SILVER WATER—A massive tract of land called Vidal Bay Forest in Manitoulin’s West End is up for sale and its massive acreage could be yours for the mere pocket change of $24,700,000.
“This is probably one of the largest privately-owned stretches of land in Ontario,” says Gary Taylor, the real estate agent who has listed the property.
Vidal Bay Forest straddles Highway 540 between Silver Water and Meldrum Bay and is a small slice of what the whole of Manitoulin is like. Within its 20,141.29 acres lie lakes, streams, cascades, forests, meadows and 20 kilometres of waterfront on the North Shore of Lake Huron. Annual taxes are a mere $73,725.
“It’s open to many possibilities,” says Mr. Taylor. He is affiliated with Christies International Real Estate, the real estate branch of the global fine art auction company.
“We’ve approached many different types of interested parties, from the government to private sources that we have, and it’s really hard to say who might actually end up buying it,” says Mr. Taylor. He adds that some of the interested buyers might want the land for natural resources extraction or just as a place to park money for a period of time.
“It’s a very special spot in our area here. It’s hard to say who will come forward on it,” he says.
Hudson Management, based in Milton, Delaware, is the current owner of the property. The family-run company owns hotels, a multi-use sports facility and a truss-building company. They had originally purchased the land from Abitibi-Price, a company that now exists as Resolute Forest Products.
Hudson Management did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
The original use of the property was for a massive wind turbine project. However, changes in government and reduced incentives for renewable resource technology made the project less viable than anticipated and the Hudson family decided to sell off the land.
Despite its hefty price tag, Mr. Taylor says initial interest in the property has been promising.
“We have had verbal offers from people, no written offers to date but there has been tremendous interest,” says Mr. Taylor.
Ultimately, he says Manitoulin remains an attractive place to live and he expects the land will end up with a suitable buyer.
“I’m not surprised it attracts people from all over the world. It’s that kind of place,” says Mr. Taylor. “We invite all inquiries on it.”
Further details on Vidal Bay Forest can be found through the Chestnut Park Real Estate Brokerage website at ChestnutPark.com, including a photo gallery and drone footage of the property. The property can also be found in the New York Times’ real estate listing, for a cool $18 million USD.