Thank you! for choosing us for your summer stay this year. We will do our best to make your visit an enjoyable experience. Below we provide some details about your stay to try and answer any questions you may have.

Note we offer TWO rental options on our private, family-owned island:
1) our charming, 3-bedroom COTTAGE, complete with 2 queen/double beds, 1 bunk-bed set for kids, screened porch, bathroom & shower, full kitchen, bbq, etc.
2) our rustic, one-room “Honeymoon Cabin” – on it’s own tiny island just adjacent to our main island, featuring 1 queen and 1 single bed, fridge, hot-plate, bbq, kitchen-ware, etc. “rustic” means no running water, and composting toilet.
Please see the Description Pages for both of these options for more details, photos.

History & Geography

The rental cottage is located on 10-acre Holder Island, on Newboro Lake, and near the village of Newboro, Ontario. The island is mostly tree-covered with mature oak and maple forest, on a bedrock of rose-coloured Canadian Shield granite. Newboro Lake is part of the Rideau Canal system, and offers exceptional fishing, swimming and beautiful Ontario cottage scenery. map5a

Holder Island was acquired by the Wasteneys Family in the early 1970’s, and is maintained by 5 siblings and their families: Stephen, Catherine, Clare, Hardolph, and Geoffrey. Prior to this, the island was home to a busy fishing lodge for tourists called “Royal Rideau Lodge”. The former lodge building is now the main family cottage, situated at one end of the island. Our rental cottage is located in a secluded area near the mid-section of the island, with its own docking facility, trails, and picnic area. The “Honeymoon Cabin” is situated on its own small but private island apart from our main island.

Getting There

The island is accessed by short boat trip from the Newboro town dock and (free) boat launch, which is located next to the Rideau Canal locks in the village. Parking is available at the dock area for a small fee, including some space for boat trailers (~$3.50/day). There is a public boat docking area for day trippers. map5b
For those who need transport to/from the island, please contact us to arrange for this in advance. A “water taxi” service may also be available. For the adventurous, the island is a short and scenic 30-minute canoe trip from the town dock. If needed, one of us will meet new cottage renters at the Newboro dock, shuttle you to the island, and provide cottage orientation/info on your arrival. We also offer an aluminum boat and motor for rent ($300/week + gas) for those who wish to go fishing, explore the lake, etc. Please arrange this in advance.

Our Facilities (referring to the 3-bdr Cottage unless otherwise mentioned…)
Our rental cottage is ready for your visit, with a large screened porch, well-equipped kitchen, living/dining area, hot shower, flush toilet, BBQ, 2 double beds, and 2 bunk beds. The rustic and cozy Honeymoon Cabin has one double bed and one single, fireplace, fridge, BBQ, and basic cooking facilities.
Arrival/Departure – our cottage rentals are generally weekly, beginning any time after 2PM on Saturday and ending before 11AM on the following Saturday. Other options may be possible – please ask.
We operate our facilities as a “housekeeping” cottage, meaning that cottage guests are responsible for all tidy up and cleaning at the end of their stay, so that its original condition is restored. This helps us keep costs down. Please allow time for your group to tidy up before your departure.

What to Bring
DRINKING WATER – the cottage water is pumped straight from the lake, which is generally clean, but not drinkable – so you must bring your own drinking water. Rather than throw-away bottles, we recommend large, refillable 18L jugs – which can be purchased from local stores or the Esso in Westport, or just bring some from home.
LINEN etc. – please bring your own linens including sheets, pillow cases, towels, dish cloths, dish towels. Unfortunately we do not provide laundry service. We do provide pillows, blankets.
(bed sizes – cottage: 1 queen, 1 double, 2 single bunk beds; cabin: 1 queen, 1 single)

Garbage – since we are on a small island, we ask that all cottagers take care of their garbage when they leave. We may be able to provide handling for a certain amount of recyclables and organics for composting – please ask for details, and please help us to be as “Earth friendly” as possible by minimizing waste.
(multi-week guests: ask us about weekly township pickup details, Sundays at the Newboro wharf)
Smoking – for the respect and enjoyment of all renters, smoking IS NOT permitted inside the cottage or cabin. We ask that cottage guests also respect local wildlife and vegetation.
We ask for your cooperation with these items above as it will help us keep annual rental costs down as low as possible.

On the Island
Boating – the following sports equipment is available: canoes, kayaks, row-boat, swimming dock, etc. We have some life jackets, but if you have a favourite, please bring it along.
Note: canoes and other boats require some paddling skills, and Newboro Lake is large and can be very windy – please use with caution. We have ample docking space for your boat(s) at the island.
Swimming – there is a tiny beach alongside the cottage docking area, and when the Wasteneys family is not around, cottagers are invited to make the short walk to the Southwest end of the island where you will find our swimming dock, and small beach for the children.
Hiking – it’s a small island but there are some short trails that you can use anytime for views of the water and marsh areas, birdwatching, etc.
Fishing – is generally very good in Newboro Lake; bass, pike, perch, pan-fish are the main catch. Please bring your own fishing equipment. Kids can usually catch lots of small fish right off the dock.
Kitchen – our cottage kitchen is equipped with a fridge, stove, hot & cold running water (filtered lake water, not for drinking), microwave, toaster, coffee maker, pots & pans, dishware, cutlery, etc. The Honeymoon Cabin has a gas cooking ring, microwave, dishware, regular fridge, toaster, kettle.
BBQs – are provided at both cottage & cabin, including propane.
Hot water – the cottage has a hot water system for shower and kitchen.
FIRE/Campfires – please use the fire ring in front of the cottage; some firewood is available – please ask before collecting any wood from the island. Fires on the cabin island are strictly limited to the provided fire cauldron. The island is normally tinder dry and fires must be strictly controlled at all times. No fires on windy days please.
Pets – well-behaved dogs and other pets are welcome, please make sure they are under control at all times and kept away from the wildlife.
Cell phone service – is generally good anywhere on the island.

Local Supplies – water, snacks, ice cream and other simple items are available at Kilborn’s in Newboro, which also has a pub & restaurants. Westport (a 5 min. drive North) has a full grocery store, bakery shop, cafes, several restaurants, chip wagon, gas station, and many other amenities. Some farms in the area offer fresh produce at the farm gate during the summer, including sweet corn!
Entertainment, etc. – there is no internet or television service for guests on the island. A standard TV and DVD/VCR-player can be provided for your use at the cottage, so please bring your own tapes or DVDs. Loons will serenade you!
Food – please bring everything you need, there is no food provided at the cottage.

Bathroom – the cottage has a 2pc bathroom plus separate propane-heated shower. The Honeymoon Cabin has no running water so it has a simple composting toilet only. For laundry – there is a coin laundry at the Esso station in Westport. PLEASE DO NOT put soap or dirty water in the lake – ask us for advice.
Wildlife – on or around our island, you can expect to see lots of birds and other wildlife, including loons, herons, bald eagles, ospreys, ducks & geese, terns, woodpeckers, beavers, turtles, frogs, and much more.

Honeymoon Cabin

Honeymoon Cabin

“Honeymoon Cabin”
The Cabin is a rustic, one-room and very charming option for our guests – on its own small, private island just a short paddle away from our main island. It has one queen-size bed, and another single bed, a full-sized fridge, dining table, BBQ, and porch. There is no running water, so basic kitchen/washing can be accomplished with lake water and a bucket! For cooking, there is a 2-burner propane gas ring, and basic kitchenware is provided. A composting toilet is located just a few steps around the back of the cabin. Please ask for further details if needed.

One last note…
Deposit Required – please note we now require a $100 security / cleaning deposit on your arrival. This deposit will be refunded when you leave the cottage in the good condition that it was in when you arrived, ready for our next guests.

THANK YOU for renting with us this year! Let us know if you have any other questions. We look forward to your visit!

More Info

Our Paddle Guide – maps and tips for paddle sport guests.

Our “Getting There” Guide – maps and detailed instructions for how to get to Holder Island