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Spirit of Place (softcover)
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Spirit of Place (hardcover)

by John McQuarrie


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Spirit of Place
Muskoka Then & Now

Between Algonquin Park to its east and Georgian Bay to its west, atop the bedrock of the Canadian Shield, lie 6,500 square kilometres of scenic country, pristine waters, and charming towns and villages. This is Muskoka, a place as renowned for its natural attractions as it is for its fascinating history, classic wooden boats, and the spell-binding steamships of Muskoka Wharf. This place draws visitors who want to play all day and others who would like nothing more than to lounge in one of the district's famous Muskoka chairs.

Muskoka will quickly have you under its spell on your very first visit. This book is the proof.

By combining over 450 archival and contemporary images which are interwoven with lively text by a number of well-known Muskoka writers, the book's "Then & Now" approach gives comparisons and contrasts that graphically illustrate the growth of Canada's legendary resort destination. Whether your first visit to Muskoka is still on your "to-do" list, or whether you are a fifth generation cottager, Spirit of Place can give a heightened sense of how Muskoka evolved from virgin forest to one of the most loved vacation destinations.


John McQuarrie's photography clients have included Coors, Marlboro, McDonnell-Douglas, and Lockheed, but his real passion is producing coffee table books. His first works focused on the Royal Canadian Air Force from the Second World War to the Gulf War, and the Canadian Armed Forces in their role as peacekeepers. McQuarrie then turned to the cattle business and working cowboys, joking that his unfulfilled childhood dream of being either a cowboy or fighter pilot was finally realized vicariously through the lens of his camera.

The first five titles in his highly acclaimed "Then & Now" series (Above Canada, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal) enjoyed wide success. Then came collaboration with CTV's Jeff Hutcheson in Best of Canada, an instant best seller whose success led to a second title, Best of Atlantic Canada. In 2007 McQuarrie published The Rideau Canal, Then & Now and followed in 2009 with Trent-Severn Waterway, Then & Now. In 2010 he released three new titles on Muskoka, including this one.


Publisher: Magic Light Publishing, 2010
Category: Communities and locales / Nature, environment, and natural history / Pictorial works
ISBN: 978-1-894673-39-6
Price: $45 CDN/USA hardcover
Format: 248 pages 11.5 x 9 in

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Spirit of Place (softcover)
Spirit of Place (softcover)