While raising six children with his wife, Ria Jean, Roy enjoyed many careers – as a lawyer, Attorney General for Ontario, High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Britain, Chairman and CEO of the CFL, and Chief Justice of Ontario. Roy’s busy career took him away from family often, making the family cottage all that more important. For over 50 years, Roy and Ria have relaxed at Eileen Gowan. The cottage has allowed Roy and Ria to be enmeshed in the lives of their six children and 12 grandchildren. Roy and Ria did not treat it as their cottage, it belonged every bit as much to their children and grandchildren.
Roy has painted hundreds of canvases from his seat in the “great room, with its views out over the water, looking west and east. He wrote his memoirs here and he watched many grandchildren take their first steps there. He also presided over suppers with upwards of 26 family members. His time here has come to a close, but the cottage effect will not wear off for many generations.
Here is a quote from Roy McMurtry about the cottage:
“The pleasure of our Muskoka cottage has been a vital and absolute joy in my life”