This largely rural riding along the eastern shores of Georgian Bay has
a predominantly an anglophone population, with 92 per cent calling English
their mother tongue.
The riding runs from the Severn River in the southwest to Lake Nipissing
in the northeast, with Algonguin Park running through most of the eastern
part of the riding.
Some of the larger centres include Parry Sound, Gravenhurst, Huntsville
and Bracebridge. The riding also contains many native reserves.
This area's many lakes, including Lake Muskoka, Lake Joseph and Lake
of Bays, make tourism a major industry.
In the 1999 redistribution, the new riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka combined
two-thirds of Muskoka-Georgian Bay with two-thirds of Parry Sound and
a small portion of Victoria- Haliburton.
In the old riding of Muskoka, Tory Frank Miller was elected in 1971,
1975, 1977, 1981 and 1985. After becoming party leader in 1985, Miller
served briefly as premier; his minority government was toppled by a
Liberal/NDP coalition shortly after the general election of 1985.
In the riding of Muskoka-Georgian Bay, Liberal Ken Black won in 1987.
In 1990, the riding went to NDP candidate Dan Waters. Tory Bill Grimmett
won in the seat in 1995.
Tories have enjoyed a non-stop string of victories in Parry Sound dating
back to 1951. Ernie Eves won his first election here in 1981, and went
on to win in every subsequent campaign. When he resigned -- temporarily,
as it turned out -- from provincial politics in 2001, the seat was won
in a byelection by Frank Miller's son, Norm.