Is Muskoka’s vacation land facing disappointing realities?

“Peter Freed is sitting in the back of a golf cart that’s trundling across his Doug Carrick-designed championship golf course set against the dramatic rolling hills of Muskoka, a region more than one major travel magazine has called one of the prettiest places on Earth.

It has been 13 years since Mr. Freed, head of Freed Developments, spread his wings beyond building sleek condos in downtown Toronto and headed north into rural Ontario.

He purchased 850 acres of wilderness near Gravenhurst from five different owners to create Muskoka Bay, a community of up to 1,000 luxury cabins along an 18-hole golf course. The plan was to capitalize on the aging baby boomer demographic, many of whom were thought to be looking to semi-retire on the golf course,” wrote Tamsin McMahon, Real Estate Reporter, for The Globe and Mail July 3, 2015.

McMahon continued, “But in the years since Mr. Freed launched his grand plans, he has had to grapple with a number of disappointing realities. Baby boomers haven’t materialized as the major force for buyers of vacation homes. Golf course communities have been steadily falling out of favour. Then the global financial crisis hit, crushing demand for recreational homes for years afterward.

Since he launched Muskoka Bay in 2002, Mr. Freed has poured tens of millions of dollars into buying land, building roads and infrastructure. A clubhouse opened in 2009 and the golf course now has 375 members. There are 70-odd homes sprinkled around the course, but much of Muskoka Bay remains the same slice of pristine Canadian Shield that he first set foot on more than a decade ago.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS


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