The Quaint Village on Lake Rosseau
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
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
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
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
An Arts and Crafts Store in Rosseau
Crossroads in Rosseau
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 PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
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
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
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.
Take this Poll on Rosseau
Have you ever visited Rosseau, Ontario in Canada?
Here's your map to Rosseau Ontario - Come and visit
See Rosseau's distance from Toronto.
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
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 year...it's designed to fit our wretched lifestyle.
But each year...in the summer or autumn...my 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