Muskoka, Ontario has long been referred to as the “Hamptons of the North.”
The destination north of Toronto is renowned for its luxurious appeal, from lakes dotted with waterfront mansions to affluent resorts and private country clubs.
Travel + Leisure recently called the cottage country destination a “summer playground for Toronto’s elite” which is an apt moniker as it’s not uncommon to see cottagers arriving at their docks via private float planes, or jetting by on flashy speedboats.
Summers are the most popular time of year to visit Muskoka, with warmer temperatures for boating, swimming and watersports.
In the fall, the area transforms into a stunning kaleidoscope of colour, perfect for hiking and sightseeing.
Winters are also gaining popularity to visit, with cross-country skiing trails, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
The now-treasured land was once given away for free by the government, but became a weekend getaway for the wealthy once railroads were built in the late 1800s.
Since then, Muskoka has hit record prices after catching the eye of foreign investors.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell own a cottage in the area, and Justin Bieber, the Beckhams, Martin Short, and Cindy Crawford are known to frequent Muskoka in the summer.
On the northern end of Lake Joseph, extravagant properties ranging from private island estates to grand cottages have earned it the name “Billionaires Row.”
For most, owning real estate on one of the shores of Muskoka’s three main lakes is out of reach, especially with home prices expected to rise by nearly $60,000 in the coming year.
However, there are still plenty of vacation resorts and cottage rentals to stay at for a taste of how the area’s wealthiest spend their summers.