Canadian cottagers have long known that their little pieces of paradise are just as beautiful—if not more so—than “exotic” vacation spots like Cannes, Milan, or South Beach. Sure, those places are lovely, but so is Canada’s rugged wilderness, which also offers a lot more privacy. That’s why many Hollywood celebrities are foregoing typical retreats of the rich and famous in favour of a more rustic experience.
Here are 10 big-time celebs who cottage right here in Canada.
Martin Short: Lake Rosseau
One of Canada’s most beloved comedians, still lauded for his SCTV and Saturday Night Live days, is Martin Short. To get away from it all, he heads to Ontario’s Lake Rosseau, a location he’s called “staggeringly beautiful.” In fact, he loves the region so much that last year he partnered with artist Tony Bianco and the Royal Canadian Mint to design a commemorative coin showcasing Lake Rosseau. The “Martin Short Presents Canada” coin is a $3 silver collector coin that features an image of his cottage, a sailboat, and two Muskoka chairs.
Jim Carrey: Baptiste Lake
Funnyman Jim Carrey, known for comedic roles such as Ace Ventura, Lloyd Christmas, and Truman Burbank, disappears to Northeastern Ontario when he wants to get away from the big screen. It’s rumoured he has a cottage on Baptiste Lake, just north of Bancroft, and his private jet has been spotted flying in and out the Peterborough Airport a few times. In fact, he even stopped to pose for photos at the airport with a few very excited high school kids a few weeks ago.
Steven Spielberg: Muskoka
Ontario’s Muskoka region has frequently been called the “Malibu of the North” or the “Hamptons of the North” because of the many celebrities often spotted there, including those along Lake Rosseau’s “Millionaire’s Row” and Lake Joseph’s “Billionaire’s Row.” Among them is one of the biggest movie names of all, director Steven Spielberg. The man who made movies like E.T., Jaws, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, and the Indiana Jones series is said to spend his summers in Ontario.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell: Lake Rosseau
One of the most beloved (and long-lasting) Hollywood couples, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell are also one of the most well-known summer residents of the Muskokas—Goldie has frequently been spotted shopping in Gravenhurst. Their mansion-like cottage sits in a quiet bay on Ontario’s Lake Rosseau, offering a peaceful retreat for the former Laugh-In and Disney stars.
Kate Hudson: Muskoka
Since her mom, Goldie Hawn, calls Muskoka her summer home, it’s no surprise that Kate Hudson is also regularly spotted in the region. She’s even been the victim of some paparazzi shots while trying to get away from it all, most notably in 2007 when the Toronto Sun ran front-page shots of the Almost Famous star and her then-boyfriend Dax Shepard getting cozy on a Muskoka dock.
Donald Sutherland: Georgeville
One of the most famous Canadian faces, New Brunswick-born Donald Sutherland now calls Quebec’s Eastern Townships his part-time home. The star of The Hunger Games, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the movie version of M*A*S*H (not to mention also the father of 24 star Kiefer Sutherland) has a summer house in the town of Georgeville.
Tom Hanks: Muskoka
Another resident of Ontario’s cottage country is one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Tom Hanks, famed for movies such as Forrest Gump, Captain Phillips, The Green Mile, Catch Me If You Can, and Toy Story, is said to have a summer home in Muskoka, a purchase he made after friends Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn moved into the area.
Halle Berry: Saint-Hippolyte
Up until a few years ago, Halle Berry was a summer resident of the small Laurentian town of Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec; the retreat was put up for sale in 2011, for $1.9 million. The Monster’s Ball and X-Men star bought the home away from home while she was dating Montréal-model Gabriel Aubrey.
Jason Priestly: Ucluelet
Not content with keeping a cottage getaway to himself, Jason Priestly is part-owner of a cottage retreat in Ucluelet, British Columbia, where visitors can rent a suite from the Beverly Hills 90210 star. The Terrace Beach Resort on Vancouver Island features a mix of bachelor, one- and two-bedroom suites, with options for an ocean or boardwalk view. While Priestly has praised how much he loves the area, you’re more likely to see his father on the property, running the resort. And don’t expect any 90210-themed cottages.