Bob Lanois’ Cabin in the Woods

In the fall of 2021, I learned of a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods in Burlington Ontario and after finding out that it and its owner are a major part of local and Canadian music history, I decided to dig deeper and get the whole story.

This story inspired me to shoot and produce my first full length feature documentary film and to tell the story of Bob Lanois, what led him to move into this small remote cabin, and the amazing music, art and creativity that came from it.

This gallery and video are part 1 of a major documentary project I have created about Bob Lanois


In Southern Ontario Canada, near the Niagara Escarpment is one of the most scenic roads in the area, Snake Road.

It was here, along Snake Road that Bob Lanois planted his roots in 1988.  With his own hands and inventiveness, Bob designed and built his own cabin, “The Shack” as he called it.

Bob wanted to be close to nature and he kept the land as natural as possible. It was important to Bob to be away from noise, clutter and distraction and to have a place where he could be himself, where he could work and be creative.

Bob bought the Shack property in 1988, but had been looking at it since 1986. There was already a tiny shed there, but he built onto it and turned it into a much larger place.

He designed it himself and built it with his own hands, with the help of friends.

Bob lived in the shack almost full-time from 1990 onwards, he wanted to be close to nature and keep the land as natural as possible.

Bob Lanois was a curious and inquisitive person, always questioning and searching for new and alternative approaches to things.

He was self-educated and conventional school did not interest him. When something was not working for him he would learn how to modify it.

At some point, Bob decided to turn his shack in the woods into his very own recording studio where he could invent new recording technology, invite singers and bands to record and make music with Bob at the controls.

Bob ended up with a fully operational recording studio in the Shack, installing lots of power outlets throughout, and put large pieces of equipment up in the rafters under the roof.

In 2004 he had a whole 8 piece band from Peterborough called The Silver Hearts at the shack recording their album “Our Precious City”.  The whole 8-member group stayed there for a week. Bob rented camper trailers and port-a-potties, and they managed to get a great record done under ridiculously cramped conditions.

Bob sat in on harmonica with them occasionally when they performed live.

The Shack Then and Now

Bob Lanois at the Shack

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