognized for demonstrating excellence — from economic growth to social change, from local to global reach, across multiple sectors.

This award celebrates the collective impact of leading women, and Jayne has certainly made an impact.

Since Jayne’s Cottages was born in 2014, Jayne has grown her business from a handful of cottages to over 120 properties in Muskoka, Toronto and Florida. She has developed a professional line of concierge services to offer her clients the amenities of a hotel-stay, even at the cottage. During her peak summer season, Jayne manages a full-time staff of over 35 employees.

Jayne is so proud to have built her Muskoka business from a labour of love into a leader in the Muskoka market. Hard work, countless sleepless nights, and thousands of clicks on Muskoka roads and lakes have allowed her to put her lasting mark on an new industry in Muskoka. Her nomination for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award is a testament to just that.

“I am very excited that RBC has nominated me for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award for 2018. I am thrilled to join the ranks of women who are demonstrating entrepreneurial spirit, leadership and change in today’s world.” – Jayne McCaw

To learn more about the 2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, visit


Rainy day activities in Muskoka

Enjoy Muskoka even if the day turns grey!

Rain, rain go away, come again another day… or don’t.

There are few things worse than settling into a beautiful cottage with your family for a long-awaited vacation, and as you’re going over all the fun activities on the horizon, someone chimes in: “Have you seen the forecast?”

You can plan and plan, but there is always one person that simply does not care Mother Nature.

Despite the wet summer we are having, there are two positivesone, we are still in Muskoka so when the sun peeks through you’re where you need to be and two, Jayne Cottages’ Concierge Services has you covered!

We have outlined some ideas for the days you can’t relax at your cottage on the dock…

Ladies Retreat

Ultimate Weekend with the girls

Calling all Moms! Surely after two days of awful weather you’ve already played the board games, had the old deck of cards out, and yelled at the kids for using too much data. Ready to escape?

For $375+ HST per person and a minimum of six people Jayne’s Concierge Services will steal you away for a private yoga class, channel your creative energy with a private art class, and wind you down with an hour of massage therapy. Your indoor day will conclude with a 4-course private dinner complete with a cooking demonstration and guided menu.

Muskoka Lakes Museum

Muskoka Lakes MuseumAny history buffs out there? Haven’t you been wondering how this gem of a vacation spot came to be? Who was at the heart of the luxurious switch into what is now being deemed as The Hamptons of Canada?

Located minutes from the heart of Port Carling, the Muskoka Lakes Museum has ever-changing exhibits that focus on everything from photo exhibits showcasing Muskoka’s hotspots in the past to the geographical history of the lakes themselves. Pack up the kids and head out to learn about where you’re lucky enough to vacation and support this non-profit organization within the community.

Sample away  weather woes

Jayne's Cottages will help you plan activities no matter what the weatherMuskoka Cream Ale? You don’t forget that taste fast, and that’s only one of our favourites from the Muskoka Brewery. How about Lake of Bays Brewing Company hitting the top 10 largest craft breweries in Ontario? The saloon at Sawdust City Brewing Co. is also worth checking out.

Learn about the tastes of Muskoka with tours and cozy places to chat with while sampling. If you’re lucky, you might catch them on a day where there are Yoga classes, Paint Nights, and even live music!

Muskoka Discovery Centre

Muskoka Discovery Centre? Make you wish you were a kid againIt’s raining anyway, so you might as well make the trip to Gravenhurst! The Muskoka Discovery Centre is an ideal option to tackle a day of bad weather if you have children.

With an education-based day camp, a Kid Zone illuminated with hands-on S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and exhibits focused on steamships and boats this getaway is sure to awaken younger minds.

Adults, don’t miss “Mapping in Muskoka 186 – Our recorded past charts our future” and “Muskoka Resorts Celebrating 100 years” exhibits in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.


Jayne’s Cottages Concierge

You’ve found the perfect spot, so now what?

Imagine you’ve found your perfect summer hideaway. 

You’ve packed up all the kids or carted your extended family down to Muskoka and are finally settling in at your rental.

On the drive down you pass numerous water sports facilities, see boats cruising the lakes, take note of quaint spas and yogis practising on docks. You hop on your laptop excited to investigate only to be flooded with website after website, all promising top quality.

Slowly but surely the stress of optimizing your ideal vacation starts to become overwhelming as you try to navigate the websites and wonder who to take a chance on.

That’s where Jayne’s Cottages, specifically, Jayne’s Concierge Services steps in.

We don’t want you to waste one second of your summer escape trying to make these decisions or coordinate fun-packed days for you and your guests.

Instead, let our Jayne’s Cottages Concierge team – made up of seasoned Muskoka veterans coupled with experienced hospitality staff  – over and ensure no risks are taken when it comes to your vacation.

This Jayne’s Cottages Concierge blog will outline all of our services, which includes everything from housekeeping and chauffeuring, right down to personalized shopping to stock your cottage before arrival. Hungry and low on time? We have private chefs to meet your personalized dietary needs throughout your vacation.

Our staff knows the ins and outs of boat rentals and tours, where to go for the best water sports or yoga instructors and who to trust for the most engaging childcare.

Stay tuned as we outline how Jaynes Cottages Concierge Services continues to surpass quality and reassurance while helping you explore all the things that make Muskoka a world-class vacation destination.


What Are Guests Saying About Jayne’s Cottages?

Last summer Jayne’s Cottages facilitated over 300 cottage rentals in the Muskoka area alone. Here’s how a few of our guests described their experience!

“It was our first time renting a cottage in Muskoka, Jayne was extremely helpful through the entire process. She always responded to my emails and inquiries immediately and I felt I could always ask her any question. Jayne and her staff were very professional and were always available… setting up the water trampoline, housecleaning, rental of a boat to restaurant recommendations. Jayne had all the answers. We had a fantastic vacation on Lake Rosseau. The memories will last a lifetime.” – C.S. Channel


“We live in the United States but are originally from the Toronto area. We decided that we’d like to spend some of the summer in the Muskokas again after many years away. Jayne helped us find a cottage and couldn’t have made the process or the stay more wonderful. She’s responsive, knowledgeable and most of all, delivers on what she says. Our month on Lake Muskoka was great and Jayne along with her team at Jayne’s Cottages were a big part of that. We’ll be back next summer!” – Warren K.


“We stayed at the beautiful White House. The cottage was perfectly furnished with extremely beautiful views of the lake. We had lots of space and amenities. Great beds, bed wear, towels. Couldn’t ask for more. The cabana was especially our “hangout spot”. We loved the quietness, the huge space and the modern-ness. Also a big shout out to Mark, our private chef, who went above and beyond to make our weekend very special (and delicious food too!).” – Jennifer B.


“Thank you once again for all you do to make our Rentals enjoyable for our whole family. You are much appreciated by us all.” – Patti

Already enjoyed a stay at one of our properties? Tell us about your own personal experience!



Jayne’s Cottages in Scottish Sunday Paper

According to “The Sunday”, a weekly paper in Scotland, Canada is among the top destinations worldwide for Scot’s’ to vacation. The article went on to lend an affectionate nod to the Muskoka region, and to Jayne’s Cottages respectively.

The article went as follows:

“CANADA is one of the top places for Scots hols this year and if you fancy a trip over the Atlantic then head to the beautiful Muskoka region in Ontario, affectionately referred to as ‘The Hamptons of the North’. Jayne’s Cottages specialises in luxury summer cottage rentals in the area—with many much larger than most British homes. The rental agency manages over 100 unique properties throughout the lakes of Muskoka and each property comes with a selection of watercraft perfect for exploring the lakes. Bala Boathouse, a traditional three bedroom Canadian boathouse cottage directly on Lake Muskoka, costs from £1,679 a week.”

For more information about “Bala Boathouse” and any of our other 100+ properties, see!


Ten fresh decorating tips for your cottage

Make your vacation spot more appealing to renters with these simple updates.

Toronto Star, Tuesday March 7, 2017

Muskoka White House on Lake Muskoka uses neutral tones in its decor, allowing the window views of nature to be all the more beautiful.


Jayne McCaw, owner of Jayne’s Cottages, manages a collection of luxury rentals in the Muskoka region. She knows a lot about upscale cottage hospitality. Her properties are available to rent on CanadaStays, the country’s largest online community for vacation rentals, and years of experience have taught her how to make a space desirable, stylish and welcoming.

Apply some of her tips to your own property — no matter the size or location — and increase its value in the eyes of new guests.

1. Go for neutral tones.

People are often attracted to cottages that sit amongst gorgeous trees, lakes and wildlife – thus, the décor should compliment, not compete, with that vibe. Soft neutral grey, taupe, beige, whites and off-whites not only look classy and clean, but also allow the beauty of the surroundings to reign. McCaw’s advice is to keep it simple and let Mother Nature be the star. Muskoka’s White House on Lake Muskoka is an example of this aesthetic.

2. Depend on white walls.

Again, in order to not take attention away from the great outdoors, clean, fresh walls are the way to go. “The dream Muskoka room,” says McCaw, “is easy, white, clean and simple.” Classic simplicity when done properly elevates any space.

3. Choose tasteful artwork.

Keeping things sleek and simple doesn’t mean you can’t do artwork on the walls — just make sure to not go overboard. “Less is more,” says McCaw. The neutral backdrop is perfect for paintings or prints that reflect the outdoor surroundings. Choose landscapes or rustic, antique pieces to lend charm; loud contemporary prints will only cause a disconnect. Check out the neutral walls and elegant artwork of the Wanderlust property in Muskoka for inspiration.

4. Some (impermanent) colour can be your friend.

While neutral tones are recommended for walls and other permanent fixtures, there’s nothing wrong with sneaking in some flashes of colour that can be changed seasonally. Pick out some pillows and throws with fun prints to add life to a room – they’re easy enough to switch or refresh depending on the time of year.

5. Stay away from knickknacks.

One person’s charm is another person’s tacky. Though you may love your uncle’s collection of wooden decoy ducks or the cheesy magnets you’ve collected from all over the world, your guests may not. People want to feel like they own the space, even if only for a week. And there’s nothing luxurious about cottage kitsch.

6. Avoid hand-me-downs.

By the same token, don’t recycle your housewares. “To offer a luxury rental, you can’t just bring up your older used furniture and expect people to think it is fine, says McCaw. “While you may be okay with it, people looking for luxury rentals expect an investment into the furnishings of the property.”

7. Always keep things up to date.

Have fun with your décor and make updates every season to keep up with trends. Peruse glossy cottage magazines, blogs and Pinterest boards for inspiration. Your guests will appreciate the extra effort. If you’re ever in a bind, McCaw suggests Sklar Peppler for simple, elegant and affordable cottage furniture. “It’s a quick and easy way to freshen up your summer look.”

8. Think about your lighting.

Choice is your (or rather, your guest’s) friend here. Once that glorious sun goes down, proper lighting is essential. A selection of well-placed lamps and battery-operated candles will offer a warm, softer ambience, while overhead lights are best for those livelier nights.

9. Add seasonal touches.

Everybody loves fresh flowers. A seasonal bouquet not only livens up a room, but also shows your guests that you care. If you can, put a few different arrangements in the shared spaces. Seasonal, local fruit can also play double duty as decorative and delicious.

10. Comfort is key.

You want a clean, crisp look, but that shouldn’t take away from the comfort factor. Couches should be plush, pillows should be abundant and you can never have too many throw blankets. You want guests to respect your property, but they should also feel at home.

Once you’ve got your cottage retreat looking glamorous, it’s time for the next step: photography. Download CanadaStays’ eBook for tips on how to stage your space for the most effective pics.

Check out all of Jayne’s Cottages on CanadaStays and if you own a second property, check out for more tips and information on how to list it.

See full article here: