Pratt's Hotel (The Rosseau House)

On August, 11th, 2012, The Rosseau Historical Society will unveil a plaque honouring the Pratt's Hotel (The Rosseau House).

The first wilderness resort hotel in Canada was built a few yards north and west of this site in 1870, by William H. & Lucy H. Pratt, American hotel-keepers who were alerted to Muskoka's scenic charms by A. P. Cockburn, the founder of the Muskoka steamboat enterprise. The Pratts toured Lake Rosseau by steamer in 1869 and selected this promontory at its head.  Despite the remoteness of the site (then about 60 miles from the nearest railway) and the high prices charged, William and Lucy Pratt soon did very well.  The Rosseau House was expanded to have over 50 rooms, with stables, ballroom, billiard room, telegraph office, and its own steamboat wharf.  The hotel burned on the night of October 6, 1883, and was not rebuilt.  Pratt's hotel marked the beginning of the Muskoka tourist industry.  Many resort hotels in Ontario followed.

Known as The Rosseau House or Pratt's Hotel - 1870.  Photo courtesy of Sheila (McCans) Smith & Jean (McCans) Maley. HR0059.

The Rosseau House or Pratt's Hotel located at #18 Rice Street - Picture taken in the 1870's.  Photo courtesy of Doreen (Shortt) Nowak. HR0049.