Dock Stories – The Heart of the Cottage with Ela & Cameron

For many families, a cottage is built on tradition.  A lifetime of memories passed on and experienced by a multitude of generations.  The Snodden family is no exception.  Cameron and Ela Snodden were delighted when they purchased their waterfront cottage.  For them, it was a continuation of the memories they had made as kids themselves at their own family cottages.

Now it was their turn to make memories with their son and daughter.  The first step towards building new memories was creating the right space, and that included upgrading their existing dock to a CanadaDocks™ dock kit.

“The dock’s really important to cottage lifestyle because that’s where everyone hangs out. Whether they’re swimming or hanging out with everybody, they need a stable area.”


Wood Vs. Aluminum Docks

“We had three old dilapidated floating wood docks,” explains Cameron.  They knew that they needed a change.  With small children, the idea of splinters from wood and dock spiders was not appealing.

Ela said, “At first I was little hesitant. The image of having a wood dock is part of a cottage.  But having an aluminum dock, I’m so happy.  Not having slivers, not having to worry. You’re not dealing with dock spiders with the Thru Flow™ decking.  I’m happy that we didn’t go with wood.”

In terms of the design, they found that the sheer size of the dock that they wanted was either not available or not engineered strongly enough in a wooden option.

“We researched a lot of different docks and we loved CanadaDocks™ because it had a well engineered, very stable frame.  We looked at different wood docks and we couldn’t span the lengths we wanted to span.”


Modular Dock Design With Room to Grow

The whole family loves to be on the water, whether it’s swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, or watching the little ones.  Coming up with the right design for their dock kit was crucial. 

“We love swimming obviously but also paddling. We’re all very into paddling. Our kids love the paddle boards, our daughter loves kayaking so we’re always on the water in some way or another.”

They went online and used the CanadaDocks™ Dock Builder to design the perfect dock kit.  Within minutes they received an estimate.  A few days later, they were picking up their new dock.  “Communication has always been very easy with CanadaDocks™.  We’ve always emailed questions or asked for suggestions and ideas and they email back right away with responses, so customer service has been great,” shared Ela.

They initially decided on one dock kit, and expanded a few years later.

The first dock kit consisted of:

When they realized that their active family needed more room, they added in the following:

They added in red and white cleats, stainless steel solar lights, and white bumpers.  They aren’t stopping there.  “In the future we are already thinking of ideas how we’d like to get a little bit more space and set off the hexagon.  If we eventually get a boat, to do another little sidebar for that.  We love how easy everything connects together”.


Rising Water Levels

Being on a lake system that runs on the Trent Severn, their water levels fluctuate quite a bit.  For that reason, it was essential that they go with a floating dock kit.  Functionally, a floating dock was their best solution. Cameron explained that “we like the versatility of it. We can put it wherever we want, mounted however we want. Then we can also take it out in the winter. It’s fairly easy to take in and out. Basically two or three people can lift it. It’s all very lightweight”.

Maintenance Free = Stress Free

With two young children, it was important for Cameron and Ela to get to enjoy all of their time with their family, and not have to worry about maintenance and repairs.  “The reason we bought CanadaDocks™ was the fact that it’s almost maintenance-free and we didn’t want to have to replace and repair.  We wanted something that was going to last our lifetime that we wouldn’t have to worry about again.  With the aluminum frame and the composite top with the Thru Flow™ decking, there’s no reason we’d ever have to change anything.”


With their CanadaDocks™ dock kit, the Snodden’s can enjoy their cottage to the fullest.  “Cottaging is such a social thing.  You can have just your own family but also we have friends that come up and we have a great party all weekend in terms of either swimming together or having a campfire.”

“You’re near the dock and so it allows us to enjoy life.”


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