There are many idyllic pockets of Canada’s vast wilderness and nature, and Ontario’s Thousand Islands chain is certainly among the most picturesque destinations in the country.
This area, just north of the U.S.-Canada border, pairs small-town charm with stunning waterfront properties, historic 19th-century mansions, and world-class fishing. Howe Island—the fourth largest in the chain of islands—is home to the lakeside retreat called Nokomis. It overlooks the Bateau Channel on the St. Lawrence River (fed from one of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario) and is listed for $9.4 million ($12.995 million CAD).
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Nokomis was completed in 2022 by renowned Canadian architect Michael Preston, who is best known for lakefront homes that incorporate site-specific materials and forms. The 25-acre spread was inspired by a former lakefront lodge that once stood here, and it surely feels like your own private summer camp once you approach the stately stone gate. The property has an 8,742-square-foot main residence, a double-slip boat house, a caretaker’s home or guesthouse, multiple barns, a covered boat port, a greenhouse, expansive gardens, and a chicken coop. There are also several outbuildings for storage, an attached three-car garage off the motor court with additional parking for up to 20 cars.
The main home pairs traditional Cape Cod-style interiors with rustic Canadian charm through the use of dark natural wood, reminiscent of the surrounding forest. The foyer features a custom double-sided stone fireplace and continues through to the double-height living room, which has a wall of large windows to allow in plenty of natural light and showcase lake views day and night.
One wing of the main floor houses the formal dining room, a modern kitchen outfitted with state-of-the-art appliances, the family room, and another casual sitting room, while the other wing holds the primary bedroom and bathroom, both of which overlook the manicured grounds and lake, as well as a light-filled office and sitting room.
Upstairs feels like its own apartment, with a reception area that opens to the living room and three large bedrooms with private balconies, ensuite bathrooms, and plenty of closet space. There’s an additional office on this floor and a bonus room that can be used as a bedroom over the garage. There’s a total of three grand fireplaces, custom millwork, and high ceilings. The home is also outfitted with geothermal climate control and the latest technology.
It’s the outdoor amenities, though, that really make this property feel like an upscale summer camp. The home is surrounded by a covered patio with an outdoor grill. A grand stone walkway with water features, flanked by lawn space and trees, cascades down to the water’s edge and the dock. In total, the property offers 2,700 feet of waterfront and docks that will accommodate multiple vessels, including a 125-foot yacht. There are two boat houses—a dry boat house/workshop and another with two slips and lifts—plus storage for kayaks, canoes, and other water toys. Wooden docks with ladders are perfect for jumping in and out of the water.
There’s also a separate timber-framed covered outdoor lounge area overlooking a sandy beach, complete with a built-in barbecue, outdoor kitchen, and fireplace. Finally, a network of groomed trails and a protected beach area to land a float plane or helicopter round out the outdoor amenities.
This area was once a vacation destination for the elite in the 19th century, and Howe Island is home to many imposing, historic mansions. Located north of Rochester and Syracuse in New York, it’s near the many attractions of upstate New York and a short distance from Montreal and Toronto.
The home is listed by Tony Chard of Sotheby’s International Real Estate Canada.
Click here to see more photos of Nokomis.
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