Doors Open on June 16

As cottages open up this spring, so too will the doors of some intriguing heritage buildings in the Township of Muskoka Lakes. The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario Muskoka Branch is working with more than 20 community partners to host Doors Open Muskoka 2007 on Saturday, June 16.


The Doors Open Ontario program started in Toronto, and over the past five years, visitors have made nearly two million treks to participating heritage sites across the province. This year marks the first time that hidden treasures in the Township of Muskoka Lakes have taken part.


On the day of the event, fifteen businesses, churches, attractions and private homes in the communities of Bala, Port Carling and Windermere will share their fascinating stories as they open their sites free-of-charge between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

The participating sites are Bala Bay Inn, Bala Firehall and Jail, Burgess Memorial Church, and Sutton House and General Store in Bala; Duke Marine Services, Former Port Carling School/Municipal Building, Muskoka Lakes Museum, Port Carling United Church, St. James the Apostle, and the Wall in Port Carling; and Christ Church Anglican, Former Windermere Post Office and General Store, Watt Public School log cabin, Windermere Village Hall, and Windermere House in the Windermere area.

Mayor (and historian) Susan Pryke will host at the Township of Muskoka Lakes Municipal Building. It was once the Port Carling School where the Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, received his early education. In Bala, a visit to the Bala Bay Inn may bring a glimpse of the ghost of the original owner, E. B. Sutton, who opened the hotel in 1910.


For details about participating sites, visit or check out To find out more about the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario Muskoka Branch or to become a Doors Open volunteer, please call 762-5876 or email