Canal Lake Real Estate ~ Market Value Update


Whether you are an owner of a cottage who is considering selling, or a prospective buyer, it is important to be as informed as possible on local market conditions. In my previous career as a managing director at a major Canadian financial institution, I developed a deep appreciation for the importance of sound analytics, and have applied these concepts to glean insights on broader market trends as well as individual property valuation. In an effort to promote greater transparency and efficiency in our local markets, I am pleased to provide monthly in-season statistics and commentary on each of the major lakes in our service area. If you are interested in a more precise valuation of your property, please contact me at (705) 438-3000 or email me and I would be happy to provide a value estimate at no cost.
~ David Donais, Broker of Record/Owner


2020 Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Summary


  • Waterfront market activity on Canal Lake and across the western Kawarthas was especially volatile throughout 2020. It is therefore necessary to analyze the sales data on a monthly basis in order to understand the underlying price trends.
  • The metric I use to track price trends is the Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value Ratio, which is simply the ratio of the sale price of an individual property to its MPAC assessed value. I calculate this ratio for each sale recorded, as well as an average ratio for all sales over a given time period. I consider the extent to which the average changes over time a good proxy for waterfront price trends.
  • The charts above summarize the average Sale Price-to-Assessed Value Ratios for each two-month period in 2020. I have included a chart for both Canal Lake and for waterfront sales across the western Kawarthas as the latter incorporates a larger number of sales and is therefore more statistically significant. You can see that for the western Kawarthas, prices were strong in the first two months of 2020, slumped somewhat during the lockdown months, and increased substantially thereafter. Most astounding are the post-September 1st results, which saw an additional upward surge in prices from the summer. The 1.88 ratio realized from November and December sales on Canal Lake is indicative of a 36% price increase from 2019, when prices were mostly flat throughout the year.
  • This increase in prices is attributable primarily to the tidal wave of new demand from buyers in the GTA who are eager for an escape from the pandemic-induced stresses of urban living.
  • The average sale price for Canal Lake properties (excluding building lot sales) in 2020 was $624,000, up 49% from $420,000 in 2019.
  • The 29 sales on Canal Lake in 2020 were up substantially from 19 sales in 2019.
  • Looking forward, I am optimistic that 2021 will continue to be positive for the waterfront market, supported by the apparent seismic shift in buyer demand towards waterfront properties, continued low interest rates and relatively strong real estate markets in the GTA.

Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ August 31, 2020

    Strong sales continued through August

  • August was another strong month on the lake with a total of four sales. The 14 sales so far in 2020 is in line with last year’s sales over the same period.
  • The average sale price of the 14 sales in 2020 is $548,000, up 30% from the average sale price of $420,000 for all sales on Canal Lake in 2020.
  • The average sale price-to-MPAC assessed value ratio of the 10 Canal Lake sales so far in 2020 is 1.72, up 25% from the 1.38 average for all Canal Lake sales in 2019. These higher prices are consistent with waterfront price trends across the western Kawarthas - refer to my "Western Kawarthas" analysis for more detail.
  • There were 10 active listings on the lake as at August 31, 2020.


Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ July 31, 2020

    Sales picked up in July

  • July was a strong month on the lake with a total of five sales. The 10 sales so far in 2020 is in line with last year’s sales over the same period.
  • The average sale price of the 10 sales in 2020 is $508,000, up 21% from the average sale price of $420,000 for all sales on Canal Lake in 2020.
  • The average sale price-to-MPAC assessed value ratio of the 10 Canal Lake sales so far in 2020 is 1.68, up 22% from the 1.38 average for all Canal Lake sales in 2019. These higher prices are consistent with waterfront price trends across the Wesetern Kawarthas -refer to my "Western Kawarthas" analysis for more detail.


Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ June 30, 2020

    Lower market activity so far in 2020.

  • There have been eight new listings and four sales on Canal Lake so far in 2020, a much slower start to the 2020 selling season than last year. This reduced activity is in stark contrast to activity across the western Kawarthas, where buyer demand and sales have been very strong and prices have been rising. Refer to my "Total Western Kawarthas" analysis for more detail of these trends.


Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ April 30, 2020

    No sales so far in 2020.

  • A much slower start to the 2020 selling season than last year.

  • The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a significant slowdown in both listings and sales across the western Kawarthas, leading to great uncertainty in the market going forward. At the present time there is no evidence of falling prices for waterfront properties and sellers are for the most part holding firm to their asking prices. The emerging trends of working from home and cottage vacationing as a replacement for air-travel vacations bode well for demand in the medium term, while the impending recession/depression represents a threat to short-to-medium term valuations.

2019 Canal Lake Market Value Summary


  • The data in this analysis captures waterfront real estate sales on Canal Lake and on the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) from the Simcoe County boundary to the Kirkfield Lift Lock.
  • 34 waterfront properties were put on the market in 2019 and 19 (56%) sold. Seven (37%) of the sold properties required one or more price reductions. These proportions are largely consistent with trends across the key lakes and rivers in the western Kawarthas.
  • The average sale price for waterfront properties was $420,000 in 2019, down 11% from $472,000 in 2018. This decline is attributable primarily to fewer higher-end properties selling in 2019 – three properties sold for $750,000 or more in 2018, while the highest sale price in 2019 was $685,000.
  • One metric I track closely to provide insight into pricing trends is the Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value Ratio. I calculate this ratio for each sale recorded, as well as an average ratio for all sales during the year. In 2019, the average ratio for the 19 Canal Lake/TSW sales was 1.38, up 3% from the 1.36 ratio in 2018.
  • The relative year-over-year stability of Canal Lake/TSW prices is consistent with sale price data across the key lakes and rivers in the western Kawarthas. The average sale price-to-assessed value ratio for the 185 waterfront sales in the region was 1.44, up 3% from 1.40 in 2018.
  • Looking forward, I am cautiously optimistic that 2020 will be a positive year for the waterfront market. I noticed strong momentum in the fall months – almost half of Kawartha Waterfront Realty’s 2019 sales took place after September 30th, and buyer inquiries to our office have remained strong in the early winter months. Real estate market conditions in the GTA also appear to be improving, which helps fuel demand for waterfront properties.

Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ October 15, 2019

Strong sales activity in 2019.

  • Sales are up materially on Canal Lake and nearby sections of the Trent Severn Waterway so far in 2019, although there have been only five sales since early June.
  • The average sale price so far in 2019 of $435,000 is down from the $472,000 average sale price for all of 2018. However, the average sale price-to-assessed value for these sales is 1.38, slightly higher than the average of 1.36 for all sales on Canal Lake in 2018.
  • There were 11 listings on Canal Lake as at October 15, 2019.



Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ August 31, 2019

Strong sales activity in 2019.

  • Sales are up materially on Canal Lake and nearby sections of the Trent Severn Waterway so far in 2019, although there have been only three sales since early June.
  • The average sale price so far in 2019 of $428,000 is down from the $472,000 average sale price for all of 2018. However, the average sale price-to-assessed value for these sales is 1.36, unchanged from the average of 1.36 for all sales on Canal Lake in 2018.
  • There were 13 active listings on Canal Lake as at August 31, 2019.



Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ July 31, 2019

Strong listing and sales activity so far in 2019.

  • New listing volumes and sales are up materially on Canal Lake and nearby sections of the Trent Severn Waterway so far in 2019.
  • There have been 11 sales so far in 2019. The average sale price so far in 2019 of $430,000 is down from the $472,000 average sale price for all of 2018. However, the average sale price-to-assessed value for these sales is 1.35, in line with the average of 1.36 for all sales on Canal Lake in 2018.



Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ June 30, 2019

Strong listing and sales activity so far in 2019.

  • In contrast to almost every other lake in the western Kawarthas, new listing volumes and sales are up materially on Canal Lake and nearby sections of the Trent Severn Waterway so far in 2019. Several of the new listings were also on the market in 2018 and expired unsold.
  • There have been 10 sales so far in 2019. The average sale price so far in 2019 of $405,000 is down significantly from the $472,000 average sale price for all of 2018. However, the average sale price-to-assessed value for these sales is 1.35, in line with the average of 1.36 for all sales on Canal Lake in 2018.



Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ May 31, 2019

Strong listing and sales activity so far in 2019.

  • In contrast to almost every other lake in the western Kawarthas, new listing volumes and sales are up substantially on Canal Lake and nearby sections of the Trent Severn Waterway so far in 2019. Several of the new listings were also on the market in 2018 and expired unsold.
  • There have been eight sales so far in 2019. The average sale price-to-assessed value for these sales is 1.27, versus an average of 1.36 for all sales on Canal Lake in 2018. The average sale price so far in 2019 of $363,000 is also down considerably from the $472,000 average sale price for all of 2018.



Canal Lake/Trent Severn Waterway Market Value Update ~ May 15, 2019

Plenty of new listings so far in 2019.

  • In contrast to almost every other lake in the western Kawarthas, new listing volumes are up substantially on Canal Lake and nearby sections of the Trent Severn Waterway so far in 2019. Several of the new listings were also on the market in 2018 and expired unsold.
  • There have been three sales so far in 2019, versus two sales in the same period last year.


2018 Canal Lake Market Value Summary

  • The data in this analysis captures waterfront real estate sales on Canal Lake and on the Trent Severn Waterway (TSW) from the Simcoe County boundary to the Kirkfield Lift Lock.
  • The average sale price for waterfront properties was $472,000 in 2018, down 6% from $500,000 in 2017, and up 23% from $384,000 in 2016. Sale prices in 2018 ranged from a low of $207,500 to a high of $825,000.
  • There were 17 sales in 2018, down from 24 in 2017.
  • One metric I track closely to provide insight into pricing trends is the Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value Ratio. I calculate this ratio for each sale recorded, as well as an average ratio for all sales during the year. In 2018, the average ratio for the 17 Canal Lake/TSW sales was 1.36, up 5% from 1.30 in 2017 and 26% from 1.08 in 2016.
  • The relative year-over-year stability of Canal Lake/TSW prices is consistent with sale price data on most other key lakes in the western Kawarthas.
  • Other key takeaways from the 2018 market include:
    • In contrast to the relatively slow spring market, the fall market for waterfront properties was very strong across the western Kawarthas. On Canal Lake, four properties sold prior to June 1st while nine sold after September 1st.
    • Buyers almost uniformly desire to use their properties year-round – if you have a three-season property, it would be well worth your while to investigate the feasibility of enhancing it to four- season capability.
  • Looking forward, I am hoping that the strong momentum from the fall 2018 market will carry into 2019. However, while the prospect of higher interest rates in 2019 appears to be receding, the late-2018 correction in financial markets has the potential to dampen buyer demand for waterfront properties. As always, real estate market conditions in the GTA will heavily influence our market.

Read Other Kawartha Lakes Market Value Updates

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Call: 1 (877) 992-9927 or Email


Kawartha Lakes Heritage Postcards

We have a great appreciation for the history of the lakes we service, and are pleased to share with you some of the heritage postcards we have collected.

Lunge Haven & boats   ca. 1963 ~ Sturgeon Lake

Recognize, know a story or details about these vintage Kawartha scenes? Join us on facebook and instagram to share! We would also be delighted to share your heritage photographs and related stories - please email to David.

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