The municipal boundaries of Bracebridge encompass the smaller communities of Clear Lake, Falkenburg (a ghost town), Falkenburg Station, Fraserburg, Germania, Lakewood, Matthiasville, Monsell (a ghost town), Purbrook, Rocksborough, Springdale Park, Stoneleigh, Uffington and Vankoughnet.
Bracebridge is shaped by its proximity to Lake Muskoka to which it is connected by 6 miles of the Muskoka River. The abundant water power afforded by the great waterfall at the foot of the downtown powered the first factory. The arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway cemented the town's role as a transportation hub for the area.
Modern settlement of the town began in the 1860s, beginning at first with a few log huts. The Muskoka colonization road had been completed to the first falls on the north branch of the Muskoka River by 1862. Entrepreneurs began to take advantage of the area's water power. With the advent of steamship service on Lake Muskoka a few years later, Bracebridge prospered as the main distribution centre for the region.
Car travel is the most popular way to reach Muskoka. It is on the 45th parallel, approximately 190 km north of Toronto. Take Highway 400 north through Barrie and continue north up Highway 11 in the direction of North Bay. In the summer, Highway 400 and the two northern highways (Hwys 11 and 69) will always be packed heading north on a Friday and south on a Sunday. Dual lanes in each direction have eased the traffic in the past few years, however on 'long weekends', travel to Muskoka is always busy and can take several hours from the Toronto area: Victoria Day (the Monday before May 25), Canada Day (July 1), Ontario Civic Holiday (first Monday in August), and Labour Day (first Monday in September).
Winter travel to the region can be tricky depending on the weather. Bracebridge and the surrounding area do get several winter storms per year, and can be difficult to access if you are not used to winter driving. Winters have become milder, and improved roads in the area in also help. However, this can vary from year to year as it lies on the cusp of the strong snow-belt areas of the country.
The Greyhound Canada bus has limited service to Bracebridge from Barrie (and in turn, Toronto), North Bay, and Parry Sound. Ontario Northland may also pick up some of the schedule. It is advisable to check the services offered through their websites.
By trainOntario Northland no longer offers passenger rail service to Muskoka.
phone: +1 705-646-2628address: 300 Ecclestone DrThe 300-passenger Lady Muskoka offers an incredible sightseeing opportunity. The "Lady" is 104 ft long, 24 ft wide, fully-carpeted and has been thoroughly renovated. The ship is handicapped accessible and has a children's play area. 2-3 hour cruises, lunch cruises, dinner cruises. Snacks and full bar.
address: 15 King StVisit one of Canada's only octagon-shaped houses, up the hill from Bracebridge Falls. It was built in the 1870s. The gardeners free to visit. The house is used an event space.
Bracebridge FallsIn downtown Bracebridge. There is a parking area Drive by the corner of Ecclestone and Entrance Drive from where you can access some walking paths that lead to the falls.
phone: +1 705-645-2512address: 1624 Golden Beach RoadOpen year round, it's a popular destination for families. Younger children can visit Santa and participate in age-oriented fun, while teenagers can enjoy go-karting, mini-golf, batting cages, Laser Tag, and video arcade. Camping and cabins available.
Wilson's Falls TrailA 7.5-km easy-to-moderate hiking trail.
Resource Management Centre Trailsphone: +1 705-645-3037Stunning natural beauty regardless of the season. Groomed cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and mountain biking trails within a woodland setting along the Muskoka River. Single track mountain bike trails available.
Georgian CollegeBracebridge is home to Georgian College's Muskoka Campus. The campus offers diploma programs in Addictions Counselling, Bilingual Administrative Affairs, Paramedic, Advertising, Art & Design, Automotive Marketing, and Aviation Management.
Muskoka Furniturephone: +1 705-645-8183address: 195 Wellington Street, Unit 7High-quality, authentic Muskoka furniture. All pieces sold are hand-crafted.
phone: +1 705-645-9776address: 88 Manitoba StGluten-free and vegetarian choices available.
phone: +1 705-646-0711address: 1 Manitoba StBy the waterfalls on the shores of the Muskoka River. Mediterranean-inspired dining room. Menus change to reflect seasonal ingredients.
Fresh Kutz Market & Grillphone: +1 705-646-2106address: 195 Wellington StSandwiches, burgers, steaks, pork chops.
phone: +1 705-640-2267address: 72 Manitoba StFresh coffee, sandwiches, homemade baked goods, soft serve ice cream?
phone: +1 705-646-1266address: 1964 Muskoka Beach RdTours are free, and run W-Su every hour from 11AM–4PM.
phone: +1 705-640-0222address: 5 Manitoba StUpscale Irish pub with Irish and international menu.
address: 1623 Golden Beach RdCamping beside the beautiful Muskoka River. Tenting and full services available with general store.
Bracebridge Innaddress: 133 Manitoba StreetNear downtown Bracebridge, near shopping, Bracebridge Falls, and across the street from Memorial Park. Close to a laundromat, movie theatre, trolley service, banks, and restaurants.
address: 265 Wellington StreetIn downtown Bracebridge, close to all of Bracebridge's attractions, it welcomes long-term guests.
address: 300 Ecclestone DriveOffers 54 climate controlled rooms, workout facilities, dining room, indoor heated pool, business centre, sauna, and bowling alley, on Muskoka River.
address: #1515 Muskoka District Road 118 WestLuxurious cottages and suites, for 2-6 people, and smaller, comfortable rooms in a lake setting.
address: 8 Mahaffy CourtWell-prepared gourmet meals and upper-end accommodations in a beautiful setting and a convenient location. A favourite with honeymooners.
- South Muskoka Memorial Hospital, about 2.5 km from Highway # 11. An 84 bed hospital. Emergency facilities available, X-ray, ultrasound, mammography, lab, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietary services, mental health echocardiography.