In the early 1860s, the government promoted agricultural settlement in Muskoka. Newcomers, including the Fife, Aitken and Forge families, settled near Lake Rosseau, working at farming and lumbering. In 1868, Windermere post office opened at the mouth of the Dee River to the north, but shortly afterwards moved nearby to the house of Thomas Aitken. Like others, Aitken boarded tourists in his home, at first informally. Once the railway reached the steamboat port of Gravenhurst in 1875, people poured into the Muskoka lakes for restorative wilderness holidays. In response, Aitken developed his famous Windermere House in the 1880s. That resort, representative of the region's lakeside hotels, served as the focal point for Windermere's evolution into a well-loved vacation destination.


At the former village of Windermere municipal building, 2496 Windermere Road, Windermere

Region: Central Ontario

County/District: District Municipality of Muskoka

Municipality: Township of Muskoka Lakes