Visiting Honey Harbour, Ontario: a Georgian Bay community on water
Where boats replace automobiles
Honey Harbour and Georgian Bay refer both to geographical features and populated localities in Ontario, Canada. The community of Honey Harbour is contained within the Township of Georgian Bay, in Muskoka region.
Unlike most of the rest of North America, here, the boat has replaced the automobile as they everyday mode of local transport. Sound carries surprisingly well over water, and the peace and tranquility of the natural environment is gently broken at regular intervals — especially in the summer months — by the muffled roar of residents' motor boats and small cruisers.
One of the community focal points is the general store, most of the area of which seems to be taken up with berthing facilities for its regular stream of mainly summer clients. In order to enhance the temporary berthing of boats, the store is built on a jetty. It must be among the businesses in Canada with the highest proportion of water-borne customers.
The is a local community church which springs into life in the summer months, some of the services of which are held in the open air, weather permitting.
A local historical society actively researches Honey Harbour's past. It is significant that some families with properties in the locality have a presence — not necessarily year-round — which goes back many decades. Honey Harbour is truly in cottage country, and many of the residences facing onto the Harbour are seasonal in nature, although some of the properties have been winterized by their owners. There are sometimes also tax advantages for retired people, who, having no strict need to remain in the Greater Toronto Area after retirement, chooses to make their — winterized — cottages their principal residence.
My wife was born in Muskoka, and for my wife and myself, the region is certainly special to us.
June 18, 2012
Also worth seeing
Gravenhurst (distance: 70.4 kilometres) on Lake Muskoka is the home of RMS Segwun and RMS Wenonah II . Parks Canada's Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site is also situated here.
How to get there: Toronto Pearson Airport (distance: 155.8 kilometres) to which Air Canada and WestJet fly from many North American destinations, is the largest international airport within accessible distance to Honey Harbour , which is situated north of Toronto by road via Highway 400 and DR5. Car hire is available at Toronto Pearson Airport. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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