Architectural Digest takes on Muskoka … and gets it wrong

If you have taken a recent Architectural summary literally, you would think Muskoka is a hidden gem on the luxury real estate scene in Canada – a secret place yet to be discovered.

The post published a headline that many connoisseurs of the Canadian luxury real estate world would find entertaining. It reads: “Here’s why Muskoka is Canada’s best-kept secret in luxury real estate.”

Our question is, the best secret to keep who in luxury real estate?

Surely, not the wealthy residents of Ontario – or Canada (and beyond), for that matter.

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Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

“I was a little surprised by the title, but if you’re talking about a larger audience, many might not know it,” says Maryrose Coleman, real estate agent at Sotheby’s International who specializes in the Muskoka region. . “I think, because it’s an American audience, maybe that’s why it was called a best-kept secret. But the New York Times made features, the the Wall Street newspaper has made functionalities, the secret is definitively revealed.

True – the publication is American. But, considering household names like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, Martin Short, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg (to name a few) are all known to frequent Muskoka, one would think that the one percent of North America would be well aware of the pristine region – (admittedly, perhaps not all readers of the post, but certainly those familiar with luxury real estate, which makes the headline a bit misleading).

Word even spread across the pond: Earl Charles Spencer – Princess Diana’s brother – is a recent owner of a few multi-million dollar Muskoka properties.

To be fair, the post highlights the famous faces known to adorn the Three Great Lakes of Muskoka – Rosseau, Joseph and Muskoka – and it does the precise comparison between the New York Hamptons and Los Angeles Malibu well at the elite weekend getaway. -Facade of your choice.

Muskoka District Rentals

While Architectural summary Also rightly points out the contradiction in the appeal of the massive, modern waterfront properties of Muskoka “cottages,” (“lake house” is more precise), the piece somehow lacks the mark on it. ambiance of the region. “A low-key vibe where people don’t care about the sparkle is also key to why Muskoka is so appealing,” the article read.

While it might not be the same level of flashy as Malibu, Muskoka can certainly be flashy, as many of its weekend residents play a not-so-low-key and perpetual game to keep up with the Joneses.

“I’m sitting in Port Carling and looking out the window at the main street, watching Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Porsches and Range Rovers go by,” says Coleman. “It’s common to go to the LCBO in Port Carling and see someone deposit $ 16,000 for wine for the weekend. It’s pretty flashy, by your definition of the word.

She does, however, recognize Muskoka’s significantly more relaxed style than that found in Toronto (although that might involve a $ 500 tracksuit and some new kicks). Coleman approaches the low-key vibe of the region that may draw celebrities to it as something more accurately described as a Canadian phenomenon. “Like in Toronto, they like that nobody really bothers them,” she says of the famous Muskoka faces.

Image: Muskoka District Rentals

And while there was a time (a long, long time ago) when acres of land and countless pine trees separated one “cottage” from another, this has not been a reality for decades in the world. Most of the region, as its most coveted lakes have only increased in density with each new sprawling modern vacation home.

“I find the comment on the attractiveness of privacy a little questionable because there is so little privacy here now,” said Coleman. “Unless you’re in the $ 10 to $ 15 million range and have an additional $ 3 million for a privacy buffer around your property, there is very little privacy; your neighbor is going to be quite close.

In recent years, Coleman has helped Americans with deep pockets secure a multi-million dollar slice of Muskoka, many of whom know the area through friends and colleagues.

“In addition to being a great vacation spot, people see Canada as a safe haven when it comes to investing; so they will often do what they call land banking; investing in a real estate market that offers assurance of value and security – Muskoka is one of those places, ”says Coleman of the buying habits of many 1% Americans.

So while there was indeed a time when Muskoka remained a relatively unknown place on the global luxury real estate scene, it was long before WiFi, wakeboard boats, and chef’s kitchens became staples. in the coveted region.

And it will probably only become more famous among the elite on the world stage. “Any couple Charles Spencer and his wife Karen know, for example, now know Muskoka,” Coleman explains.

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