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‘Putting Muskoka on the Map’ Lecture with Patrick Boyer
November 29 @ 9:24 am
Between Samuel Champlain’s first map in 1615 and today’s satellite images of Muskoka from
outer space lies a centuries-long drama which proves that putting Muskoka on a map was neither
easy nor simple. In this second book in his MODERN HISTORY OF MUSKOKA series, author J.
Patrick Boyer presents a parade of human endurance and ingenuity, the indispensable roles of
First Nations, the determined efforts of military planners, treachery and betrayal, the aspirations
of land developers, the evolving relationships between First Nations and settlers, stellar Canadian
map-maker David Thompson’s unique Muskoka maps – and solving the mystery of why they
appeared to be “lost” maps just when needed most for Muskoka land settlement and homesteader
benefit, the tribulations of surveyors seeking to subdivide raw Canadian Shield landscape into a
neat grid, the obstacles encountered by road-builders on the same terrain, governmental land
policies in conflict with themselves, and how the shift from logging and homesteading to a
vacation economy put Muskoka on the continent’s social map.