Ten Fun Facts about Georgian Bay

Georgian Bay, named for King George IV and often referred to as the “6th Great Lake”, has some interesting history along with a few world records! Here are 10 fun facts about the Bay:

#1: Wasaga Beach on the southern shore is the world’s longest freshwater beach.

#2: Manitoulin Island at the NW edge is the world’s largest island situated in a freshwater lake.

#3: The Georgian Bay Ship Canal, if built as planned in the early 1900’s, would have joined Ottawa to the Bay through the French River. This project would have been along the same scale as the Panama Canal, with large commercial freighters and cargo ships passing through what is now the unspoiled wilds of the French River. Here is a link to the story if you wish to learn more:

https://www.northernontario.travel/northeastern-ontario/french-river-georgian-bay-ship-canal

#4: The Bay’s 30,000 islands form the largest freshwater archipelago in the world. From Beausoleil in the south to French River in the north, it is these islands along the eastern shore that create some of the spectacular scenery and protection boaters and cottagers love so much.

#5: Imperial Towers are the name for six lighthouses built in the 1850’s, four locations being on the Bay – at Griffith, Nottawasaga, Christian and Cove Islands plus two others on Lake Huron. Constructed mainly of thick white washed limestone, these 85’H towers (except Christian which is 55’) played a critical role in creating safer commercial shipping routes during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

#6: Parry Sound holds the world record for being the largest, deepest, natural commercial freshwater port in the world.

Parry Sound Harbour

#7: Port McNicoll on the southeast shore of the Bay is home to the oldest and last remaining Edwardian passenger steamship in the world – the beautiful SS Keewatin built in 1907.

June 23, 2022 marked the 10th year anniversary of her return home to Georgian Bay from Michigan. There are many of us boaters who remember that day well, meeting her at Giants Tomb and following her as she made her grand entrance into port!

Giants Tomb, June 23, 2012

#8: The Bay is well known for her shipwrecks, many well preserved due to the fresh cold water. In 2018 an intact 1927 Chevy Coupe was discovered in the hull of the Manasoo, a ship that went down in 1928 north of Owen Sound. Oddly enough, they claim this ship wreck was caused by cows…here is a link to further info with pictures:

https://www.mlive.com/life-and-culture/erry-2018/11/14401ed0dd7630/90yearold-shipwreck-caused-by.html

#9: YMCA Camp Kitchikewana on Beausoleil Island is over 100 years old and I know that cause my Grandma went there as a kid and hopefully it continues for another 100! Nothing beats an outdoor education as a kid!

#10 Fun Fact: Yes boaters, there was a Henry! Henry’s Fish at Frying Pan Island was founded over 50 years ago by Henry Lepage, a commercial fisherman on the Bay. Here is a link to this very interesting story and, although no longer involved with the restaurant, his son has continued the family’s commercial fishing tradition:

https://artkilgour.com/2021/06/08/bernie-lepage/

Georgian Bay has so much to offer – the history, spectacular scenery, and sweet water make this a world class destination for all to explore and enjoy!

9 thoughts on “Ten Fun Facts about Georgian Bay

  1. The first for Georgian Bay.The first poker run in Canada was from Meaford organized by the chamber of commerce and the”rumncope boat

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    1. That’s cool, what year was that? I have always loved watching those poker runs, was sitting in my dinghy at Whalesback a few weeks ago for the GB poker run but there were so few boats, guess the cost of fuel is preventing the many numbers we used to see years ago. Beauty machines though!

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  2. We are on our way to hopefully enjoy Georgian Bay next week by boat. We left Florida May 1. We are so close but realize cell service isn’t very good. Verizon doesn’t work in Canada. We have to work- need WiFi. So trying to come up with solutions. Going to Rogers communication tomorrow in Sarnia to see what they can do for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Internet providers are very few in Canada and expensive compared to US. Rogers may have a rocket stick but likely will want you to sign on for a years plan. You could also try Bell. Good luck! I know how hard that is, I work from my boat, need internet, but I am lucky to have a company phone and use it as my hot spot. Note there are some areas on the east coast of Georgian Bay that are dead areas…no cell or internet. I’ve had to do a few laptop dinghy rides looking for a signal! Good luck with your journey and internet search!

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  3. Very interesting information! I live in beautiful Midland and didn’t know a couple of those facts. Thanks for sharing. Happy 🇨🇦 Day
    Kathy Banks

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Enjoyed reading about the Georgian Bay. I grew up in Parry Sound and had cottages on the Geo. Bay. I have a lot of fond memories of the Geo. Bay. Margaret Lewis.

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    1. Thank you for reading my story Margaret! Yes, Georgian Bay is a magical place and is always in the minds of those of us who grew up loving her! Parry Sound is one of my favourite towns on the bay, hopefully you get back to visit this summer! It will be a busy spot with all the cruise ships coming in now. Have a Happy Canada Day weekend! ❤️

      Sent from my iPad

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  5. Great writing Liz! ! Lots of fun facts!! Lots of surprising facts too. !
    I enjoyed reading it very much.
    Your dedication and love of beautiful Georgian Bay shines through.
    HAPPY CANADA DAY 🇨🇦

    Liked by 1 person

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