Monday, January 13, 2014

The Canadian Elite

There were plenty of wealthy Canadian cottagers in Muskoka as well. Timothy Eaton, who created a mercantile empire that dominated the country for well over a century, had a cottage at Windermere on Lake Rosseau. His son, John – along with his wife Flora - built this luxurious summer home, Kawandag, further north on the lake in 1906. It had stables and a private golf course.

Kawandag, from the archives of The Muskoka Steamship and Historical Society
The Eatons often entertained illustrious visitors.  Canadian opera legend, Edward Johnson, who became Director of the New York Metropolitan Opera, was a good friend, and sometimes stayed for weeks at Kawandag to rest and rehearse.


This was John and Flora’s Toronto home, Ardwold, which had 50 rooms, 14 baths, a hospital infirmary with two nurses on staff, and a half-acre glassed area housing a swimming pool and a conservatory. It was completed in 1911, sold in 1936, and demolished for a subdivision.

John Craig Eaton was knighted in 1915 for his philanthropic activities and his contributions to the war effort. Sir John continued to pay wages to 3,300 Eaton employees on active military service for the duration of the war at a cost of over $2 million.


  1. Wow! When I was growing up in the 60's and 70's, my grandmother had a lake home on Lake Waverley in MN. 2 bedrooms, tiny kitchen, tiny powder room, with a shower in the entry way. You wouldn't believe how many of us crammed in there. I had the time of my life. I can't imagine living in that monstrosity. LOL! I'm sure my grandmother could have afforded a bigger place, so I always thought squishing together was part of the lake home experience.

    1. I agree that being by the lake with family and friends is a blast, no matter how small the cottage.