Muskoka is world renowned for its beautiful lake fronts, excellent fishing conditions and is an example of true cottage living. Boasting over 1,600 lakes, Muskoka is a combination of the following townships: Lake of Bays, Huntsville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Muskoka Lakes, and Georgian Bay. Muskoka is a well known tourist destination both in and out of Ontario, with many residents from the Greater Toronto Area, upstate Americans, and even some celebrities owning property in Muskoka.
It is believed that the word Muskoka originates from the Chippawa tribe chief named Mesqua Ukee, the same chief who went onto sign treaties between Indians and the then Province of Canada, which ultimately was the sale of roughly 250,000 acres of land to the province. Once the province had the land, the original plan was to use the Muskoka area as an Indian Reserve, however after considering the amount of timber and the influx of immigrants to Southern Ontario, this decision was changed and instead the Province encouraged people to move to the Muskoka area, even offering free property (under The Free Land Grand and Homestead Act) to qualified applicants.
Muskoka's tourist industry was boosted in the late 18th century and early 19th century when steam boats were first launched into the region's lake waters. The Segwun, a steamboat originally known as the Nipissing II was built in 1887, and was on the waters up until the 50's, when it was docked and used as a floating museum, detailing the history of the boat and Muskoka. After years of deterioration, the Segwun was restored and eventually reintroduced to the Muskoka lake system in 1981 and is still used today to bring passengers on beautiful scenic routes and romantic boat rides.
While there are many resorts available for those not fortunate enough to own a piece of lakefront property, there are thousands of Muskoka properties all throughout the lake system. While most of the properties are your standard cottage lots, some Muskoka properties push the definition of what is a “cottage”. The area is also known as a celebrity getaway, with big names like Shania Twain, Kevin O'Leary, Kurt Russell, and many players of the Toronto Maple Leafs all owning property. Considering Muskoka's history and reputation, it is no wonder some Muskoka properties can fetch tens of millions, especially when there is the possibility of owning a private island.
10 Lakefront Lake Joseph Hideaway: $3,795,000
With 443 feet of waterfront and a spacious seven acres of property, it is certainly nothing to overlook. Sporting that classic timber frame construction, soaring ceilings and a stone fire place it certainly maintains that cabin look. The cottage comes with six bedrooms and the common areas all boasting a lot of room. There is a lower level that is unfinished, leaving the buyer the chance to enhance their cottage to there liking. This cottage also features a two slip boathouse and beautiful rock and woodland surrounding. As an added bonus, with purchase of the property, also comes a membership certificate for undeveloped back land by Cockburn Residents Inc.
9 1880's Lake Rosseau Cottage: $4,795,000
It is not often a property like this is let go. For the first time since the original purchase sometime in the late 1880's this property is up for sale, giving this property an added bonus to its list of bragging points. The 6.5 acres property offers mature woodland spread throughout the property. The interior features bright wood panelling along many of its walls and certainly has that aged cottage look. The property also features a two story boathouse that could use a little work. It may not be the most glamourous or elegant of the cottages on this list however, it does boast a rich history and holds a great spot on what is known locally as Paton Point.
8 Historical Lake Rosseau Cottage: $5,295,000
This five acre estate is a piece of history and goes back to 1898, sitting on the exclusive S. Rosseau shores and sits between a few landmarks in the area. With five adirondack cots, and five guest cots this cottage features 'dining lodge' glass walls, cathedral ceilings and a sauna. It also features the locally famous 'Woodmere' boathouse, as well as a six slip boathouse, with three bedrooms above for accommodation. There is also a two slip antique boathouse for the special boats in one's collection. For the cottage buyer who wants a Muskoka getaway as well as a piece of history this could be your buy.
7 Lakefront Cottage on Lake Joseph: $5,376,000
Sitting on a highly desired shore of Lake Joseph, this cottage is an achievement in both design and beauty. With its timber frame architectural truss design, stone walls in the kitchen, and floor to ceiling windows, it screams “cottage life”. Featuring a four slip boathouse with accommodation above, a three bay garage, and massive upper deck, this custom cottage also provides 500 feet of assessed privacy. Location is one of the biggest factors when it comes to purchasing any real estate and this cottage has one final bragging right – a stunning view of the sunset.
6 Lake Front Cottage on Lake Rosseau: $6,300,000
First things first, this cottage is fresh. Recently completed in 2012, this 2,800 square foot, six bedroom cottage features neutral tones throughout, from the stone gracing the exterior structure to the beige walls and ceilings inside. The rooms are abundant with space, with large windows providing lots of light to compliment the neutral tones found inside the cottage. A double slip boathouse is cleanly finished, and also features accommodation for visitors. In addition to this cottage boasting fresh construction, it's also a stone throw away from Port Carling.
5 The Winsome on Lake Joseph: $6,499,000
This cottage certainly qualifies as a lakefront estate, with a very unique spot on the shores of Lake Joseph. The 5,100 square foot, five bedroom cottage features both distinct craftsmanship and luxury throughout with nothing left to be touched up. In addition to the detailed principal rooms, the cottage also features a stone fireplace, sauna, wine cellar, which are just as detailed as the rest of this exquisite property. This property also is unique in that it has two separate boathouses. There is a luxurious two slip boathouse featuring wood designs from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, there is a separate single slip boathouse that features accommodation for two above. This cottage is certainly for the cottage goer who appreciates both outdoor living and elegance.
4 Lake Muskoka Cottage: $7,995,000
This cottage may have been built in 1986, but at the time of its construction it was considered a superior breed of cottage construction. At 4,600 square feet, this five bedroom cottage boasts a scribe fit log design, giving it that classic cabin vibe. With a two story, triple boathouse which also features isolated accommodation for two, this cottage is for the true water lover. Despite its beautiful interior, the owners of this cabin will most likely be spending most of their time outdoors considering the cottages water edge resort style seating area and a wet bar built into the boathouse.
3 St. Helen's Island Cottage: $8 Million
Ever dreamed of owning your own island? Ever thought you could own your own island just a few hours from your condo? Well it's possible. This island on Lake Joseph is just over 1.6 acres and in that space is a 6,400 square foot cottage nestled in with thick tree coverage for privacy. As is expected, when it comes to the interior, rich and dark woods are used generously on the walls and floors, timber framed ceilings compliment the cottages principal rooms, and boasts a huge stone fireplace to add the final touch to this cozy cottage. This cottage features a triple boathouse, with a bunkie attached for visitors.
2 Moose Point Cottage: $8.5 Million
With over 12,000 square feet, eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms this cottage is custom in every sense of the word. The 2.36 acre property is designed as a private, executive vacation home. The woodwork and masonry are simply stunning. To add more of a custom touch, all the light fixtures in the house were handmade. For those rainy days, the board games might remain in the closet considering this dream cottage features a theatre room that can seat up to 13. Of course it has a large, three slip boathouse to store the right executive’s pride and joy.
1 Reef Island Cottage: $8,995,000
This island getaway located on Lake Joseph is for those who value privacy above everything. The island features over five acres of property, a sports court, batting cage, putting green, and a 1km trail looping around the property. With five bedrooms, breathtaking views available from every window, the cottage was designed by architect David Gillette. The nearly 5,000 square foot cottage was constructed in 2003, and features stone and hardwood floor throughout. If all these features weren't enough, the 3+1 slip boathouse offers living quarters as well. With the amount of celebrities seeking seclusion in the area, this might not be on the market long.