Majority of Canadians prefer cottage vacations over jet-set holidays

More than half of Canadians would rather lounge on the dock in cottage country than sunbathe on a sandy tropical beach, according to a new report.

This year’s Re/Max Recreational Property Report found that 68 percent of Canadians would rather spend a long weekend at the cottage over a jet-set getaway.

“We love cottage life,” said Re/Max Integra vice-president, Gurinder Sandhu in an interview with CTV News. “After our harsh, long, cold winters, there’s nothing like going up north, getting away, sitting on a dock.”

The report also found that Canadians would be willing to make plenty of sacrifices in order to afford a cabin or cottage. The first thing we’d give up? Destination vacations.

Forty-one percent of Canadians would rather save for a cottage than travel abroad. “Interestingly, giving up destination vacations was listed as number one on our list,” said Elton Ash, a regional vice-president for Re/Max, in a statement. “The cottage and cabin lifestyle is very much in-demand and Canadians are looking for alternative ways to finance their dream property.

Additionally, 21 percent said they would be willing to downsize their main residence in order to afford their dream cottage, cabin or ski chalet.

The study also noted that the low Canadian dollar “is having a positive effect on local recreation property markets as Canadians are choosing to stay in Canada where their dollar will go further.” On the other hand, the low exchange rate means Canada’s scenic cottage country is also attracting foreign buyers in hot spots like Muskoka.

And if you’re looking to buy a Canadian cottage, now might be the time. Median prices and sales in Muskoka, Whistler, the Kawarthas, Haliburton and Wasaga are increasing year-over-year. In fact, the Kawarthas saw a nearly 28 percent increase in cottage prices due to a spike in Torontonians looking for property outside of popular areas like Muskoka.

The most expensive recreational properties are chalets in Whistler, which sell for a median price of $1.25 million.