The “A” Frame @ Val des Monts

September, 2019

Val des Monts, Québec

As we roll through mid-September the A-frame at Val des Monts is welcoming guests who want a taste of early autumn on the lake. Some trees are changing color, squirrels and chipmunks are madly rushing around collecting and storing their winter supplies.  Different birds are stopping by on their way south.  We’ll be getting ready to shutter the cottages for the winter and let the local inhabitants have some winter peace.

This summer it’s been a busy summer at the A-frame on Lac du Barrage

The first renter came in early June as a short getaway to spend time with a friend. Wildflowers had already started – it was a ”Lady slipper” year! Birds were settling in and there were signs of deer and beaver! It was an active wild life spring … and summer as well.

spectacular lady slipper sightings

It was a late Spring this year and the lake water was very high. The A-frame is situated up on a hill so early visitors had the opportunity to watch the arrival of hummingbirds and the early paddlers fishing and kayakers exploring the shores and marshes for beaver and bull frog sightings.  So too were the cranes arriving on hunting expeditions.  Later in July my friend Nancy and I sat out on the doc for close to an hour watching the crane quietly strut around positioning itself to snap up a snack.

A mixed-weather summer season did not stop people from wanting to spend time away from the city close to the woods and the lake. It was often very cold in the mornings warming up in the afternoons beside the lake. This while folks in Ottawa, Gatineau and Montreal were sweltering with high humidity and UV.

The A-frame has a very efficient wood burning stove with a glass front.  So both the heat and the visual are comforting of cool Spring and Fall nights. Sometimes a small fire in the summer can also pull humidity out of the air. But that is very rarely necessary at the A-Frame.  It can get warm but the fans and the evenings cool things down rapidly.

There was an active wildlife scene around the lake this summer.  Beavers, birds–hummingbirds, chickadees, heron, Barred Owl and an assortment of other local and migrating birds were on view.  This morning (late August) a black and white warbler stopped by on its way to Panama.  I’m not fast enough with my camera to get photos. Fortunately Wendy is faster so some photos are included with this piece..

Nor am I a boater but Wendy and Barbara went out every day where they run into water dwellers down in the marshes at the end of the lake.  This morning Barbara saw 9 loons lined up on the lake just as she stood on the dock. So, she immediately went out to get a closer look.  While she was out on the lake the loons continued their tremolo then swooped and danced overhead as she paddled.

Loons a nightly opera

I’ve been listening, enjoyably, to my two friends discuss their sightings, while I simply enjoy knowing that wildlife is out there going about their business.

What I miss by not being a kayaker or boat rower I make up from walks on country roads and the towns and villages in the region.

Val des Monts (Perkins), Quebec is a little town located on unceded Algonquin Territory just north of Buckingham and Templeton in Gatineau, Quebec.  The beautiful Rivière Blanche runs through the town and provides a picturesque locale for resting or having a picnic at the river’s edge. The river runs through the village making its way through a beautiful little park.

Val des Monts can be reached by taking Highway 366 east from Highway 50 or by exiting the highway at Montée Paiment, my preferred route, a far more picturesque, peaceful route, running alongside farmland and forest.  When you are ascending to Val des Monts from the city via this route you are soon driving through the quiet of the countryside. Immediate tranquility and hardly any traffic.

The area around Val des Monts is cottage country. There are many lakes big and small–a veritable summer get away region.

But it is also home to full-time residents who work in nearby cities and towns.  It has all the services you want in a get-away – local grocers, artists, pharmacy, good cheese and even its own donut shop!  You know the name.  We’re just missing a local baker.  We’ve had a couple of pop-ups but none that could stay long enough to make a name and have people fully supporting it.

La Peche (Wakefield), St Pierre de Wakefield, Poltimore are local towns well worth visiting for those coming to the A-Frame from other parts of the province or country.

We’re looking forward to welcoming people to the few remaining 2019 days available at the A-Frame on Lac du Barrage at Val des Monts. And, of course, things are currently wide open for next spring, summer and fall.

You can book a few days, a week, a month or the whole season if you are looking to get away from the city, while remaining within easy reach of cities and the services offered including hospitals, government offices, universities and more.

Welcome to the A-Frame at Val des Monts

Booking July 15 to 30 Summer kayaking in Val des Monts, Quebec

Bookings are open for this two-story A-frame, two bedrooms, bright, cozy, comfy cottage in Val des Monts, Quebec. It has a full kitchen, all linens provided. Kayaks, canoe and more. No wifi but cell phones do work. So, you can be at peace, but not out of touch. Close to Ottawa (30 minutes) and Gatineau and about 2 hours from Montreal via Montebello and Buckingham along highway 50.
Wildlife, great swimming and kayaking or canoeing in a clean, clear lake. Very quiet especially from Monday to Friday. Weekends tend to be a little livelier but not crazy!
The month of August is fully booked but you can still book your September and/or Thanksgiving get away.

contact: regarding rates and reservations.

Book now, Summer on the Lake at Val des Monts, Québec

Imagine canoeing, kayaking and swimming on a hot summer’s day!

The snows are melting in Val des Monts, Québec and Spring is finally in the air!  It may seem early but its an excellent time to think about how you and your friends and family will spend some of those long, hot, lazy afternoons between June and September 2019.

This A-frame cottage on the lake could be the perfect respite from a long, cold winter.  Think about it!  2 bedrooms on two levels, a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace for cool nights in Spring and Fall.  Canoes, kayaks, birds, small wildlife. Peaceful! Its idyllic!

Information:  contact Louise at

September on the Lake at Val des Monts and … Thanksgiving is coming!


Sorry for the delay in reporting on activities around the cottages on the lake at Val des Monts.  I have been delayed by a sciatica attack. But, after a few weeks, it seems to be on the mend and I can see the end of the pain ahead.

floating on the lake:late summer

The warm, hot and sometimes muggy days of August are past now.  Though, I must say when it’s been muggy downtown – Ottawa, Gatineau or Montreal, it has always been cool enough here in Val des Monts that we sleep with a light blanket every night – sometimes, not so light.

misty view of cottageJust before the coolness of September came about we had some exceptionally hot, humid days and nights culminating in a huge storm that knocked down some trees and halted electric power for several hours.  But we were prepared – the Plum and the A-frame are equipped with terrific flashlights and candle holders.  The thunder and lightning were spectacular.  And the loons, of course, responded to the thunder and lightning with what seemed like a loon chorus across the lake.

Loon taking off :fall or spring:summerOne night, last week, Wendy was star gazing down on the dock.  At the A frame you can actually stargaze from either the upper or lower decks. She saw a beaver swimming by the dock. There have not been too many sitings this year so that was exciting for everyone.

Beaver Dam 2
Beaver Dam on the lake

The neighbourhood jackrabbit (too fast to photograph ) has been around quite a bit and it seems that the deer population is increasing since we are seeing more and more of them. The red squirrels are as pesky and curious as ever.

Maia's drawing
Maia’a drawing from her summer visit.

We’ve had many guests at the A-frame over the summer and now coming into the fall there are a few bookings as well.  “We had the time of our lives.”   “I wish we had booked for two weeks!”  “My mom just loved sitting on the deck watching the action and the stillness out on the lake.”  Are just a few comments from our summer guests.

view from the kayakEveryone enjoyed the kayak trips around the lake and many explored the lake in the canoe stationed out near the A-frame.

As we move into autumn the air is a little nippier but the sun is brilliant and hot to 6:00 pm. Nights are cool enough for a fire in the fire place and cozying up in front of the fire.

Some of the birds – heron, loons robins, and ducks are preparing to go a little further south for the winter.  Others will stop by here resting on  the branches around the lake as they migrate from further north. Bluejays and some little brown birds that I can’t name stick around for the duration … shivering their way through the cold winter at the lake in Val des Monts.


Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to be at the Cottage in Val des Monts, Québec.  The A-Frame is fully equipped for cooking those special meals people like to have at Thanksgiving – turkey or tofurkey, you’ll find what you need to prepare that special meal at the A-Frame.

Weekly Rentals for autumn at Val des Monts are $750 for a full week.  For Thanksgiving weekend (3 nights) it is $500.  Weekly or weekend renters also pay $100 for cleaning.  If you are bringing a small animal we can discuss a damage deposit.

When you come to the Cottage at Val des Monts you only need to bring personal items.  All sheets, blankets, towels, soap and shampoo are waiting for you. We supply wood for the fireplace and spring water from a local spring for drinking and cooking.

You’ll find boats, life jackets and deck chairs for your use and comfort.  There are different things to experience around the town.  A couple of art galleries, a Village Church and beautiful countryside to walk and explore.

dock from balcony off main flr.

Consider booking your Thanksgiving weekend getaway at The Cottage at Val des Monts by sending  an email to

Louise and Wendy
Louise and Wendy, old friends and co owners will welcome you.


Get Ready for Autumn on the Lake Val des Monts, Québec


cabin from lake

This 2-bedroom cottage awaits you for warm September and cooler October days and nights. Swim, boat, paddle, have long walks. Return to a cozy cottage with an elegant and well equipped little kitchen.

Continue reading “Get Ready for Autumn on the Lake Val des Monts, Québec”

Another weekend at Val des Monts

Our A-frame guests seem to be enjoying themselves kayaking, canoeing, receiving guests, reading on the dock.  It is great to see since for the two old dames renting out this cottage, hospitality is paramount.


Last weekend we had an additional guest, staying here with us at the Plum.  An old friend of mine who is now and has been for many years a Zen sensei.

Amid the ongoing storms and beautiful sunny breaks we chatted.  She shared the kind of wisdom I’ve always known her to have and, of course, we exchanged stories from the last 30 or so years of our lives.  It was wonderful.


Of course we ate good food and enjoyed an occasional beverage.   Saturday evening’s entertainment was listening to the flying squirrels in the eaves and of course, just as dusk fell they flew out to begin their forage.  The photo I’ll including here is from The Squirrels of Canada by Shirley Woods and published by National Museums of Canada in 1980 or so.  Flyers are too fast for our amateur picture taking!

flying squirrel

In squirrel news the red squirrel has been seriously trying to get us to vacate the place.  It appears to be expanding its territory. No luck, to date, but her tenacity is amazing.  I’ll try for some photos in the next few days. The reds are a little easier to get shots of so I should have some success.


Wendy entertained a co-worker from one of the support groups she works with while I drove into Ottawa in the “leaf” for my last foray before turning the car over.  A picnic in Rockcliffe Park with my cousins. I can’t believe that I did not take at least one photo of that gang playing croquet in the park.


So, here are a few pics from around Val des Monts including the “Plum’s” screened in porch and a shot of Riviere Blanche … a wonderful little river that winds its way through the whole area.

Today, Monday, it’s a beautiful day in Val des Monts and especially at our lake. When I went for my morning soak there was mist on the water.   As Lily Tomlin’s character Edith Anne would say, “Isn’t it refreshing?”  And it was.

After the Storm …. Another storm

Two lovely people arrived at the A-frame on Friday – booked in for a week!  The amazing thing about their arrival is that they managed to get here between two storms — during a beautiful, sunny and clear-skied break. I’m sure they’ll have a lovely time.

Once the guests were ensconced in their Val des Monts A-frame cottage, we headed back to the Plum and took in the last vestiges of the break – a swim and a beverage at the lake.

This morning, after a tumultuous night replete with whip-cracking thunder and furious lightening which, I observed during my occasional eye-openings through the night, we headed out to Gatineau to pick up an electric vehicle for my weekend use.

What a contradictory though compatible idea having a car plugged into the current in a cottage that has been here for more than 70 years and driven by me, a 70-year old dame.


I barely had time to get the electrical cord up the hill to the waiting the ironically named “Leaf” — Nissan, of course, when a less dramatic, but nevertheless full-fledged storm began.  Dawning my new rain coat I tried to remember the instructions for plugging the car in. Needless to say I was pretty wet once the task was completed and I was safely back to the Plum.

The guests had a couple of hours for a lovely relax before the next storm.

True to the weather word of the moment, about an hour later, just as we were cooking at the bar b que another large storm began building.  The grilling just made it before the cracking and thunder rolling began. It was beautiful.  Large definitive rain drops through the screen, drops of water literally hanging on to one another  from a cedar bow.

It’s quiet now but a little while ago the loons did a short ritual just to let us know they are there. Everyone seems to be asleep at the moment  … or, for the moment since I’m sure there is another storm brewing.

I’ll report on the rest of the weekend … later!