Cottage living isn’t just a warm-weather pursuit any longer.
Those lakeside retreats known as cottages, cabins and vacation homes are increasingly becoming year-round abodes.
Many have been outfitted with all the comforts of home, including central heating and air-conditioning, for all-year living and as retirement properties.
A survey of 1,100 owners by Cottage Life and the Ontario Real Estate Association found 64 per cent of cottages were used year-round with plans for many more to be converted.
With that in mind, a popular show for cottage doers and dreamers is a hit not just in the spring but this month, too.
Returning is the Fall Cottage Life Show from Friday to Oct. 22 at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd., in Mississauga.
“The fall show is becoming more and more popular as a destination for southern Ontarians to embrace fall and glean practical and seasonal tips and ideas,” said show publicist Kate Calder.
Visitors to the show can walk through Bonneville Homes’ Micro-Loft V two-bedroom model cottage with just 800 square feet of living space.
For kids, there’s a giant rock wall to climb, visits with the Haliburton Sled Dogs and the cottage games area.
Main stage presentations include Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan the “Colin and Justin” hosts of the TV show Cabin Pressure, a real estate question-and-answer session and a demonstration of a portable solar-powered generator.
The show brings together 225 exhibitors offering docks, building products, furniture, boats and outdoor equipment.
For cottagers planning a big project next spring, the show is a great place to start their research and meet with vendors and experts, said Rebecca De Silva, Cottage Life’s consumer show engagement manager.
Fall is often the season to build it, fix it and get ’er done and the show present the best do-it-yourself practices.
“The fall show also attracts a lot of people interested in buying a cottage property or renting a cottage next summer,” De Silva added. The editorial team at the Cottage Life booth will be available to give advice on cottage hunting, she said.
Show-goers can also kick back at the popular Dock Party.
Appearing on the main stage will be experts with advice and ideas, while cottage real estate in the post-summer market is highlighted.
Cottage Life editor-in-chief Michelle Kelly will moderate a panel discussion with realtor experts Chris Winney and Ross Halloran.
Canadian inventor and Dragon’s Den contributor Connie Stacey will show her solar-powered generator Grengine, with its accessible, affordable energy source and backup.
Colin and Justin will “entertain, amuse and inspire” with design ideas and DIY projects and meet with fans on Oct. 22.
Learn the logistics of building a cottage from afar with Dave Bond from Beaver Lumber and handling climate change with Melinda Zytaruk from Fourth Pig Green and Natural Building.
There will be information about foundations with builder Andrew Brown and ideas from Angela Jones of Lakeshore Designs.
Wayne Lennox will build a rack for canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards in a woodworking demonstration.
The Dock Party features food and drink including premium beer from Muskoka Brewery and cocktails from Walter Caesar to benefit the Cottage Dreams Cancer Recovery Initiative.
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com
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IF YOU GO
When: Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Oct. 21, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Oct. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets: $15; $14 for ages 14 to 17; free for 13 and younger; weekend pass $22. On Friday, seniors tickets are $10 and adult entry after 4 p.m. . gets a $4 discount. Free parking.