Manitoulin Island & Bruce Peninsula

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The Bruce Peninsula lies between Georgian Bay and the main basin of Lake Huron. The peninsula extends roughly northwestwards from the rest of Southern Ontario, pointing towards Manitoulin Island, with which it forms the widest strait joining Georgian Bay to the rest of Lake Huron. The Bruce Peninsula contains part of the geological formation known as the Niagara Escarpment.

A popular tourist destination for camping, hiking and fishing, the area has two national parks (Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park), more than half a dozen nature reserves, and the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory. The Bruce Trail runs through the region to its northern terminus in the town of Tobermory.

The Bruce Peninsula is a key area for both plant and animal wildlife. Part of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve, the peninsula has the largest remaining area of forest and natural habitat in Southern Ontario and is home to some of the oldest trees in eastern North America. An important flyway for migrating birds, the peninsula is habitat to a variety of animals, including black bear, massasauga rattlesnake, and barred owl.

The Bruce Peninsula is composed of the Municipalities of Northern Bruce Peninsula and South Bruce Peninsula. The main villages in these regions are as follows:

  • Tobermory is located at the northern end of the Bruce Peninsula. It has a landing for the passenger-car ferry MS Chi-Cheemaun. Nearby is Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park. This port village has galleries, tourist shops and a historic lighthouse.
  • Lion’s Head is located in the centre of the Bruce Peninsula on Georgian Bay. The village has a public marina and sandy beach.
  • Wiarton, near the south end of the peninsula, is the home of Wiarton Willie.
  • Sauble Beach is more than seven miles (11 km) long.

Source: Wikipedia, June 2017

Manitoulin Island is located in Lake Huron, north of the Bruce Peninsula. The island separates the larger part of Lake Huron to its south and west from Georgian Bay to its east and the North Channel to the north.

Manitoulin Island contains a number of lakes of its own. In order of size, its three most prominent lakes are Lake Manitou, Lake Kagawong and Lake Mindemoya. Each of these three lakes in turn have islands within them, the largest of these being Lake Mindemoya’s 82-acre Treasure Island, located in the centre of Manitoulin. The island also has four major rivers: the Kagawong, Manitou River, Blue Jay Creek in Michael’s Bay and Mindemoya rivers, which provide spawning grounds for salmon and trout.

During the summer, the population (12,600 permanent residents) on the island grows by more than a quarter due to tourists coming for boating and other activities in scenic surroundings.

Year-round motor-vehicle access to the island is available via the one-lane Little Current Swing Bridge, which crosses the North Channel at Little Current. From late May to early October, a daily passenger-vehicle ferry, the MS Chi-Cheemaun (Ojibwe for “Big Canoe”), travels between Tobermory on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula and South Baymouth. Winter ice prevents ferry service during that season.

Source: Wikipedia, June 2017

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