Johnston & Daniel | Rushbrooke Realty, Brokerage
My family’s Muskoka story is a familiar one. Every summer, my husband Ed and I would rent cottages across the Muskoka and Parry Sound/Georgian Bay areas with our growing family. As soon as we had a taste of Muskoka living, we knew we needed to make it permanent. Over 30 years ago, we were fortunate to be able to make the move for my husband’s new job. Lured first by the lifestyle, we were pleasantly surprised to find a welcoming community and thriving local economy. The beginning of our own real estate purchases quickly turned from one family home to another.
By that time, I was accustomed to packing, unpacking and making a home, having moved several times. I can understand first-hand both the stresses and thrills of finding that special new home or vacation property. I was enthralled with Muskoka and tried to take in all that it had to offer my family—the outdoor activities, community events, a great school system for my 4 sons, and friendly neighbours who have since become best friends. It was the perfect place to call home.
Ever since we rented our very first Muskoka cottage we had the dream of one day owning our own lakefront retreat, and we bided our time as our family grew. Finally, in the summer of 2014, when my boys were grown and had all finished their post-secondary educations, we knew the moment was right.
It was an exciting and anxious time, full of all the questions that I now work through with my clients: Where should we purchase? How big should it be? How much can we afford to spend on our secondary property? Can we find a place that will serve our family now and as it grows?
And then it happened—that magical moment I’ve since experienced with so many families as they discover their dream property. When Ed and I saw the listing for a charming and secluded one acre island on Georgian Bay with two cottages for our family, we got chills. We saw our dream come to life right in front of us. Years later, we’ve turned that dream into our own little piece of paradise where my family gathers for precious quality time together every spring, summer, and as late into fall as we can.
For me, that moment is why I love what I do. It’s that “pinch-me” moment when clients find the special place they never thought they’d find; when they realize their dreams are actually within reach. When I see posts of past clients and their families enjoying the simple things—digging into a new book in a hammock, kayaking with friends, making s’mores over the campfire or just lounging on the dock—I am reminded why my job is the best one ever!
With over three decades in the area and over 15 years’ experience selling both residential and cottage properties, my love for the Muskoka lifestyle has continued to grow, year after year. It’s my mission to show my clients that the Muskoka lifestyle is attainable and that together, we can turn their dreams into reality.