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Gravenhurst Area Information
The town of Gravenhurst in southeast Ontario - known as the Gateway to Muskoka - is a premier destination and transport hub for Ontario’s popular Cottage Country region. The area is popular with holidaymakers, outdoor enthusiasts, and homebuyers looking to get away from the big city (without being too far from it).
Gravenhurst is around 15 minutes south of Bracebridge to the northeast, and 1 hour 30 minutes from Toronto to the south. The main transport route is Highway 11, which runs up from the south before diverting eastward towards Bracebridge.
Rail service to Gravenhurst was suspended in 2012, but there is still an inter-city bus service from Toronto as well as the nearby Muskoka Airport.
Gravenhurst incorporates a large area of almost 520 square kilometres. This area includes those of the historic townships Wood, Morrison, Ryde, and Muskoka.
The town of Gravenhurst has many miles of land bordering scenic lakes and waterways, including Gull Lake and Muskoka Lake. This area contains hundreds of rugged islands, inlets, rivers, and smaller bodies of water that make it an ideal destination for those who enjoy lakeside living and recreation.
Gravenhurst Real Estate
Situated around some stunning lakes, like Kahshe, Sparrow, Muldrew, and Muskoka, the real estate market of Gravenhurst has a fantastic selection of lakeside cottages, cabins, and homes.
The vast majority of Gravenhurst real estate display a traditional wood-frame and lap siding style. Add in generously sized decks, dormer windows, and exterior finishes in white and slate blue, and you have a recipe for cozy homes that are both attractive and manage to blend into the surrounding landscape.
Interiors for Gravenhurst homes for sale are often completed with prominent use of bare wood, both for walls and floors, as well as many cozy alcoves and attic spaces. Open-plan designs with well-located fireplaces, laundry facilities, and parking make for convenient living, even in the harshest of winters.
Many of the lakeside homes also have boathouses, lifts, and docks of their own for enjoying the water.
Also, keep a lookout for available islands and plots of land - the perfect opportunity to build your own cottage country getaway.
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Things to Do in Gravenhurst
As the Gateway to Muskoka, Gravenhurst is packed full of attractions representative of this beautiful and fascinating region.
Gravenhurst was also the main departure point for travelers making their way across the water to various holiday homes and cabins. One legacy of this history is the historic ships that still depart from the Muskoka Wharf. Named Segwin and Wenonah, these are some of the oldest functioning steamships in North America.
Some other notable sites and attractions in and around Gravenhurst include:
- The Gravenhurst Opera House
- The Muskoka Steamship Museum
- The Tree Museum
- Bethune Memorial House
- Gravenhurst Narrows Lighthouse
There are also a number of popular events and festivals. Regular showings at the Muskoka Drive-In or the farmers market are two examples. There is also a barge at Gull Lake which hosts Sunday night music events.
Other annual events include:
- The Gravenhurst Car Show
- ACBS Antique Boat Show
- Rib Fest
- Dockside Festival
Gravenhurst is a fantastic location for enjoying the great outdoors. The summers are ideal for swimming and sunbathing (especially at the Gull Lake Park beach), boating, fishing, and hiking, while the winters offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and snowmobiling.
You can also visit the Queen Elizabeth II Park and Torrance Barrens.
Activity relevant to the establishment of Gravenhurst began in the early to mid-19th century. Gravenhurst got its start as a modern settlement thanks to the local lumber industry, offering a processing centre in the area, conveniently located on the water for easy transport. The building of a road and the development of steamship service on the lake in the middle of the 19th century sped up this process.
During World War 2 the area hosted both a training site for the Norwegian Airforce and a POW camp for captured German soldiers.
FAQs About Gravenhurst
Q: Why is it called Gravenhurst?
A: Previously called McCabes Landing and Sawdust City, Gravenhurst's current name is believed to be given by a postal office worker, inspired by the title of a book from the late 1800s called "Gravenhurst; or, Thoughts on Good and Evil" by British author William Smith.
Q: What is Gravenhurst, ON known for?
A: Known as the gateway to Muskoka, Gravenhurst is known for the beauty of the forests and lakes in the landscape surrounding it.
Q: Do people live in Muskoka year-round?
A: Muskoka is ideal for year-round living, with plenty of seasonal activities to do during the summer and winter months. It's also relatively warmer than some other areas in Muskoka, as it's situated in the southern part of the area, just an hour and a half away from the Greater Toronto Area.
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