Re-Imagining Escapism: The Role of Landscape Architecture in Responsible Cottage Shoreline Design in Muskoka, Ontario

Lalonde, Abigayle
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University of Guelph

In Ontario, second-home tourism has become increasingly popular, such as owning a cabin or cottage by a lake or body of water. Muskoka, Ontario, is an extreme example of a location that showcases rapid waterfront cottage development at a residential scale. The concern regarding increased waterfront development in Muskoka is that it causes ecological fragmentation that impacts the upland, littoral and riparian zones. This thesis explores the tensions between environmentally responsible cottage design practices and the community’s social, and recreational needs through the lens of landscape architecture. It utilizes a case study methodology combined with existing literature to establish an adaptable design framework for various shoreline conditions. The study provides landscape-driven solutions particular to the location that fulfills all pillars of responsible design, ultimately creating a guideline for professionals in Muskoka and other cottage landscapes working with similar settings.

Cottage, shoreline, cottage, shoreline recreation, Muskoka, Shoreline design, Landscape Architecture, Landscape Design, Responsible Design, shoreline ecology