Summer Cottages

Fishermen around 1900

Source: McCord Museum

During the 19 th century, campers and fishermen accessed Lac-des-Seize-Îles by following the trails that settlers had cleared to reach their lots beyond the Laurentian foothills. These trails were used mainly in the summer and were travelled on foot, by cart or by sleigh. The Scotch Road is one of the last witnesses of this era. It linked Grenville to Harrington Road, whose branches penetrated the southern region of Lac-des-Seize-Îles.

As soon as the railroad reached the head of the lake, vacationers arrived in greater numbers and from farther afield, as evidenced by this social announcement in the Sherbrooke Examiner of 1899: 'Colonel W. A. Morehouse and Mr. A. D. Bostwick, left on Tuesday for Sixteen Island Lake, Argenteuil County, for a few days fishing. Reverend W. H. Stevens, of St. Henri, Montreal, is also spending a few days at the same lake.'

Seasonal residents

Alice Island
Source: BAnQ, Richard Photo Publisher

From vacationers to seasonal residents, some have made the move, charmed by the gentle way of life on the lake.

A. J. Corner was one of these and in 1901 purchased Island No. 46 'containing 1 rood and 18 perches' equivalent to a quarter acre, located across from lots 23 and 24. He named it 'Lady of the Lake', a mythical character from Arthurian legend.

Some notables like B. S. Stackhouse and H. W. Lawlor or G. A. Barrat acquired multiple pieces of land and islands. Over the years, real estate transactions remained within the circle of acquaintances which fostered a certain affinity among residents, most of whom lived in Westmount or Lachute.

Shoreline and island properties were in many cases passed down from one generation to the next and descendants of these early families are still numerous on the lake. The islands are often named after their owners, resulting in changes of place names on maps, such as Victoria Island which became Cook Island, or Albert Island which became Cail and then Downley and finally Myers Island.


Boathouse on Gardner Island, 2021.

Lac des Seize Îles has always served as a thoroughfare for seasonal residents, as there are no municipal roads serving the homes on its shores. Owning a boat is still paramount to reaching one's cottage, and the boathouse is an architectural structure that is part of the lake's landscape. Some people have built a small apartment upstairs that they rent out to vacationers.

Many sheds have retained their original look with decorative patterns on their facades. The rustic style backsplash siding (the end boards of a log), found on many sheds and cottages, was less expensive with good waterproofing properties. This type of building is destined to disappear, as shoreline protection laws no longer allow new construction.

Extract of
Lac-des-Seize-Iles... History and Heritage

Lac-des-Seize-Iles... History and Heritage image circuit

Presented by : Municipalité de Lac-des-Seize-Îles

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