Sylvia & Rafal's (S&R) cottage was a superb experience for our young family with two kids (6 & 2) . We stayed 7 nights immediately after 5 nights at Bonnechere provincial park. Property manager greeted us on arrival day and was on-hand if we had any questions via mobile.
Cottage is on a large property so great for outdoor kids play (bring your own activities eg., soccer ball), lounging/reading in a hammock (we brought 2), enjoying BBQ grilling, swing-sofa, and roasting marshmallows/smores over the fire pit in the evening. We stayed the last week in Aug so cooler which meant fewer mosquitos/flies and also neighbours (we enjoyed privacy). The cottage itself is an open concept bungalow with 4 bedrooms and a shared bathroom w/ shower. 1 of the rooms has its own washroom. Fully equipped kitchen and living area. Water is not hot but suitable for showers (could prob boil kettle water to heat for kids bath if necessary). Wifi and netflix worked great. We brought our own portable speakers to play internet radio. There's a wood burning fireplace inside with chimney/flu to use on chilly nights that warms the entire cottage. Firewood can be purchased from nearby camp/trailer park by the trailer load (great for burning, very dry, hard wood with lots of heat; 1/2 load $20).
The waterfront area is a very short walk (3mins) to the lake, down steps to 50 feet of private waterfront with dock, great for swimming and water play for kids (life jackets available for use but we brought our own PDFs for kids). We went fishing almost every morning in a small simple aluminum boat with two oars, explored the lake. Lots of perch, sunfish, small mouth and rock bass near 2-3 fishing spots. Caught a 2 lb small mouth, pan fried clean fillet (no black spots) in 'fish crisp', delicious! Worms can be purchased in Wilberforce town (general store, Agnews, sells 18 jumbo worms for $4.75). There's also a peddle boat for short rides and 2 canoes for paddling.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our time; would like to stay again and can recommend for those looking for a relaxing family holiday 2.5 hours drive from GTA and near Wilberforce (5mins, Foodland, LCBO, bank), Haliburton (20mins, great park, head lake, restaurants, laundry mat, services and activities like wolf center canopy walk and astronomy) and Bancroft (30mins).
Thanks S&R for excellent local tips, prompt and genuine communications and for being so accommodating and allowing us to enjoy your piece Haliburton Highlands paradise - hope to see you next year!
Best Craig, Ryoko, Caden and Kateyn