On The Bay and The Booming Southern Georgian Bay Market

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With a permanent population of 75,000 people, a weekend population of nearly 25,000, a visitor population of over a million and a growth rate well higher than the rest of Ontario, the Southern Georgian Bay market is one of the strongest year-round recreational markets in Canada.

The unique geography of the Georgian Triangle encompasses the towns of Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Town of the Blue Mountains (comprising Craigleith, Thornbury, Clarksburg and Ravenna) and Meaford, which form a connected group of communities ringing the southern coast of Georgian Bay. These coastal towns are conjoined by the smaller communities of Creemore, Duntroon, Stayner, Glen Huron, Dunedin and Kimberley, all nestled in the hills just south of the bay.

The area has earned its reputation as “Ontario’s playground,” offering an all-season list of sports and activities that includes downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, windsurfing, golf, tennis, power boating, sailing, hiking, theatre, fine arts, crafts, equestrian activities, rock climbing and cycling.

Boasting Ontario’s largest ski area, a dozen private and public golf courses, the longest freshwater beach in the world and hill communities that are often compared to the Hamptons, the Southern Georgian Bay region is a magical combination of vast water, majestic hills and a four-season lifestyle driven by outdoor activities, beautiful homes, fine foods and good living.

Tens of thousands are being drawn to this recreational paradise, whether for a weekend, a week, a season or a lifetime, leading to ongoing new development across the region.

Condo, house, chalet, cottage and farm prices are second only to Toronto real estate values. Existing businesses are expanding and new businesses are popping up to service this growing and sophisticated population.

Over 20 new home developments are now moving to market from Wasaga Beach in the east to Meaford in the west along the 65-km coastline and abutting hills of the largest freshwater bay in the world.

Two distinct age groups and generations, the thirty-somethings and the fifty-somethings many of whom have been visiting the area recreationally for years are flocking in droves to make their permanent or weekend homes in the Southern Georgian Bay region, with the ultimate goal of an active retirement in an unparalleled setting.

This phenomenon has led to the area being dubbed a NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) naturally occurring because, unlike other retirement communities, people begin to come here at a much younger age to live and play, gradually spending more and more time in the area leading to full-time residency. And now dubbed the NATS, (naturally attracted thirty–something’s) this younger demographic is busy building businesses and lifestyles in the 20 communities of Southern Georgian Bay. As they age, they can imagine no other place they’d rather be.

This rapidly growing market is ripe for a premium publication and On The Bay, as the authoritative and best-read publication in the area offers readers a joyful reflection of their community and to advertisers a targeted showcase for their products and services.

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