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Architecture and cottage styles in Muskoka

Blog by Susan Brown | May 23rd, 2017

If you want to experience the best of what nature has to offer,nothing beats living in a cottage in Muskoka. Cottage living is all about comfort and warmth, with everything cozy and laidback indoors, while its wild and beautiful outdoors – it is a quintessentially Canadian experience.
The cottages that you can find in Muskoka today reflect the history of the region. A lot of them are designed with a mix of influences and boast characteristics from a variety of architectural styles. You will find cottages that have certain elements from one style that have been integrated with another. Here’s a quick review of the many different architectural styles that you will see when you look at the cottages in Muskoka.


Homes designed in this style commonly have decorative bargeboards with a slight overhang on the eaves. You might find that some homes built in this style also have exposed rafters as well as pointed or arched windows, doors and porches. The common material used is stone, with a wall surface that extends to the gable.

Stick Victorian

Popular during the late 1800’s, this architectural style is distinguishable by the patterned stick work on walls and a side-gabled and front-gabled roof. It also has exposed rafters, chamfered porch supports and a slight overhang on the eaves as well as hipped dormers. The materials typically used to build cottages in this style include natural materials like stucco, stone or brick. These homes also often have wooden wall sidings that are fragmented into different variations of wood patterns on the surface of the wall, creating a very rural and traditional look.


Cottages built in this style are characterized by having a structural support that’s made of timber, and they usually come in the traditional colors of brown and white. Notable design characteristics include a flattened Gothic arch and round arched windows, doors, and porches, diamond-paned leaded class and a façade that is embellished with stucco or patterned stone.

Carpenter Gothic Revival

Cottages built in this style are characterized by giving a folk twist to traditional Gothic elements. These are often made mostly of wood, though some may have some stone and brick features. Carpenter Gothic cottages may also have lacey gingerbread bargeboards and ornamental chimneys.

French Country

Cottages built in the French country architectural style use materials like stucco and brick. They are also characterized by having asymmetrical exteriors with curved arches, a chimney, stonework and soft edges that exude rustic simplicity and comfort. There are different variations to this architectural style as the French countryside also has different characteristics; as such you’ll find everything from cottages that have more of a farmhouse feel to an elegant estate-like chateau.

Farmhouse Style

The main feature of a farmhouse that distinguishes it from the others is the fact that it usually has a front porch with the door located at the center. It has second floor dormer windows and is laid out parallel to the main road. This architectural style is symmetrical and has an exterior that has a horizontal orientation.