National columnist confesses he’s a cottage hater

Yes, no one said life at the cottage was perfect. In fact, as many of us know, it’s far from it.

And while we may be a little biased, it’s pretty tough to agree with National Post columnist Jonathan Kay in his recent piece, “Confessions of a cottage-hater: Why I left the lake for a blissful summer in the city.”

Kay wasn’t completely off-base when he complained about some of the inherent work and inconveniences that come with owning or renting a cottage. He cites “nature’s grossness,” “traffic-clogged asphault death-marches,” “plowing up and down lakes on noisy, overpowered sheets of tapered fiberglass,” and “the back-breaking tasks” as to why he opts for spending his summer weekends at the local tennis club.

But as his colleage, National Post’s Matt Gurney, wrote in a response piece: “If Jon isn’t into cottaging, well, hey. Cool. But his reasons for not liking cottages, to those with any experience, don’t pass muster.”

After all, there are also reasons cottagers put up with all of that stuff. But rather than trying to list everything little thing that makes life at the lake so sought after—it could take a while—we think Gurney sums things up pretty nicely when he writes:

“For me, the cottage is a chance to unplug from the bizarre artificial bubble of city life and give my system a hard reset. I don’t turn off the gadgets, but I do avail myself of the opportunity to sit quietly, far from traffic and noisy neighbours, looking out at the lake during the day and the stars at night. I have time to actually make a meal with/for my family, instead of just annihilating whatever I find in the fridge or pick up on the way home. I can do most of these things in the city, sure. But they’re better up there.”

Gurney chalks up Kay’s dismal view of cottaging to the fact that because he’s not a cottage owner, unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to appreciate what an extended period of time in the wilderness, away from the day-to-day, can do for you.


You can read Jonathan Kay’s entire column about his distaste for cottaging here. Then, tell us, what do you think of his comments?