The Muskoka area in Ontario, affectionately known as Canada’s ‘cottage country’, is always ranked as one of the best places to visit in Canada. With families from around the world flocking to one of Muskoka’s picturesque lakeside locations to celebrate summer on the water, local tourism is a major driver of the local economy.
Generally, Muskoka extends from Georgian Bay in the west, to the northern tip of Lake Couchiching in the south, to the western border of Algonquin Park in the east. A two-hour drive north of Toronto, Muskoka boasts approximately 1,600 lakes, making it a popular cottaging destination. Muskoka is an area populated with several villages and towns, with the largest of its centres being Huntsville, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst, farming communities, and lakeside vacation hotels and resorts near to golf courses, marinas and other outdoor recreational opportunities.
Muskoka has approximately 60,000 permanent residents, but an additional 100,000 seasonal property owners spend their summers in the region every year, making this a major summer community. Due to the regions’ popularity and high property costs, the short- and long-term cottage rental market in Muskoka is very active. Many of Muskoka’s seasonal properties are large mansion-like summer estates, found along the shores of Muskoka’s three major lakes: Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, and Lake Joseph. In recent years, various Hollywood and sports stars have built retreats in Muskoka, including Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Mike Weir, Martin Short, Harry Hamlin, Cindy Crawford, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.