Are you planning to invest in the Ontario Cottage Market in Canada? But how do you buy cottage in Ontario? With so many cottages for sale in Ontario, where do you even begin? Well, here is our list of the top places and some tricks you should know before buy a cottage in Cottage Country, Ontario, Canada. 

Know The Places to Buy Cottage in Ontario: A Tabular View

When considering cottages for sale in Ontario, it’s crucial to pinpoint locations that promise a peaceful retreat and offer a good investment. Let’s get straight to the point. We know you are in a hurry to see the best places. So here’s the quick tabular view for your hunt: 

Best Spot

Distance from Major City

Average Price

Main Attraction


200 km from Toronto


Lake Muskoka, boating, and luxury cottages


150 km from Toronto


Kawartha Lakes, fishing, and family activities

Prince Edward County

200 km from Toronto


Sandbanks Provincial Park, wineries, and an art scene

Georgian Bay

250 km from Toronto


Georgian Bay Islands National Park, kayaking, and rugged landscapes

Thousand Islands

300 km from Ottawa


Boating, fishing, and historic sites


250 km from Toronto


Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve, dog sledding, and hiking

Bruce Peninsula

300 km from Toronto


Bruce Peninsula National Park, the Grotto, and Tobermory


130 km from Toronto


Vineyards, historical sites, and the Shaw Festival

Please note: the average prices are highly variable and dependent on the current market conditions, property size, and proximity to water or amenities. But knowing the top spots isn’t enough. There are some key things to consider before you buy cottage in Ontario. In the next section, we highlighted the crucial steps to help you find your dream cottage. 

Follow These Steps to Buy Cottage in Ontario

Follow These Steps to Buy Cottage in Ontario
Credits : greatblueresorts

If you are in the browsing stage of the Cottage hunt, we are sure you must have noticed one thing by now: There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of them spread all over Ontario. 

Here’s a roadmap to navigate the exciting process of buy cottage in Ontario:

Step 1: Define Your Dream Cottage

In the first step, you will simply identify your preferences: 

    • Location: Do you prefer a lakeside view, or is the forest more your scene? Or whatever you want your vacation home to look like. Have a picture in your mind. This will help you be clear about exactly what you want. 
    • Size: Once you know the view of your cottage, it’s time to decide its size. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? This will help you filter out the perfect option for you. 
    • Features: Are you looking for a dock for boating, a big porch, or a fireplace? Don’t get confused. It is time to frame the highlights, i.e., the key features of your cottage you would like to brag about. These ideas and preferences will help you in your cottage hunt. 

Step 2: Set Your Budget

Once you have a framework in mind, it’s time to be practical. This simply means setting your budget and doing a little financial planning for your home. 

    • Determine your total budget, including the purchase price, taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.
    • Don’t forget to consider additional costs like utility hookups, renovations, and furnishings.

Step 3: Research the Market

Now is the time to do your- “Research”. Use online tools and resources to know the ins and outs of the market. Or you can simply check the Square Yards website, where we have done all the headache tasks so that you end up with the best.

Below are some tips you can keep in mind during your research stage: 

    • Websites: Explore listings on real estate websites using keywords like “cottages for sale Ontario.”
    • Alerts: Set up alerts for new listings in your preferred areas.

Step 4: Pre-Approval for Financing

As things are getting serious, it’s time to speak with financial institutions to get the best deal. Your research will help you crack the best deal by allowing you to understand the market deeply. 

    • Shop around for the best mortgage rates and terms.
    • Obtain a pre-approval letter, which gives you an idea of your budget and shows sellers you’re serious.

Considering a Cottage Rental?

    • If you’re unsure about buying or want to test the cottage life before diving in, “Cottage Rentals Ontario” is a great option! It allows you to experience different areas and activities before making a commitment.

Step 5: Partner with a Realtor

Now, one of the most important steps is to find an expert in cottage properties. Choose a realtor with experience in the Ontario cottage market. They can provide insights into different areas, help negotiate prices, and manage paperwork. Amazingly, Square Yards, with years of experience in the market, knows how to ease your process. Contact us to find your – “the one”. 

Step 6: Visit Potential Cottages

The next step is to schedule site viewings to get a better idea. Make a list of properties that meet your criteria. Visiting multiple cottages will help you compare and contrast.

Step 7: Make an Informed Decision

Now, the next step is to make the final decision. Here are the considerations you should keep in mind before making an offer: 

    • Location vs. Price: Balance your ideal location with what’s realistic within your budget.
    • Inspection Results: Ensure a thorough inspection is done to avoid future surprises.

Step 8: Make an Offer and Negotiate

It’s time to finalise a deal and do the last negotiations. Take a look at the steps before you make an offer: 

    • Draft an offer with your realtor’s assistance, including any contingencies (like passing a home inspection).
    • Be prepared to negotiate on price and terms.

Step 9: Closing the Deal

Finally, the last steps before you get the keys include: 

    • Finalise your mortgage with your bank.
    • Have a lawyer review all contracts and handle the transfer of ownership.

Step 10: Plan Your Move

One additional step is to get ready to enjoy your cottage:

    • Schedule your move, considering the best time to relocate based on weather and availability.
    • Start planning any immediate renovations or purchases needed to make the cottage your own

Remember—each step is important to ensure you make a well-informed decision that aligns with your expectations, financial capability, and future happiness in your new gateway. 

Why These Places Are Best To Buy Cottage in Ontario?

Here is a list of some of the best cottage areas in Ontario. Dive into the details of each and discover your perfect getaway spot. 


Muskoka is a popular search spot that offers an upscale cottage experience with top-tier amenities and recreational activities.

    • Location Advantage: Located around 200 km north of Toronto, Muskoka is affectionately known as the “Hamptons of the North.” It’s easily accessible for weekend getaways or extended stays, boasting pristine lakes and a well-developed infrastructure that caters to both seasonal and year-round residents.
    • Important Facts:
      • Lifestyle: Muskoka offers luxury cottage living, high-end amenities, gourmet dining, and exclusive golf clubs.
      • Recreation: With over 1,600 lakes, it’s a paradise for boaters, fishermen, and water sports enthusiasts.
      • Community: It is home to vibrant communities like Bracebridge, Huntsville, and Gravenhurst, which host numerous festivals and cultural events throughout the year.


The Kawarthas offer a classic cottage country experience with excellent fishing, water sports, and charming small towns.

    • Location Advantage: The Kawarthas are located just 150 km northeast of Toronto, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a quick escape from the city. The region is known for its beautiful waterways and laid-back atmosphere.
    • Important Facts:
      • Natural Beauty: The area is famed for its beautiful lakes and rivers, perfect for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
      • Family-Friendly: With plenty of outdoor activities and quaint towns to explore, it’s a great location for family getaways.
      • Affordability: Generally, the Kawarthas offer more budget-friendly options than Muskoka, with a wide range of cottages.

Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is an ideal destination for those who enjoy a cultural touch to their getaway. With beautiful beaches and over 35 natural beauty wineries, it’s a popular spot amongst visitors. 

    • Location Advantage: About 200 km east of Toronto, Prince Edward County is easily accessible via a scenic drive. It’s known for its stunning beaches, vineyards, and artistic community.
    • Important Facts:
      • Wine Country: Home to over 35 wineries, the county is a haven for wine enthusiasts.
      • Cultural Hotspot: The area boasts a vibrant arts scene, with galleries, studios, and theatres dotting the landscape.
      • Natural Attractions: Sandbanks Provincial Park offers some of Ontario’s most beautiful beaches and dunes.

Georgian Bay

Close to water and rugged landscapes, Georgian Bay is perfect for adventurers and those seeking breathtaking views.

    • Location Advantage: Georgian Bay extends from the eastern edge of Muskoka to the Bruce Peninsula, offering a mix of accessibility and seclusion. Its rugged beauty is unmatched, with crystal-clear waters and thousands of islands.
    • Important Facts:
      • Outdoor Activities: Ideal for hiking, kayaking, and exploring the UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve.
      • Diverse Ecosystems: The bay is home to some of the world’s largest freshwater beaches and a variety of wildlife.
      • Historical Sites: The region has a rich history, with many lighthouses and cultural heritage sites to explore.

Thousand Islands

If you desire a rich riverside cottage experience with a rich history and excellent boating and fishing opportunities, Thousand Islands is the perfect spot for you. 

    • Location Advantage: The Thousand Islands offer an escape for those searching for cottages for sale near Ottawa. Located along the border between Ontario and New York State, approximately 300 km from Ottawa, this area offers a unique blend of Canadian and American cultures, with easy access via the Thousand Islands Bridge.
    • Important Facts:
      • Boater’s Paradise: With over a thousand islands to explore, it’s a prime location for boating and fishing.
      • Rich History: The area is dotted with historic castles and mansions, some of which are open to the public.
      • Natural Beauty: The region’s diverse landscapes include rugged cliffs, wooded islands, and abundant wildlife.


Haliburton provides a quieter, more secluded setting with extensive outdoor recreational activities year-round.

    • Location Advantage: Approximately 250 km northeast of Toronto, Haliburton offers a quieter, more secluded cottage experience. It’s known for its stunning natural landscapes and vibrant arts community.
    • Important Facts:
      • Arts and Culture: Home to the renowned Haliburton School of the Arts, offering workshops and courses.
      • Outdoor Recreation: The area boasts extensive hiking trails, snowmobiling routes, and some of the province’s best fishing lakes.
      • Community Feel: Haliburton Village provides a cosy hub of activity with shops, restaurants, and galleries.

Bruce Peninsula

The Bruce Peninsula’s crystal-clear waters, dramatic cliffs, and famous Grotto make it a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

    • Location Advantage: Situated between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, about 300 km northwest of Toronto, the Bruce Peninsula is a natural wonderland known for its crystal-clear waters and dramatic escarpments.
    • Important Facts:
      • Natural Attractions: The area features two national parks: the Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park.
      • Adventure Activities: Popular for hiking the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath, and exploring underwater shipwrecks through diving.
      • Stargazing: Designated as a Dark Sky Community, it’s one of the best places in Ontario for stargazing.


It is perfect for those who appreciate fine wine, theatre, and historical charm, offering a sophisticated and cultured cottage lifestyle.

    • Location Advantage: Just 130 km from Toronto, Niagara-on-the-Lake is easily accessible and offers a blend of historic charm and modern luxury. It’s in the heart of Ontario’s wine country, adjacent to Niagara Falls.
    • Important Facts:
      • Wine and Culinary Scene: This region is known for its world-class wineries and vineyards and fine dining experiences that showcase local produce.
      • Cultural Richness: The town is home to the Shaw Festival, one of North America’s premier theatre festivals.
      • Historical Significance: Steeped in history, with well-preserved 19th-century buildings and the historic Fort George.

Your Cottage in Ontario Awaits

And now you’re all set to find your own cosy haven facing Ontario’s beautiful scenery! Remember, cottage life is about kicking back, enjoying nature, and making memories that will last a lifetime. Happy cottage hunting!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are cottage prices dropping in Ontario?

Cottage prices in Ontario fluctuate based on market conditions, location, and demand. While there can be seasonal adjustments or shifts due to economic factors, it's essential to research current market trends or consult with a real estate professional for the most up-to-date information.

Where is the best place to build a cottage in Ontario?

The best place to build a cottage in Ontario depends on your preferences. Popular regions include Muskoka, the Kawarthas, and the Bruce Peninsula, which are known for their natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Is a cottage a good investment in Canada?

Offering the potential for appreciation, rental income, and personal enjoyment, a cottage is surely a good investment in Canada. When evaluating a cottage as an investment, it's advisable to consider both the financial and lifestyle benefits.

How do you afford a cottage in Ontario?

Affording a cottage in Ontario typically involves careful financial planning, budgeting, and possibly financing. Renting out the property when not in use can also help offset costs. You should consult with a financial advisor who is tailored to your situation.