Georgian Bay, Ontario: Three Turnkey Islands
By Yvonne Gordon
Surrounded by cliffs, forests, and beaches, with more than 1,200 miles of shoreline and 30,000 islands, Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada is an ideal place to own a private island.
Sometimes referred to as the sixth Great Lake, Georgian Bay is part of larger Lake Huron. The bay is known for its windswept pines, towering cliffs, endless beaches, and crystal clear–blue water, with plenty of activities for the outdoor enthusiast or nature lover and a plethora of exclusive, private hideaways.
Three islands, all with fabulous residences in turnkey condition, plenty of privacy, and wonderful open-water views, are currently available to discerning buyers.
Masson Island is set in the Long Sault area of Georgian Bay, the northern part of Sans Souci. The stunning family compound is on the western shore of a 6.5-acre outer island. The complex has a three-bedroom main cottage, a two-bedroom waterside guest cottage, and a canvas-walled “bunkie” (small sleeping area).
A pod-style great room with an open kitchen overlooking the living/dining area is flooded with light from a four-sided clerestory. The great room is connected to a three-bedroom master pod through a long screened-off porch for outdoor dining.
Masson Island has an abundance of white pine, oak, and maple trees, with a network of trails throughout. There is also a beautiful sandy beach, deep-water harbors on the lee and windward sides of the island, a waterside sauna, and a dry-dock boathouse. The island has wonderful open-water views to the Umbrella Islands. Sans Souci’s private tennis club is accessible via a protected channel.
Realtor George Webster says this property will suit anyone with an eye for stylish construction. “Designed by the area’s most sought-after architect and built to exacting standards, this property is ideal for a family with refined aesthetic sensibility,” he says. “Its highlights include a beautifully proportioned great room and fabulous west-facing views.”
Price CAD 2,725,000
Five-acre Kenilworth Island in Sturgeon Bay’s Pointe Au Baril community is a private family compound with a grand main lodge and out cabins. There are four cottages in the exclusive complex, which is styled after Adirondack great camps – the grand summer compounds built by wealthy families in the late 1800s in New York’s Adirondack Mountains.
The Kenilworth compound has graciously proportioned buildings that are interconnected with covered walkways, generous decks, and boardwalks. At the 2,000-square-foot main lodge, you’ll find a great room with kitchen, living, and dining areas, plus a laundry and butler’s pantry, and an en-suite master bedroom with a private screened porch. Wall-to-wall windows, a white interior, and a high roof give airy spaciousness to the great room, while its reclaimed hemlock flooring and wood-burning fireplace lend warmth to the area. The dining table overlooking the water seats eight.
A 2,000-square-foot log cabin that dates to 1837 and was moved to the site from Guelph, Ontario creates the compound’s guest wing. It has a bedroom and bathroom, an open living/sleeping area, and a sleeping loft. The interior reveals the structure’s exposed beams.
The Kenil Club is the island’s party house, covering 1,500 square feet and anchored by an attractive four-sided fireplace. The building’s four wings have two lounge areas, a billiard wing, bar, screened front porch/cocktail lounge, and a screened rear porch. The interior has warm pine and maple floors, oversized upholstered sofas and chairs, and antique Hariz carpets. Sunsets bathe the rooms in a warm, golden glow. There are also two sleeping cabins – one 550 square feet with two bedrooms and one that’s 500 square feet.
Kenilworth has all the advantages of a private island, yet is only five minutes from the local marina via a protected deep-water channel. The famed Ojibway Club, social hub of the Pointe au Baril cottage community, is a short boat ride away.
“This compound can easily accommodate 20 people in separate private quarters, so it works perfectly for an extended family compound and for entertaining large numbers,” says realtor George Webster. “It was recently constructed and designed to a very high standard. Its Adirondack styling gives it great rustic charm.”
Price CAD 2,680,000
Bay Island, in the heart of the Sans Souci area, is ideally suited for an extended family or for someone who likes to entertain. The 4.5-acre island sits in a sheltered bay; the cottages face east and south with uninterrupted views to Massasauga Provincial Park.
The property includes a luxurious five-bedroom cottage, a one-bedroom guest cottage, and a workout cabin. There’s also a deep-water protected harbor with a sandy beach, extensive docking facilities, a large dry-dock boathouse, and a utility shed. A water slide and large waterside deck encourage social gatherings.
With 2,600 square feet of space, the main house offers maximum hosting potential: a great room and entertaining area, living, dining and kitchen areas surrounded by floor-to ceiling windows to take advantage of the abundant natural light and spectacular views. A screened porch overlooking the water can be used as a lounge or second dining area; the outdoor deck is ideal for barbecues or parties.
To the north of the property is a private master bedroom wing with floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the surrounding forest. The wing also has four other bedrooms and a large laundry room.
Bay Island’s lush forests include conifers and mixed deciduous species, and the island has a varied topography with granite promontories and two sandy beaches. The sheltered deep-water harbor allows for docking in two spots, the second of which is used for fishing.
The property has been sensitively landscaped with wooden walkways and pathways throughout, a kitchen garden, and an ornamental rockery. Children will love the “secret” tree house in the nearby fir forest.
Bay Island is an easy boat run from Parry Sound via the protected south channel and a short boat ride to Frying Pan Island, site of The Sans Souci Tennis Club, a children’s summer camp, and Henry’s Fish Restaurant.
“This is the island for people who love to entertain, with a large waterside party deck and ultra-modern designer/open kitchen,” says real estate agent George Webster of Moffat Dunlap, which holds the listing. “It can comfortably accommodate 12 to 14 people.”
Price CAD 2,850,000