Muskoka Activities: Have some free time? Build a Canoe!

Posted by Katherine Bialczyk on Oct 3, 2011 6:06:00 PM

Learn About Condo-Hotels in Muskoka Managed by the World's Leading hotelier.
1 Bedroom Suites starting at only $171,750. Clich HEREMarriott Condo-Hotel

Nova Craft Canoe Company builds a canoe for paddler Kevin Callan to help celebrate the Canadian Canoe Museum's Canada's National Canoe Day Celebration on June 26th.


Learn About Condo-Hotels in Muskoka Managed by the World's Leading hotelier.
1 Bedroom Suites starting at only $171,750. Clich HEREMarriott Condo-Hotel

Topics: Muskoka, Muskoka Wharf, build a canoe

Muskoka Wharf Becomes a Star on SHOP TV Rogers Channel 21:

Posted by Katherine Bialczyk on Sep 30, 2011 2:56:00 PM

Learn About Condo-Hotels in Muskoka Managed by the World's Leading hotelier.
1 Bedroom Suites starting at only $171,750. Clich HEREMarriott Condo-Hotel

This weekend, The Residences at Muskoka Wharf and The Residence at The Wharf Condo-Hotel will be featured on The Condo Outlet TV Show which is the highest ranking Real Estate Show on TV!

A number of exciting new projects will be featured including, Theatre Park, Rain Condominiums, The King Charlotte and The Residence at Muskoka Wharf will be featured. Condo Outlet the TV Show airs every Saturday & Sunday at 11:30 PM. Don't miss it!

The Residence Inn at Muskoka Wharf by Marriott

The Residences at Muskoka Wharf Only 5 suites left!

On Lake Muskoka in Gravenhurst, these mid-rise condominiums offer you a four-season resort lifestyle with 2 bedroom suites.

The Residence Inn Muskoka Wharf
The Residence at The Wharf

In the architectual tradition of Muskoka's Grand Resorts, we offer these fabulous condo-hotel suites, an affordable alternative to having your own cottage on Lake Muskoka that is also a great way to diversify your investment portfolio.

Learn About Condo-Hotels in Muskoka Managed by the World's Leading hotelier.
1 Bedroom Suites starting at only $171,750. Clich HEREMarriott Condo-Hotel

Topics: 2011 real estate, Muskoka Wharf, condo outlet tv show

What's All the Fuss About Condo-Hotels?

Posted by Katherine Bialczyk on Sep 30, 2011 2:20:00 PM

Learn About Condo-Hotels in Muskoka Managed by the World's Leading hotelier.
1 Bedroom Suites starting at only $171,750. Clich HEREMarriott Condo-Hotel

Lately, condo-hotels have been popping up in Canada which leaves many people wondering "What is a condo-hotel" "what are they used for" and "how does it benefit me, the investor?" Hopefully, this will start to build a foundation for your understanding.

What Are Condo Hotels?

Condo hotels, also known as condotels, are typically large, high-rise developments in prime locations. They look and operate like an upscale hotel, offering five-star amenities and services to thier guests, but each suite in the hotel is individually owned.

The Residence Inn Muskoka Wharf Marriott

Hassle-free Ownership

As an owner, you can use your condo hotel suite whenever you want and place it in the hotel rental program whenever you're not there. In return, you'll receive a share of the revenue it generates.

Hassle-free Ownership 

When you buy a designer-furnished suite in a Marriott condo hotel, you own a piece of the Marriott dynasty. You get a beautiful vacation home in a magnificent location. You have access to five-star amenities like a full-service spa, resort pools and fine-dining restaurants.

Best of all, ownership is 100% stress free. The hotel management company takes care of all the details, from maintaining and operating the property, to finding guests to rent your condo hotel unit.

A Real Estate Investment

Because condo hotels are prestigious properties located on prime real estate, they typically appreciate over time. For that reason, they are often used to diversify an investment portfolio. Consider the value of the Mariott name, and you can see how investing in a Marriott condo hotel has extraordinary upside potential.

Learn About Condo-Hotels in Muskoka Managed by the World's Leading hotelier.
1 Bedroom Suites starting at only $171,750. Clich HER

Marriott Condo-Hotel

Topics: 2011 real estate, condo-hotel, condo-hotels

Muskoka Events: Pick Your Own Harvest!

Posted by Katherine Bialczyk on Sep 29, 2011 10:27:00 AM

Learn About Owning Your Own Piece of Lake Muskoka for only $171,750. Full Ownership. Click Here

Apple picking

September 2011: Apples have started! September and the beginning of October is the big time for apples! Blueberries are finishing in the Southern areas but are still going in cooler areas, don't miss them! In most areas, peaches are going strong, as are figs.

Why not go pick your own apples, bluberries and vegtables? Its fun for the whole family. There are many pick your own produce farms in and around Muskoka.Brooklands Farm

You could try
Brooklands Farm. They have asparagus, beans, beets, broad beans, carrots, corn (sweet), onions, peas, pumpkins, raspberries, rhubarb, summer squash, winter squash, strawberries, tomatoes & other vegetables. They also produce Maple Syrup which is available late March onwards.

Brooklands Farm is a family farm that practices sustainable farming while encouraging eating locally. Children (for that matter adults) of all ages are encourage to learn and ask questions about farming and the importance of fresh produce!
Muskoka events
Pick up an apple today!

Address: 1375 Butter & Egg Road, RR # 6, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1X4.
Phone: 705-764-1888. Fax: 705 764 1695. Email: Directions: 1375 Butter & Egg Road is located 1km north of Hwy 118W at Milford Bay in Muskoka.
Hours of Operation: May to October from 8AM to 5PM (weather and produce permitting). Remember to call ahead to double check!

Learn About Owning Your Own Piece of Lake Muskoka for only $171,750. Full Ownership. Click Here

Topics: muskoka events, family activites muskoka, apple picking in muskoka

FALL CRUISES - A Muskoka Thanksgiving on the Segwun

Posted by Katherine Bialczyk on Sep 27, 2011 4:47:00 PM

describe the imageThere is no better way to discover the unmatched Fall colours of Muskoka then with a cruise aboard the R.M.S. Segwun or Wenonah II.  Whether you choose a lunch or sightseeing cruise, your voyage will include the unparalleled scenery and grand summer homes of Lake Muskoka.  Daily cruises are available departing Gravenhurst through until October 10th.  Additionally, Wenonah II will be offering cruises departing Port Carling and showcasing Lake Rosseau from October 11th through 16th.

Why not try a Thanksgiving Day Cruise!?

A few tickets still remain for the Segwun’s annual Thanksgiving Day Cruise sailing on Monday October 10th from 10am to 7pm.  Featuring the fabulous Fall colours of Lakes Muskoka & Rosseau and a traditional Thanksgiving lunch served at Clevelands House Resort, this cruise is truly a magical Muskoka experience.

picture 261Before or after your cruise, be sure to visit Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre.  This year's feature exhibit,The Muskoka Bay Story, invited guests to step back in time.  Get your ticket at the recreated Wharf Station ticket office and travel back in time where you will experience the discovery and development of Muskoka Bay through the eyes of the earliest settlers, recreationists and entrepreneurs.  Meet the McCabe's, "Mickey" and "Mother" and find out why she can lay claim to the title "first promoter of Muskoka tourism" and appreciate the impact of the arrival of train service at the Muskoka Wharf.  Enjoy a model railway display arriving at a scale model Wharf Station and more ...

The steamship docks were abuzz with the CBC filming of “Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town” aboard the R.M.S. Segwun this past week.  In celebration of CBC Television’s 75th anniversary, Segwun will take on the role of the steamboat “Mariposa Belle”.  The Segwun will be captured on film with both day and night time scenes over the four day window. 

For cruise reservations and information, please contact Muskoka Steamships at (705) 687-6667.

Topics: muskoka events, thanksgiving in muskoka, segwun cruises, fall events in muskoka

Muskoka Wildlife: Gray Treefrogs

Posted by Katherine Bialczyk on Sep 26, 2011 4:39:00 PM

tree frog 1Every time I go to my cottage in Muskoka I see a classic tribute to Muskoka's wildlife - a Treefrog! Or at least I see them every time I try to BBQ (they like to hide in there at night), and I hear them all the time! Now as the temperature drops I wonder where do they go? 

tree frog 4tree frog2



Habitat: These treefrogs may be found on trees and shrubs near permanent water. They prefer mature or second growth woodlands although they may also inhabit orchards. They are rarely seen outside the breeding season.

tree frog 5Treefrogs are usually little gray or green beasties that must bury themselves soon under leaves. Unlike frogs, they don't bury themselves in mud. I will be so sad to see them go, or rather, not see them. The bright yellow flag on their upper thigh is amazing.

tree frog 3So long, tree frogs. I will miss you. Fall approaches, and time to sleep. The dead, dry leaves are falling off the branches. I know snow will fall before you know it. I adore each season and the gifts change brings.

Topics: Gravenhurst history, muskoka wildlife, things to see in muskoka

Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 23, 2011 7:23:00 AM

Start: September 24, 2011 at 10:00AM

Ends: September 24, 2011 at 6:00PM

picture 94The Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour is proud to continue its rich legacy of the arts in 2011, our 33rd year of presenting scores of diversely talented artists. Conceived by one individual three decades ago, the idea of giving people a glimpse into the studios where raw materials are transformed into superb art pieces still holds its appeal.

This informative and rewarding experience bridges the gap between creator and patron, as visitors witness the artistic process at work through demonstrations and displays. The Muskoka landscape and the artists who draw their inspiration from it extend a special welcome to visitors on this glorious weekend in Autumn.

Come and discover a variety of art studios in the Muskoka region this weekend. The members of Canada's original studio tour invite you into their workplaces to discover the inspiration behind their talent.

For a complete list of studios and additional information, visit:

Topics: gravenhurst events, muskoka events, Muskoka art shows, muskoka art

Film North: Huntsville, Muskoka International Film Festival

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 22, 2011 7:27:00 AM

Location: Algonquin Theatre

Start: September 22, 2011

Ends: September 24, 2011

All Day Event

picture 93

Film North, Huntsville International Film Festival, is the newest place for a simple and excellent festival. Films will be screened on Thursday September 22, Friday September 23rd and Saturday September 24th, 2011. Screening times will be 2 pm - 5pm, 6 pm - 8:30 pm, 9 pm - 11 pm.

Movie lovers can continue after attending the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF, the first two weekends of September, to the lovely setting of Huntsville, Ontario, Canada, the third weekend of September. Huntsville is a two hour drive north of Toronto, in the beautiful lake district setting of Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.

Their mandate is to create a user - friendly environment for emerging Canadian and International Filmmakers to exhibit, promote, entertain and inform the audience. They are an incorporated non profit organization.

The board of Directors are from the film, arts and business sectors. The founders are residents of Toronto and Huntsville, with backgrounds in the Film and Arts professions.

Tickets and information avaliable at

Topics: cheap gravenhurst events, muskoka events, muskoka international film festival

Q&A for Living Restrictions at a Condo-Hotel

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 21, 2011 7:00:00 AM

Man Thinking about condo hotelsLiving Restrictions at Condo Hotels

Q: Why is there a limit of use of your unit?

A: A condo hotel unit is intended to be used as a second home, not a primary one, and it is to be operated as a hotel. If everybody could use their own condo hotel units as much as they wanted, then there's a strong likelihood that the hotel would not have enough rooms to rent out to guests. This would greatly limit the revenue the hotel would make.

Plus, because the hotels could not pre-book units, since there might not be units to rent, it would be hard to get a good management company to take on the assignment.

Also, a city does not collect a hotel tax from owners using their own units. Cities collect hotel taxes from hotel guests, and that factors that into their budget when they grant the developer the right to build a condo hotel when he may have preferred to build a straight condo.

Many cities are imposing living restrictions on condo hotels, even though the individual property may not have usage restrictions. Therefore, before buying a condo hotel unit, be sure you know the living restrictions that apply not only by the condo hotel's management company but also by the city in which the condo hotel is located.

Q: What happens if I stay longer than the allotted time to stay in my unit? Or if I would like a friend to use my unit?

A: Most condo hotels will permit you to stay beyond your allotted time at a discounted hotel rate.

As for a friend staying in your unit, that's not a problem. It counts towards your reserved days unless your friend is a paying guest.

Q: Don't living restrictions hurt resale value?

A: Not really. Many condo hotels have living restrictions so it's a commonly accepted practice. Also, most buyers of condo hotel units are investment minded. Otherwise, they could buy a straight condominium or even a hotel residence which is an individually-owned hotel room that is never put into the hotel's rental program.

Topics: 2011 real estate, Q&A about condo-hotels, condo-hotel restrictions

Clarity on New Mortgage Rules by Sasha Dear

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 20, 2011 7:00:00 AM

Mortgage rules changed this year, causing some confusion for homebuyers and homeowners.

For homebuyers, the biggest change is a reduction in the amortization period – the amount of time after which, if all monthly payments are made on time and in full, the mortgage loan will be repaid.

mortgage changes

Under the changes, the maximum amortization period was decreased to 30 years from 35 years for all new government-backed insured mortgages.  A shorter period for repayment will mean that your mortgage payments will be greater. However, this shorter period means your mortgage will be paid off faster and you will save on interest.

Generally, if you are just setting up your mortgage, it’s a good rule to go for a short amortization and not be tempted by the longest amortization possible. A longer-term obligation may seem appealing, as it will leave you with more cash in hand each month. However, if you seek out the shortest amortization schedule you can afford, you will pay down your mortgage faster and incur less in interest charges. Ask your Mortgaga Broker for advice on what strategy would be best for you.

For existing homeowners, the recent regulations do not cause any change in your existing mortgage. However, the biggest change is in the amount you can borrow against your home for refinancing. The maximum amount Canadians can borrow in refinancing their mortgages has been reduced to 85 per cent of the value of their homes, down from 90 per cent.

This is the second time in two years that the refinance limit has been tightened. In April 2010, it was reduced from 95 per cent of the value of your home to 90 per cent, and, with the latest reduction, this means a ten-percentage-point reduction in the amount you can borrow against your home.

This will mean you can borrow less against your home for things such as investing for retirement or for renovations. It may also mean that you will have to revisit your long-term financial plan — or explore other financing routes. A qualified financial adviser may be able to help.

While the recent rules will make home financing more difficult in some circumstances, in theory these changes should make for lower debt levels over time and could provide consumers with an incentive for more prudent financial management.

Originally posted by Sasha Dear in the Muskoka Real Estate Blog
Article provided in part by ScotiaBank

Topics: 2011 real estate, mortgage changes

Gravenhurst Events: Fine Films "The First Grader"

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 19, 2011 7:00:00 AM

Location Gravenhurst Opera House
Start:  September 20, 2011 at 6:00PM
Ends:  September 20, 2011 at 10:00PM

gravenhurst opera house

Take a night out and check out Fine Films at the Gravenhurst Opera House.

Refreshments start at 6pm with an art show in the Trillium Room. At 7pm a short Canadian film will be followed by the feature film and premiere of "The First Grader".

Get your tickets at Penny Varney Jewellery Gallery and Gifts, and Stedmans for $6 in advance.

Topics: cheap gravenhurst events, gravenhurst events, muskoka events, Gravenhurst

Discover Phenomenal Lake Muskoka Investment Opportunities

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 18, 2011 7:00:00 AM

In breathtaking Muskoka, discover phenomenal opportunities to purchase whole-ownership residences at one of Canada’s finest resorts for incredibly affordable prices. Imagine owning a piece of Muskoka Wharf in the form of designer-appointed and refurbished suites with access to fabulous year-round amenities amid magnificent views.

muskoka fog

Even better, you can buy a residence for your own personal haven, or place it into a rental program for all or part of the year. With today’s hectic lifestyle, many people simply do not have the time or resources to buy and maintain detached cottages. That is why the current opportunities in Muskoka are ideal.

Muskoka Wharf's condo-hotel offers individuals the chance to own a luxury waterfront suite that earns rental income while they are away. You do not have to worry about maintaining the property or suite, it comes fully furnished and ready to use, and you have all year access to the amazing amenities that Muskoka Wharf has to offer from on-site docking to sunset cruises on one of Canada's oldest and most romantic steamships that literally departs right from your doorstep!

Remember that history has proven that real estate is a great investment, regardless of economic dips over the years. In Ontario, one of the most loved forms of real estate is the cottage or vacation property – and the beautiful Muskoka area attracts vacationers from all over the world. As I always say, things may come and go, but Muskoka is forever!

Topics: Gravenhurst, hotel condo, condos in muskoka, Lake muskoka, Condohotel, 2011 real estate

Muskoka Terry Fox Run: This Sunday

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 17, 2011 7:00:00 AM

Windermere (Muskoka) Terry Fox Run

The past 10 years have brought out the true spirit of the Windermere citizens as they rally behind the Terry Fox Foundation and we plan to continue on with the tradition in 2011.

 Once again it is time for Windermere’s Annual Terry Fox Run. The date for this year’s run is Sunday, September 18th beginning at 9 am and ending at 11am.

This Muskoka Event is 10km in length and participants can walk, bike, jog or wheelchair the event.

runningThe course will begin at Windermere Village Park, traveling along Windermere Rd, to Brackenrig Rd and back again. The road will not be closed during the run. Signage and enthusiastic volunteers will be used to warn drivers of the run in progress. As in the past, a trained first aid responder will be in attendance.

After the run a BBQ with live band will take place in the Windermere Village Park from 11am until approximately 2pm.
Event Schedule
Run: Sunday, Sep 18, 2011 9:00am
BBQ: Sunday, Sep 18, 2001 2:00pm

Windermere Events and weather muskoka events

Contact Information & Location
Organizer: Randy Jackson
Contact: Randy Jackson
Address: Windermere, Ontario

Topics: muskoka events, Gravenhurst, Lake muskoka, terry fox race, windermere race, huntsville activites, Muskoka

10 Reasons Why Condo Hotels Are the 
Perfect Vacation Home

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 16, 2011 7:00:00 AM

10 Reasons Why Condo Hotels Are the
 Perfect Vacation Home
Article by Joel Greene

kidsjumpingCondo hotels are cropping up in many premium resort locations. Operated by renowned hospitality companies such as Hilton, Marriott, Four Seasons, Hyatt and Trump International, condo hotels are being built in leading vacation spots such as Las Vegas, Miami Beach, the Caribbean, Canada and Dubai.

They often include luxurious features and amenities, making them the quintessential vacation getaway. As real estate holdings, they offer the potential to appreciate in value. Combine all these qualities with their ability to generate rent revenue, and you have a very appealing second home.

To decide if a condo hotel is right for you, consider these 10 factors:

1. Escape to your vacation home when you want.

With timeshares or partial ownership, you can use your condo one, maybe two, weeks of the year, and always the same weeks every year. Condo hotels, on the other hand, allow you the flexibility to use your second home any time, given the proper notice.

2. Visit your favorite place again and again.
Condo hotels are built in fantastic locations -- on the ocean in Miami Beach, next to theme parks in Orlando, on a golf course in the Bahamas, near a ski slope in Telluride, on prestigious Lake Muskoka or right on the exciting Las Vegas Strip.

condohotel plaza3. Relax in luxury.
Enjoy first-class living right in your own second home! With amenities like a full-service spa, a resort-style pool, gourmet restaurants and state-of-the-art fitness center, you'll have everything you could ever want right on-site. Plus, don't forget the hospitality extras, from housekeeping and room service to concierge assistance.

plaza condo hotel4. Ownership is hassle-free.
Concerned about taking on responsibilities to maintain the property? No problem. Condo hotels have a professional operations team that handles everything, from maintenance and housekeeping to the efficient operation of the amenities.

5. Be proud to own a respected brand.
When you own a condo hotel, you possess a piece of that property. Just imaging possessing your very own Trump, Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton or Ritz-Carlton. How cool is that!

6. Receive rental income.
When you're not using your condo hotel unit, you can place it into the onsite rental program. The hotel's professional management team takes care of marketing the property to guests, and you'll get a portion (usually around 50%) of any revenue your unit generates. This income will offset some or all of your costs of ownership.

rental income7. Resell your condo unit when you'd like.
Timeshares can be difficult to resell, since you only own a specific week or two of the year. With a condo hotel unit, you have deeded whole ownership. You'll find it easier to resell your property, as it's comparable to reselling any other type of real estate.

8. The condo hotel concept is in its infancy.
Condo hotels are a relatively new kind of real estate. As the concept becomes more well known, expect demand for available properties will grow. Now is the time to get in at the beginning of this trend.

9. Your property may appreciate.
Condo hotels, like most good quality real estate in desirable destinations, are likely to appreciate in value. You can maximize the appreciation potential by buying your condo hotel unit in the early pre-construction phase, when prices are at first-tier levels.

10. Diversify your investments.
If you're looking for an alternative to the stock market, condo hotels offer a means to expand your portfolio. Best of all, you can invest in real estate without assuming the responsibilities of becoming a landlord.

About the Author: Joel Greene is the President of Condo Hotel Center in Miami, Florida.

Topics: condos in muskoka, Condohotel, 2011 real estate, Condo Outlet, condo-hotel


Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 15, 2011 7:00:00 AM


Condo Hotels and Second Homes

Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
Reprinted From The Wall Street Journal Online

NEW YORK -- Vacation-hungry Americans, disillusioned by the time-share experience but desperate to escape to a second home, have begun turning toward luxury condominium-hotels for refuge.

ny condohoteltrump sohoAnd a growing number of big-name hotel companies, such as Hilton Hotels Corp., Marriott International's Ritz Carlton, FelCor Lodging Trust and Four Seasons Hotels Inc., are eager to accommodate them.

"This is the most affluent generation to approach retirement, and these people are well-educated, well-traveled and demand comfort," said Aubrey Ferrao, president of Gulf Bay Group of Cos., which is developing a luxury hotel-condo at Marco Island near Naples, Fla.

Condo-hotel units are sold as condominiums, but managed by the hotel. Different from time-shares, owners can turn the units over to the hotel operator to rent out when they're not there and receive rent. Generally they would share the rent revenue on a 50-50 basis with the hotel - a feature that can help them pay off a mortgage sooner.

describe the imageThe rental option also allows owners to take in extra bucks rather than boarding up their apartments for six or more months a year and gives them access to many hotel perks - ranging from room service to saunas - while they're living in their units.

But condo-hotel owners also face certain restrictions: Forget any personal touches or outrageous furnishings as owners must comply with hotel guidelines when installing furniture or other decor. And owners cannot fly off to their vacation home on a whim because most must sign contracts with the hotel operator stating precisely when the apartment will be available for rent each year.

investorsThen there's the risk that a Motley Crue-like rock band or partying teenagers on Spring Break could wind up renting and subsequently trashing that cherished room.
Appealing To The Homeowner in Us All.

Still, for many buyers, the idea of owning rather than renting or buying an ownership share was the clincher.

"I like to own and you can't control it if you don't own," said Jim Creech, who owns two condo-hotel units at Myrtle Beach and has no interest in timeshare, leasing or rentals. (The Myrtle Beach development is a joint venture project between FelCor and Hilton Hotels Corp. (HLT)).

Creech, who lives in Benson, N.C., and recently retired at the age of 50, said tax breaks associated with mortgages and depreciation, as well as the cash flow from renting out the unit have made condo-hotel units a profitable venture. Also, he said, the units have appreciated, offering him even bigger returns when he sells. A hotel-condo unit he purchased for $192,000 in 1994 is now selling for $300,000, said Creech.

And demand appears to be growing.

Creech said he wound up having to buy special lottery tickets at $5000 a pop just to get the chance to make a pre-construction bid for a condo-hotel unit being built in the newest development at Myrtle Beach. "There were 370 lottery tickets for 200 units," with the units being sold about two years before construction would wrap up, he said. "I paid $262,000 for a 3-bedroom unit, and at closing, similar units were selling for $400,000, he said.

describe the imageSteven Perricone, a restaurant owner in Miami, purchased a junior one bedroom at the Ritz Carlton, Key Biscayne in 1998 - more than two years before the development is slated to open. The idea of owning a vacation property that has all the chi-chi services of a high-quality hotel was too good to pass up, he said.

Condo Hotels Go Global
Smaller, less lush, condo-hotels cropped up in South Florida in the 1980s, but demand waned when the Tax Reform Act, which snatched away many of the lucrative tax breaks that had attracted buyers, was passed in 1986.

Louise Sunshine, president and chief executive of the Sunshine Group Inc., a marketing group, brags she was the first to begin peddling a five-star luxury condo-hotel with the rollout of Trump International Hotel & Tower at 1 Central Park West in Manhattan in January 1997.

Since then, Sunshine has been selling units in a Ritz Carlton condo-hotel in Key Biscayne, Fla., and "we have three or four others on the drawing boards all on a five-star luxury level." Details on the latest developments, to be located in Palm Beach, Fla., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, London and New York, will be unveiled in the next six months, she said.

"We think this is a very good product type and one that has an unlimited future and broad market appeal," said Sunshine. "There is a huge demand," she said.

For hotel owners and operators, the benefits are three-fold:
    •    It's often easier to get financing for condo-hotels than pure-play hotels;
    •    Marketing costs are significantly lower than for time-share units;
    •    Condo-hotel units offer additional hotel room inventory.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., a unit of Marriott International Inc. (MAR), is taking part in a condo-hotel development in Key Biscayne, Fla., which is slated to open in March 2001. Although Ritz-Carlton already runs several hotels that include a residential condominium component, the Key Biscayne resort will be the first that gives residents an option to turn over their units to Ritz Carlton to rent when they're not there.

condo hotel poolThe resort will include 188 condominium units and 302 regular hotel rooms, with condo prices ranging from the low-$100,000s to more than $800,000. All units were sold by March 2000 - a year before the project's official open.

The project's developer, GB Hotel Partners, found financing easier for a condo-hotel than a traditional hotel because many lenders were worried about overbuilding hotels.

Also, said Doug Weiser, GB Hotel's president, by including a residential component within the hotel, the company was able to sell the units and use the proceeds to lower the debt on the overall.

Weiser preferred a condo-hotel over a timeshare project. "The Key Biscayne market is so strong that we thought it would be easier just to sell the units once and be done with it than to sell them 40 or 50 times through time-share," he said. 'Weiser estimates advertising and marketing costs eat away anywhere from 35% to 50% of the sale price of a time-share unit compared with only 10% to 13% of the price of a hotel-condo unit.

Foreign Owners Know the Concept

The condo-hotel concept has been a popular fixture in Europe and Latin America for many years, said Weiser. About 60% of the buyers in the Key Biscayne project are from outside the U.S., he noted.

Among the big hotel operators, Phil Kab, vice president of development at Ritz Carlton, doesn't rule out further condo-hotels developments, although none are currently on the books. He said the company will likely monitor the Key Biscayne project to determine if the concept should be expanded.

Hilton Hotels (HLT) inherited its partnership with FelCor on the project in Myrtle Beach when it acquired Promus Hotels Corp. in 1999, and the company is not seeking other condo-hotels.

"We're not in the real estate game," said David A. Sherf, senior vice president of real estate and investment analysis at Hilton, "We'd rather own the project ourselves than sell it."

By contrast, FelCor Chief Executive Thomas Corcoran is bullish on the condo-hotel concept and has little interest in time-share. "We like dealing with one owner," he said.

Bill Stuckeman, who heads up development for FelCor, said demographics are working in FelCor's favor as aging babyboomers begin inheriting their parents' wealth and more start seeking out a "high-end" second home.

At Myrtle Beach, all 200 units in the latest tower that opened in July were sold out by the Spring of 1999, noted Corcoran. Plans are in the works to begin selling units in a new 267-unit tower, which will open in the Fall of 2002.

condo hotel myrtlebeachAside from the Myrtle Beach project, which includes an Embassy Suites hotel and more than 1,100 condo-hotel units located in high-rise towers, low-rise buildings and villas scattered across a 145-acre site, Corcoran is already scouting his next condo-hotel site.

Gulf Bay's Ferrao, who has built 14 condominiums in the Naples, Fla., area, had originally planned to only construct a small 250-seat restaurant and beach club at Marco Island that residents from his nearby Fiddlers Creek development could access. But a nasty community fight that delayed the groundbreaking invoked Ferrao's wrath, and when he won the legal battle, he decided to build not only restaurants, but a full-blown hotel-condominium and 350-car parking structure.

About 75% of the 103 units at the Marco Beach Ocean resort complex have been sold since marketing began in the fall of 1998, with prices ranging from $260,000 to $575,000. The project is expected to be complete next August.

Donald Trump describes his lone condo-hotel venture at Trump International "a great success" and said he'd consider similar developments if the "right opportunity in the right location" came along.

Topics: Condohotel, 2011 real estate, Condo Outlet, condo-hotel


Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 14, 2011 7:00:00 AM

faqCondo hotels are a fairly new concept. Here are the most often asked questions and answers.

1. In a nutshell, describe the concept of the condo hotel.
Condo hotels are usually large, high-rise, luxury hotels operated by big names including Four Seasons, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Sonesta, Starwood, Hilton, Trump, Rosewood, Regent International Hotels, Clarion, Conrad Hotels, Bulgari and Le Meridien.

Condo hotels have condos that are sold to individual investors who may use their unit as a vacation home whenever they like. When they're not using their unit, owners have the option of placing it into an organized rental program. Rental revenue, which is shared with the operator, helps defray the owner's expenses.

2. What are the benefits to the condo hotel buyer/owner?
Owners have a luxurious vacation home in a premier location at their disposal. Owners who choose to place their condo hotel units in the property's rental program receive revenue which helps defray the expenses of ownership.

Most condo hotels have wonderful features and services that enhance their appeal to potential buyers as well as future renters. Typical amenities are spas, health and fitness centers, fine dining, business centers and more. Services could include valet, concierge and housekeeping.

Condo hotels offer hassle-free vacation home ownership. The on-site management company takes care of all upkeep, maintenance and interaction with renters.

Owners of condo hotel units have the right to resell their unit at any time. They keep any profits derived from appreciation. Thus condo hotels combine vacation home ownership with investment potential.

3. What is the role of the condo hotel operator?
The operator of the rental program, in exchange for a share of the revenue, markets the units as a hotel, takes reservations, operates the front desk, maintains the property and provides the services hotel guests expect, such as housekeeping, food and beverage, and concierge.

4. Describe the typical arrangement between the condo hotel buyer and the hotel management company?
Some of the items spelled out in a typical owner agreement include:
    •    The amount of revenue the condo hotel owner will receive. 

    •    The amount of revenue the hotel management company will receive. 

    •    Typical deductions before each of the parties receives their share, including money for a furniture, fixture and equipment reserve. 

    •    The financial responsibilities of the individual condo-hotel owner, which usually include the real estate taxes, insurance, capital improvements and debt service.

    •    The financial responsibilities of the condo hotel management company, which usually include operational expenses like housekeeping, maintenance, front office, administrative and marketing. 

    •    A rental program agreement which outlines the number of days per year and notice requirements for owners regarding use of their condo hotel units.

5. Can condo hotel owners rent out their units themselves and keep most or all of the revenue?
In most condo hotel properties they can, but doing so defeats one of the prime benefits of condo hotels which is hassle-free ownership. Most owners prefer to have the onsite professional management company find and handle renters.

In addition, owners are likely to receive a higher level of rental income by participating in the property's rental program which is administered by a recognized professional operator that can capitalize on the hotel's national affiliation, its brand name, its sophisticated reservation system and management expertise.

6. What are the keys to a successful condo hotel?
The essential ingredients to a successful condo hotel include a good location, an attractive amenity package, a respected developer, a strong brand and good management.

7. Are developers willing to guarantee the rental of the condo-hotel units when not used by the owners?
No, they are not. Developers are aware that potential security law issues can arise out of the sale of condo hotel units. In order to avoid coming under the scrutiny of any federal or state securities agencies, developers refrain from setting rental revenue expectations for prospective buyers. Instead, the developer's emphasis in the condo hotel's marketing materials and sales presentations is always on the real estate itself.

Generally, it is best to consider a condo hotel unit purchase to be similar to the purchase of a second home or vacation home. Choose a desirable building in a good location, and there is likely to be appreciation of the investment over the years. As icing on the cake, owners who choose to participate in the rental program can receive income from its rental to help defray ownership costs.

8. Where are most condo hotels located?

Condo hotels are typically found in highly desirable areas, often near the ocean, lakes, theme parks, golf courses, or in major cities. Miami and Miami Beach were the first areas to get large-scale condo hotels, and for a few years had the most condo hotel inventory in the nation.

Now that most of those original condo hotels are sold out and raw land is virtually nonexistent, the trend has moved north to places like Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Daytona, Destin and Tampa. Outside of Florida, the area with the most condo hotels is Las Vegas, particularly on or near the Las Vegas Strip. Also popular are condo hotels in thriving cities like Chicago, New York and Toronto including nearby areas people from Toronto vacation (cottage country).

Outside the U.S., condo hotels can be found in the Caribbean including resorts in the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos islands and Jamaica. The condo hotel concept has also become popular in Mexico. In the Middle East, Dubai is the dominant force in the condo hotel market with many five-star resorts under development.

9. Are all condo hotels newly built?
There is a mix of condo hotels that are newly built from the ground up and those that were originally hotels and have been upgraded and converted into condo hotels. Because land in prime locations is so limited and costly, it is possible that condo hotel conversions will eventually outpace new construction condo hotels.

10. How much does a condo hotel unit cost?
That's a little like asking, "How much does a car cost?" The answer, of course, depends on which car, or which condo hotel and which unit. Factors that can influence price are the property's location, the quality of the amenities and the brand name. Individual condo hotel units are priced based on their size, view, floor height, features and furnishings.

Generally speaking, across the entire spectrum of condo hotels, prices can range from $200,000 - $2,000,000.

11. Does it cost extra to purchase a condo hotel using a real estate broker?
No. The price is the same whether you use a realtor or go direct to the property. The seller (developer) pays all realtor costs in the form of a commission. In those cases in which no realtor is involved, the developer either keeps the additional revenue or pays a percentage of it to the property's in-house sales staff.

12. Where are most condo hotel buyers from?
Buyers come from all over the U.S. and from outside the U.S. as well. Because of the weak dollar combined with high property values overseas, many Europeans and Latin Americans find U.S. property extremely appealing. They like the idea of owning a hassle-free vacation home in a prime location in the U.S. that can generate revenue when they're not using it and is likely to appreciate in value over time.

13. Is financing available for purchasing condo hotel units?
Financing for condo hotel units is not difficult to find. Most lenders now are familiar with condo hotels and recognize them as viable real estate investments. Often the condo hotel property itself or your real estate broker can recommend reputable lenders.

14. When is the best time to buy a condo hotel?
The best time to purchase a condo hotel unit is in the early stages of pre-construction. That's when prices are at their lowest, and buyers have the best selection of available units.

Topics: hotel condo, condos in muskoka, Condohotel, 2011 real estate, Condo Outlet, condo-hotel, the residences at muskoka wharf, condo FAQ

Gravenhurst Farmer's Market

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 13, 2011 7:00:00 AM

Tomorrow at 9:00 AM is Gravenhurst's Famer's Market

Come Savour the Flavour of Muskoka. Established in 1992 in the heart of Ontario's scenic cottage country, the Gravenhurst Farmers' Market has become one of the region's most popular attractions.

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As many as 80,000 local residents, cottagers, and tourists frequent the market annually to partake in a broad array of fresh Ontario produce, arts and crafts, and special events. More, visitors can enhance their market experience by exploring Gravenhurst's many excellent shops and restaurants, or enjoying a swim and relaxing picnic at one of the community's lakeside parks.

And following the market visitors can cruise Muskoka's world-famous lakes aboard the Royal Mail Ship Segwun, North America's only remaining fully-operational steamship. All together, a visit to the Gravenhurst Farmers' Market can blossom into a full-day adventure your entire family is sure to enjoy.
September Schedule
Wednesday, Sep 07, 2011 9:00am to 2:00pm
Wednesday, Sep 14, 2011 9:00am to 2:00pm
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011 9:00am to 2:00pm
Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 9:00am to 2:00pm

Contact Information & Location
Organizer:Gravenhurst Farmer's Market
Contact:Barry Anderson
Phone:705-327 8107
Address:Gravenhurst, Ontario

Topics: gravenhurst events, Gravenhurst, Lake muskoka, Muskoka Wharf, Muskoka Wharf events, Gravenhurst history, farmers market

Condo-Hotel Comprehensive Overview

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 12, 2011 7:00:00 AM

Have you been hearing about condo hotels but can't decipher all the facts from the hype? Should you invest in a traditional condo or a condo hotel?

Now you can get simplified answers to all your questions.

Condo hotels, also known as condotels and apartotels, are typically high-rise, luxury properties in outstanding locations. You can find them near desirable vacation destinations that are by beaches, golf courses, casinos, theme parks, and more.

Condo Hotel Description
Condo hotels are a new trend in second home ownership. Buyers can purchase a luxury vacation home at a world-class resort or location while receiving rental income whenever they are not occupying the residence. This helps offset the costs of ownership.

The Appeal of Condo Hotels 

Condo hotels are attractive because they offer a luxurious lifestyle and hassle-free ownership. In addition, low interest rates and a volatile stock market have caused investors to diversify and consider real estate alternatives like condo hotels.

Luxury Amenities & Services
Most condo hotels feature fabulous amenities and guest services of four-star caliber or better. These can include full-service spas, resort-style pools, fine-dining restaurants, and concierges, making them the ultimate vacation getaway.

describe the imageReceive Rent Revenue
Here's how the condo hotel concept works. You purchase a condominium in a world-class hotel or resort. Use your condo hotel unit when you'd like. 

When you're away, place it in the condo hotel's rental program and receive a portion of the revenue it generates. The condo hotel management company takes care of renting, cleaning and maintaining your unit. They also ensure the smooth operation of the hotel's amenities and services.

A condo hotel is a hassle-free, luxurious second home that generates rent revenue that can help offset the costs of ownership.

Condo Hotel Locations
The condo hotel concept began and currently dominates in places like Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale in terms of the quality and quantity of condo hotels. However, the concept is becoming popular in other parts of Florida including Orlando, Naples, Fort Myers and the Tampa-Clearwater area.

Condo hotels are also creeping into many other cities outside Florida, such as Las Vegas, Chicago and New York. Condo hotels are even becoming prevalent outside the U.S., particularly in Canada, Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, and Dubai, UAE.

They are operated by prestigious hospitality companies like Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, Trump, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton and Sonesta.

Condo-hotel owners capitalize on the hotel's brand through their pre established advertising, name recognition, national affiliations, centralized reservation system and management expertise in order to receive a higher and steady rental income versus owners of any other traditional vacation property.

fontainebleau miami beachCondo Hotels Versus Traditional Vacation Condos and Single-Family Homes
Condo hotels are not the typical second home. They are fabulously-furnished condominium suites in some of the most famous hotels and resorts in the country. Owners have access to luxurious services and amenities, ranging from state-of-the-art fitness centers and full-service spas to fine dining restaurants and concierge services.

Like a traditional vacation home, owners can use their home when they want (depending on the particular management or hotel brand). However, unlike a traditional home, owners have the option or a mandatory time period where they can participate in the property's rental program and dip into the revenue the home generates. Ownership is 100% hassle-free as all maintenance and rental issues are handled by in-house management company.

Traditional Condos Have Appeal Too
If you plan to live in your residence full-time or use it several months of the year as say your winter home, you may want to consider a traditional condo and avoid any of the usage restrictions imposed on condo hotels.

Condo Hotels Versus Timeshares

With a timeshare, owners are typically allotted just one or two weeks of the year to use their condo. They receive the same calendar weeks unless they go through a process to trade time with someone else.

With a condo hotel unit, owners have deeded ownership to their condo and can usually use it when they want (within the guidelines of the rental program agreement).

Furthermore, when they're not using it and the hotel is able to rent the room, the owner receives a portion -- usually in the 50% range - of the rent revenue.

Finally, timeshares can be difficult to resell, even if the seller is willing to take a loss. Condo hotels, on the other hand, because of their prime locations, limited inventory and upscale quality, are a highly-desired commodity. They are more likely to appreciate over time and can be readily resold.

Condo Hotel Buyers

Typically, condo hotel buyers are vacationers who appreciate the many wonderful amenities available at luxury resorts or just the prime location. They may also recognize the appreciation potential of a revenue-generating vacation home.

The appeal is not limited to U.S. buyers. The concept has received international attention. Condo hotels are particularly attractive to international investors who wish to have a vacation home but don't want the hassles of caring for that home or renting it out when they're not using it. In particular, buyers from Latin America and Europe are competing with Americans for the best properties.

Additionally, the weakness of the dollar has enabled many international investors such as those from Europe to obtain upscale condo hotel units for what amounts to bargain prices.

See What’s Available
Before you buy a condo hotel unit or traditional condo, there's a lot you should know. How do you find the best properties? How do you select one that is likely to appreciate? Which amenities are most important? Where can you find financing?

Condo Hotel Prices
Prices for condo hotel units vary based on location, size, features and amenities. They typically range from $300,000 to over $1 million for prime properties. Popular cities like Miami Beach and Las Vegas have some of the highest prices while bargains can still be had in less well-known locales and also in countries outside of the U.S. like Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean and Dubai.

Condo Hotel Expenses
As part of the rental agreement, the hotel pays for most operating expenses such as housekeeping, administrative and marketing costs. The condo hotel owner typically pays the real estate taxes, insurance and capital improvements.

Condo Hotel Financing
Now that the concept has become accepted and well-known, U.S. lenders have been readily making loans on condo hotels, both to domestic as well as international buyers. Rates are slightly higher than for primary residences. Typically 20% to 30% down is required.

financeAre Condo Hotels Investments?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does not permit developers or realtors to sell condo hotels as investments. They are sold simply as vacation homes and a "lifestyle," and no income projections can be provided. Nonetheless, many buyers are interested in the investment potential of condo hotels. Some of the factors they take into consideration are:

•    Rent Revenue: Condo hotel units will produce rent revenue. That revenue can partially or completely offset the costs of owning and maintaining the vacation home.
•    Appreciation potential: Most condo hotels are located in areas that have seen the highest appreciation rates
•    Diminished supply of available land: Desirable locations to build are few and far between. A dwindling supply of available land in key markets, particularly sites along the ocean in Florida, popular lakes in Canada and on the Strip in Las Vegas, help ensure that condo hotels, like other types of real estate built in these locales, see significant capital appreciation.
•    Real estate as a stock market alternative: Many people seek to diversify their financial holdings, combining stock market investments with real estate holdings.

Best Time to Purchase a Condo Hotel
Buyers who purchase a condo hotel unit in early pre-construction phases or during builder's blowouts, when prices are lowest, have the best chance of seeing their investment appreciate. There is a limited inventory of condo hotels, and many properties actually sell out in the pre-construction phase.

As word continues to spread about condo hotels, more and more investors from around the country and around the world are learning of this new real estate trend and looking to participate. In addition, millions of baby boomers are approaching retirement and seeking second homes for their personal enjoyment. Demand is increasing. But so is inventory as developers recognize the benefits of creating a mixed-use property and seek to meet that growing demand .

The Dynamic Condo Hotel Market

line of peopleThe condo hotel marketplace is constantly changing as new properties become available and others are sold out. To find out what properties are currently on the market and to be able to purchase when prices in a development are at first tier and selection is greatest, choose to work with a realtor who specializes in condo hotels. He or she can help you define the type of property that will best suit your needs and identify specific condo hotels for your consideration.

Topics: hotel condo, condos in muskoka, Condohotel, 2011 real estate, Condo Outlet, condo-hotel, condo FAQ

Muskoka's Ironman Challenge

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 7, 2011 7:00:00 AM

Subaru Ironman 70.3 Muskoka takes place in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, located just 90 minutes from Toronto. This swim, bike and run challenge will take place in Huntsville, Muskoka on Sunday, September 11th, 2011.

describe the imageThe 1-loop swim will take place in picturesque, Peninsula Lake and will challenge participants for 1.2 miles. The bike course circles Lake of Bays and is 56 miles. The run is 13.1 miles and is sure to be full of stunning Muskoka as the leaves begin to change. The pink granite rock and cascading waterfalls offer the perfect surroundings to enjoy the outdoors!

Register at

Topics: huntsville activites, Muskoka running

Find Deals & Promotions in Gravenhurst, Muskoka

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Sep 6, 2011 12:06:00 PM

Thrive on Long Stays

Discover The Residence at Muskoka Wharf, Gravenhurst, a unique Muskoka, Ontario hotel. While searching for Muskoka hotels in Gravenhurst Ontario, you'll be delighted to find this hotel situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Muskoka, and located just 90 minutes north of Toronto.


Our Muskoka hotel in Gravenhurst offers complimentary breakfast, high-speed Internet access and is pet friendly. Stroll down the Wharf's boardwalk and dine at Regatta Steak & Seafood Grille or Boston Pizza. Discover the unique attractions that Muskoka has to offer, such as Santa's Village, Hardy Lake hiking trails, Muskoka Bay Club golfing, the Muskoka Heritage Centre and Museum or a cruise aboard RMS Segwun, North America's oldest operating steamship.

All attractions are just minutes from our Muskoka hotel in Gravenhurst Ontario. Experience the Residence at Muskoka Wharf hotel and see why we strive to be the number one choice when choosing hotels in Gravenhurst Muskoka for your vacation, business trip or corporate retreat.

Topics: Gravenhurst, Lake muskoka, Condohotel, Muskoka, Muskoka Wharf, Vacaion

Muskoka Wharf - Events Coming Up This Month

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Aug 30, 2011 7:00:00 AM

Just where exactly do we start with events at Muskoka Wharf? There are plenty occurring every day over this beautiful summer period, to whittle it all down seems plain crazy! For example, tomorrow, a run of the mill Wednesday you could get down to the Farmers Market that takes place weekly in Gravenhurst. In fact there are famers markets happening daily until Monday next week. Is your stomach rumbling yet? 

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If you are partial to bright lights and good movies then the next event at Muskoka Wharf could tickle your fancy... Film North, Huntsville International Film Festival is a fantastic place for upcoming Canadian filmakers to showcase their material. This takes place from September 22-24 - just after the Toronto Film Festival so there are sure to be a few stars about, get your people-watching glasses at the ready!

Film North - Events at Muskoka

Coming up later in September also at Muskoka Wharf is the Muskoka Bicycle Festival who celebrate everything and everyone bicycle! Here you will find lots of musical entertainment, bicycle rides and fitness information floating around - perfect after that long summer indulging at Muskoka Wharf!


Overall there is plenty to keep both you and your family entertained at Muskoka Wharf, the cottage life is destined for everyone. This million-dollar lifestyle is not out of reach in any way for you, contact us today to find out how you can get a free tour of the condos at Muskoka Wharf and grab one now at a snippet of the original price - 25% off!

Sign up for your FREE tour here or take a virtual tour! 


Topics: gravenhurst events, muskoka events, Gravenhurst, Lake muskoka, Muskoka Wharf, things to do in muskoka

Grab Yourself a Condo in the Gateway to Ontario's Recreational Region

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Aug 25, 2011 11:48:00 AM

The simple question is - is your time now?

 picture 68

Muskoka Wharf is the place to be right now, the gateway to Ontario's Recreational Region, what is destined to be the geographical and social center of the Lake Muskoka region so where are you? Grab yourself a two bedroom, 2 bathroom condo starting from only $268,800. This is a 'builder blowout' so once these properties are gone they are gone. 

The Greavette is part of a 30 acre development at Muskoka Wharf which is located at Highway 169 and Gravenhurst. Situated only 90 minutes from Toronto overlooking Lake Muskoka, you get to experience that laid-back lifestyle that cottage country has to offer while at the same time you're never too far away from the city. 


Situated only steps away from the waterfront this gives you a chance to really experience the leisure of life. Muskoka Wharf offers the slow pace style of life that you crave when living the city. Stroll along Lake Muskoka, potter around the farmers market after going for a bike ride around the country area. Really the decision is up to you - but the main thing is, you have a lot of choice! Gravenhurst is the gateway to Ontario's Recreational Center so why would you miss out on this opportunity - grab yourself a condo here while they are still available. Trust us they are selling like hotcakes, now with only four left!!!! 


Book yourself a FREE TOUR here and discover the magic of Muskoka Wharf.

Topics: Lake muskoka, Muskoka Wharf, Muskoka Wharf events, Muskoka real estate, Muskoka Bay

Muskoka Wharf - Cottage Time is Here

Posted by Victoria Dobbs on Aug 24, 2011 11:51:00 AM

It is that giant elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about - how bad do you want a place in cottage country to call your own? During the summer months people who own properties there never stop going on about it and those who don't, well they just dream of Lake Muskoka and all it has to offer. Which side are you on?

regatta muskoka wharfThe time has come for you to join that club and fulfil that dream of owning a piece of lakefront real estate. Situated only 90 minutes from Toronto, Gravenhurst, the gateway to Muskoka gives you that coveted 'Muskoka experience' without the hassle. This is your opportunity to actually participate in 'cottage time' and soak up that lifestyle. 

Does the idea of cleaning and maintenance fees put you off buying a cottage simply because of the hassle factor? What if there was an option to purchase a condo in a condo hotel which not only takes the maintenance weight off your shoulders' but also offers you the choice to show up at Muskoka Wharf and begin your vacation the minute you get there - the way every vacation should be! 

What does condo ownership entail? Basically what it means is that you are buying a suite at a hotel, therefore your room is clean when you get there, the hotel staff are your staff and your breakfast is made when you wake in the mornings - doesn't this sound like paradise! Owning a condo at Muskoka Wharf also gives you the added benefit of building up some extra income during the down time when your not using the property, a perfect way to build up some more finances. These condos in this desirable cottage destination are selling like hotcakes so our advice? Get in there stat. 

Don't let yourself miss out on this luxurious cottage experience in Gravenhurst on the southeastern bay of Lake Muskoka. 

Take a boat ride on North America's famous steam ship the RMS Segwun and breath it all in. Cottage time is here. 

Topics: Gravenhurst, condos in muskoka, Lake muskoka, Muskoka Wharf, Muskoka real estate, Muskoka Bay, Residence at Muskoka Wharf

Muskoka Wharf - The Full Story

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Aug 15, 2011 11:52:00 AM

We felt lazy and relaxed. How could you not? The breezes are balmy, the living is laidback, and everything revolves around the sparkling water. And yet there is an unmistakable energy here, a vibrancy that says Gravenhurst’s Muskoka Wharf is the place to be.

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Gravenhurst’s fortunes have always been linked to its waterfront. The history of Gravenhurst and its wharf march in lock step, developments in one having always affected the other. As went the Muskoka Wharf, so went Gravenhurst.

In the very beginning, the wharves built by James McCabe along the shores of Muskoka Bay served as stepping-off points into the wilds of Muskoka. Businesses in the form of hotels, taverns, stores and shipping interests began to cater to this slow but steady trickle of homesteaders, and consequently Gravenhurst developed along the shores of Lake Muskoka. It should therefore come as little surprise that Gravenhurst was originally known as McCabe’s Landings.

Activity along the Wharf reached a fevered pitch once the railway reached Gravenhurst in August 1875. On September 28, the first railway hissed and steamed its way into town. Two months later, a spur line down to the lakeshore was built.

It was this time that Muskoka Wharf truly was born. The southestern shoreline of Muskoka Bay was artificially extended with massive cribwork and fill to form a true wharf within the sheltered inlet. 

After the railway was introduced, the wharf was a bon to industry and settlement in the region. Hundredes if not thousands, of settlers passes through every year for almost two decades, and were joined by an equal number of summr tourists.

Muskoka Wharf remained a hive of activity and industry until the dawn of the automobile in the 1930s, driving trains, steamships and the wharf to the edge of extinction. One by one, trains to Gravenhurst were cancelled and ships were retired from service.

It was inevitable that Gravenhurst would feel the loss, and not just on a sentimental level. The wharf had brought prosperity, luring thousands of tourists even in the waning years of the steamship era. In time Gravenhurst recovered, but it was never the same.

Unitl now, that it. In the last decade, an 89-acre development featuring boutique shops, restaurants, playgrounds and sporting fields, and lakeside boardwalks has restored a luster to Muskoka Wharf not seen since the days when Gravenhurst was known as the Gateway to Muskoka.

The development has transformed a moribund waterfront into perhaps the coolest spot in Muskoka. At one point in the past Gravenhurst was the heart f the region. Its pulse slowed for a while with the demise of the lumber industry and the decline of the steamships, but now the beat is most definitely back.

This story is a collection from the original article written by Andrew Hind and Maria Da Silva.

For a full copy of the story read Andrew Hind and Maria Da Silva’s article on page six of Sideroads of Muskoka – Summer 2011.

Topics: Gravenhurst, Muskoka, Muskoka Wharf, Gravenhurst history

Find Deals & Promotions in Gravenhurst

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Aug 4, 2011 11:54:00 AM

Thrive on Long Stays

Discover The Residence at Muskoka Wharf, Gravenhurst, a unique Muskoka, Ontario hotel. While searching for Muskoka hotels in Gravenhurst Ontario, you'll be delighted to find this hotel situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Muskoka, and located just 90 minutes north of Toronto.

Our Muskoka hotel in Gravenhurst offers complimentary breakfast, high-speed Internet access and is pet friendly. Stroll down the Wharf's boardwalk and dine at Regatta Steak & Seafood Grille or Boston Pizza.

Discover the unique attractions that Muskoka has to offer, such as Santa's Village, Hardy Lake hiking trails, Muskoka Bay Club golfing, the Muskoka Heritage Centre and Museum or a cruise aboard RMS Segwun, North America's oldest operating steamship.

All attractions are just minutes from our Muskoka hotel in Gravenhurst Ontario.

Experience the Residence at Muskoka Wharf hotel and see why we strive to be the number one choice when choosing hotels in Gravenhurst Muskoka for your vacation, business trip or corporate retreat.

Topics: gravenhurst events, Gravenhurst, Muskoka, things to do in muskoka, Bracebridge, Segwun

Muskoka Events: Art in the Heart - (Bracebridge)

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Aug 2, 2011 11:54:00 AM

Art in the Heart is happening Saturdays and Sundays in downtown Bracebridge, Muskoka! Discover emerging artists in the public spaces and alleyways of Bracebridge’s historic downtown.

July 9th, 2011 to August 7th, 2011

Art in the Heart
was launched in 2008 as a two-weekend pilot with 15 artists. In 2009 its participants jumped to 21 artists who displayed their works over six weekends with the program growing even more in 2010 to include 23 artists.
Participants in the program receive business training as well as the opportunity to showcase and sell their work in the alleyways and public spaces along Manitoba Street in Bracebridge.




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The training modules in Art in the Heart teach the artists to be ‘street wise’ for their Art in the Heart experience, including tips on operating a business, booth displays, marketing, insurance and customer service.

For many artists, Art in the Heart is their first experience talking about their work to people other than family or friends. “I am very pleased to talk about my jewellery-making process,” responds Chantale DuBois, “and the reason I choose to work with copper. It is a warm metal so that when you put it on, in only a few moments it absorbs body heat and doesn’t feel like you are wearing jewellery at all.

”In addition to offering an opportunity for new artists, another the goal of the partners, Town of Bracebridge, Muskoka Small Business Centre and Muskoka Arts and Crafts, is to create a new static attraction for Bracebridge, Muskoka where visitors are encouraged to come downtown to check out the changing artist line-up every weekend. More information on the Art in the Heart program is available at

Topics: muskoka events, Lake muskoka, Bracebridge, Art in the Heart, art bracebridge

The Muskoka In-Water Boat & Cottage Show is THIS Weekend

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Jul 21, 2011 11:56:00 AM

Condo Outlet, featuring the Residences at the Wharf will be in Gravenhurst from July 22nd to July 24th for the Muskoka In-Water Boat Show & Ribfest. The In-Water Boat Show & Ribfest have joined together at Muskoka Wharf to bring some major action, entertainment and excitement to the summer season. There will be land and water displays of local marina's vendors, live entertainment and a great variety of food and drinks to help you get through your day.


Our Muskoka geniuses from Condo Outlet will be by Boston Pizza at booth 206 ready to answer all your questions regarding Muskoka real estate. Attendees will have the option to take home an information brochure, tour the suites, and enter to win a free night stay at The Residence on the Wharf condo-hotel that is run by the world’s leading hotel chain. Studio suites at The Residence on the Wharf condo-hotel start at only $125,000. The lakefront Greavette condominium has units from only $268,000 for 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 1,275 sq. ft. Click here to learn more about the Residencies at Muskoka Wharf.

Bring the family out for a weekend of fun because admission to the festival is free for the whole family. We’re hoping for great weather, and with lots to see and do in Muskoka Wharf this weekend and we hope to see you there!  Click here to visit the Muskoka In-Water Boat & Cottage Show!

Enjoy the summer sun!

Avoid waiting and Book Your Free Tour Now!

Muskoka In-Water Boat & Cottage Show Hours:

Friday - 12pm-6pm
Saturday - 10am-6pm
Sunday - 10am-5pm

Great food, live entertainment, and more than 100 boat & cottage exhibits. 
Plus 1000s in prizes & giveaways! 

Topics: condos in muskoka, Muskoka Wharf events, boat show, Ribfest

Spend $125,000 & live like a millionaire at Muskoka Wharf Residences

Posted by Victoria Dobbs on Jul 18, 2011 11:49:00 AM

National Post · Jul. 16, 2011 

Tired of all that cottage upkeep? A swish waterfront condo in the heart of cottage country might be for you.

The two-year-old Residences at Muskoka Wharf is offering full ownership condo-hotel units starting at $125,000. This is not a time share or a fractional condominium, the developer says, but a full ownership condo-hotel, 90 minutes from Toronto.

Choose from furnished studios, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom units, pictured, with access to amenities. Suites are maintained by the hotel operator. Each one comes with a private balcony and a gas fireplace.

Owners have the option of using their units for 35 days of the year in any season, no more then 14 days a season. The days are not stacked and are changeable at any time. When not in use, owners can put their homes into a profitable rental program.

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Topics: Gravenhurst, Lake muskoka, Condohotel, Muskoka, Condo Outlet, the residences at muskoka wharf, Muskoka Wharf, national post

Meet our Neighbours: Muskoka Bay Club

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Jul 13, 2011 11:59:00 AM

Muskoka Bay Club, is a four season community with an abundance of recreational and social activities just outside your door. The crowning glory is the incredible 17,000 square foot Clifftop Clubhouse. The definitive recreational and social centre - a place to play and relax.

Experience exquisite dining, full-service fitness, a stylish spa retreat, infinity pool, kid's pool, tennis courts, pro shop and bistro. 

Muskoka Bay Club, golf course scored 8.2500 making it among the top courses in the province. As a semi-private golf facility, the Muskoka Bay Club has been designed to accommodate golfers of all playing abilities.The holes at the Muskoka Bay Club wind through mature forests and across majestic wetlands that have been incorporated and preserved in the layout. The Muskoka Bay Club will also feature a luxurious year-round clubhouse and an exceptional practice facility.

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The Muskoka Bay club is located only 90 minutes from Toronto in the town of Gravenhurst just steps away from Muskoka Wharf. Muskoka Wharf is a $170 million master planned residential and commercial development, situated on Lake Muskoka. 

In Muskoka Wharf we have a very exciting opportunity for you available NOW:

Residence at Muskoka Wharf: Is managed by the largest hotel operator in the world. The Residences is located right within Muskoka Wharf, and is a short stroll along the boardwalk to the Segwun (oldest steamship left in Canada), and the restaurants such as Boston Pizza, Sunset Grill,The Regatta and Muskoka Bay Club. This very successful new Muskoka hotel has condos available for 30% off their original selling price starting from as low as $149,900. The Residences at Muskoka Wharf offers a choice of Studio, One Bedroom, and Two Bedroom Suites. Each suite is totally furnished and comes with a private balcony and a gas fireplace. All suites are in the rental pool, to produce rental income to pay off all your typical condo operating costs and much more. In addition, all purchasers will receive full access to the hotel amenities and personal use for up to 35 days every year!



Topics: Muskoka Wharf, Muskoka Bay, Residence at Muskoka Wharf, Muskoka Bay Club, Muskoka Bay Golf, Gravenhurst Golf

Exclusive Muskoka Wharf Seminar

Posted by Victoria Dobbs on Jul 12, 2011 12:01:00 PM


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Date: Thursday, July 14th, 2011
Time: Registration 6:00 PM, Event 7:00 PM
Location: CondoOutlet Toronto Office - 2487 Bloor Street West
Intersection: Bloor and Jane

This Thursday, the Toronto CondoOutlet office will be hosting an exciting presentation about the The Residence at Muskoka Wharfs full ownership condo-hotel units situated in Muskoka Wharf, the $170 million vacation getaway.

The seminar will discuss details of this exciting opportunity including the investment details such as revenue sharing, maintenance costs, taxes etc. Attendees will have exclusive access to the floor plans, views and prices before anyone else. You will also be able to reserve and purchase a unit right there and then!

To RSVP for this event click HERE. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call us at (647) 348-8690.

See you at the event!


Topics: Gravenhurst, condos in muskoka, Muskoka, Condo Outlet, the residences at muskoka wharf, Muskoka Wharf, muskoka residences

National Geographic's #1 Summer Travel Destination: Muskoka

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Jul 11, 2011 12:02:00 PM

In National Geographics '10 Best trips of Summer 2011', Muskoka was named the number one out-of-the-ordinary destination for travellers!

The prestigious cottage country location about two hours north of Toronto is an outstanding getaway from Canadas largest city. The 2,500-square-mile natural playground offers unlimited hours of fun and entertainment, from wakeboarding to exploring historic landmarks incuding Muskoka Wharf's own Segwun Steamship.

The outstanding northern retreat is truly an experience for travellers of all ages.

View the National Geographic article HERE

Topics: condos in muskoka, Lake muskoka, Muskoka, Condo Outlet, Muskoka Wharf, Muskoka real estate

Muskoka Wharf Boat Show

Posted by Victoria Dobbs on Jul 7, 2011 12:03:00 PM

This Saturday July 9th, Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst will be hosting its 31st Annual Antique and Classic Boat Show!

Come and experience one of the most unique events held in cottage country!

The annual boat show will showcase over 100 antique and classic boats, cardboard boat building and parade, boats in motion/ member ride along and the 'field of dreams' for those who are interested in a restoration project. over 70 vendors with items for your cottage and boar will also be attending.

Admission: $10.00 per person

Date: July 9, 2011

Time: 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM

See you at the show!

Topics: muskoka events, Lake muskoka, Muskoka, Muskoka Wharf, boat show, antique and classic boat show

The Muskoka Wharf: A $170 Million Project

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Jul 6, 2011 12:05:00 PM

Muskoka is one of Ontario’s largest and most economically vibrant outdoor recreation areas. It has long served as a vacation destination for the more than 7.6 million people living in Southern Ontario, Western Quebec, New York State, Ohio and Western Michigan. Its pristine lakes, rugged landscape and charming communities are the foundation of the regions economy.

With a capital budget of about $170 million, Muskoka Wharf is the largest single development project undertaken in Muskoka’s history and it will only serve to strengthen the economic well-being of the district.  

Muskoka Wharf is located on Highway 169, in the Town of Gravenhurst, gateway to the Muskoka and Ontario’s Near North Region. Gravenhurst is a short 1½ hour drive north of Toronto. Nearby communities include Barrie, Orillia, Bracebridge, Huntsville and Midland.

Over the past two decades, the Town of Gravenhurst has been acquiring lands surrounding Muskoka (or Sagamo) Bay on Lake Muskoka with the vision that one day this premier and historic site would be redeveloped as a major tourist attraction. The result is now the heritage-themed waterfront development known as the “Muskoka Wharf.” 

As a public-private partnership, the project has brought together the common vision of the Town of Gravenhurst, Evanco Corporation, Forrec Ltd. and the Muskoka Steamship and Historical Society.

The goal of the partners was to create an exciting place for people to discover the heritage of Muskoka, shop, dine and live. We believe the master plan, prepared by world renowned Forrec Ltd., achieves that objective by providing a proper
mix of natural parkland, active recreation areas, an exciting interactive heritage centre, locations for restaurants and festive retailing, offices, a hotel, and luxurious residential condominium units.

The unique components and spectacular setting of the Muskoka Wharf will ensure the economic, cultural and social success of this initiative that has been designed to draw visitors to Muskoka and make the Wharf a focal point for the

The heritage-based anchor attractions on the 87 acre site include: the historic Muskoka Fleet presently comprised of the RMS Segwun, the Wenonah II, and the Wanda III at one end of the property and a $5 million Heritage Centre at the opposite end.

In addition to the hotel, residential units and approximately 54,300 square feet of retail and restaurant space, the plans for Muskoka Wharf also include:

- Marine facilities,
- An outdoor ice rink
- Farmers Market/Square
- Public pavillions
- Natural parklands
- Open spaces
- A soccer pitch
- A baseball diamond
- A play court
- Playgrounds

These facilities are all connected by trails and a pedestrian promenade around the Bay.

Total Space Per Category heigh="300" width="300"

Attractions - 24,600 sq. ft.
Retail- 35,200 sq. ft.
Foodservice - 19,100 sq. ft.
Hotel - 105,000 sq. ft.
Public Buildings - 27,150 sq. ft.
Residential Buildings - 178,000 sq. ft.


Topics: Gravenhurst, condos in muskoka, Lake muskoka, Condohotel, 2011 real estate, Muskoka, Muskoka Wharf, Vacaion