Nestled in the heart of Ontario's Muskoka region, Lake Rosseau is a stunningly beautiful lake with a rich history and vibrant cottage culture. Surrounded by pristine forests and rolling hills, the lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other recreational activities. It is also home to a number of Indigenous communities who have lived in the area for centuries.
Lake Rosseau History
The Muskoka region has a long history of Indigenous culture dating back thousands of years. The area around Lake Rosseau was traditionally inhabited by the Anishinaabe people, who referred to the lake as "Waanakiing", meaning "the place of the big water". The Anishinaabe were a hunting and gathering society, and they lived off the land by fishing, hunting, and farming.
In the 17th century, European traders began arriving in the area, and the Anishinaabe began trading furs with them. This led to a period of increased contact between the Anishinaabe and European settlers, which had both positive and negative impacts on the Indigenous communities.
In the mid-19th century, the Canadian government began establishing reserves for Indigenous people, and many Anishinaabe people were relocated to reserves around Lake Rosseau. Today, the Lake Rosseau area is home to several First Nations communities, including the Wahta Mohawks and the Shawanaga First Nation.
Lake Rosseau is one of three interconnected lakes in the Muskoka region, along with Lake Joseph and Lake Muskoka. The lake covers an area of approximately 6,390 hectares and has a maximum depth of 89 meters and an incredible 151 kms. of shoreline.
There are several theories as to how it got its name. One is William Robinson, member of the House of Assembly named the three lakes. He named Lake Joseph and Lake Rosseau after his friend Joseph Rousseau. Another is that it was named after William Hamilton Merritt's mother, Catherine, who was a member of the Rosseau family. Merritt was a prominent Canadian businessman and politician who played a key role in the construction of the Welland Canal.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Lake Rosseau became a popular destination for wealthy Americans and Canadians who built grand cottages along its shores. Many of these cottages still exist today and are a testament to the area's rich history and cultural heritage.
Very large at almost 6300 square hectares, it has 151 kms. of shoreline and a mean depth of 24 meters. Major fish species include lake trout, lake whitefish, cisco, walleye , smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, burbot & black crappie. The lake is also home to many islands, including Tobin Island, which is the largest island on the lake and is home to a number of cottages.
Water level is controlled by an MNR owned and operated dam at Port Carling; flows and levels are regulated by the Muskoka River Water Management Plan. You can check out current water levels on Lake Rosseau real time here.
The lake has a number of public access points, including several boat launches and public beaches. There are also several marinas and rental companies that offer boats, kayaks, and other watercraft for rent.
One of the factors driving the Lake Rosseau real estate market is the increasing popularity of working from home. With many people now able to work remotely, more and more families are seeking a second home in cottage country where they can enjoy the outdoors and escape the city.
Lake Rosseau Real Estate
Today, Lake Rosseau remains a popular destination for those seeking a luxury cottage lifestyle. The real estate market is generally strong with properties ranging from the original modest cottages to grand estates worth millions of dollars.
2019 - 38 properties sold $570,000 - $10,283,000 Median sale price - $ 2,612,000
2020 - 41 properties sold $340,000 - $16,200,000 Median sale price - $2,744,000
2021 - 35 properties sold $950,000 - $19,00,000 Median sale price - $3,210,000
2022 - 14 properties sold $790,000 - 15,750,000 Median sale price - $4,206,000
- Freehold properties | The Lakelands Association of Realtors®
What Makes Lake Rosseau So Desirable?
So, what is it about Lake Rosseau that makes it such a desirable location for cottagers? There are several factors that contribute to its appeal.
First and foremost, the natural beauty of the lake and surrounding area is simply breathtaking. With its clear waters, lush forests, and rocky shorelines, Lake Rosseau offers a serene and tranquil setting for relaxation and outdoor recreation.
In addition, the Muskoka region is known for its charming towns and villages, which offer a range of amenities and attractions. From boutique shopping to fine dining to cultural events, there's always something to see and do.
Another factor that makes Lake Rosseau so desirable is its history and legacy. Many of the homes on the lake have been passed down through generations of families, and the sense of tradition and continuity is palpable. For those seeking a connection to the past and a sense of rootedness, Lake Rosseau offers a timeless quality that is hard to find in other locations.
Of course, the high-end real estate market on Lake Rosseau also attracts those seeking luxury and exclusivity. The homes and cottages on the lake are often stunning examples of architecture and design, with features like private beaches, boathouses, and extensive landscaped grounds.
The Lake Rosseau Lifestyle
For those lucky enough to own a property on Lake Rosseau, the lifestyle is one of relaxation and enjoyment. With the lake as your backyard, there are endless opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and water sports.
In addition, the surrounding area offers a wealth of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to golfing and skiing. And with so many quaint towns and villages nearby, there's always a new restaurant or boutique to explore.
For those who value privacy and seclusion, Lake Rosseau is the perfect retreat. Many of the homes and cottages on the lake are situated on large, wooded lots, providing a sense of solitude and peace. And with the natural beauty of the lake and surrounding area, there's always a sense of being connected to something larger than oneself.