Cottage meets condo in the Kawarthas

A new development In Fenelon Falls brings resort-style living with none of the upkeep

Aug 19, 2021

Adam Bisby

The sales office for Fenelon Lakes Club is a short, winsome stroll from the building site, where 86 resort-style residences will soon start to rise over the leafy southern shores of Cameron Lake.

“Everyone loves the idea of owning a cottage when summer rolls around,” says Doug Gray, president of Gravenhurst-based MDM Developments, adding that the summer of 2021 has seen interest spike like never before. As in the Muskoka and Georgian Bay regions, demand for cottages in the Kawarthas has reached unprecedented levels, with Re/Max reporting that sales were up 273 percent from April 2020 to April 2021; median prices climbed 50 percent to $591,200.

Still, with one in three adult Canadians now working from home due to COVID-19, the idea of living year-round in a cottage has caught on with many GTA residents, Gray says.

For those wary of the upkeep costs and work that owning and maintaining a private cottage entails, Fenelon Lakes Club provides another option. With few boutique waterfront condos available in Ontario’s cottage country, MDM secured the Cameron Lake site in 2018 with the goal of providing “the ultimate in cottage living without the hassle of actually owning a cottage,” Gray says. “A lot of people are finding that the cottages they bought decades ago are becoming too much of a burden, yet they want to stay connected to the surrounding community and continue to have access to all its amenities. That’s why our new waterfront community is so attractive.”

Comprising 66 condos, 10 waterfront townhomes and 10 “bungaloft” townhomes — all featuring two or three bedrooms and two bathrooms — Fenelon Lakes Club is slated to open in two phases: Balsam House in 2022 and Cameron House in the spring of 2023. Condo suites will range in size from 1,000 to just under 1,300 square feet, while towns are 1,400 to 2,500. Some will include dens, and all will offer either balconies or terraces with oversized sliding doors, nine-foot ceilings, open-concept kitchens with quartz countertops and double-basin undermount stainless steel sinks, and bathrooms with double vanities.

While residents of the five-storey community will share cottage fixtures such as docks, a boathouse and a fire pit, they will also have access to resort-style amenities that many private cottages lack: an outdoor pool, two tennis courts, a fitness area and yoga room, a shuffleboard- and billiards-equipped games room, a meeting room, a fireside lounge, a pet cleaning station, ground-level covered parking and a heated parking garage.

Gray expects the setting — ideal for active pursuits such as boating, kayaking, canoeing and hiking — and a waterfront address that’s less than two hours by car from downtown Toronto will make the property popular with both pre- and post-retirement crowds. “Because it’s more like a resort than either a condo development or a cottage, it checks all the boxes.”

Three things

Scenically connecting Lindsay to Kinmount, the 55-kilometre Victoria Rail Trail takes hikers and cyclists through pretty Fenelon Falls.

Cameron Lake is situated in the Trent Severn Waterway, a 386-kilometre canal route that joins Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay and is world-renowned among pleasure boaters.

Steps from the Fenelon Lakes Club sales office, the Colborne Street Gallery exhibits contemporary art ranging from painting, drawing and photography to sculpture and mixed media. The gallery also hosts artist talks, workshops and other special events.36 Colborne St.