Seized Michael’s Bay properties listed for sale for $1.5 million

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MANITOULIN – The property containing the former Royal Michael’s Bay Resort appeared on the real estate market last Wednesday, July 15, including the main property containing the lodge and roughed-in golf course as well as a four-bedroom log home and a 3,600-square-foot heated workshop with attached apartment, and two other related properties.

“We’re certainly happy to have the opportunity to sell this property,” said Chris Bousquet, broker of record at Little Current-based J. James Bousquet Realty Inc. Brokerage.

The main property (MLS: 2087327) is 116 acres in size and contains the former Royal Michael’s Bay Resort.

The lodge is roughly 6,000 square feet in size and includes a basement. The 1,500-square-foot log home is 1.5 stories tall and also has a basement and a single garage.

This listing runs just shy of a $1 million price tag, a price Mr. Bousquet said was determined by government-hired appraisers as well as the opinion of his brokerage.

Also listed with Mr. Bousquet are a pair of Carter Bay lots of approximately one acre (MLS: 2087325). These are located on the waterfront in the Municipality of Central Manitoulin and their zoning does not permit building of any kind.

On Carter Bay Road, a seasonal log home situated on 105 acres (MLS: 2087326) with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a finished two-bay garage is the third and final piece of property within of this collection. It is listed at $445,000.

Mr. Bousquet said the government contacted a few local brokers to submit a proposal to list the property and his brokerage was the successful bidder.

Stephen Rolston of J. A. Rolston Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage, also of Little Current, said he had not heard from the government regarding the bid process for becoming the listing agent.

Mr. Bousquet predicted strong interest in the main property given the low inventory of places for sale and the strong demand from people looking to move away from the city, especially as more businesses shift to a work-from-home model and commute times become less of a barrier.

The resort property is zoned as rural and is taxed in the residential and commercial categories, according to Tehkummah Township clerk-administrator Silvio Berti.

He added that there are adjacent properties to the east that are zoned shoreline residential or planned development. These are registered as such within the District of Manitoulin’s official plan, schedule B7—Tehkummah Township land use, as maintained by the Manitoulin Planning Board.

Mr. Bousquet said given the tax and zoning classifications, a prospective buyer may have to apply to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation to have the property re-classified for their intended use. He added that commercial use may require township and planning board approval, depending on the circumstances.

Royal Michael’s Bay Resort has been under the stewardship of the government of Canada after the Belgian government determined its citizens had bought the land using proceeds of crime. 

The Belgians said Claire and Walter Vandroemme had been selling bovine growth hormone (an illegal substance in Canada and the European Union) and that they bought Michael’s Bay with those funds. 

Michael’s Bay was once the largest settler town on Manitoulin Island at the turn of the 20th century but it has been a ghost town for more than a century.