Manitoba Street in 1935
Recent Photograph of Manitoba Street
The Heart of Muskoka- where Cottage Country begins
The Town of Bracebridge, Ontario sits midway between Gravenhurst and Huntsville, but also midway between the equator and the North Pole on the 45th parallel. A village in 1875 and a Town in 1889, Bracebridge is the official business, and very nearly the geographic, center of Muskoka. Santa's Village theme park, Bracebridge’s most well known attraction, was established in 1954.
History of Bracebridge
Bracebridge came into being because of the logging industry - long before Santa's helpers set up the famous theme park. The first municipally owned hydroelectric plant in Canada was built in Bracebridge and is still operating. The steamships that used to serve residents and industry and ferry tourists along the peaceful Muskoka River up to Bracebridge passed into history upon the completion of the Wellington Street bridge. The Lady Muskoka, a diesel powered tour boat, is still in operation today.
This town of 15,600 swells in the summer months as tourists from around the world and seasonal residents flock to get a taste of cottage country and the lake lifestyle that Ontarians are so fortunate to have in their backyard.
Getting To Bracebridge
Getting here is easy. From Toronto, take Hwy 400 north past Barrie and then exit onto Hwy 11. Take Hwy 11 north, all the way to Bracebridge, about a 60-minute drive.
- Roger Crozier, hockey player
- Major-General Lewis McKenzie, retired soldier and peace-keeper
- Frank Miller, provincial premiere
- Rene Caisse – nurse, developer of Essiac, a treatment for cancer
- Santa Claus – summer residence at Santa’s Village