About Prince Edward County
Welcome to the unofficial guide of Prince Edward County real estate.
Prince Edward County (PEC) is so much more than an island in Lake Ontario. It has become one of the most popular destinations for food, wine, craft beer and culture in the province. Some consider PEC to be Niagara on the Lake 2.0, but we feel that comparison does neither area justice. (We love both).
While it sounds like a quaint little area, Prince Edward County actually spans more than 80km from east to west. With more than 800km of shoreline and exceptionally diverse geography, each region in the County is unique, offering something for everyone, and something new as you travel from place to place.
The County, made up of 7 main communities offers an incredibly diverse range of things to eat, things to do, things to taste and things to see. With incredible beaches, waterways, natural landscapes and geological foundations, the area is perfect for those who want to get away from the city and spend time outdoors. Those seeking arts and culture will find art, museums, live music, theatre, textiles and more in each of the hamlets throughout the county. And if you come for the food and drink, you may want to loosen your belt. PEC offers farm to table dining experiences, wine, craft beer and spirits that have everyone talking. Plus cheese, so much cheese.
As its popularity grows, more and more city people are flocking to the Country for a weekend, a week, and increasingly, in search of the perfect property. The hottest areas for real estate in PEC are Picton, Wellington and Bloomfield, with Consecon and Waupoos gaining popularity. There are still some areas where you can find a great deal, but these days are numbered. If you want in, don’t wait.
But know this: if you’re planning a visit to see what’s happening in the real estate market in PEC, you will need to book in advance. The hottest Airbnb’s book months in advance and more spartan accommodations are also snatched up quickly. The summer months are the busiest time, but the shoulder seasons – spring and fall – with more temperate weather are quickly gaining favour.
Whether you’re looking to escape the rat race and relocate here for life at a slower pace, or you’re hoping to buy a vacation or investment property, you’ll want to get to know the various areas in the County, and what each one offers.
Related: How to Buy a Cottage in Ontario
The Real Estate Scoop
Prince Edward County Real Estate
PEC's seasonal market is heavily influenced by the city buyers, and of course, by the weather. Timing is everything, so the ideal time to come house shopping is the exact opposite to when you’d want to “have a visit.” Think cold weather, offseason, weekdays...Overall the most inconvenient times for a holiday are ideal!
There are so many real estate opportunities in Prince Edward County: raw land, houses in need of TLC, fully-managed cottages, waterfront cottages and newly built homes and subdivisions too.
Buildings range in age from brand new to 150+ years old and everything in between.
When it comes to size, you can find everything from small condos to spacious luxury condos, from semis to townhouses, in town lots from under 40ft to 100+ acres farms and waterfront cottages of all sizes. Whatever you are looking for, you’ll find it here.
Prince Edward County Real Estate for Investors
In terms of investor rate of returns, some clients are seeing cap rates upwards of 10-15% with short-term accommodations (ie Airbnb). Cap rates for traditional rentals are usually in the 7% range. There are tightening regulations around Airbnb properties, so you’ll need to look into the specifics for the type of property and community you are considering.
Prince Edward County Real Estate Prices
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Prince Edward County Communities
Picton is the County’s largest community, with a population of just under 5,000 residents. The local BIA astutely describes it as “a rural community with an urban, neighbourhood feel’. Here, it’s all about tourism, agriculture and wine…in that order.
In rural Picton, you’ll enjoy generous green spaces, with eight municipal parks, including the MacCauley Heritage Park and access to the Millennium Trail, a 49 km stretch of trails that weave through County farmer’s lands, forests, creeks and marshes, and you can also enjoy Picton’s harbour and marina.
In town, Main Street is lined with art galleries, clothing boutiques, foodie destinations (check out the Agrarian Market) and shops filled with home decor and vintage finds (must visit: Frugal & Company).
Picton is quickly becoming a foodie destination, with some of the area’s best restaurants, cafes, craft breweries, pubs and live music venues. You will also find a thriving arts scene, with everything from a modern art gallery to rustic barn studios to local artisans selling hand-crafted products.
Picton is home to some of the best real estate in Prince Edward County.
Located on the north shores of Lake Ontario, Wellington is undeniably one of Prince Edward County’s IT spots. Here you’ll find a stunning pebble beach, boardwalk, lighthouse and views of Sandbanks West Lake Sand Dunes and a waterfront park. For more adventure, rent kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and boats in Wellington Harbour or visit Wellington on the Lake Golf Course and Driving Range.
Wellington is home to quaint cafes, pubs and many ice cream parlours. And of course, a visit to Wellington is not complete without wineries.
It is also rich with art galleries, studios, the Heritage Museum, live music in the gazebo in the park in the summer, and at Wellington’s jazz piano bar, the Stache on Main. The ever-growing theatre scene in the County is headlined by Festival Players, with a newly acclaimed artistic director in 2018, straight from the Stratford Festival.
Ideally located in the heart of Prince Edward County, Bloomfield’s central location makes it a convenient base from which to explore the County. Settled in the late 1700s, the architecture here is a throw-back to a different time: red brick homes with distinctive cornice treatments, trim and verandas line the main street, and there are still working farms tucked in behind. While some of the Loyalist homes have been converted into quaint B&B’s, the village’s 250 homes house almost 600 residents.
Bloomfield is a favourite with local gourmets, is home to two notable wineries and is also home to Ontario’s second craft distillery, Kinsip House of Fine Spirits (formally 66 Gilead).
Art and antique lovers flock to Bloomfield to browse the art, pottery, crafts, glass and wood treasures or take in one of the vintage shops (we love Dead People’s Stuff). You’ll also find clothing boutiques and unique home stores.
The Mustang, the County’s drive-in theatre, shows seven days a week in summer, and for live music, you can visit The Agrarian Speakeasy on weekends or the Quarter Moon Coffee House (located in the Baxter Arts Centre) during summer months where professional and amateur musicians to share an open stage.
Other Prince Edward County Communities
There are several other areas in Prince Edward County: Hillier, Cherry Valley/Salmon Point/East Lake, West Lake, Rednersville Road and Rossmore, Consecon, Sophiasburgh, Milford/South, Marysburgh, Cressy, Lake on the Mountain and Waupoos.
Established in 1823, Hillier is one of Prince Edward County’s smallest communities, with just 100 registered residents. Hillier is ground-zero for the County’s wine scene.
Eastern PEC includes Cherry Valley/Salmon Point/East Lake. It’s one of the most affordable waterfront locations in PEC.
West Lake is one of Prince Edward County’s hottest areas for real estate offering residents the peace and tranquillity of ‘cottage country’ with the best of Prince Edward County’s winery/foodie/craft beer/arts scene just minutes away.
Rednersville Road is where you’ll find the County’s most affluent residents…rumour has it this is a popular spot for the many Canadian and Hollywood celebrities who buy homes in the County too (though naturally their locations are top secret).
Rossmore is the northern entrance to the County, just over the bridge from Belleville. Located on the edge of the Bay of Quinte, Rossmore is an understated community that serves as a hub for boat traffic and recreational water activities.
Consecon is the closest part of the County to Toronto, and it still feels like a fishing village. While that means it’s still early days in its transition into a cool spot, it also means AFFORDABILITY.
Sophiasburgh is one of the three original townships that made up Prince Edward County. Named after one of Prince Edward’s daughters in 1798, it’s made up primarily of 3 areas: Demorestville, Northport and the Big Island.
Driving through the Milford and South Marysburgh area is like stepping into a different era, a snapshot of old rural Ontario. The hamlet of Milford, self-proclaimed as the ‘hamlet of friendliness,’ is the only real village in the South Marysburgh area.
The Cressy/Prinyers Cove area is the north-eastern tip of Prince Edward County. Popular with sailors, Cressy hosts numerous sailing regattas throughout the summer months.
The community of Lake on the Mountain revolves around, you guessed it, the Lake on the Mountain. This freshwater lake is one of Ontario’s natural wonders. Measuring just over one square kilometre, it rises 60 metres above the Bay of Quinte.
Waupoos is one of the County’s most eastern communities and is located between Smith’s Bay on Lake Ontario and Cape Vessey. Just a short drive from Picton, Waupoos is the birthplace of PEC’s wine industry, with the area’s first winery (Waupoos Estate Winery) opening here in 2000.
Read more about each of these communities by visiting the BREL Get What You Want in the County website.