One of the biggest ideas I ever had, architecturally speaking, that is, was coming up with the design and material needed to create the one-hundred-and-twenty-foot-long hexagon. She was a real looker, that’s for sure. She required four of my best-by-hand built log buildings, each dressed carefully as runway models in subtle shades of silver with horizontal bright white pin striping. I had to match each and the other for aesthetic and structural reasons, no mean feat in itself. I would throw their hearts out to the world with many eyes open to the sky, including on every other side, three wonderful rooftop ‘eyebrows’ twelve feet wide each.

They loved the ensemble but shied off for various reasons, usually unforeseen health problems (theirs) or lack of a venue either large enough or beautiful enough for my beauty. 

There was one couple though that fell in love with her, particularly the Mrs. We met a few times at the Granite Club to start preliminary drawings. It certainly was a nice studio to be working in, with huge gleaming tabletops for the large plans. They picked Muskoka as their future summer playground, as did many of the internationally rich and/or famous. We’d just built an interesting house next door to Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, for instance.  Unfortunately, I think it was when they were away shooting ‘Overboard’ one of my favorite movies.

Which reminds me of a particular Muskoka event. My wife Shelley had a brother, John, an architect (I guess he was my brother-in-law at the time) who always kind of looked down on my profession as a designer/builder. I thought of myself more as a complete architect although I never went to school to learn it. But that’s what I did, start to finish, with every client. Anyway, the family had gathered one weekend at a Muskoka lodge when John insisted we hire a boat and look at some of the gorgeous homes that lined the shores. He said he wanted to show them one that he thought the most beautiful one around. We were enjoying the slow ride, admiring the homes of the wealthy when he points to his favorite. 

“There, that’s the one. Look at that. Isn’t it magnificent?” John cut the motor so we’d have a good look. That was when Shelley quietly said, but so that all could hear, “Isn’t that one of your’s dear?”

I just nodded in the affirmative. John looked at me strangely but then, not another peep out of him. But back to the story.

Unfortunately, finding the right venue for The Hexagon was a daunting task. Our eager clients had no luck themselves so they hired me to try and find something. It was a long drive from where I was living but I made it many times, having little luck myself. The best candidates turned out to be teardowns, some worth millions of dollars, while others were just too gorgeous to consider as teardowns. I took videos of many of them, while also attempting to find the lot lines and available vistas over the magnificent Muskoka lakes. It had to be as close as possible to the water. That was an imperative.

I think I made about eight separate trips before I found one just outside of Port Carling that would let them dance as intended. It had the view, was wide enough and even came with a couple of pretty well-done guest cottages for friends. In the meantime, we’d been putting together the costing if they were needed for whole dance card.

That alone took many weeks of work. Steve Curry, a realtor friend who lives in Muskoka, arranged to show the place to the clients. They loved it, feeling sure that they and my beauties would be comfortable there. When they asked to see it from the water, Steve arranged for a boat. I waited on shore in order to show them the actual space “The Hexagon” would occupy.

I saw Steve put the oars down, (it was just a rowboat), to answer his phone. All smiles suddenly became frowns. What’s going on I thought? I found out as they came ashore. Steve sold the lot from the boat—another client of his had an option on it until that very eventful day.

I later heard that it sold to my client’s rival, one that he knew well. They were in the same business, gold mining. To this day The Hexagon, I sadly have to mention, remains the prettiest wallflower to miss the grand party I had planned.