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A picturesque town at the centre of Muskoka, Bracebridge sits on a hill over-looking roaring waterfalls and both branches of the Muskoka River. It's a vital town that's alive with activity and events to suit every interest. Bracebridge has
several waterfalls, a few of which can be accessed by car. The cascades can easily be found along the roads and trails of this vibrant town. Bracebridge celebrates this unique heritage and emphasizes the impact that the falls has had on the development of Bracebridge from early settlement times to present day. It was this readily available hydropower that sparked the Town's development in 1894.
Bracebridge is the perfect town to explore on foot. The main street rises in tiers of shops, services and restaurants, many with vintage architectural facades. At night the Town's clock, bell tower, courthouse and "silver bridge" are outlined in unique, colourful lighting. Visitors can step back in time and experience the charm of turn of the century living through the stately old homes and churches by venturing off of Manitoba Street or following the Historic Heritage Walk which takes you along the streets first settled and built up as Bracebridge expanded.
Anchoring the downtown core, at the top of the falls is the renovated
Woollen Mill. The last remaining building of a bygone era and entrepreneur Henry Bird's woollen
mill, it is now home to the Town's Visitor Information Centre,
Dining by the Falls, and the
Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce.
Bird's impressive home,
Woodchester Villa, is perched on a hill opposite the falls. This intriguing restored historic home is
currently closed for repairs. Features including a 'dumb waiter' and a fenced widow's walk are in setting with the unusual octagonal shape of the building.
Bracebridge Bay Park, at the base of the falls captures the imagination of the visitor. As the falls cascade down and the spray rises you can almost hear the shouts of the mill workers, the whistle of the old steam engines as the trains chugged into Town across the trestle, the laughter of children at play on the beach and, for just a moment, the gentle breeze of time as it slowly slips by. What a time it must have been!
Today the basin and the falls can be viewed from a variety of look-offs. The 'historic walk' will take you to all the vantage points and the interpretive signage and displays tells all. Bring your camera! You will not be disappointed.