Not sure what part of cottage country you want your vacation home/cottage in?
Looking to retire to the area but not sure where?
Read below for more information on the area
Haliburton County encompasses a vast area totaling more than 1,500 square miles of prime Ontario cottage country real estate. Haliburton is also known as the Haliburton Highlands because of its high elevation and hilly terrain, but also in recognition of its proud Scottish pioneer heritage. Part of the Canadian Shield, the Haliburton area is comprised of rugged wilderness with wide expanses of forests, woodlands, and many clean and clear lakes, rivers and streams. Vibrant and distinctive communities spread throughout the region offer visitors, cottagers and full-time residents all the services, entertainment and culture they could ask for.
An established Ontario cottage country area, the Haliburton Highlands is also popular Central Ontario resort and vacation destination. In addition to its many inhabitants of the feather, fowl and four-legged variety, Haliburton is home to many artists and craftspeople. The magnificent scenery inspires artist and photographers alike. Haliburton’s thriving arts community grows every year as more people are drawn to the area. The Haliburton School of the Arts, located at the beautiful new Fleming College Haliburton Campus offers dozens of certificate programs and workshops. Its summer program which offers a variety of weekly art courses has been attracting students to the Highlands for over 25 years. The long-running Highlands Fall Studio is another popular draw to the area.
Once a well-kept secret, the Highlands of Haliburton is slowly becoming one of the most up-and-coming locations in Ontario for recreational property and cottage ownership. In the summer months, Haliburton lakes are warm and inviting; offering so many amazing ways to enjoy time on the water. In the wintertime, few places in Ontario can rival Haliburton’s many kilometers of Nordic ski trails and groomed snowmobile trails. And with an almost guaranteed abundance of snow each year, Haliburton trails generally remain snow-covered longer than other areas in the province for more wintertime fun.
There are many reasons to consider the Haliburton Highlands when you are thinking of purchasing an Ontario cottage property or second home in cottage country. Haliburton is a wonderful place to live and is becoming a very desirable retirement community. Haliburton is a top Ontario year-round vacation destination because of its unsurpassed natural beauty and wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities for everyone to enjoy, even the most avid sportsman. It’s a pleasant drive to get to the Highlands from the GTA. Located just 2.5 hours, north east of Toronto, you can drive to Haliburton via scenic routes that avoid the bumper to bumper weekend traffic found on Highways 400 and 11.
Two other very important reasons that you may want to seriously consider the Haliburton Highlands when shopping for your next lakeside cottage or executive waterfront home are Haliburton’s lower real estate prices
and lower taxes. Compared to longer-established cottage country areas like the Muskoka Lakes region, Haliburton real estate is a true bargain. Cottage and home buyers get much more for their money in Haliburton than they would in Muskoka. As well, taxes are lower here, even though Haliburton has all the services found in Muskoka, including two brand new hospitals.
Looking to retire in cottage country? Now is the perfect time to make the move to cottage country. With GTA house prices at record highs, sell your equity-rich Toronto home and buy a beautiful lakeside home in Muskoka or Haliburton and have plenty of money left over to travel and do the things you want to do. The dream of retirement living in cottage country is alive and well. Every year, more and more people choose to leave the city and live the good life by the lake in Muskoka and Haliburton. Compared to Toronto, real estate prices in both Muskoka and Haliburton are still reasonable. Although Haliburton and Muskoka real estate prices are also on an upswing, there are still many areas where you can buy an affordable waterfront home. This beautiful Ontario cottage country destination has a theater company, snow mobile club, bridge club, multiple music clubs, outdoor associations, quilt guilds, ATV Club, men and ladies golf leagues, University Women Group, Friendship Force Group, cycling club, Haliburton Grannies for Africa, book clubs, curling clubs, CARP, photography clubs, and so much more. You may be surprised at the diversity and variety of things to do in Haliburton. No matter where your interests lie, there are more than enough activities and events in Haliburton for fun and satisfying retirement living in Ontario.
When many people think of Ontario cottage country, the first place that comes to mind is Muskoka. And no wonder. With towering pines, clear blue lakes, bold granite outcroppings, charming towns, and endless variety of attractions and recreational opportunities, Muskoka, Ontario will instantly have you under its spell. Here in Canada’s most prestigious tourist region and best known cottage country destination, you will be enthralled with the natural beauty of the landscape, with its abundant forests, parks and wetlands, and the predominance of pink granite rock of the Canadian Shield. As well, Muskoka has a thriving arts community, offering many arts and cultural events and attractions. Home to vibrant towns and villages, including Huntsville, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Port Carling, Bala, Dorset, Bayville, Rosseau and Port Sydney, Muskoka offers the best of both town and country.
For generations, Muskoka has been regarded as North America’s quintessential cottage country destination. Ontario’s premier cottage country and resort area, Muskoka’s popularity is due to its breath-taking landscape, abundance of clean lakes, and its close proximity to the major urban centres of Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe region and the northern states. Located in central Ontario, Muskoka is just two hours north of Metropolitan Toronto, via major highways, Highway 400 and Highway 11. Muskoka encompasses an area which extends from Georgian Bay in the west, Lake Couchiching in the south, and the western border of Algonquin Provincial Park in the east. Muskoka covers approximately 2,500 square miles (6,475 sq. km.) and boasts more than 1,600 lakes.
Generally, Muskoka buyers are drawn to the area’s Algonquin setting and clean clear lakes. With its large interconnecting lakes that extend for miles, Muskoka is particularly attractive to boaters who like to spend time on the water and have the ability to cruise to shops and restaurants. Many pick Muskoka because they have a personal connection to the area. Cottaging in Muskoka has been a tradition for several generations. Others prefer Muskoka because they like that there are larger towns with more to do. Some lean toward Muskoka because they believe that the drive to and from the GTA is shorter. For the high-end waterfront buyer, there seems to be no substitute for Muskoka. While other cottage country areas like Haliburton and Lake of Bays have their share of spectacular $1M-plus executive cottages, most buyers at this price point want Muskoka, and specifically Lake Joseph, Lake Rosseau, or Lake Muskoka.
The Kawarthas are split into two areas – “The City of Kawartha Lakes” and “Peterborough and the Kawartha”s. “Kawartha” is an anglicization of the word “Ka-wa-tha” (from “Ka-wa-tae-gum-maug” or Gaa-waategamaag), a word coined in 1895 by aboriginal Martha Whetung of the Curve Lake First Nations. It meant “land of reflections”. The word was subsequently changed by tourism promoters to Kawartha, with the meaning “bright waters and happy lands.”
The City of Kawartha Lakes is a unitary municipality in Central Ontario. It is a municipality legally structured as a single-tier city; however, Kawartha Lakes is the size of a typical Ontario county and is mostly rural. It is the second largest single-tier municipality in Ontario by land area.
Located just 90 minutes north-east of Toronto, Kawartha Lake has a variety of beautiful communities each with their own unique charm. You can enjoy a day on the trails, an evening at the theatre and the best locally grown food you’ve ever tasted. If that wasn’t enough, the 250 lakes and rivers offer endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment.
Kawartha Lakes is the perfect destination to explore the natural beauty of Ontario while experiencing authentic food, culture, arts and entertainment. With so much to see and do you will need to stay longer and return often to experience it all.
There’s plenty of open space here for your power boats, water skis and personal watercrafts. Explore the secluded rivers by canoe or kayak. Catch a lakeside breeze in your sails, or go houseboating with family and friends here in Kawartha Lakes, the Houseboat Capital of Ontario.
Just a short drive from Toronto, Peterborough and The Kawarthas boast dozens of pristine lakes to explore, with new scenery at every turn, endless opportunities for water sports and fishing and plenty of marinas as well as over a dozen golf courses. Some of the many local activities include an on-farm experience at a horse farm, under water dining experience at one of the locks, exploring the day-in-the-life of a winemaker, and taking a paddle carving workshop.
When you get to Peterborough and the Kawarthas, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world. And, more than that, both city and the surrounding lakes and countryside are packed with experiences that are unique in the world. Visit the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world, a unique museum which tells the story of Canada, with 600 canoes and kayaks under one roof, visit the Provincial Parks and enjoy the many, many lakes and rivers in the area.