Originally occupied by members of the Algonquin First Nation, Wasaga Beach stretches along the mouth of the Nottawasaga River, where the Algonquins would watch for Nottawa (Iroquois raiders) at the saga (river mouth).
The world’s longest freshwater beach is what attracted (and continues to attract) vacationers to Wasaga Beach on the shores of Georgian Bay. Some liked it so much that they decided to stay, and in the 1880s, Wasaga Beach made the leap from farming and a lumber mill to an actual town.
A story of sand
At the turn of the 20th Century, a hotel and a smattering of cottages marked Wasaga Beach, even then known as ‘The Beach’. The retreating glaciers of the last Ice Age dumped such incredible quantities of sand at the southern end of Georgian Bay that today’s waterfront properties are built on sand right down to the depths of their foundations.
The sand is impressive. Finely granulated white sand with black streaks stretches for 14 kilometres, forming an extra-wide beach and a warm bay where children can safely play in crystal, sand-bottomed water that grows deeper very gradually. Wasaga Beach is Blue Flag-certified and protected, as it forms part of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park.
From cottage to village
‘The Beach’ is a big favourite among weekenders and retirees, but more and more families are choosing to move here, as it’s more proximate to both Toronto and Barrie than Collingwood, (and very close to great skiing, golf and cycling), as well as more affordable.
Wasaga Beach is currently in the planning stages of its next evolution, with future redevelopment of Beach 1 and Beach 2 areas set to help it achieve its full potential as a town. ‘The Beach’ can’t be beat for sand and lakefront, which is why it harbours a good number of multimillion-dollar beachfront homes. Off the water, it’s much more affordable. If you’re looking for a cottage, a full-time residence or something in between, Wasaga Beach is an excellent option.
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