Georgian Bay is a large bay of Lake Huron, the main body of which lies east of the Bruce Peninsula ( coordinates: 45.2389° N, 81.6142° W) and Manitoulin Island (coordinates: 45.7667° N, 82.2000° W). The drive from Toronto to the closest shores of the Bay is approximately two hours.
Samuel de Champlain was the first European to explore and map the region in 1615–1616, and called it the Calm Sea or “La Mer douce”. Captain Henry Bayfield made more detailed charts of the bay and renamed the body of water after King George IV in 1822.
Key Urban Areas
There are numerous communities of summer cottagers on the northern and eastern shore of Georgian Bay, and cottages can be found throughout the many of the 30,000 Islands which scatter the Bay. Well known cottaging areas include Sans Souci, Cognashene, Wah Wah Taysee, Byng Inlet and Pointe au Baril. Note that many of these cottages are water access only.
Georgian Bay is surrounded by the districts of Manitoulin, Sudbury, Parry Sound and Muskoka, Simcoe, Bruce and Grey. The largest city on the bay is Owen Sound which has long been a hub of shipping and rail activity for the Upper Great Lakes. The towns of Port Severn, Midland, Penetanguishene, and Honey Harbour are at the southeastern end of the bay and are popular sites for summer cottagers, as are the many bays and islands on the eastern coast. At the southern end of the bay in the Nottawasaga Bay region are Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and Meaford. Owen Sound, Lion’s Head, and Wiarton are located on the Bruce Peninsula along the southwestern and southern shores of Georgian Bay, while Tobermory is located at the northern section of the Bruce Peninsula on the Main Channel.
Cottage Price Range
Cottage prices in the region vary considerably based upon waterfront proximity and access to urban centres. As with other cottages in Ontario, road-access to the cottage will increase the price. Some of the most expensive cottages can be found near the more developed regions such as Wasaga Beach, Collingwood and Grand Bend.
Typically, non-waterfront properties begin around $100K, while similar waterfront cottages usually start around $150K. A price range of at least $230K should be considered for larger cottages (2-3 bedrooms) which increases to at least $275K when such a cottage is located by the water. The minimum asking price for a larger cottage (3+ bedrooms) usually falls in the $300-400K+ price range.
The area’s natural beauty has long inspired visitors, in particular the windswept eastern white pine and granite rock formations which are characteristic of the 30,000 Islands and much of the shoreline of the bay. The area’s rugged beauty inspired landscapes by artists of the Group of Seven and many others.
The North Channel, situated between the Sudbury District and Manitoulin Island, was once a popular steamship route and is now used by a variety of pleasure craft to travel in and out of Georgian Bay. The passenger ferry MS Chi-Cheemaun still travels from Tobermory across the Main Channel to South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island.
Some of the most popular activities in the area include: The Grotto (Tobermory), the Midland Cultural Centre (Midland), numerous golf courses (28+), the Bell Park Walkway / Boardwalk (Sudbuy), Science North (Sudbury), the Killarney Provincial Park (Killarney), Sainte-Marie among the Hurons (Midland), Bridal Veil Falls (Kagawong), Inglis Falls (Owen Sound), Onaping Falls (Onaping), the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre (Midland), and Bruce Peninsula National Park (Tobermory).
Did you know?
Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest island in a freshwater lake.
Like what you see? Be sure to check out available listings in the region: Bruce Peninsula, Southern Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe