Would you buy a cottage on a cliff? Would I?
July 6, 2014 9:05 AM Subscribe
I'm hoping to get some thoughts from the green about the possibility of getting a cottage located on a cliff. The question is about fears, rational risk assessment, and Ontario Geology.
posted by PersonPerson to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've been looking with my partner and another couple at cottages, thinking of buying one, maybe on our own, maybe with the other couple.
One place we looked at was a very beautiful place, around Cape Chin, on the east side of the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. The place has a spectacular view of the water, from atop a 30-foot cliff.
My partner and friends all love it. But for me, the 30-foot cliff is a source of some discomfort. It's a sheer, unprotected drop onto rocks, which is not the most comfortable thing in the world for me. I'm a little afraid of heights. I'm hoping folks on the green can shed some insight onto these fears.
Here are the things I worry about:
- I wonder if a place like that would be a safe and/or comfortable place to bring kids. I am thinking both of kids that friends might bring, and also of our own future kids, if we have any (We are not super-young We might have kids in the next couple years, might not have kids at all). I worry both about the real danger of kids falling, and also just about the idea that it might be very hard for anyone to relax with kids there.
- I wonder whether a place like that is actually physically secure. Right next to the cottage we are looking at, there is an overhang that collapsed, just a couple of years ago. This freaks me out a tiny bit. I mean - our cottage is not on an overhang or anything. But part of me, in my heart, would rather not summer in a place where there's a real, even if small, chance that it might collapse and fall off a cliff during some earthquake or something while I am there. Again - partly I worry about the actual risk of collapse, partly I worry whether it'll be hard for me to relax at a place that feels physically precarious to me.
My hope is to try and bring some reasonable and realistic insight to this, to help sort out my thoughts and feelings.
Some specific questions:
a) Does anyone have a sense: Geologically, is a house on a cliff on the Ontario Bruce Peninsula a pretty secure thing? Is it like "Oh, that'll still be there in 500 years"? Or is it like "There's a pretty good chance there would be a big geological event in the next few decades that would wipe that thing out"? Somewhere in between?
b) Realistically, how dangerous is it to be around a cliff? Do people fall off them? Do kids? Are there, like, any statistics on this? Do kids have some powerful "do not fall off a cliff" instinct that keeps them safe?
c) Are there things people do to be more comfortable/safe in these sorts of situations? We thought about erecting a fence. Our real estate agent seemed to think this was not super-realistic, but maybe there's a way to do it.
d) I welcome any general thoughts, insights, folks might have. Would you get a place like this? Would you be comfortable bringing kids to it? Got any other thoughts/advice?