The city of Barrie marks the end of Toronto's suburban sprawl and the gateway to the Muskoka Lakes region, although pleasant, lakeside Barrie can feel like just another Toronto suburb at times.
The Muskoka Lakes (or just Muskoka) is a broader name for the region comprising Lakes Muskoka, Rosseau and Joseph, among many smaller others. Originally rich in lumber production and shipbuilding, the area is now at the heart of 'cottage country': a popular place for families to enjoy the water and, for many, to retire. Ontario's most extravagant cottages are here, many in the fabulous 'Millionaires' Row' on Lake Muskoka. Schedule a few days to explore the beauty and serenity of this forested, watery region, particularly delightful in the fall.