13 Mar

Beaumaris Dock

Beaumaris is a well known settlement located on Tondern Island within Lake Muskoka. You can reach it by traveling off Hwy #118 at Milford Bay. It was an important transit point in the steamboat era and once hosted  the Beaumaris Hotel and a post office. Today there is a general store, marina, church, summer camp, yacht club and this cool government pier.

Please click on the image for a large size

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

18 Feb

Willmotts General Store

This is Willmotts General Store located in the Beaumaris area of Muskoka.  Beaumaris is located on Tondern Island which you simply drive over a bridge to get to.

From Wikipedia:  In 1873 McCarthy sold the island to Edward Prowse and John Harry Willmott for $1,560. The two divided the island in half with Willmott taking the northern and Prowse the southern half. The new owners named the settlement Beaumaris after the resort in Anglesey, Wales where they had vacationed. Prowse settled in the big white house while Willmott built a log house next to the site of the present day Willmott store. They cleared part of the land for pasture, built a dock for the newly arrived steamships and connected the island to the mainland by a small log bridge.

Willmotts Store

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

21 May

The Historic S.S. Bigwin Steamship

It was one of those murky days as I made my way through the town of Dorset and noticing the S.S. Bigwin steamship moored at the town docks with not a soul around.

A little history – In 1910 James Kuhn a Pittsburgh, PA industrialist launched a steamship on Lake Muskoka named after his wife Ella Marie. They spent their summers on Belle Isle (recently destroyed) just north of Beaumaris on Lake Muskoka. After experiencing financial difficulty the Ella Marie was sold some 15 years later and relocated to the Lake of Bays where she served as the ferry boat for Bigwin Island for the next 45 years.

At 66ft in length and a registered 25 tons the S.S. Bigwin would carry guests such as Clark Gable, Louis Armstrong, Winston Churchill, Greta Garbo and many other famous people out to the world-class Bigwin Inn on Bigwin island. Around 1970 the Bigwin Inn went out of business and the steamship was left to rot in her slip. In 1991 the Dwight Fire Department floated her to a local dock and then hauled  her onto a property in Port Cunnington where restoration started in 2002.

The S. S. Bigwin was relaunched again on July 10, 2010.
The Bigwin Floats Again


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

02 Mar

Where are the Humanoids?

We finally had a decent batch of freshly fallen snow so I decided to take a drive over to Tondern Island to see what was shakin’. If you haven’t been there you simply drive over a small bridge and all of a sudden you are on an island in Lake Muskoka. It looks real cool on a GPS because it doesn’t display the bridge part. As I drove around this little community I saw no signs of humanoids whatsoever. Only the sound of bubblers keeping the ice open.

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

29 Jun

Billionaires Row in Muskoka

Traveling up to the north end of Lake Joseph there is an area that people refer to as “Billionaires Row“.  Perhaps they are trying to “one up” Lake Muskoka’s Millionaires Row near Beaumaris. Well I have never seen any billionaires around (what do they look like?) however there are certainly some breathtaking abode’s that may reflect a billionaires eclectic tastes.

To get down to the waters edge on this log home it appears you may need to take a tram or perhaps a far reaching swan dive. Lets hope there is a well stocked fridge at the bottom.

Please click for biggie fries size

Please click the image for a large size photo

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

20 Apr

Gas up your Submarine in Muskoka

With a record snowfall of 18 feet this past winter the Muskoka lakes are experiencing very high water levels. Currently Lake Muskoka is about 18 inches above its normal mark. Since Lake Joseph and Rosseau are higher lakes that drain into Lake Muskoka the levels are not quite as severe. ( 8″ to 12″) Pictured below are the new underwater docks at the Beaumaris Marina on Lake Muskoka. Upon driving around Bala and Milford Bay areas it was quite common to see boathouses and docks submerged.

Muskoka Docks

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

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