Michael de Pencier’s “floating cottage” on Georgian Bay

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has awarded its 2022 Gold Medal to Toronto’s Jerome Marksom. As Canadian Architect reports, among Marksom’s many noteworthy designs was a “floating cottage” for Michael de Pencier, who had bought the struggling Toronto Life magazine in 1971. According to a 2016 Toronto Life article, de Pencier bought a 20 foot Grew at the Toronto boat show in 1979, as well as a Georgian Bay island for $12,000. Unable to build on it (assuredly because of a Restricted Area Order governing setbacks from the water, and septic), de Pencier hired Marksom to design a multi-story floating cottage atop a steel barge to anchor at the property. You can see a photo if it in both the Canadian Architect article and the Toronto Life article.

Given all the controversy lately over de facto floating cottages on barges, I’m intrigued to know exactly where this cottage was and what, if anything, ever became of it.

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