If you're not quite ready for summer to end, you can get in the mood for fall with a weekend escape to this Victorian mansion just 90 minutes from Montreal. The Stanstead property, dubbed "Witch Bay Castle" due to its iconic weather vane, boasts six bedrooms spread across four floors, a private hot tub, tennis courts, a gaming room, and a piano, among other amenities.
The home sits on expansive grounds that offer a perfect view of the season change. Or you can hole up inside the all-wood interior and enjoy its stained glass windows, four fireplaces, and vintage decor.
The home is surrounded by greenery.Courtesy of Airbnb
If you're looking to spend time outside, you can get to the beach in 15 minutes and spend the day swimming in the fresh water of Lake Memphremagog before heading home for a game of pool or foosball.
Or maybe you'd rather explore the 23-acre willow-framed grounds for a close-up of the autumn leaves and a stroll around the pond or along the clear stream that runs through the property.
"During the fall, you can get an aerial view of the colourful site via the roof terrace. A lush tennis court and an outdoor spa allow you to fully contemplate the change of season," owner Claudia told MTL Blog.
A jacuzzi and tennis court on the grounds.Courtesy of Airbnb
Near the home are countless other outdoor activities, from vineyard tours and tastings to horseback riding. Hikes include the Tomifobia Nature Trail and Parc national du Mont-Orford.
Just five minutes from the site, you can go apple picking at Verger Familial et Compagnons or head toward the lake to rent a boat from the Fitch Bay Marina.
"For the more active, there is tennis, ping-pong, board games and more. For those looking to relax, there is reading by the fireplace, soaking in the jacuzzi, having coffee on the veranda, cooking with a glass of wine and discovering the house's incomparable architecture. In short, it's hard to get bored," said Claudia.
The house has a grand square staircase.Courtesy of Airbnb
The mansion has a storied past, built sometime between 1880 and 1910 by Timothy Byron Rider, an influential merchant, industrialist and politician in the region.
Rider is said to have hosted a number of dignitaries at the mansion, including former Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The house stayed in the Rider family until 2000 when it was fully restored and turned into a witch museum. That's when the iconic weather vane was installed, although Claudia said the home remains (unfortunately) not haunted.
"The only characteristics this house shares with witches are its proximity to nature, its uniqueness and its enchanting power," she said.
A bedroom with green walls and wood trim.Courtesy of Airbnb
"Our plan for the home is to care for it and find ways to use it to further responsible regional development while respecting its heritage and history. We want to allow the public to discover this unique house and to live happy moments there. That's why we have chosen to make it available for short-term rental as a vacation home," said Claudia.
The mansion has not only been restored to its former Victorian glory, but it has also been fully modernized with A/C, high-speed Wi-Fi, and an HDTV with Netflix and Roku. The kitchen comes equipped with stainless steel appliances and an industrial-sized griddle perfect for making pancakes, eggs, or burgers.
A hallway with the entrance to two bedrooms, one green and one red.Courtesy of Airbnb
It costs $600 per night for up to eight people to rent the home. There's a $25 surcharge for every person over that and a minimum rental of two nights.
That means split between six couples, twelve friends, or your coven, each person would cover around $180 per night. Just beware, this place might cast a spell that makes you want to extend your stay.
These prices are confirmed at the time of publishing, but they can change at any time. Taxes and fees may not be included.