Welcome to the Cansion – Custom Cabin or Mansion?
The Cansion custom home rests majestically against the water, complete with vintage car in its garage.
The numbers are impressive by any account: 120 ft. of prime waterfront, 20,132 board ft. of Douglas fir timbers, 780 sq. ft. of glass with combed faced cedar trim, 8,167 sq. ft. of premium v-groove Western Red Cedar and pine, 14,000 sq. ft. of tumbled granite driveway cobblestones, three sets of 16-ft.-wide handcarved pine garage doors, and additional parking for 20 vehicles. These are just some of the hard facts – the quantitative measurements that make up this timber frame estate.
Cindy and Peter Ouimet
Cindy and Peter Ouimet’s remarkable home was built from an outstanding Linwood Custom Home package, with natural quartzite stone on the exterior and interior sourced from Peter Ouimet’s most recent business, L.B.S. Enterprises Ltd. The Cansion’s unique design was a full collaboration between the Ouimets, Linwood Sales and Design Consultant Debbie Rhodenizer, Linwood’s in-house drafting and engineering department, and builder Paul Lesage of Lesage Construction Ltd. Walking through the Cansion, Peter comments, “My friends say I always like to do things on a big scale. Everything in this house is large, but it fits in this home. It’s to scale.” Named the “Cansion” by their friends, this stellar “cabin-mansion” has a very human side. Peter and Cindy, who met and married in their teens, wanted to create a legacy family cabin that could be shared with their four children, eight grandchildren, both sets of parents, and close network of family and friends. Among the 20 large rooms in this open-concept home are several themed rooms, created with meticulous detail by Cindy. One example is their First Nations room, with its one-of-a-kind bed, handcarved from reclaimed pine beetle wood. Other touches include collector aboriginal pieces, and a beaded privacy doorway leading to a large en suite bathroom, accessed by parting 100 strands of wooden beads. Each vibrant, bead strand was strung by Cindy with help from family and friends, each strand taking 45 minutes to string properly. Across the hall from this themed bedroom is a sound-proofed home theate with six reclining leather craftsman chairs, 65” LED 3D TV, surround sound – complete with a working, antique-replica popcorn machine and 3-D viewing glasses. Another guest bedroom in the home’s opposite upper wing is themed after the wild west. The bed frame was handcrafted to resemble a horse-drawn wagon. With an en suite bathroom that is framed by a replica outhouse door, other unique touches include a wall filled with gun-slinger memorabilia (some found on a recent motorcycle trip), a door handle made from a wrought iron shoehorn, and leather mirror draped with handmade cattle rancher’s whip. The main level of the home is accessed via a gently-curved, sweeping staircase with custom crafted handrails, magnificent wrought iron railings, and Douglas fir timbers.
The chef’s kitchen in this custom home is complete with the addition of Peter’s handcrafted island countertop.
Peter, who is an antique limousine and car collector, has the same, meticulous eye for detail as Cindy. He created the dining room table and kitchen island countertop from reclaimed African pine. Both pieces of furniture were built to showcase unique treasures from family and friends. “I started by asking for things that were very special, but that our friends wouldn’t mind contributing to our memory tables,” say Peter. He then carefully measured and milled out a spot for each prize possession in the surfaces of the table and island. The items are eclectic and significant, including an antique Norwegian shoehorn owned by Cindy’s grandmother, a hundred-year-old pocket watch passed down in Peter’s family, and a delicate piece of pottery that was one of the only keepsakes friends were able to take with them when leaving Czechoslovakia. Like their memory tables, the Cansion itself is an eclectic mix of elements gathered from different cultures and countries – from the BC cedar, pine and Douglas fir from Linwood’s sustainable forest resources, to the accent pieces purchased on the Ouimet’s extensive travels. Peter and Cindy travelled to China where they had the large marble sculptures handcarved that are now featured throughout the Cansion. These incredible pieces range from matching 9,000 lb. black marble bears, which flank the 8-ft.-high double doors of the Cansion, to the “ladies of the hearth”, 5,000 lb. antiquity-themed sculptures which adorn each side of the 28-ft.-high stone fireplace. The fireplace itself is a marvel, crafted from natural quartzite stone and finished with a custom-crafted Douglas fir mantle. The home’s lower level wine cellar features a unique bottle storage system based on a novel idea that Peter developed. The cellar holds 69 bottles of wine, inverted for cellaring in a very unique system of, what resemble, giant, coiled springs. “I told them to think bedsprings when they designed this thing,” says Peter, pointing to curved metal wires that hold each bottle of wine. “I wanted something that was flexible and strong but easy to adapt for a variety of wine bottle shapes.” The Cansion’s more than 5,000 sq. ft. of living space also includes a lower level walk-out with 10-ft.-high ceilings. This lower level functions as a guest house within a home, accommodating visitors with nine extra beds, a full kitchen, networked kids’ zone and gathering area, as well as a large, elegant bathroom with separate child-sized and adult-sized toilets. The exterior entrance to this lower level family floor is just 200 ft. from the waterfront’s sandy shoreline. Cindy pauses to point out the wooden sign above the lower door. It’s from their son and his wife, and marks the entrance to this private area of the home. It reads “Cansion – Population 2”. She smiles at the thought of it, adding, “We built this place so we could really enjoy it with family and friends.”