The Township of Lake of Bays is a scenic community located in the north eastern section of Ontario’s “cottage country”, adjacent to world renowned Algonquin Park. Located on Ontario’s Canadian Shield, Lake of Bays is the fourth largest lake in Muskoka with nearly 170 km of shoreline and the Township is home to approximately 108 lakes of varying sizes and levels of development.
The Township is comprised of approximately 66,000 hectares encompassing the unique and inviting villages of Baysville, Dorset, Dwight, and Hillside. Its small town charm and convenient proximity to large urban centres makes Lake of Bays ideal for investment and sustaining a high quality of life. Lake of Bays is situated 2 hours north of Toronto, 1 hour south of North Bay, 3.5 hours west of Ottawa, and is nestled between the Town of Huntsville and Algonquin Park. Over 1 million cars travel through the scenic corridors of Lake of Bays on an annual basis on their way to the iconic destination of Algonquin Park, which makes it a high exposure location to launch your business.
Muskoka has traditionally been one of Ontario’s premier destinations for family vacations and summer cottages. Due to the scenic beauty of the Township’s rugged landscape and extensive waterfront, Lake of Bays is a popular retreat for tourists and seasonal residents. A significant influx of visitors occurs during the months of May to October when the population swells from a permanent population of 3,167 to an estimated seasonal population of over 16,000.
Lake of Bays boasts a proud heritage of an industrious people who have lived in the area for decades, and continues to welcome a steady stream of new seasonal dwellers, residents and businesses who now call the Township home.
We chose Lake of Bays because it's a well-recognized, high-traffic summer destination, with easy access to the highway for distribution. We saw the brand-building opportunity and the chance to really make ourselves part of a community.Darren Smith – President & CEO, Lake of Bays Brewing Company
Lake of Bays is a renowned retreat for tourists and seasonal residents, but a combination of location, lifestyle and opportunity also make it an area with strong business potential.Jennifer Clancy – Economic Development Coordinator
Lake of Bays is proud of our rich history and is planning for a successful and sustainable future by welcoming new development to the region. An amenity-rich environment combined with the picturesque beauty of Lake of Bays creates a unique backdrop in which to grow your business.
The Township of Lake of Bays has significant assets from geographical and business standpoints. Bordered by Highway No. 117 and the Provincial Highways No. 35 and 60, it offers convenient access to urban communities and inter-community travel. From all locations in Lake of Bays, it is no more than a ten to thirty-minute drive to the larger town centres of Bracebridge and Huntsville. Technology and transport infrastructure also keep communities connected, both locally and globally.
• 2 community centres with attached libraries, an arena, and 5 volunteer fire stations;
• A new Healthcare Hub in Dorset with nurse practitioner and other healthcare services;
• Easy access to both Huntsville Memorial Hospital and South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge;
• A Public School in Dwight, close proximity to 3 High Schools in adjacent towns, and Georgian College's Bracebridge Campus;
• Numerous churches and senior’s centres with active community programming;
• A municipal sewer and water system in Baysville;
• Ongoing advancement of cell service and broadband coverage;
• Proximity to multiple airports including Muskoka Airport in Gravenhurst (30 km), Haliburton/Stanhope Airport (40 km), Jack Garland Airport in North Bay (150 km), Peterborough Airport (160 km) and Pearson International Airport in Toronto (200 km).
Live, work and play in the Township of Lake of Bays! Exceptional recreation opportunities and a high quality of life enable you to enjoy the enviable work/life balance that many strive for. Leave the congested city traffic behind and enjoy the lifestyle benefits of Muskoka without the stressful commute! Offering the best in outdoor natural beauty, Lake of Bays is a four season waterfront playground just waiting to be explored.
Our friendly communities offer a safe haven for raising a family with endless opportunities for fun, family friendly activities both on land and in the water. Lake of Bays offers a wide variety of recreational amenities that appeal to a range of interests including sport and active lifestyle, arts, culture and heritage.
• Access to world renowned Algonquin Provincial Park (never more than a 30 minute drive);
• Opportunities for four season outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, water sports, hiking, biking, golfing, ice fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and so much more;
• Several hiking trails and public parks, numerous boat launches, public access points and swimming areas including Dwight Beach (one of the best public beaches in Muskoka);
• Sports and recreational programs in all three major communities;
• A vibrant and active heritage interest that includes several museums and heritage groups;
• Several art studios and crafts establishments which support a vibrant community of artisans;
• Festivals and community events (Dorset Snowball, Dwight Firefest, Baysville Walkabout, and many more!);
• Countless resorts and tourist attractions;
• Restored SS Bigwin wooden steamship operating public cruises out of Dorset;
• Bigwin Island Golf and Country Club (ranked top #15 golf course in Canada by Golf Digest);
• Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve (protected wilderness haven offering a full range of recreational facilities for all seasons in over 10,000 acres of mixed forests);
• Many active groups with opportunities for community involvement (Lions, Cottage Watch, business groups, etc.).
Lake of Bays is a renowned retreat for tourists and seasonal residents, but a combination of location, lifestyle and opportunity also make it an area with strong business potential. Encouraging new business investment is a local priority and the Township of Lake of Bays strives to create a business-friendly climate that welcomes new entrepreneurs with open arms. Township administration is available to guide you through the process of starting your business and encourages the development of a creative economy including a variety of commercial enterprises such as home based businesses, small family owned resorts, independently owned restaurants, arts and crafts and cultural enterprises, and other innovative businesses that help create a unique atmosphere in Lake of Bays.
The Township’s economy is predominantly associated with tourism and related industries such as construction and real estate; however a strong and vibrant business community is emerging with entrepreneurial talent. Lake of Bays boasts a diversified and thriving business sector, which includes: light manufacturing (water craft – canoes and kayaks, audio products, craft wine and beer), construction and design (timber frame, log and fine cottage construction), services (accounting, home care, hospitality/lodging), retail and trade (garden centres, restaurants, gourmet food), green energy and design (renewable energy project involving solar panels), as well as all things related to tourism.
Local business owners and potential new investors have access to numerous resources for assistance relating to business plans, grant applications and low interest loans. To foster a healthy business climate, the District of Muskoka has reduced development charges for vacant land which applies within the Township of Lake of Bays. An additional consideration is that many businesses in Dorset may also benefit from access to Haliburton’s funding opportunities as the town is on the border of the Township of Lake of Bays (District of Muskoka) and the Township of Algonquin Highlands (Haliburton County).
• The Township of Lake of Bays administration;
• Muskoka Community Futures;
• Muskoka Small Business Centre;
• Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce;
• Access to FedNor and Eastern Ontario Development Fund investments;
• Local business support groups (collaboration and cross promotion among Lake of Bays’ entrepreneurs).