Minnicock Lake – A Lifestyle to Be Valued

by Victoria Sisson & Anthony vanLieshout

According to a May 2010 poll conducted by Angus Reid, and commissioned by Royal LePage Real Estate Services, almost half of Canadians considering buying a recreational property will do so to enhance their lifestyle, with Ontario at the highest level of 49%. The three most important requirements of this purchase were waterfront/beach access (60%), four season use (47%), and peace and quiet (40%).

One third of those who responded to the poll said they will not have to make any financial or lifestyle changes in order to make the purchase. Canada’s stronger than expected economic recovery, the resulting rebound in stock portfolios, and increased stability in personal finances have encouraged the Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers aged 35 to 55 to seize the opportunities to purchase recreational properties at every price point.

It is primarily these Boomers and Gen X’ers, embracing a more active and eco friendly lifestyle for themselves and their children, who will be looking for the peace, serenity and natural beauty of a place like Minnicock Lake; making it a very desirable oasis for many looking to purchase recreational property. More inclined to kayak, canoe, hike, and snowshoe than race jet-skis and motorboats, these buyers will seek out a safe and restful haven surrounded by neighbours with the same lifestyle values and beliefs.

The determination to protect this jewel in the Haliburton Highlands, and the ability to find like-minded purchasers, has allowed the property owners to maintain and enforce the original Minnicock Lake Restrictive Covenant. This legally enforceable document outlines the restrictions necessary to maintain the natural qualities of the lake and its community, and restricts water craft motors to a 6 horse-power maximum. Registered for a thirty year term by the original developers of the lake in 1968, it was replaced in 2000 by a newly registered covenant for a twenty year term on most of the lake properties.

It has been only the unified dedication of the Minnicock Lake property owners to support each other in their shared mission to maintain the natural and quiet nature of their community that has kept the Restrictive Covenant in place.

Another unique aspect of this group was the creation of the Minnicock Lake Charter in 1997. A statement of principles shared by the property owners, it was signed by representatives of 100% of the property owners at the time. Most of the principles of the charter could (and should) be applied to all of us in the way we interact with our environment, neighbours, and community.

With references to responsible forest management, protecting the wildlife, and maintaining the natural shoreline, the Minnicock Lake Charter reflects the very mindset held by those searching for a tranquil cottage experience. And we haven’t been able to find another lake in Haliburton County, or elsewhere, with a similar agreement!

So, with 40% of recreational buyers in Ontario looking for peace and quiet, and Baby Boomers looking for a healthier, and more eco friendly lifestyle, a small natural lake in a safe, family friendly community might be of considerable value to many people.

The Minnicock Lake Cottagers Association has been able to maintain the natural condition of their lake for decades with a spirit of pride, co-operation, and respect for each other, and the environment. We can only hope that the stewards of Minnicock Lake will continue to maintain their quiet vigilance in the years to come, and that many will learn from their example.

Victoria Sisson & Anthony vanLieshout
Broker of Record Royal LePage Lakes of Haliburton Brokerage