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The Quaint Village on Lake Rosseau

Updated on December 19, 2017
aesta1 profile image

Mary Lives very close to Rosseau and enjoys poking about in the village.

The Village of Rosseau

The village of Rosseau has a quaintness and pace that makes it attractive to city people from all across Canada and the US who cottage in Muskoka.

Rosseau in Pictures - Proud Past and Promising Future

General Store
General Store | Source

The Heart of the Village

At the heart of the village since the late 19th century is a wonderful old General Store with the glorious feel and smell of the past and everything but a pot bellied stove. It may be tiny but it seems to have the variety of a WalMart as it carefully meets the needs of residents and cottagers all around the Lake and sternly resists yuppification. There's even a butcher in the back with some solid advice on good cuts.

Visit the small Stores in Rosseau - Experience Small Town Service

Rosseau Store
Rosseau Store | Source

Small Crafty Shops in Rosseau

Close by to this gem are the expected arts and crafts stores, and antique shop and a furniture/home decor shop to make your cottages feel more "homely".

Though tiny, these Rosseau stores are full of uniquely chosen or crafted things for your cottage or as gifts when you get invited to visit your friends' cottages.

There are treats as well from the bakery featuring the famous butter tarts that simply melt gloriously in your mouth. Browsing around the stores give you a sense of beauty, lift your spirit up and inspire you to create and give way to your artistic inner self.

A walkabout to the bakery that makes glorious trickly oozy butter tarts, a stroll through the perfect Church gardens from a much kinder era, a browse of the antiques and odd cottage detritus that keep the folks coming in, a relaxing meal at Crossroads or an elegant dinner down the road at Windermere can time warp you to another time and a fog of nostalgia for the age of the wooden stove and kerosene lamp and a blessed absence of phones and Blackberries.

A Piece of History

Store in Rosseau
Store in Rosseau | Source

Rosseau: The Glorious Feel and Smell of the Past

As you shake your head and reluctantly creep back to the present, you can amble into the General Store, breath deeply, and then buy all the urgently needed requirements for the dock parties.

There is also the wine and liquor store where despite the Ontario Government's best efforts to make you feel like an immoral drunk for just coming in...was it ever a jail? The staff are smilers and, on some special days, might just give you a hint of what the celebrities and movie stars who cottage nearby recently bought or had their staff buy.

Close by is a small bookstore where you can be the 10th person to own a most readable book when the Kindle gets too heavy.

The Famous Rosseau Butter Tarts - Here's the Bakery

The Bakery in Rosseau
The Bakery in Rosseau | Source

An Arts and Crafts Store in Rosseau

Arts and Crafts Store in Rosseau
Arts and Crafts Store in Rosseau | Source

Crossroads in Rosseau

Crossroads Restaurant in Rosseau
Crossroads Restaurant in Rosseau | Source

Farmers Market in Rosseau

Rosseau has one of the most popular farmers markets in Muskoka. Every Friday, you will see the line up of cars on both sides of the street where the Rosseau Water Park is located. All cars lead to the Farmers Market which has grown to become a worthwhile destination. You should see the line up at the sausage place and the Alsace Creperie.

Competing as well is the Vietnamese place where you can have fried rice, spring rolls or dumplings with sauces such as Tamarind or Garlic. Try to find the Turkish delights, pepperettes, jams, baked goodies especially butter tarts and stuffed olives.

Aside from food, a good number of local artisans display their paintings, uniquely crafted jewelry, pottery, wood products and other crafts and artistic items delight your senses.

The Popular Rosseau Farmers Market in Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Rosseau Farmers' Market
Rosseau Farmers' Market
Rosseau Farmers' Market | Source

Water Fun in Rosseau

As one of Muskoka's big lakes, Rosseau offers lots of fun especially for those who have cottages on the lake. Even if you don't have one, it is easy to rent one or just go to the Village of Rosseau's Waterfront Park and enjoy the lake and all it offers. Bring your boat and there's a public launch you can use.

The Rosseau Waterfront Park


More Waterfront Fun

Water Fun in Rosseau
Water Fun in Rosseau | Source
Boat in Rosseau
Boat in Rosseau | Source
Rosseau Waterfront Park
Rosseau Waterfront Park | Source

Cruise Lake Rosseau - The Idyllwood


Dine in Rosseau's Old Lodges - Windermere House

One of the special experiences you can have when you visit Rosseau is to go and dine in one of the old lodges. One of the most spectacular is Windermere. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the lake as you dine al fresco. If you want fine dining, you can go to its formal dining room and think of the time when visitors who first came to enjoy the Rosseau lake and village dined and stayed here.

Rosseau's Old Lodge

Windermere | Source

Go on a Cruise of the Lake

When you go to the Farmers' Market, you can take a short cruise around Rosseau and the two other lakes of Muskoka and Joseph. Right there in the Waterfront Park, you'll see the cruise boat.

Know Rosseau a Bit Better - Get this Book

Muskoka II
Muskoka II

Rosseau is part of Muskoka. Muskoka is where many folks in Toronto have their cottages where they go in the summer. Have a glimpse of Rosseau through this book. This book offers many photos of things to do in Muskoka and in particular Rosseau with Windermere as one of the great features.

Windermere is an old hotel that is a landmark in Rosseau.


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Rosseau: A Pre-Mall World

In spite of the incursion of Toronto, you can still squint your eyes almost shut and the whole village smells, feels and tastes like a piece of history, of a pre-mall world where you knew the shop keepers and they knew your grandpa...where the Churches are not doleful relics, but lively community places where you keep peeking to see if a tubby parson is about to bubble out with a welcome.

Wander downhill to the park and docks with a few old codgers fishing and a bush of edible blackberries and a stunning lake stretching out.

The Rosseau Song - Rosseau Town

The Idyllwood
The Idyllwood | Source

In Wikipedia, this song is featured about Rosseau. These words just capture what I want to say of this place.

Oh we'll sing a little song of Rosseau,

It's the best old town that I know

Oh you Rosseau, where the summer breezes blow,

Where the skies are the clearest and the girls that you meet are the fairest,

Oh you Rosseau, you're the best old town that I know.

As the steamboat departed at the end of the visitors' holiday, the visitors wistfully returned the favour by singing the Rosseau Song (departing song) to the townsfolk:

Rosseau Town-again it's time to say to Rosseau Town -Good-bye

When we came, we all were smiling, now we leave you with a sigh

But when summer comes once more

We'll return to you again

Oh Rosseau Town, again it's time to say to Rosseau Town-Good-by.

Somewhere in another time

Hard to find places like this nowadays. I suppose I'm happy that I live in a world of convenience and speed for much of the's designed to fit our wretched lifestyle.

But each the summer or visits to Rousseau pull me back to another time in a world more Robert Frost than Bruce Willis.. where sitting, looking...thinking is not a guilty waste of time but a quiet celebration.

© 2010 Mary Norton

Share your Rosseau Experience

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    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      It is a tiny village but it is interesting to poke around. Its farmers market every Friday is a major draw.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 months ago from Houston, Texas

      The town of Rosseau sounds so lovely and your photos confirm it. It is wonderful that you live only 20 minutes away from it.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I know. I am dying to have some but the lake is still frozen so no water yet in the Cottage. Thanks again Susan.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've been to lake Rosseau and have to say I love the area. I'm from Orillia. My husband has worked on a few homes on the lake and whenever he is in Rosseau he always brings home those amazing butter tarts.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      22 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I do enjoy this little village which is about 20 minutes from us. The Friday Farmers Market is the draw.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What a beautiful little village this is. Thank you for the tour. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Feel free to check out this Rosseau video to add to what you've described so well.


    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 

      5 years ago from Ireland

      What a lovely looking area this is. Squid Angel blessings.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Wow, I could relax in that bedroom with the windows. This looks like a lovely spot for a retreat.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      5 years ago

      This place looks so sweet. I would love to visit there.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I would love to visit this charming place. Your pictures are like travel posters.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      What a lovely land! I have pinned this onto my travel board: we are going to visit there sometime, you have inspired me. Blessed.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      great place! grew up there for seven years. my parents owned the general store back in the sixties. best memories of my life. population 232

    • limited279 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, my aunt is from there but unfortunately her cottage burnt down last fall but they are re-building now!

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @limited279: Another summer over for us but next year, we will be there again. Hope you can visit your aunt. I am sorry about her cottage.

    • RetroMom profile image


      6 years ago

      The place looks charming.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image


      6 years ago

      Never been, but love your other travel lenses and this one too, you seem to be able to give the reader a feel, smell, experience of the place through your words and pictures. thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Never been to Rosseau... but sure do love the sights and smell of the place! :)

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @julieannbrady: Please visit but come in the summer.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @JenOfChicago LM: Thank you os much for the blessing. It is special.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Am enjoying this now on a holiday in Switzerland.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @LiteraryMind: Visit in the summer when it springs back to life.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      7 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      This looks absolutely beautiful -- like a really worthwhile destination. Thanks for sharing

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love the simple and elegant life of hills and villages, they offer their own glorious culture and peaceful environment. I would love to settle and retire in such place someday.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love water in any form, so this would be a place I would enjoy visiting, thank you for making it possible for me to do a Squidoo visit there!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 

      7 years ago

      I really feel like I know Rosseau after reading this! Happy April Fool's Day! Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You have shared some lovely pictures on Rosseau ... it truly looks like a fabulous place that I might want to visit ... someday.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I know that Ontario is beautiful country, but I haven't been to Rosseau. It looks like a great spot for a vacation. A lovely village, thanks for sharing this great place.

    • KarenHC profile image


      8 years ago from U.S.

      Rosseau looks like a place that we'd enjoy visiting as a family -- Windermere Lodge would be a lovely place to stay! I really like your way of writing!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It looks like such a lovely place to visit in the summer.

      I love all your pictures, especially the small church.


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