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Historic Family-Owned Muskoka Waterfront Property Continues its Legacy with New Owners

Severn Lodge

With over 150 signed confidentiality agreements, 25 on-site tours and various offers received, Severn Lodge has been acquired by ‘Santa’s Village’ owners

Colliers experts collaborate to bring historic offering to market with unparalleled national exposure

A unique investment sale of a historic resort in the Muskoka Region has just closed at Colliers. Represented by Matthew Johnson, Mark Lester and Peter Davies, Severn Lodge piqued the interest of investors from across Canada.

Mark Lester, Senior Vice President, Unique Properties, Peter Davies, Senior Vice President, and Matthew Johnson, Senior Vice President, worked collaboratively across Canada to bring this offering to the market. Over 150 signed confidentiality agreements later, the team, on behalf of the sellers were able to secure the new owners of this historic waterfront property who plan to keep the operations going for the years to come.

Cottage country offers unique lodging establishment

The Muskoka Region lodge was established as a logging camp owned by the Georgian Bay Logging Company in the mid 1800’s. Its lush landscape and picturesque shoreline have been welcoming guests for over 150 years. The property is situated on almost 79 acres of land with over 1,200 feet of waterfront, and features 48 guest rooms and cabins, a historic dining room, a lakeside pool and sandy beach. It is one of the last few Muskoka destinations still operated as an all-inclusive family resort.

Severn Lodge has been attracting leisure and business travellers from around the world for over a century. Now the time has come for the family to pass on stewardship of this landmark resort to a new generation, to continue existing operations.

Traditions remain in place with new ‘Santa’s Village’ owners

The Property is located on Gloucester Pool, Port Severn, Ontario, just south of Muskoka’s Big Three Lakes (Rosseau, Joseph, Muskoka) and near the end of the world-famous Trent-Severn Waterway.

The new owners, Brad and Sara Dunkley, owners of Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, are excited to open the doors for the resort’s 119th season in mid-June and plan to continue the tradition of operating The Severn Lodge Resort as an all-inclusive family resort.

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For More Information, Please Contact:

Mark Lester

Senior Vice President l Unique Properties l Personal Real Estate Corporation


Since 1991 Mark Lester has represented some of Canada’s most spectacular properties. With an educational background in city planning and professional experience as a planner and real estate consultant in Vancouver and Toronto, Mark entered the real estate brokerage world with a unique and informed perspective.  Mark’s level of expertise in the marketing and valuation of complex and high profile properties has been recognised by a diverse and discerning client base. 

To bring his clients a refined expertise in the sale of unique real estate assets, Mark founded the Unique Properties practice at Colliers International in the late 1990s.  Part of his approach was to ensure that the practice established a strong digital presence, yet maintained a pro-active approach to marketing.   Since that time, Mark has led the sale of over 25 private islands, Canada’s largest cattle ranch, numerous resorts and development sites, marinas, golf courses, forestry lands and  long list of other unique properties throughout Canada and globally, with a combined value of over $1 billion.  Both clients and the real estate industry recognize Mark’s business acumen, his thoughtful and creative approach, his discretion, his commitment to relationships, and his relentless pursuit towards a successful outcome.

Mark is widely recognized as a foremost expert in the marketing and sale of unique assets such as:

·        Private Islands

·        Ranches

·        Agricultural Lands and Agri-Businesses

·        Rural Land

·        Development Properties 

·        Resorts, Lodges and Hospitality Assets

·        Golf Courses

·        Marinas

·        Waterfront Estates

·        Forestry and Resource Lands

·        Foreclosure Properties 



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Matthew Johnson

Senior Vice President I Sales Representative

Toronto Downtown

​Throughout my career, I have been passionate about the development of real estate strategies and helping significant organizations optimize their facilities.  Each entity that we advise is unique, and our strategies are tailored to meet the business and operational requirements of each individual client.  We understand our clients have unique facility and property needs, and we have developed extensive technical knowledge as a result. 

Working with many organizations in the med-tech and life sciences field, as well as prominent charitable and insitutional organizations with sensitive populations  - we prioritize understanding the busines and operational needs of our clients and the needs of their clients.  We understand that the people whom drive the success and productivity of our client organizations are their most important assets.  Our strategies are built to ensure that our clients' people thrive and enjoy their work environments.

I have had the privilege to work with talented people at leading organizations in various sectors including:  Think Research ,Synaptive Medical, eSight, Perimeter Medical Imaging, Ronald McDonald House, Plan International Canada, Unifor, Toronto Lands Corporation, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Durham Catholic District School Board, Durham District School Board, Toronto United Church Council, and many others.  My team's diverse experience with occupiers in both the private and public sector provides me with a broad perspective built upon an extensive foundation of real estate knowledge, allowing me to deliver the highest level of service to my clients. 

To learn more about our team's specialized service offering, and technical knowledge, please contact me at (416) 643.3754, or feel free to email me any time at


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Peter Davies

Senior Vice President, Sales Representative

Toronto Downtown

Peter Davies is a Senior Vice President and has been with Colliers for over 20 years. He is a commercial real estate investment and office leasing specialist, and he holds the CCIM designation working out of Colliers downtown Toronto office.

Since early 2002, Peter has worked with a wide diversity of non-profit and for-profit organizations, investors, developers, and office tenants across the Greater Toronto Area, Canada, the U.S., and numerous global markets.

Peter has led over 110 investment sale and purchase transactions totaling over $520 million in asset value plus over 400 office leasing (tenant representation) transactions.

Recent sale projects he has led include an array of development sites, multi-family apartment buildings, community centers, schools, churches, camps, resorts, townhouse complexes, breweries, and numerous land sites and office buildings.

Peter's advisory work with tenants on office leasing transactions extends to both small firms and international corporations in all major Canadian markets.

Peter’s key strengths lie in his ability to effectively collaborate and communicate with the diverse stakeholders involved in long term projects.  He employs a strategic focus of advising his clients on how to minimize real estate costs, reduce risk, and maximize flexibility regardless of the transaction type. He provides defensible real estate solutions which support the mission, values, and vision of the organizations he represents.

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