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Bobby Orr Hall of Fame

Door to Dock

Do it all from the water this boating season—dine, shop, sightsee and more. Landlubbers need not apply. By Meaghan Lamb

The Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts

PARRY SOUND
The summer population quadruples in this town on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay. Culture-seeking boaters can cruise into the world’s deepest natural freshwater port and hop ashore to the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, while the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame celebrates the region’s favourite hockey legend.

HUNTSVILLE
See outdoor murals inspired by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven in the town that plays host to the 2010 G8 Summit. Scout out The Finds, Wooden Penny and Nutty Chocolatier. Style the whole family at Big Bear Outfitters (64 Main St. E., 705-788-1351), The Village Shop or Muskoka Jewellery Design.

BOATING FOR BEGINNERS
Take a few paddling lessons and you’ll be skimming the lakes in no time.
>> White Squall is the place for kayak touring. Take both beginner- and advanced-level classes starting at $60 for two and a half hours, or request a private session.
>> Algonquin Outfitters boasts daily canoe and kayak programs at its Huntsville location situated on the water’s edge.

Try a White Squall paddling adventure

BRACEBRIDGE
Water has been an integral part of the area’s history with the North Falls acting as a source of hydraulic power. Tie up at Bracebridge Bay Park in the heart of downtown and get fashionable at Tiggs Clothiers, have Christmas in July at The Gingerbread House and be spoiled for choice selecting cupcakes at Sweet Aroma. For leisurely pursuits, visit Applause! Toy Store, Readers World and the Norwood Theatre (106 Manitoba St., 705-645-2333).

ROSSEAU
Sing your heart out while coming into the Rosseau wharf as holidaymakers did when arriving on the steamships a century ago. Peruse The Craft Room Rosseau or the Farmers’ Market (at Short Street) on Fridays.

FULL SERVICE
>> Port Sandfield Marina offers watercraft rentals, fuel, repairs, servicing and detailing on-site, as well as storage. Shop the Boathouse for clothing, footwear and boating accessories or grab a coffee or ice cream.
>> Pride Marine Group has four marinas under their umbrella here—Pride of Muskoka, Pride of Muskoka West, Pride of Lake of Bays and Pride of Rosseau—each of which provide service seven days a week, gas, as well as new and used boat sales.
>> Skeleton Lake Marina sells new and used boats as well as servicing and repairing many styles of boats. No boat? Rent one and have it delivered to your lake.

Steamships glide through Port Carling

PORT CARLING
Cruise through the locks from lakes Muskoka to Rosseau where you’ll find pleasant respite at the “Hub of the Lakes.” Dock at Turtle Jack’s Muskoka Grill (123 Medora St., 705-765-1753) for a lunch of burgers, salads, beer-battered fish and chips and more. Grab the necessities from Tommy Bahama before rejoining the water world.

MUSKOKA WHARF
The $170 million rebirth of this wharf in Gravenhurst meanders the length of the waterfront. Find docks, marinas, dining, boutiques, lodging, heritage facilities and the homeport of the Muskoka steamships. Berth your own vessel and promenade along the boardwalk.

Weekend Roundup, August 7 to 9

The holiday weekend is over, but Muskoka is still buzzing with activity—we’re particularly excited about Handel’s Messiah on Sunday!

RMS Segwun

Tour Muskoka's lakes on the historic RMS Segwun.

Friday, August 7
Brush up on your canoeing skills by registering for a five-hour course from Muskoka Outfitters in Bracebridge. Learn how to paddle in tandem, how to brace, and how to canoe through rough waters.

Armed with an affordable day membership for Spa at the Rosseau, relax in the steam room or sauna, take advantage of complimentary refreshments in either the men’s, women’s or co-ed lounge, and admire the lake vista while soaking in an indoor hot tub.

Saturday, August 7
Board the RMS Segwun, North America’s oldest operating steamship, for a Millionaire’s Row cruise. Feast on lunch and the multi-million-dollar summer homes perched on Muskoka’s shores.

In the evening, head over to Port Carling and seek out in Treasure Island, an interactive family theatre production that’s part of the Muskoka Lakes Music Festival. Who doesn’t like pirates? Arrr!

Sunday, August 9
It’s your last chance to catch the Festival of the Sound. Spend the afternoon listening to Handel’s Messiah, as performed by the Elmer Isler Singers with the Festival Chamber Orchestra and others. Arrive early at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts to hear conductor Lydia Adams talk about the classical-era masterpiece.

Kids too active to sit through a concert? Then take them to the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, also located within Parry Sound’s Charles W. Stockey Centre, to learn about one of the National Hockey League’s greatest players. (Visit the Hall’s website for a printable 2-for-1 admission pass.)

Weekend Roundup, May 29 to 31

The days are getting warmer in cottage country, and there’s lots to do both outside and in!

Friday, May 29
As the Stanley Cup playoffs draw to a close, honour a Canadian hockey legend in his hometown at the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame in Parry Sound.

Savour old country charm at The Norseman Restaurant by ordering the delectable confit of duck—a tender duck leg served with rich orange sauce.

Saturday, May 30
Unwind amidst 86 acres of immaculate woodland while indulging in a European rose mud body wrap at Trillium Resort and Spa.

Behold the musical brilliance of Blue Rodeo as they take over the Kee to Bala for an evening of harmonious lyrics and country-rock melodies.

Sunday, May 31
Survey the rock ridges, wetlands and beaver ponds of the Muskoka Bay Club—they make the Doug Carrick-designed golf course all the more beautiful (and challenging).

Delight in the colourfully crazy amalgam of Dr. Seuss’ books and characters in Seussical the Musical, performed at Bracebridge’s Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre.