There’s a lot to love about being in Muskoka. Getting here, on the other hand, is rarely a delight. Even when traffic is good, the drive is long and boring… and traffic is rarely good.
Which is why more and more people are discovering the joy of flying here instead.
“We can pick you up in Toronto and have you at your cottage dock in 45 minutes,” says Chris Hogue, owner and chief pilot of Cottage Air. “Why would you drive when you can fly?”
Those 45 minutes are sure to be the most pleasant trip to the cottage you’ve ever experienced. Instead of staring at the bumper of the car in front of you, you’ll be gazing out on the marvelous tapestry of thousands of lakes, picking out your cottage as you come in for the approach.
Luxury and flexibility
Chris has been a commercial pilot since 2001. When he launched Cottage Air, he knew he wanted to offer a combination of luxury and flexibility. “It’s not enough to fly someone to the nearest airport – we bring them right to their dock. They step out of the plane, and cottage time has begun.”
The luxury is found on board the heavily modified DeHavilland Beaver. “This is one of the nicest Beavers in the world – it’s been completely upgraded from tip to tail,” he says. It’s equipped with leather upholstery, a glass cockpit, noise-cancelling headphones with SiriusXM radio for all passengers, and a window seat for everyone. Complementary gift bags for each passenger, full of unique Muskoka products, further enhance the experience.
“People step aboard and say ‘wow! It’s like being in a private jet.’”
At the same time, the Beaver is one of the safest, most reliable, and most versatile planes in the world. “We can take off and land on very small bodies of water. And the plane is amphibious, so we can take off from a runway at Billy Bishop, Pearson International, or Buttonville and land on the lake. From there we just taxi to your cottage dock,” Chris says.
Flights aren’t just back and forth to Toronto, either. “We are a full charter service, based in Muskoka. Wherever you want to go, we can take you there,” Chris says. He has flown clients to fishing lodges in Northern Ontario and Quebec, to Killarney Mountain Lodge for dinner, to business meetings in London and Kitchener, and much more.
“Lunch at Henry’s Fish and Chips is very popular – it’s on Sans Souci Island in Georgian Bay, and the only way to get there is by boat or plane.”
For cottage owners who need to go back and forth to the city regularly, Cottage Air offers flight packages of 10 or 20 prepaid trips, which offer significant savings.
“Clients can just call us up, tell us when they want to go, and we’re there,” says Chris. He adds it’s also a popular way to bring visitors to the cottage – clients, partners, family members, or staff can all be brought directly to the dock, arriving refreshed and impressed.
Seeing Muskoka from the air is a fantastic benefit when buying real estate as well. “From the air, you can really get the lay of the land,” says Chris. The plane also allows people to see several properties on different lakes, all in one afternoon, without spending days driving up and down cottage roads.
For many people, just going aloft is the whole point. “We offer sightseeing flights, just to enjoy the view,” says Chris. “We work closely with the resorts, or we can pick people up at the airport or right from their cottage dock and take them up for some amazing sightseeing.”
“We’ll fly people to a special destination for a wedding proposal – or they’ll even propose while we’re in the air.”
No matter what your reason for travelling in or out of Muskoka, it’s better by plane. “This is your gateway to relaxing in Muskoka,” says Chris.