Chapter 6: Cottage Country

September 28, 2021

"Muskoka! The grandest spot in all America. Lakes of blue set with isles of emerald."

 Muskoka Hotel

This chapter explores the history of Georgian Bay Islands National Park. We discuss Beausoleil Island’s transformation from a quarry to a tourist destination, and its current status as a protected landscape that is healing environmental and cultural wounds of the past.


Honeymoon Bay, 1950


About our Guests:

Shawn Corbiere

Shawn Corbiere is Ojibwe from M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Shawn is the Indigenous Outreach Officer for Georgian Bay Islands National Park, where he sits on the Cultural Advisory Circle and facilitates connections between Parks Canada and local Indigenous communities and organizations.


Greg Garratt

Greg Garratt

"My name is Greg Garratt. Born and raised in the Penetanguishene and Georgian Bay area as well. I come from a long line of family going back to Drummond island descendants of Dusome-Clermont and Beausoliel lines of the late 1700's. I joined the Navy as a Marine engineer from 1981-1989 then moved back home and married Heather (nee Gidley), a local girl. Heather is also a Drummond island descendant from the Laramee- Clouthier and Labatte lines.

We both discovered and applied for our Metis cards at the same time. Since 1999 we have been getting increasingly involved in our Metis community. We sit together on the current Georgian Bay Metis Council and have had great opportunity and privilege to serve our community.

I am currently the President of the council, home to the largest Metis population in Ontario of over 4000 citizens. Our region represents approximately 25% or more of the Ontario population.

I also hold the role of Region 7 Captain of the Hunt. The position oversees harvesting in the region and education and engagement of the registered harvesters of the MNO. This stands at approximately 50% of all the harvesters in Ontario in the 6 regions where historical harvesting rights have to date been proven and recognized by the government and supreme court.

The community unity has never been stronger and that is a direct result of the community we live in and the culture of Metis looking after their own". 




1. Two men catch a pike off the shore of Beausoleil Island, circa 1950. From: Library and Archives Canada, G. Blouin, accession 1971-271, item 4292780, TCS 01185. 

2. A 1905 advertisement for the Royal Muskoka Hotel on Lake Rosseau, Muskoka. From: The Internet Antique Shop

3. A postcard of the Georgian Bay Tourist Company steamboat MIDLAND CITY at Honey Harbour on Georgian Bay, circa 1930. From: Maritime History of the Great Lakes

4. Mr. and Mrs. HH Kart and their son Henry from Buffalo, NY, set off on a fishing expedition from Honeymoon Grove where they camped at Beausoleil Island in Georgian Bay Islands National Park. From: Library and Archives Canada, G Blouin, accession 1971-271, item 4317362, TCS 01185. 

Select Bibliography:

 “Chapter 3 Parks of Eastern Canada (1904 to 1981)”. A Brief History of Canada’s National Parks. Parks Canada, revised 12 December, 2010.

Hind, Andrew. “The grand Royal Muskoka Hotel.” Huntsville Forester, July 27, 2021.

Listen Here: