All is Best Islands, Big Rideau Lake
$1,650,000

"If there be paradise on the face of the earth it is here, it is here". Painted within the walls of a screened in porch, such an iconic quote fits its surroundings perfectly - no truer words describe the beauty of All is Best Islands. Its charm has been woven into the fabric of one of Canada's finest families; the Southam's have called the Big Rideau their summer retreat since the 1920's, and it's easy to understand why. Surrounded by a tapestry of verdant nature and crystal waters, this place enchants the very moment you step off the boat which takes you there. »cont'd

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Located within the heart of Big Rideau Lake, part of the historic UNESCO World Heritage Rideau Canal Waterway, All is Best Islands is 5 acres (approx.) of lush landscape accessed by boat via a local dock. Not to fear; the waters are calm and a fully equipped boathouse awaits your arrival. Marvel at the island's delightfully rustic and unkempt greenery and take the path up to the main house. A classic dwelling awaits and instantly invokes a sense of summer nostalgia. Take the family on trips to Chaffey's lock, stock up on groceries and gear in nearby Perth or Westport, or go for an extended boat ride down to the St. Lawrence. Canada's most historic and beautiful waterways are at your fingertips. Untamed brush filters sunlight the only way mother nature can and the welcome feels familiar - peaceful, calming, embracing. This type of private island living comes with all its trappings; entertaining visitors, epic family gatherings, swimming, boisterous playtime - and handles it all with aplomb.

Enter into a central hallway that houses built-ins and a straight access to the corresponding back door. Comings and goings are contained and out of earshot when entertaining. Home is punctuated by details that only a special type of design eye could have dreamed up. Maple floors feel soft underfoot, oversized, decorative moldings enhance the extra high ceilings, and strategic built-ins make life on the island easy. A powder room handles guest's needs and laundry is effortlessly tucked away. A contained kitchen lies to the right - windows in each direction look out onto a perpetually peaceful scene and wrap around verandah. What a way to prepare a meal; constantly in the presence of nature's most calming effects - offer up drinks for guests while dappled sunlight adds the right touch of charm to any spread.

Although the vibe exudes easy cottage life, this home reaps the rewards of being solidly built and winterized - it's highly functional and full of luxurious touches. Across the hall from the kitchen lies an open living and dining space. Know that home can handle more than one season, extending the time that you can spend here; fall and spring are no match for the elaborate wood burning fireplace that grounds the main living area. Large windows throughout the main level provide a constant reminder of where you are; it might as well be heaven on earth. A screened in porch off the living room gets a great view of the lake and keeps the bugs out - late night glasses of pinot grigio are moonlit and undisturbed.

Upstairs, an impressive library sits atop the landing - the built-in shelving and loft roof are so inviting you almost want it to rain so you can spend a few undisturbed hours with a favourite book. Although the island vantage shows off stunning views at every turn, the oversized windows in the master bedroom take your breath away - there is truly no better wake up call than the sun's rays gently streaming through the leaves and bouncing off smooth waters of the lake that surrounds. Indulgent, natural, peaceful - this is your daily reality. A second bedroom features a large footprint and repeats the beautiful backdrop via corner windows. The main bathroom meets pragmatic needs - spacious, double sink, and a bathtub for soaking after a long day in the sun.

And in the sun you will be - with grounds so full of nooks and crannies to explore, a cleared space for a volleyball court, a 43 foot sunset dock that reaches out into the crystal waters and a private sandy beach; days here fuse together into unforgettable memories. Residents cherish swimming in clear waters; indeed, the Big Rideau has gained notoriety for having some of the best water quality in the country. Fall ushers in glorious rustling leaves, while summer urges the use of the pontoon or canoe, or watching an epic sunset; it's the stuff cherished childhood souvenirs are made of. When All is Best Islands is your summer address; peaceful privacy is your neighbour. The abundance of trees and island vantage guarantee a calming retreat at each visit.

A few feet from the house stands a guest cottage. Make sure you have a calendar handy; friends and family will be wanting to spend the night often. With its own porch, a large bedroom faces an unblemished view of the water framed by bay windows. Never compromise on the guest count; there's a second bedroom and bathroom big enough to accommodate a family here. The younger set will love the rec room in the boathouse, or save it for the most coveted "me time". Profit from the east-facing vantage - its loft ceiling and balcony over the water will be an instant hit for the summer hangout.

There is truly no place like it - a perfectly appointed sanctuary in the heart of the Rideau Waterway that holds a prestigious history, and dare we say it, the key to every family's heart. Make an appointment and start dreaming today.

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Room Dimensions

Living Room Main 24' x 15'
Dining Room Main 11'10" x 15'
Kitchen Main 15' x 13'1"
Partial Bath Main 7'3" x 5'9"
Mud Room Main 15'1" x 5'6"
Enclosed Porch Main 14'2" x 9'2"
Guest House Bedroom Main 20'9" x 16'
Guest House Bedroom Main 9'8" x 7
Guest House Bath 3Pc Main 9'4" x 7'1"
Guest House Bath 3Pc Main 5'9" x 4'6"
Master Bedroom Second 18'9" x 15'
Bedroom Second 15' x 11'8"
Bedroom/Den Second 15' x 9'10"
Full Bath Second 10'8" x 9'2"
Guest House Loft Bdrm Second 23'6" x 11'1"
Boat House Loft Bdrm Second 31'3" x 15'8"