Who is Don Smith?
2010 - present
Don and Susan Smith have been active in the Bracebridge business community for decades. Currently, they run the Unique Muskoka store in downtown Bracebridge. The location is also the office for Unique Muskoka magazine.
Long-time local publisher and editor Don Smith moved to Muskoka in 1968. Completing his secondary school education at Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School, Don started his journalism career in Bracebridge in 1971.
In his 20s, Don served two terms on the Muskoka Lakes Township Council and one term as a trustee on the Muskoka Board of Education. During that time, he received a certificate in municipal administration from Queen’s University. Most recently, Don was elected as a District Councillor in 2014, serving on both the Town of Bracebridge and District of Muskoka Councils. During the past two terms on council, he has been the council-appointed representative on the boards of the Muskoka Watershed Council, Muskoka Tourism and Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce. Don was also appointed by the Provincial Government as vice chair of the Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group which made recommendations to the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks on flood mitigation and water quality matters.
In the community, Don is a past president of the Rotary Club of Bracebridge and is the club’s current vice president. He has served on a number of boards including the Chamber of Commerce, the YWCA of Muskoka and the McConnell Foundation. A volunteer with many groups, Don has organized community events, has been a workshop speaker and has partnered with others to promote business growth.
Working in the publishing industry for his entire career, Don has owned both newspapers and magazines in Muskoka. Most recently, he is the founder and current publisher of Unique Muskoka. Throughout a publishing career that has spanned over 50 years, he and his publications were the recipients of numerous awards, both provincially and nationally. Don is a past president of the Ontario Community Newspapers Association and served as a director of the association for 12 years. He is also a former secretary and director of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association. Don served as editor of the diocesan newspaper, The Algoma Anglican, for 23 years.
Don and his wife, Susan, have also been active in downtown businesses. After starting and selling Momma Bear’s Ice Cream and Sweets, they opened and currently operate the Unique Muskoka store.
A two-time recipient of the Bracebridge Businessperson of the Year Award, Don was presented the Robert J. Boyer Award by the Muskoka Heritage Foundation in 2010.
The Smiths have three grown children and four grandchildren.
2010 - present