Allair Media


Magnetic North



The first European settlers in what is now Muskoka met their pressing need for shelter by utilizing the most abundant material around them: wood. The log home thus became forever entangled in our romanticized image of pioneer life. Fast forward to the present, however, and you might be surprised to learn that although inspired by pioneering heritage, today’s log home manufacturing involves rapidly evolving, cutting-edge technology. Exponentially more advanced than their rustic forebears, 21st century log homes have left the problems that plagued early settlers’ buildings—
such as rot, shrinkage, and warping—far behind.


A world leader in the log home manufacturing industry, Bracebridge’s True North Log Homes was recently presented with the Global Innovation Award by the National Association of Homebuilders. The award recognized True North’s development of a process that allows them to machine-coat logs in their factory with a specially formulated stain, an advancement that not only facilitates faster on-site construction, but benefits clients in the form of reduced maintenance needs, and will soon pay off in lengthened warranties.



The machine coating technology and process took about two years to develop but has already had tremendous benefits for True North’s clients, who are located throughout the world. A 100 percent Canadian company, True North Log Homes manufactures and stains their logs in Canada before shipping them out to customers, resulting in a six-to-eight-week reduction in building time. The homes require no special maintenance other than periodic staining of the exterior.


One Muskoka house recently built by True North perfectly exemplifies the potential beauty of the modern log home. The homeowners incorporated features from a couple of True North’s model plans to design a custom four-bedroom, four-bathroom house to the specifications of their own vision. With a wraparound porch, steep roof, and dormer windows, the exterior mixes classic log cabin features with Cape Cod-inspired styling. Inside, the front foyer itself is a showstopper, with a vaulted ceiling utilizing True North’s dramatic patented King Post structural design. Throughout the home, a combination of exposed log and drywall prevents the presence of so much wood from overpowering the furniture and décor. V-groove and exposed beams in the main floor and basement ceilings give the home a refined feel, while a striking stone fireplace on each floor provide rustic, hearty counterpoints. The stately main floor fireplace features a unique bump-out built into the wall, with twin dovetails running up both sides to accommodate firewood storage.

Really, what makes our buildings unique is the clients themselves. Every client makes our buildings unique with their own interpretation of them
Mark Wrightman – True North Log Homes


While True North offers design plans for literally dozens of models, they find that most people look at the different drawings, take a walk through a True North building, and then customize from there, picking up this or that element from one plan and incorporating it with another element from a different plan, or just adding something they’ve always wanted in their home. “Really, what makes our buildings unique,” explains Mark Wrightman, marketing manager, “is the clients themselves.

Every client makes our buildings unique with their own interpretation of them.” Case in point: To meet the homeowner’s dream of creating the atmosphere of an old English pub in the lower level, True North used distressed, rusticated beams, installed a bartop that was hand shaved and aged, and installed wainscoting made from rough sawn wood. A billiard table and stone fireplace complete the look.

One thing Mark and his father, CEO Rob Wrightman, and brother, Sales & Business Development Director Kyle Wrightman, have noticed recently is an increase in customers looking to build multigenerational homes with the intention that the home will remain in the family over generations. These customers aren’t just thinking about what they need today, but what their kids and grandkids will want from the home. This involves True North in something special, their clients’ efforts to build a legacy. “For us,” says Mark, “it’s an honour to be involved in these multigenerational buildings.”

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