The Royal Muskoka Hotel, completed in 1902, was the largest and grandest hotel in Muskoka, accomodating 350 guests on 130 acres of prime Lake Rosseau waterfront.
It was built and operated by the Muskoka Lakes Navigation Company.
The Muskoka Lakes Navigation Company from its founding in 1866 until its demise as a common carrier in September 1958, operated the largest and finest fleet of inland lake steamships in North America.
From the time its doors opened in 1901, the Royal Muskoka Hotel drew tycoons and socialites from their summer homes all around the lakes.
Built on Royal Muskoka Island, the hotel had its own golf course and formal dances on Saturday nights.
According to the 1902 edition of the Muskoka Navigation Company’s guide book the hotel was built at a cost of $150,000 and was referred to as the largest, most magnificent hotel in Canada. The guide tempts readers with unsurpassed beauty in the centre “of the famous Muskoka Lakes district, a thousand feet above the sea.”
Unfortunately Muskoka’s most luxurious hotel, the Royal Muskoka burned to the ground on May 18, 1952, amidst speculation of arson. After the fire, the landmark hotel was not rebuilt and the land was eventually divided into lots and sold.