Houses of the Gatineau Hills

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the June 29, 2011 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Converted family cottage on river reminder of turning point in time

by Trevor Greenway

When you wander far enough down Beattie Point Road in Chelsea, you eventually reach a magical time warp. You enter a portal to another world - an earlier, simpler one that involved nature, family, friends and not much more required.

Houses of the Gatineau Hills
The house at 1 Beattie Point in Chelsea has a large open concept kitchen, massive windows and a large wrap-around deck that looks over the Gatineau River.

"It was pure magic," said Catherine Joyce, remembering what it was like growing up on her family's pristine property at 1 Beattie Point, which boasts one of the most breath-taking panoramic views of the Gatineau River. "It's the most private playground and it's surrounded by nature."

The Joyce family bought the three-plus-acre property in 1955 and used it only as a summer cottage until 1976. The cottage was then carefully taken down and the retrieved materials were used to build a more permanent structure - with the realization that four months of paradise a year just wasn't enough.

"It's such a beautiful spot," said Joyce. "It's simple and close to the land. Beauty feeds the soul." Joyce, now 62, will never forget her growing-up years at the property with her three siblings, Barbara, Liz and Rob. The four would do everything together from the neighbourhood baseball and volleyball games that involved up to 12 kids, to the plays they used to put on in the family's boathouse for the floating audience who would paddle up to the dock for some evening theatre. And yes, of course, there was the late-night skinny-dipping.

Houses of the Gatineau Hills
The walls of the hosue are covered in beautiful recycled cedar from the former cottage. Photo courtesy Catherine Joyce

"We had some wild parties here," said Joyce, remembering the dance parties held on the dock, the guitar-fueled moonlit campfires, the sunrises, the calming nature and the wicked storms. "We used to just sit on the porch and watch the storms roll in."

Houses of the Gatineau Hills
The stunning view of the Gatineau River, seen from the large deck attached to the four-seasons home. Photo courtesy Catherine Joyce

The property has everything anyone would ever want in a country home: a stunning waterfront with sandy beaches, flat green spaces for summer sports The property has everything anyone would ever want in a country home: a stunning waterfront with sandy beaches, flat green spaces for summer sports back to the early 1970s, but it has the potential to become a modern-day dream home. The walls in the main room are covered in recycled cedar from the former cottage, and the front of the house features multiple windows that allow a view of the Gatineau River and the Hills beyond. The four-bedroom, two bathroom-home features a workshop, a recreation room, a giant open-concept living room and kitchen, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and the potential for an open loft, if one were to rip down a few walls. There is even a small guesthouse, perfect for visitors. Although Joyce calls the family home "a magical property," the time has come to let it go. The family is selling the home and it could be yours if you have $1.2 million sitting in the bank. The property is being listed with Mark Ryan for $1,195,000.

For more information, call 819-459-8853 or visit www.markjamesryan.com.

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