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People seeking clean fresh water and air have been coming to Muskoka since the mid 1800’s. Originally promoted by the British with land grants for those hardy enough to endure the harsh winters and land clearing requirements. The trek from York (Toronto) was a several day journey and included a combination of stage coaches on corduroy roads, horse or oxen powered ferries and miles of foot travel. In 1875 a rail line was completed to Gravenhurst which opened up Muskoka to the world and the first steamship called the Wenonah which had been launched in 1866. The Muskoka Navigation Company then added several steamships to its fleet; most of which have sank, burned or de-commissioned. In 1958 the surviving two steamships the RMS Seguin and RMS Sagamo ceased their regular services. The Sagamo burned to the hull while being re-furbished as a floating historical restaurant; while the Seguin was restored to today's safety standards and continues to ply the waters. One of only a few steam powered ships in the world. During those early years wealthy Canadians and Americans built summer getaways and their families would spend the entire summer season enjoying Muskoka. Many of these families still own property on the lakes but their commute is much easier.
Travel to and around Muskoka is easy with an international airport (YQA) and 2 - 4 lane highways. The water and the forests are still the main attraction on all the lakes. There are approximately 7,000 recreational properties on the 3 big lakes; Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau and Lake Joseph. People from around the world own Muskoka Cottages on the lakes. Few places in the world duplicate its natural beauty, peacefulness and accessibility.
Enjoyment of the lakes takes make different forms now from small family cottages to multi million dollar estates. The common factor being the pristine water and natural beauty.