Rock of Ages
The Muskoka Rock Company takes us on a tour of what’s new in granite around the lakes.
They say that everything old is new again … a remark that resonates with the practice of processing contemporary products from ancient stone reserves. An igneous rock created deep within the earth, granite’s dense grain makes it a very hardy building material, but not all granites share the same material dynamics. The Muskoka Rock Company is fortunate to hold a series of proprietary quarries that bear some of the highest quality granite reserve in Canada.
The geology of the Canadian Shield has shaped our history: glacial activity carved out rivers and lakes, facilitating the explorations of the early settlers. Peaks that were higher than most mountain ranges were softened by erosion into rolling hills, and the retreating glaciers exposed the surfaces now quarried to enhance our homes and cottages.
Because the minerals that comprise the stone exist in different proportions, each quarry displays distinct characteristics. The Muskoka Rock Company extracts from a number of quarries, each featuring individual textures, grains, and pigments that can be blended for intriguing results. Sourced from the quarries of Rosseau, Lake Joseph, Blue Lake, Georgian Bay, Milford Bay, Dwight and Huntsville, Muskoka Rock Company granite has colours ranging from classic black, gray, and salmon hues to darker tones with light streaks for an earthier appeal. “We choose to use our own proprietary quarries,” says the company’s president, Seth Rudin, “because our clients want their décor to blend with our topography.”
We’ve come a long way from the days when granite was chiefly found on flagstone patios or garden walls. Today, its beauty and strength are prized for many interior and exterior applications, from walls and floors to countertops and shower stalls.
There are a number of reasons why it has become such a prime choice for cottagers and homeowners. Appearance and durability are obvious factors, but its versatility is another compelling attribute. Granite can be processed by splitting, sawing, flaming, and polishing, and Muskoka Rock employs all these techniques. “Some applications are best with hand-split stone,” says Seth, “but our variety of bridge, wire and CNC saws can also create perfectly calibrated products.”