While certain Canadian markets have experienced market volatility recently, including western provinces, the Canadian vacation property market has remained relatively stable. With Royal LePage forecasting that prices of single-family homes in recreational regions in Canada will increase by 4.7 per cent by the spring 2020 (from $411,471 to $429,714) now may be the perfect time to buy (Royal LePage. Recreational Property Report 2019). Here are VPO’s top Canadian vacation spots for purchasing a recreational property from West to East.
Primarily a summer destination, Tofino is a true outdoor paradise and one of the top Canadian vacation spots. From the crashing waves on one of Tofino’s many beaches to the impressive forests, nature is never far away. While the temperature can dip in the winter months, many travellers frequent Tofino’s beaches even in the winter months to take in the beautiful winter swells. And what better way to finish off a day than cozying up to the fireplace or enjoying a soothing hot tub. If being one with nature and enjoying the outdoors is at the top of your list then you should consider investing in Tofino.
Traditionally an alpine ski town, Whistler, BC is now a year round destination. Mountain biking, hiking, ziplining, swimming and whitewater rafting are just a sampling of the spring and summer activities that Whistler offers. Looking for a place to shop and eat? Look no further than Whistler Village, which has won numerous design awards over the years. Whistler has a bit of everything yet maintains a small town feel for those interested in escaping the busy city life. For those reasons, Whistler remains one of the most popular Canadian vacation spots and destinations to own a vacation property.
Kelowna, BC & Okanagan Valley
Often called “Canada’s Napa Valley”, the beautiful Okanagan Valley is home to dozens of wineries, rolling vineyards, golf courses and more all overlooking picturesque Okanagan Lake. In the center lies the bustling city of Kelowna, BC. As the largest city in the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna has more to offer than just beaches, wineries and sun. Look no further than Kelowna’s downtown core where you’ll find restaurants, shopping, a casino and a lakeside boardwalk. To the south of Kelowna is Penticton, BC which is also a popular tourist destination although the pace is a bit slower compared to its larger neighbour to the north. A five minute drive from Penticton will take you to the beautiful Naramata bench which is a must visit for all of the wine lovers out there. It’s no wonder that the Okanagan Valley is a popular destination for real estate investors.
A resort town located in Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta offers the typical comforts from home while maintaining a delicate balance between commercial development and nature. Located on the eastern side of the Canadian Rockies, Banff is surrounded by towering mountains and beautiful countryside. Banff is also home to natural hot springs which draw tourists from far and wide. During the winter months, there is no shortage of ski terrain as Mt. Norquay, The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village are all close by. Canmore, a popular destination in its own right, is only a 20 minute drive away. For all of the outdoor enthusiasts out there, Banff should be near the top of your list of places to own a vacation property.
Muskoka Lakes, Ontario
A popular getaway for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of busy city life, Muskoka Lakes, Ontario is Canada’s true cottage country. The township includes Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph and many other smaller lakes. Consistently ranked as one of Canada’s top vacation spots, Muskoka Lakes offers fun for the whole family. If lakeside cottage living is not for you then look elsewhere otherwise Muskoka Lakes should be at the top of your list.
Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
Located where the Niagara River and Lake Ontario meet and less than 30 minutes from Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario (or “NOTL” as the locals call it) is popular among tourists, retirees and day trippers. Shopping, wine tasting and tours to Niagara Falls are all popular activities as is the colonial-style architecture. NOTL also plays host to many festivals throughout the year which draws both locals and tourists to the lakeside community. Only an hour and a half drive from Toronto, NOTL is one of the top Canadian vacation spots and will remain a popular place to purchase real estate.
A four season resort town, Mont-Tremblant has a bit of everything for the outdoor enthusiast. From skiing and snow shoeing in the winter, to hiking and swimming in the summer, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you occupied throughout the year. When you need a break from a long day on the slopes or other outdoor activity, various shopping and dining options can be found in Mont-Tremblant Village. Be sure to check out one of the sugar shacks and try the local delicacy “tire sur la neige”, an old-fashioned maple taffy treat on snow. If that’s not reason enough to move there then I don’t know what is.
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Last but not least is one of the top Canadian vacation spots on the East coast. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia has more to offer than just picturesque views and historic sites as tourists flock to the region year-round for sailing, golfing, cross country skiing and many other activities. The areas of Baddeck and Ingonish are particularly popular and real estate in these areas is in high demand as a result. Bras d’Or Lake is similarly popular among vacationers looking for some R&R and, as compared to the rest of the country, waterfront property in the region is quite affordable. A scenic drive along the Cape Breton coastline is also a must given the beautiful scenery and restaurants, shops and museums along the way. For these reasons and more, Cape Breton Island is an attractive place to purchase a recreational property.