hamptons of the north

This Ontario destination is earning its title as The Hamptons of the North

Muskoka, Ontario has long been referred to as the "Hamptons of the North."

The destination north of Toronto is renowned for its luxurious appeal, from lakes dotted with waterfront mansions to affluent resorts and private country clubs.

Travel + Leisure recently called the cottage country destination a "summer playground for Toronto’s elite" which is an apt moniker as it's not uncommon to see cottagers arriving at their docks via private float planes, or jetting by on flashy speedboats.

Summers are the most popular time of year to visit Muskoka, with warmer temperatures for boating, swimming and watersports.

In the fall, the area transforms into a stunning kaleidoscope of colour, perfect for hiking and sightseeing.

Winters are also gaining popularity to visit, with cross-country skiing trails, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

The now-treasured land was once given away for free by the government, but became a weekend getaway for the wealthy once railroads were built in the late 1800s.

Since then, Muskoka has hit record prices after catching the eye of foreign investors.

Like the Hamptons in New York State, Muskoka draws in affluent residents and celebrities alike. 

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell own a cottage in the area, and Justin Bieber, the Beckhams, Martin Short, and Cindy Crawford are known to frequent Muskoka in the summer.

On the northern end of Lake Joseph, extravagant properties ranging from private island estates to grand cottages have earned it the name "Billionaires Row."

For most, owning real estate on one of the shores of Muskoka's three main lakes is out of reach, especially with home prices expected to rise by nearly $60,000 in the coming year.

However, there are still plenty of vacation resorts and cottage rentals to stay at for a taste of how the area's wealthiest spend their summers. Jayne's Cottages offer a range of super luxurious properties rentals on the Muskoka Lakes, or book a suite at the JW Marriott The Rosseau with private beaches and a year-round pool.

Lead photo by

Jayne's Luxury Rentals

Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Travel

5 luxury hotels and resorts in Ontario for a lavish getaway

This town in Ontario is littered with 'ghost schools' that have an uncertain future

You can explore an abandoned 100-year-old canal in a small town in Ontario

Breathtaking multi-day train ride from Toronto takes you across 5 provinces

Here are the places The New York Times just recommended people visit in Toronto

Toronto Pearson Airport reveals multibillion-dollar plan and here's what's changing

Helpless Air Canada passenger spots her bag on the tarmac during take-off

Pilots abort Toronto takeoff after accelerating directly towards another aircraft