The area was first settled and founded in 1869 by George Hunt, who built a small agricultural centre there. In 1870, a post office was built and the area was named Huntsville after Hunt, who became the first postmaster. Huntsville's economic development was stimulated by the engineering of a navigable water route north from Port Sydney to Huntsville which opened in 1877. A railway route from Gravenhurst was built by the Northern and Pacific Junction Railway in 1885, which encouraged development and resulted in Huntsville becoming officially incorporated in 1886.
In the following year, the Muskoka Colonization Road reached this area. The central Ontario community became an important industrial area in the late 19th century and had several saw, planing and shingle mills, as well as a tannery. Today, the many lakes and hills in the area, combined with the town's proximity to both Algonquin Park and Toronto, make Huntsville and the Muskoka region a major tourist destination.
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, World War I fighting ceased. The war, which had raged on throughout Europe for a little more than four years, claimed the lives of more than nine million combatants and seven million civilians. The Allies squared off against the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and the conflict involved nations from all over the world.
World War II was even more devastating. Ultimately, 100,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives in these two wars combined. It is in their honour - and in the name of all the servicemen and women who continue to risk their lives in service of their country - that Remembrance Day was established.
Remembrance Day, sometimes referred to as Armistice Day or Poppy Day, is celebrated each year on November 11. It is a federal statutory holiday in much of Canada. During the holiday, people pause for two minutes at 11 a.m. to remember the many Canadian soldiers who lost their lives. Many people also wear red poppies, a flower that has become synonymous with the holiday.
In addition to the moments of silence and the wearing of poppies, individuals can commemorate Remembrance Day in the following ways.