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Since 2001, cottagelife.com has been the definitive online source for all things cottaging. Providing information on everything from real estate and boating tips to advice on how to be greener cottagers, cottagelife.com is one of the few websites to focus on what matters to Canadian cottage owners.
Cottagers needed a magazine that would be useful and informative. There’s always something to build, renovate, or repair at the cottage, and those mosquitoes aren’t going anywhere.
It was on a weekend visit to a friend’s Haliburton cottage in 1985 when Al Zikovitz and his wife saw it: a cottage with great views on a great lake, with a deck suitable for lazy days and entertaining nights, and room enough for their young family. They fell in love and bought it, despite the fact that it was unfinished and the cottaging newbies had no idea where to start. How does the septic system work? How to fix the punky, moss-covered stairs out back? Is the water safe to drink? And, the question on every cottager’s mind: how to avoid getting eaten alive by all the mosquitoes?
These dilemmas brought Zikovitz, then a 14-year publishing veteran, his lightbulb moment. If he was asking these questions, surely there were other cottagers asking them too. But where to find the answers? Cottagers old and new needed a magazine that would be useful and informative, something they could keep and refer back to again and again. (Because, let’s face it: There’s always something to build, renovate, or repair at the cottage, and those mosquitoes aren’t going anywhere.)
Three years later, in the summer of 1988, the first issue of Cottage Life hit the newsstands. The goal of the magazine was to enhance and preserve the quality of cottage living, and it was full of tips and ideas to make time at the lake not only easier, but more fun. It was an immediate success and quickly became the definitive source for cottagers in Ontario and beyond. It has also been recognized with 374 awards, including Magazine of the Year from both the National Magazine Awards Foundation, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, and the International Regional Magazine Association.
The magazine’s popularity prompted Zikovitz to consider other ways to reach cottagers, and the company soon grew to include Cottage Life Television, Cottage Life merchandise, and Cottage Life Books. Then, in 1994, the Spring Cottage Life Show was born and has been held every spring since. In 2004, the company launched the Fall Cottage Life Show to cater to the growing popularity of winter cottaging.
Cottage Life is a value-driven company that seeks to be the first source for cottage-related information, products, and services, and encourages environmentally conscious behaviour. The magazine is printed on 100 per cent recycled paper that is Forest Stewardship Council certified and recently launched the Cottage Life Environment Grant, a program to help fund individuals and groups who want to creative various initiatives to preserve life at the lake.
As Zikovitz himself recognizes, Cottage Life is successful because we reflect the needs and interests of cottagers. We understand this so well because we are cottagers ourselves, and like all cottagers, we love life at the lake.