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On Site. the Cottages at Honey Harbour. Honey Harbour, Ontario. (Fleming Developments)
On Site. the Cottages at Honey Harbour. Honey Harbour, Ontario. (Fleming Developments)

On Site: Recreational property project takes a local, sustainable approach Add to ...


LOCATION: Honey Harbour, Ontario

DEVELOPER: Fleming Developments

SIZE: 1,096 to 2,275 square feet

PRICE: $429,900 to $859,900

SALES CENTRE: 380 Macey Bay Rd., off Honey Harbour Road. Open Friday to Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CONTACT: Phone 1-855-445-4441 (toll free) or visit www.thecottagesathoneyharbour.com

About 90 minutes north of Toronto, Fleming Developments envisions a new and improved cottage experience on a sheltered inlet of the Georgian Bay designed to appeal to modern families.

The first step was not to raze, but revere the natural setting and resources found in and around the 165-acre site in Honey Harbour, from preserving a vast amount of the rugged topography to sourcing out locally-made finishes and furnishings for each property.

“We’re having a positive impact by protecting the endangered species and making sure we stay back from the provincially significant wetlands surrounding the site, and at the same time, we wanted to have a positive impact on the local economy,” says president, Michael Fleming.

“[We’re]already having a positive impact by replacing what was there, which was a very messy and shut down trailer park.”

The size of the four-season destination, which is a major development in the small town, would easily allow for four-storey housing.

But the builder preferred a more intimate, resort-style development with only 120 furnished cottages separated by tall pines and granite outcroppings, and surrounded by 8,000 wetland preserves and 1,850 feet of shoreline.

“It’s nice to be part of a community like this, but at the same time, you also want to have private space and the ability to barbecue and play in your backyard and not be right on top of each other like a lot of the other developments,” says Mr. Fleming.

Residents will also have access to a sandy beach, pool, tennis courts, playground, a clubhouse, boat slips, a boardwalk and a canal leading to the Georgian Bay, which is a designated world biosphere reserve.

“It’s important environmentally, and there’s so much to do boating-wise,” says Mr. Fleming, who grew fonder of the activity after sailing those waters.

“The closest major city center is Midland, which is 25 minutes by car, but it’s only 10 minutes by boat.”

Restaurants, grocers and festivals can also be enjoyed in town, which is a short drive to Mount St. Louis Moonstone Ski Resort where residents will have ski privileges.

Neighbouring cities will also provide 70 per cent of the products found in the cottages, such as cabinetry by Raywal Kitchens in Thornhill, mattresses from Strata Bedding in Woodbridge and furniture from Durham Furniture and Glen Conway Cabinetry in Oro-Medonte.

Barrie-based company, Napoleon, will supply barbecues, gas fireplaces and patio furniture, along with heating and cooling units. “Their furnaces are the only Canadian-made furnaces period,” adds Mr. Fleming.

Another unique aspect of this project is that it will eliminate many of the drawbacks of traditional cottage ownership.

“Owning a cottage is very expensive and very time consuming,” says Mr. Fleming. “And the average cottage in Ontario gets used 35 days a year, and for a second home that’s incredibly low.”

So these cottages will start from $429,900 and can be put into a rental program.

Furthermore, a monthly condo fee of $447 will cover exterior maintenance, and $75 will fund the upkeep of recreational facilities and activities programmed by naturalist, Robin Tapley.

“Now you can just come up and relax,” says Mr. Fleming. “If the roof needs repair or the lawn needs to be mowed, you don’t have to worry about it.”

The first phase offers about two dozen detached and semi-detached cottages with two to four bedrooms and up to half an acre of land.

Each will have exposed timber frame construction, a screened-in porch and open entertaining and dining areas with up to 18-foot ceilings in some cases.

“We wanted to design what we felt was a cottage and not a city house in a cottage location,” says Mr. Fleming.

Two model homes illustrate the contemporary and traditional decor packages, which all include granite counters, hardwood floors and six kitchen and laundry appliances.

Occupancy begins next spring.

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