" We need to find a room for him, so we’ve decided that the space above the new boathouse should be prepared. "
Boys' and girls' boathouses in Muskoka - Credit: Mindshadows
Boathouses on the Muskoka Lakes range from utilitarian sheds to opulent buildings that not only house a fleet of watercraft, but can accommodate family or friends on the floor above. In the early days, these spaces were often used as servants’ quarters, while others were reserved for the children. This photo from Millionaires’ Row shows the boys’ boathouse on the left and the girls’ on the right, dating from the1920s.
There have been several beautifully illustrated books written just about the Muskoka boathouses. To see a few more photos of boathouses on this site, look at the “Setting” page.
" she stripped off her stockings and shoes, dropping them in the canoe house. She tucked her skirt up under her waistband so that she could wade unencumbered into the water to push the canoe out "
Setting out in canoes - Credit: Frank Micklethwaite
Imagine climbing in and out of canoes dressed like this! Little wonder that Victoria stripped off her stockings and shoes.
" Did you know there’s a naturist beach there as well? Where clothing is optional? "
Hanlan's Point Toronto Islands
If you think of the Victorians as being excessively prudish, you may be astonished to discover that there was a nudist beach - popularly known as "Bare-assed Beach" - at Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands from 1894 to 1930, when morally upright citizens finally succeeded in shutting it down. This photo, showing the Hanlan Hotel in the background, was obviously not taken at the nudist beach!
" A large octagonal gazebo, open at both ends to the path, invited strollers to sit on the benches that lined the low walls inside "
Gazebos provide shelter from the sun and sudden downpours, and a place to rest - with a view, of course. This one beckons, even on a late November day in Gravenhurst.