During the summer months in Ontario, Canada, thousands of local people escape the heat as well as the hustle and bustle of city life by going to their lakeside cottages. This seasonal ritual allows family and friends to spend quality time together and enjoy the great outdoors.
In this BBC's Close-up episode, reporter Sian Griffiths visits the Kostiw family at their cottage in the Kawartha Lakes region, north of Toronto.
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.
The activity is suitable for intermediate 2 students.
1 The closest inhabited place to the cottages in the Kawartha Lakes region is three hours away.
2 Some celebrities live in the same area.
3 The cottage is the ideal place for people who are fond of the new technologies.
4 One of the main problems of living in the cottages is the insects.
5 The Kostiw family love skiing in the mountains.
6 People have to be aware of the bears and wolves not attacking them.
Welcome to the Kawartha Lakes region in the central Canadian province of Ontario. We are about three hours north of the nearest city and fifteen minutes away from the nearest village, Apsley, which is exactly the point. It’s a place people love coming to, who love to go to cottages. It’s secluded, it’s got forests, it’s got lakes, it’s perfect. And the trend has been catching on the Hollywood celebrities as well: Goldie Hawn, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, they’ve been known to come across the border and go to a region up the road called Muskoka Caucus, but it’s a bit exclusive.
So here today we’ll take a look at the Kostiw family cottage. We’ve got some members here. It’s Matthew on the barbecue. We’re going to go inside and have a quick look. It’s got all the basics. It’s got living space, it’s got bedrooms. But it has no internet and no television. Most of the action takes place outside by the waterfront, so let’s go and have a look.
So we are down here on the deck with some members of the Kostiw family. We’ve got Natalia here and Alex, it’s Natalia’s cottage. Natalia, what’s the best thing about having a cottage?
I think one of the best things is just getting away from the city and the hustle and bustle of Toronto, and the calmness of being out in the countryside, so there’s nobody to disturb us, and friends come over as well, so it’s an excuse to see each other, and just spend quality time all together.
Are there any downsides?
Lots of bugs in the beginning, in June there’s quite a few black flies and you do have mosquitoes but it’s really worth it.
And the kids seem to really be able to get a chance to enjoy the water.
Yeah, they just love the water. My husband sails, I love kayaking and the boys love to ski and they love to be wake-boarding.
And how about wildlife. I think Alex at your place, you’re staying up the road, you can see some wildlife.
We’re on the next lake over, Jack Lake, and there are some bears up at the lake and a few years ago the boys and I saw like three black bear cubs. This year we saw some wolves, three baby cubs on the road. You’ve got to be careful when you’re driving because you can hit them. But, yeah, there’s a lot of wildlife and of course you’ve got the loons and the herons, that’s what we love.
Well I’ve got some bison burger here, it comes from Buffalo. It’s very low-fat. I’ve never tried some before. Delicious. But I won’t eat too much because Natalia and I are going out on the boats.
So we are here on the dock. We have got all kinds of very typical Canadian or Ontario water craft. We’ve got kayak, we’ve got a canoe, we’ve got a pedal boat with a special dog, Zaboo.
And that’s a glimpse of Ontario cottage life.
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