Leased land Cottages - Frequently Asked Questions

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 What are leased land cottages?
 Where can I find leased land cottages?

 What are the costs of owning a leased land cottage?
 What are the lease terms?
 What about water and sewage?

 What about fire, police and equivalent municipal services?

What are the restrictions on using a leased land cottage?
 What are the price  ranges and general MLS related information?

What is the native contact for more information on leased lands?

How can I view all of the active leased land cottage listings?


Is there a cottagers association where I can get more information and increase my comfort level with the leasing concept?


Call me 

The land is owed by the Saugeen Indian Reserve #29 and the federal government and they lease the land for cottages. The physical cottage structure is owned by the cottager but the land is leased. There are approximately 1250 cottages in total.

Some of the reasons to consider owning a leased land cottage include:

  • Usually a good selection of Lake Huron waterfront properties
  • great locations either on the water or very close to the water
  • in Sauble Beach, on or close to the #1 beach in Ontario (Toronto Star) and one of top 10 beaches in Canada, click here for details
  • Sauble Beach water quality is tested on a regular basis and the beach has never been closed for water quality reasons
  • most cottages are sold fully equipped and ready to move in and enjoy
  • you are free to buy and sell whenever you wish through the normal real estate process
  • generally the initial cost of leased land cottage is much lower than a cottage where you own both the cottage and the land.
  • . . . a very affordable way to own a cottage.
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There are three primary leased land areas on Lake Huron. These areas are located just north of Southampton and extend into the Sauble Beach area. 
  • Block A - located from South part of Sauble Beach (Frenchman's Bay) to the main Street of Sauble Beach. There are sandy beaches along this area with some rocky shore in some locations. Sauble beach is rated the #1 beach in Ontario by the Toronto Star. There are water front cottages as well as cottages within a couple of blocks of the beach.

  • Block B - located along Southampton Parkway (Bruce County Road 13) from Southampton to approximately where 2 nd Avenue S. meets the Southampton Parkway (Bruce County Road 13) in the south part of Sauble Beach. Most cottages are located on the lake with great views of the sunset. The shore is generally rocky and pebbly. Some lots are gently sloping to the shore and others are elevated. There are approximately 347 cottages in this block.

  • Chief's Point - located just north of the Sauble River on the westerly point. There are River front cottages and cottages within a block of the river. This is great spot if you enjoy boating. Also, good access to Sauble Beach just across the river.
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There are no municipal taxes. Instead, you pay to lease the land and a service fee. These fees are due May 1 of each year. The following chart outlines the approximate costs each year in the 3 areas:



Block B

Block A

Chief's Point


~ 5,039 

~ 6,107 

~ 5,583 
Second Row ~ 3,572 ~ 4,275 ~ 3,908
3rd + row     n/a ~ 3,359 ~ 3,535
Service Fee   600  600   600

The service fees pay for: fire protection, land & leasing office, police protection, road maintenance, landfill site, recycling, works department, streetlights, landfill maintenance, landfill monitor, garbage collection.

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The lease terms are as follows:
  • The current lease is for 20 years and it expires in 2011. A new lease will be negotiated at that time.
  • The financial terms of the lease are fixed every five years. The current amount is in effect until 2006.
  • The rate is set by Saugeen First Nations and the lease outlines the methodology used to determine the lease amount. 

You can request a copy of the lease from the Saugeen Land Management and Leasing office, the address and contact information is listed below.

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Most lakefront cottages draw their water directly from the lake. However, some have wells.  Most non lake front cottages have wells of some sort. The Grey Bruce Health Unit published a booklet on safe water for the cottage which you can download from the following site:

There are regulations regarding septic systems, however many of the septic systems were installed prior to regulation being in effect. Our advice is "Buyer Beware". Information on septic systems is available from the Grey Bruce Health Unit site using the following link:

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The land is owed by the First Nations community and they provide fire, police and equivalent municipal services. The annual service fees cover these costs. For more information click here.
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The lease that you sign has a number of restrictions that are important to understand before you start looking for a cottage:
  • You have unlimited use of the cottage from May to October
  • During the months November to April you can occupy your cottage for a total of 10 days in each month ... i.e. not for permanent residence
  • you cannot use your cottage for commercial purposes such as renting your cottage to the general public 
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Based on MLS data, leased land cottage sales $ declined by 18% in 2007 but the average sale price actually increased by 9% from $83,159 in 2006  to $90,409 in 2007. Average days on the market was 99 days, similar to last year

For those looking for cottages, 66% of the cottages are listed in April (18%), May (18%), June (15%) and July (15%)

 There are a wide variety of leased land cottages from waterfront to a couple of blocks from the beach and the prices in 2007 waterfront 39,900 to 206,000, average 122,260 and non waterfront  $26,000 to $146,000, average of 71,298.

Analysis: Although the average sale price was up 9% and the average cost per square foot was up 8% there continues to be signs of weakness: 

  • # of cottages sold declined by 25%, a 3 year trend

  • average days on the market is 100 days, similar to last year, an increase from the 60 day level in 2004,5

  • the # of expired  and actual listings at the end of the year is 17 % higher than last year.

  • the % increase in the  average cost per square foot is has declined from 26% in 2005, 7% in 2006 and 8% in 2007.

Factors contributing to this poorer sales performance include: continued poor press from Caledonia, unresolved Hope Bay issues and uncertainty regarding the terms of  the 2011 lease renewal.

On the positive side, the cottager's association and Chief had a very positive meeting on Labour Day. The Chief confirmed that the  Band is totally committed to continue to lease to cottagers. Both parties  also resolved to negotiating the terms of the new ASAP.

Some of the reasons for this popularity include:

  • Higher price for lakefront on non leased land, especially Southampton  

  • Snow birds seeing the low cost opportunity of a northern and southern home

  • Some excellent, move-in quality cottages

  • The high demand and lower supply of water front properties

 During the summer of 2006 there were, on average, about 50 leased land cottages listed for sale on MLS. The total number of leased land cottages is approximately 1200.
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The following is the contact information for the Native Leased Land Office:

Saugeen Land Management and Leasing

P.O. Box 640

Southampton, Ontario, N0H 2L0

519 797-3039 ( Weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm)


Web Site:

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On the home page enter "native leased land" (no quotation marks required) in the search by COMMUNITY and press go. This will give you the listings of all the Real Estate agents in the area. MLS allows me to represent you on any of these listings so please don't hesitate to contact me. 


Is there a cottagers association where I can get more information and increase my comfort level with the leasing concept?


There are 2 cottagers associations

  • Block A (French Bay Beach Association)

  • Block B - no web site

    • President - Peter Graham (519)725-9472

    • V-President - Bill Zuurhoud (519)744-4067

    • Sec-Treasurer - Carman Cantelon - (519) 797-5356

I would be very pleased to help you with any questions or concerns you have about buying a leased land cottage, either now, or in the future, so please, give me a call at office (519) 797-5500 residence (519) 797-1818 or e-mail me.