Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash

September’s done. No frost yet and none in the forecast. It won’t be long, though. At the time of writing we’re in single digits and the sky is clear. Autumn glory is just around the corner. It looks like the peak of colour and Thanksgiving stand a good chance of coinciding. But before then, we have work to do.

More than in previous years we’ve had a number of people, quite a number of people, saying they want to build and they’re looking for vacant lakefront. Although demand for cottage property is increasing, no new lakes are being made. The lake front we have is the lake front we have.

Muskoka has been a recreational destination for more than 150 years. People have been building here for that long. Land preferences have not changed much in that time. People like interesting views, a majority prefer sun or sunset exposures, most like gentle terrain. Those criteria do not reflect the majority of lake front when put together. If you’re a cottager you know just how varied terrain and views are in the Pre-Cambrian Shield. Shorelines are not like driving down a suburban street where lot after lot is the same. In lake country adjacent lots can vary dramatically one from another.

It’s fair to say most of the prime land is built upon. Most of the prime land remaining pristine may comprise a large family holding, or in some cases, Crown Land. Either way, it’s not available. Today, when new lots come to market (recently severed property) they are governed by municipal bylaw and have minimum size and waterfront. Depending on the municipality and the lake, minimum frontage can vary from 200’ to 400’. In the area where the lots are 400’, the current cost is greater than $10K per linear foot. Yep, that’s $4 million.

But don’t forget there are development fees (often 5% of the land cost), cost of roading, site prep, hydro and septic before breaking ground for the build. Let’s say you find a lot for $600K where you’re willing to accept the slope or compromised view. Development fees are $30K, roading and site prep $50K, septic $30K and hydro $10K. Oh, and there’s a building permit too and cost for the plans. Whether they’re off the shelf or custom, they cost. So before the shovel goes in the ground for the foundation, the $600K lot is roughly $750K and I forgot the dock.

Building new is not for the faint of heart or the thin wallet. Finding property already developed is often a better route. Chances are the land will be better too.

Check out the land in this week’s picks. Questions? You know where to find us. We’ll be back in 2 weeks!


063 &1067 KEMP Road, Muskoka Lakes
$ 4,995,000- MLS# 40167350

Unique private Acton Island property! Family compound possibilities with two separately deeded lots each with its own dwelling. One lot features a fully winterized 4300 sq foot post and beam cottage, with gourmet kitchen, soaring great room with two sided stone fireplace (propane), 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, decks, sun dock and more! The other lot features a grandfathered two slip, two story boathouse-cottage with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, full kitchen, airtight woodstove, laundry room and wrap around deck. A special property with all day sun and lovely sunsets which can be viewed sitting with a drink on the dock or the deck of the boathouse. Circular driveway, large insulated and winterized garage, separate shed for storage. Acton island is connected to the mainland by a bridge, for easy access year round by car. Click here for property listing details.


1081 GRIFFITH Court, Minden
$ 3,100,000- MLS# 40170262

To begin, just the drive in on Griffith Court, through 8 acres of unspoiled hard and soft woods, will provide a feeling of anticipation. Mother nature has been given free rein to maintain the property as intended. Circa 1927, a cabin was constructed and a portion of that is evident in the stone fireplace in one of the principal rooms. Over the past several years, the home retained it original charm with beautiful additions and renovations to compliment that era. Fully winterized, the cottage covers approximately 1900 square feet all on one level. Two guest cabins, both with 2 bedrooms and 3 piece bath, provide for guests and additional family members. Nearly 300 feet of southwest facing waterfront, a good portion of which is a hard packed gradual sand beach. Farther down the shoreline there are two wet slip boat houses, one of which is two bay and a cozy screened in gazebo for those quiet ‘me’ times. Contact for more information on this very special offering. Click here for property listing details.


STONE GATE Lane, Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 1X1
$ 1,795,000- MLS# 40168189

rare Muskoka waterfront offering on spring-fed Prospect Lake. Deeded private Right of Way to a marvelous and unique 1665 Feet of frontage & 32.5 acres. Completely wooded. Rocky & sand shoreline, shallow and deep water, sunny northwest sunset exposure. According to the Town of Bracebridge the property is Zoned is SR5 which requires new lots to have a water frontage of 200 feet and an area of 1 acre. All severances subject to Town approval. PROSPECT LAKE provides a beautiful setting for a year round lake home or seasonal cottage. The lake is large enough for water sports but small enough that big (loud) boats are not attracted to it, ensuring your privacy and piece of mind. Close proximity to the beautiful Town of Bracebridge via HWY 118 for great downtown shopping, groceries, entertainment and all your other essentials. Click here for property listing details.


1251 MUSKOKA ROAD #38, Bala
$595,000 – MLS# 40169449

This will be a newly severed vacant lot located on Hesners Lake with year round access from Muskoka Road #38 and only minutes from Bala. Severance hearing is November 11, 2021. When approved there will be a 21 day appeal period. Once appeal period is over, then closing will happen after the severance conditions have been met. (New registered survey and new legal description) Sometime in the early New Year – 2022. The lot is a level natural lot with many mature trees. Several building locations. There is an open view with a warm southerly exposure. There is also a small island out in front of the lot which will be included in the sale. The Island cannot be built upon. (OS 2 Zoning). Shoreline frontage is approximately 508 feet and straight line frontage is approximately 433 feet. Total area is approximately 1.5 acres. All frontages and acreage to be confirmed once severance is complete and new survey is registered. Click here for property listing details.


$595,000 – $1,099,000 – Click here
$1,100,000 – $1,999,000 – Click here
$2,000,000 – $3,999,000 – Click here
$4,000,000+ – Click here

Islands – Click here
Mainland Riverfront – Click here
Vacant Lakefront Land – Click here
Pending – Click here

Wishing you an amazing holiday filled with friends, family and lots of food!

Lucy & Ross