So Relax Already
Cottage Guide

So Relax Already

Everything you need to lounge in style in the great outdoors.

Arctic Spas

Summer in eastern Ontario and western Quebec has but a single flaw: length. It comes too late and leaves too early. Adding a hot tub or sauna is one of the simplest ways to extend the outdoor season at the cottage. When the neighbours are packing it in on Labour Day weekend, hot tub season is only just beginning. Manotick-based Arctic Spas does service and installation for hot tubs and spas throughout the region, sells used hot tubs, and will even conduct trade-ins!

540 West Hunt Club Rd., 613-228-8827.

Club Piscine Super Fitness

With a name and look that recall a suburban gym more than a lakeside getaway, it’s easy to overlook Club Piscine Super Fitness when shopping for the cottage. With a location in Gatineau and also on West Hunt Club and roots in suburban Montreal, the 43-store chain caters to the pool business in Quebec, which (a little surprisingly) has far more pools per capita than anywhere else in the country. But though their pool-maintenance supplies aren’t much use at the cottage, their stock of gazebos and garden swings is as appreciated at the lake as on the pool deck.

285 West Hunt Club Rd., 613-274-7665.

Hammock Universe 

Columbus didn’t find spices when he sailed to America, but he did stumble upon something similarly delightful. Hammocks were among the first goods to make the trip back to Spain. Soon they were being used by European navies, their woven design altered to use available fabrics such as canvas. This made production easier but sacrificed comfort. Ottawa-based takes us back to the hammock’s roots in Central America, offering colourful designs that add international flare to the Canadian cottage aesthetic. Still, the real selling point is comfort — the hammock’s inventors were its perfecters. Hand woven in the Yucatan, it’s 15 feet long, seven feet wide, and designed to support 800 pounds. That’s a whole lot of nap.


Modernist fireside tables, sleek teak chaises, and aged-copper torches: if you’re a city mouse with a country house, Hauser’s Carling Avenue showroom will be your grown-up candy store. Hauser’s upscale outdoor furnishings bring an urbane, contemporary look to the great outdoors. The company, based in Waterloo,
Ontario, manufactures most of its furniture in Canada, and many of its designs recall the outdoor lifestyle of a California country club or Tuscan terrace.

1723 Carling Ave., 613-722-8795.


If you’ve tackled a single home-improvement project — or even if you haven’t — you’re probably already familiar with this hardware giant, based in Boucherville, Quebec. In the city, Rona is one of several big-box retailers that sell a similar assortment of building supplies, tools, patio furniture, and barbecues. Where Rona distinguishes itself from its competition is rural representation. While U.S. chains such as Home Depot have elbowed their way into lucrative urban markets, Rona’s 500+ locations mean they’re probably nearby, with stores in cottage-friendly locations such as Bancroft, Rideau Lakes (Smiths Falls), Thousand Islands (Brockville), Frontenac (Verona), and Val-des-Monts, Quebec.

585 West Hunt Club Rd., 613-226-5636 (plus two more urban Ottawa locations and numerous rural locations).

Patio Comfort

In the same location for close to four decades, Patio Comfort is a family-run business that owes its success to staff who know everything there is to know about outdoor furniture. The two-floor, 7,000-square-foot showroom boasts dozens of styles and brands in all manner of materials — teak, wicker, aluminum, wrought iron — so there’s something to fit every taste. Along with the expected chairs, loungers, and tables, the store stocks umbrellas, hammocks, outdoor cushions, and covers. The added bonus? Patio Comfort shares space with Poolarama, which stocks a wicked selection of water toys and floating loungers.

881 Richmond Rd., 613-728-1773.


Photography by Tobin Grimshaw