Congratulations on your plan to buy a cottage! Maybe we’re a little biased, but we think owning a cottage is a fabulous idea. The thing is, though, that cabin in the woods or on the water costs a little more than it used to back in the day. So if you want the most bang for your buck, check out what $300,000 or less will get you in popular spots across the country.
Sunshine Coast, B.C.
The Sunshine Coast lies just north of Vancouver, and extends 180 kilometres up the coast through inlets, ancient forests, and small villages. In fact, although it’s on the mainland, you’ll feel as though you’re on a remote island. Hiking, kayaking, and swimming are all popular activities, along with exploring the charming towns that lie along the coast. (Trivia fact: Gibsons, B.C. was the setting for The Beachcombers.) A little less than $300,000 will nab you a cozy cottage, like this two-bedroom retreat located across a laneway from the ocean, while even less will get you a cabin with room to grow or build.
Cottages in the Rockies playgrounds of Banff and Lake Louise tend to be pricey—but go a little further north and a little ways away from the mountains, and you can find some cottagey bargains that still retain that Alberta flair. About an hour from Jasper National Park (and its famed Miette hotsprings), $149,900 will get you a two-bedroom rustic cabin just outside of Hinton. South of Edmonton, $249,000 will score a two-bedroom cottage plus shed in a gated community on Gull Lake—perfect for boaters and those who don’t want to get too rustic.
Prince Albert, SK
Prince Albert sits south of Candle Lake Provincial Park and Prince Albert National Park, and there are lots of great cottaging spots (think lakes and wide open spaces) in the surrounding area. For $239,000, you can find a three-bedroom year-round cabin on Candle Lake, complete with a spot in the local marina and a short walk to the lake. South of Prince Albert, and about an hour’s drive from Saskatoon, a small, year-round three-bedroom waterfront property on Lac La Peche can be yours for $289,900.
South of Winnipeg, MB
There are lots of cottaging areas around Winnipeg and, while pricey waterfront show-homes definitely abound, prices tend to be, on average, fairly reasonable. Two hours south of the city in Rock Lake you can find a fully-renovated four-season waterfront cottage for just under $300,000—including boat, motor, and yard equipment. Less than an hour south, score a two-bedroom riverfront cottage surrounded by green grass and trees for $224,900—fire pit, gazebo, and two sheds included.
There are undoubtedly deals to be found in Muskoka, Ontario’s cottage playground, but it takes some serious digging (and a tenacious real estate agent) to find them. Better to venture a little further north, where $300,000 will get you a lot more. You’ll find a road-access three-bedroom waterfront cottage on Agnew Lake for $299,900, about an hour east of Sudbury. North of the city, there’s 160 feet of waterfront and beach, complete with three-bedroom cottage and sauna, on offer for $275,400.
Northern Bruce Peninsula, ON
While it’s not on the Canadian Shield—so you won’t see rock outcroppings on your drive to the cottage—the Bruce Peninsula features the dramatic landscape of the Niagara Escarpment and all the hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities that go along with it. Prices around popular areas like Sauble Beach tend to be a little on the higher side, but go a little further north and you can find great buys, like this three-bedroom cottage with a large deck and views over Georgian Bay for $299,900. Around the same area, you’ll find an open-concept cottage on a treed lot across the road from Miller’s Lake with four decks for $284,000. The bonus of being north? Closer access to Bruce Peninsula National Park, as well as the ferry to Manitoulin Island.
Fundy Shore and Annapolis Valley, N.S.
With most of the country going to “the lake” for their cottages, isn’t it nice to know you can also get a cottage on the ocean? $300,000 goes a long way on the East Coast—with that as your budget, you can get a six-bedroom cottage with additional bunkhouse overlooking the Bay of Fundy. If you’re still looking for lake living, you’ll find a three-bedroom log home with a swim dock on Ponhook Lake, an hour from the Halifax airport.
Prince Edward Island
It’s hard to find a cottage on Prince Edward Island that doesn’t have an ocean view, so the pickings, real-estate-wise, are good. $289,000 will nab you a winterized two-bedroom cottage, complete with in-ground pool and surrounded by 115 feet of waterfront. On the south shore of the island, score a three-bedroom cottage with long decks overlooking the ocean for $269,000. Also on the south shore, about 20 minutes east of Charlottetown, perch above the ocean and enjoy expansive views from the cozy “Captain’s Watch Cottage” for $249,000.