About Collingwood/Georgian Bay
Collingwood/Georgian Bay Real Estate Guide
Welcome to our Georgian Bay real estate and community guide.
The Georgian Bay area has long been known as a cottager’s paradise. But the name doesn’t really do it justice. At approx.15,000 square kilometres, it’s no wonder it is sometimes referred to as the “Sixth Great Lake.” It’s not much smaller than Lake Ontario. Georgian Bay has more than 30,000 islands and 2,000 kilometres of shoreline. No matter where you visit, the beauty of the Bay is something to behold. From the majestic windswept pines, immortalized by The Group of Seven, to the greyish-pink granite shoreline, it’s no wonder magazines like National Geographic sing its praises. Add to these the rich marine history, breathtaking lighthouses, clear blue water and endless beached that create a destination unlike any other in Ontario.
While you can purchase real estate in any number of communities from Honey Harbour to Manitoulin Island, we’re going to focus on the southern end of the Bay and the Collingwood/Blue Mountain region. Just a hop, skip and a jump north of the city, this area offers a year-round playground with exceptional access to snow sports in the winter, beautiful springtime flowers, fantastic water access in summer, and fall leaves that rival any in this country. Marry these with renowned restaurants, 5-star spas, a long-standing craft beer and cider community and countless options for property ownership – from resort-style condos to waterfront cottages to year-round chalets and everything in between, and it’s plain to see why the Blue Mountain and southern Georgian Bay region has been a second home favourite for generations.
There are a few prime communities in this region, including the township of The Blue Mountains which holds the Blue Mountain ski resort and the charming towns of Thornbury and Clarksburg. Collingwood offers the perfect mix of city amenities and country charm. The Wasaga Beach area, known for the longest beach in Canada has so much more to offer than the summer resort town feel – although there’s a lot to be said for a great boardwalk and over 14km of white sand. Finally, Meaford is a small community that is quickly gaining favour for those seeking an escape from the city, thanks to a thriving arts community, great restaurants and more.
When it comes to Georgian Bay real estate opportunities, the one thing that really sets the area apart from the other areas where city people flock for second properties, is the snow. The Ontario snow belt blows right through this region, offering an entirely different experience in colder months. For those looking for access to water in the summer, and winter activities from November to March, buying in this area gives you two distinct experiences in one property. Here, you have access to downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, winter hiking, skating and embracing apres-ski curled up by the fire in multi-million dollar chalets and in cozy, modest cabins. This is truly an ideal area for all seasons of the year and all seasons of life.
Related: How to Buy a Cottage in Ontario
The Real Estate Scoop
Georgian Bay Real Estate
This is an area with many new build properties – both freehold and condo - and projects that will be moving into construction, in addition to older properties.
Lots are usually in the 66’ wide range when in the town limits. Outside it’s often 1 plus acres.
If you’re buying waterfront property, most of the Bay from Collingwood to Meaford faces east so if you’re looking forward to sunsets, you may need to adjust your expectations. Some spots do face west, but they are rare. And do your research! Some properties you only own to the high-water mark....so people can walk in front of your property.
Georgian Bay Real Estate For Investors
If you are looking to purchase a farm for an income property, there is a lower property tax if purchased with an HST #. With an HST number, this income is a flow-through which can be confusing to some buyers.
And beware, some buyers (and renters) can have concerns with spray from the orchards, excessive noise and smells from livestock.
Georgian Bay Real Estate Prices
|AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET||106||105||87||87||64|
|# OF SALES||131||1,739||1,986||1,920||1,595|
Collingwood/Georgian Bay Communities
The Blue Mountains region is an exceptional four-season recreational destination. From skiing and snowboarding to sailing, cycling and hiking, it is as diverse as they come. The area goes from the shores of Georgian Bay, up the Niagara Escarpment, and through the Beaver Valley.
The proximity to the Blue Mountain Ski Resort is an integral part of the story here, but it is not the only option for skiing in the area. And, it tends to overshadow the incredible summertime feel of the area. Georgian Bay real estate features some exceptional properties fronting onto the Bay, great golf in the area, phenomenal biking and hiking trails too.
You’ll also find the charming town of Thornbury, with a fantastic culinary scene and local craft cider. You’ll also find unique clothing, and home décor, with the galleries and culture of Clarksburg just five minutes up the road. You should also note that this is apple country! Here, the moderating effects of Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment come together, creating the ideal conditions for growing exceptional apples and baking perfect apple pies. In this area, you will enjoy the sweet smell of blossoms in the spring and brilliant colours in the fall.
With buildings rich in late 19th-century history, Collingwood is a must-see stop in this area. Officially a town since 1858, Collingwood has roots in the Canadian shipbuilding industry. Downtown, the designated historical heritage district does not disappoint. There are a variety of local shops and restaurants housed in the “picture perfect” main street buildings that make you think of just about every charming Hollywood small town. Here you’ll find everything from a loose-leaf tea emporium to a candy factory with chocolatiers at work.
The local museum, the Collingwood Station, offers detailed information about Collingwood’s shipbuilding heritage and about Petun First Nation’s culture. The town also has a vibrant arts community with live theatre throughout the year, local live music events and various visual arts events.
An emerging craft beer scene offers several breweries and brewpubs to visit, with more springing up every day. And every Saturday morning, from May to Thanksgiving, you’ll find a great outdoor farmer’s market with fresh local produce and products.
For errand days and rainy days Collingwood you’ll find everything you need to do your “big shop, including larger grocery stores and big box stores and a multiplex movie theatre. Collingwood is also home to the area’s health care hub and hospital.
When you think of Wasaga, one thing comes to mind. The Beach! Tourists have been streaming onto the shores of Nottawasaga Bay for more than 100 years. And it’s not hard to see why. Here you will find more than 14km of white sand beach, perfect for a stroll, a swim in the warm, clean water, and to catch the panoramic views of the mountains across the Bay.
Here, you’ll find great restaurants along with events and entertainment every weekend all through the summer season. From Live music and face painting to movie nights under the stars, there is so much to see and do. Local craft beer is available at Wasaga Beach Brewing Company Beach Bar,
But there’s more to Wasaga Beach than the boardwalk and warm sand. This area offers exceptional access to recreation all year long. The 100km+ trail system is perfect for hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The forested landscape stands in stark contrast to the waterfront.
If you love the water but need a break from the beach, there is also excellent fishing in the Nottawasaga River, magnificent canoeing in the area and boat rentals so you can explore further afield.
Once an industrial town, bustling with factories and a busy train station, Meaford is now a quiet, friendly community that exudes small-town charm. The area’s up-and-coming spot for second home buyers, Meaford has so much to offer those looking for some refuge from the city.
This cultural haven, home to the Meaford Hall, a restored 330 seat venue, has great live theatre, live music and cinema screenings. You can also catch the Meaford International Film Festival here.
The Meaford Harbour is quite beautiful with a bridge, perfect for a waterside stroll, that connects the two sides. For even more breathtaking views, head out to the end of the Meaford pier. Waterfront camping is also available! With unique shopping, tasty eateries and baking you’ll want to write home about, Meaford is a four-season destination that is quickly gaining popularity.
For those who like to spend their days outside, Joe Park and the beautiful Trout Hollow Trail offer recreation all year long – walking and cycling in spring, summer and fall, and snowshoeing in winter.
Travel just a few minutes out of town, to discover the unspoiled rolling countryside, charming hamlets, off-the-beaten-path beached and more.