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Couple Trades Ontario Life For Off-Grid Retreat In N.B.

By Tamara Steele Sep 16, 2022 | 3:37 PM

La Belle Cabane is an off-grid retreat on the Kingston Peninsula. Image supplied by La Belle Cabane.

An Ontario couple is living their dream of operating off-grid cabins in rural New Brunswick.

Tasha Robitaille and Corey Belcourt opened La Belle Cabane on the Kingston Peninsula late last year after moving to the province a year ago.

“We decided to make a big change in our lives. We were really searching for a bit of a break after a couple of rough years of the pandemic,” Robitaille said.

“We were looking for an amazing small community feel. Somewhere we could continue living our lives as francophones, a French-speaking family, and also be surrounded by people that really care about the land and community and people. New Brunswick was the answer to all of those things.”

Robitaille, who has a Masters in Environmental Sustainability, said they went from “one dinky cabin” to buying four more and some land off Route 845.

“Not only was it important from a values perspective and a sustainability perspective for us to have them off-grid. It was also logistically more possible to do it that way,” Robitaille said.

A short hike is required to reach the cabins.

Robitaille said the feedback from guests is gratitude for a private escape and a chance to reset especially after the stress caused by the pandemic.

Winter challenges

La Belle Cabane opened on New Year’s Eve and the following winter months brought challenges in being new to the area.

“We didn’t know how the rain would fall, the snow would fall and the ice would settle,” Robitaille said.

In the snowy months, the guests would bring their sleds or use snowshoes that were provided.

“We would start the woodstove so it was nice and cozy as people arrived. That was mainly our job throughout the winter. It’s very in line with our culture as well. Corey is a really good firekeeper,” Robitaille said.

New spa coming soon

Work continues on The Kingston Spa, another component of their healing retreat, where people can visit just for a service.

She said they will be providing an experience that New Brunswick doesn’t yet have.

“We plan on having two private pods as well as a Himalayan salt halotherapy room that will provide treatment for people who just want to come for that,” Robitaille said.

“We are going to bring in some fun surprises that are in line with our Indigenous culture and bringing in some ceremonial cedar baths with some medicines we have on our property. [We will be] giving people another piece of the holistic pie and helping them with their healing,” Robitaille said.

It’s hoped the spa will open in November, she said.

Lots of business support

Robitaille said she feels very supported as a new business owner in New Brunswick.

“There are people all throughout the province that if you connect with them and if you network will be there to support you. [They] will be there to share your business and to share grants and funding and just be along for the ride,” she said.

“We all want to know about each other and we want to help each other out. There is a lot of opportunity in this province as well and we are just very grateful to be a part of that.”

I know that this expansion is going to be epic…Not fully feeling the spicy moment to share updates/details but we are…

Posted by La Belle Cabane on Friday, June 17, 2022


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