The Hermitage was founded in 1972 by the owners of the cottage, as a 516 acre forested retreat ~15 minutes west of Eganville in Renfrew County, Ontario. In 1979, the 17 original partners (later incorporated) constructed a mile long, 60 acre private lake (Hermitage Lake) at the top of the watershed. The lake has 17,000 feet of shoreline, and 17 well separated and exclusive two acre cottage sites. Under the 2007 Shareholders Agreement, each of the 17 (joint) shareholders owns one share of the Hermitage Lake Corporation, and leases his/her two acre site from the Corporation. All 17 identical leases are for 20 year terms, and all are renewed annually or none is renewed (virtual perpetuity). The owners have enjoyed share #01 and site #01, their cottages, the Hermitage Lake, and the entire Hermitage itself for ~45 years.
As listed in the Land Registry of Ontario (a public document), the Hermitage Lake Corporation and its shareholders own all of the 516 acres of land, including the lake. However, under the 2007 Shareholders Agreement (a private document) signed by all shareholders, the sites, cottages, and all leasehold improvements accrue to the 17 (joint) lessees as their entitlements, rather than the lessor (the Corporation). The family cottage (2850 sf) occupies one of those 17 sites on the north side facing south, and has 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, and a small guest cottage (308 sf). The Hermitage is a fabulous retreat only 1½ hours from Ottawa, the capital of Canada. The Township of Bonnechere Valley defines the sites as double lots, which may contain two full service cottages and two guest cottages, for jointly held shares or multi-generation families. This arrangement has functioned perfectly for the sale and transfer under commercial contracts of agreement for ~14 shares and cottages over the last ~45 years.
The Hermitage permits joint ownership (max 7) of a share. Two or three friends could share the cottage for ~eight months in summer, and other housing elsewhere for ~four months in winter. The roads within the Hermitage are not (yet) plowed for winter access by car. As joint owners, they would pay half or a third of the cost for the share, site, cottages, and all of the leasehold improvements. The original owners had designed the main cottage for three families. The new owners could avoid or ignore the administration and management as some shareholders do, and simply enjoy the lake, their cottages, and the entire Hermitage.
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