18 May

Formosa Island a Presidents Place in Muskoka

Formosa Island on Lake Rosseau, Canada was once the beloved summer home of United States President Woodrow Wilson. He began visiting Muskoka in the 1890s with his family. In 1901 he purchased 100 acres near the Royal Muskoka Hotel that included Formosa Island. He was very protective of the land and would send out warnings not to light fires or cut any trees down. He had big plans for the property that included a camp, boathouse, wharf, ice and bath house. He served as the President of Princeton University, became the 34th Governor of NJ and then elected as the 28th US President from 1913-1921. He got a little busy and apparently never set foot in Muskoka after that. There is a curious story that in August of 1914 he signed the guest register of the Bala Bay Inn however there was no official record of him being in Canada as WWI was breaking out. One year before his death in 1924 at age 67 he would reminisce about Muskoka with his wife Eleanor, “ do you remember our picnics there and your mother reading poetry under the pines?” Muskoka continues to be an enchanting place and has touched many people for well over a century.

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

20 Jul

They Say Its Your Birthday

Last fall I was cruising through Bala and noticed the Bala Bay Inn was deserted so I thought I would set up my trusty tripod and snap a few. This past weekend marked the 100th anniversary celebration of the famous and apparently haunted Muskoka Inn.  After seeing my photo the management of the Bala Bay asked if they could use it in their newsletter which of course I obliged.
Also see The Ghosts of Muskoka.

In: in and around muskoka ontario

29 Nov

The Ghosts of Muskoka

I decided I would take the long way home and drove through Bala early this morning. It was dead quiet and I noticed an empty Bala Bay Inn parking lot so I did a little u-turn and headed back for a few quick snaps.

The Bala Bay Inn was built in 1910 by Ephraim Browning Sutton from Leads in Yorkshire, England. Initially it was named The Swastika Hotel and due to the unpolitical correctness of the times it was renamed to the Sutton Manor in the early ’30s. In 1945 the name was changed to The Bala Bay Lodge, and in 1998 to The Bala Bay Inn.

E.B. Sutton died in room #319 of the hotel in 1917 and many of the staff and patrons say the Inn is haunted by him. There are Muskoka ghost tours and even seances that have been held here for you paranormal types.


Please click on the image for a 1280 pixel sized photo

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

design & theme by Nikola Lazarevic