Being a part of something special, something truly unique, brings with it an undeniable sense of satisfaction.
No doubt you’ve experienced that feeling. Perhaps it was unearthing an undervalued stock that you simply knew was about to blow through the roof, only to be proven right. Or maybe it was stumbling across a tranquil beach destination accessible, either by virtue of its distance or its price tag, to none but a select few.
It’s exactly that kind of feeling – that you’ve discovered something only a privileged few will ever know or have – that The Landscapes – Lake of Bays conjures up. Located at the southern end of Lake of Bays on the eastern edge of the village of Baysville in the heart of Muskoka, one of ’s most sought after vacation and cottage destinations (it’s not called the ‘Malibu of the North’ for nothing), The Landscapes might just possibly be one of the most exclusive (yet attainable) clubs in cottage country right now.
The Landscapes is in fact on the cutting edge of a trend that is only now beginning to make serious waves across many segments of the luxury marketplace: shared ownership. Also often referred to as fractional ownership, shared ownership is rapidly establishing itself in luxury sectors from car ownership to yachts, private jets and, of course, high-end real estate.
Shared luxury assets
Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not a movement driven by costs, though that’s undoubtedly a consideration for some believers in the concept. Rather, it usually simply boils down to convenience… and common sense.
The argument’s a simple one: why tie up large amounts of money and resources looking after something that would, in all probability, sit around unused for much of the time? Instead, why not invest only what’s needed for the time you need it, whether the “it” in question is a cottage, a car, a yacht or a jet?
And there’s another reason, too, for the rise of the shared luxury asset economy: the demographic shift currently underway as millennials (those aged between 20 and 36) enter the picture. Already surpassing the baby boomers in numbers, not only is this huge population wave increasingly affluent, they’re also arriving on the luxury scene with the idea of sharing already built-in. Need proof? Look no further than the huge success of businesses built on sharing, such as Uber, the car-sharing taxi service, and Airbnb, the DIY accommodation service, both of which have redefined and reshaped their related industries, though with the help of millennials.
World-class luxury living
Which brings us right back to The Landscapes. One of Ontario’s most successful such developments, The Landscapes has redefined the idea of shared luxury living in Muskoka. Consisting of exquisitely furnished and decorated two-and three-bedroom Cottages and Villas, each owner (or member) is allocated five weeks of vacation time per year, one of them guaranteed as a peak summer week. And for those who can’t get enough of Muskoka, a sure-fired option – and one that’s been exercised by a number of owners – is to purchase multiple weeks, ensuring even longer stays in cottage country without having to purchase a year-round cottage.
Everything about The Landscapes is world-class, from the high quality of the construction, design and décor, right down to the many special traditional cottage-inspired flourishes. In addition to their high-end appliances and furnishings, delightful stone fireplaces and deluxe hardwood floors, each Cottage and Villa offers superb lake views over the Narrows of Lake of Bays, a peaceful stretch of water that separates Baysville from the main body of the lake. Best of all, these views can be had from a variety of locations within each unit, including from the expansive living areas, the all-season Muskoka Rooms, as well as some of the upper level bedrooms. And for those who like to travel with their furry four-legged friends, ‘pet-friendly’ units are also available.
Other features of note include:
- Private gazebos (with lake views) at each of the stand alone Cottages
- Office area on the upper level of each Cottage
- Balconies in each Villa with views of the lakefront
- Ground floor dens in the Villas that convert to an additional bedroom, and also equipped with desks for those needing an office to work in
- Fully–equipped kitchens with built-in cabinets
- Large master bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and cozy fireplaces
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Cedar lakeside decks with gas barbeques
- WiFi connectivity in all units and in the amenity buildings
Amenities offer exclusive club-like feel
The Landscapes’ first-rate amenities are every inch the equal of its Cottages and Villas in terms of luxury and quality.
First to be opened was the magnificent million-dollar Clubhouse, and ever since it’s proven to be a popular hub for owners. Located in the very heart of this 19-acre property, one of The Clubhouse’s most popular features is its huge wrap-around deck, which extends along all four sides of the building and offers numerous places to sit, relax or mingle.
Interior highlights of this magnificent Muskoka-themed clubhouse include a large stone fireplace along with plenty of comfortable plush sofas and armchairs, each set in small clusters for casual gatherings, some facing the big-screen TV. For those who like playing games, in addition to the full-size billiards table, numerous other options are provided, including checkers, chess and cards, along with a variety of classic family board games. Another favourite spot to relax is the Library Loft with its extensive collection of reading material, while those who like to entertain can make use of the kitchen provided to whip up snacks or make cocktails.
Adjacent to The Clubhouse is another focal point of the property, the equally popular Swimming Pool area. Fully heated and beautifully finished, this large outdoor pool also boasts numerous great spots for sunbathing and relaxing, along with a fun splash pad for the kids and a year-round hot tub. Another highlight here is the two-sided outdoor fireplace, the perfect place to congregate at the end of a busy day of fun.
A Fitness Centre is also located nearby, and includes a variety of free weights and cardio equipment, such as a treadmill and exercise bike.
The amazing waterfront
For most cottagers in Muskoka – and owners at The Landscapes are certainly no exception – the real fun takes place down at the waterfront.
Stretching some quarter mile along the length of the property, it’s as easy to find yourself a quiet spot along the extensive Boardwalk to sit and reflect as it is to get involved in activities such as kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding, all of which are provided. Other fun waterfront activities include fishing (a row-boat is available to ensure you can get out to the best quiet spots), as well as swimming at one of the property’s two safe beach areas, sliding off the large swim raft or using the popular Bongo bouncer. The Beech Cabana is also a quiet retreat where you can read a book and keep a watchful eye on the children at the same time. There are also numerous boat slips provided too, whether you choose to bring your own watercraft or rent from nearby marinas.
The real star of the waterfront at The Landscapes, however, is undoubtedly its beautiful Boathouse. Encompassing expansive decks and swimming platforms, as well as a large rooftop sunbathing area, this spectacular building is equally gorgeous inside. Interior highlights include a large fireplace and plenty of extremely comfortable seating, as well as probably the best uninterrupted lake view on the whole property.