Lake of Bays

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Lake of Bays
Township (lower-tier)
Township of Lake of Bays
Municipal office in Dwight
Municipal office in Dwight
Lake of Bays is located in Southern Ontario
Lake of Bays
Lake of Bays
Coordinates: 45°18′N 79°00′W / 45.300°N 79.000°W / 45.300; -79.000
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Regional municipality Muskoka
Incorporated 1971
 • Type Township
 • Mayor Robert Young
 • MP Tony Clement (CPC)
 • MPP Norm Miller (OPC)
 • Land 677.91 km2 (261.74 sq mi)
Population (2016)[2]
 • Total 3,167
 • Density 4.7/km2 (12/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span P0A
Area code(s) 705

Lake of Bays is a township within the District Municipality of Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. The township, situated 193 kilometres (120 mi) north of Toronto, is named after the Lake of Bays.

Located in the northeast corner of Muskoka, the Lake of Bays offers a natural landscape of forests, rocks, lakes and wetlands. It is an important cottaging, recreation and tourism destination in Ontario. Currently, the economy of the township is primarily based on tourism, recreation, and the service sector with forestry and aggregate (composite) extraction contributing as well.


The Township of Lake of Bays was established in 1971 from the former Townships of Franklin, Ridout, McLean and Sinclair/Finlayson (unorganized) as one of six area municipalities within the District of Muskoka.

In the early 20th century several grand resort hotels opened on the lake, among them the Wawa (built in 1908 and destroyed by fire in 1923) and the Bigwin Inn, a resort that operated on Bigwin Island from 1920 until the late 1960s. These hotels were sought after destinations for many rich and famous individuals and groups at the time, including Hollywood stars like Clark Gable, writers like Ernest Hemingway and, during the Second World War, the Dutch royal family.[3]

The township was once home to the smallest commercial railway line in the world called the Portage Railway. Between 1904 and 1958 it ferried passengers between North Portage on Peninsula Lake to South Portage on Lake of Bays, a distance of 2 km. The train, named the Portage Flyer, was discontinued in 1958 and was relocated to an amusement park near St. Thomas, Ontario, until 1984. Much of the original components have since been repatriated and continue to operate on the grounds of Muskoka Heritage Place near Huntsville.


The township includes the communities of Baysville, Bigwin, Birkendale, Bona Vista, Bondi Village, Britannia, Brooks Mills, Browns Brae, Dorset, Dwight, Fox Point, Glenmount, Grandview, Grassmere, Grove Park, Hillside, Limberlost Lodge, Lumina, Maple Ridge, Millar Hill (ghost town), Nith Grove, North Portage, Norway Point, Port Cunnington, Sea Breeze, South Portage and Wahawin.

A small community developed on the subdivided landholdings of a sawmill built by William Brown in the 1870s. The economic development of Baysville was enabled by good road and steamboat connections. Baysville developed into a popular region for vacationers and sportsmen.[4]

Water bodies[edit]


Canada census – Lake of Bays community profile
2011 2006
Population: 3506[2] (-1.8% from 2006) 3570 (23.1% from 2001)
Land area: 677.58 km2 (261.62 sq mi) 671.46 km2 (259.25 sq mi)
Population density: 5.2/km2 (13/sq mi) 5.3/km2 (14/sq mi)
Median age: 50.7 (M: 50.3, F: 51.0)
Total private dwellings: 4850[2] 4338
Median household income: $54,821
References: 2011[1] 2006[5] earlier[6]

The township has a population of 3,506[2] and encompasses 677.58 square kilometres (167,430 acres) of land.[1]

In film[edit]

The 1949 FitzPatrick Traveltalk Ontario: Land of Lakes includes a segment on Bigwin Inn.

In 1963 the former Dorset Fire Tower was shown in the opening credits of the old CBC TV show The Forest Rangers. The tower can also be seen in the 1999 Canadian documentary Over Canada: An Aerial Adventure.

The lake scenes from the Canadian film starring Gordon Pinsent called Away From Her were also shot in the township on the south shore of Lake of Bays across from Price's Point.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Lake of Bays census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-08.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "cp2011" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b c d "Corrections and updates: Population and dwelling count amendments, 2011 Census". Statistics Canada. February 14, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Where Legends Live". Bigwin History. Bigwin Island Golf Club. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2011-03-11.  Ontario Heritage Trust Founding of Baysville
  5. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  6. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. 
  7. ^

External links[edit]