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Chris LaCroix



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COVER PHOTO Ed Ross - The Chairs Await BUSINESS DIRECTORY ERRORS & OMISSIONS For a complete list of supportive Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce members, visit Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this guide. If you have any questions, comments or would like to advertise in future publications, please contact the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber.

ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION Dreams Becoming Reality Marketing (705) 789-7135 •

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Welcome to one of Ontario’s most beloved four-season destinations – the Town of Huntsville, the Township of Lake of Bays, and Algonquin Provincial Park — a vast and wondrous playground that attracts tourists from every corner of the world. A place where people take life just a little bit easier, and maybe enjoy it just a bit differently than their big city cousins. Welcome message from the Mayor Happy Trails Festivals Events Golf Beaches Skiing Business•Relocation Accessibility Nature Attractions Retail Therapy•Shopping Naturalizing Muskoka Art Dining Muskoka Heritage Place Where to Stay Riding

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welcome! It is a great pleasure and honour to welcome you to the Town of Huntsville. A community of nearly 20,000 permanent residents as well many thousands of additional seasonal residents, Huntsville boasts the amenities of a much larger urban centre, while maintaining the community spirit and serenity of a convivial small town. Located in the rugged heartland of the Canadian Shield and on the doorstep of Algonquin Park, the oldest and most renowned park in Ontario, Huntsville is a community that offers a truly unique and exceptional experience for all visitors. Huntsville takes much pride in the multitude of potential experiences it offers its residents and guests. Whether tasting our distinctive “Savour Muskoka” cuisine, taking in a performance during our Festival of the Arts, or looking for a wilderness adventure, you have come to the right place. Huntsville’s reputation as an unsurpassed location in Ontario for sports and recreation is well-deserved. We are wholly committed to fostering a community where healthy, active and participatory lifestyles are encouraged and enabled. You will soon realize our recreational facilities are quite simply remarkable. Our new Summit Centre, which includes a $20 million addition and renovation to the Huntsville Centennial Centre, is undeniably world-class. The addition alone now boasts expanded indoor swimming pool features, a brand-new Olympic-sized ice rink, a virtual library, a fitness facility and an indoor running track. Our community is also eagerly anticipating the opening of Conroy Park, with its professional grade outdoor track capable of hosting track meets of the highest level, as well as an artificial surface for field events and soccer. Huntsville strives to provide inexpensive yet unforgettable recreational activities for both residents and guests. I personally invite you to take advantage of our proximity to some of the finest outdoor recreational sites


anywhere. Our many lakes, rivers, trails and parks offer something for everyone. Reconnecting with the great outdoors, in summer as well in winter, is easy to do here. Whatever your tastes and preferences may be, there is something exciting happening in Huntsville. Speaking of excitement, our town is currently in the busy process of planning and preparing for the upcoming 2010 G8 Summit. Chosen by the Prime Minister of Canada as a community worthy and fully capable of hosting the most influential and powerful countries in the world, Huntsville is thrilled to undertake this challenge.We have hundreds of willing volunteers ready, willing and able to assist where needed. We are committed to showcasing our piece of paradise to the world as an ideal place to live, raise a family and start a business. Preparing for the Summit has not been easy and every Huntsville resident can attest to the immense expenditure of time and effort that has gone into laying the foundation for a successful event. The people of Huntsville have come together to ensure that our community succeeds in not only welcoming the world, but also maximizing this tremendous opportunity to facilitate growth, progress and prosperity. As a result of our good fortune, Huntsville has received an infusion from our partner, the Government of Canada, exceeding $28 million. The Town’s contribution is about $7 million. I am delighted to assure you that we have fully capitalized on this opportunity. From the outset of this process, Huntsville has appreciated the immense potential for


We are committed to showcasing our piece of paradise to the world as an ideal place to live, raise a family and start a business.

Downtown Huntsville BIA

By Claude Doughty

Mayor,Town of Huntsville

Heather Douglas Photography

expectation that these additional sites will ultimately be used for the establishment of more environmental science research facilities. The coming of the 2010 G8 Summit and the establishment of the University of Waterloo in Huntsville are two integral components of our town’s community vision. We are striving to define and brand Huntsville as a leading community for events tourism and environmental research. Our achievements this past year only serve to further solidify our town as a foremost destination for sporting events, conferences and academic pursuit. The investments made by the Town of Huntsville, together with the Government of Canada, will serve the immediate needs for hosting the G8 Summit as well as providing the infrastructure for the growing economy of our region. It also creates the milieu for an intellectual community that will foster world class research here in Muskoka.That will be the G8 legacy.

Heather Douglas Photography

substantive community improvements accompanying our selection. Consequently, the Town has initiated and, by the time you read this, will have completed several projects of particular importance and achievement. The Summit Centre is merely one small facet of Huntsville’s G8 legacy. In addition to this exciting new facility, we are currently in the process of developing plans for our new Active Living Centre.This building, which will sit adjacent to the Summit Centre, has been designed specifically with seniors and young children in mind. The Active Living Centre will stand as a testament to this community’s steadfast commitment to healthy living throughout all of life’s stages. Perhaps more significant than all other endeavors Huntsville has embarked upon this past year is the initiation of a long-term relationship with the University of Waterloo (UW). This prestigious institution will soon have a beautiful, permanent facility in Huntsville, built along the shores of Cann Lake. Devoted to the study and research of environmental science and ecosystem resilience, the new UW initiative marks an exciting new beginning for Huntsville. We are honoured that the University of Waterloo recognized Huntsville as an absolutely ideal place to expand its operations. Huntsville provides UW the ability to work collaboratively with the Government of Ontario, Algonquin Park and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, to research the most pressing and critical issues facing our natural world, including medical aspects of ecosystem degradation. It is our goal to foster this wonderful relationship into something greater. Huntsville is confidently striving towards becoming a national, and perhaps even international, bastion of environmental research. UW is located directly above Cann Lake on a piece of property recently christened “Forbes Hill,” in honour of the longtime former owners, the Forbes family, and immortalized in a famous painting by Tom Thomson. This area is now linked by road to the nearby Summit Centre, high school and Muskoka Heritage Place. Forbes Hill has intentionally been developed in such a way as to easily accommodate several other building sites adjacent to the UW building. It is our

Mayor Doughty receiving the Olympic Torch at the Torch Relay, December 30, 2009. Huntsville is a community that takes great pride in honoring the past while simultaneously looking with eager anticipation towards the future. The year 2010 will undoubtedly be remembered as a seminal time in the history of Huntsville. Our town is in no way lacking in ambition; in fact, spend a little time here and it will quickly become evident how passionate we are about moving our community forward. With poise and conviction, Huntsville will welcome the world. It is with the same enthusiasm that I, on behalf of Council and everyone who calls Huntsville home, invite you to take part in this exciting time.



happy trails On the trail in Algonquin Park Take a deep breath – stop and listen for the wild sounds amongst the trees, look out over a forest canopy or learn an interesting fact about ecology. You are on one of the many trails in Algonquin Provincial Park and whether you are out for a short day-hike, an overnight backpacking trip, on your bike, or with cross-country skis, these are among the best ways to experience Algonquin!

Interpretive trails Perhaps the most popular and accessible of trails in Algonquin would be the interpretive trails scattered along Highway 60. Each one focuses on a unique aspect of Algonquin’s natural or cultural history. There is a trail to suit every interest and fitness level, from an easy 1.5 km boardwalk trail that introduces the visitor to spruce bogs and wildlife typical of the north (Spruce Bog Boardwalk), to a demanding 10 km hike up a high ridge that affords an excellent view over some of Algonquin’s lakes and forests (Centennial Ridges). Other interpretive trails vary in length and include: Whiskey

Rapids (2.1 km), Hardwood Lookout (0.8 km), Mizzy Lake (11 km), Peck Lake (1.9 km),Track and Tower (7.7 km), Hemlock Bluff (3.5 km), Bat Lake (5.6 km),Two Rivers (2.1 km), Lookout (1.9 km), Big Pines (2.9 km), and Booth’s Rock (5.1 km). All of these trails are a scenic 30-70 minute drive from Huntsville. For those wishing to explore the Park further, there are also interpretive trails on the North and East sides of Algonquin Park: Barron Canyon (1.5 km), Berm Lake (4.5 km), and Brent Crater (2 km).

Backpacking trails For the more adventurous hikers, Algonquin has three impressive networks of backpacking trails, with loops that range from 6 km to 88 km in length. Overnight or multiple night backpacking trips will give a new appreciation for getting ‘into the bush.’ As your trip ends, you will emerge at the trailhead feeling the satisfaction of finishing your trek and relishing the memories of wilderness that you encountered on the trail.

Bicycle trails

Algonquin Park Museum

When you come to Algonquin, don’t forget your bike! Whether you are looking for a technical challenge on your mountain bike, or prefer to stick to more leisurely trails with the family, Algonquin has a bike trail for you. The Minnesing Mountain Bike Trail has four challenging loops (4.7–23.4 km in length) that will take 1–3 hours to ride, and will bring you through hardwood forests and beside lakes in the Park’s largest wilderness zone. If you are with your family, or just prefer a more relaxing ride, then be sure to visit the Old Railway Bike Trail, accessible from Mew Lake Campground, Pog Lake Campground and Rock Lake Campground. Stretching for 10 km (one-way) along the bed of the old OttawaArnprior-Parry Sound rail line, this trail gives the rider a chance to



Ski trails

Peter Ferguson

Possibly one of the most beautiful and rewarding times of the year to visit the Park would be after a fresh snowfall, with blue skies and the crisp winter air against your face. Algonquin’s three excellent crosscountry ski trail networks allow you to experience just this. The winter also has to be one of the better times of the year to see wildlife, or at least the tracks that they have left behind. The Fen Lake Ski Trail — a groomed trail network that explores old hardwood forests typical of the west side of Algonquin — is located just inside the park at the West Gate (about 30 minutes from Huntsville) and has loops that range from easy to more difficult (1.1–12.9 km). In the winter, the Minnesing bicycle trail becomes a Wilderness Ski Trail (ungroomed), offering the skier a chance to explore this winter wonderland. The Leaf Lake Ski Trail offers a wide range of options and its Pinetree Loop ranks highly amongst the premiere ski trails in southern Ontario for the experienced skier. On a clear day the lookouts on this loop provide a view of more than 15 km.

Centennial Ridge Algonquin Provincial Park

Attractions A visit to Algonquin – whether to get ready for a hike or to relax after finishing one of our trails – is not complete without seeing the Algonquin Visitor Centre, the Algonquin Logging Museum or the Algonquin Art Gallery. Inside the Visitor Centre are world-class exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the park, a bookstore and gift shop, and an observation deck that has a tremendous view of a wild Algonquin landscape. The Algonquin Art Gallery is open seasonally, from June to October, and displays an Algonquin-inspired selection of works in the three wings of its gallery, as well as an outdoor gallery and a boutique. The Algonquin Logging Museum is a definite stop for anyone interested in the history of logging and displays a recreated camboose camp and an old steam-powered machine called an “alligator” along an easy 1.3 km trail. As you finish hiking, skiing, or biking a trail in Algonquin Park, you will be reminded of what makes this landscape special. It could have been the sunrise over a misty lake, a glimpse of moose through the trees, the chorus of bird songs, or just the sense of accomplishment that you feel as you reach the end of a trail. Come and discover your favourite Algonquin trail!

Hiking in Algonquin Park

Peter Ferguson

explore, through wayside exhibits, the history of the rail line and a different era in Algonquin. Remember to ride safely, be mindful of others on the trail and enjoy the scenery!

For the more adventurous hikers,Algonquin has three impressive networks of backpacking trails, with loops that range from 6 km to 88 km in length.

Film North coming 2010 Film North, is the first international film festival in Muskoka. Huntsville, Ontario is the newest place for a small, smart and exciting festival. A two-hour drive from Toronto in the beautiful Muskoka lake-district setting, movie lovers can attend screenings of juried films, on the third weekend of September. Our mandate is to create a user-friendly environment for emerging Canadian and international filmmakers to exhibit, promote, entertain and inform the audience. As a non-profit charitable organization, the board of directors, made up of permanent and seasonal residents of Toronto and Huntsville, with backgrounds in the film and arts professions, are committed to supporting the local community through the enhancement of cinematic culture. Come join in and be a part of this exciting and historical event by attending the Inaugural Film North at Algonquin Theatre, Huntsville, Ontario. September 23-25, 2010. (Stay posted for confirmation of ‘Under The Stars’ open air movie screening in River Mill Park on Sunday August 1st, 2010, after dark.) Opening night Inaugural Film North ceremony/gala reception and screening of feature world premier movie.Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 Opening night reception and feature screening of world premier movie. Friday, September 24th, 2010 Closing night gala reception and inaugural Film North Awards Ceremony and presentation. Saturday, September 25th, 2010



festivals Jon Snelson

International stars shine in Huntsville By Rob Saunders General Manager, Huntsville Festival of the Arts

The Huntsville Festival of the Arts is a year-round celebration of the performing arts, with an emphasis in the summer months of July and August. From its early beginnings the Festival has grown and diversified to present artistic offerings in the fields of jazz, pop, choral, Celtic, country, orchestral and classical music, as well as theatre, written word, poetry, and the visual arts. The year 2010 represents the Festival’s 18th season of presenting fine artistic entertainment.This season international stars, such as Nuevo flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook, tenor John McDermott, new age rocker Hawksley Workman and folksy Sarah Harmer, will grace the Algonquin Theatre stage. Other performers include rising star Justin Hines, country singer Aaron Pritchett and acclaimed baritone Brett Polegato and the widely acclaimed vocal group the Canadian Tenors. In addition, the world-renowned Vienna Piano Trio will undertake a rare visit to Ontario, and make Huntsville one of the few festivals at which the trio will perform. For the 18th straight season Maestro Kerry Stratton will conduct an orchestra at the Festival, this year leading a program that pays tribute to the timeless music of Vera Lynn, as well as featuring some of the most inspiring classic

tunes from the Last Night at the Proms repertoire. For jazz lovers the Huntsville Jazz Festival returns for three nights over the August long weekend, featuring diva Molly Johnson and the captivating sounds of jazz/blues/folk influenced Alex Cuba. Over the past few seasons, open-air concerts have been used to feature both music and the arts. The tradition continues this year with the daytime jazz festival in River Mill Park expanding to include both Saturday and Sunday programs. The always popular, family oriented Art Splash will return, as well as the Arts Walk and En Plein Air, the visual arts fundraising event that had such a successful inaugural year in 2009. The Festival also welcomes back the Edge of the Woods Theatre Festival, featuring open-air fringe theatrical performances in the downtown core on the evenings of July 9 and 10. The eclectic nature of the Festival, a source of pride for current president Bruce Gowan, offers patrons so much more in the way of entertainment. As well as great shows in the beautiful Algonquin Theatre, there is the added enjoyment of poetry slams, writers’ workshops, visual art displays and an opportunity to meet writers at the Novel Marathon. During the day patrons can relax

and enjoy Music at Noon, the half-hour lunchtime concert series at Trinity United Church on Main Street. All of this has contributed to the HFA once again being recognized as one of the top 100 festivals in Ontario. Each year new activities are added to enhance the appeal of the Festival. If you plan to be in the area over July and August, check with your local Chamber of Commerce for a current list of events. For tickets and info contact; Box Office: 705-789-4975 or by E-mail: or online at

The Algonquin Theatre and Civic Centre on Main Street





Summer Sidewalk Adventure

National Aboriginal Day – June Art Splash – July Arts Walk – July Huntsville Festival of the Arts – July Huntsville Jazz Festival – July/August Edge of the Woods Outdoor Theatre Festival – July Baysville Walkabout Festival – July en Plein Air Painting and Auction – July Thrill of the Grill, Deerhurst Resort – July Baysville Riverfront Arts & Crafts – August Baysville Classic & Antique Boat Show – August Artist of the Limberlost Open Studio Tour Weekend – August Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour – September/October Huntsville Fall Fair – September The Group of Seven Nutcracker – November

Group of Seven Mural Festival – June/July Huntsville Festival of the Arts – July Firefly Festival – July Summer Sidewalk Adventure – August Antique, Classic & Custom Car Show – September Film North – September

Dave Crombie


en Plein Air Painting and Art Auction

ATHLETIC & SPORTING Muskoka Loppet, Arrowhead Park – January Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships – January/February 2010 Ontario Winter Youth Games – March Spin the Lakes Bike Tour – May Huntsville Western Rodeo Royale – July Muskoka Triathlon – July Port Sydney Muskoka Kids Triathlon – July The Cottage Cup Exhibition Junior A Hockey Tournament – August Huntsville Muskoka Otters Junior A Season Opener – September Muskoka Ironman 70.3 – September Terry Fox Run – September

Drive Marketing

Pond Hockey at Deerhurst Resort

Deerhurst Resort

Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

GIRLFRIENDS’ GETAWAY WEEKEND November 12-14, 2010 Superb Shopping Great Food Fabulous Fashion Spectacular Entertainment and more!!! For more details or to register visit


Heather Douglas Photography

Algonquin Outfitters Winter Family Fun Day, Oxtongue Lake – February Kearney Dog Sled Races – February Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area Events: Boogie with your Boots On, Pancake & Dress-up Day, Dummy Downhill Races – March

WINTER CARNIVALS & PARADES Huntsville Santa Claus Parade – November Baysville Santa Claus Parade – December Port Sydney Winter Carnival – January Dwight Winter Carnival – February Dorset Snowball – February


Kelly Holinshead

Don McCormick

Open Spring until Fall Huntsville – Thursdays Huntsville Commerce Park – Fridays Baysville – Fridays

This is only a selection of events in our area.

Visit for a complete list of community events with details.

For every season and reason, there’s a festival or special event going on somewhere in Huntsville, Lake of Bays or Algonquin Provincial Park areas. From loppets, winter carnivals and maple syrup festivals, to fishing derbies, to fabulous fall fairs and studio tours, there’s always something to delight, excite and ignite the imagination of every member of your family.




With its many must-play courses, a great game of golf is always in the bag in Huntsville and Lake of Bays.Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or just a beginner... we’re sure to have a course for you!

Kelly Holinshead

Golf fore

DEERHURST HIGHLANDS & DEERHURST LAKESIDE 1235 Deerhurst Dr., Huntsville 1(800) 461-4393 • (705) 789-6411 DIAMOND ‘IN THE RUFF’ GOLF CLUB 1137 Old Parry Sound Rd., Raymond (705) 385-2222 • DRIVING RANGE @ MARTIN’S FARM 250 Chub Lake Rd., Huntsville (705) 787-0505 GRANDVIEW GOLF CLUB: MARK O’MEARA COURSE & GRANDVIEW INN COURSE 939 Hwy. 60, Huntsville 1(877) 472-6388 • (705) 789-4417 HUNTSVILLE DOWNS GOLF 182 Golf Course Rd., Huntsville (705) 789-1000

THE ACRES DRIVING RANGE 2269 Hwy. 60, Huntsville (705) 635-2522



Marilyn Johns

NORTH GRANITE RIDGE GOLF COURSE 476 South Mary Lake Rd., Port Sydney 1 (866) 385-0808 • (705) 385-0808

golf Deerhurst Highlands

The great Muskoka golf debate By Simon Bevan CPGA Executive Professional

When it comes to selecting golf courses, everyone, from weekend players to pros and media, has their own strong opinions. Part of what makes golf such an intriguing game is that every golfer has their own perspective. But what truly makes a golf destination or course stand out? Is it the layout? The playability? The designer? The views? What about the challenges it presents? The awards it has earned? Or its word-of-mouth reputation? While you consider those factors, I should note that in 22 years as a CPGA (Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association) member, I’ve been fortunate to try dozens of what are often called the “world’s best” courses – from Monterey, California’s Pebble Beach, to Phoenix, Arizona’s Troon North, Scotland’s St. Andrews to Northwest England’s Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s. For the past decade, I’ve also had the luxury of not just playing, but living and working in the growing Canadian golf mecca

of Muskoka. Some might say that makes me biased, but it has also refined my own golf course selection philosophy. One piece of advice I’ll share with anyone thinking about playing here: outstanding golf is about the sum of an experience – playing a round that is memorable, affordable and most importantly, enjoyable. That ideal combination of factors is why I rate Muskoka golf on par with any of those perhaps more famous golf spots. Huntsville and Lake of Bays are home to a half-dozen prime golfing stops at all price points; more landmark courses are just a short drive away. Depending on your schedule and budget, plan a major day or an entire golf getaway around historic Bigwin Island (a Doug Carrick design where the arrival is a key part of the experience and you will get those amazing vistas of surrounding Lake of Bays), the Mark O’Meara course at Grandview Golf Club (with a fantastic forest layout and conditioning that’s second to

none) and Deerhurst Highlands (the Tom McBroom masterpiece that started it all, putting modern Muskoka golf on the map). Those with limited time or tighter budgets, or anyone else for that matter, shouldn’t miss these hidden gems: North Granite Ridge (a bargain, conveniently located mid-way between Huntsville and Bracebridge), Huntsville Downs (an insider’s favourite since 1925), Whispering Pines (a family-run hilltop treat), Deerhurst Lakeside (test every club in your bag) and Diamond ‘in the Ruff’ (a true 9-hole jewel). In between rounds, stop by Martin’s Farm where the driving range and customer service are top tier. Yes, these are my personal picks and tips, but no matter where you choose to play in Huntsville and Lake of Bays, I can promise you a great golf day. Now, let the debate continue…



Winning Techniques Camp




Take a dip! Huntsville and Lake of Bays have a wonderful selection of outdoor retreats including two provincial parks - Arrowhead and Algonquin. Strap on your hiking boots or biking helmet and head for Arrowhead, which is only five minutes from Huntsville. Here, trails meander through maple forests, and past lakes and rivers where the paddling and fishing are as fine as the scenery. Stop by the Oxtongue Rapids Park for a picnic and photo-op of the breathtaking Ragged Falls, located near Dwight, and the gateway to the granddaddy of all parks – Algonquin. Covering 7,725 sq. km (2,935 sq. mi.), Algonquin Provincial Park is Ontario’s oldest and most famous park. An oasis of rocky, windswept beauty, this wilderness jewel has been an inspiration for artists and a magnet for nature lovers for more than a century. With over a thousand lakes and rivers, towering forests, long, sandy beaches and a huge variety of wildlife, it’s no surprise the park attracts fishermen, paddlers, hikers and cyclists from every corner of the world.

Kelly Holinshead

Trish Kruusmagi

Please see our listing of parks and beaches on pages 16 & 17.



River Mill Park

Town of Huntsville

The Locks Park

Parks and Beaches ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK 45 km East of Huntsville (705) 633-5572 • ARROWHEAD PROVINCIAL PARK Muskoka Rd. 3 N., Huntsville • (705) 789-5105 AVERY BEACH Hunters Bay off Main St.W., Huntsville Sandy beach and covered picnic area BAYSVILLE DAM Just off Hwy. 117 in Baysville, picnic area CAMP KITCHEN Camp Kitchen Rd., Huntsville DORSET FIRE TOWER PARK Just off Hwy. 35 in Dorset, family picnic area DWIGHT BEACH Lake of Bays on Dwight Beach Rd., excellent beach with picnic area



Lois Nuttal

Misty morning overlooking Dwight Beach

OXTONGUE RAPIDS PARK Just off Hwy. 60 east of Dwight, public picnic area

DYER’S MEMORIAL 11km northeast of Huntsville on Williamsport Rd., off Muskoka Rd., 3, overlooks Big East River, public picnic area HUNTSVILLE CENTENNIAL CENTRE On Park Dr., just off Brunel Rd., Huntsville, Indoor swimming pool (705) 789-6421 HUTCHESON BEACH Lake Vernon off Muskoka Rd., 2 in Huntsville, beach, swings, washrooms and picnic area LION’S LOOKOUT On Park Dr., just off Brunel Rd., by Huntsville Centennial Centre, breathtaking panoramic view of Fairy Lake, Muskoka River and Downtown Huntsville, public picnic area NORWAY POINT PARK Just off Old Hwy. 117 east of Baysville, swimming and picnic area

Town of Huntsville

Town Dock Park

PORT SYDNEY BEACH Mary Lake on Muskoka Rd., 10 in Port Sydney, sandy beach area RAGGED FALLS Hwy. 60 in the Oxtongue Lake area just before Algonquin Park, trails, public picnic area, dock, washrooms RIVER MILL PARK Downtown Huntsville on the Muskoka River, children’s playground and picnic area TOWN DOCK PARK Downtown Huntsville on the Muskoka River RIVERFRONT, CENTENNIAL & GRIST MILL PARKS Just off Hwy. 117 in Baysville, public picnic area TALLY-HO BEACH Peninsula Lake off Hwy. 60 in Hillside THE LOCKS PARK On the Muskoka River 3 km south of Huntsville on Brunel Rd., picnic site



Arrowhead Provincial Park

Susan Brown

skiing Ski the sights at Arrowhead

Don McCormick

By Ken Parsons

Some of the participants in the 2010 Ontario Winter Games at Arrowhead Provincial Park

Located just north of Huntsville, Ontario on Highway 11, Arrowhead Provincial Park offers some of the nicest cross-country ski trails in the area. The park offers 30 km of groomed trail for both skate and classic style skiing.Trails range from relatively flat beginner-level to expert black diamond level, featuring winding downhill sections and long climbs. The Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club was established in 1999 with the mandate to promote the sport of cross-country skiing in the Muskoka area through the development of child, youth and adult skiing programs and sponsorship of race events. The trails are owned and maintained by Parks Ontario and they also collect fees for trail usage and ski rental. Both Parks Ontario and the ski club have a vested interest in making skiing an enjoyable activity for park visitors and members alike.The club provides feedback on trail improvement and helps with annual trail clean-up, etc. Over the years, the programs and events provided by the club have grown in popularity. In 2009 there were 260 club members with 134 of them registered for ski instruction classes. Ages for these programs run from 4 for the Bunnyrabbit learn-to-ski program to 60 and over for the adult Ski-for-Life technique improvement classes. Cross-country skiing is truly a sport for all ages and it is always possible to improve your technique and endurance. The various

competitive/fun events offered by the clubs give skiers a chance to gauge their progress: in 2009, the annual “Muskoka Loppet” attracted 168 participants who skied one of three courses: 7, 15 or 30 kms . Also in 2009, the club hosted elementary school races which attracted a total of 488 participants over two days. It was in part because of high usage of the trails in recent years that in 2009, Parks Ontario upgraded several of the trails and installed a pedestrian/ski bridge at a critical point where the trail crosses the Little East River. The bridge allows for better trail grooming and easier connection between trails. Wider trails improve skier safety and allow 2-wide skiing — an important draw for many social skiers! The 2010 season is shaping up to be another busy year. On January 16-17, the club, along with their partner Arrowhead Provincial Park, hosted the 2010 Ontario Winter Games cross-country ski events.The event was a huge success and proves that both the club and the park are committed to bringing highperformance competitive events to the area in the future. Ski instruction programs are now in full swing but it is not too late to get involved! The park is open every day until the end of March. Call Arrowhead Park at (705) 789-5105 for more information.





Meg Jordan/macs@work

Taking care of business in Muskoka By Rob McPhee Everyone knows that Muskoka is a great place to play and work. Did you know that this area also has advanced technology and telecommunications? You might be interested to know that this article was written during my daily telecommute from Port Sydney, just outside of Huntsville, Ontario, where I used the internet to connect from my home into another computer at the office. This was done across a high-speed wireless network right here in Muskoka. It’s also a lot greener to telecommute since there was no automobile commute to the office today. I didn’t have to warm up the car and saved the cost of gas the traditional automobile commute requires. Not only that, but I reduced my carbon footprint and gained a full hour in my day by not being in the car! Please excuse me for a second…I have a phone call coming in. Not just any phone call though – this phone call is coming in over the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone in

my home. This all works because I have reliable high-speed internet here. I can use my VoIP phone at my home or I can take it with

...enjoy the great quality of life Muskoka has to offer — beautiful views, year-round recreation and an affordable lifestyle...

me when I am at the office, hotel, coffee shop or on an international trip. Muskoka is also home to numerous Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) who offer a wide range of high-speed internet choices. Wireless, cable, DSL, and fiber technologies are all available in the area. Muskoka is also a leader in high-speed internet connectivity in

rural areas. If you are visiting Muskoka, you can share your experience by sending photos and video to friends and family too.Teenagers are more inclined to spend time with the family where internet connectivity is available. As well, many vacationers are able to extend their holidays in Muskoka because reliable high-speed internet allows them to keep in touch with important activities in their work life. Due to the availability of high-speed internet, Muskoka has a growing number of knowledge workers who telecommute. These knowledge workers get to enjoy the great quality of life Muskoka has to offer — beautiful views, year-round recreation and an affordable lifestyle are just a few of the perks of telecommuting in Muskoka. Excuse me…I must go now. It’s a beautiful day, so I think I’ll take the hour I saved telecommuting and go for a leisurely walk in the sunshine.



Snowmobiling in Muskoka Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area

A 1,600 km network of trails in Muskoka covers some of Ontario’s most scenic landscape and are maintained by committed local clubs. Muskoka’s trail network provides snowmobilers with a spectacular view of frozen lakes surrounded by snow-clad hills, valleys and thick forests. Whether your preference is short loops or multiple day journeys, this large trail network will provide you with unlimited touring opportunities. With your choice of accommodations along the way, you and your friends will be able to rack up some serious miles! Visit

Lifting off in Hidden Valley

Jack Stewart

Swooshing down the Dipsy Doodle, challenging the Dutchman’s Glades or practicing your McTwist in the terrain park – it’s all up to you at Hidden Valley Highlands where a great winter experience awaits skiers and snowboarders of every level. Facilities at Hidden Valley Highlands, which hosted the 2006 Ontario Paralympic Winter Championships, include three Quad Chairlifts and state-of-the-art snow grooming and snow making equipment. Call (705) 789-1773 or visit online

The Town of Huntsville welcomes you. We are a thriving community of 20,000 residents. The Algonquin Theatre in the heart of our beautiful downtown features live entertainment year-round. Muskoka Heritage Place offers a historical experience with museum and pioneer village. The Huntsville Public Library offers a range of excellent services. Huntsville offers a blend of culture, nature, recreation and a dynamic business sector. Located on the doorstep to Algonquin Park, Huntsville is an accessible year-round destination. Experience and enjoy the Huntsville adventure!




Jon Snelson

Huntsville Train Station wheelchair lift

Rotary Club of Huntsville

Don McCormick

2006 Ontario Paralympic Winter Games

River Mill Park unveiled the Sway Fun — an accessible glider swing in 2009

A town where everyone will feel at home…

Huntsville accessible to all By Deb Kirwin Chair of Huntsville Accessibility Advisory Committee

A community truly thrives when every visitor can fully participate and enjoy the many attractions and facilities it has to offer. Huntsville in particular has made tremendous headway concerning accessibility since hosting the Ontario Paralympic Winter Games in 2006, and the many benefits of hosting the event continue. The following are just some of the initiatives this popular Muskoka town has taken to ensure the town remains open to everyone: • Shop downtown with access to many stores through the yellow ramp program, ample designated accessible parking and safely navigate street crossings equipped with accessible pedestrian signals for visitors with visual disabilities

• Sit-ski at Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area and cross-country sit-ski at Arrowhead Provincial Park • Attend concerts and plays at Algonquin Theatre, equipped with assistive listening devices, a tactile information map and wheelchair seating • Travel by accessible transit to Muskoka Heritage Place for a tour of the village with its many accessible buildings, and easily read their large print brochures • Visit the newly renovated Community Centre to watch the Huntsville Otters Junior ‘A’ hockey team or swim in the pool equipped with a private accessible change room, pool wheelchair and easy access

• Shop at the local mall providing ample designated accessible parking with fines strictly enforced by the Town • Take the kids (or grandkids) to the accessible River Mill Playground located in the heart of Huntsville • Travel to Huntsville by train or bus, both equipped for wheelchair access, before traveling by prearranged accessible transit to your accommodations • If you are a person with a hearing disability, call the Town Hall’s TTY number for information (705) 789-1768. While many of our hotels and restaurants have wheelchair access, it is recommended that you call ahead to ensure that your needs can be met.




Building a legacy

Muskoka Heritage Foundation

By Cathy Kuntz, Land Trust Cordinator, Muskoka Heritage Trust

In 2004, a passionate group of neighbours on Bayshore Road in Huntsville rallied to purchase an 11-acre lot, then donated it to the Muskoka Heritage Trust. What they didn’t realize was that they were starting a trend — they were the first of a growing number of Huntsville area residents determined to protect the land they love and keep it in its natural state forever. Since 2004, 160 acres in the Huntsville area have been preserved through five separate donations and Huntsville residents aren’t stopping there.The Trust is hopeful that, over the next few years, the acreage of ecologically significant land in Huntsville placed in the care of the Muskoka Heritage Trust will increase by another 400 acres. The Muskoka Heritage Trust is a nonprofit registered land trust committed to the protection of ecologically significant land in Muskoka. Established in 1996 by the Muskoka Heritage Foundation, the Trust accomplishes its goals in two ways – through the donation of lands to the Trust in the form of nature reserves or through conservation easement agreements. Conservation agreements allow landowners to retain ownership while agreeing to manage their property responsibly and restrict development.The Trust presently protects more than 1000 acres in eleven nature reserves and 85 acres in seven conservation easement agreements. Nature reserves are different than parks. The protection of the animals and plants is the first priority in a nature reserve. On some properties, the public is welcome but only if they tread softly on the land. Land near Lake Vernon donated by the group of Bayshore neighbours became the Indigo Marsh Nature Reserve. This small wetland provides habitat for species threatened by development along the Highway 11 corridor.

In 2005, another group of neighbours pooled their resources to purchase a nearby 8-acre lot and donated it to the Trust, creating the Pileated Ridge Nature Reserve. Residents, cottagers, the Town of Huntsville and the Huntsville Nature Club work in partnership to protect the birds, animals and native plant species of the area. In 2007, Chuck Lamon and Bill McCann, two conservation-minded neighbours, donated 121 acres of wetland, grassland and woodland near Peninsula Lake to the Trust. There is a possibility of linking this property with other protected lands as encroaching development threatens nearby natural areas. “We preserved Pen Lake Farms Nature Reserve to prevent its development and maintain its natural beauty,” Chuck Lamon says. “We donated it to the Trust to ensure that it remains in its natural state for future generations.” Years ago, Huntsville resident Catherine Brook participated in the Foundation’s Stewardship program, volunteering to take good care of the natural features of her land. In 2009, she bequeathed a 9-acre parcel of land to the Trust and the Brook Nature Reserve was created. “I think it’s vital that land be set aside to be retained in its natural state,” says Don McVittie, Director of the Muskoka Heritage Trust and long-time Huntsville resident. In 1989 McVittie’s father, Jack, was concerned about the future of the land he loved and donated a 253-acre parcel of land on Eilean Gowan Island on Lake Muskoka to the Trust.The J. P. McVittie Nature Reserve was one of the first nature reserves in Ontario. “There is so much commercial activity happening in Huntsville right now,” McVittie says. “Timing is really important. Thank goodness we had the opportunity to protect property when we did.” It’s no secret that one of the properties the Trust is working hard to secure is Dyer’s Memorial, a 100-acre property along the Big

East River. The land is home to a 42-foot monument erected by Detroit lawyer Clifton G. Dyer, in memory of his wife Betsy after her death in 1956.The nature reserve will look a little different than it has in the past. The manicured lawns around the memorial will be replaced by a naturalized landscape encircled by a 120-foot buffer around the monument. “The people of Huntsville have a long history with the Dyer Memorial property,” says McVittie.“Most people in Huntsville have seen it at one time or another. They really cherish Dyer’s Memorial.” Other Huntsville landowners are in various stages of negotiations with the Trust in their efforts to permanently protect their property. These potential protected areas include a delta that contains Atlantic Coastal plains species as well as a 10-acre urban green space. Landowners can be assured they are doing the right thing by protecting habitat for animals and plants. Importantly, depending on the qualities of their property and the type of donation, landowners may qualify for significant property, income and capital gains tax incentives.

How can you help? Protect the land you love. Donate your ecologically significant land to the Muskoka Heritage Trust or consider a bequest of land. Get involved in the Muskoka Stewardship Program, a voluntary landowner education and recognition program that assists you in learning about the natural features of your property and what you can do to help conserve it. For 23 years, the Muskoka Heritage Foundation has protected, conserved and nurtured Muskoka's natural and cultural environment for future generations. Become a member, make a donation, leave a legacy. For more information, contact us at (705) 645-7383 or



Where else can you explore Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven replications under square miles of open skies?

Only in downtown Huntsville and surrounding area Enjoy a visual feast of the Outdoor Gallery 365 days a year! 1. Tom Thomson’s • Autumn’s Garland 1915-1916 Mural artists: Gerry Lantaigne and over 1,300 Huntsville residents and visitors 2007 Reflections of Muskoka (side) – 49 Main St. E. 2.

Tom Thomson Bronze Statue Artist: Brenda Wainman Goulet 2005 Huntsville Civic Centre – 37 Main St. E.

3. Lawren Harris’ Snow II 1915 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2006 Trinity United Church (side wall) - 33 Main St. E.

17. F. H.Varley’s Midnight Sun 1938 Mural Artist: David Flett 2009 RBC Royal Bank (side wall) - 22 Main St. E. 18. A. J. Casson’s Summer Hillside 1945 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2004 RBC Royal Bank (rear wall – Municipal Parking Lot) - 22 Main St. E. 19. Tom Thomson’s Northern River 1915 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2006 Flotron’s Tweed & Hickory (rear wall) - 18 Main St. E.

4. Tom Thomson’s White Birch Grove 1916 Mural Artist: John Hood 2007 Algonquin Theatre (rear wall) - 37 Main St. E.

20. Tom Thomson’s The Pool 1915 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2003 Huntsville’s Hometown IDA Drugstore (side wall – Municipal Parking Lot) - 10 Main St. E.

5. Arthur Lismer’s Georgian Bay, Spring 1917 Mural Artist: Marc Sorozan 2009 Algonquin Theatre (rear wall) - 37 Main St. E.

21. A.Y. Jackson’s The Red Maple 1914 Mural Artist: Stephen Sammon 2007 Huntsville’s Hometown IDA Drugstore (alley wall) - 10 Main St. E.

6. Frank Carmichael’s Autumn: Orillia 1924 Mural Artist: Michele Van Maurik 2009 Algonquin Theatre (rear) - 37 Main St. E. 7. Tom Thomson’s Algonquin October 1915 Mural Artist:William Lazos 2007 Algonquin Theatre (rear wall) - 37 Main St. E. 8. Tom Thomson’s The Jack Pine 1916 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 1999 Miss Lester’s (side) - 4 Brunel Road

22. Tom Thomson’s Silver Birches 1915-1916 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2005 Huntsville’s Hometown IDA Drugstore (alley wall) - 10 Main St. E. 23. Lawren Harris’ Northern Lake 1926 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2005 Huntsville Capital Theatre (front side wall) 8 Main St.W.

9. Franklin Carmichael’s Mirror Lake 1929 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2005 The Bookcase (side wall) - 93 Main St. E.

24. J. E. H. MacDonald’s The Beaver Dam 1919 Mural Artist: Charles Johnston 2007 Huntsville Capital Theatre (rear side wall) 8 Main St.W.

10. Tom Thomson’s Autumn Foliage 1916 Mural Artist:Tim Webb 2007 Algonquin Outfitters - 86 Main St. E.

25. A. J. Casson’s South Portage Mural Artist: Michele Van Maurik 2007 Huntsville Capital Theatre (rear side wall) 8 Main St.W.

26. J. E. H. MacDonald’s The Wild River 1919 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne and over 900 Huntsville residents and visitors 2009 Huntsville Capital Theatre (rear side wall) 8 Main St.W. 27. F. H.Varley’s Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay 1920 Mural Artist: Marc Sorozan 2007 Muskoski Urban Rustic Living (side wall) 15 Main St. E. 28. Frank Johnston’s Early Evening,Winter 1928 Mural Artist: Donna Buchan 2009 The Huntsville Forester (side wall) - 11 Main St.W. 29. Tom Thomson’s The Canoe 1914 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2005 Wayne Simpson & Associates/Portage Promotions 11 Centre St. S. 30. Tom Thomson’s Pine Trees at Sunset c1915-1916 Mural Artist:Tim Webb 2009 Huntsville Public Library (side wall) - 7 Minerva St. E. 31. A.Y. Jackson’s Night Pine Island 1924 Mural Artist: Janine White (Marson) 2007 Hutcheson, Reynolds & Caswell (rear wall) 27 Main St. E.

SUMMER 2010 PHOTO CONTEST See our website for details starting in June

2010 GALLERY SPONSORS Downtown Huntsville BIA • Government of Canada

11. Tom Thomson’s Petawawa Gorges 1916 Mural Artist: Olaf Schneider 2007 Algonquin Outfitters (alley wall) - 86 Main St. E. 12. Arthur Lismer’s Isles of Spruce 1922 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2009 TD Canada Trust (rear wall) - 38 Main St. E. 13. J. E. H. MacDonald’s The Tangled Garden 1916 Mural Artist: Gerry Lantaigne 2006 Coldwell Banker Thompson Real Estate (side wall) - 32 Main St. E. 14. A.Y. Jackson’s Stream in the Woods Mural Artist: Marc Sorozan 2009 Louis II (side wall) - 24 Main St. E. 15. Lawren Harris’ Winter in the Northern Woods 1917-1918 Mural Artist: Janine Marson 2009 Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce (side wall) - 8 West St. N.

23-26 27 28

15-16 10-11 9 12 20-22 13 8 1 1917-1814 31 2 4-7 3 29


16. Lawren Harris’ Northern Painting 25 1924 Mural Artist:Tim Webb 2009 Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce (rear wall) - 8 West St. N.

attractions Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area




LADY MUSKOKA CRUISES 1 (800) 263-5239 • (705) 646-2628

ALGONQUIN THEATRE 1 (888) 696-4255 • (705) 789-4975

LAKE OF BAYS BOAT TOURS 1 (866) 408-7495 • (705) 645-6954

DEERHURST MUSICAL STAGE SHOW 1 (800) 461-4393 • (705) 789-6411

LION’S LOOKOUT Park Dr., Huntsville

COMMERCE PARK HUNTSVILLE FARMER’S MARKET Fridays: June 5th – September 5th, 2010 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. DORSET FIRE TOWER LOOKOUT (705) 766-1032 DORSET HERITAGE MUSEUM (705) 766-2814 DYER’S MEMORIAL Williamsport Rd., Huntsville

MAPLE ORCHARD FARMS/ CHOCOLATE HOUSE 1 (800) 461-5445 • (705) 645-3053 MUSKOKA HERITAGE PLACE Museum - Village - Train 1 (888) 696-4255 • 705 789-7576 MUSKOKA STEAMSHIPS 1 (866) 408-7495 • (705) 687-6667 RIVER MILL PARK & PLAYGROUND Downtown Huntsville

ERA TOURS Off-road Hummer Tours 1 (800) 461-4393 • (705) 795-8687

ROCK RIDGE RECREATION PARK 1 (877) 848-0888 • (705) 788-7275


ROTARY YOUTH PARK Skateboarding Park located in Huntsville at McCulley – Robertson Complex

HIDDEN VALLEY HIGHLANDS SKI AREA 1 (800) 398-9555 • (705) 789-1773

SANTA’S VILLAGE (705) 645-2512 •


SUNDRIDGE MAPLE SUGAR HOUSE Museum - Restaurant - Gift Shop (705) 384-7764

HUNTSVILLE FARMER’S MARKET Thursdays: May 20 – October 28, 2010 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. • Canadian Tire parking lot

SUNSET CRUISES (705) 645-2462 •

HUNTSVILLE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS 1 (800) 663-2787 • (705) 788-2787

TOWN DOCK BOAT TOURS (705) 789-4580

Deerhurst Musical Stage Show

With so many things to see and do in our area, the biggest decision is usually not what to do, but where to start. Here are a few suggestions for an eventful day! The pioneering spirit is alive at Muskoka Heritage Place, a faithfully reconstructed village that depicts a typical 1890's Muskoka settlement, complete with costumed narrators who demonstrate skills like weaving and blacksmithing. Here, you can also board the beautifully restored Portage Flyer for a sentimental journey along the same narrow gauge track that once transported passengers and freight between Peninsula Lake and Lake of Bays. Visit All the world’s a stage at the Algonquin Theatre in the Huntsville Civic Centre where a bronze statue of acclaimed Canadian painter Tom Thomson stands guard. Home to the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, the stage hosts popular singers and musicians, concerts, comedy acts and live theatre. Visit Visit our acclaimed Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery featuring over 75 mural reproductions of Group of Seven masterpieces — some located on our historic downtown Huntsville buildings. The exhibit is free to the public and mural maps can be picked up in various shops and offices in downtown Huntsville. For other attractions please visit



Delightful Shops & Services • Cafés and Haute Cuisine • Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery • Downtown Waterfront

DOWNTOWN CELEBRATIONS Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery - YEAR-ROUND Firefly Festival - JULY 16 Summer Sidewalk Adventure - AUG. 21 Shades of Autumn Antique, Classic and Custom Car Show - SEPT. 18 Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend - NOV. 12-14 Here you and your family will do, taste and try things you’ve never done before. And it all starts downtown. . .

We look forward to greeting you!



retail therapy “

Shop ‘til you

Downtown Huntsville BIA

With the charm of our local shop owners, while browsing amongst Group of Seven Murals, a shopping adventure is not to be missed. Shops and restaurants housed in historic buildings provide an eclectic mix of old and new.

Stressed out from your busy life? Need to slow down? Nowadays, everyone is so timedeprived and stressed out, you need a place to go and get away from it all. Why not indulge the shopper in you and enjoy a relaxing day, strolling down the streets of beautiful downtown Huntsville? Whether you’re in the mood for antiques and galleries, fine apparel, accessories, great gifts, home décor or those one-of-a-kind finds, Huntsville has it all. It’s a perfect way to spend the day alone or with a friend or two. Grab a coffee and a yummy treat from one of our cafés and take some time to explore all the amazing, unique stores we have to offer. Why not take the pressure off yourself, get ahead of the game and start your Christmas shopping early? It is a much more relaxing way to shop then in the crowded malls in December. Or better yet, splurge on something for yourself.What better way to put yourself in a happy mood then to buy something that makes you feel good? It could be a new piece of clothing or jewelry or even something new for your home. Whatever it may be, you will surely find it at one of Huntsville’s many


fine stores. To add to your shopping enjoyment, while you are strolling the street, take some time to enjoy some of the 45 murals from our year round Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery spread throughout the downtown. You will be able to view many of Tom Thomson’s images of the north. Need a break? All that shopping made you hungry? Put your bags down and take a rest.There are many excellent restaurants to choose from no matter what you may be craving.You can dine on one of our numerous patios or eat at one of the cafés or pubs. If a sit down restaurant doesn’t suit your mood, you can grab some take-out and either relax in one of the comfy Muskoka chairs while enjoying the scenery at peaceful River Mill Park or sit on the dock along the Muskoka River. Whether you are in Huntsville for a day, a weekend or the summer, you would be missing out if you left town without spending a few delightful hours poking around our downtown. It will provide you with a total shopping experience and leave you feeling rested, relaxed and ready to take on the world!





The Naturalize Muskoka challenge: naturalizing Muskoka, one plant at a time! By Jan McDonnell Natural Heritage Committee, Muskoka Heritage Foundation

While attending a luncheon at a popular Muskoka riverside restaurant one day last year, I was admiring the natural shoreline across the way. Suddenly, I spotted a mink running along there, sticking its nose into every nook and cranny and under every shrub it could find. For an urban property, it was pretty messy with no manicured lawn visible and lots of rocks and shrubs and natural vegetation. It was pretty heavenly for the mink though, who found lots of places to hunt for its favourite foods. I could practically see him grinning as he ran along. This story points out one of the obvious benefits of maintaining natural areas with all the features that nature would have allowed: wildlife habitat. Mink are animals that focus in on shorelines to satisfy their life requirements and they cannot easily do this on manicured shorelines. The benefits of planting native species are undeniable. They are hardy and diseaseresistant and they often require very little maintenance. Many of them are very showy, so you need not lose the decorative aspect if you choose to plant them. They are not invasive either, unlike some domestic plants such as periwinkle and tansy that are becoming problematic. I recall a former neighbour who used to obsess about the grubs and weeds that inhabited his yard and caused his (overly-large and unused) lawn to be less than perfect. I was appalled to hear one day that his annual budget for lawn maintenance was thousands of dollars. Contrast this to our yard, where we mow over the septic field and leave the rest to nature. You might say we have a large wildflower garden, except garden implies that we maintain it and we

don’t. As a result, we see all kinds of wildlife. It doesn’t cost us a cent and we know that we are being kind to the earth and to the native wildlife that we share Muskoka with. For many years now, the Muskoka Heritage Foundation (MHF) has been promoting the use of native plants and the restoration of natural areas. We have a native plant sale each spring in Huntsville, Bracebridge and Bala to provide landowners with easy access to a variety of reasonablypriced native species. Each year, we coordinate a project to restore a degraded site. For example, in June 2007, MHF partnered with the Town of Huntsville to repair and naturalize a section of shoreline at Camp Kitchen Park on Fairy Lake at the mouth of the Muskoka River. The site originally consisted of mowed lawn with chunks of sidewalk concrete lining the water’s edge. Canada geese were a problem because it was easy for them to hop out of the water onto the lawn. Native granite boulders were used to replace the old chunks of sidewalk concrete. The sod was removed from a five-metre section back from the water’s edge, and volunteers planted the entire area with native shrubs and trees suitable for shorelines and native to Muskoka. After planting, the bare soil surface was mulched. A narrow rock walkway to the water was maintained as an access point for swimming. Today, the site is well-established with most of the plants flourishing. There was some damage by browsing deer munching on the tastier plants, so these were replaced with a less palatable species. The plants have filled out and the shoreline is very stable now as the roots have stabilized the soil. I

encourage you to drop by and have a look. The site looks fabulous, human use is still possible and another bonus is that the Canada geese find it much less suitable for their needs! Although I have never seen a mink there, it would not surprise me to find one running along the shoreline. If you are considering native species or restoring a degraded area (and I include urban lawns as degraded areas!), here are some thoughts and tips: • plan ahead and make a sketch to aid in planning • consider current conditions such as soil type and moisture, local climate and exposure • inventory natural features such as trees (dead or alive, standing or fallen down), rocks and rock outcrops • inventory non-natural features such as property lines, septic fields, buried cables, etc. • plant in the very early spring if you can • consider how much space the mature plants will require and how tall trees will be at maturity • take a clue from other naturally vegetated areas as to what nature would have grown on your site • you may need to amend or add soil and it may be beneficial to add mulch after planting to keep the soil in place until the plants become established • water plantings often for the first-year or two The beauty of this is that the philosophy of naturalizing with native plants can be applied to any property, rural or urban, large or small.




arts The Artists of the Limberlost Open Studio Weekend on August 14 & 15 is a highlight of the summer arts scene in Huntsville/Lake of Bays. This annual event is more than just an art show. Each August, artists and craftspeople along the Limberlost Road east of Huntsville welcome the public into their studios to share their art and their creative processes. Visitors enjoy a rewarding outing exploring this scenic corner of Muskoka and often discover art treasures to bring home. The Artists of the Limberlost tour offers a wide range of professional quality art and fine craft. In addition to the 8 host studios, a variety of guest artists also exhibit their work. This year, work by 20 creative people is featured along a compact 20 km route. Host studios include Brenda Wainman Goulet, whose sculpture of Tom Thomson graces Huntsville’s downtown in front of the Algonquin Theatre — you’ll learn how she

creates her bronze sculptures and jewellery. Catherine O’Mara’s studio features her detailed landscape paintings in the medium of egg tempera — if you’re unfamiliar with egg tempera, she’ll be happy to explain. Sharon Stock Feren expresses a playful sense of humour in her work, which is rendered in a variety of media including painting, mosaic and photography. Jeff Miller’s historic farmhouse studio is the backdrop for vibrant oil and acrylic landscapes inspired by years spent exploring Muskoka and Algonquin Park. The glass-fusing studio of Susan Higgins is filled with colourful glass bowls, plates and window panels inspired by nature — visitors see how glass designs are composed, then fired in kilns. At Brian Markham’s studio, the natural beauty of wood is revealed by the woodturning process — learn how wood

gets from tree to table, in the form of a finelycrafted bowl or platter. At his cottage studio, Jerry Friedman makes sculptures by sanding and finishing driftwood to bring out shapes and images he sees within each piece. Joining Artists of the Limberlost this year is acrylic painter Mark Kulas - Mark paints in the colourful Woodland style, depicting scenes and wildlife inspired by the wilderness of the region. Guest artists will be exhibiting fibre art, pottery, basketry, stained glass, watercolour painting, woodcarving, fine furniture, jewellery, photography and metal sculpture. Host studios are open by appointment throughout the year and most welcome commission work. Further information can be found at





Flavour adventures Tempt your taste buds - you can choose from a wide variety of culinary experiences! From chocolate treats to coffee shops, cafés, pubs overlooking the water and fine dining.

Kelly Holinshead


From roadside cafés, markets and pubs to savoury sophisticated fare, you will find homegrown, local flavour for every taste bud in our communities. Wine and dine on the water’s edge, in magnificent resorts and inns or in bustling street-side restaurants and patios where there is plenty to see and savour. With over 50 dining establishments in Huntsville, Lake of Bays and Algonquin Provincial Park to choose from – you are certain to find a culinary delight to fit your budget and your curiosity. Traveling with the kids? Little ones will delight in our pizzerias, breakfast diners or ice cream parlours. The last one usually does the trick after a long car trip! 2010/11 VISITORS GUIDE




recipe Coconut Shrimp Serves 6 36 large Black Tiger Shrimp, peeled Coconut Flour Eggs, beaten

By Jeff Suddaby - Executive Chef, 3 Guys and A Stove

Chili Vinegar Canola oil Lime slices Cilantro or parsley (washed & dried)

Prepare the Chili Vinegar and set aside. (see right) Devein the shrimp by making a slit along the back or outside of the shrimp, lift out the black vein and discard. Rinse and drain shrimp. Put the following ingredients in three separate shallow bowls: flour, eggs and coconut. Dip shrimp, one at a time first into the flour, then the beaten egg mixture and finally into the coconut. Lay the coated shrimps on a baking sheet as you finish coating each one. In a deep saucepan, heat oil to 350 – 375 degrees. *Deep fry shrimp, several at a time, without overcrowding in the fryer. Once cooked, place shrimp on several layers of paper towel until all the shrimp are finished. Serve immediately with lime slices and cilantro or parsley.

Seasoned rice vinegar Crushed red chilies 6 ramekins Fill each ramekin 3/4 full with the seasoned rice vinegar and 2 tsp. each of the chilies. Set aside. *Deep frying information: • If the oil is not hot enough, the shrimp will absorb it and become heavy; if it is too hot, the outside will burn and the inside will remain uncooked. Using a thermometer is the best way to ensure correct temperature. • Fry no more than 6 shrimp at a time; this helps prevent the shrimp from sticking together. For more recipes visit



Celebrate Savour Muskoka! It was not so long ago that “eating out” in Muskoka meant a wiener roast following a placid canoe trip, or grilling up the fish you caught earlier in the day. In recent years, however, cottage-country dining has gone increasingly upscale, and acclaimed restaurants seek to please the palates of sophisticated residents and vacationers alike. Muskoka is now home to superlative chefs capable of crafting the most intricate of entrées.Thankfully, these culinary stars, and the establishments at which they toil, still have a sense of what makes this expanse of geography so special — its natural bounty. From berries and mushrooms to a myriad of vegetables and maple syrup, the region is blessed with an abundance of indigenous and farmed foodstuffs. These often-organic ingredients are highlighted as part of the Savour Muskoka dining program. Now in its fifth year, Savour Muskoka brings together top chefs and local produce. The results: greater environmental sensitivity through the use of seasonal, sustainable ingredients, and a fresh and distinctive culinary experience you can’t find anywhere else. Visit for more info.




heritage The experience at Muskoka Heritage Place is unique and one that you can enjoy at your leisure as you stroll through the pioneer village and hear stories from costumed narrators. Muskoka Heritage Place is located just one kilometre from downtown Huntsville on ninety acres of natural, unspoiled land. The site is close to Algonquin Provincial Park and represents a working cross-roads community settled circa 1880 to 1910. The site boasts 16 pioneer buildings, most authentic relocated pioneer homesteads or workshops. While visiting Muskoka Heritage Place, enjoy the First Nations’ encampment overlooking the Cann Lake beaver pond.The First Nations’ weekly events may include talking feathers, dream catchers and corn husk doll making. Listen to the stories and experience the wisdom of First Nations’ during the summer months. Visit the one-room school house where Miss Carrie Hall taught students from the ages of six to fourteen and where the daily chores of the school house were just as important as the learning. Continuing along the path, you’ll see the trapper’s cabin and the woodworking shop. The Daniel Bray House is often a hub of activity, where you will find seasonal exhibits.

The Maw House is a must-see when visiting the village, with mouthwatering warm scones and fresh butter. This settler’s homestead features additional demonstrations of pioneer cooking and baking and give an opportunity for you to try your hand at candle-dipping. Abigail, our twelve year old “Jenny,” loves a visit from everyone. She and the other farm animals give an idea of the typical domestic animals you would see around the farm. Ironworking was a large part of the pioneer village and the Blacksmith Shop offers demonstrations of making iron tools. Some of the items created in the blacksmith shop are on display and for sale in the General Store. The Hares’ House and the Hill House are filled with items that are representative of area homes from the 1800s. The Muskoka Museum takes you on a chronological journey, from the First Aboriginal People hunting and gathering in the area, right through to tourism.The 2010 Exhibit features ‘Great Nations’ in celebration of the G8 Summit. The Portage Flyer train is a fully operational historic experience. The authentic coaches are pulled by our diesel locomotive in the spring and fall or by one of

our steam locomotives in July and August. The Flyer operated between 1904 and 1958 between Peninsula Lake and Lake of Bays at Portage. Once the world’s smallest commercial railway, it was instrumental in opening up the tourism industry on Lake of Bays. Prior to the construction of roads, it was the workhouse that portaged construction materials, boats, food, mail and people across just over a mile of steep elevation and one breakneck curve at Osborne Lake.You may enjoy the Flyer and the Pioneer Village as part of our full site pass or you may just like to take a train ride back in time. Throughout the season, there are several special events including The Nutty Chocolatier Easter Egg Hunt, National Aboriginal Day, Canada Day, The Great Pumpkin Trail and The Portage Flyer Christmas. Visit our website for the most up-to-date event listings. Muskoka Heritage Place is located at 88 Brunel Road, Huntsville and is open daily from mid-May until mid-October from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Call Muskoka Heritage Place for information at (705) 789-7576, 1.888.696.4255 ext. 3214 or visit us online



Teri Souter

stay Lobby at Deerhurst Resort

Where to stay in Muskoka Muskoka has a variety of accommodations to suit any budget and taste, your options are endless! We have it all from rugged outdoor campsites to sophisticated world class resorts, to charming bed and breakfasts and inns and cozy, comfortable cottage resorts, hotels and motels.

If you are planning a trip to Huntsville, Lake of Bays or Algonquin Park, be it for a vacation, a business trip or just to appease your adventurelust, there are a few key points to consider when deciding where to stay. Here are a few ideas to help you choose the right accommodation for your trip and maximize your budget. First, you must know the purpose of your trip. You may say it is something as general as a vacation or a business trip, but it is good to be more specific with what you want. You may be traveling for a business trip, but you may also want to relax or explore the wonderful area of Huntsville, Lake of Bays & Algonquin Park. You may want a vacation, but do you want to try something adventurous or do you just want to relax at a spa? Deciding on these things will help you plan where to stay, and possibly save you time and money since you can choose the right accommodation that can cater to all your needs.

Your Budget: Draw up a budget table with possible projections on how much you would want to spend on your accommodations. Think of the amenities you want to experience while away and account for any additional fun! Know Your Options: The area of Huntsville, Lake of Bays & Algonquin Park is dotted with a variety of accommodations, from family-operated lodges and resorts, cozy bed and breakfast homes, cottage rentals and full amenity hotels and resorts. Outdoor enthusiasts relish the natural beauty of the many area campgrounds as they drift off to sleep under a blanket of stars.

King Suite at Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Contact the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce or visit for a full list of accommodations in North Muskoka. HUNTSVILLEADVENTURES.COM • 2010/11 VISITORS GUIDE




Deerhurst Resort


Consider saddling up next time you hit the trail By Yvonne Stiver-Macleod Travel offers people the opportunity to discover new settings and unfamiliar landscapes. Often how you travel can be just as much fun as where you travel. Exploring Huntsville and Lake of Bays typically conjures images of canoeing through fresh water systems, hiking the many wilderness trails or simply driving along rural country roads. There is, however, another way to mosey – when planning your next visit, consider surveying the scenery and wildlife from the saddle. Outdoor recreation is one of the key reasons people migrate year round to Huntsville and Lake of Bays.Trail riding is an ideal way to trek through the pristine Precambrian wilderness. The fresh air,

scenery and exercise make it a healthy, enjoyable activity. Each season brings new vistas, from the flourishing green blooms of

Saddle up for excitement at a number of riding programs and weekend retreats! summer to the vivid and vibrant colours of fall. It’s not just a sense of nature that makes

horseback trail riding so ideal, but a sense of history. In times past, riders and horses navigated and journeyed these woodlands together. Our inherent fascination and bond with horses forged this trail-blazing partnership, creating the original off-road adventure team. This kind of old-fashioned travel never loses its appeal and little wonder, exploring the natural setting on horseback offers the possibility of crossing great tracks of land, following winding paths and visiting places impossible to reach any other way. Huntsville and Lake of Bays has several trail riding activities and excursions available. There is variety and adventure for everyone. CONTINUED ON PAGE 45



Quality time begins here.

Our commitment to traditional Muskoka hospitality will make you feel at home, whether you’re on a getaway weekend or an extended family vacation. We look forward to serving you this summer. Quality time begins here at Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort.

1-800-894-1105 • (705) 635-2505 Fax: (705) 635-1524 Email: • 1679 PORT CUNNINGTON ROAD LAKE OF BAYS, R.R. #1, DWIGHT, ON P0A 1H0



Deerhurst Resort

Winter sleigh ride at Deerhurst Resort


From the eager novice to expert rider, each facility has years of expertise and training, giving visitors a unique, safe and lasting experience. Whatever option you choose, horseback riding opens up the scenic countryside in a way vehicles or hiking boots simply cannot. Trail riding has definitely grown in popularity over the years. Since horseback riding is a green and friendly way to travel, you leave only hoof prints behind and create a natural way to regenerate the earth.“One of the great things about trail riding is the low environmental impact to the land,” says Tracie Parrott, owner of Algonquin Highlands Trail Riding. Off the grid and rustic by nature, Algonquin Highlands Trail Riding is located in Oxtongue Lake, at the doorstep of Algonquin Provincial Park’s western entrance. Parrott combines her lifelong love of horses and the area into an outdoor activity everyone can enjoy. Preserving the natural charm of trail riding is important to Parrott. “I am from the area and it was important for me to find property that could accommodate environmentally-conscious tourism. I wanted to leave as little a carbon footprint as possible.” Algonquin Highlands Trail Riding offers guided wilderness trail riding around Oxtongue from summer to fall. In the saddle, visitors can enjoy the local flora and fauna and landscapes few have the opportunity to see. Small groups have access to hundreds of kilometres of crown land and

a variety of trails. “People are amazed by how peaceful and quiet it is even though they’re travelling in the bush and they’re astonished at the ability to see wildlife,” comments Parrott. “The scenery is spectacular.” Closer to town, a 13 km drive down Highway 60 from Huntsville takes you to the riding stables of the famous Deerhurst Resort. As part of their vast range of activities, the luxury resort provides guided woodland trail rides along their lakeside roads and picturesque forests. For 30 years, trail riding has been a popular activity amongst guests and visitors. According to Anne White, Communications Director, the resort’s extensive trails give riders the ability to slip back in time. “The view from the lookout and the sense of what it must have been like to arrive in Muskoka and at Deerhurst by steamship over a century ago is probably the high point of the ride.” People can witness the pioneer spirit that settled Huntsville and the creative foresight that built Deerhurst. The charm is not lost even today. “It’s all about escaping back to nature, the terrain, the trees and the wildlife, especially when you reach a quiet spot in the woods.” Trail riding at Deerhurst has changed little over the years. White believes what makes the resort’s stables unique is that riding is the only activity that runs just as popularly in winter as it does in summer. “On average, Deerhurst provides 1,250 trail rides, 200 pony rides, 400 cutter rides and

just over 600 sleigh and wagon rides,” says White. “With first-timers, our goal is to get them to relax and enjoy the view and generally, they are impressed with the extent of the trails and surroundings.” White notes the larger, rugged granite faces, known as ‘whalebacks,’ often intrigue city kids. For the avid rider who wants to vacation with their equine-inclined friends, Back of Beyond Equine Centre invites visitors to bring their own horses on vacation with them. In addition to equine education and wellness, the centre provides accommodations for horses as well as scenic trails on the secluded 100 acre farm located near Huntsville on Muskoka Road 10. Owner Cathy Foyston, who has been around horses her entire life, explains, “Huntsville and Lake of Bays is a beautiful area and a popular tourist destination. Many individuals who have horses of their own enjoy getting together to ride with friends. The two things just seemed to fit together.” Guests have access to the centre’s trails that provide different types of terrain and are developed with the safety and footing of the horses in mind.“There are several levels of difficulty and obstacles for horses to navigate, from wide sandy tracks suitable for a cart to narrower bush trails that cross streams and gullies. It’s sort of like runs on a ski hill,” says Foyston. The different terrain means a large variety of wildlife is present, from deer and foxes to everything in between.“Guests are always enthralled with CONTINUED ON PAGE 46



the variety and beauty of the area, the peaceful atmosphere and the sense of contentment the horses exude.” When the winter months encroach, it’s easy to make the transition from saddle to sleigh. Deerhurst Resort and Back of Beyond Equine Centre offer distinctive sleigh ride packages that provide an opportunity for Mother Nature to flaunt her snow- covered beauty. A sleigh ride at Deerhurst inspires the inner romance historian. Across rolling hills and low-lying trees, the surroundings transport visitors back to 1896, the year Deerhurst was established; a bygone era in Huntsville and Lake of Bays, when horse-drawn sleighs and wagons were the only land transportation available. Back of Beyond provides educational sleigh ride packages. Visitors have the chance to interact with the horses and meet the foals. Foyston feels it’s a great opportunity for people to learn more about these magnificent animals. For the horses, treats are always welcomed. Once you experience horseback trail riding, no trip to the area will ever be complete without saddling up to amble along beautiful forested trails, over endless hillsides and along burbling creeks. You can try and take a picture when you’re on the trail, but it’s doubtful the photo will last as long as the feelings of peace and wonder.Trail riding in Huntsville and Lake of Bays is a journey you’ll never forget. For more information contact:

Algonquin Highlands Trail Riding Blue Spruce Rd. & Hwy 60. • (705) 380-4456 •

Back of Beyond Equine Centre 2572 Muskoka Rd. #10 • (705) 789-1605 •

Deerhurst Resort Riding Stables 1235 Deerhurst Dr. • 1-800-461-4393 • (705) 789-6411 •



Trevor Borys


THE PORTAGE STORE The Portage Store has been outfitting Algonquin canoeists since 1937. Located on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, the store serves as the gateway to the interior of the park. • One Day and Half-Day Guided Canoe Trips • Canoe and Kayak Rentals • Mountain Bike Rentals • Restaurant Overlooking Canoe Lake • Algonquin Park Gift Shop • Overnight Canoeing Adventures Watch the excitement from our restaurant, as people embark on or return from their Algonquin canoe adventure. Enjoy a relaxing day of paddling on a pristine Algonquin lake. Let our friendly, knowledgeable staff make your day of adventure one to remember.

KILLARNEY LODGE Since 1935, our small family-run lodge has been offering the Canadian wilderness experience in relaxing comfort. We’re located right in the heart of Algonquin Park. • Fine Country Dining • Open for Lunch and Dinner • Warmly-Appointed Log Cabins • All on the Water’s Edge • Includes Your Own Canoe Drop in for just a meal… or stay for a night or two. We hope you’ll join us!

THE PORTAGE STORE Canoe Lake, 14 km inside West Gate Algonquin Park, ON PIH 2H4 705-633-5622

KILLARNEY LODGE Lake of Two Rivers, 33 km inside West Gate Algonquin Park, ON P1H 2G9 1-866-473-5551


Huntsville and Lake of Bays Visitor Adventure Guide  

Huntsville & Lake of Bays in Muskoka, Ontario guide to Where to stay, Where to eat and What to do.