GRAVENHURST, ON – A much-anticipated expansion of the Muskoka Discovery Centre has begun.

After two years of planning piles have been driven into Gravenhurst Bay as the foundation for a 12,000 square foot space that will be a separate display space connected to the existing 25,000 square-foot museum.

The main exhibit for the expansion will be the Stanley Meek Steam Era Exhibit. The display will focus on the 100 year period between 1830 and 1930 that was the height of the steam revolution in shipping and boating. The total cost of the expansion will be around $4 million with an expected completion date at the end of 2020.

The main feature will be the restored and electrified Wanda III steam yacht created in 1915.

President of the Muskoka Steamship and Discovery Centre, John Miller, said it is good to have construction happening after such a lengthy planning process.

“We are so excited to finally be under construction after so many months of planning,” he said.

The building design aside, a firm has been hired to create the collection of interactive displays.

Haley Sharpe Design is an international design firm with an office in Toronto that will develop some concepts for the collection of interactive displays that will give visitors a world-class experience.

Chair of the Revitalization Committee for the organization, Rick McGraw is pleased with the choice of firm.

“We have hired a design firm with huge experience at creating engaging and entertaining displays all over the world,” said McGraw. The current budget for the displays in the new centre is set at $1 million.

The MSDC is conducting a community fundraising campaign to help pay for the new building. You can find out more information by clicking here.