Beach O Pines in Grand Bend is Where the Rich Relax


Grand Bend is primarily known for its Main Street strip, expansive beach and warm waters, and its nightlife. But Grand Bend is also a place for the rich and wealthy to unwind. Located just south of Grand Bend is a very private little hamlet called Beach O Pines. To those that vacation there, Beach O’ Pines is the jewel in the crown of Grand Bend. 

Beach O’ Pines is a gated community of gorgeous cottages and lakefront property. Situated on the beach right next Pinery Provincial Park, it’s prime real estate. It’s a private area, with folks who like the quiet and keep to themselves. These aren’t the typical partiers that flood Grand Bend every summer.

Way back in 1929, a summer resort developer from Detroit named Frank Salter got starry-eyed when he first laid eyes on the area. He saw the gorgeous beaches and towering oak and pine trees, and immediately started making plans for a massive resort. Salter didn’t get too far though, as the Great Depression cut short his plans for a luxury resort.

Salter was not the only one to see how gorgeous this local area really is. One of Beach O’ Pines most famous cottage owners was very nearly the President of the United States. Former American presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his siblings inherited their cottage from their Dad, a former Michigan Governor and president of American Motors.

Did you hear the story about Mitt Romney going on vacation with his dog in a kennel strapped to the roof of his car? Well, Beach O’ Pines is where he was headed.

Beach O’ Pines also has a place in Canadian history. In 1948, when trying to sell her property, resident Annie Noble realized there was a legal clause in the deed that said only white or Caucasian people could own land there. There was some debate back and forth and the Ontario Court originally let it slide, but the Supreme Court of Canada overruled the lower court and axed the law in 1950.

Beach O’ Pines, like the rest of Grand Bend, is a special place to those who discover it. It’s forever etched in Canadian history as a place where people come to escape. Thankfully, Grand Bend is too good not to share.

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Stephanie Donaldson —

Mitt’s dad George was president of American Motors.

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