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The Township of Algonquin Highlands is a lower tier municipality located on the western side of the Haliburton Highlands in Central Ontario. Algonquin Highlands includes the geographic townships of Sherborne, McClintock, Livingstone, Lawrence, Nightingale and Stanhope.


We are “cottage country” where myriad clear lakes and endless forests are dotted with an eclectic mix of traditional old jumbly cottages and modern seasonal homes. The township has four main communities – Carnarvon, Stanhope, Dorset and Oxtongue Lake, each of which has a colourful and well-documented history.


The permanent population of Algonquin Highlands is 2,200 folks, however the Voters’ List from the 2010 municipal election indicates 7,754 eligible voters. Seasonal residents push that 2,000 up to about 8,000.


While forestry and farming were initially the main economic drivers in the area, tourism first began in the early 1900s when the railway to Haliburton offered “Hunter’s Excursions” to “one of the best hunting and fishing districts in Ontario“.


Once logging ended in the 1920s, it didn’t take long for farmers struggling on the hardscrabble Canadian Shield to realize that the area’s lakes and rivers were a huge attraction to outdoorsmen who needed food, supplies, guides, and places to stay. The cottage boom occurred during the 1930s when improved roads provided easier access and farmers sold waterfront bush lots for as little as $1 per foot.


While forestry is still a mainstay of industry, the tourism industry is the primary employer of the area and creative economy businesses are increasing in number. The township (and in fact the entire county) is an immensely popular recreation area that boasts an extensive cottaging community, a wide range of outdoor experiences, and a vibrant arts, cultural and creative business community.


Community life is enriched by events and festivals planned by various organizations, some of which are municipally-managed and others of which are organized by local groups.


If you already know Algonquin Highlands, you already love it. If you don’t, then come on up and we’ll introduce you …


Visit the official municipal website by clicking here.

About Algonquin Highlands

Photos (c) Carol Moffatt

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