Great vacation homes requires a blend of natural surroundings, charming municipality, exemplary architecture, and an unspoken invitation to put your feet up and relax. Thankfully, Canada’s vast and varied landscapes offer mountain retreats, lakeside lounging, and painterly skies. Here are some prime locations for your future vacation home:

Canmore, Alberta

Situated just under an hour’s drive from Calgary at one end and only minutes from the edge of Banff National Park and Banff township at the other, Canmore is the ideal halfway mark between city delights and resort town living. (Plus you avoid the “Need to Reside” clause that exists in the park.)

Ski fanatics can find a warm lodge with chalet-style ceilings to huddle up in after spending a day at Sunshine Village Ski Resort. Golfers can build their own clubhouse off the 15th hole. Considering the sweeping Rocky Mountain vistas, including the famous Three Sisters, and friendly neighbours, property prices remain more than reasonable.

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Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

The Niagara region is constantly buzzing in the summer season. Tourists may be lured by the falls, but owners know the area is rich with far more than misty boat rides (although those have an undeniable appeal, too). Vineyards and a bevy of culinary offerings will satiate even the most discerning palate. Bring a bottle back to your lakeside retreat for sunset as you mull over tomorrow’s boating adventure. The community feel is topped off with a great local love for the Shaw Festival.

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Guelph, Ontario

A charming mix of back-to-school possibility and historic presence only add to the incredible market value of Guelph properties. With a 2016 average home price of just $441,880 and a five-year annual ROI of 6.8%, this Lake Huron region gem is as balanced and solid as they come. Settle into a historic revival with modern upgrades or a South End classic.

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Vancouver Island, B.C.

Whether you’re a Vancouver resident looking for a weekend getaway or an out-of-province buyer who wants to capitalize on the spread of the hot Vancouver real estate market, vacation homes on Vancouver Island are an excellent investment. Enjoy the stunning views and the slower pace of life an island home has to offer, without any loss of convenience or connectedness—properties in the Victoria area are just a short ferry ride away from the mainland. Or, for a more remote escape, consider a property on one of the nearby Gulf Islands.

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The Eastern Townships, Québec

A collection of charming towns and villages in southeastern Québec, the Eastern Townships have the feel of a Canadian New England. Rolling green hills and sparkling lakes dot the landscape, and offer plenty of opportunities for sailing, skiing, and golfing. The less outdoors-inclined will appreciate the world-class spas and wineries, or simply reclining on the porch to admire the stunning foliage in autumn. The real estate market in the area is beginning to pick up, so it’s a good idea to get in soon.

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Whether you’re in the vacation homes game for the tranquility or the market return, tapping into any of these five property hubs will more than hit the mark.

Keep your vacation home running smoothly with our seasonal checklist for vacation home owners.

Photos: Sotheby’s International Realty CanadaSotheby’s International Realty CanadaSotheby’s International Realty Canada, Tom Worsley / Shutterstock Inc., Sotheby’s International Realty CanadaSotheby’s International Realty Canada


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