12 Sep
2019
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1899 Map and Chart of the Muskoka Lakes

There used to be an old log cabin on our cottage property that was built in 1924 by the Davidson family. The old cabin was dismantled around 2002 and taken somewhere else for future reconstruction. One day a contractor visited and gifted me this map that he found inside a wall of the old cabin on the property. I’ve since researched it and found it was published in 1899 by G. W. Marshall of Toronto. It includes an index of summer cottages, owners, hotels and boarding houses on the lakes. The map I have is a copy from 1975 by the Reverend Hugh G Carmichael of Bala, Ontario. Many of these old maps were made to show the railway lines and this one says, “Map showing the route of the Parry Sound Railway, Crane and Blackstone Lakes, Blackstone Harbor, Georgian Bay. I now have the map framed and mounted behind glass for the cottage wall. A nice little keepsake.

 



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario

02 Sep
2019
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The Peerless II

Ahoy Captain Randy Potts.! I was out on Lake Rosseau recently and crossed paths with the Peerless II boat. Always a pleasure to see her on the beautiful Muskoka waters.  The Peerless II ship was built in 1946 in Bronte, Ontario and operated for over 50 years as a gas and oil delivery vessel on the Musk0ka Lakes.  Captain Randy purchased the boat in 2003 restoring it and turning it into a popular tourist experience that leaves from the locks in Port Carling.  I highly recommend this intimate tour with interesting  historical commentary by Captain Randy. They do a tour of Millionaires Row on Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau and private tours for weddings or other social occasions.



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

20 Aug
2019
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Muskoka Modern

This photo is representative of the new style of architecture that adorns the shorelines of Muskoka Lakes. For the past decade many older family cottages have been torn down and replaced by large glass and steel structures. Some call them McMansions. I’m not being judgmental on whether this is right or wrong. Muskoka has always attracted power and wealthy people with unique tastes. This 7500 sq ft abode is currently available for a mere $14.75M CAD



In: boathouses of muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

13 Aug
2019
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A sure Sign of Cottage Life

S I G N S – A typical navigational aid in cottage country. Sorry GPS or an App won’t help you on this one. Strictly analog living 🙂



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

23 Jul
2019
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Rest Harbour Barn

This is the inside of an old barn that was on a property dating back to about 140 years. It was once owned by the Judd family who were well known in the Minett area of Muskoka. The barn and an old boathouse were for sale back when I photographed them in 2010. I was a little careful not to go prowling inside the barn as it didn’t look very safe. A year or so after my visit I heard the barn had collapsed to the ground. I noticed this little detail of a cross or shamrock at the peak of the roof. It is my last memory of the barn and I had hoped that whomever the new owners would be that they would save this as a momento. I was recently invited back to this property where the owners have built a architecturally beautiful cottage and boathouse. Unfortunately they were not aware of the carved detail and it was lost in the ruble. I was able to provide them with my photos of the boathouse and beautiful acreage they now enjoy.



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

15 Jul
2019
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FlyBoarding

Summer Water Sports or SWS puts on some great ski shows around the Muskoka area. If you have not caught one I highly recommend it. I was over at Clevelands House on Canada Day when I took a few snaps of these Flyboarders. Team SWS has some of the best water skiers and flyboarders in the world. They can even teach you these skills.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

09 Jul
2019
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Bruce the Moose is Loose

Meet Bruce the Moose. He’s been hanging out at a friends cottage for a couple of days. He is uncharacteristically friendly for some reason. A few people have chimed in on my Instagram page thinking that poor Bruce may be suffering from a deadly brain worm called Parelaphostrongylus Tenuis. I was out taking photos a few years back when a White-Tailed Deer walked right by maybe about 3 feet away. It was very strange at the time experiencing this. I now wonder if maybe he was suffering from the same affliction as Bruce.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns, uncategorized

05 Jul
2019
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X Marks the Spot

X marks the spot. Another boathouse in need of structural work on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka. I’ll watch to see if it comes down and gets replaced or if they repair it. It may be beyond repairs by the look of the structural damage. Either way it is going to be expensive. Please click on the image for a biggie size.



In: boathouses of muskoka, historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

24 Jun
2019
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Wyvern Boathouse

There is a nice quiet bay on Lake Rosseau I occasionally boat into and drop anchor for a swim. Not far away sits this historic boathouse called Wyvern. I know absolutely nothing about it other than the name emblazoned across the top. Over the years I am finding that many of these historic and unique boathouses are becoming neglected and are in need of some love. The neglect happens for a number of reasons including financial resources, aging owners not being involved and the next generation not caring. It takes a lot of money and care to upkeep these places. Just finding contractors to do the work is another factor. Unfortunately many of these places will eventually be bulldozed and replaced with something modern.



In: boathouses of muskoka, historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

09 Jun
2019
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Back in the Saddle

Finally! – some warmer weather to get out and do some boating. Even on the Victoria Day long weekend there was hardly a boat on the lakes. Only the odd marina service boat was out scuttling about. I’ve been out on my Seadoo a few times and took this photo the other day at sundown while exploring the middle of Lake Joe. iPhone photography.



In: boathouses of muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

28 May
2019
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Muskoka Magic Returns

It has been an unusual spring in Muskoka. With the recent flooding and continuation of chilly weather it has not been ideal for gardening, boating, swimming or just sitting on the patio or dock to enjoy a drink. There is promise in the air. Here is a photo I took during sunset the other night casting a very warm Muskoka magic glow.



In: boathouses of muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

29 Apr
2019
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Catastrophic Flooding Hits Muskoka

As you are probably aware by now Muskoka and other parts of Ontario are experiencing catastrophic flooding. It is not unusual to experience high water in Muskoka during the spring freshet however it is not normal to experience such serious flooding as we are getting now. The first large flood was in 2013 and I documented it on this Blog. There was another in 2017 and now an even bigger and likely more damaging flood happening right now.

Below are some of the photos of this disastrous 2019 flood mostly taken on Lake Muskoka. The brunt of the damage is on Lake Muskoka as both branches of the Muskoka River flow into it as well as water from Lakes Joseph and Rosseau. The Ministry follows a guideline set out by the Muskoka River Water Management Plan and draws down the lakes through the dam located in Bala, Ontario which exits into the Moon River and down to Georgian Bay. The draw down is supposed to prevent this kind of flooding. It appears everything was done according to plan however we still received disastrous results. There was a record amount of snow this winter combined with lots of rain during the run-off. It is difficult to say whether anything else could have been done to mitigate the damage resulting from these floods.

Photo disclaimer:
Please note that none of these photos belong to me. They have been gathered from various social media posts mainly Muskoka 411 News and RS Muskoka. I always like to acknowledge the original source of photos however it has been difficult to track everyone down due to the influx of photos posted. If I have posted your photo please let me know and I will gladly credit you and thank you for sharing.



In: boathouses of muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

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