Looking for a unique home in Toronto under $1 million? Not scared of water?
There’s a community that might be right for you.
Nestled in the Scarborough Bluffs, there is a small group of houses floating on the water. The Toronto Float Homes are secure, permanent floating dwellings. They’re most popular in coastal communities, especially on the west coast. Many of these homes in Vancouver, for example, are far larger than you’d think because they’re actually in-demand, and they’ve mastered the building techniques. If you weren’t at the water, you really couldn’t tell that they were floating.
What the homes are actually like
Unlike what you may think, these structures are equipped with many of the same components of a normal house: insulation, drywall, running water, furnaces. Most people would think these are like houseboats, but they’re actually just full, unique houses that happen to be literally on the lake.
Like other houses, float homes vary. Some of these extraordinary dwellings feel like houseboats—eclectic, with quirky details and a cottage feel. Others have been renovated, showing off lofty details, modern lighting, and updated cupboards and furniture. Essentially, some are fixer-uppers, while others have been fixed up. But all of them are comprised, of tight spaces, of course, so living here isn’t for someone who wants a three-car garage.
Every float home along the lake has a large deck outstretched onto the water, and some have a second (or third!) on the upper levels.
The float home community
What makes this cluster of floating houses special—aside from being floating houses—is the geographical and communal atmosphere of the area.
The Scarborough Bluffs, one of Toronto’s natural wonders, is a series of rocky cliffs on the eastern shores of Lake Ontario. The Bluffs block out the noise of the city, creating a calm atmosphere, similar to cottage country. Traffic noise is rarely heard, so those wanting to escape the city without physically escaping will enjoy Brimley Road South. These cliffs also block northern wind and rough seas, in case you’re worried your home could capsize. (It can’t.)
The local beach, Bluffer’s Park Beach, is a hidden gem, and has been called Toronto’s best beach; it’s even received the city’s Blue Flag, signifying it’s an internationally recognized prime beach location.
Also, if you’re living in a condo, you may be like me and not even know your neighbours. Because of the natural landscape, the cottage community feel, and the common element of owning such a unique structure, the neighbours have become closer, like in a small town.
I have to say being able to jump off my balcony into the lake every day to beat the heat for an entire season would be magical.
If this sounds appealing to you, you’re in luck. There are occasionally sales or rentals in this small community of 24 homes, and the average home price is only $450,000. In a city with an average house price of over $1 million, this is a steal, especially if this is actually what you’re looking for.
And, big bonus: no land transfer tax!
Check out TorontoFloatHomes.com for more information.