Luxury Waterfront Living in Canada

This article was originally published on Christie’s International Real Estate’s blog Luxury Defined 


O Canada! “The True North strong and free” is also one of the world’s ultimate destinations for living on the waterfront. Canada has the longest coastline in the world: 151,019 miles bordering three oceans—the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Arctic—and the Great Lakes of Huron, Erie, and Ontario. But there’s more to this water wonderland. Canada’s interior has more than 2 million lakes holding 20 percent of the world’s fresh water.


Herewith, we spotlight five Canadian properties on lakes, rivers, tranquil bays and inlets. Consider a waterfront idyll on a tributary of the Ottawa River, or a great bay of Lake Huron. On the dramatic coast of British Columbia, choose a wilderness preserve on Bute Inlet or a log home on Saanich Inlet. Whether set on river, lake, sea, or ocean, these dream properties cover the gamut of waterfront living . . . True North.


Fawn Bluff in British Columbia



A 340-acre private reserve on the coast of British Columbia, Fawn Bluff is the quintessential Canadian oceanfront retreat. Situated at the Emerald Edge of the Great Bear Rainforest, one of the world’s last great coastal rainforests, this trophy estate has a private lake and the only sheltered deepwater harbor on Bute Inlet. Fawn Bluff is a self-sufficient, legacy property affording ultimate privacy and luxury, and access to nature and world-class fishing. Four log-style homes—built into the rainforest—sleep up to 30 guests and eight support staff. The estate also boasts 5 kilometers of roads, an expandable dock, a helipad, and barge access. A world away, Fawn Bluff is just 14 minutes by seaplane from Campbell River, an international port of entry.


Georgian Bay Contemporary in the Blue Mountains, Ontario



Great Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay is the focal point of this contemporary waterfront home in the Blue Mountains, two hours from Toronto. The open floor plan is designed to take in the unobstructed, 180-degree bay views. Meticulous attention to detail shows in the fine craftsmanship. The great room has a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and a wall of double-height windows to take in the views of the bay and the grounds. A curved staircase ascends to a bridge overlooking the foyer on one side and Georgian Bay on the other. There’s also an elevator to the second floor with both front and rear doors. The private quarters include a guest suite and a master suite, both with private bathrooms and balconies facing the bay. The grounds are enhanced with ponds, waterfalls, and perennial gardens, and include a saltwater pool and a raised viewing deck at the water’s edge.


Riverfront Retreat in Ottawa, Ontario



With lovely gardens, a pool, and private dock on the Ottawa River, this 1.2-acre riverfront estate is a scenic retreat just 20 minutes’ drive from the center of the Canadian capital. The main residence is approached by a private drive flanked by brick pillars with elegant light fixtures. The grand foyer has a 20-foot-high ceiling and leads to the formal living and dining rooms. Farther along is a gourmet kitchen, which shares a double-sided wood-burning fireplace with the adjacent family room. The main floor also includes a master suite and solarium overlooking the river. Three additional bedrooms are on the second floor; a fifth bedroom is on the lower level, along with a leisure facility with recreation, games, and fitness area. A solarium opens to a deck, barbecue area, hot tub, and pool facing the river.


Willis Point Estate in Victoria, British Columbia



Overlooking the calm waters of Saanich Inlet, this waterfront haven is at the tip of Willis Point on Vancouver Island. The one-acre property is accessed via a long driveway descending through lush woodland. Custom built by the current owners, the striking log-style home blends contemporary design with Asian accents. A dramatic sculpted staircase is the focal point at the entrance. The main floor features a dining room and living room overlooking the sea. The views continue through to the open kitchen and family room. A cozy bar area and billiard room opens to a deck with sitting area. The opulent master suite occupies the upper floor. The lower level houses a workshop, gym, full kitchen, and an office. Three paths lead to the oceanfront and the brand new dock. The property includes a moorage license, three-car garage, and accessory building, large enough for RV or boat storage.


Prairies River Residence in Montreal, Quebec



This unique cottage-style home on Montreal’s Bizard Island has 115 feet of linear frontage on the Prairies River. A striking façade of stone with dormer windows built into the slate roof lend a rustic elegance. The interiors showcase the sweeping water views from the entrance vestibule through to the den, living and dining rooms, each with a fireplace. Front and rear staircases lead to the private quarters: four bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The master suite faces the river and has a beautiful spa bathroom. The upper level is also appointed with a games room with beamed, vaulted ceiling and Brazilian Jatoba floors. The rear gardens are the perfect venue for alfresco entertaining with a covered deck, saltwater pool, and lower tiered lawn above the river.