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Meech Lake Retreat - Charming country home in the Gatineau Hills 25min to Ottawa

Bedrooms 4
Space 2,400 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

4 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom With Dock On Lake - Easy Road/Lake Access And Parking

Meech Lake Retreat is a country home located 25 Minutes from Downtown Ottawa in the heart of the Gatineau Park It has a beautiful dock with 2 kayaks and a canoe on Meech lake - 10 Minutes from Chelsea, Quebec. 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8.

This is a dog friendly vacation rental - Dogs are welcome upon review.

Originally built as a summer home in the late 40's, this is one of the original Meech Lake county homes. Situated in the center of a wooded 2-acre lot. It is easily accessed by car and has lots of parking by the house. The large, private property features a cement patio with BBQ surrounded by gardens and sweeping lawns leading down to the road and across to the Lake. The lake front has a seating area and a short set of stairs leading down to the water where the boats are kept.

There is NO public motor boat launch so there are few motor boats. Long-distance swimmers do the length of the lake in the morning, later on kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are common sights.

The house, with its period construction and country gardens, is an ideal setting from which to enjoy not only the lake, but the beauty and splendor of Gatineau Park, Chelsea and the attractions of downtown Ottawa. Situated beside cycling trails and some of the best hiking trails in the region Meech Lake Retreat is only a 20-minute drive to some of Canada's renown National museums and galleries.

A morning adventure to Ottawa's By Ward Market or National Art Gallery and an afternoon on the dock sipping a cocktail or kayaking is so easy from here. For a closer adventure take a 10-minute drive to Chelsea, home of Le Spa Nordik offering complete pampering and a unique day spa experience.

Grocery shopping in Chelsea is a gastronomic delight featuring world class take-out foods from Les Fougeres, Le Boucanerie, The Old Chelsea Market, Le Resto, Pizza Luigi's and Chelsea Schwarma. For your staples we have a unique Fresh Mart which carries a large assortment of organic and gluten free foods.

The house comes with all the amenities. The kitchen is well equipped with refrigerator/freezer, a gas range, microwave oven, drinks fridge and washer/dryer. Outdoors, there is a large patio with BBQ and seating surrounded by gardens, mature trees and a large lawn. The Sun Room is on the south-east side of the house and is fully screened - perfect for relaxing.

During the summer the owners of the property live in the adjacent studio-suite. All of the vacation home amenities are for use by those renting the home and the owners will not intrude on your very special vacation.

Stunning in the Fall, the woods of the Gatineau Hills come alive with colour and the hiking is amazing in the crisp air.

During the winter months, the adjacent trails are fully groomed for nordic skiing. There is a designated snowshoe trail further along the lake, 1km away. The lake does freeze over and skating is possible at times but nordic skiing across the lake is a wonderful experience. Make sure the weather has been cold enough to freeze the lake fully. Coming back to the property to curlup by one of the fires with a hot drink is just divine.

More Details

Norma Lu Brown
Member since: 2013
Speaks english, french
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 23, 2018

About Norma Lu Brown

William McElligott is an Ottawa native and has been an award-winning architectural photographer for over 30 years - he often travels for his work. Norma Lu has worked in marketing and most recently with businesses to improve their web presence for over 20 years. Both Willie and Norma Lu are outdoors enthusiasts which makes Meech Lake the perfect location for their home and Studio.

Norma Lu Brown purchased this house in 1998

Why Norma Lu Brown chose Chelsea

Both Willie and Norma Lu are avid alpine and cross-country skiers, mountain-bikers and paddlers. They have owned this stunning property for 20 years. When their children were young they spent much time with friends on the dock and having BBQs on the patio. More recently the children have moved on and Willie and Norma find themselves away more than home.

Meech Lake Retreat remains the perfect location to enjoy a country lake side vacation and explore the Ottawa region and Gatineau Hills. Willie and Norma invite you to enjoy what they have enjoyed for over 20 years.

Chelsea is the village that one drives through to get to the lake - a very special place only 10 minutes away. Fully bilingual - French/English - it is the home of active families who have the choice of local elementary education in either French or English with door-to-door school bus service and After-4 cultural play.

For a night out there are many world-class restaurants in Chelsea, the Nordic Spa or Camp Fortune is the perfect spot for weddings - they have it all.

When they moved to Meech Lake their son was 4 years old. Over the years, he learned to ride his bike on the driveway, ski and toboggan on the front lawn and swim off the dock. His birthdays were spent with numerous kids running around the property with water-pistols - their goal to capture the tree-fort. Hide-and-seek was indoor & outdoor.

More recently they have started using their sailboards as paddle boards (SUPs) on the lake.

What makes this house unique

Meech Lake Retreat is located on Meech Lake, a 10 minute drive from the quaint town of Chelsea, Quebec and an easy 25 minute drive from downtown Ottawa.

Spending a morning visiting Art Galleries and an afternoon lounging on the lake is simple.

The adjacent trail is so accessible it makes Meech Lake Retreat ski-in/ski-out in the winter and the perfect location for hikers, walkers and bikers the rest of the year.

There are very few motorized boats on this lake as there is no public boat launch. Kayaks, canoes, sailboats, swimmers and Loons can be seen here and there during the summer.

As is having a peaceful cross-country ski on the groomed trails and then spending the afternoon 10 minutes away at the Nordic Spa. The trails are groomed for cross-country skiing each night!

Once the lake is frozen in the winter cross-country skiers and those on snow-shoes can be seen trekking down the lake. We always wait for the locals to give the all-frozen go-ahead before going on the lake.

The night sky's are stupendous - the stars shine brightly in the very dark surroundings and the fireflies twinkle all over the front lawn. It is very quiet here.

Guestbook comments from the owner

On a beaucoup aimé la campagne au bord d’un magnifique lac dans un immense chalet muni de toutes les commodités. Il y a plusieurs activités à faire aux alentours: vélo de route, marche ou vélo de montagne dans les sentiers du parc de la Gatineau, kayak, baignade, etc.. Des propriétaires qui sont très accueillants, bref. c’est une expérience mémorable!
Jul 2014
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Accommodation and Amenities for this vacation house rental in Chelsea

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2400 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Min. age of primary renter: 30 ...
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events allowed ...
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Rural ...
  • Ski-In ...
  • Ski-Out ...
  • Village ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Sports & Activities
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Garage
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , This bathroom services the Master and Guest 1 bedroom
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , tub , This is a 40s style with a large clawfoot bathtub.
  • Both bathrooms are located upstairs on the 2nd level. Bathroom 1 features a full-size clawfoot tub with hand shower spray option. Bathroom 2 has bath with shower and is located at the front of the house beside the Master bedroom and Guestroom.
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Master - 1 king , Carpet and separate dressing/desk areas
    Guest 2 - 1 double , Hardwood flooring and couch/desk area
    Guest 3 - 1 double , Hardwood flooring with dresser and cupboard
    Guest 1 - 1 queen , Carpet smaller room with dresser / cupboard
  • Bedrooms are all located upstairs and are serviced with two washrooms. All bedrooms have windows with screens and beds are very accessible to guests. There are plenty of hanging cupboards and dressers. The hallway and stairs are hardwood with a handrail.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Toys ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • long term renters welcome
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • water parks
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • ice skating
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rock climbing
  • roller blading
  • ski privileges optional
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
A get away close to Ottawa, Canada but in a quaint, sports-minded, world-class restaurant populated corner of Quebec - Old Chelsea.


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(7 traveler reviews)

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Meech Lake Retreat - Charming country home in the Gatineau Hills 25min to Ottawa
average rating of 4.714286 based on 8 reviews

Hidden Gem

  • 5 of 5

We enjoyed our stay from the moment we drove up to Meech Lake Retreat. There was ample room for 2 couples and our 14 year old son. We explored the nearby hiking trails, kayaked, canoed and relished the outdoors. Dining out was amazing with superb restaurants nearby. Located 20 minutes outside of Ottawa we were able to explore the museums. A truly amazing way to experience and appreciate Canada!!!

Norma and Willie were very welcoming and knowledgeable. We came home with TWO autographed Ottawa Canada coffee table books.

  • Submitted: 31-Aug-2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Peaceful family retreat in a well loved home. We left refreshed and renewed.

  • 5 of 5

Great family home steps from the delightful Meech Lake in a setting like a piece of heaven.

  • Submitted: 13-Aug-2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great rental - very comfortable for 8 adults + visitors

  • 4 of 5


- Exactly what we were looking for in a large, rustic, comfortable cottage

- Other than the 4 bedrooms and kitchen, there are 3 separate common rooms (one of which is very large), makes it easy to find a place to hide out or gather with others.

- Huge yard, well tended

- There is a trampoline at ground level, fun and safe for the kids!

- The property has a dock, but 2 beaches are just a few km away

- Tons of books, games, pictures, memorabilia - feels more like a home than a rental

- 2 of the bedrooms are very large, more like suites.


- Both bathrooms (only one with a shower) and the 4 bedrooms are on the 2nd floor, something to keep in mind for any visitors who are not mobile.

  • Submitted: 8-Aug-2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Lovely location, quirky old house

  • 4 of 5

We have just finished a lovely stay at Meech Lake Retreat. The house itself is quirky and eclectic (see details below). The owners are very easy to deal with and friendly, and the Gatineau Park is beautiful. I would recommend staying there. However, when we arrived, there were a few 'surprises' that we were not prepared for, whether this is due to cultural differences I don't know, but I just wanted to note some of them for future renters. First, there is a road between the house and the lake. It is very narrow and there is traffic regularly on it going to the public beach further up. There is no walking path or road all the way around the lake. If you want to walk along the lake you walk on the road. To get to the dock you have to walk about 100m along the road. The forest is very thick, you can't walk in it unless you are on a path. Most of the Gatineau park walk trails require you to drive to the start point.

Secondly, there are no ceiling lights in the dining, lounges or bedrooms. Personally, we found the table lamps provided were not really enough to do things like read or play games at night. Also, some of the bedrooms didn't have curtains.

The house is quite old, and most of it is quite original so there are a few issues like doors that don't close properly, creaks, etc. It is older and more well worn than expected by the photos. However, it was very clean, and it appeared that the linen and towels were new. The owners had also thoughtfully left us some cold beers (very hot day) in the fridge.

The layout upstairs is a bit peculiar. It appears to have been modified at some point with walls taken out. What is left is an enormous master bedroom, large second bedroom, small but adequate 3rd bedroom, and the 4th bedroom is an odd kind of room with 5 doors leading off it and a mattress on the floor. It didn't have any curtains on the windows and has French doors leading into the sunroom so privacy could be an issue.

The dining room window didn't open so we found the kitchen/ dining a bit stuffy and musty.

The sunroom is located at a different level (mid-level) to the rest of the house. Not very convenient.

The house is still used by the owners so has all their books, photos, personal belongings, etc still there, down to the stickers their son put on his bedroom door. We felt a bit like we were invading their privacy. Feels more like a private house than a holiday rental which we weren't expecting.

  • Submitted: 26-Sep-2015
  • Stayed: September 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great property, great location, great hosts!

  • 5 of 5

This property is in a great location. Very scenic, close to many attractions, parks and outdoors things to do, not to mention great small towns and the big cities. We went there for a girls weekend to go to the le Nordik spa. I definitely recommend going to that. The house has everything you need and has lots of space for a good number of people. We would definitely recommend it and would go back when in the area.

  • Submitted: 29-Oct-2014
  • Stayed: October 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Washington, DC

Wonderful, peaceful lake retreat

  • 5 of 5

We had the most amazing holiday at Meech Lake Retreat and I can't recommend it highly enough. The house is large and comfortable with a gorgeous living room that looks out onto the lake. Our kids loved playing in the garden, on the trampoline or with all the toys in the house (that belong to the owners' grown up son). The owners themselves are super laid back, really friendly and helpful but not intrusive at all. The best thing was the lake and having our own dock a few steps from the house and a canoe and two kayaks! The water is crystal clear and the surroundings are beautiful and we spent hours and hours happily messing about in the boats, swimming or just laying on the dock. Our kids learnt to kayak for the first time and are now hooked. We want to go back! Thank you so much!

  • Submitted: 26-Aug-2014
  • Stayed: August 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
45 Kilometres
Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Nearest Barpub
8 Kilometres
Chelsea's Pub
Nearest Golf
8 Kilometres
Dunderosa Golf & Maxi Putt
Nearest Train
25 Miles
Ottawa Via Rail
Nearest Motorway
9 Kilometres
HWY #5
Nearest Restaurant
8 Kilometres
L'oree du bois
Nearest Ski
5 Kilometres
Ski Camp Fortune Alpine
Nearest Beach
1 Kilometres
Blanchet Beach
Car: necessary

Located 20 minutes from Parliament Hill, Ottawa vacation renters can spend a day sight-seeing in Canada's Capital city and return in time for a swim or kayak ride before dinner.

In the summer the owners of the property occupy the studio-suite located beside the vacation home. The owners will always be available to meet their renters but may or may not be in residence when the vacation home is rented.

The house is situated in the centre of a sunny, open two-acre lot affording it privacy yet easy access by car. With plenty of parking and a large patio surrounded by mature trees, grassy grounds and flower gardens it is the ideal setting from which to enjoy not only the lake, but the beauty and splendour of Gatineau Park as well.

Lake Fun - The property's lakefront is a short stroll down the front lawn just across the country road from the house. Accessed by a short set of stairs, leading down to the docks, there is a landing area where the kayaks are stored and an optional sitting area. There is a floating dock with lots of room to spread out in the sun. There is a canoe and a pair of kayaks. With very few motorized boats on the lake it is a paddling and also swimming mecca – the swimming season can start as early as mid-May and reach into October.

Hiking or Ski-in/Ski-out - One of the main trail-heads to the 250km of groomed trails in the Gatineau Park is located next door. Access to a network of well groomed and maintained trails is upwards via a well maintained path perfect for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. Downhill mountain biking, Aerial Park/Canopy walks and downhill skiing are less than a kilometre away.

The house comfortably sleeps 8. Pets are welcome upon review. The kitchen is well equipped and features a gas range, microwave, two refrigerators and a chest freezer. A washer/dryer combination is located in the pantry. There are two full bathrooms upstairs - one bath/shower, one claw-foot bath.

Outdoors, there is a large patio equipped with a BBQ and outdoor furniture. There is a three-season sunroom on the south side of the house perfect for breakfast or an afternoon read. In the winter the front lawn makes a wonderful toboggan run and toboggans available.

The village of Chelsea is a close by treasure with it's quaint shops and restaurants and Spa. Le Spa Nordik attracts visitors from a far to enjoy it's world renown offerings unique day spa experience.


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this vacation house rental in Chelsea

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Damage Deposit C$500

Note: Until confirmed, rates are subject to change without notice.
A fully refundable security deposit is required $500.00
Check-in is 4pm unless otherwise arranged with the owner
Check-out is 11am unless otherwise arranged with the owner
Our fee is based on 8 overnight guests.
Additional guests may be allowed to stay at a surcharge of $225.00 per guest per week.
Often there may be children accompanying the party of 8 adults. In this case a small surcharge is applicable to cover extra linens etc.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Contact Owner