The actor and comedian on his classic Canadian hideaway near Kingston, Ont.
Actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd on his island hideaway near Kingston, Ont.
My favourite place in Canada is the island that I own. On Canada Day, 1987, I was driving my boat on Loughborough Lake, north of Kingston, when I saw this island for sale. Islands almost never come up for sale, so I spun around, raced into the local real estate office and asked them about it. The agent told me its name was Loon Island. This was the day after the new $1 coin with the loon on it came out. I took it as a sign and bought the island, and it was the best money I ever spent. Loon Island is basically a granite hump, about three hectares, right in the middle of Loughborough Lake. I have a very spartan camp there with an Airstream trailer that will never roll again, a cooking tent and a firepit, and I don’t think I’m going to improve it much. Over the years people have encouraged me to build a house or cottage, but I like the campground feel of it. It has that classic Group of Seven look with the windswept pines and cedars. The sunrises and sunsets are beautiful. Food always tastes better on the island. Some friends and I floated the trailer over on a barge. The very first night I spent there, we were inside avoiding the mosquitoes when all of a sudden loons started calling all around the island — first one, then two and three and four, with this welcoming cacophony of their cry. It was as if they were acknowledging me as the new resident of the island. I like to go there to write; I’ve written a couple of screenplays there, and other pieces. But mostly I go just to be there. There’s nothing like getting up in the morning and going down and slipping into the water for a swim and coming eye to eye with an otter or a fisher. That’s how I connect with nature.