A word synonymous with the northern Ontario summer appears to be fading away, as more and more people describe their waterfront home as a "cottage" instead of a "camp."

There are dozens of "cottages" listed for sale in northern Ontario right now, and there are also several lakes in the region, where property owners are represented by a "cottagers association."

One of them is on Wildgoose Lake near Matheson, where lifelong northerner Eric Vehkalahti has had a cottage for 15 years.

"Well, there are times when somebody might say they're going to the camp for the weekend, but predominantly you hear the word 'cottage’,” he said.

Vehkalathi said he thinks of a camp as a rustic place you go fishing and camping, and a cottage as a place you spend time with your family.

Cottage life opened up by highways

Nigelle Fredette disagrees.

The Val Caron woman has a camp on Lake Panache, and her neighbours all have camps as well.

But she said she does hear more and more people in Sudbury and around northern Ontario saying the word "cottage."

"Is it a bad thing? Not necessarily, but I'm sure you will still have some creatures of habit that maintain calling it a camp."

Fredette counts herself among those who will never see "cottage country" extending north of the French River.

That’s not the case though for southerners who now have summer homes in northern Ontario, thanks to the four-laning of Highways 11 and 69.

The president of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations says he’s hearing the word "cottage" a lot more in the north than he used to.

“The word cottaging has been used so [much] in the media and real estate and on television in recent years and we hear it a lot more,” Terry Rees said.

“It's just the terminology that people are used to hearing."