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Millennium Trail | Orillia, ON

Couchiching Hotel

A point of interest on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour available on the Tripvia Tours App for Android & iPhone.

Listen to the tour audio!

Audio Excerpt

The sunny skies, blue waters and refreshing breezes of Lake Couchiching convinced the Northern Railway Company to develop a summer resort in Orillia shortly after track was laid. The first train arrived here in 1871, and the hotel opened on the shores of Lake Couchiching in 1874. The luxurious, three story Couchiching Hotel was built of wood, painted white with green trim and accommodated 350 guests.

On-site greenhouses supplied the gardener with beautiful flowers to enhance the 180 acres of shaded walks, fountains and landscaped grounds. Guests would enjoy croquet and lawn bowling, relax under outdoor pavilions or join social gatherings in the dance hall. They could also partake in fishing, boating and steamboat excursions on the lake.

An octagonal Way Station was established by the railway company, to specifically serve the hotel and it's prominent guests.

On October 12, 1876, a fire started from the burning embers in the reading room, spread rapidly throughout the wooden structure and destroyed the hotel. No lives were lost, but despite all the efforts of the town's fire department, local citizens and railway staff, only the servants' apartment, the icehouse and the outbuildings were saved.

The hotel was not rebuilt. The 'prettiest Way Station ever built', as it was known, was dismantled and the breathtaking hotel grounds were purchased as a private summer home. Over the years, the land has changed hands several times and was eventually developed as a waterfront residential area. However, with the development of the Couchiching Inn in 1998, Orillia has seen the return of tourist accommodations.

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Millennium Trail

Walking Tour

This POI is featured on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour, part of the Tripvia Tours mobile app available for Android & Apple.

Experience the beautiful waterfront trail in a unique and entertaining way!

Tours can be downloaded on WIFI and don't use any mobile date during tour.

Entertaining & Educational

Knowledgeable tour guides point out interesting things as you walk or bike.

Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia question that adds to the fun.

Tour experience is the same in either direction.

Discover your destination with the Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour!

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