Muskoka is Ontario’s favourite year-round vacation destination. Covering more than 4000 sq kms of towering pines, sparkling lakes and rivers, endless recreational activities, diversified culture and genuine friendly service, Muskoka will have you under its spell on your first visit.
Just a 90-minute drive north of Canada’s business capital and Pearson International Airport, the gateways to Muskoka – Highway 11 North at Severn Bridge and in Port Severn – are an easy drive from Toronto. The moment you arrive, you’ll immediately feel the magic of the region: the pink granite rock of the Canadian Shield welcomes you as the roar of our many picturesque waterfalls and the charming beauty of our towns and villages enliven your spirit and imagination.
Established in 1971, Muskoka is comprised of the following municipalities: Town of Bracebridge, Township of Georgian Bay, Town of Gravenhurst, Town of Huntsville, Township of Lake of Bays and the Township of Muskoka Lakes. (1)
The District Municipality of Muskoka stretches from the vast wilderness of Algonquin Park in the east to the rugged windswept shores of Georgian Bay in the west.
As the home of roughly 650 different lakes, the number of water-based recreation activities are near limitless. Fishing, boating, and swimming are common pastimes for locals as well as visitors.
Almost every town boasts its own theatre as well as other arts and entertainment options including annual festivals and fairs. In addition, the many resorts in the region hold concerts and other events. Some of Muskoka’s most popular attractions include the Huntsville Theatre Company, Gravenhurst Opera House, Huntsville Festival of the Arts, and the Actors’ Colony Theatre. Visitors also enjoy the entertainment provided at the Destination Rosseau Festival, Algonquin Theatre, and the Cottage Country Comedy Festival. (2)
This region, which, along with Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, and Peterborough County is referred to as “cottage country”, sees over 2.1 million visitors annually. Muskoka is a scenic area sprinkled with picturesque villages and towns, farming communities, and lakeside vacation hotels and resorts near to golf courses, country clubs, and marinas. The regional government seat is Bracebridge and the largest population centre is Huntsville.
The name of the municipality derives from a First Nations chief of the 1850s. Lake Muskoka was then the hunting grounds of a band led by Chief Yellowhead or Mesqua Ukie. He was revered by the government, who built a home for him in Orillia where he lived until his death at the age of 95.
Quintessential Cottage Country.
Families have gathered here for generations to revel in true wilderness. The 2,500-square-mile area includes 8,699 miles of shoreline, 17 historic towns and villages, and innumerable waterfalls and lakes framed by the peaks of Algonquin Provincial Park to the east and the isles of Georgian Bay Islands National Park to the west.
There’s plenty to do here but nothing you’d put on an agenda. Lounge with friends, barbecue everything, watch the night sky from the dock in the pitch black, play board games while listening to the rain. And run around barefoot all day. (3)
Muskoka Is World Renowned.
Muskoka has 60,000 permanent residents, but an additional 100,000 seasonal property owners spend their summers in the region every year, making this a major summer colony. Many of the seasonal properties are large mansion-like summer estates, some of which have been passed down through families from generation to generation. Most of these expensive properties can be found along the shores of Muskoka’s three major lakes: Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, and Lake Joseph. In recent years, various Hollywood and sports stars have built retreats in Muskoka, including Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Mike Weir, Martin Short, Harry Hamlin, Cindy Crawford, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
The Muskoka region was ranked #1 for best trips of 2011 by National Geographic. Also was among the best trips of 2012 by National Geographic. (4)
(1) Muskoka Tourism Board, “Experience The Magic Of Muskoka” – Accessed June 7, 2016. http://www.discovermuskoka.ca/about-muskoka1.html
(2) Muskoka Steamship & Historical Society, “Stats, Facts and Fun Info About Muskoka Region” – Accessed June 7, 2016. http://realmuskoka.com/uncategorized/stats-facts-and-fun-info-about-muskoka-region/
(3) National Geographic, “Best Trips 2012” – Accessed June 7, 2016. http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-2012/#/botw-main-gallery-muskoka_41329_600x450.jpg
(4) Wikipedia, “District Municipality Of Muskoka” – Accessed June 7, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_Municipality_of_Muskoka