26 May

The wrecking ball takes down another historic Muskoka landmark.

Marygrove (formerly Glen Home Hotel) was an important historical structure on the shores of Lake Joseph, Muskoka. It was a rare example of streamline moderne architectural style built in 1939.

It was operated as the Glen Home Hotel until labour day 1974. In 1975 it was purchased by the Sisters of St. Joseph and used as a seasonal religous retreat, renamed Marygrove. The Sisters put the site up for sale last year with no takers. They recently applied for rezoning from commercial to residential and received a demolition permit from town council. It seems the property is more marketable by carting everything off to landfill and making 4 new cottage lots. They wasted no time in tearing it down. Below is a photo showing part of the structure that’s still standing. Next week it will become a memory.

Other Photos of Marygrove

Article from the Bracebridge Examiner

Article from the Globe and Mail

Article from The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario

Marygrove Lake Joseph

In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, tripin around towns

8 Responses
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  1. They didn’t waste any time, did they? I believe the entire Heritage society for the area resigned over it….

  2. Ed Boutilier says:

    I don’t think you would see this happen in any major urban area. The sisters knew they purchased a commercial designated property 33 years ago and enjoyed its use. Commercial properties and a historical one like this have limited interest but so what – it is what it is. The town council should never have allowed a rezoning and demolition permit for this site regardless of what the property value would be worth as residential – shame on them.

  3. This property was not really appreciated during its life in Muskoka, as there is not sufficient education about architectural styles for people to really appreciate it or its significance. Many people thought of it as an ugly old building, as opposed to a structure like Windermere House, which has been loved by most.

  4. May I have a copy of this picture to add to my collection? I will exchange it for picutes that I took of the interior about three years ago.

  5. Ed says:

    Thelma Jarvis said, “Many people thought of it as an ugly old building”

    Funny you say that – When I was over at the Lake Joe Club having a drink and looking across at the destruction the young lady serving said Ewww! it was ugly anyways …

  6. Daria Locke says:


    I love your photo of Marygrove! Heritage magazine, a publication by the Heritage Canada Foundation is including Marygrove on their Worst Losses List of 2008 and we’re in need of a photo. Would you be willing to share yours with us? Email me if you’re interested. We’ll include a photo credit to you and mail you a copy upon publication.

  7. Judy says:

    I agree that Marygrove was an ugly building. Our family spent many wonderful summers at Pinelands Resort and our kids’ Lake Joseph vacations were cut short when it was demolished. We still mourn the demolition of Pinelands and the redevelopment of its property (we can’t afford those timeshares!) We love good historic architecture, but having once sat at the bar of the Lake Joseph Club, we felt the Marygrove was an eyesore and ruined the bucolic view across the lake. Let’s hope no “monster cottages” are built in its place.

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