The Cottage Life Podcast

The Cottage Life Podcast

Season 3 is here! Join Michelle Kelly, Editor of Cottage Life magazine, for a podcast that explores everything from real estate and design to the environment and your furry friends at the cottage. You’ll hear interviews with contributing writers, discover cherished essays, and hear readers’ most-loved tips as we celebrate the magazine’s 35th anniversary. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Episodes

June 30, 2022 25 min

You don’t need a map to get to the cottage, but do you know why? In the premiere episode of Season 3, Liann Bobechko, Deputy Editor of CL, joins Michelle to dig into the science of wayfinding and shares why we shouldn’t always rely on GPS. Equipped with new map-making skills, we revisit an essay about a treasure hunt on Georgian Bay by Giller-Prize nominated Canadian journalist, playwright, and novelist David MacFarlane. Then we ki...

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On the last episode of the season, we chat with a true cottage expert—former editor and publisher of Cottage Life, Penny Caldwell. She shares an insider look into working on the magazine for 18 years, what she’s learned from cottagers, and what makes cottaging in Canada so special. Plus, she answers the most common Q&As we get to the magazine. Also, we’ll revisit an essay about the traditions we form while being a kid at the co...

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August 19, 2021 29 min

Should a red sky at night really give sailors delight? Michelle interviews David Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, about the weather lore we love to share. Whether the sun is shining or rain is coming down at the cottage, it’s always a good time for a nap. We revisit an essay by journalist Elamin Abdelmahmoud about the rebellious act of catching a few zzzs when you’re at the lake. Plus, if yo...

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August 12, 2021 25 min

Safe boating practices continue to be a hot topic among cottagers. On this week’s episode, we chat with Diana Piquette, the president of Safe Quiet Lakes, an organization with the goal of making cottage-country lakes safer for everyone. Then we’ll hear about journalist and Lake Simcoe cottager Sasha Chapman’s experience making maple syrup. Last, we offer a key tip for potential cottage guests: what never to bring for a weekend at t...

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August 5, 2021 25 min

For this week’s episode, we called on Dan Kraus, a Senior Conservation Biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, to discuss how cottagers can protect their lakes through the restoration of their shorelines. However, when it comes to personal health, the cottage is the place where calories don’t count (right?). We’ll listen to an essay by award-winning food writer Mark Schatzker about the way we eat at the lake. Plus, our tip...

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July 29, 2021 30 min

Should you or should you not feed the deer? Michelle interviews the star of the Cottage Life channel, Hope Swinimer, about how to live in harmony with cottage wildlife. And while we’re on the topic of nature, we revisit an essay from writer Lisa Moore about how she gets wild at the cottage—the answer may surprise you. One memory you may want to forget: stepping on a porcupine quill. Our quick tip reveals the secret to safe removal ...

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July 22, 2021 25 min

We love going to the cottage, but there is something that bugs us about life at the lake. It's not the maddening commute, the frantic Friday packing, or the iffy plumbing—it's the mosquitoes. In this special bonus episode of the podcast, brought to you by the experts at Off!, we’ll share how to keep those pests (and their bites) at bay. Then we’ll listen to CL favourite Roy MacGregor’s take on the big five bugs of cottage c...

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Join us as we dive deep with writer and educator David A. Robertson, who wrote about the difference between appreciating and appropriating First Nations culture for our June/July 2021 issue. Then journalist Clive Thompson shares his most perfect memory of the wilderness. And for anyone who fears the lake because of leeches, there’s no need to worry. If one finds its way onto you, use this leech-removal tip and never fear the drink ...

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July 8, 2021 25 min

If there’s one thing we can thank the pandemic for, it’s our deeper connection to nature. Join Jody Allair from Birds Canada as he teaches us about common cottage birds and how to identify them by their sound. Then we’ll listen to an essay about everyone’s favourite cottage pastime: the puzzle. Plus, have you ever been kept awake by a leaky tap at the cottage? Don’t lose sleep—do this instead. 


Special thanks to:

Jody Allair, directo...

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June 30, 2021 25 min

In the premiere episode of season two, we interview Scott McGillivray about the booming cottage real estate market. One perk to the madness is that more people will experience the joy of cottage living, which we explore in an essay about the magic of being completely alone at the lake. And we share the solution to a stinky cottage situation: how to remove the skunk smell from your dog. 


Special thanks to:


Scott McGillivray, real esta...

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August 13, 2020 36 min

For the final episode of the season, we take a look at some of the greats, starting with treasured Canadian journalist and author Roy MacGregor. His work explores what is so special about cottaging in Canada and what makes it unique. Then we’ll listen to the sounds of the regal Great Blue Heron. And to close out the episode, an essay by Roy that’s received one of the greatest responses from CL readers.

 

Special thanks to:

Roy MacGreg...

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August 6, 2020 37 min

Once you pack up the car and put the key in the ignition, your cottage experience is under way. We talk with Dr. Eric Miller from the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute about how traffic works and the surprising ways drivers can cause problems on the road . Then we’ll listen to the sound of an animal you could mistake for a car coming down the road. And we ask: are you a bullet driver or a meanderer? 

 

Special t...

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July 30, 2020 27 min

Nothing makes the cottage feel more special than when it’s full of family and friends. But the idea of entertaining everyone can seem overwhelming. Thankfully journalist, cookbook author, and cinnamon bun magician Amy Rosen is here with tips to take the pressure off when it comes to feeding a crowd. Nothing will wake everyone up in the morning like the sound of the woodpecker alarm clock. We’ll share what a yellow-bellied sapsucker...

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July 23, 2020 29 min

There is nothing more beautiful than the green canopy of trees that make up cottage country. But the health of our trees is just as important as the beauty and arborist Matt Logan is here to answer reader FAQs. Then we’ve got even more tree talk—you’ll learn how trees communicate through their roots, share nutrients, and can warn one another of infestation. We also discover how planting a tree grows more than just a forest. 

Special...

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July 16, 2020 30 min

A conversation about cottage succession can be awkward, but it shouldn’t be avoided. On this episode, we chat with estate planning lawyer Peter Lillico to get his expert advice on the three pillars of a successful cottage succession plan. Whether you’ve inherited your cottage or bought something new, chances are you can hear frogs chirping around your property. We’ll learn about the sounds of some of the most popular frogs in Canad...

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July 9, 2020 26 min

Editor Michelle Kelly sits down with Elamin Abdelmahmoud to reflect on his 2019 Cottage Life article “Breaking the Colour Code” and to discuss race and how people of colour experience the culture of cottaging. Resident bird-lover Liann Bobechko is back to share why we should give a hoot about owls and their calls. And we take a look at how nature can help us come together to find our roots as a community, whether at the cottage or ...

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July 2, 2020 28 min

Life Below Zero star Sue Aikens, who is famous for living off the grid, shares her thoughts about what it’s like to live in isolation, especially during COVID-19, and offers advice to the cast of Life Below Zero Canada, the Cottage Life channel’s newest hit show. If you spend time in the wilderness, you might meet an otter—a silent and stealthy creature, until it’s not. Find out what sounds the otter makes and what they mean. One s...

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June 25, 2020 26 min

Let’s make some noise about...being quiet. We interview longtime Cottage Life contributor Leslie Garrett about “Killing Us Softly,” from our June/July 2020 issue, about the importance of silence and its surprising effects on our wellbeing. Some noises, however, we love. Like the call of a loon. Deputy Editor Liann Bobechko decodes loon calls. And, in true cottage style, we revisit an essay about relaxing at the lake. 

 

Articles refe...

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In Canada, we get just 14 summer weekends every year, and only three of them are long weekends. So we created the Cottage Life Podcast to help you get more out of every single one of them.

Join Michelle Kelly, the editor of Cottage Life magazine, for a deep dive into the stuff cottage-loving Canadians care about most, from wildlife and the environment to and entertaining and real estate.

Catch new episodes every Thursday, just in tim...

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