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Muskoka Life and TOLKA
To fully appreciate TOLKA, you have to put her in the context of the early part of the 20th century in Muskoka. People were being incentivized to migrate to the lake region of central Ontario, but the transportation infrastructure was very limited. Roads were non-existent. Boats of every description were the main vehicle for passengers, supplies and freight. Steamships had regular routes and pick up destinations that included public docks and hotels. And those who could afford them had fancy launches and there were of course utilities.
The Lash family built their first cottage before 1900 on water access only Lash Point on Lake Rosseau. TOLKA was one of many boats that family would own over the years, but probably the most elegant and unique. She was used for everything and by everyone. Picnics, regattas, family cruises and even transporting people to fight fires. In her later years she was even used for water skiing.
Over time roads were built around the Muskoka lakes and the dependency on boats decreased sharply and the all the steamships were retired. The RMS Segwun survived thanks to a dedicated group of historians and business people and she is now the oldest operating steamship in North America. Many of the launches were abandoned or scuttled just like TOLKA was. Those launches that did survive are collected, savored and shared by proud owners at boat shows as usable examples of a glorious past.
TOLKA - Past, Present and the People involved (15:06)
Filmed in Muskoka, Canada, July 6 & 2012
Posted: Wed, 25 Jul 2012
Click to see more video footage of TOLKA