Dock Stories – The Hill’s Cottage on Brady Lake

A gift to celebrate the past and make a promise for the future

For the past 22 years, Colin and Elaine Hill and their daughters, Ciara and Bronwyn, have been making memories at their cottage on Brady Lake. This is where the girls learned to swim, where Colin and Elaine hosted epic parties, and a family grew up. As the years went by, the daughters grew into adults and moved away. Now one resides in Ottawa while the other lives in Toronto. Colin and Elaine call Pickering home. Now their beloved cottage and CanadaDocks™ dock kit have become the central meeting point for the family to come together. According to Colin, the best place for the family to be is on the water. “The water is very pacifying.  All of our activities gravitate to the water… to get out on the dock, to swim and just enjoy the waterfront. And of course that all revolves around having a nice dock system.” The vast shoreline of the cottage is the perfect spot for entertaining, with a beach and shallow waters that descend to the ideal depth for their motor boat. The only aspect of the cottage that was less than ideal was their rotting, heavy wooden dock.

The Perfect Gift

With Colin and Elaine’s 25th wedding anniversary coming up, Ciara and Bronwyn has a stroke of genius when they attended the CanadaDocks™ booth at the Spring Cottage Life Show. Ciara explained, “I was really impressed by the system and how it was all aluminum and loved all of the configurations that you wouldn’t see elsewhere, specifically the hexagon. We thought, how fun would it be to create a vow renewal ceremony on the dock. But what really had me look at the hexagon was the amount of people that you could fit on the dock. So I really wanted to get them something that would last a long time.” It may have been an unconventional gift choice for some, but for the Hill’s, it was sentimental with deep rooted meaning. Buying a CanadaDocks™ dock kit was not only a celebration of 25 years of marriage, it was a promise to ensure the longevity of the dock, the cottage, and the fun the family would continue to have for years to come.
“We grab our coffee in the morning and see the mist come up. Then we see the sun go down and have our last glass of wine out there, so our dock has become a morning to evening centrepoint for the cottage,” – Colin and Elaine.

An Entire CanadaDocks™ Revitalization

Since receiving the 14’x16′ hexagon, they realized that they needed a whole new CanadaDocks™ dock kit to match. Colin had been envisioning what his new dock would look like for years, and now that he had his first CanadaDocks™ section, he was eager to use the online Dock Builder and get started on something new. He decided on the 4’x8’ standing dock to use as a ramp. Then he added on an 8’x8’ standing dock, an 8’x8’ floating dock. He also added a floating 7’x8′ hexagon as a swimming platform further into the lake. To complete the dock revitalization, he decided to add on 10 solar lights. With the new dock kit in place, their cottage experience was transformed. “It’s multifaceted with the different edges and sides to it. So there’s a lot of activities going on simultaneously. You’ve got the kids diving or water skiing. Then you’ve got the floating hexagon raft out there so the kids will swim out to that, dive off it. It’s very versatile and very convenient to have everybody involved with their own activities simultaneously, so it’s great,” said Elaine.

Time to Accessorize

They haven’t stopped planning for what’s to come next with their CanadaDocks™ dock kit. “We have our eye on a couple of things to add to the dock. It’s too tempting. The racks for the kayaks would be kind of cool because we have a paddle board and kayaks.  It would be good to neatly store them there.”  “Then maybe as I get older, I might even add the wheels underneath the dock so I can basically hook up the dock to my 4×4 and just haul it right out and make it even easier to pull out of the water than it is now,” says Colin.

Seasonal Removal Made Easy

Seasonal installation and removal was another feature of CanadaDocks™ that the Hill’s were drawn to. Rising water levels were a concern on Brady Lake, so they needed to ensure they brought the dock far away from the shoreline. Colin realized that one of the most ideal attributes of the dock was how lightweight it was. This is due to the innovative way it is made. The truss is made out of marine grade aluminum that is stamped out of a single piece, as opposed to multiple pieces welded together. This creates a stronger, lighter dock. For Colin, it meant that it was light enough that he didn’t need to unhook each module when he took it out of the water. “It was very strong and versatile to be able to just pull it onto the beach in one piece.”

A Promise for the Future

When asked about their future at the cottage, Ciara said “I can see it being a continuation, it really allows us to now make this a focal point in the water. I really see us continuing to bring friends here and harbor in at the dock and really use that as a relaxation point and a place where we all come together.”

“Everything revolves around the water, that’s why we put the cottage here, and of course the centrepiece is our CanadaDocks™ dock kit.”


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