View all Stories

Fenelon Falls: The Mainspring of the Kawarthas

December 8, 2023

Monaca Cornet Band Camp, Cameron Lake, Fenelon Falls, with Stooks in Foreground

A Fenelon Falls Board of Trade Advertisement, 1929

Fenelon Falls, the largest centre of population immediately situated on the Kawartha Lakes, is eighty-five miles north of Toronto and as central a location as can be found on the Trent System. The town itself is a beautiful and historic clustering that breathes an air of romance and grandeur, coupled with an educational and religious atmosphere that at once acclaims it the Peer of Ontario’s Summer Resorts.


With the waters of two lakes lapping its boundaries, this pretty town offers to the tourist an abundance of scenery and fresh air, and always a breeze. Sturgeon Lake to the east, and Cameron Lake to the west afford a fishing and boating playground of sixteen square miles, dotted here and there with islands of scenic enchantment. The predominating fish are black and green bass and maskinonge [muskellunge]. Linking together these two beautiful bodies of water is the picturesque Fenelon River, coursing its way through the very centre of town—only one mile long, but a solid mile of grandeur.

The Falls

On this river is situated The Falls, from which the town acquires its name. Here, for a distance of one hundred and eighty feet in width, the waters make a precipitous leap over twenty feet of rock, and, as the poet says, “Sail on to meet the mighty ocean.”

Here one forgets his troubles as he is lulled into sweet repose and blissful forgetfulness each night with the thud and music of falling waters of this miniature Niagara. Not only is this cataract a thing of beauty, but it has its usefulness as well. Day in and day out, two up to date powerhouses furnish the electric current to light the homes, and turns the wheels of industry in Fenelon Falls and the Town of Lindsay, sixteen miles distant.


Five trains give service during the summer months. Steamboats daily ply their way for one hundred miles up and down the Trent System. Excursions and pleasure-boat trips are a much enjoyed form of diversion.

Our locks are always busy and a most interesting spot for the tourist watching the various craft from the small canoe, powered by an outboard motor, and the regular lake steamer to the palatial launches of the many Americans whose numbers each year increase in acclaiming the Trent System the finest motor-boat cruise on the American continent.

Provincial Highways all lead the way from all the main Canadian centres right to our very door and there end. For hundreds of miles these main arteries of Canadian commerce and pleasure run on and on, in an impatient sort of way, bringing in visitors from all parts of Canada and every State in the Union, and, once here, end abruptly as if to say, “There, the promised land is reached; your every pleasure is to be had for the asking;” fishing, bathing, boating, hunting, dancing, golfing, tennis, sports of all kinds, lake and automobile trips into the fir and maple-clad hills of paradise.


The scenery in and around Fenelon Falls is so abundant and varied that it is hard to describe. The two lakes, Sturgeon and Cameron, offer shore-lines of picturesque grandeur that defy the descriptive expression of man and the versatile brush of the artist; sometimes steep and rocky, towering above the waters of the lake; sometimes sloping gently to a beautiful sandy beach that runs far out into the water. The shores are nicely wooded with the principal trees of Ontario and dotted here and there with a cottage, or, perhaps, a cluster of them—yet always room for another.


The climatic conditions of Fenelon Falls are perfect. Its high and dry location commands a breeze at all times, which, in passing over the fresh, running water, is seasoned with the proper amount of moisture, and always carries with it the aromatic fragrance of the pine, cedar, hemlock, spruce and balsam clad shores and hills. This high altitude (600 feet above the level of Lake Ontario) also dispels the fear of the mosquito and black fly, and hay fever is unknown. The village water supply comes from the springs in the hills to the north, and is always fresh and cold.

Tourist Camp

A Tourist Camp is maintained within the boundaries of the town and faces Cameron Lake. Numerous other large and small private camping sites are available in close proximity to the town.

Last year, two large American clubs, “The Owls” of Rochester and “The Monacca Cornet Band” [Monaca] camped here and were loud in their praises for the town and treatment received. They have already secured the same locations for some years to come.


Three well-run and comfortable hotels and various boarding houses, together with several summer houses on the lake shore cater to the tourist. Cottages can usually be rented by the season, month or week, and canoes, skiffs, launches, and outboard motors can be hired in the same manner. Competent guides may be had at reasonable rates.


While fishing, boating, bathing, motoring, hunting, tennis, &c. are the principal attractions of any summer resort, and we boast of all these, we also have for the younger generation one of the largest and best dance floors in Ontario [the Cameo, now That Place on Cameron]. This year a new nine-hole golf course will be in operation [Byrnell], which is claimed by experts will be one of the finest courses in Ontario when completed.


Fenelon Falls, owning its own power, can offer desirable prospective industries a very lucrative proposition which, coupled with a low tax rate, makes this town worthy of investigation.

Board of Trade

The Fenelon Falls Board of Trade has long enjoyed a reputation for hospitality to the tourist, and will this year be better equipped to give service than ever before. A letter to the Secretary, Mr. M.H. McCallum, is all that is required, and a successful holiday is assured, and you, like thousands more will acclaim Fenelon Falls “The Mainspring of the Kawartha Lakes.”

Note: Much of the content of this advertisement is romanticized, and there are many claims that are not literally true.

© Copyright 2024 - Maryboro Lodge Museum