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 Muskoka, the camp was a rented site in Ancaster, Ontario for three weeks of the summer. This lasted from 1956-1959.
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.
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. The new welcome centre opened in 2008.
In 2011, due to a generous contribution from PCL Construction, new staff quarters were built, resulting in additional space for people who are blind or partially sighted and their companions to experience what Lake Joe has to offer.