Poet John Donne once said No Man is an Island, but we beg to differ. In this case, any man or woman is indeed their own island with a private 28-acre (11.33 hectares) Eden right up through the Thousand Islands on the North Channel of Lake Huron.
Tiny Chevalier Island manages to straddle that rare stratosphere of luxury compound and rustic getaway. Originally the summer home of timber baron J.J. McFadden (old money lends instant street cred), this storied outpost was once the kind of place the steamer-trunk set would journey to for their months-long sojourns. Now, its mature forest, hiking trails and 5,100 feet of shoreline are easily accessed by boat or float plane. Equally, it’s just 100 kilometres from Sault Ste. Marie’s international airport and a hop, skip and a jump from the charming town of Thessalon (for easy milk runs by boat).
The completely rebuilt circa-1920 stone farmhouse—only the original stones remain intact—now serves up 2000-square-feet of complete luxury: a chef’s kitchen (Viking appliances!) with butcher-block countertops, four bedrooms and three bathrooms (with all furniture thrown in to seal the deal). A separate children’s “bunkie” with ensuite bathroom and private beach, plus a one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest cottage all keeps your kids and guests close but not too close. And “rustic” is a relative term: there’s submarine electrical service here, which simply means there’s year-round power to the island thanks to a $100,000 underground cable on the bottom of the lake that stretches all the way to the mainland. Lattés are only a press away.
Address: Chevalier Island
Neighbourhood: North Channel, Lake Huron
Price: CDN$899,000/USD $639,715
Specs: 4 beds, 3 baths, 2,000 square feet main house; 1-bed, 1-bath children’s bunk; and 1-bed, 1-bath guest cottage
Spend summer months freshwater diving in the sheltered bay, beachcombing on sandy shores or hiking in woodlands.
Video: Know your wood: the best varieties for your walls and floors