Toronto, September 20, 2016 – It’s been another incredible summer and we couldn’t think of a better way to end it than with one last trip up north. Our friends at Lincoln Motors Canada hooked us up with the luxurious new 3.0L, V6, AWD 2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve ($46,000*) and one stylish travel destination.
Located just two hours northwest of Toronto, Michael and Lynne Knowlton’s shabby-chic Treehouse Retreat is the ideal glamping destination because you know there’s no way I’m pitching a tent. The quaint cottage-style retreat is made of reclaimed and up-cycled materials including old barn boards and stones. It’s been featured in several design publications and is not only an enchanting escape from the big city, but also a great location for photo shoots as well.
The treehouse, the cabin and a cool 1976 Airstream are available for rent on AirBnB (Treehouse+Cabin $550/night+taxes – Airstream $250/night+taxes – two night minimum stay). Rental includes full use of 100 acres of walking trails and shared use of the scenic pool and lounge area. This place will blow you away. Stunning.
Shotgun on this adventure was photographer, DJ, Axl Rose lookalike and rock aficionado with a vinyl collection that rivals his vintage t-shirt collection – David Gillespie. Also joining us on Day 1 was photographer Erin Leydon and her friend Vanessa Amber. On Day 2 model/Bellosound DJ Natalie Sydoruk and her boyfriend Maryan Kosmos.
We loaded the MKZ with food, clothes, photo gear, a portable record player and about 50 lbs of vinyl. Thank God for the 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space. The 2017 Lincoln MKZ comes in four styles and from least to most expensive – Premiere, Select, Reserve, and Black Label (US only). We had our hands on a fully loaded 400hp, 3.0L, twin-turbo V6 Reserve edition valued at $62,900 with the extras (taxes not included). The first thing that hits you with the new MKZ is the refined style of this redesigned sedan. The sleek and elegant lines convey a sense of power and confidence without looking overly aggressive. It is a beautiful machine.
Luxury might possibly be the most overused word in fashion and design. It’s defined as the state of great comfort and extravagant living. The folks at Lincoln have gone to some length to ensure that this is the case with the MKZ. Style highlights include 19″ polished aluminum wheels, retractable panoramic glass roof, Scottish Bridge of Weir™ heated/cooled leather seats, and a 20-speaker Revel Ultima® sound system. A tip of the hat to the redesigned everything in its place control panel. The engineers and designers put a lot of work into creating a driver-focused centre instrument panel that is intuitive and uncluttered. That includes the SYNC® 3 technology with CarPlay iPhone integration (Android also available). Accessing Siri, listening and responding to text messages by voice is very helpful on road trips.
The drive there and back was super comfortable thanks to many of the MKZ’s technology innovations. Did we mention the massage seats? Adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system, pre-collision assist, autonomous emergency braking, etc. – it’s all there to get you safely from A to B. How about that 400lbs-ft of torque? This has to be the most powerful Lincoln ever.
BBQ under the treehouse in the rain, deep fireside chats with homemade s’mores, the most intense game of Jenga ever, crazy cocktails and classic tunes played off a turntable made for one very cool trip. Some tripped more than others. I wasn’t in the pool naked, that’s all I’m saying…
The intense three-day adventure made for some great photos (see below). A big thanks to Lincoln Motors Canada for the MKZ, Michael and Lynne for their hospitality, Dine & Style for one insane cheese plate and delicious dinner, David for his photography/DJ/bartending/cooking skills and the guests who came out to play. This was a great way to end Summer 2016.
Photography gear for the Lincoln Treehouse Adventure was provided by Nikon Canada. The Nikon D4S ($7,149.95) fast focus, superior low-light ability, long battery life, and ruggedness make it the perfect go-to camera for every situation. The lowlight capability especially came shinning through in a few of the night photos. The Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 ED is my go to lens, versatile and ideal for most situations. I also spent a lot of time with the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED ($2,469.95) wide angled lens. This lens was ideal for capturing the expansive landscape photos with minimal distortion. It was also great for tight spaces like the interior of a vehicle and rooms in the treehouse. Using the 14-24mm in the automotive and portrait photography helped to create more dramatic photos.
Photos: Spiro Mandylor, spiro.ca & David Gillespie using Nikon Canada Cameras & Lenses
*All prices in CAD
Treehouse Adventure Full Gallery