15 Aug
2013
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Touristy Santa

I recommended this dude slip into the obligatory t-shirt and sneaks but he would have no part of it. Strolling around the wharf in Gravenhurst.

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

04 Jul
2013
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Happy Feet!

The latest fashion trend in cottage country according to my 15 year old niece. Keep in mind it is July.

Reminder that the Antique and Classic Boat Show runs this weekend July 4-7, 2013 at the wharf in Gravenhurst. This year the theme is the greatest race boats in Canadian history. They are bringing in the legendary and recently restored Miss Canada IV race-boat.  Promotional video HERE

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

03 Jul
2013
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Tom Cochrane & Red Rider Rocks the Kee

Hope your Canada Day weekend was awesome. A large group of us hit the Kee to Bala to catch the performance of Canadian musician Tom Cochrane and his band Red Rider. Tom has been popular on the Canadian airwaves for over 30 years cranking out hit after hit. He would have been a global superstar if he broke the US and International markets however he remains a Canadian gem. He is also a tireless humanitarian supporting many worthy causes globally. Check out some of his songs through these links. Life is a Highway, No Regrets, Sinking like a sunset, Boy inside the man, Lunatic fringe, Human Race, and Big League to name a few.

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

27 Jun
2013
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Walking the Rails

Walking the rails at Bracebridge Falls bridge. Take that Nik Wallenda. Happy Canada Day to all!

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

20 Jun
2013
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Cleves Wakeup Call

Feeling a little motivated this past Saturday I dragged my derriere out of bed at 5:00 am and headed over to catch the  sunrise at Clevelands House. The parking lot was relatively full and It seemed a little strange to be walking around the resort while everyone was in a deep slumber. I had no idea where the sun would rise so I staked my claim close to the lake with only a beaver drifting by for company. ‘Twas a glorious sunrise!

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

14 May
2013
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The Church on Lake Rosseau

Everyone familiar with touring around Lake Rosseau will recognize this landmark. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Morinus, Ontario.

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

28 Mar
2013
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Spring Expectations

I took this shot a few weeks ago when it seemed like the spring meltdown was imminent. I think its safe to say going into Easter weekend that the obstinate winter weather is behind us.

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

18 Feb
2013
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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

31 Oct
2012
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Dwight Beach

I enjoy visiting the small towns around the Lake of Bays area especially in autumn. Dorset, Dwight and Baysville are cool little towns. They are smaller than most of the places around the Big 3 lakes and have more of a lost in time charm to them.  A little more laid-back and less hurried maybe? The locals say there are less “Cidiots” here – LOL.

The photo is taken at the Dwight beach area before hurricane Sandy blew the remaining colors away.



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

24 Sep
2012
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The Last Boat Standing

The sun was dropping rapidly as we approached Gravenhurst after spending 12 hours on-board the Segwun steamship during The 100 Mile Cruise. Hundreds of beautiful heritage boats followed us on our journey this day and now at the duration there was one last boat tracking us on the final journey. It was the Edith II a 26 ft. Fay & Bowden circa 1905, recently brought back to life by Dukes in Port Carling. As the Edith II ran up beside us I was surprised to see my friend and infamous Muskoka photographer Bev McMullen shooting us as we waved frantically. Well, what to do but grab the camera and shoot back.



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

20 Aug
2012
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On Board the Historic 100 Mile Cruise

This past weekend I had the privilege to board the RMS Segwun steamship and take part in the 100 Mile Cruise. This historic event was the highlight of the summer in Muskoka and will provide enduring memories for many years. Here are a few pics of the journey which departed Gravenhurst at 8:30am and returned 12 hours later. Please click on each photo to get a 1600 pixel shot.

There was a very large crowd waiting for us as we entered the Port Carling locks. The Wenonah II steamship was following closely behind us.

Looking out from the Port Carling locks to the Lake Rosseau side.

There were many cottages and boathouses crammed with people cheering us on as we passed the shorelines.

Arriving in Port Sandfield at the swing bridge was astounding with more large crowds greeting us and taking photos. As we passed through the channel you could see an amazing flotilla of wooden boats waiting to join us.

This is the Wenonah II passing through Port Sandfield with other boats starting to tag along for the journey.

A large number of the most beautiful vintage boats toured alongside of us.  It was breathtaking to see just how many there were. Unfortunately I was not able to recreate the scale of it through photos from one ship. When the aerial photos come out you will see how grand the entire event was.

Take me to your Captain. I had the opportunity to go up on the bridge and visit the Captain and navigator. Very cool people with nerves of steel.

The final destination was up on Little Lake Joseph. I was surprised the route we took as I have often taken my own boat through here and you need to be very careful of the shallow water. I had heard the Captain had spent the day before testing depths for this journey. At the end of the Bay in Little Joe is a large cliff once called the Natural Park where the steamship would stop and let people out for a walk. Today it is private property. At this point the entire flotilla of boats jockeyed around the two steamships while helicopters zoomed bove taking aerial footage of this remarkable event.

The Wenonah II coming back from the top of Lake Joe heading towards Port Sandfield

I shot this photo off the bow of the Segwun as we passed through Port Sandfield heading back towards Port Carling in the late afternoon. We were just about to be called to the dining room for a great dinner.

The RMS Segwun returning home after a very long day. I’m just glad I didn’t have to shovel the coal.



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

16 Aug
2012
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The Famous 100 Mile Cruise

For the first time since 1958 this Saturday August 18th, 2012 the 100 Mile Cruise will be recreated with the RMS Segwun and the Wenonah II tracing the original route of the SS Sagamo steamship. There will be over 100 other historical wooden boats accompanying the steamships on their journey on the Big 3 Muskoka Lakes . The proceeds of this event are being donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. More info here

Photo I took a few years back of the Segwun steamship on Lake Joseph

If you are interested in seeing the steamships and the large flotilla of classic boats they will be traveling through the locks at Port Carling and Port Sandfield. Itinerary below.

8:30 am Depart Gravenhurst Wharf
11:00 am Arrive at Port Carling Locks
12:00 pm Arrive at Port Sandfield Locks
2:00 pm Arrive at Little Lake Joe
2:30 pm Depart Little Lake Joe
3:30 pm Arrive at Port Sandfield
4:30 pm Arrive at Port Carling
8:00 pm Arrive at Gravenhurst Wharf

A historical handout on the 100 mile cruise here


View Big Cruise for a Big Cause in a larger map

 

The original 100 mile cruise brochure from 1950

 



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

18 Jul
2012
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Mouth of the Indian

Traveling from Lake Rosseau into the Indian River towards the locks in Port Carling. If you have ever made this trip you will probably remember seeing this nautical styled boathouse at the mouth. Please click on the image for a larger sized photo.



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

09 Jul
2012
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The Heldena II

I had a chance to peruse the Antique and Classic Boat Show on Saturday meeting a few familiar faces. I find it somewhat difficult to take photos due to the crowds and the fact that boats are static. I prefer to see a gentleman’s racer ripping up the lake. I caught the beautiful 1917 built Heldena II, a 36 foot racing boat powered by a V12 Liberty aircraft engine.

The Heldena was manufactured by J.J. Taylor and possesses  a very impressive racing history including gold cups, championships and world speed records. Her owner Fred R. Miller of Toronto loved to race her and unfortunately he passed away at the young age of 44. Heldena II was sold to the Toronto Harbour Commission and used as a fast rescue boat from 1922 to 1958. She was later saved from a scrap yard in Scarborough, Ontario in 1984 with restoration starting around 2000.



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

05 Jul
2012
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Woodies Galore

The 32nd annual Muskoka Antique and Classic Boat Show is on this Saturday July 7, 2012 at the Gravenhurst wharf. If you have a passion or even a mild interest in the old Muskoka boats I would highly recommend you attend this event. The show includes live music, a flea market, vintage cars and boat tours. Here is a 3:45 min. video of last years event showing some of the beautiful boats and festivities around the wharf. The show is put on by the ACBS Toronto (Antique & Classic Boat Society) and is very well organized. Please click on their link for further details.



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

21 Jun
2012
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In Search of the Grouch in Port Sydney

I was in Port Sydney recently, the town with the cool welcoming sign that says “Home of 800 families & 1 old grouch.” Politician Tony Clement kicks back here except when hes not doubling as Superman and rescuing people from drowning in the Muskoka river.   The quiet little town is situated on the shores of Mary Lake where the North Muskoka River flows through. Like a lot of small towns in the Muskoka region, Mary Lake was known for its lumber industry bringing many settlers into the area around the 1860’s. At its peak there were over 25 lodges and Inns located in this area with quite an interesting history. I took this photo at the south end while standing on the town dock looking out to the lake.

Mary Lake Port Sydney, Ontario



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

14 Jun
2012
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Bent River School House

I took the long way around Lake Rosseau on Hwy #141 recently and discovered a little village by the name of Bent River. This is their old school house now called the Historical Hall . When researching Bent River I discovered they are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the old school house on June 30th, 2012. Info below.

100th Anniversary Celebration of Bent River School. The event is from 10am to 4pm Saturday June 30th 2012 at 1120 Rosseau Lake Rd 1, off Hwy 141 in Bent River. Bring any copies of family or school photos that you may have to share. Let anyone you know who attended or taught at the school of the festivities. For more information contact June at: 705-769-3515. Map Here

 



In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario

21 May
2012
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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

03 May
2012
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High Falls Hike

I went for a little adventure up to High Falls near Bracebridge hoping the water would be rushing over like a mini Niagara. High Falls is fed by the north branch of the Muskoka River and is one of the steepest falls in Ontario. The area is actually a park with washrooms, picnic tables and BBQ’s setup. The gates were closed when I arrived so I had to perform some rudimentary ninja navigation techniques to get in, Shush! Here is a Map

FYI – There are quite a few other falls around Muskoka that I have been to including; Bala Falls, Rosseau Falls, Bracebridge Falls and the Wilson Falls. All worthy of a visit.



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

16 Apr
2012
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Thorel House, Lake Rosseau, then and now

I headed out in the early morning determined to get a photo of this cool boathouse that I knew about on Lake Rosseau. I was aware there were a few cottages around the bay and was very careful not to disturb anyone. Who wants to see and hear the boathouse papparzi while awakening to fresh morning coffee.

 

I discovered that this is the original site of the Thorel House Hotel. Details are sketchy however I did find someone that passed me an old photo from years gone by. (see below) When I took this shot I was standing just to the left of the old car. The house on the left is still there and it has been beautifully restored. In fact when doing research I discovered it was available for rent.

 



In: boathouses of muskoka, historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario

design & theme by Nikola Lazarevic