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The allure of living on the water is undeniable – and in the National Capital Region, it’s not hard to see why. From scenic views to endless recreational opportunities, there are countless advantages to owning a waterfront property. 

That being said, waterfront homes and cottages are a unique class of real estate. As a team of agents with several decades of experience, we’ve worked with a myriad of residential property types – including those on the water. 

If you’ve never owned property along a shoreline before, here are a few things to consider before rushing to the market. 

Thinking about buying a home in the National Capital Region? Check out these blog posts for helpful insights. 

Waterfront Properties in Ottawa

Riverfront Homes

In the National Capital Region, most waterfront properties sit along the Rideau and Ottawa rivers. Across the area’s many great communities, riverside homes range in size and style – including modern condo buildings, detached single-family houses, and larger rural properties. For buyers seeking a riverside dwelling, we recommend exploring Manotick, Kars, and Merrickville


Appealing to residents, tourists, and out-of-towners alike, there are a number of gorgeous waterside cottages located within a short distance of Ottawa. While cottages are more commonly used as vacation homes, occasionally some buyers may convert them into year-round residences. Along popular water bodies like Mississippi Lake, Big Rideau Lake, and Calabogie Lake, buyers will find both quaint shoreline communities and private cottage properties that are a little more secluded.

Want to know more about waterfront properties in the National Capital Region? Click here to read our blog post on the topic

An Unbeatable Lifestyle

One of the biggest draws to purchasing a waterfront home is the lifestyle. In the summer months, you’ll have activities like boating, swimming, paddleboarding, fishing and more right at your doorstep. During the winter, you may be able to skate, ice fish, or even play hockey if temperatures allow. 

Regardless of the season, it’s a lifestyle that offers plenty of peace and tranquillity. Living on the water means having direct access to unbeatable scenery and the charming ambience of the great outdoors whenever you like. 

Added Value

In addition to the lifestyle perks, owning a home along the water has certain advantages from an investment perspective. 

In a quickly-growing city like Ottawa, owning a home allows you to build personal equity over time. However, as waterfront listings can have limited availability, demand for these properties is often relatively high. Compared to traditional homes, this elevated demand can help increase the property value’s long-term appreciation.

Buying a home in Ottawa? Check out these other pages from our site.  

Before You Buy: Special Considerations

While owning a waterfront property does have plenty of benefits, there are a few special considerations to think about before you buy. 


While living next to a lake or river may be picturesque and peaceful, there are certain risks that come with the territory. Because nature can be unpredictable, environmental hazards such as flooding or erosion become unique considerations for property owners. 

With these factors in mind, a waterfront property often requires specialized insurance. Your agent can connect you with a local broker to find an insurance policy that best protects your home and property. 

Want to know more about homeowner’s insurance? Click here to read our interview with a local insurance broker.


In addition to the risk of adverse environmental events, a waterfront property will also take on general wear from the elements over time. With this in mind, it’s important to be prepared for the various maintenance tasks that a particular property would require.

These considerations will vary on a property-by-property basis. Rather than guessing, working with a real estate agent is the best way to get a complete picture of the potential risks or maintenance requirements that a specific property may involve.

Riparian Rights

If you’ve never heard of them before, riparian rights determine what you can (and can’t) do on your property along the water. With that in mind, understanding how they work is essential for anyone looking to buy a riverside or lakeside home. 

Depending on the area or municipality, you may not be able to make any modifications or changes to your property near the shoreline – which could in turn impact how you use and enjoy your home. For instance, you may be prevented from constructing a dock, fire pit, or other leisure structures. 

If you’re looking to purchase a waterfront home or cottage, it’s important to work with a real estate agent that has direct expertise in these types of properties. They’ll help you make sense of the special considerations that may come with a home you’re interested in. 

No matter what your ideal home may look like, the Wright Team can help you find it. Send us an email or call at 613-692-0606 to get started.