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Muskoka Store reopens with nostalgic twist one year after fire

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A beloved community staple in cottage country is finally reopening after a destructive fire forced it to shutter its doors last spring.

Bruce Clarke has owned the Muskoka Store for more than four decades, but when the fire caused significant smoke damage to the original building, he picked up and moved the business.

"I was lucky enough to own the property next to the Muskoka Store, which had this building on it. So we spent the last year roughly renovating it," Clarke explained.

The new building is much smaller than the original, but Clarke refuses to focus on the negatives.

"It's interesting because I look at this and I think, well, this is really awesome because it reminds me of when we first opened the Muskoka Store back in 80, 81. So it has a nostalgic feeling for me, which is really cool," he shared."

The Muskoka Store will stock its usual favourite merchandise, including sweaters, cottage decorations, and paddleboard rentals.

"I want to bring us all back to the way it used to be. Family-oriented, cozy," said Teri Bylow, the store's manager.

"A lot of people have expressed their disappointment that the store is closed, but they'll walk in and be excited with what we got here," said Clarke.

The new location will officially reopen on Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with plans to expand operating hours as the summer progresses.

Meanwhile, Clarke is still seeking answers from the insurance company on the status of the original Muskoka Store building.

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