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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Spring 2017 > Everybody wants in

Everybody wants in

Who wouldn’t want this view? How some buyers found theirs, and the five trends shaping the 2017 market

Real Estate

People own cottages to escape the city, but what if the city won’t let them escape? That’s how things felt for Tammy and David Aspinall. Living in Toronto during the early years of their marriage, they sometimes talked about getting a second property for themselves and their young twins. As a kid, David had spent lots of time at a family cottage on Georgian Bay, Ont., and hoped to give his own children the same experience. But like many two-income couples—Tammy works in the oil industry, David in IT—they found themselves tied down by the routines of big-city life: the hectic commutes, the daycare drop-offs and pickups, the demands of work. What’s more, whenever they visited friends’ cottages, they were staggered by how hard it was just to get out of the urban maelstrom. “We hated leaving the city because of the traffic,” says Tammy. On most weekends, they’d beat the traffic by staying in town: hire a sitter for Friday date nights, followed by Saturdays in city parks. Still, like more and more families across the country, the Aspinalls were asking: how do we get away?

Trend 1

Escape the hectic city

In 2013, the Aspinalls found the answer. They’d recently moved to Calgary, another gridlocked city. But on a weekend ski trip that first winter, they stopped for gas in Canmore. “I stepped out of the car and just went, ‘Wow,’ “ Tammy says. “It was so beautiful, with the main street in the valley, and the mountains on both sides. I thought, This is where we should be.” So they purchased a four-season recreational property there. It’s a detached cabin in a condo development, not the kind of waterfront cottage experience David had as a kid, but one that allows for year-round active living.

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About Cottage Life

Cottage Life kicks off the season with a Get-Ready Guide! 138 pages of inspiration and advice including our 2017 real estate trend report, timeless advice from seasoned cottager Roy MacGregor, 10 easy DIY jobs anyone can do, a primer on generators, easy tinnie hacks, a hard-working ATV trailer, tips for setting up the kitchen and simple opening up meals, plans for building a deer-proof planter box, and ideas for converting a trailer into a guest bunkie. Plus, the restoration of a 200-year old Cape Breton cottage, and how a couple scored a $59,000 dream cottage.