Town Crier is headed for Gravenhurst

avenhurst downtown cores). Businesses will be asked to house these wifi hotspots at no cost to them. Each hotspot is smaller than a desk phone and plugs into your existing modem with a single cable. The overlapping hotspots will form free wifi zones where users can move throughout the area while maintaining access.

Jan. 23 Business After Hours

Is there any better way to stay warm in the middle of January than to get cozy with a hot cup of joe?

On Monday, Jan. 23, the Coffee Station and the Chamber are getting together to bring all our members out to enjoy coffee and snacks at the former home of the Gravenhurst train station.

No need to hype up the food, it pretty much speaks for itself:
1. Mini blueberry applesauce muffins topped almond streusel
2. Vegan and gluten free fudgey oat bars
3. One vegetarian and one ham and smoked cheddar mini quiche
4. Assortment of made in house cookies

As for the beverages, you can expect medium roast coffee (Brazilian peaberry), decaf roast (Guatemala SHB -strictly hard bean), and an assortment of tea.

The Coffee Station is owned and operated by Chad and Kylie Zajac, who took over the cafe from its previous owners in May of 2015.

“Our focus for the products we offer is local,” says Chad. “We belong to local food co-op Eat Local Muskoka and get fresh, locally grown food, delivered to the cafe.  Our bread is from Gravenhurst Bakery and our coffee is roasted for us by Portage Coffeeworks in Gravenhurst.”

Chad and Kylie originally hail from Northern Ontario (Timmins and New Liskeard respectively), but they’ve lived in Gravenhurst for the past 16 years – their entire married life.

“We really want the place to be not just a cool tourist destination (which it is) but a nice place for the people in Gravenhurst to come in relax and feel that they are getting good value for their money,” says Chad.

Blooming Muskoka has also generously agreed to provide a prize as well.

We’re going to China!

We’ve been busy at the Chamber office making plans for 2017.

A trip to China is in the works for September 2017 and all Gravenhurst Chamber members are invited to take part. We’ve secured a good price and inclusive trip working with Indus Travel and  Gravenhurst’s The Travel Agent Next Door. The cost is $2,490 including taxes, flight, accommodations, tours and most breakfasts and dinners. (Non-members can take part for an extra $200).

With the Maple Leaf Education System planning to open a Chinese/English school on the old Muskoka Centre Property in 2018, a recent Visa report saying Chinese visitors are second only to Americans with the amount they spend annual travelling in Canada and of course, the growing numbers at Bethune House – a trip to China makes sense. Visit the Great Wall of China, Tian An Men Square and much more.

This is not a trade mission, but instead a familiarity tour to help Gravenhurst businesspeople learn about our Chinese visitors. We may be better able to serve this growing group of visitors, if we better understand their culture.

It will also be a fun group trip where you can network and socialize with other Chamber members.  More information can be found on the Chamber website here and information will be available at our AGM on March 8 and again at an information session on April 6.







The 2017 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) application period for employers is now open.

Deadline to apply is January 20, 2017!

Canada Summer Jobs is a Government of Canada initiative. It provides funding for not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees to create summer jobs for students between the ages of 15 and 30.

The application form as well as the applicant guide is currently available at You can submit your application online, by mail or in person at any Service Canada Centre.

For a better understanding of the Canada Summer Jobs program including key tips to apply, please watch this YouTube video:https://youtube/SfMoLhkgjU8

We encourage you to submit your 2017 application online. By doing so, you will benefit from a fast, easy-to-use, and secure way of applying as you will:

  •        have access to the Canada Summer Jobs application 24/7, from any location, allowing you to complete it at your convenience;
  •        ensure your application is received immediately by Service Canada;
  •        receive an instant acknowledgement confirming that your application has been received; and,
  •        avoid postal delays.
There are two systems available to enable you to apply online:
  1.      Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS): If you already have a GCOS account, please use this online platform to submit an online application; or
  2.      CSJ online application form.

Motorcycle Thunder receive Hope Float award

Earlier this week the Muskoka Thunder Motorcycle Riders received the Hope Float Award for the best float in the Gravenhurst Santa Claus Parade.

They received their award Monday at Stevenson Plumbing – who sponsored the award and judged the event.

On hand were Scott Stevenson, Debbie Wood, float coordinator Roberta Appleton, Blake Stevenson, club president Vic Wood, Tracy Barkshire, Dave Pegg and Chris Kenneth. Mandy McBride, Don Chapman, Sue Linn, Kevin Carpenter and Beth Kennett were unable to attend.

The Motorcycle Club has 150 members, and they take pride in their fundraising efforts for children and veterans. This year they’ll be refereeing, keeping score and raising funds for the Special Olympics.


Thanks to the 2016 Santa Claus Parade sponsors and volunteers!



It was another great year at the Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, Nov. 26. A huge thank you to all of our sponsors and those who came to help out. Without you it simply wouldn’t have been possible!

  • Community Sponsor = Ontario Power Generation
  • Band Sponsor = Chamberlain Timber Mart
  • Sponsor = Town of Gravenhurst
  • Photos with Santa = Neviss Electric
  • Hope Float Award Sponsor = Stevenson Plumbing & Electric
  • Supporter Sponsor = BV Accounting
  • Patron Sponsor = Gravenhurst Sobey’s, Robinson Haulage, Cavill Turner Funeral Home
  • Parade Marshals = Gravenhurst Legion Branch 302
  • Commentary on the fire truck = Fred Schulz
  • Gravenhurst Fire Department, including Sparky
  • OPP – road closures and leading the parade
  • Town of Gravenhurst by-law department – staff and the many volunteers securing and barricading off the roads
  • Town of Gravenhurst – Amy Taylor 
  • Bucket Brigade – 1st Gravenhurst Scout Group
  • Visits with Santa – Gravenhurst Lions Club
  • Refreshments at the visits with Santa – Gravenhurst Girl Guides
  • Crafts at the visits with Santa – Muskoka Family Focus & Children’s Place
  • Tree Lighting – Historic Downtown Gravenhurst
  • Parade Breakfast – Residence Inn by Marriott Muskoka Wharf
  • Filming the Parade – Cogeco Cable – Scott, Samantha & Jack
  • Commentary on Cogeco – Muskoka Music Source – Scott & Sherry Dunlop 
  • Maddie & Sadie – Gravenhurst High School
  • Catharina, Aimee and Chris  – Chamber volunteers

Here comes Santa Claus!

Santa Claus is on his way to Gravenhurst, and the town is ready to celebrate all weekend long!

“This is going to be an incredible weekend of family fun for the entire south Muskoka community,” says Joy Cantle-Jones, who is helping organize the events for the Gravenhurst Chamber. “This is such a big weekend for Gravenhurst and the surrounding communities. We’ve been working around the clock to make sure this is another holiday season kick-off to remember.”

Friday evening kicks off at 5 p.m. with the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours, held at the Chamber/Service Ontario office at 275 Muskoka Road South. As soon as the After Hours concludes, the focus shifts next door to the Heritage Square (in front of the Opera House) for the annual tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. The fun continues with Black Friday shopping running throughout the downtown Gravenhurst area, to go along with Victorian carolers, carriage rides and a visit for Mrs. Claus.

Things get rolling bright and early the next morning at the Breakfast with Santa event, hosted by the Marriott Inn Marriott Muskoka Wharf, between 7 and 10 a.m. Minimum donation is $8, or a donation of a toy or dry goods.

The Santa Claus Parade starts at 11 a.m., and the Gravenhurst Fire department will be collecting toys for children in need. The scouts will also be in attendance collecting donations from parade-goers to help the Chamber pay for the cost of operating the parade and the other events and functions they organize throughout the year. The parade is one of the few remaining that are free to enter a float.

There will also be a chance to meet the jolly old elf himself at the Centennial Centre at 12:30 p.m., hosted by the Lions Club of Gravenhurst.

Muskoka Springs After Hours draws a crowd

On Tuesday Oct.25, Chamber members were treated to a fantastic evening during the Business After Hours at Muskoka Springs. A good crowd showed up and were treated to some delicious concoctions courtesy of Muskoka Springs and Rae-Anne from Beam Suntory. Well Fed came through with H’ordouvres par excellence and Blooming Muskoka had a spooky flower arrangement for the raffle draw (congratulations to Mary Gauthier!)

Michael Billinghurst provided a riveting history lesson on the company (Muskoka Dry Pale Ginger Ale dates back to 1873), the Gravenhurst aquifer and the unique building on Bay Street. Muskoka Springs also has some intriguing plans in the works – so stay tuned.