Bracebridge, Ontario

T he community of Bracebridge is a well- loved destination getaway in Ontario’s cottage country. Known as “The Heart of Muskoka”, Bracebridge is less than two hours from Toronto, making it a popular location for vacationers looking for the tranquility of the north, without the long commute. Built around a stunning waterfall on the Muskoka River, Bracebridge offers beaches, trails, and beautiful historical architecture in a welcoming, business- friendly setting. A longstanding Bracebridge tradition, Santa’s Village brings over 80,000 visitors a year to the town. The Christmas-themed amusement park was established in 1955 by a group of local businessmen, believing it an ideal location on the 45th parallel, directly between the equator and the North Pole. The park is open from May to December and offers a variety of activities for all ages to enjoy. Of course, Santa is in residence, and receiving visitors! With a population of 16,000 the town of Bracebridge is more than just a vacation destination, it is the hub of the Muskoka region. As Deputy Mayor Rick Maloney describes, “We see Bracebridge as both a business and government center for Muskoka, in many respects. We have South Muskoka Memorial Hospital, a satellite location for our school board, our courthouse… and the seat of our Muskoka District Municipality government is in Bracebridge.” For several years, the focus of the town has been on attracting more full-time residents to the growing community. Maloney adds, “There was a time when towns like Bracebridge rolled up the streets after Thanksgiving or Labor Day weekend, but that’s not the case anymore. We are well past being a tourist town, we do rely on tourism to a great extent, but we have folks that are living, working, playing here in Bracebridge, 365 days a year.” Fortunately, there is no shortage of development going on in this growing community, even through the pandemic. New housing inventory is increasing, with the recent approval of a BRACEBRID The Heart