About this listing
A rustic artist/owner built home in a picturesque setting overlooking beautiful Lake Ainslie. The house is bursting with character, and has evolved through numerous expansions and renovations over its storied 25-year history.
The airy open-format main floor features a fully equipped kitchen with gas stove and full-size refrigerator. The main floor common area surrounds a handmade spiral staircase made from trees cut from the yard. A wood burning stove separates the kitchen from the central living space. A step through a curtain-door off the main area reveals a bright room with a pullout couch, and a TV with an extensive VHS library. There is also an old piano, and guitar which are at your disposal, albeit a little out of tune. Attached to this room is a bathroom with a shower. Through the bathroom, and also attached byway of a curtain to the main area, is a sunny dining room.
The second floor houses two upstairs bedrooms and a bathroom with a large claw-foot tub. The main bedroom, which offers a queen sized bed (real bed) is connected by a window and archway to a study. The other bedroom has a double bed (futon mattress) and has been arranged to be a kid-friendly environment. If additional beds are required the futon couch in the downstairs TV room is also available.
A large grassed yard is perfectly suited for games of badminton or croque. There is also a large studio on the property, where I reside and will be readily available to answer any questions you may have.
5 minute walk to the lake.
20 minute drive to the ocean at the town of Inverness
20 minute drive to the Bras d’Or Lake, a massive inland sea.
1.5 hour drive to the famous Cabot trail, one of the most scenic drives in North America.
Enjoy the solitude of your escape with vintage dial-up internet and intermittent cell-phone coverage.
The cottage itself is centrally located to Cape Breton's historic and beautiful west coast, and is adjacent to the Ceilidh trail, providing excellent access to local music venues. It is a 20-30 minute drive from some of the best beaches on Cape Breton (Chimney Cove, West Mabou, and Inverness). Experience dramatic scenery and vistas, swim in the temperate waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and eat at Mabou’s Red Shoe Pub, truly the best restaurant around. While in Mabou pop over to Port Hood to buy fresh-caught seafood at the Fisherman's Co-Op or up to the Bistro at Chéticamp.
Other Things to Note
To cottage is off the beaten track. Please find detailed instructions below:
- almost immediately as you first enter Whycocomagh you will come to the (only) major intersection in the town. The 105 will continue straight ahead, to your right you would turn into Whycocomagh's 'main' road and to the left is Highway NS-252 W. Turn left onto the 252. There is an Iriving gas station, now closed, on your left just before you turn off, and Vi's restaurant - where all the trucker's passing though stop for pie- just after where you should turn off on the 105. If you pass Vi's turn around!
-Stay on the 252 for about 3km. You will come to another intersection where the 252 turns to the left (taking you towards Brook Village and Mabou). Don't turn here. You keep going straight (on what is now the NS 395-N). A minute after you pass this turn off you will pass the Whycocomagh arena on your right, so you'll know you're on the right track.
-Stay on this road for about another 5km. Turn left when you get to the sign for the West Lake Ainslie road. It's the correct road if a few metres onto this road you pass over a short little bridge. This road is paved.
-Stay on this road for about 5-6 km. For the first few km the road is up high and you can see the lake below on your right. You'll climb for a little while and then the road brings you back down to the lake. You'll cross over a small bridge where the road is quite bumpy and be right beside the water. You'll recognize the scene as I've posted a picture of in on the listing profile. If you go look at the picture you'll see a little white house in the top left hand corner. This is actually a little chapel that sits at the foot of my road. So after you cross the bridge you'll climb uphill again. The top of the hill is a blind bend- go slow as on that bed is a dirt road to your left. This is Cameron road. Turn onto it. About 200 m up the road, just past the chapel, is my driveway. The house and studio are both visible from the road.
I hope you have no trouble finding it. If you do you can always call Ken (phone number hidden)) or Justine (phone number hidden)).
Smoking outdoors only.
We had a wonderful time at the Cape Breton Artist retreat! The house was easy to find and the property was spectacular. We made ourselves right at home.
Our host, Ken, made us feel most welcome . We enjoyed the uniqueness of the accommodation and the property. The location is a bit off the main road but the makes you feel in 'a world apart'. Just adds to the wonderful Cape Breton experience.
Ken was THE best experience of our 2-week trip!
We just stayed there for one night but wished it was longer ;)
Ken is a really talented artist, his house is magnificent, a real piece of artwork.
It is really clean, bright, colourful... did I say beautiful?
When we arrived Ken was there to welcome us, he was really helpful and concerned about our needs. He even bought us some delicious Nova Scotia strawberries and some pound cake, thanks again Ken ;)
Okay now, I just have to say something about the view... the view!!!
Either when we are in the living room or staying in your bedroom or having a juice on the sunny patio, all you can see is the shiny, sunny view on the wild garden and the lake. If you like you can even grab a good book and go sit in a cosy chair in the middle of the garden, there you go... that's paradise!
If I can say so, don't stay at Ken's house because you just go by there or checking for the best price or whatever. Go there to feel yourself peaceful, blessed and happy :)
Thank you for everything Ken, take good care of you!
Emi & Don
PS: Sorry for the mistakes as I'm french :/
The house was charming and in a lovely location. Ken is a wonderful host, very accommodating and happy to help in any way.
Though we only spent 1 night at Ken's place, he made us feel very welcome. The house is off the beaten path and unique with its own character - an artist's retreat indeed! Everything was as described and we had a pleasant stay.
We had a lovely one-night stay in Ken's fantastic house. The view to the lake is beautiful and the house is so cool. It was super clean, comfortable, and had everything we needed. Communications with Ken were easy and he was close by to answer questions when needed. Wish we could have stayed longer!
We had a great time at Ken's place! He was very kind. The space is eclectic and cozy. We all slept very well and really enjoyed all of the artwork around the house. Definitely recommend a stay here!
About the Host, Ken
After living and working for many years as an artist in Toronto, my family and I moved from the big city to beautiful Cape Breton 25 years ago. We settled in Lake Ainslie and there I built an ever growing house for my ever-growing family. The kids are now grown and I find myself spending much more time in my studio, which is a short walk from the house. I continue to spend much of each day painting, I love to travel- mostly to LA to visit my grandson, and I rarely miss listening to the opera on the radio every weekend. I hope you’ll come and discover the beauty and hospitality of our island. I am nearby and always happy to chat and share my knowledge of the local eateries, sights, beaches and galleries!