Peter Welles doesn’t remember if it took an hour or an entire afternoon, but he knows exactly where he was when he hit that childhood rite of passage: catching his first fish. It was a perch, pulled from Lake Huron at the cottage. “My family has been going to this spot for 90 years; it’s part of my DNA,” says Peter. A long-standing conservationist, he volunteers with organizations that are working on nature-based solutions to climate change, so it’s understandable he considers the site “his spiritual home.” Untouched wilderness, stunning sunsets and reverie-inducing waters sum up the splendors of the North Channel of Lake Huron, an hour’s drive east of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Peter actually lives on the other side of the border in Michigan (he commutes to Canada by electric car), and says the area is popular with vacationing Americans due to its proximity and beauty.
For years, he docked and spent time at his island cottage, but now his adult children stay there. “They like the island experience,” he says. As Peter gets older, he prefers having year-round and car access. So he built a breathtaking lakehouse on the mainland, just a short boat ride away from the island cottage. He made sure it could handle a bustling bunch — his kids and grandkids — but also feel cozy when it was just him and Loonie, his English cream golden retriever. “We designed it to live large or small, so when it’s just me during the winter, it’s comfortable,” says Peter. “I don’t feel like I’m swimming in a great big place.”
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Author: Iris Benaroia
House & Home July/August 2022
Lucy Interior Design; Architecture: Sala Architects