Cottage living is being reimagined by millennials and boomers alike. Freed by technology, city dwellers are choosing to live in their cottages and vacation in the city. A popular location for these “reverse cottagers” is Huntsville. Kim O’Grady, broker from our Chestnut Park Huntsville office tells us why:
There really is just something special about this place that instills a sense of calm that we’re all lacking in the chaos of our daily lives. This, coupled with the fact that Huntsville is home to every amenity you need and is surrounded by lakes and rivers, is what I believe is motivating vacationers to stay much longer.
What changes are you seeing?
Huntsville is no longer just a summer playground. It’s now a year-round place to have fun, for the entire family. For example, our vacationers are becoming residents because of everything Huntsville has to offer. Winter activities include snowmobile trails, cross country skiing, skating at Arrowhead Provincial Park and Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Resort where they offer downhill skiing/snowboarding. I’m also witnessing a thriving arts community because of a real reinvigoration of the Algonquin Theatre and the Huntsville Festival of the Arts. Thanks to our fabulous Chamber of Commerce and the BIA, there has been tremendous growth of a variety of festivals and events such as the free public skating in River Mill Park, The Muskoka Maple Festival, Muskoka 2/4 Craft Beer Festival, Rotary DockFest, Girlfriends Getaway, and host for the Ironman 70.3. These are just a few, there is literally something going on every month, and every weekend in the summer months.
We are experiencing corporate retail businesses move into town, along with small private businesses opening up. I know of several people who have transitioned to Huntsville as entrepreneurs looking to grow their roots. Huntsville is home to many successful businesses, so long as you can carve out your niche, you could do very well here.
Who’s buying in Huntsville?
We’re seeing a lot of traditional townhome and detached home developments in our market. Developers have caught on that those who are in their mid-thirties, have children and can work remotely are more than happy to get a slice of country life on a daily basis.
I’m also finding that buyers include a mix of people choosing to retire and younger families wanting to raise their family the “Muskoka” way, while ensuring that their investment does more for them than what it would do in Toronto.
Where’s the best place to: eat, drink, shop, workout and play?
To eat, for a small town we offer a great variety. Some of my favourite downtown spots include Main Street Local, Huntsville Brewhouse, Little Place by the Lights, The Mill, Three Guys and a Stove, Farmer’s Daughter and Tall Trees.
For me, yoga has become my go-to for exercise, and we are fortunate to have three studios here, Ahimsa, Muskoka Hot Yoga and Veda. We also have fully equipped gyms, Motivations Fitness, FITT Gym, Crossfit Hatchet and Snap Fitness. All offer something for everyone. There are also a number of personal trainers in the area offering specialized services.
The outdoors is our play area. Arrowhead Provincial Park offers amazing cross country skiing and the world-renowned skating trail. Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area for winter skiing and snowboarding is popular with both locals and seasonal guests to our town. If you’re a golfer, there are a number of excellent courses in the area, Deerhurst Highlands, Mark O’Meara, Bigwin, The Huntsville Downs, and North Granite Ridge.
As far as shopping goes, I am so impressed with our downtown merchants. Main Street offers a retail and professional business mix catering to all sorts of tastes while preserving the local feel. The merchants in Huntsville work hard to provide a shopping experience for us, and it really is so comforting to walk into any store and be welcomed, usually by name.
Any predictions for the Huntsville market?
I don’t see the desire to move here changing, in fact, I believe that we will continue to see more people, tired of the city pace pack up and move to Muskoka, just as I did 20 plus years ago, and have never looked back.
Come in and see us anytime at our downtown Huntsville office location.
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Kim is a full time Broker with Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited Brokerage, servicing the Huntsville and the Lake of Bays area. Kim spent many of her childhood years at a cottage located on Peninsula Lake, Huntsville. After completing her Bachelors Degree at the University of Guelph, Kim decided to leave her city roots and move to Huntsville and make it her permanent home. Before she began her career in real estate, Kim co-owned and operated a successful local fitness business for eight years. After selling her part in the business she decided that it was time to pursue her other passion, real estate. She consequently brings an appreciation for relationships built with clients, knowledge and experience to her understanding of real estate.
When she’s not working, Kim enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her pup, Harley. She also enjoys cooking, entertaining, reading, pilates, yoga and of course getting on the water whenever she can. In the summertime she soaks up the Muskoka lifestyle with golf, boating, dock time and bbq’s while in the winter she’s snowboarding or taking fresh winter walks.
Kim knows that her honest, open communication with her clients, as well as her knowledge of the Muskoka area and lifestyle, is the key to success for everyone involved. She effortlessly fosters trust, reliability, and professionalism. Kim accomplishes what you expect, and more so, what you deserve.
You can follow Kim on Facebook and Instagram. Click on her website here.
Kim can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 705-788-4894
Please stop by Chestnut Park Real Estate’s newest downtown location at 59 Main Street East, Huntsville.