About Lake Joe – History

Old black and white picture of women holding hands in a pool

The CNIB Lake Joseph Centre, also known as Lake Joe, started off as a summer camp facility that provided a fun outdoor experience and social outlet for people with vision loss. Before finding its permanent site in the beautiful Muskokas, the camp was a rented site in Ancaster, Ontario for three weeks of the summer. This lasted from 1956-1959.

An old black and white image a man throwing a ball

In 1960, after just three years of the initial summer camp, Lake Joe developed into such a large program that the small rented site would no longer do. That year CNIB, in collaboration with the Lions Family of Ontario and the Canadian Council for the Blind, purchased a small piece of paradise on Lake Joseph in Muskoka.

In 1961 CNIB Lake Joseph Centre opened its doors for the first summer of operation on our new site in Muskoka.

Historic black and white image of women

In 2002, Lake Joe closed its doors for one season and began massive renovations of the Dining Hall. To date, more renovations and reconstruction have continued and include the Main Lodge, completed in 2003, the Wellness Centre in 2004 and six new barrier-free guest cabins in 2007. 2008 marked the opening of the new Welcome Centre.  In 2011, due to a generous contribution from PCL Construction, new staff quarters were built, resulting in additional space available to people who are blind or partially sighted and their companions to experience what Lake Joe has to offer.

Old black and white picture of people in a swing
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