Mark Clairmont |

MUSKOKA — It was men and women — boys and girls — everyone in motion this weekend, after Friday’s first wave of summer Ontario openings sweeps across the province.

The sea change in Muskoka tourism was evident everywhere as Simcoe-Muskoka reported 10 COVID cases Sunday and province 530.

In towns and on the highways it was as if the pandemic never happened and the hustle and bustle of small towns returned to near normal.

Patios were the focus as warm weather had the pints flowing and decks were decidedly more welcoming than they’ve been in months.

From garden centres where the spring run on seeds, mulch and potting soiled continued with limitations, to ice cream shops Ontarians were enjoying freedom to come and go without looking over their shoulders.

Many of them unmasked — but not all.

A road trip, a shopping trip — or a simply sitting in the park — offered equally appeal to the newly vaccinated who confidently and bravely ventured forth where few have gone before this spring.

Even the mustard-coloured pollen that covered lakes and cars conjured up sunny days ahead.

The road ahead is looking relatively good and clear after an annus horribilis.
Gone fishin’ and hittin’ the busy road was the way forward on the highways through Muskoka this weekend.
It was thumbs up this weekend as Ontarians got out to fish and cast about as they tried to remember what life was like before the pandemic.
Sitting pretty and taking Pride in summertown, where the living’s great and the patios are open.
Sorbet or ice cream, it doesn’t matter … they’re both cold and taste great, says super scooper Sarah at Polar Dip at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst.
Tis the season for pollen and lakes and cars are covered in Mother Nature’s mustard colour.
Tourist attractions like the Wenonah II are the circling wagons hoping for a better year than last.
Seed shoppers are aplenty this year with gardens popping up in backyards everywhere.
Garden centre supplies are running low this year with many avid green-thumbers being met with limitations.
Lakes on both sides of Gravenhurst were busy with active and passive participants — some even waiting for the return of Sunday night Barge concerts?


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