The prices for floating homes can vary as much as regular homes depending on the size, quality and features. In 2020, floating homes in Toronto sold anywhere from $600,000 to over $1 million. Because only 25 floating homes are allowed in the City of Toronto, demand for them is high, and their values continue to rise.
Floating homes are solid structures built on concrete barges that float. Despite their massive weight, they will sway ever so slightly with the waves. On a normal day, you will likely not even notice the movement. On a windy day, floating homes will rock with the wind, but not nearly as much as houseboats. After some time living on a floating home, you’ll likely have adapted to the movement. It doesn’t take long to get your sea legs.
Yes, the float homes in Toronto are suitable for permanent, year-round living. Each house comes equipped with electricity, heat and water. They were also built to R2000 standards and insulated better than most homes. They have furnaces for heat and many have gas fireplaces. Most of the current owners live in their float homes all year long.
Float homes are constructed just like regular homes. The only difference is that instead of sitting on a foundation on land, they sit on a concrete barge that floats. The concrete is extremely strong and typically needs no maintenance during the float home’s lifespan.
Each of the float homes is equipped with a septic holding tank underneath, along with sewage connections maintained by the Marina. The tank needs to be pumped out every one to two months, depending on how many people live in the house, by connecting a house from the outside of the house to an attachment on the dock. You can do it yourself or pay the Marina to do it for a small fee.
It takes a lot of effort to move a floating home, but it can be done. They need to be towed by one or more boats, and can only be moved in calm weather. Most of Toronto’s floating homes are permanently moored in their location, where they have all the necessary Marina connections for water, sewage and electricity.
Floating homes can vary in size just like regular homes. Most of Toronto’s floating homes range from 700 sq. ft. for a one-storey house, to 1,500 for a two-storey house. And that doesn’t count all of the levels of decking, including, in most cases, a 700 sq. ft. top level open air deck.
Float home owners pay a portion of the Marina’s property taxes, which is included in their monthly mooring fee (similar to a condo maintenance fee). It typically works out to less than $1,000 per year, much less than property taxes on land.
No, there is no land transfer tax on float homes in Toronto.
Yes, each float home comes with two parking spots, along with two remote FOBs to access the gated area.
Living on a floating home in the winter is magical. The tourists disappear, the seasonal boats get taken out of the water, and you have the entire lake to yourself. Unlike boats and houseboats that require equipment to keep ice from forming around them, floating homes can completely freeze in without being damaged. Their concrete foundations are built to handle the pressure.
On top of that, you’ll never need to shovel another driveway again since the Marina maintains the dock and parking lots. The City also frequently plows the big hill to Bluffer’s Park, so getting up and down isn’t a problem.
And, despite what you might think, it doesn’t get too cold. The floating homes are located in a protected cove of Lake Ontario, sheltered by the towering Bluffs.
Yes, float home owners in Toronto pay a monthly mooring fee to the Marina, similar to a condo maintenance fee. The fee includes the slip for your float home, water, a share of the Marina’s property taxes, and Marina maintenance of electricity, sewer and water connections. It it typically around $700. Electricity is not included, but is metered individually by house.
During the summers, Bluffer’s Park receives a lot of visitors. However, the floating homes are largely hidden from view behind trees, which also help to block out some of the noise. All Marina parking lots are closed at 11pm and loud noise must also stop by then. Police maintain a regular presence to ensure the laws are followed. Inside the gated area where the floating homes are, it is usually calm, quiet and people are respectful of other’s privacy and right to quiet enjoyment.
Yes! Chances are at any given time there is a floating home for sale or a float home owner thinking of selling. However, because of the high demand, many floating homes are sold privately or off-market. Contact our team today to find out which floating homes are for sale now or coming up for sale soon!
Stefanie Carmichael is a real estate salesperson who specializes in floating homes. She lives and raises her toddler son on one, her parents live on one, and she just loves them. She knows what to look for when buying one, and can tell you all about what life is like on a floating home in Toronto. As a member of the tight-knit floating home community in Toronto, she also has first insights into when a new floating home is coming up for sale.