The agents attempting to sell 838 Tiny Beaches Rd., a huge custom-built cottage known in the town of Tiny, Ont., as Bluegreen, are hoping the asking price of $5.475-million will set a new sales record for the area on the southeastern shore of Georgian Bay.
Although it sits on 550 feet of beachfront with western exposure, it seems quaint to call this three-level, 7,125-square-foot house built in 2012 a cottage. The main building is round, with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an elevator, a meditation room, a sauna, indoor gym or yoga room, home-theatre room, indoor therapy pool, a massage room, two Muskoka room screened-in porches, a rooftop outdoor terrace with fireplace, deck access from five bedrooms, three gas fireplaces and a wet-bar on all three levels. There’s also a separate tea room with ground-level patio, not to mention a massive vegetable garden and a greenhouse connected to the luxury kitchen, too.
The asking price would set a high-water mark for the shoreline community of 11,000, which doesn’t have quite the same reputation for luxury as Muskoka.
“We got a big rod out there within striking distance to land a muskie,” said Michelle Lacroix, sales representative for Royal LePage In Touch Realty Inc., located in nearby Midland. Ms. Lacroix pointed out that while there is a lot of wealth in Tiny, the more typical price for luxury cottages in the area is $1.5-million to $3-million. Bluegreen has been on the market for six months, although in May she and fellow listing agent Lisa LePage persuaded the buyer to lower the price from $6.8-million.
“There’s no particular style: It goes from cottage to beachy to modern aspects. It’s truly the vision of the owner,” said Ms. LePage, who in addition to being a real estate agent, has an architectural and design business and assisted in the construction of the house.
One feature curious browsers may notice is that many of the doorways are arched, not rectangular, a deliberate choice to match the roundness of the building. “The softness of arches and circles, it takes the rigidity out of a structure; you have that natural feel and soft flow,” Ms. LePage said. “It’s very organic: When we were working on the property, she wanted a lot of ecofriendly, sustainable products used.”
Ms. LePage declined to name the owner; however, public records reveal that Joni Tipping – daughter of Ontario billionaire philanthropist Michael DeGroote, 85, who is the former owner of Laidlaw Transportation and now lives in Bermuda – bought the then-vacant lot in 2008 for $3.2-million with her husband, James Tipping.
Mr. DeGroote, who has a fortune estimated at $1.6-billion, making him Canada’s 68th-richest man, according to Canadian Business rankings, is not without controversy: While the billionaire has donated generously to McMaster University, The Globe and Mail has reported extensively on how Mr. DeGroote’s investment in a Dominican Republic casino venture became entangled with members of the Rizzuto organized-crime family.
Although Ms. LePage wouldn’t comment on why the home is for sale, she did say that the vision of organic living and wellness that drove the owner to construct the house only a few years ago is now “complete.”
Even though Bluegreen has the look and feel of an exclusive high-end spa – with heavy emphasis on beiges, whites, raw wood and stone – and while there were events and even organic cooking classes held at the building, it was never a commercial profit-making operation.
“It was about helping people – whether it be a wellness retreat for women coming in, spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally – but it was all done very quietly; it was all done through yoga connections and word of mouth,” Ms. LePage said.
If you’d like to check out Bluegreen and try before you buy, you can rent it for $2,250 a night from CanadaStays.com. A weeklong trial would run you just under $17,000. It’s one of almost 150 luxury cottages represented by the Jayne’s Cottages agency in Port Carling, Ont. Although Bluegreen did not attain the “super elite” category as defined by Jayne’s website, it is categorized as the next-best “elite” level.
Also, potential buyers should be aware that unlike some properties in the Tiny area, Bluegreen’s deed does not extend to the waterline, making the beach not completely private, and there is also an undevelopable strip of privately owned land that runs through the lot to provide access for neighbours, although access to the beach is not fenced or obstructed.