Why do celebrities flock to Muskoka, Canada?
For most celebrities, the summer months are almost exclusively devoted to vacationing, traveling and relaxing in different parts of the world. For many years, places like the Hamptons, the Caribbean islands, or Malibu were the favorite vacation spots for most celebrities. Unfortunately, these sites have become crowded over the years; Plus, paparazzi always hang out during the summer months, waiting to snap a picture or two. This in no way diminished the popularity of the scenic spots, but it did generate a hunger for alternatives, preferably outside of the US
Muskoka braid. It is currently one of the most sought-after waterfront locations in Canada and a place where its growing popularity as a vacation destination for the rich and famous has earned this name; North Hamptons. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are two of the most famous names who have planted their roots in Muskoka, but if we go back further, Muskoka was attracting celebrities long before Hanks and Spielberg set foot. In the 1930s, the legendary Bigwin Resort was a favorite location of Clark Gable and Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway.
“Describing Muskoka is like trying to express a beautiful dream you just had,” says Steve Hyde, a luxury waterfront realtor, “better to experience than to hear about; beautiful lakes, unique boat houses, and a variety of homes Lake style cottages from different eras, it’s something of a really short story origin.”
The fact that celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, Martin Short, and a host of Canadian celebrities, professional athletes and social media influencers own or rent country houses in the area goes a long way to confirm Haid’s account.
Hyde is a prominent resident of one of the lake houses along Lake Muskoka. As a real estate investor and agent with over ten years of experience, he has established himself as someone looking to buy or sell real estate in Muskoka and its suburbs to go to.
Muskoka welcomed its inaugural music and arts festival in Pines Hill this summer after the pandemic shut down the entire area. As restrictions eased, plans for the festival escalated.
“It’s definitely a godsend. Music heals, and that’s what we really want to do with this festival,” said Kevin Goodman, organizer and CEO of the Front Row Center for Music and Entertainment.
Goodman said, “It is so amazing to be back in live music. It is so amazing to be here in Muskoka. We are thrilled with the emotion that live music brings.”
Janet O’Connell, former CEO of Muskoka Tourism, said of the growth of the post-pandemic entertainment industry as a whole before her departure, “It’s very important to our economy. Reopening doesn’t mean a revival of the tourism business; many of our businesses carry a lot of debt.”
In the early 1930s, American billionaires such as the Rockefellers, Carnegies, and Mellons had discovered Muskoka and its surrounding lakes. They began to build palaces along the banks of the lakes, ironically they called these palaces “huts”. Since then, Muskoka has maintained this tradition of building and maintaining thousands of huts throughout the area.
While Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg own cottages on Lake Muskoka, others like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell own cottages along Lake Rosso.
The Muskoka region is distinguished by a large number of lakes that adorn it. Muskoka Lakes, Lake Rosso, Lake Joseph and many more.
“Real estate in Muskoka isn’t cheap, I’ll tell you,” Steve Hyde sees, “but it is one of those properties that celebrities and investors love because they tend to retain their value and appreciation significantly over time. As more famous faces come to the area, the value of properties will only rise.”
Muskoka is receiving increasing attention from the rich and famous internationally; Sometime in August 2022, Mark Wahlberg and David Beckham were seen having a good time along one of the lakes, which sparked more positive rumors about Muskoka.
Real estate around Muskoka is not only desirable for its aesthetics; They also double as high-yield assets. While many celebrities own summer homes in the areas, others buy these cottages and properties to generate income.
According to Haid, “Many investors who buy home real estate here are renting out their property and generating solid returns. The rental income here is very high and this has been attractive to many real estate investors. Real estate owners, including celebrities and professional athletes who are often on the Way or most of the time, use these properties to earn high returns of income. By renting them out on a short-term basis, say 20-25 weeks, they can earn between 8% to 10% capitalization rates which is incredible as a real estate investment.”
However, with the property market slowing this year in Canada – including Muskoka – demand has stabilized somewhat, as the world has slowly returned to pre-pandemic levels.
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