Muskoka is a diverse region rich in history and resource. Tourism started almost by chance. As more and more tourists found their way to Muskoka, local residents recognized the potential and started to make money by housing lodgers that were delivered by many of the Muskoka Navigation Company steamships; the Wenonah, the Nippissing, the Sagamo and the Segwun.
Lavish hotels like the Royal Muskoka, the Windermere, Elgin House and the Bigwin Inn to name a few, attracted the wealthy from North America and Europe and created seasonal employment for local residents.
As visitors began to buy their own piece of Muskoka, the cottage industry began.
The current economy in Muskoka is mixed with industrial, commercial, institutional and tourist commercial businesses. Industry that relates directly to the seasonal tourist population of Muskoka accounts for upward of 45% of the labour force including construction, wholesale and retail trade, real estate and accommodation.
As the tourism and recreation industry in Muskoka continues to grow forming the basis of the economy in the region, future development is sure to occur with the protection of the natural and cultural environment in mind.