On Lake Simcoe’s Friday Harbour, cottage dreams are developer’s nightmare
Friday Harbour sits at the mouth of an abandoned Lake Simcoe marina, a resort development that promises city-weary Torontonians a year-round escape from the blistering pace of their lives for less than the cost of a decent downtown condominium.
The developer is quick to talk up the 242-hectare site’s many amenities. The 2,000-some lakeside units, tucked in alongside a nature reserve, will range in price from $250,000 to a $1-million. They’ll eventually sit next to a new golf course, a 400-room hotel, an amphitheater and dozens of high-end shops and restaurants.
Buyers need not even worry about their carbon footprints. The site is about 12 kilometres from the Barrie South GO Station, meaning anyone with a decent bike could make the trip to cottage country without ever sticking a key into an ignition.
While it sounds pretty idyllic, reality is a little more complicated. Markham-based Geranium Corp. launches a massive marketing effort this weekend that will culminate with a sales centre opening in the fall, but the company won’t dwell on the 10-year legal battle that has dogged developer Earl Rumm every step of the way, costing both him and his opponents tens of millions of dollars.