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The May long weekend is the unofficial start of summer for Canadians, which means many of our readers will be loading up their cars and heading to the cottage this weekend.

Just how embedded into Canadian culture is the cottage or cabin? Over the years some of our most-loved journalism has touched on this topic. In honour of Queen Victoria and her holiday Monday, here is some light (and heavy) cottage reading.

What, exactly, is ‘the cottage’?

Contributing columnist Phoebe Maltz Bovy writes that the idea of the cottage has been inescapable. “It’s one of the trappings of Canadianness that eludes even immigrants like me: white, over-educated, from a U.S. state neighbouring Canada, and with a (late) Canadian grandmother.”

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Illustration by Erick M Ramos

Here’s why I won’t be accepting your cottage invitation

Marg Heidebrecht is grateful for the cottage invitation, but won’t be accepting it. The upsides: Coffee on a dock, kayaking among lily pads. “But the downside? I spend the entire time trying to figure out the rules. Does the day begin at 6, 8 or 10 with everyone helping themselves to granola? Or, is breakfast a sit-down affair at 6, 8 or 10 with fresh blueberries folded into pancakes? Who picks the fruit? And washes the spatula?”

Is cottage etiquette important? In a word: Yes

The Miss Manners for Cottaging advice column you didn’t know you needed. When a readers’ cottage weekend with friends was crashed by interlopers, they wondered about a “cottage code of etiquette” they weren’t aware of. David Eddie gives them the rundown.

How to score a May 24 cottage invite

Three-day weekends mean you can get invited up to someone’s place all the way until Sunday. This list of tips says to be around and available, but not overly desperate in order to score a coveted cabin invite.

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Courtney Gray, a physiotherapy assistant in Toronto and her children James and Maysn at the family cottage in Parry Sound.Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

How to be a great (and laid-back) guest or host

Let’s say you’re the one inviting the guests, not waiting around for whatever scraps might appear. Former Globe columnist David Eddie lays out the secrets to achieving that laid-back cottage vibe for both hosts and guests.

Camp, cottage or cabin? What do you call your weekend getaway?

What you call your weekend oasis is a giveaway for which part of Canada you live in.

Tips for sharing the family cottage

As cottages are passed down through generations of families, sharing the space can become challenging. Tim Cestnick gives tips for who does what – and how much of it – on the property.

Like a siren’s call, my Alberta cabin offers solace but cannot be fully trusted

Constance A. Barlow writes of a love-hate relationship with the cabin.

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