Place:Lake of Bays, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameLake of Bays
Alt namesTownship of Lake of Bayssource: Wikipedia
TypeMunicipality
Coordinates45.3°N 79°W
Located inMuskoka, Ontario, Canada     (1971 - )
See alsoFranklin, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadatownship that amalgamated into Lake of Bays in 1971
Ridout, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadatownship that amalgamated into Lake of Bays in 1971
McLean, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadatownship that amalgamated into Lake of Bays in 1971
Sinclair, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadatownship that amalgamated into Lake of Bays in 1971
Finlayson, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadatownship that amalgamated into Lake of Bays in 1971

The text in this article is based on one in Wikipedia.

Lake of Bays is a municipality or township within the District Municipality of Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.

Located in the northeast corner of Muskoka, Lake of Bays offers a natural landscape of forests, rocks, lakes and wetlands. Because of its natural beauty, it is an important cottaging, recreation and tourism destination in Ontario. Currently, the economy of the township is primarily based on tourism, recreation, and the service sector with forestry and aggregate (composite) extraction contributing as well.

The township has a permanent population of 3,570 and a seasonal population of almost 18,000, and encompasses approximately 677.58 km2 or 261.62 sq miles of land.

History

Lake of Bays was established in 1971 from the former Muskoka townships of Franklin, Ridout, McLean, Sinclair and Finlayson.

The township was once home to the smallest commercial railway line in the world called the Portage Railway. Between 1904 and 1958 it ferried passengers between North Portage on Peninsula Lake to South Portage on Lake of Bays, a distance of 2 km. The train, named the Portage Flyer, was discontinued in 1958.

Maps

Ontario GenWeb has a sketchmap of the original townships of Muskoka County.

The map of Muskoka County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual municipalities, townships, city, towns and villages of the county.

Research Tips

The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.

Early Records

Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.

Vital Records after 1869

Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1914 are now available [October 2012]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The latest year published is not yet available online. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.

Land Records and Wills

Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.

Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.

Censuses

The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada. All of the original census (1851-1911) images are online with the exception of that for 1861. Not all of them are indexed. Later censuses are not yet available. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can view censuses on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario or at big libraries throughout Canada.

E-books and Books

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Lake of Bays, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.