Propane Delivery to a Lake Joseph Island
Have you ever wonder how many Islands there are on Lakes Joseph, Rosseau and Muskoka? Or how the numbers compare with other well-known Island areas in Ontario? Many of us have heard of the 1,000 Islands near Gananoque or the 30,000 Islands in the Parry Sound area but we really don’t talk about the number of Islands on the Big 3 Muskoka Lakes.
A little research shows that there are actually more than 1,800 islands in what is known as The Thousand Islands and if what we read is true, the 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay are made up of closer to 60,000 islands.
To find the answer to how many Islands we have, we started with the boating charts for the Big 3 Muskoka Lakes. Our count came to 333 Islands. 75 on Lake Joseph, 5 on the Joseph River, 75 on Lake Rosseau, and 178 on Lake Muskoka (also known as “the big lake”).
Another interesting thing we discovered was that there are quite a few duplicate Island Names. We have 4 Birch Islands (3 of which are on Lake Joseph and the 4th on Lake Muskoka), 3 Bass Islands (one on each lake), 2 Belle Islands (1 on Rosseau and 1 on Muskoka), 2 Christmas Islands (one on Joseph and the other on Muskoka), and 2 Hope Islands (one on Joseph and one on Rosseau).
Most of the first cottagers on Lakes Muskoka, Rosseau and Joseph chose Island properties. They were arriving by boat anyway and Muskoka didn’t have many roads in those early days. Islands were preferred by some because islands were considered to be safer from forest fires which often started along the railway tracks. Also, except for the very large islands, it was easy to see the size of the property and for single owner islands, you had any exposure you wanted and could locate your dock and boathouse in a sheltered area away from pounding waves.
Settlement on Islands started with one person or one family per island. Many of the islands were very large with thousands of feet of shoreline but only one owner. A few remain today such as Cliff Island on Lake Joseph which is about 64 acres, and still today only has one cottage.
Over the last 30 years, much of the development of new lots has been on Islands. A whole industry to service these island properties has evolved that employ tug boats and huge barges to supply materials and services. At this time of year the only boats that we see on the water belong to Islanders or Contractors working for Islanders. There are really only two seasons for Islanders, the Boating Season and the Non-Boating Season.