Race Boat Glory – Muskoka Legends Live On At The Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre


Muskoka Boat & Heritage Center – Photo courtesy cottageblog.ca

The classic boating season is now well under way in Muskoka and with only days to go before the big Toronto Chapter ACBS show in Gravenhurst, another popular attraction to visit while in Gravenhurst is the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Center.

At the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Center you can explore the rich history of the steamships, wooden boats and luxury hotels that helped define Muskoka over the last 100-plus years, with 16 – 20 wooden boats in the water on display at all times.

They have also just finished building a 2,300 square foot exhibit titled “Race Boat Glory – Muskoka Legends Live On” which is a perfect fit to this years “100 years of Racing” celebration next week in Gravenhurst. Here’s an update from Mary Storey at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Center.


Race Boat Glory – Muskoka Legends Live On
by Mary Storey

It’s all about the people, the people involved in race boating. The designers, the builders, the drivers and the interested families have always driven the sport of race boating. Race Boat Glory – The Muskoka Legends Live On is the title of a new exciting exhibit at Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada this summer. This 2,300 square foot exhibit celebrates these people.

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The main wall focuses on three families: the Greening family with their Rainbow boats built by Ditchburn Boats, the Wilson family with their Miss Canada boats built by Greavette Boats and the Thompson family with their Miss Supertest boats built by MacCraft. Each of these families is recognized by a huge newspaper blowup and several artifacts.

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The Pride section has many silver trophies, silver plates, driver’s gold helmets and even a hide that was given to a driver for his race boat win.

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Drivers such as Spike Burns, Art Ashbury, Will Bradon, Bob Hayward and Guy Lombardo just to mention a few are presented by displays of their jump suits, life jackets and helmets. Full descriptions of their careers and photos complete this section.

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Designers such as John Hacker, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Hickman, Douglas van Patten are portrayed with a drafting table and actual boat designs.

Builders such as Minett, Ditchburn, Greavette, MacCraft and Burns are mentioned with artifacts, text and photos.

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The exhibit has its own mini movie theatre featuring authentic footage of Rainbow boats, testing race boats at Greavettes, Miss Canada IV and a nail biting run for the Harmsworth with Miss Supertest III.

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Children have their own special areas with a water table and plastic racing boats, a design-your-own race boat as well as several photo opportunities including climbing in a Sea Flea.

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To learn about all the various kinds of race boats and their engines and brand new Interactive table has been installed. Using the latest in technology to learn about this in depth topic makes for real fun.

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Come, learn, enjoy and race boats at Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre this summer and autumn.

Open 10 – 6 each and every day it is located at 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst, Ontario.
Phone: 705-687-2115 or visit www.realmuskoka.com.

The famous “Miss Canada III” race boat on loan to the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Center from the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York.

The Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre History comes alive! Explore the rich history of the steamships, wooden boats and luxury hotels that helped define Muskoka at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre located at Muskoka Wharf, in Gravenhurst.

Walk through a living postcard into a Steamship, visit a famous resort dining room and listen to the Big Band Era, visit the boat builders workshop and view some of the finest wooden boats every produced. Our Grace & Speed Boathouse is a 5 slip wet boathouse with a rotating collection of antique & classic boats built in Muskoka.

The Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre offers the ideal venue for social and corporate functions. Imagine your event surrounded by rare heritage artifacts.

Hours of Operation: Winter Hours – Tues to Sat 10a.m. – 4 p.m. Sailing Season Hours – 7 days a week 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. – See more at: www.discovermuskoka.ca

If your planning a trip to Gravenhurst, be sure to check out this great attraction.

Also, thanks to Ed Boutilier at cottageblog.ca for sharing the opening cover shot of the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Center with us today. For a special look at the amazing Muskoka area of Canada and some outstanding photography, check out Ed’s great blog.


6 replies
  1. Sean
    Sean says:

    On your way up to Muskoka you can make a detour at HWY 12 west, to Port McNicholl to see the last Edwardian Steamship on earth…The SS KEEWATIN!

    Built 5 years before Titanic and recently refreshed from her 45 year layover in Sagatuck Michigan. Ballroom, staircase, Italian glass and hand carved oak as well as a quadruple expansion engine (same as Titanic) are all there to see.

    And best of all, her superstructure is all wood! (It was also her downfall)

  2. brian t
    brian t says:

    That is a beautiful ship, Sean.

    Thankfully they did not do what the owners of this 1966 Owens did:

    (yep, they turned it into a land-locked house.)

  3. Sean
    Sean says:

    They tried to make her sister (SS. Assiniboia) a restaurant…

    The Kee really is right on the way to the Gravenhurst show and well worth a stop to see.

    Texx- She’s 350′. One of the really cool things is the steam engine has been rigged (with an electric motor) to turn over so you get some idea of what it was like when this monster was running.

  4. Jamie Smith
    Jamie Smith says:

    If you visit Gravenhurst and are interested in race boats Race Boat Glory, Muskoka Legends Live On is a must see exhibit. It is without doubt one of the best exhibits on race boats you will ever see. Best of all … the exhibit is the fine work of the museums volunteers! Pick a rainy day and spend an afternoon at the exhibit … you won’t be disappointed.

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