Buying Beachfront Real Estate in Ontario

Your Top 10 “must-have” Checklist

Buying Beachfront Real Estate in Ontario, Canada - Top 10 TipsNothing compares to experiencing the beauty of life on a beach: sand castles and beach umbrellas; endless clear water and rippling sand underfoot; the thrill of kids playing in the waves.

So if you’re looking to buy beachfront real estate in Ontario, consider this Top 10 list of things to look in a beachfront cottage investment.


#1: White sand/ clear water beach

When buying beachfront real-estate look for:

  • Quality of the water: Georgian Bay, for instance, is reputed to have some of the cleanest, most pristine fresh water in the world.
  • Quality of the sand: Everyone loves white sand, both on shore and underwater. The Great Lakes in Ontario offer some spectacular white sand beaches.
  • Shallow drop-off: Especially with kids, you want the sandy bottom to drop off slowly near the shore, for both enjoyment and safety. Shallow waters are also warmer!

#2: Beach with Onshore Breeze

There are all kinds of reasons to ensure your beachfront real estate investment in Ontario features a predominantly onshore breeze:

  • Less bugs: Cottaging in Ontario doesn’t have to revolve around dealing with those pesky bugs like mosquitoes and flies. With a predominantly onshore breeze, bugs are blown into the woods behinds the cottage, meaning you can enjoy the great outdoors year-round, 24/7.
  • Safety: Sailing, swimming, kite boarding, kayaking, and canoeing are all safer when the breeze tends to blow you onshore.
  • Better waves: An onshore breeze means you have the opportunity to play in the waves.

#3: Erosion-protected beach

Before you buy beachfront real estate, remember that unprotected, wide-open beaches can face serious land erosion issues. The incredible beach you had one year can disappear with one violent storm. Floridians are familiar with this, as are some beach property owners on Lake Huron and Lake Erie.

#4: Walking beach

Walking with shoes off is one of life’s simplest pleasures, whether you are strolling with your dog, walking with your family, or taking your morning jog. So make sure your beachfront cottage includes a long walking beach.

#5: Vibrant beach community

Beach living is all about community: sharing a glass of wine with neighbours on the beach; having campfires along the beach; or just watching your kids hang out with their friends up and down the beach. Look for an active beach community with social events, sports events, kids clubs, and quality community facilities.

#6: Spectacular beach vista

Being on the beach doesn’t always mean you have a great view. Make sure you can see the weather “rolling in” from a distance. On the Great Lakes in Canada, and especially on Georgian Bay, you will experience the most spectacular weather changes, and the full, raw beauty of nature.

#7: Sun-up or sundown on the beach?

Which do you prefer? If you’re looking to spend time on the beach at sundown, for campfires or simply to enjoy the spectacular sundown colours, you definitely want to have west exposure when buying beachfront real estate.

#8: Short drive to your beach cottage

This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. Why drive 3 hours each way, when you can get there in 90 minutes or less? Less time driving means more time on the beach. Your entire family will thank you! And a shorter drive means a better long-term real estate value.

#9: Nearby shopping and services

As with any cottage, you want to be close to a sufficiently sizeable town for quality groceries, deli-goodies, vintage wine and beer, and rated local restaurants. Basic goods should be available within 5 minutes drive. Other goods and services should be no more than 15 minutes away.

#10: Year round beachfront enjoyment

Most people picture a beach cottage in the summer. But some of the most spectacular weekends occur in the winter, spring and fall. You might find yourself sitting on the beach in March, basking in the warm spring sunshine. Or enjoying the ice-sculptures created by wind and waves in mid-winter. In the fall, the colours in Southern Ontario are renowned throughout the world. So when buying beachfront real estate, make sure your beachfront cottage is accessible year-round with a county-maintained road, and your cottage is fully winterized with all the bells-and-whistles.