Sandwiched between two lakes, the gridiron streets of downtown GRAVENHURST, some 170km north of Toronto, are surprisingly leafy, but the busiest part of town is down by the harbour, where cottagers whizz in and out to collect supplies. In its early days, the town prospered from logging and for a while it was even called “Sawdust City”, until the local council had second thoughts.

Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site

Gravenhurst’s prime historical attraction is the recently upgraded Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site, the birthplace of the remarkable Norman Bethune (1890–1939), a doctor who introduced Western medicine to the Chinese in the 1930s and invented mobile blood-transfusion units. The house has been restored to its appearance in 1890 and has displays on Bethune’s considerable accomplishments – he was even praised by Chairman Mao – all detailed in English, French and Chinese.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month