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Top Lakes in Ontario for Cottage Living

Written by Land Ark


October 19, 2021

The Ontario cottage lifestyle is one of luxury, peace, relaxation, and reconnection to all that is important. Whether you choose to rent or purchase a cottage property for quick weekend getaways or to stay a lifetime, the lake options in Ontario are seemingly endless. From large lakes with small shoreline towns, to bustling communities punctuated by smaller bodies of water, there’s a perfect match for whatever lifestyle you crave. Below we’ve listed a few of the most popular places to enjoy the cottage lifestyle, and some that are worth knowing more about. 

Best Lakes in Ontario

Lake Joseph, Lake Rosseau & Lake Muskoka

Lake Joseph, Lake Rosseau, and Lake Muskoka are neighboring lakes that represent the heart of Ontario’s beautiful Cottage Country. Since the 1800s, the Muskoka region has attracted the rich and famous with its unspoiled natural landscapes, acres of clean, shimmering water, upscale waterfront cottages, and the chance to escape daily life and reconnect with family and friends. 

Although the lakes’ cottages have typically been purchased by retirees and by wealthy families as summertime vacation homes, more and more people have been finding the joy in everyday cottage life. With the advent of work-from-home and the technology to support it (1G fibre optic internet in all our cottages!), families are making lifestyle changes to a more walkable, relaxed, slower way of life. (Did you know our community is less than 1 KM from the waterfront!?)

Lake of Bays

Whether you seek the cottage lifestyle for carefree summertime vacations or wonderful winter adventures, Lake of Bays is a great option for a weekend visit. Located next to the stunningly beautiful Algonquin Park in northeastern Muskoka, Lake of Bays is a treasure for those seeking naturally beautiful landscapes, outdoor recreation of all kinds, and the quintessential Ontario cottage getaway. 

Lake Simcoe

Lake Simcoe, located in southeastern Ontario, is the fourth largest lake in the province, and is widely known for being a restful summer retreat for busy Torontonians. The warm months bring boating, fishing, kitesurfing, jet-skiing, regattas, and even scuba-diving. 

Kawartha Lakes

Kawartha Lakes is a vibrant region comprising multiple notable communities and over 250 lakes and rivers. It is touted as an area where “urban meets rural” because of the bustling downtown areas thriving alongside established working farmland. From business owners seeking more fulfilling daily routines, to young parents eager to raise their children amidst never-ending natural beauty, Kawartha Lakes has become a top living destination in Ontario.

Haliburton Highlands

Haliburton Highlands in southeastern Ontario is a weekender’s dream. With gorgeous foliage (especially in the fall), endless ways to experience the outdoors in every season, unique places to eat, drink, and stay, and the benefits of a world-renowned art and design college (lots of exhibits to attend!) — this is a popular vacation spot all year long. 

Upper Rideau Lake

Upper Rideau Lake is home to the charming small town of Westport, located a little further east and off the beaten trail from the lakes mentioned above. And therein lies the beauty of it. You can enjoy the quintessential Ontario cottage lifestyle the way it used to be — few crowds, a walkable historic town, unspoiled natural landscapes, a close-knit community, and lakes — oh, the lakes! Thirty-two of them within a 24-km radius, to be exact. 

In Watercolour — Westport’s premiere waterfront village of brand new, cottage-style homes — you can choose from several floor plans that best fit your lifestyle. Homes range from 2-4 bedrooms, 2-3 baths, have 1 or 2-car garages, and range from 1,200-2,505 square feet. Here, you’ll find the perfect home just minutes from trails, lakes, nature preserves, and a world of possibility. Homes in Watercolour Westport start at just $699,999. For more information and availability, please contact us