A former Miss America just sold this $2.3 million Muskoka property. It’s got a bocce court and a big boathouse
A two-acre plot on Lake Muskoka with three separate buildings: a 3,400-square-foot cottage with three bedrooms and two bathrooms; a 1,000-square-foot boathouse with five-boat docking; and a 500-square-foot bunkie with a bocce ball court. The property is located on an island, about a five-minute boat ride from the mainland, where owners have designated parking.
Ian McNeill, 75, an industrial battery producer, and Kylene Barker McNeill, 64, Miss America 1979.
In 1986, Ian bought the property with his first wife for $135,000. At the time, it was a small 1,100-square-foot cabin with three small bedrooms, one bathroom and a dilapidated boathouse. Over the years, they built a two-bedroom bunkie, expanded the cottage and refurbished the boathouse.
After both of their spouses passed away in the early 2000s, Ian and Kylene met through a friend in 2003. In 2007, they got married in a surprise ceremony in Las Vegas during the Miss America Pageant. Kylene spearheaded another round of cottage renovations, including the addition of a master suite, a screened-in Muskoka room and a double-sided fireplace.
In 2019, Ian and Kylene, who currently live part-time in a downtown Toronto condo, decided to put the place on the market, with plans to find a place closer to a golf course. In August 2019, they listed the property for $2,679,000.
In late 2019, an Ontario family who had recently sold a cottage farther north decided to look for another part-time getaway. They wanted a mainland property with a cottage-y vibe, a guest room, a large boathouse and a sandy beach. It also had to have enough shade to escape the summer heat, along with west-facing views to watch the sunset. They saw the Pine Island listing, but thought it would be difficult to access an island cottage, since shuttling back-and-forth from the mainland depends on good boating conditions. They were also deterred by the roughly $2.7 million price tag.
By early 2020, Ian and Kylene had yet to receive any offers—then the pandemic hit Ontario. The province closed marinas and boat launches, which prevented potential buyers from boating out to the property. Plus, the Ontario Real Estate Association urged realtors to stop all face-to-face business. That all made it difficult to attract would-be bidders. In June, after the province started to ease lockdown restrictions, Ian and Kylene’s agent suggested they drop the price to garner more interest, so they re-listed for $2,295,000.
With the Pine Island property at a lower asking, the buyers reconsidered their aversion to an island cottage and set up a viewing. The place ticked most of their boxes: guest accommodations in the two-bed bunkie, a boathouse, a sandy beach, big pine trees for shade and a west-facing dock to watch the sunset.
The buyer, an experienced boater, offered full asking price with a quick closing date—but only if they could keep most of the furniture and two boats, including Ian and Kylene’s wooden 1947 Duke inboard. That did the trick. The deal closed at the end of July and the buyers moved in before the August long weekend. They hope to use the cottage for extended summer vacations, instead of short weekend trips.
Ian and Kylene plan to spend their summers on a mainland property in the area. They hope to downsize to a villa at the Muskoka Bay Resort, which has a golf course.
Here’s the entryway to the main building:
The open-concept living area has a double-sided stone fireplace, along with spruce and pine floors:
Here’s the other side of that fireplace:
There are granite countertops in the kitchen. The sellers decorated the range hood with a piece of china they purchased in Cape Cod:
A six-bulb chandelier hangs over the dining area:
In the 450-square-foot living room, there’s a cathedral ceiling and a large bay window overlooking Lake Muskoka:
Here’s the seller’s home office:
Here’s the 375-square-foot master bedroom, which has white pine ceilings:
There are his-and-hers sinks and a soaker tub in the master bathroom:
And an elaborate pine ceiling, which, when viewed from the exterior, forms a turret-style roof:
The 100-square-foot exercise room was part the 2005 renovations:
A set of stairs lead down from the master suite to this dock and hot tub:
On the other side of the main cottage, steps lead down to the boathouse:
The sellers frequently ate dinner on this small stone patio, which has a built-in fire pit:
There’s another sitting area on the dock of the boathouse:
The sellers enjoyed hosting dinner parties up on the vinyl deck:
Inside, there’s a dining table and bar area:
The boathouse sleeps five:
Here’s the first bedroom, which has twin beds and porthole windows:
The second bedroom has a seagrass carpet and decorative privacy curtains made from a Ralph Lauren duvet:
Here’s the boathouse bathroom:
Downstairs, there’s indoor docking space for two boats:
There’s a beach area on the other side of the boathouse with more docking:
Here’s the bunkie house, which has a full-length bocce ball court:
The bunkie deck overlooks the bocce court and the beach:
Inside, there’s a 225-square-foot living room with yellow pine-board walls:
Here’s the first bedroom, which has white paneled walls and a built-in bed:
The second bedroom has a walk-in closet and a headboard that matches the living room walls:
In 2005, Kylene painted the bathroom cranberry:
Here’s an aerial shot of the property:
By the numbers
- $9,000 in taxes (approximately)
- 4,500 square feet (including boathouse and bunkie)
- 316 days on MLS
- 7 bedrooms
- 4 bathrooms