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The Migration To Southern Georgian Bay

Posted by Rob McAleer on December 19, 2016
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Southern Georgian Bay Migration: Why the Rush is On

What is it about Southern Georgian Bay that people find so enchanting? Perhaps a better question is, what’s not to love? Over the past couple of years, people have been flocking to the area – not just vacationers, but people looking to make a permanent change in lifestyle.

A huge expanse of crystal clean Georgian Bay, the longest freshwater beach in the world, ski hills, golf courses, hiking, biking and riding trails—not to mention first class dining, entertainment and services of all kinds—all less than two hours from Toronto.

Creemore Real Estate & Georgian Bay

Beautiful blue hues of Georgian Bay just outside Thornbury

If you live in the GTA, you have most likely heard of Collingwood, perhaps in association with Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario’s premiere public downhill skiing facility. You may have soaked up a few rays on Wasaga Beach. Southern Georgian Bay has been a vacation destination for Torontonians and those further afield since the start of the 20th Century, but only recently has the trickle turned into a flood.

The huge demand for real estate that we are seeing in the southern Georgian Bay area right now—Collingwood in particular—has to do with demographics (baby boomers retiring to the countryside), Toronto housing prices, and the advent of true teleworking. Companies that want to attract and retain top talent are becoming more flexible, enabling more and more young people to work from home at least part of the week and consequently live further afield.

Creemore Real Estate For Sale

Here is an example of what real estate can be purchased in the Creemore area. This custom built, 4 bedroom, 4 bath home sits on 4.9 gorgeously landscaped acres including a personal waterfall and pond and is a short walk to the charming village of Creemore.

For full information please visit

While Collingwood, Creemore and Wasaga Beach are hardly bedroom communities, the proportion of people that find a way to make country life and city work a reality is steadily growing. But why southern Georgian Bay? Why are we seeing such a massive influx here and not elsewhere?

A Quick History of Southern Georgian Bay

Visitors are surprised to discover just what a fantastic place southern Georgian Bay has become, and the same goes for prospective home buyers. A bit of a historical perspective helps to explain the phenomenon.

The Southern Georgian Bay area got its first shot in the arm when the railroad arrived in Collingwood in 1855, and another boost in 1882 when the town became a shipbuilding powerhouse. For over 100 years Collingwood Shipbuilding built freighters, barges, ferries and icebreakers as well as Corvettes and minesweepers for the Second World War.

Collingwood Shipyards Historical Photo

Industry brought money and locals built summer shanties on the shores of Georgian Bay, as did a few intrepid adventurers from the Toronto area. In the early 1900s cottages started popping up in earnest and in 1911 the Capstan Inn, the first large beachfront hotel, was built in Wasaga Beach. Now, cottages line southern Georgian Bay from east to west, interspersed with national and provincial parks and marinas as well as municipal rights-of-way.


If you are a sailor or a power boater, southern Georgian Bay is where it’s at. Marinas abound and give you access to the entire Great Lakes system, as well as the Trent-Severn Waterway. From casual paddlers to cabin cruisers, you will see every type of boat imaginable on the water, including massive blue water-worthy pleasure craft that can safely berth at deep water ports like Owen Sound and Port McNicoll.

Downhill Skiing

Skiing is big. If you live in or near Toronto, the mecca is the southern Georgian Bay area. Skiing got its start here in 1941 when Jozo Weider entered into a partnership to build and operate the Blue Mountain Ski Resort on the Niagara Escarpment facing Collingwood. The 400-metre vertical drop of the Escarpment is what makes cycling of all kinds so popular in the area, as well.

Creemore Homes - Nearby attractions

Beautiful Village at Blue Mountain Resort just outside Collingwood


Blue Mountain Resort is still the biggest ski centre in Ontario, but it’s now flanked by many private clubs: Alpine, Craigleith, Devil’s Glen, Georgian Peaks, Osler and further afield, Beaver Valley Ski Club. Weekenders may not know this, but locals enjoy Blue Mountain season’s passes at a cost of less than $300 and venture out, day or night, away from the weekend crowds.

Golf Courses

Where is golf not popular? Some consider golf the ultimate pastime. It is certainly alive and well in the Southern Georgian Bay area. Since 1964, when the Blue Mountain Golf & Country Club became the first club in the area to give expression to this passion, the number of golf courses has blossomed to around 20. From the nationally recognized Mad River Golf Club in Creemore to the Marlwood Golf & Country Club in Wasaga to the Meaford Golf Course, southern Georgian Bay is a golfer’s paradise.

Mad River Golf Course Creemore

#17 at Mad River Golf Course in Creemore

Pastimes aren’t everything. Aside from its proximity to Toronto, Southern Georgian Bay boasts much lower real estate prices, a better quality of life, good schools, first-rate health services and a bright future as an increasingly desirable place to live. If Southern Georgian Bay is on your radar, come see what it has to offer you.

For more information on topics concerning the purchase and sale of southern Georgian Bay and Creemore Real Estate, please contact Cheryl MacLaurin and Rob McAleer, Award Winning Real Estate agents with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.

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