FUN FACT: Port Carling’s ‘Hub of the Lakes’ moniker explained

Muskoka Post Staff

Muskoka Post’s fun fact for today is an explanation for why Port Carling is known as the Hub of the Lakes.

In 1869 a post office was established, in what was known then as the indigenous Obajewanung settlement, by Benjamin Hardcastle Johnston. He named the office Port Carling after his close friend John Carling, the Ontario Minister of Public Works at the time, who was instrumental in the development of the locks between Lake Rosseau and Lake Muskoka.

From 1869-1871 a set of locks were constructed making boat travel possible between Gravenhurst and Rosseau. The locks were completed in 1871. They would allow settlers easier access to their free land grants but it also fuelled a new industry in Northern Ontario, the tourist trade.

This led to an economic boom fuelled by tourism and logging, resulting in the building of four resorts, two sawmills and three Protestant churches in the 1870s.

Development moved quickly in this era and Port Carling’s location in the Muskoka Lakes system and the connection it provides between Lake Muskoka and Lake Rosseau has earned it the moniker Hub of the Lakes.

With files from the Canadian Encyclopedia and Muskoka Lakes Civic Web.

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