Lake Joseph Church

Lake Joseph Church Heritage Designation



church behind treesIn June of 2003 the Township of Muskoka Lakes designated the The Lake Joseph Community Church in Minett as a heritage property under the Ontario Heritage Act. Research by Municipal Heritage Committee showed this property should be designated on the basis of its architectural/ historical importance. In brief, our reasons for designation are as follows:

In September of 1902, permanent and summer residents purchased property for a church on Lake Joseph. The waterfront site, part of lot 17, Concession 8 in Medora Township, is at the mouth of Cumberland Bay. The Mackenzie brothers of Staney Brae designed and built the church in time for the gala opening on August 9th, 1903. Members of the congregation were both permanent residents and cottagers, from Pittsburgh, Poughkeepsie, New York, Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal. It has been used every summer for services with the exception of 1933 and 1934.

The overall style of the church is straightforward and unornamented Ontario vernacular. The steeply pitched roof is complemented by a simple bell tower clad in scalloped cedar shakes. The original, leaded, pointed arch windows line each side of the double aisle church. The original shape and white colour of the building have been retained. One of the most notable architectural features of the building is the interior with its original high ceiling and basswood paneling in a simple medallion pattern.

The Lake Joseph Community Church continues to enhance a strong sense of the multi-generational lakeside community by providing interdenominational Sunday services each summer. The church continues to be a landmark on Lake Joseph.

The specific parts of the property we believe should be protected are:



  • white clad exterior facing Lake Joseph including the triple pointed leaded glass window and shake cladding on upper portions
  • bell tower with door and overhead pointed, leaded glass windows and shake cladding
  • multi-paned pointed windows on either side of the church
  • basswood interior paneling on walls and ceiling
w3cP.O. Box 129, 1 Bailey St., Port Carling, Ontario, P0B 1J0  Phone:(705)765-3156  Fax:(705)765-6755
Municipal Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)