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The Braestone development will be about 20 minutes north of Barrie and feature 229 houses and a 108-acre farm.

Nicola Betts

BUILDER/DEVELOPER Georgian International

SIZE 1,120 to 3,235 square feet

PRICE $450,000 to $900,000

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CONTACT To register, phone 1-705-727-5656 or visit braestone.ca

Developer Georgian International has unveiled plans for a country estate community on a 566-acre patch of the Horseshoe Valley that will embed homes in a lush natural setting.

"As a family I'd drive to an orchard for 45 minutes in the fall or go to a pumpkin patch with my children. But this stuff is all in your backyard at Braestone," says vice-president of marketing Bryan Nykoliation.

"No other community in Ontario or Canada has this type of offering."

About a 20-minute drive north of Barrie – south of Horseshoe Valley Road East between Line 8 North and Line 9 North – the development will encompass 229 homesteads and private amenities, including a 108-acre farm with pumpkin and berry patches, Christmas tree farm, sugar shack, apiary, vineyard, skating pond, horse paddock and riding trails.

Georgian International says 60 per cent of the land has been set aside for wildlife and nature preserve.

"There was a farm we acquired and created more into a lifestyle farm," says president of real estate David Bunston. "It's a place people will want to bring their families to walk about and take in a different activity week to week."

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Though the high-end homes will be freehold, monthly fees of $75 will pay for farm caretakers and amenities.

"It's a working farm for the residents to enjoy, but it's not something they own or have to care for," says Mr. Nykoliation, who confirms no extra costs to consume berries harvested or jams produced, nor learn from agricultural specialists, such as chef, Trish Magwood.

"The farm itself can be an educational experience for young children or people in the community who have a hobby or want to have a hobby … learning how to make maple syrup or how to plant a Christmas tree farm."

The site's rolling hills – which translates to "brae" in Scottish – will allow for a toboggan hill, fishing ponds, hilltop observatory, youngsters' camp site and treehouse, plus a 275-acre nature preserve with trails, streams and forests.

Plus the region is home to resorts, recreational establishments and historic villages, as well as cultural attractions in Barrie and Orillia via highways 400 and 11.

"It's a four-seasons playground the area we're in, close to skiing, golfing, hiking and biking," Mr. Nykoliation says. "There are amenities everywhere within a five-minute drive."

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Buyers will also gain substantial private outdoor space with phase one offering 59 lots at least 100 feet wide and half an acre, some even abutting the farm.

"This is the last estate lot development of its kind," Mr. Bunston says. "Each lot is unique: the site has a ridge so you could have 360 degree views, valley lots and wood lots."

Complementing the rural backdrop will be bungalows and two-storey homes designed by William Hicks with dormers, cupolas, wide verandahs with gas-fired lanterns and coach houses.

"We have very distinctive architecture; it's a modern interpretation of country-style barns, sheds and farmhouses of the Oro-Medonte region," Mr. Nykoliation says.

"People walk in saying they haven't seen these type of floor plans, they're very unique including boot rooms to fit the equestrian theme of the project and very wide layouts of the homes."

For instance, the Clydesdale model – one of six "core" floor plans – features an open kitchen and principal room with vaulted ceilings, walk-in pantry and gas fireplace, plus a corridor that can be extended to reach two, three or four bedrooms, and a coach house with options to finish the space above.

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"If you bought a two-bedroom Clydesdale and I bought a four-bedroom Clydesdale, my house would look very complementary to yours, even though … they could be very different square footages," Mr. Nykoliation says.

"It's a nice nod to the history of farmhouses when people used to add wings onto it, like a kitchen on the back or family quarters or butler's pantries."

Interior decor will be upscale, such as granite counters and maple, oak and porcelain floors.

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