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Lake of Bays, Muskoka
07/04/2014

The Muskoka region of Ontario is bursting at its seams with amazing lakes and exceptional real estate. When looking for Muskoka real estate, the first step is choosing a lake. As one of the largest lakes in the region, Lake of Bays is a wonderful choice. It got its name due to its unique shape, and it is made up of many small and large bays. Gorgeous vacation homes and cottages are strung along the majority of those bays, and a few homes are also found on the islands that dot the lake as well. Learn more about Lake of Bays below.

A Brief History of Lake of Bays and Muskoka

Like other parts of the Muskoka region, Lake of Bays has a unique and compelling history. For the majority of its history, Lake of Bays was home to First Nations people. For a long time, white settlers saw no real value in these gorgeous lands and waters. Of course, settlers and explorers kept returning to the area again and again. Trapping finally led to a few somewhat permanent settlements in the area, and the local First Nations inhabitants sold huge swaths of land to the European settlers.

Things remained fairly quiet around Lake of Bays for some time. However, the Free Land Grand and Homestead Act of 1868 changed all that. Under the act, settlers received 200 acres of land in the area. Many of them ended up on or near Lake of Bays. Logging became a prime industry, but it wasn't long before railroads and steamships started bringing visitors to the area as well. As people from elsewhere in Ontario became acquainted with the breathtaking beauty of Lake of Bays and the Muskoka region, waterfront cottages and vacation home started popping up. Today, the economy of this region is largely dependent on tourism.


A Lake of Many Names

It is interesting to note that Lake of Bays didn't always go by that name. First Nations people called the lake "Num g e low e nee g go mark lak a hagan," which roughly translates to mean "Lake of Forks." The lake has also been called Forked Lake, Baptiste Lake and Lake of Two Bays at various times in its history. The first official use of the name "Lake of Bays" occurred in 1853, when Alexander Murray surveyed the lake for the Geological Survey of Canada.

Key Facts about Lake of Bays

With a total area of around 6,780 hectares, Lake of Bays is the second-largest lake in the Muskoka Lakes region. Only Lake Muskoka is larger. The lake boasts approximately 563 kilometers of shoreline, which leaves plenty of room for vacation homes and cottages. The permanent population of Lake of Bays Township, which envelops the lake, is about 3,000. The population rises to more than 18,000 people seasonally. Lake of Bays is cold, deep and infertile. It is classified as a moderately productive lake.

Fishing on Lake of Bays


Lake of Bays has been a popular place to fish for centuries. While there are more productive lakes in the region, there's something to be said for Lake of Bays' deep, clear waters and charming nooks and crannies. Lake trout are among the most popular fish in the lake. It's isn't that unusual for a fisherman to land a lake trout that weighs 20 pounds or more, but it's no easy feat. The lake also teems with smallmouth bass, rainbow trout and brook trout. Fishing is equally enjoyable in the winter and the summer, so the lake is usually quite busy.

Things to Do in and Around Lake of Bays

Whether you visit in the winter, fall, spring or summer, you will never run out of things to see and do at Lake of Bays. In addition to fishing, the lake and its surrounding areas offer fun activities like canoeing, boating, golfing, hiking, bicycling and much more. Algonquin Provincial Park is an exceptional place to go if you'd like to make the most of the region's natural beauty. As a provincial park, it is undeveloped and kept as pristine as can be.



When to Visit Lake of Bays

As mentioned above, there are fun things to see and do at Lake of Bays all year long. That includes fishing because people wish on the lake all year round. In the summer, the waterfront cottages and other vacation homes fill up with out-of-town visitors. Although many homes are filled, there are still usually plenty of cottages for sale, and the Muskoka real estate market is generally quite lively on and near Lake of Bays.

Lake of Bays Real Estate

There are always plenty of exceptional vacation homes and cottages for sale on or near Lake of Bays, so it's easy to find something that falls within your budget. It's worth it to invest in real estate on or near this gorgeous lake because it gives a place where you can get away from the fast pace of everyday life. With a cottage or vacation home at Lake of Bays, you will be able to come up for an extended visit whenever you would like. It will give you the opportunity to take advantage of everything that this stunning lake has to offer. While visiting the area, you will also be able to explore the many other lovely lakes that dot the region.  

Useful Links:

www.muskoka-realestate.ca/interactive-graphs - Market Statistics

www.loba.ca  - Lake of Bays Association

www.muskokawaterweb.ca - Lake Fact Sheet - Lake Muskoka

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_of_Bays - Wikipedia

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