Sunset at waterfront cottage rental on Manitoulin Island, Northern Ontario Canada


Providence Bay,
Manitoulin Island
Ontario, Canada

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Manitoulin Island

Table of Contents

Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin Facts
Aboriginal Indian Pow Wow
Manitoulin Escarpment
Nature trails
Providence Bay
Bridal Veil Falls

Swing Bridge
Fog Horns & Lighthouses
Mississagi Strait
Autumn Colours
Limestone rocks
Pioneer Museum
Limestone blocks
Cedar logs
Manitoulin Island is located at the northern end of Lake Huron, and is close to Lake Superior (the lake to the West of Manitoulin), Lake Michigan (the lake to the South-West), and Georgian Bay (to the East); a virtual cross roads of fresh water.

Taken together, these Great Lakes are the largest collection of fresh water in the world (except for glaciers).  The Great Lakes contain 90% of the fresh water supply in North America, and 20% of the world's fresh water supply on the surface of the earth.  These lakes are truly freshwater oceans.  The next largest collection of fresh water is at the polar ice & snow caps.

Originally a center of  farming, fishing, & lumbering, Manitoulin Island now enjoys the majority of its commerce as a rural vacationing & tourism hot spot for the cottage & outdoor sports enthusiasts.  Manitoulin Island has some of the best cottage country, fishing, boating, beaches, and water sports in all of Canada.

Manitoulin Island is accessed by the swing bridge to the North, or the large car ferry from the South.  Either way, it's worth the trip.  It's a 4 hr. drive from Toronto ON, 6 hr. drive from Detroit MI. or Ottawa ON.

Manitoulin Island is where you will find:

  • the world's largest fresh water island (2,765 square km., approx. 200 km. x 150 km.)

  •  more inland lakes (110 in total) than any other island in the world

  • the world's largest lake on an island
  • the 2nd best place in Canada to do salmon fishing (BC is #1).
  • One of the best places in Ontario for fishing trout, muskie, pike, bass, perch, crappie, whitefish, walleye, pickerel, etc.

  • a great place to visit, fish, boat, sail, canoe, kayak, hunt, bird, swim, scuba dive, rock climb, vacation in a privately owned cottage, and relax.
Pow-Wow aboriginal dancing near BBay vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada

Originally, the Canadian government promised all of Manitoulin Island to be the exclusive territory of the aboriginals (no white settlers allowed), in exchange for them giving up their traditional lands in Southern Ontario.  That treaty didn't last very long.  Find out more about the Manitoulin Aboriginals.

Every year on Manitoulin, an amazing colourful celebration of culture is presented in Pow Wow's by each of the 7 native Reserves. Non-native are permitted to attend these important events as honored guests.

On Manitoulin, you'll see drummers, singers, dancers, dancing contests, sweetgrass ceremonies, art shows, craft sales, sample traditional native foods, and other events all across Manitoulin. It is an experience you won't want to miss.

There are many opportunities on Manitoulin for viewing this interesting native history. Manitoulin Island is home to six Ojibwas Reserves, with the Wikwemikong being one of two "unceeded" reserve in Canada (ie. the Indians have continuously occupied this land since before white settlers came to North America, and there is still no treaty on the land). Walpole Island (near Sarnia, ON) is the other unceeded reserve.

Niagara Escarpment outcropping near BBay's cottage vacation rental on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada
Looking North to the Cup & Saucer, located 30 minutes from Black's Bay on Manitoulin Island.  These limestone cliffs on Manitoulin are an extension to the same geological formation that forms Niagara Fall.  These Manitoulin cliffs vary from over 200 foot high sheer, vertical walls (66 meters) that will challenge any world-class rock climber, to gently rolling paths through the woods that the daring wheelchair bound visitors have enjoyed with their families.
3 generations on walk through woods near BBay's vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada
One of the many nature trail paths through the cool hardwood forests of Manitoulin at the Cup & Saucer.  Three generations can enjoy the experience together.
Manitoulin has many trails through the back country.  Some are passable by car, 4X4, ATV, motocross motorcycle, bicycle, or finally by horse or on foot.

Click on map for full, detailed image of Manitoulin Trails.

BBay features bicycle adventures & tours, with or without chase car, flat tire support, lunches delivered, and pickup & delivery after your day-long Manitoulin adventure.  For more information, see Manitoulin Bike Adventures.

Providence Bay shoreline and government dock near BBay's cottage vacation rental on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada Providence Bay, looking South towards the Government Dock.  The Bay is an ideal anchorage for sail and motor boats alike on the South shore of Manitoulin.

Local fishing boats return full of whitefish to this dock on a daily basis.  You can buy these local fish from the local fish processing plant, or the fish monger who distribute the catch through local parking lots around Manitoulin Island.  It's available fresh on ice, packaged, smoked, or frozen.

Sport fishing for salmon, pickerel, Lake trout, walleye, and many more are planned and launched from the public wharf.

The waters around Manitoulin are the 2nd best in North America for salmon fishing (BC rivers are #1).

Manitoulin lighthouse near BBay's cabin vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada
One of the many lighthouses all around Manitoulin Island.  There are a number of books available on Manitoulin lighthouses, giving the fascinating account of storms, shipwrecks, the lightkeepers, and their families.
Bridal veil falls, near BBay's cabin vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada
Located 30 minutes from Black's Bay Lodge is Bridal Veil Falls.  Cutting through Manitoulin's limestone cap (same rock formation as Niagara Falls), this river has formed a beautiful lush river valley that leads to the North Channel.

The river has been used for power generation (since about 1900's) for all of Manitoulin Island; well  before it was available from the mainland.  There is still power generation here today in a more modern facility.

You can walk along paths following the river, tour the museums and art galleries in the old power generation building, and visit the historic town on the North Channel.

Swing bridge at Little Current, near BBay's cabin vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada
The Swing Bridge is at Little Current, 60 minutes from BBay.  The bridge is at the North end of the Island, connecting Manitoulin to the Trans-Canada Highway at Espanola (half way between Sault St. Marie and Sudbury)

Originally a railway bridge built in 1913, the bridge was converted to rail and car traffic; and is now exclusively car traffic.  The bridge stays closed for car traffic to pass single file, and is opened every hour for 10 minutes for sailboats to pass during the summer.

This swing bridge at Little Current, Manitoulin Island  is the only swing bridge in North America still in operation.

Manitoulin lighthouse at Meldrum Bay, near BBay's cabin vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada The lighthouse at the far West end of Manitoulin Island.

This is one of my favorite places to come watch the sunset over Lake Huron, Mississagi Strait, and Cockburn Island.

The light and fog horn are still operational today, and depended upon by local boaters around Manitoulin's excellent sailing waters.

Autumn colours near BBay's cabin vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada

Autumn day on the Blue Road.  We saw 2 large does with their fawns crossing the road.  Split rail fences, dating from the turn of the century are all along the farmer's fields on Manitoulin.

Limestone rocks at ferry, near BBay's cabin vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada Limestone rocks have been quarried from Manitoulin, and heading down South for use as landscaping ornaments at somebody's mansion.
Pioneer museum near BBay's cabin vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada Located 15 minutes from BBay is the Pioneer Museum in Mindemoya.  This features a covered bridge and split log cabin; just like Manitoulin "Haweater" settlers would have lived on Manitoulin 200 years ago.

People born on Manitoulin are commonly referred to as "Haweaters".  Hawberries are small, very bitter berries that naturally grow on Manitoulin Island's alkaline soils.

During the pioneer days, the bitter hawberries were eaten  by the white settlers during the long winters as the only remaining food supply.  Other people saw the starving pioneers collecting the bitter berries and eating them, and coined the phrase "Haweaters".

Limestore quarried rocks, near BBay's cabin vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada Defect free limestone blocks are cut from the Manitoulin Escarpment.  Most likely, these hard dolomite limestone blocks will be wire cut into thin limestone veneer sheets for facing large buildings in the city.
Logging trucks at ferry, near BBay's cabin vacation rental on Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada Cedar log trimmed edges from a Manitoulin sawmill have been collected and on their way to a secondary processor.  Most likely, these trimmings will be chipped for use as landscaping cover.
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Latest Update: April 26, 2013 11:24:24 -0400