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Located on one of cottage country’s favourite dockside destinations, the one-of-a-kind Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst is dedicated to sharing the history of steamships in this region through preservation and on-going boat building, and to showcasing the elegance and serenity of renowned, historic resorts that once – and still do – pepper the landscape.
Fun for the whole family, you can visit the boat builders’ workshop to see some of the finest vessels ever produced internationally. Put on your Captain’s hat and blow the steam whistles, or fire up a working engine. Get a taste for what life was like in Muskoka in the days of yore, especially on the famous waters.
The centre is also home to the Grace & Speed boathouse museum, the only in-water (!) exhibit of working antique boats in North America. The Canadian Canoe Museum’s Racing Canoes exhibit is also on display, depicting the rich history of racing canoes from the early 20th century onward.
New this year for the 2014 feature exhibit is the Musical Memories of Muskoka, celebrating the rich musical heritage of Big Band at Dunn’s Pavillion (now The Kee to Bala) in particular; Guy Lombardo, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong are just some of the celebrated musicians who played here back in the day.
The Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre is open year-round and features programs and activities to entertain and engage one and all.
And just down the dock you’ll find the grand ladies of the Muskoka Steamship & Historical Society ready to cruise the lakes from May until October, the RMS Segwun, The Wenonah II and the Wanda III. The iconic RMS Segwun, built in 1887 and able to carry 97 passengers, is recognized as North America’s oldest operating hand-fired steamship. She offers daily cruises and special events throughout the summer and fall months, and has had her Millionaire’s Row Cruise designated a Canadian Tourism Signature Experience. Check out the schedule and rates of these historical steamships and book your cruise today.