What are you looking for?
Could it be designer clothing or one-of-a-kind artwork? Perhaps an indoor rock climbing adventure or a sunset cruise aboard North America’s oldest operating steamship?
No matter what it is, you don’t have to look far.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize the huge range of products and services available right here in Muskoka,” says Sandy Lockhart of the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce. “As Chambers, we hear the stories of great service, amazing products, and wonderful businesspeople who give back to our communities.”
To help spread the word on the amazing goods and services right around the corner, the Chambers of Muskoka Lakes, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst have teamed up to launch the Found it in Muskoka Campaign. The campaign includes your friends and neighbours on video talking about how important it is to look locally for goods and services – and how you might be surprised to find what’s right in your own backyard.
You can check out the videos for yourself here on YouTube. New videos are going up almost daily.
The program even includes taking residents on shopping tours of Muskoka Lakes, Gravenhurst and Bracebridge.
Lockhart says people are always surprised when they find out what’s available locally and the impact those local businesses have on the community.
“These are the local businesses that support south Muskoka,” she says. “They sponsor our children’s sports teams, they help out with festivals and events and they put money back into South Muskoka.”
There’s also a level of customer service you experience when shopping locally that you simply can’t get in the major urban areas. Oftentimes when you visit a local small business, it’s the owner there behind the counter waiting to serve you.
“I know when I go into Muskoka Bay Clothing they’re going to help me find the right clothes for me, or when I get my tires changed at Wayne’s Tires I know I can count on them because I’ve been going there for 20 years,” she says.“These small businesses are cornerstones of our local economies and key to thriving communities. They create jobs, drive innovation and generate wealth. The Found it in Muskoka Campaign responds to the unique circumstances in South Muskoka to encourage people to shop at local businesses and support economic recovery in the region following the pandemic.”
When it comes to what you find locally, Lockhart says it extends far beyond the retail sector.
Muskoka Brewery, Sawdust City Brewing Co, Clear Lake Brewing Co. and the Katalyst Brewing Company all call south Muskoka home, and the area is also home to a range of culinary experts serving a cross-section of exciting and delicious dishes.
Bracebridge alone has authentic Mexican, Indian and Japanese fusion restaurants, not to mention patios at the Old Station and the newly renovated Pub at the Falls which stack up against anything in Muskoka. In Muskoka Lakes, you can dine right on the water at Lakeside Bala or Bala Falls Pub.
If you crave unique experiences, cruise in a classic watercraft with Sunset Cruises from the locks in Port Carling or enjoy the one-of-a-kind Bog To Bottle Tour at Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery.
“We also have some of the most talented interior designers and contractors in the entire province,” she says. “If you look around there really is no reason to leave Muskoka for anything you need. It’s all right here.”
Make sure that whatever treasure you find you get a pic and tag it with #IfounditinMuskoka or #it’sallrighther to let everyone know what Muskoka has to offer.
You can find out more about the program here.
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