The place we call home

Kenora and Lake of the Woods

Northwestern Ontario has always had a unique climate. We get both sides of extreme temperatures and plenty of different weather events.

Have you been affected?

For homeowners in Northwestern Ontario who have been directly affected by the high water levels from 2022, the Ontario government has put disaster recovery assistance in place.

See the below link for more information.

What do the current weather changes mean for us and our homes?

Photo by Jaxon Castellan: on Pexels

Getting worse?

Unfortunately, none of us have a crystal ball telling how the weather and climate of our area are going to change moving forward.

This year and last

What can we do about it? While most people have the current high water levels on their mind, last year was equal amounts dry and hot. Potential extremes seem to be constantly in flux, from season to season and year to year.

Plan Ahead

The best thing that we can do as homeowners is to think about the what-ifs, now. Maintenance and updating are better than picking up the pieces after the fact.

The water level is the most visible issue from last fall to this spring, as seen from one of my previous listings out on Lake of the Woods.

(see the below photos)

Before After

As you can see in the Fall of 2021, this home and cottage had its dock far above the water level. In the Spring of 2022 at the same home, it was mere inches away from fully submerged. (Later in the summer got much worse, as most of us know.)

Unfortunately, I don't know what the next year or 10 will bring us. The examples put forth in the last two years have shown us that we never quite know what mother nature will throw at us.

What Can we do?

Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels


for the future

As we move forward with planning for our future, keep in mind any additional steps to retrofit your home is something the Canadian government is offering grants for.

If you have plans to make your home more energy efficient or to have more reliable heating, the Greener Home Initiative provides grants and loans for home evaluations and retrofits.

This includes help with insulation, newer more efficient windows and doors, air sealing and renewable energy systems.

Visit the link below for more information.


in case of the what-ifs

High water

Water levels in Northwestern Ontario fluctuate with the seasons, as I'm sure we all know by now. Unfortunately, there's not a lot that we can do about the water levels as our lake is fed into from multiple different locations, some outside of our province and some areas outside of our country.

To have as a reference, here is a link to the Lake of the Woods Control Board and their recommendations for building, docks and Hazard Land Levels. If you are looking to build or make any modifications to your property, this is a good resource for Lake of the Woods specific information.

Potential Fires

Visit here to see an article by 'Cabinlife' about preparing your cottage and property in case of fires. It covers smaller steps like landscaping and pruning trees and vegetation on your property or cleaning the gutters and installing ember guards.

Another great article is this one here from ScienceNews, which covers all things flood, fire and prevention related. Keep in mind though it is written for the United States and their climates and biomes.


If you didn't catch this link before

Home and cottage owners in Northwestern Ontario who were affected by the 2022 spring flooding have until October 7th, 2022 to apply for the Disaster Recovery Assistance.

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Kristie Cavanagh
CENTURY 21 Northern Choice Realty Ltd. Brokerage


Buying a Cottage on Lake of the Woods

What are the main things to look for when searching for the perfect Cabin, Cottage or Camp on Lake of the Woods?

I wrote this blog to help outline a few key points that I always look at when showing my clients a potential cottage. Keeping your eyes open for these can help avoid any potential issues and find the best possible options for you and your family.


What is the foundation style? Poured concrete, post on pad, slab?

Does it look like it's been levelled or does it need re-levelling?

If so, your Realtor® can recommend a contractor or a home inspector so that you can get a professional opinion.


Where the property and cottage itself is located, does it face north, south, east or west?

Will you be positioned for the best sunrises or sunsets?

Will your home get too much or not enough light exposure?


What exactly are you going to be buying?

- Is the shoreline allowance owned?

- Are there any encroachments or easements?

- Is the road maintained year-round?

Make sure to ask your Realtor® to look into any and all information you may need for a property.

Waste Removal

Replacing a sewage system can be costly, be sure to know as much as possible.

Does the property have: city sewage, a septic tank with a field, a composting toilet with a grey water pit or just a holding tank?

Also, ask your Realtor® what the age of the sewage system is and if there are any documents available on the system?


In a normal year (definitely not this one), where does the water line sit?

Will your cottage be the ideal vacation home for your family, with a beach, a deep rocky shoreline or a marshland?

Shoreline improvements

What type of dock does the property have?

Is it drilled pipe, screw piles, crib dock, or just a floating dock? Is there storage near the dock or power at the shoreline? Will it be convenient to charge batteries for your boats, or to operate the lifts?

Need more info on dock types? Check out this post from

If you want to know more or have any specific questions about looking for cottages in Kenora and on Lake of the woods, please reach out.

This post from discusses in more detail the intricacies of owning a cottage and taking care of your investment: article here

Is it called a Cottage, a Cabin or a Camp?


My Current Waterfront Listings

Kristie Cavanagh
CENTURY 21 Northern Choice Realty Ltd. Brokerage

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