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The Quaint Village on Lake Rosseau

Mary Lives very close to Rosseau and enjoys poking about in the village.

The Village of Rosseau

The village of Rosseau has a quaintness and pace that makes it attractive to city people from all across Canada and the US who cottage in Muskoka.

Rosseau - Proud Past and Promising Future

General store

General store

The Heart of the Village

At the heart of the village since the late 19th century is a wonderful old General Store with the glorious feel and smell of the past and everything but a pot bellied stove. It may be tiny but it seems to have the variety of a WalMart as it carefully meets the needs of residents and cottagers all around the Lake and sternly resists yuppification. There's even a butcher in the back with some solid advice on good cuts.

Visit the small Stores in Rosseau - Experience Small Town Service

Rosseau Store

Rosseau Store

Hilltop store in Rosseau

Hilltop store in Rosseau

Small Crafty Shops in Rosseau

Close by to this gem are the expected arts and crafts stores, and antique shop and a furniture/home decor shop to make your cottages feel more "homely".

Though tiny, these Rosseau stores are full of uniquely chosen or crafted things for your cottage or as gifts when you get invited to visit your friends' cottages.

There are treats as well from the bakery featuring the famous butter tarts that simply melt gloriously in your mouth. Browsing around the stores give you a sense of beauty, lift your spirit up and inspire you to create and give way to your artistic inner self.

A walkabout to the bakery that makes glorious trickly oozy butter tarts, a stroll through the perfect Church gardens from a much kinder era, a browse of the antiques and odd cottage detritus that keep the folks coming in, a relaxing meal at Crossroads or an elegant dinner down the road at Windermere can time warp you to another time and a fog of nostalgia for the age of the wooden stove and kerosene lamp and a blessed absence of phones and Blackberries.

A Piece of History

Store in Rosseau

Store in Rosseau

Rosseau: The Glorious Feel and Smell of the Past

As you shake your head and reluctantly creep back to the present, you can amble into the General Store, breath deeply, and then buy all the urgently needed requirements for the dock parties.

There is also the wine and liquor store where despite the Ontario Government's best efforts to make you feel like an immoral drunk for just coming in...was it ever a jail? The staff are smilers and, on some special days, might just give you a hint of what the celebrities and movie stars who cottage nearby recently bought or had their staff buy.

Close by is a small bookstore where you can be the 10th person to own a most readable book when the Kindle gets too heavy.

The Famous Rosseau Butter Tarts - Here's the Bakery

The Bakery in Rosseau

The Bakery in Rosseau

An Arts and Crafts Store in Rosseau

Arts and Crafts Store in Rosseau

Arts and Crafts Store in Rosseau

Crossroads in Rosseau

Crossroads Restaurant in Rosseau

Crossroads Restaurant in Rosseau

Farmers Market in Rosseau

Rosseau has one of the most popular farmers markets in Muskoka. Every Friday, you will see the line up of cars on both sides of the street where the Rosseau Water Park is located. All cars lead to the Farmers Market which has grown to become a worthwhile destination. You should see the line up at the sausage place and the Alsace Creperie.

Competing as well is the Vietnamese place where you can have fried rice, spring rolls or dumplings with sauces such as Tamarind or Garlic. Try to find the Turkish delights, pepperettes, jams, baked goodies especially butter tarts and stuffed olives.

Aside from food, a good number of local artisans display their paintings, uniquely crafted jewelry, pottery, wood products and other crafts and artistic items delight your senses.

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Water Fun in Rosseau

As one of Muskoka's big lakes, Rosseau offers lots of fun especially for those who have cottages on the lake. Even if you don't have one, it is easy to rent one or just go to the Village of Rosseau's Waterfront Park and enjoy the lake and all it offers. Bring your boat and there's a public launch you can use.

The Rosseau Waterfront Park


More Waterfront Fun

Water Fun in Rosseau

Water Fun in Rosseau

Boat in Rosseau

Boat in Rosseau

Rosseau Waterfront Park

Rosseau Waterfront Park

Cruise Lake Rosseau - The Idyllwood


Dine in Rosseau's Old Lodges - Windermere House

One of the special experiences you can have when you visit Rosseau is to go and dine in one of the old lodges. One of the most spectacular is Windermere. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the lake as you dine al fresco. If you want fine dining, you can go to its formal dining room and think of the time when visitors who first came to enjoy the Rosseau lake and village dined and stayed here.

Rosseau's Old Lodge



Go on a Cruise of the Lake

When you go to the Farmers' Market, you can take a short cruise around Rosseau and the two other lakes of Muskoka and Joseph. Right there in the Waterfront Park, you'll see the cruise boat.

Take this Poll on Rosseau

Here's your map to Rosseau Ontario - Come and visit

See Rosseau's distance from Toronto.

Rosseau: A Pre-Mall World

In spite of the incursion of Toronto, you can still squint your eyes almost shut and the whole village smells, feels and tastes like a piece of history, of a pre-mall world where you knew the shop keepers and they knew your grandpa...where the Churches are not doleful relics, but lively community places where you keep peeking to see if a tubby parson is about to bubble out with a welcome.

Wander downhill to the park and docks with a few old codgers fishing and a bush of edible blackberries and a stunning lake stretching out.

The Rosseau Song - Rosseau Town

The Idyllwood

The Idyllwood

In Wikipedia, this song is featured about Rosseau. These words just capture what I want to say of this place.

Oh we'll sing a little song of Rosseau,

It's the best old town that I know

Oh you Rosseau, where the summer breezes blow,

Where the skies are the clearest and the girls that you meet are the fairest,

Oh you Rosseau, you're the best old town that I know.

As the steamboat departed at the end of the visitors' holiday, the visitors wistfully returned the favour by singing the Rosseau Song (departing song) to the townsfolk:

Rosseau Town-again it's time to say to Rosseau Town -Good-bye

When we came, we all were smiling, now we leave you with a sigh

But when summer comes once more

We'll return to you again

Oh Rosseau Town, again it's time to say to Rosseau Town-Good-by.

Somewhere in another time

Hard to find places like this nowadays. I suppose I'm happy that I live in a world of convenience and speed for much of the's designed to fit our wretched lifestyle.

But each the summer or visits to Rousseau pull me back to another time in a world more Robert Frost than Bruce Willis.. where sitting, looking...thinking is not a guilty waste of time but a quiet celebration.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Mary Norton

Share your Rosseau Experience

Robert Sacchi on October 29, 2018:


Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 29, 2018:

Maybe, next time, go up north.

Robert Sacchi on October 28, 2018:

I see. I went to Mississauga once. It was one of the two times I went to Canada.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 28, 2018:

Robert, it is about 20 minutes from our cottage so it is our usual dining and shopping place.

Robert Sacchi on October 27, 2018:

It does seem a quant place. May I ask how you came upon it?

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 18, 2018:

It is a tiny village but it is interesting to poke around. Its farmers market every Friday is a major draw.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 18, 2018:

The town of Rosseau sounds so lovely and your photos confirm it. It is wonderful that you live only 20 minutes away from it.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 15, 2018:

I know. I am dying to have some but the lake is still frozen so no water yet in the Cottage. Thanks again Susan.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 15, 2018:

I've been to lake Rosseau and have to say I love the area. I'm from Orillia. My husband has worked on a few homes on the lake and whenever he is in Rosseau he always brings home those amazing butter tarts.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 18, 2016:

I do enjoy this little village which is about 20 minutes from us. The Friday Farmers Market is the draw.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 16, 2016:

What a beautiful little village this is. Thank you for the tour. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Derek on July 24, 2015:

Feel free to check out this Rosseau video to add to what you've described so well.


Rob Hemphill from Ireland on April 08, 2013:

What a lovely looking area this is. Squid Angel blessings.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on April 07, 2013:

Wow, I could relax in that bedroom with the windows. This looks like a lovely spot for a retreat.

WriterJanis2 on April 05, 2013:

This place looks so sweet. I would love to visit there.

Aunt-Mollie on April 02, 2013:

I would love to visit this charming place. Your pictures are like travel posters.

Rose Jones on April 02, 2013:

What a lovely land! I have pinned this onto my travel board: we are going to visit there sometime, you have inspired me. Blessed.

anonymous on March 22, 2013:

great place! grew up there for seven years. my parents owned the general store back in the sixties. best memories of my life. population 232

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 05, 2012:

@limited279: Another summer over for us but next year, we will be there again. Hope you can visit your aunt. I am sorry about her cottage.

limited279 on September 05, 2012:

Great lens, my aunt is from there but unfortunately her cottage burnt down last fall but they are re-building now!

RetroMom on July 26, 2012:

The place looks charming.

BestRatedStuff on May 14, 2012:

Never been, but love your other travel lenses and this one too, you seem to be able to give the reader a feel, smell, experience of the place through your words and pictures. thanks for sharing.

anonymous on April 01, 2012:

Never been to Rosseau... but sure do love the sights and smell of the place! :)

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 01, 2012:

@julieannbrady: Please visit but come in the summer.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 01, 2012:

@JenOfChicago LM: Thank you os much for the blessing. It is special.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 01, 2012:

@anonymous: Lake water is more peaceful and as it is not salty you can swim much longer.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 01, 2012:

@anonymous: Am enjoying this now on a holiday in Switzerland.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 01, 2012:

@LiteraryMind: Visit in the summer when it springs back to life.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on October 11, 2011:

This looks absolutely beautiful -- like a really worthwhile destination. Thanks for sharing

anonymous on July 24, 2011:

Love the simple and elegant life of hills and villages, they offer their own glorious culture and peaceful environment. I would love to settle and retire in such place someday.

anonymous on July 11, 2011:

I love water in any form, so this would be a place I would enjoy visiting, thank you for making it possible for me to do a Squidoo visit there!

Jennifer Sullivan from Chicago, IL on April 01, 2011:

I really feel like I know Rosseau after reading this! Happy April Fool's Day! Blessed by a Squid Angel!

julieannbrady on December 31, 2010:

You have shared some lovely pictures on Rosseau ... it truly looks like a fabulous place that I might want to visit ... someday.

anonymous on September 19, 2010:

I know that Ontario is beautiful country, but I haven't been to Rosseau. It looks like a great spot for a vacation. A lovely village, thanks for sharing this great place.

Karen from U.S. on September 14, 2010:

Rosseau looks like a place that we'd enjoy visiting as a family -- Windermere Lodge would be a lovely place to stay! I really like your way of writing!

poutine on September 14, 2010:

added to the following lenses:

poutine on September 14, 2010:

It looks like such a lovely place to visit in the summer.

I love all your pictures, especially the small church.

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