The District of Muskoka, today celebrated as a vacation paradise, began as a sort of hell for many would-be farmers who arrived to claim its "free land". This is the true story of one special chapter in that dramatic saga.
My Life and Views on Canada, the U.S., the World & the Universe
by Paul Hellyer
This easy reading autobiography by one of Canada’s most engaged political leaders is a welcome key to understanding the man and the nature of public affairs that impact us all. It even clarifies how Hellyer could simultaneously be an Ottawa cabinet minister and Muskoka resort operator.
Huntsville never had an easy time during its formative decades. Founded in the 1860s amid the picturesque lakes and rolling wooded hills of northeastern Muskoka, the hamlet struggled in competition with nearby settlements.
A Novel of the Canadian Election that Vanished in Muskoka's Backwoods
by Gordon Aiken
A Novel of the Canadian Election that Vanished in Muskoka's Backwoods. Canadians took politics seriously in the years following Confederation and Gordon Aiken’s novel about pioneer Muskoka and the fledgling nation’s capital shows why.
Parry Sound, at the mouth of the Seguin River on Georgian Bay, is the gateway to Parry Sound District. The town's economy and society have changed dramatically over the decades, as author Adrian Hayes shows with accurate research and colourful episodes.
Cameos of 1890s Justice from a Magistrate's Bench Book
by J. Patrick Boyer
While dispensing speedy justice, Muskoka Magistrate James Boyer kept a written record of his cases in a "bench book." Recently discovered by his great-grandson, lawyer J. Patrick Boyer, that record now provides the raw material for Raw Life.
This was the first book published in Muskoka. Printed in 1871 at the Northern Advocate offices in Bracebridge, where its author Thomas McMurray published his weekly newspaper, the book Free Grant Lands of Canada promoted settlement by offering “practical experience of bush farming in the free grant districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound.”
It took challenging decades to build the St. Lawrence Seaway. It took even longer to not build the Georgian Bay Ship Canal – although it's promise was much greater. Muskoka author Ray Love documents this dramatic saga about “Canada’s Abandoned National Dream.”
This collection of writings displays a woman's "optimistic realism" with the grace, concern, intelligence and wit of a perceptive community leader who infused her articles with learning from literature and astute sensibility to human psychology.