Photo by  Beside

Photo by  Beside

Media brand BESIDE launches its very first outdoor destination in the heart of Lanaudière, Montréal, Canada.

The outcome of months of reflection and the combined work of architects, urban planners, designers, and biologists to create an innovative environment for humans to reconnect with nature. BESIDE Habitat aims to develop architectural spaces that protect a centuries-old forest, while fostering knowledge sharing and creating new traditions.

At the junction of nature and culture, BESIDE Habitat is a collective of thoughtfully designed dwellings, surrounded by 900 acres of natural, private parkland and lakes that invites guests to reconnect with the great outdoors.

In the midst of Lanaudière—just one hour northeast of Montréal—this first BESIDE Habitat is designed for those seeking to get back to nature, use their hands while learning new skills, experience tranquility, and belong to a like-minded, values-driven community.

BESIDE Habitat, designed in collaboration with Montréal firm Appareil Architecture, is tucked away on a 1 254-acre property (one and a half times the size of Central Park), 900 acres of which is permanently protected, undeveloped land. A safe haven away from the noise, crowds, traffic, and digital distractions of the urban world. A place to engage with your instincts and your curiosity, to experience simplicity and beauty, to gather with friends and family for meaningful connections, mindful discussions, and shared memories.

At the heart of the project is an immense expanse of untouched Lanaudière forest, where the parkland and two lakes have been carefully protected and maintained by the land’s former owner since the late 1980s. In acquiring this land, BESIDE hoped to attract people who want to enjoy the tranquility of the forest and work with their hands while learning new skills and belonging to a like-minded, values-driven community.

A destination where guests unplug and connect

The project is open to anyone looking to be closer to nature while helping build an authentic creative community in the heart of the outdoors. The cabins were designed as functional, versatile living spaces that can accommodate anyone from couples and small families to professionals looking to get away from it all.

“When architecture and nature work together, they can change our perspective, the way we live, and how we behave.”

“BESIDE Habitat is a peaceful haven away from everyday noise, crowds, traffic and distractions,” explains Jean-Daniel Petit, president of BESIDE. “It’s the perfect place for friends, colleagues, partners and families to get away, come together and build meaningful connections.”

BESIDE Habitat offers owners and renters a vast terrain to explore, including two entirely natural and private lakes, a hidden forest library, shared docks, a natural stage for canoe concerts, a music studio and a creative space.

Bringing together a creative community

With this first BESIDE destination, Petit hopes to create a unique space where a community will grow, bringing together creative lovers of the outdoors who are looking to be closer to nature. “Our objective is to create a space where there’s a balance of soft and hard skills. Using architecture as a driving force, the common areas will be designed to promote the transfer of knowledge and experiences as well as contact between people, the forest and the area’s lakes,” said Petit.

The cabins

Photo by  Beside

Photo by  Beside

Inspired by the cabins of the pioneers and fishermen’s boathouses of frontier villages, the cabins are the perfect blend of intelligent, minimalist design and outdoor culture, embracing our nordicity and heritage.

Designed hand-in-hand by architects and urbanists, the cabins reflect the beauty of simplicity, created in harmony with the land, conscious of their impact on their surroundings.

It was always more than just a cabin

The scope of our project has always gone beyond architectural chalets. It is based on the constant evolution of an ideology, values, natural spaces, and landscaped places. It arose out of an intention to create a natural legacy for future generations. While the words cabin and chalet do represent the architectural places that you can stay at, we wanted our name to represent both our concept and the overall experience. Project BESIDE Cabins therefore became BESIDE Habitat.

BESIDE Habitat will protect 500 million square feet of natural territory over the next 10 years, while ensuring people can connect with nature through culture. To achieve these two main objectives, we imagined an ecosystem becoming an economic engine; a living environment offering quality private and rental accommodations, galvanised by cultural programming in a natural setting. In the same breath, we have created a product with tourist appeal and that will positively impact local communities. For more details on the project, images and information on how to purchase a cabin, visit


BESIDE is a media brand that aims to bridge the gap between humans and nature by transferring knowledge and experiences. Since 2016, BESIDE has published its biannual magazine in French and English, distributing to over 3 000 independent retailers across Canada, the United States, England, France and Scandinavia. It also actively runs a web platform for topical articles, original series, editorial features, journalism and podcasts. BESIDE firmly believes in the importance of exchange between people, also organising workshops, talks, creative outdoor camps and an annual festival. BESIDE magazine has been awarded a Grafika Award and nominated for a Canadian National Magazine Award.