Here are the most popular “must-see” attractions in the Barrie – Muskoka area (in alphabetical order):
Base Borden Military Museum
8 Waterloo Road East
Canadian Forces Base
Borden, ON L0M 1C0
From #400, take Highway 89 west about 15 km to base entrance, turn left on Dieppe Road % follow the signs.
(705) 423-3531. Fax: (705) 423-3623
CFB Borden was opened in 1916 to train troops for the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War. In early 1917, the base was the first flying station for the Royal Flying Corps Canada, to becoe the birthplace of Canadian military aviation. In 1938, when the Canadian Tank School came to the base, and during the Second World War, Borden was the most important training base in Canada, a role it has continued for the past 60 years. The museums at CFB Borden reflects Borden’s aviation and armour traditions Admission by donation
Billy Bishop Heritage Museum
948 3rd Ave. West,
Owen Sound, ON, N4K 4P6
(519) 371-0031 Fax: (519) 371-5310
The boyhood home of First and Second World War flying ace William Avery Bishop, BC, CB DSO. A well-preserved example of the Queen Anne Revival style, the house has an eclectic mix of architectural styles, featuring asymmetrical proportions, a variety of window shapes and decorative millwork. The Billy Bishop Museum is the childhood home of the World War I flying ace and recounts early aerial warfare inclduing accounts of some of Bishop’s daring battles with the Red Baron and others Memorabilia from peace time and both World Wars are displayed in the exquisitely furnished Victorian home, including pictures of planes, battles, flying suits and a model of the Avro Arrow. Special exhibits throughout the year include a memorable Victorian Christmas. A gift shop has books, cards, model kits, prints and much more. School tours and group discounts can be arranged. Open September to June: Tuesday to Sunday, 12 noon to 4 pm; July & August daily, 10 am to 4 pm. Closed the month of January and closed on weekends in February. Other times by appointment. Admission Fee
Blue Mountain Road. RR#3
In the winter as popular ski destination. In summer take the gondola, or enjoy the tube rides, children’s water play areas, children’s dry playground, golf, climbing walls and Euro Bungee.
Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site
235 John St N
Dr Norman Bethune’s birthplace in 1890. The ground floor and master bedroom of this late Victorian clapboard house have been resotred to that period. The second floor has exhibits chronicalling Dr Bethune’s life and accomplishments. . There are 1 hour tours by the Visitor’s Centre. Allow 1 hour. Open daily 10 am to 4 pm June – October; Wekedays 1pm to 4 pm the remainder of the year. Admission.
Bobby Orr Hall of Fame
Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts
Two Bay Street
Parry Sound, ON, P2A 1S3
705.746.4466 toll free: 877.746.4466
The accomplishments of Parry Sound’s favourite son are chronicled and celebrated in the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, which is housed in the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts. Bobby began playing hockey in Parry Sound, rose to hockey superstardom. See the stick and puck he used to score the Stanley Cup-winning goal of 1970, his original locker from the Boston Gardens, two of his Stanley Cup rings and much more. Also make time to see exhibits on recent Bobby Orr Hall of Fame inductees, the souvenir shop, and skill-testing games. Open 7 days a week, 10 am to 6 pm
Cabot Head Lighthouse
Turn east off Highway 6 on the Dyers Bay Road. through community of Dyer’s Bay and along the shore road to Cabot Head
c/o Friends of Cabot Head
Box 233 Lions Head, ON, N0H 1W0
This century-old lighthouse sits on the eastern edge of the Bruce Peninsula with breathtaking, panoramic view of white limestone cliffs and blue-green Georgian Bay water. From the tower, you can see Flowerpot Island, Lonely Island, Bear’s Rump Island and Cape Croker. The Lindsay Township Heritage Room is furnished with artifacts from the mid-to- late 1800’s. The Marine Room features nautical history from the first commercial fishing to trade and shipwrecks and the Environmental Room to learn about the area’s geological features and fauna. Take a Historical Self-Guided Walking Tour utilizes a site map brochure and strategically placed interpretive historical plaques throughout the light station site.The lighthouse is open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week from Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving. Admission by donation.
93 Jury Drive (end of Jury Drive, Penetanguishene)
Penetanguishene, Ontario, L9M 1G1
(705) 549-8064 Fax: (705) 549-4858
Discovery Harbour, on scenic Penetanguishene Bay, recreates the community with 1800s British naval and military forces in Central Ontario. Discovery Harbour is home to full-size replicas of British sailing ships H.M.S. Tecumseth and H.M.S. Bee. Tour the 15 historic buildings, including the restoration project on the original 1836 Officers’ Quarters, and learn first-hand the challenges of shipwrights, sailors, soldiers and other military and civilian personnel at this isolated outpost built to defend Upper Canada from possible American attack after the War of 1812. The Officers’ Quarters is the only surviving building from the military garrison at Penetanguishene . Open Victoria Day (late May) to June 30th: open Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; last admission 4:30 p.m, and July 1st to Labour Day: open daily 10 am to 5pm; last admission 4:30 p.m. Admission.
Discovery Harbour is home to the beautiful King’s Wharf Theatre, with live professional productions throughout the summer. Enjoy a fabulous meal at Captain Roberts’ Table with the scenic view of the tall ships at docks nearby.
Georgian Bay Islands National Park
P.O. Box 28
Honey Harbour, ON P0E 1E0
Explore the area’s famous waters, winds, forests, beaches, and wildlife. Georgian Bay Islands National Park protects 59 islands in the greater Georgian Bay ecosystem. Access is only by boat from Penetanguishene, Midland or Honey Harbour.
Huronia Museum & Huron-Ouendat Village
P.O. Box 638
Midland, ON L4R 4P4
The recreated Huron Village represents one of hundreds of similar villages that occupied Huronia for over two thousand years. These villages would have supported 30 to 300 families and consisted of palisades, longhouses, wigwams, sweat lodges, drying racks and fire pits. Huronia Museum houses a variety of displays, which illustrate the human history and culture of one of Ontario’s most historic areas. Unique exhibits, which portray the many ideas, images and objects from the people of Huronia. Open mid-October to end of March 31st weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and April 1st – October 16th Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Museum and Village are closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday. Admission: Adults $6, Seniors $5,50, Youth (to 17 years) $4.50, children under 6 are free.
16163 ON-12, Midland, ON L4R 4K6
Hwy 12, Midland (across from Wye Marsh, just east of Midland)
The twin-spired Shrine Church and 75 pleasantly landscaped acres honour the eight Jesuit saints who lived, worked and died here over 350 years ago. Learn about the Jesuit missionaries, Jean de Brébeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, and their companions who were responsible for bringing Christianity to Canada’s First Nations peoples. A place of pilgrimage and a ministry of prayer Features include Shrine Church, St. Ignatius Prayer Room, Papal Visit Monument, Little Flower Island, Irish Peace Garden, First Nations Park, picnic area and much more. The Shrine church and facilities are wheelchair accessible. Open from mid May to Thanksgiving weekend in October. Admission includes the “Walk Where They Walked” half day educational program.
M.S. Georgian Queen – 30,000 Island Cruise
Located at the Penetanguishene Town Dock
Toll Free: (800) 363-7447
Enjoy a cruise on Huronia’s largest and most spacious cruise ship offering live tours, private charters for weddings, receptions, meetings etc. Daily afternoon 3 hour cruises as well as evening jazz cruises and special event cruises.
Muskoka Heritage Place
88 Brunel Rd.
Huntsville, ON P1H 1R1
Steam Train & Pioneer Village, historic site with authentic activities for the entire family. Visitors to Muskoka Heritage Place enter through a turn-of-the-20th-century Muskoka museum to a 90 acre outdoor site encompassing Cann Lake and nature trails. Life in the late 1800s is historically recreated with genuine Huntsville area settlement dwellings with Costumed narrators to demonstrate pioneer life. Village is open daily Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving Day weekend in October. The train runs Tuesdays through Saturdays in July and August, subject to availability. Separate admission for museum and steam train.
South Simcoe Railway Heritage Corp
South Simcoe Railway Station, Tottenham (near Orillia)
(20 km west of Hwy 400 on Hwy 9)
P.O. Box 186, Tottenham
Enjoy an exciting one-hour journey through the scenic Beeton Creek Valley aboard a historic steam train. Travel in restored 1920’s open-window coaches over the rails of a century-old branch line that once connected Hamilton with Barrie and Collingwood, with highlights and commentary by the conductor.
Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons
Hwy 12 East, Midland
(705) 526-7838, Web:
Explore Canada’s national treasure and Ontario’s first European community. Experience the re-enactment & dramatic story of the 17th century French Jesuit mission to the Huron nation. Features an introductory audio-visual show, award winning interpretive museum, on-site restaurant and museum gift shop. Special summer presentations include 17th century fire starting, locked waterway demonstrations, and native storytelling with costumed guides. Open Victoria Day to Thanksgiving. Open weekdays May 1 to October 30 , and daily from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving weekends (prime season). Admission (GST included) are: Self-Guided Shoulder Season Admission.
Steamship Segwun & The Muskoka Fleet
820 Bay Street, Sagamo Park
Gravenhurst, ON, P1P 1G7
(705) 687- 6667 Fax: (705) 687-7820
Built in 1887, and originally a paddlewheeler, the Royal Mail Ship Segwun carries 99 passengers and has two dining rooms, the Segwun remains the oldest operating steamship in North America and the it’s the last of a fleet of steam powered ships that carried passengers and mail throughout the Muskoka region before the days of the automobile and modern highway. It connected villages and resorts without a railway station to the outside world, from early spring to late fall. The Segwun was restored in the early 1970s and in 1974 began her life as a cruise ship extraordinaire. In 2001 and 2002, the Royal Mail Ship Segwun was voted by Attractions Canada “Best Large Attraction In Ontario” and runner-up for the Best in Canada award. Today, the Steamship Segwun sails on a variety of cruises on the Muskoka lakes from June through October. Fine dining for lunch or dinner served in the Royal Muskoka Salon, with its warm gumwood panelling and panoramic view, with intimate tables set with white linen and china.
Stephen Leacock Museum
50 Museum Dr., Box 625,
Orillia, ON, L3V 6K5
(705) 329-1908 FAX : (705)-326-5578
Discover a charming place on 9.5 acres of Lake Couchiching shoreline was once the summer home of Orillia’s most famous humourist, Stephen Leacock. This national historic site hosts the original waterfront home & grounds of the famous writer. Explore the gardens and trails, waterfront café and unique gift shop. Play in our Children’s Discovery Place. Open 10 AM – 5 PM, daily June-August, and weekdays in May and September. Admission.
Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery
840 1st Ave. West
Owen Sound, Ontario
The Art Gallery houses the world’s third largest collection of Tom Thomson works and is the only gallery designated as a Thomson memorial. Thomson, who grew up in Leith, just north of Owen Sound, and his colleagues in the Group of Seven had a distinctive approach to portraying early 20 th century Canadian landscape. Visit the gallery and celebrate the legacy of Thomson, who grew up in Owen Sound. Open July and August: Hours vary by day. Admission by donation.
This canal is 385 kilometres (240 miles) and connects Lake Ontario at Trenton with Georgian Bay. From its highest point at its highest point on Balsam Lake at Kirkfield (248m / 814 ft above sea level), before dropping 79m (260 feet) through another 10 locks to Lake Huron (176m above sea level).
Key vantage points are at Orillia, along Lake Couchiching, along the Severn River, and particularly Big Chute (with its unique Marine Railway) between Severn Falls and Port Severn.
Wasaga Beach’s Beaches
Wasaga Beach has 14 km shoreline of the longest freshwater beach in the world.
There are six gated beach areas (areas 1-6) and two ungated beach areas (Allenwood and New Wasaga Beach). Qualified lifeguards and a Park warden patrol the beach daily on ATV’s and mountain bikes. A patrol boat augments these teams, providing safe surroundings for a visit to the beach.
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park (Wasaga Dunes)
11-22nd Street North
Wasaga Beach, Ontario 9Z 2V9
705-429-2516 Park Office
The 30 km Blueberry Plains trail system takes you through the dunes area of Wasaga Beach park, including an area know as the raised beaches which are the remnants of a glacial lake that covered the Wasaga Beach area close to 10,000 years ago. These are the largest and least disturbed set of parabolic sand dunes in Ontario and are home to about 680 different types of plants and 230 species of birds. Recent improvements to hiking in the Wasaga Beach area include 17 kilometres of the Ganaraska Trail which travel through the dunes area.