What is Voyageur Bay?
Voyageur Bay is the last great real estate development on the Ottawa River, named after Samuel de Champlain, the original voyageur, who camped here in 1613. It’s a 500-acre unspoiled wilderness parcel with 4 km of spectacular waterfront where the whitewater section flows into Rocher-Fendu lake. It’s a unique combination of whitewater/flatwater, river/lake close to population centres that exists nowhere else in Canada.
What is a Voyageur?
The simple answer is a resident of Voyageur Bay. But the real one is an explorer, adventurer, lover of nature and life, all with an inquisitive mind. A perfect symbol is Champlain.
Where is Voyageur Bay?
VB is in the heart of Whitewater Region 99 km west of Kanata off of Grants Settlement Road. Driving time from Kanata is 67 minutes. The closest village is Foresters Falls.
Who is Voyageur Bay?
VB is Wilderness Tours’ Founder/Owner, Joe Kowalski and his grown-up children, National Team Kayakers, Joel and Katie. Joe has been on the river now 43 years and Joel and Katie all their lives. Joe came to the Ottawa Valley from Pennsylvania and became a Canadian Citizen shortly after starting Wilderness Tours. Joel and Katie are dual citizens as well and could live/work anywhere in the US or Canada. They want to be here.
Why is Voyageur Bay?
Being ex-military, Joe travelled the world before settling down on the Ottawa River. With that perspective, he knew the Ottawa was special. As the last remaining whitewater on the most historical river in Canada, it required protection and preservation. Failing to secure National Park status, Joe decided to “do it himself” acquiring over 5,000 acres along both sides of the river, a heroic (expensive) task.
Unfortunately, there is still more land in the whitewater section to protect without the funds to do it.
For that reason, Joe sold off his farmland and is now selling lots to finance the dream of protecting the entire whitewater section. Joe calls it “Living with Champlain’s Ghost”. The proceeds from Voyageur Bay will go to preserving more whitewater upstream. Becoming a “Voyageur” is a win for everyone, especially the river.
When is Voyageur Bay?
It’s now! Lot 4 is available now and Lots 5 and 6 will be available next year.
How much is Voyageur Bay?
Un-serviced waterfront lots sell between $159k – $249k depending on location and size. Hilltop lots will be less. Hilltop lots will have communal water access and picnic area.
What makes Voyageur Bay so special?
Simple, it’s the best property in the best location in Canada for paddlesports and an active lifestyle.
It is in the heart of Canada’s paddlesports capital and is surrounded by more than 500 acres of wilderness.
How many lots are there in the development?
There is the potential for about 30 lots and a few will become available each year.
What are the lots like?
Canadian Shield is the predominant geology meaning 2-billion year old granite that has fractures on the exposed areas with light overburden. The best description is “rugged beauty” with spectacular water views.
What about motor boats?
As the paddlesports capital of Canada, we’re partial to non-motorized craft. Please see covenants for details. The developer will retain control of the boat launch water access point and abusers will lose access privileges.
Are there Covenants?
The development has covenants to protect each lot owner’s interests and preserve the natural beauty of the land and the area. The covenants include architectural guidelines, minimum lot maintenance, preservation of tree coverage, landscaping practices to preserve the waterfront, rules governing the use of the water access lots for the exclusive benefit of the lot owners. No home/cottage is to be overpowering or visually dissonant with its neighbours. The covenants are contained in Schedule C of the Lot Purchase Agreement.
Will there be a Property Owners' Association?
The developer plans to retain control of property covenants and legal title to water access parcels until patterns of use become established. Once this is clear, it is the developer’s intent to create an association and transfer control of the access areas to it for long term governance.
How long do I have to build my home/cottage?
Purchasers are under no obligation to build within a defined time period. That said, the developer’s vision is to establish a vibrant community quickly. This will protect the value of the properties, and make the community more enjoyable to live in. There is a time limit of two years from the start of building until the exterior of the home is complete.
How does the Shoreline Licence affect my waterfront property?
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) retains all the shoreline above and below its generating stations to protect itself from liability issues caused by changing water levels caused by hydro generation. Adjoining landowners receive license to use OPG lands. However, there is no building on OPG lands
The extent of the shoreline to which the licence area applies has been defined by survey to protect buyers from uncertainty. Iron survey bars and more visible cedar posts provide a clear physical reference to the shoreline dedicated to each waterfront lot.
What about docks and boathouses?
Floating boat docks and boat docks that have feet that rest on the bottom of the water body are permitted to a certain size outlined in the covenants. Boathouses are not permitted.
What is the average depth of the water?
Four to eight feet out from the shoreline, the average water depth is 4 to 10+ feet, quickly dropping in most cases to 20’ to 65’ deep with some deep holes close to 200’deep.
What is the status of the road(s)?
The paved road is Grants Settlement Road, aka River Road is maintained year-round. Dittburner Road is gravel but is maintained year-round by Whitewater Region. Pettigrew Road is a municipal unmaintained road. The developer has an agreement with the municipality for the developer to maintain the road. For now, Voyageur Bay road is owned and maintained by the developer. When the road is up to a certain standard near the end of the project, the cost of maintenance will be shared by the owners. The developer will plough both Pettigrew road and Voyageur Bay road for winter occupancy. Snowplowing and sanding costs will be shared equally by the owners accessing their property in winter.
Is the clearing of trees controlled?
Yes. The lots may be partially cleared to provide excellent views. A maximum of 50% of lot surface area may be cleared for house, yard, driveway and view purposes. No clear cutting or excessive tree cutting is allowed. To ensure privacy, cutting of trees along lot boundaries must be approved by the developer.
Are there any restrictions on out buildings (guest cabins)?
The Township zoning allows a garage but guest cabins are not permitted under the Municipal Bylaws.
Is there a minimum square footage requirement in the development?
Yes. The ground floor of the home or cottage must be a minimum of 900 square feet.
Will there be restrictions to running a business in the development?
Small professional businesses are allowed. No industrial business is allowed. Business signage is permitted, but it must be approved by the developer in writing.
What type of amenities will be available?
Lot Owners will receive discounts on all the amenities provided by Wilderness Tours and River Run like rafting, kayak school, bungee jumping etc.
Who owns the neighbouring land?
The Kowalski family owns most of the adjacent land, which is about 500 acres. Please see the property map. The other two long time owners are the Bell family and the Pettigrew family.
What is the developer’s plan for its retained lands?
Appropriate waterfront will be sold as lots. There will be some back lots with spectacular views sold.
The remaining lands will be for the enjoyment of Voyageurs. The original holding is over 500 acres so there is ample room for exploration. Use of the developer’s land will be through the Community Card Park Trail Pass.
Can lots be subdivided?
No. The covenants do not allow future severances. This is designed to protect the natural beauty and integrity of the development. In most cases, the lots are too small to be sub-divided further.
Who owns the islands in the river?
The islands upstream are either part of the Ottawa River Provincial Park (ON), Quebec Crown land or OPG.
What services does the Township provide?
None, other than maintaining Grants Settlement Road and Dittburner Road year-round.
What utility services are provided?
For now, none. The developer is working towards bringing hydro and internet fiber to Voyageur Bay road. Owners wishing to access hydro and internet will be responsible for the cost across their property.
Where can I store my boat or outdoor equipment?
There are a number of local boat service companies that provide winter storage and service for boats. Lot owners choosing to keep this equipment on their property must comply with a covenant that requires it not be visible from the public road or the river.
When can I apply for a Building Permit?
You can apply as soon as you have your building plans ready to submit with your application. The building permit application is located on the Township’s web site. All costs for permits, engineering, construction etc are at the owners expense.
What do I need to do before altering my lot site and grading?
The road has been built to incorporate natural drainage and run off. If you plan to alter your grading, make sure no swale or neighbouring drainage is disturbed. Owners are encouraged to seek the Township’s assistance and expertise before beginning a site alteration. Drainage easements also exist on some lots and these must be respected.
Are perimeter fences and gates allowed?
In keeping with the development’s commitment to open space and unfettered wildlife trails, lot perimeter fencing is not allowed. Individual house areas may be fenced.
Are there ski, golf and paddling privileges nearby?
The developer is working with area resorts on a Community Card Park Pass which comes with an annual trail pass, discounts etc.
What is the Whitewater Region community like?
Heaven on earth if you paddle and pretty darn nice if you don’t.
Who is attracted to Voyageur Bay?
For starters, Samuel de Champlain who camped here in 1613, hence the name.
The developer is also smitten and will be building on one of the lots. That’s how good it is.
Lot 1 is owned by Chris Thompson, Wilderness Tours river guide and founder/owner of Whitewater Brewery. Lot 2 Jason and Amber Finan, local Maple Syrup entrepreneurs and Lot 3 is Katie Quinn.
Katie is a long time Wilderness Tours river guide and Arctic/Antarctic guide for One Ocean. When not looking for polar bears and penguins, she is a guidance counsellor near the GTA.
Lot 7 is Alastair Baird, ex WT river guide, economic development officer for Renfrew County and owner of Canadian Wilderness Voyageurs along with his wife Darlene.
Good Neighbour Policy, Quiet Enjoyment and Property Values
“Voyageurs” are fun loving, adventure seeking nature lovers who want to enjoy the river, their property and community. They want their property value to go up, not down. That means everyone being a good neighbour. Trail access and launch access will be withheld from those who don’t respect the Voyageur value system.
Visibility from the river
Your docks, decks, cottages, homes etc need to blend in with the environment. We are all here to run the river and the view from the river is as important as the view to the river.
Do prices include HST?
No, 13% HST must be added to the prices shown