The Bruce Peninsula is a peninsula in Ontario, Canada, that lies between Georgian Bay and the main basin of Lake Huron. The peninsula extends roughly northwestwards from the rest of Southwestern 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.
From an administrative standpoint, the Bruce Peninsula is part of Bruce County, named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin (Lord Elgin), Governor General of Canada. 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.
Up until the mid-19th century, the area known as the Bruce Peninsula was territory controlled by the Saugeen Ojibway Nations. The nations included the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Saugeen First Nation. Historical and archaeological evidence from the area concludes that at the time of first contact with Europeans, the peninsula was inhabited by the Odawa people, from whom a large number of local native people are descended. Oral history from Saugeen and Nawash suggests their ancestors have been here as early as 7500 years ago. The area of Hope Bay is known to natives as Nochemoweniing, or Place of Healing.
In 1836 the Saugeen Ojibway signed a treaty with Sir Francis Bond Head to cede lands south of the peninsula to the Canadian government in exchange for learning agriculture, proper housing, assistance in becoming "civilized," and for permanent protection of the peninsula. In 1854, the Saugeen Ojibway agreed to sign another treaty – this time for the peninsula itself. In 1994, after decades on increasing First Nations activism, the Saugeen Ojibway filed a suit for a land claim for part of their traditional territory; they claimed breach of trust by the Crown in failing to meet its treaty obligations to protect Aboriginal lands. The claim seeks the return of lands still held by the Crown and financial compensation for other lands. This claim is still active.
European settlement began on the peninsula in the mid-19th century, despite its poor potential for agricultural development. Attracted by the rich fisheries and lush forest, settlers found the land known then as the "Indian or Saugeen Peninsula" to be irresistible. In 1881 settlers built the first sawmill on the peninsula in Tobermory. In less than 20 years most of the valuable timber was gone and timber industry jobs declined. Fuelled by the waste left behind by the rapid logging and land clearances, intense fires sprang up around the peninsula. By the mid-1920s formerly abundant forests of the peninsula were nearly barren. When the lamprey eel was accidentally introduced to the Great Lakes in 1932, the devastation on the fish supply made the peninsula a less attractive place to live. Many left when fish stocks were depleted. The peninsula underwent a steady decline in population until the 1970s. In the late 20th century, the peninsula started to attract a new kind of resident, the cottager. Today seasonal residents out-number permanent residents. The peninsula is a victim of its own success. The summer influx of tourists is so great that many attractions, parking, and infrastructure are overwhelmed by sheer numbers.
In its southern Ontario portion, the Niagara Escarpment is a ridge of rock several hundred metres high in some locations, stretching 725 kilometres (450 mi) from Queenston on the Niagara River, to Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. Today, in Ontario, the Escarpment contains more than 100 sites of geological significance, including some of the best exposures of rocks and fossils of the Silurian and Ordovician periods (405 to 500 million years old) to be found anywhere in the world.
The Niagara Escarpment has origins dating to the Silurian age some 430 to 450 million years ago, a time when the area lay under a shallow warm sea. This sea lay in a depression of the Earth's crust, centred in what is now the lower peninsula of the State of Michigan. Known geologically as the Michigan Basin, the outer rim of this massive saucer-shaped feature governs the location of the Niagara Escarpment, which is shaped like a gigantic horseshoe. The Escarpment can be traced from near Rochester, New York, south of Lake Ontario to Hamilton, north to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. It is covered by the waters of Lake Huron, appearing as Manitoulin Island, then across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and down the west side of Lake Michigan into the State of Wisconsin.
As occurs with present-day water bodies, such as Hudson Bay or the Gulf of Mexico, rivers flowing into this ancient sea carried sand, silt and clay to be deposited as thick layers of sediment. At the same time lime-rich organic material from the abundant sea life was also accumulating. Over millions of years these materials became compressed into massive layers of sedimentary rocks and ancient reef structures now visible along the Escarpment. Some rock layers now consist of soft shales and sandstones while others are made up of dolomite (a rock similar to limestone which contains magnesium and is more durable).
Today, fossil remains illustrating the various life forms can be found in many of the rocks as they are slowly exposed by the action of wind, water and ice.
Saugeen First Nation is an Ojibwa First Nation located along the Saugeen River and Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. The original territory included all of the Saugeen River watershed and all of the Bruce Peninsula.
Organized in the mid-1970s, during a period of increased political activism, Saugeen First Nation declared itself the primary 'political successor apparent' to the historic Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory, who had occupied this territory and made treaties with the Crown. However, along with the Saugeen First Nation, the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation also claims to be the 'political successor apparent' to the Chippewa of Saugeen Ojibway Territory. Under the Saugeen Tract Agreement, the portion south of Owen Sound was ceded to the Crown, with reserves later established on the Bruce Peninsula.
The claims for land and payment of rent on lands discussed in early treaties are significant. "The two First Nations are claiming aboriginal title to the lands under the water covering an area of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay from south of Goderich, west to the international border and north to the mid-point between the tip of the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island; then east to the mid-point of Georgian Bay and south to the southern-most point of Nottawasaga Bay." 
|Map of Bruce County.|
There are 2 National Parks, 8 Ontario Parks, and 4 Federation of Ontario Naturalists Parks located within the Bruce Peninsula.
The Bruce Peninsula's shoreline has several lighthouses, necessary to provide guidance to the many ships that would pass by her shores.
The Cove Island Light, located near Tobermory is one of the six famous "Imperial" lighthouses built in the 1850s by John Brown which can be found on the mainland and on nearby islands of the northern Bruce Peninsula.
Other lighthouses include:
There are many varieties of wildlife on the Bruce Peninsula, such as the northern flying squirrel, black bear, chipmunk, fisher, long-eared bats, red squirrel, fox, massasauga rattlesnake, red-shouldered hawk, barred owl, hermit thrush, black-throated blue warbler, scarlet tanager and yellow-spotted salamander.
The Bruce Peninsula is located on a major northern migration route, so many species of birds, such as the bald eagle, have their wintering grounds here.
The highest concentration of nesting birds can be found in the Bruce in May and June each year. About 20 species of warblers breed on "the Bruce," including the black-throated green, yellow, yellow-rumped, and Blackburnian warblers and the ubiquitous American redstart. They make their summer homes in the extensive wooded areas along the Peninsula. The annual Huron Fringe Birding Festival in May observes the spring migration. The endangered piping plover has made a comeback along the northern shores of Sauble Beach as well, and nest in restricted areas of the beach. These are well marked to prevent visitors overrunning the area and to reduce negative human effects. Migrating hawks also follow the Niagara Escarpment. Hawks travel during the day, and can be seen in the vicinity of Cabot Head in the open areas west of Dyers Bay, and near Tobermory, in April.
Some of the rarest flowers and ferns in Ontario can be found growing on the Bruce Peninsula. For example: lakeside daisy (Tetraneuris herbacea var. glabra), dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris), and northern holly fern (Polystichum lonchitis)
Globally, there are more than 30,000 orchid species. Canada is home to 77 of these species. Ontario has 61 varieties of orchids, and of these, 44 can be found in the Bruce Peninsula.
A selection of interesting orchids on the Bruce Peninsula:
The main villages in these regions are as follows:
Bruce County is a county in Southwestern Ontario, Canada comprising eight lower-tier municipalities and with a 2016 population of 66,491. It is named for James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine, sixth Governor General of the Province of Canada. The Bruce name is also linked to the Bruce Trail and the Bruce Peninsula. It has three distinct areas. The Peninsula is part of the Niagara Escarpment and is known for its views, rock formations, cliffs and hiking trails. The Lakeshore includes nearly a hundred kilometers of fresh water and soft sandy beaches. Finally, the Interior Region has a strong history in farming.Bruce Peninsula (band)
Bruce Peninsula is a Canadian indie rock band, whose style has been described as "a near indescribable and rousing potpourri of prog, gospel, folk, rock, pop and country." The band consists of core members Matt Cully on vocals and guitar, Misha Bower on vocals, Neil Haverty on vocals, guitar and metallophone, Andrew Barker on bass guitar and lap steel and Steve McKay on drums. Bruce Peninsula also regularly features a large choir section, currently made up of Tamara Lindeman (The Weather Station), Ivy Mairi, Daniella Gesundheit (Snowblink) and Kari Peddle. The choir has previously included Katie Stelmanis (Austra), Casey Mecija (Ohbijou), Isla Craig, Amy Learmonth (the Youngest), Taylor Kirk (Timber Timbre) and Christienne Chesney.Bruce Peninsula National Park
Bruce Peninsula National Park is a national park on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. Located on a part of the Niagara Escarpment, the park comprises 156 square kilometres and is one of the largest protected areas in southern Ontario, forming the core of UNESCO's Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. The park offers opportunities for many outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and bird watching. The park has trails ranging in difficulty from easy to expert, and connects to the Bruce Trail.
The park also offers visitors vistas to view either the sunrise or sunset, the rocks of the Niagara Escarpment, and the wildlife, which includes black bear, many species of birds, wild orchids, massasauga rattlesnake, and much more.
The park was the subject of a short film in 2011's National Parks Project, directed by Daniel Cockburn and scored by John K. Samson, Christine Fellows and Sandro Perri.Bruce Trail
The Bruce Trail is a hiking trail in southern Ontario, Canada from the Niagara River to the tip of Tobermory, Ontario. The main trail is more than 890 km (550 mi) long and there are over 400 km (250 mi) of associated side trails. The trail mostly follows the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, one of the thirteen UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves in Canada. The land the trail traverses is owned by the Government of Ontario, local municipalities, local conservation authorities, private landowners and the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC). The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada. Its name is linked to the Bruce Peninsula and Bruce County, which the trail runs through. The trail is named after the county, which was named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin who was Governor General of the Province of Canada from 1847 to 1854.Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound (provincial electoral district)
Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound is a provincial electoral district in western Ontario, Canada. It elects one member to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
It was created in 1999 from parts of Bruce and Grey when ridings in Ontario were redistributed to match their federal counterparts.
The riding from 1999 to 2007 included the municipalities of West Grey, Hanover, Chatsworth, Meaford, Owen Sound, Georgian Bluffs, Arran-Elderslie, South Bruce Peninsula, Northern Bruce Peninsula, Neyaashiinigmiing, Saugeen 29, plus the eastern half of Brockton and South Bruce plus the northern third of Grey Highlands.
In 2007, the riding gained the municipality of Southgate, the rest of Grey Highlands, but lost the parts of Brockton and South Bruce in the riding.
The riding is notable for running a Green Party of Ontario candidate who received 33.1% of the popular vote in the 2007 election, one of largest shares of the popular vote the party has ever received in a single riding.Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation formerly "Cape Croker" is an Ojibway First Nations band in the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. Along with the Saugeen First Nation, they form the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory. Chippewas of Nawash currently has a population of 700 individuals living on the reserve; however, the band roll has approximately 2080 registered in total. The size of all reserves is 71.83 km² (27.73 sq. mi.). The First Nation has 3 reserves, Neyaashiinigmiing 27, Cape Croker Hunting Ground 60B and Saugeen and Cape Croker Fishing Islands 1.Cove Island Light
The Cove Island Light, at Gig Point on the island, is located in Fathom Five National Marine Park, but is not part of the Park. It is situated on the Bruce Peninsula, Ontario Canada. It has been a navigational aid in the narrow channel between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay since 30 October 1858. It was the first of six stone Imperial Towers to be completed; all were illuminated by 1859. Most other lighthouses of the era were built of brick, wood, iron or concrete.The six were built at a time when commercial shipping traffic was increasing on the Great Lakes between Canada and the U.S. because of new trade agreements and the opening of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal locks in 1855. The settlement of the Bruce Peninsula was also well underway by then, making the lighthouses even more useful. They acted as navigational aids for the boats and ships on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. All are currently operating as automated lights.The Tower, Cove Island, Ontario, was formally registered on the Canadian Register of Historic Places on 14 November 2014. The federal government restored the site in 2015-2016.Fathom Five National Marine Park
Fathom Five National Marine Park is a National Marine Conservation Area in the Georgian Bay part of Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada, that seeks to protect and display shipwrecks and lighthouses, and conserve
freshwater ecosystems. The many shipwrecks make the park a popular scuba diving destination, and glass bottom boat tours leave Tobermory regularly, allowing tourists to see the shipwrecks without having to get wet.Many visitors camp at nearby Bruce Peninsula National Park and use the park as a base to explore Fathom Five and the surrounding area during the day.
Fathom Five also contains numerous islands, notably Flowerpot Island, which has rough camping facilities, marked trails, and its namesake flowerpots, outlying stacks of escarpment cliff that stand a short distance from the island, most with vegetation (including trees) still growing on them.
Established in 1987, the park represented a pioneering departure for the national park system, which had centred on land-based conservation until then. Its designation as a National Marine Park foresaw the creation of others, though nomenclature for such units would morph into National Marine Conservation Areas, leaving Fathom Five as the only National Marine Park. Despite its unique name, it is categorized as an NMCA and is deemed the first one in the country.Georgian Bay
Georgian Bay (French: Baie Georgienne) is a large bay of Lake Huron, located entirely within Ontario, Canada. The main body of the bay lies east of the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island. To its northwest is the North Channel.
Georgian Bay is surrounded by (listed clockwise) the districts of Manitoulin, Sudbury, Parry Sound and Muskoka, as well as the more populous counties of Simcoe, Grey and Bruce. The Main Channel separates the Bruce Peninsula from Manitoulin Island and connects Georgian Bay to the rest of Lake Huron. The North Channel, located between Manitoulin Island and the Sudbury District, west of Killarney, was once a popular route for steamships and is now used by a variety of pleasure craft to travel to and from Georgian Bay.
The shores and waterways of the Georgian Bay are the traditional domain of the Anishinaabeg First Nations peoples to the north and Huron-Petun (Wyandot) to the south. The bay was thus a major Algonquian-Iroqouian trade route. Samuel de Champlain, the first European to explore and map the area in 1615–1616, called it "La Mer douce" (the calm sea), which was a reference to the bay's freshwater. In 1822, after Great Britain had taken over the territory, Lieutenant Henry Wolsey Bayfield of a Royal Navy expedition named it as "Georgian Bay" (after King George IV).Lion's Head, Ontario
Lion's Head is a community in the municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County, Ontario, Canada. Located at the midway point of the Bruce Peninsula, about halfway between Owen Sound and Tobermory, Lion's Head is just east of Ferndale on Bruce Road 9. Lion's Head is located on or somewhere near the 45th parallel north, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. The town is named after the resemblance of a lion's profile in the rock formation of the Niagara Escarpment. The first post office opened in 1895. The estimated summer population ranges widely from 900 to 5000.
It is a well travelled holiday spot on the coast of Georgian Bay.
The limestone rock formations make it a scenic area for canoeing, kayaking, hiking the Bruce Trail, rock climbing and visiting the marina-lookout by car.
Bruce Peninsula District School is the only secondary school north of Wiarton, and one of the few schools in Ontario to go from Kindergarten to grade 12.
There are accommodations, restaurants, shops, and galleries all located in Lion's Head. There is also a marina, school, hospital, bank, library, pharmacy, grocery store and several churches in the town. Lion's Head is under the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) jurisdiction. There is also the Northern Bruce Peninsula Fire Department, which operates four trucks in the region.
The area has four somewhat distinct seasons. Cold, snowy, and blustery winters, as well as warm, comfortable summers are the usual pattern. Summer mornings are usually cool but do warm quickly before 9 or 10 AM. Rain showers are common, along with thunderstorms, and a few severe thunderstorms per year. Tornadoes are less likely in the region, unlike the far southern part of Ontario. Summer brings the largest number of people to Lion's Head (mostly July and August). This influx of people creates parking problems especially near the beach and marina. The 2018 tourist season was the most crowded yet according to many long time residents. The population drops during the colder seasons.
Lion's Head experienced a more significant tornado during the 1985 Barrie tornado outbreak which damaged areas on the outskirts of the village. Since then, no tornadoes have been reported in the area.Niagara Escarpment
The Niagara Escarpment is a long escarpment, or cuesta, in the United States and Canada that runs predominantly east/west from New York, through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The escarpment is most famous as the cliff over which the Niagara River plunges at Niagara Falls, for which it is named.
The Escarpment is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It has the oldest forest ecosystem and trees in eastern North America.The Escarpment is composed of the Lockport Formation of Silurian age, and is similar to the Onondaga Formation, which runs parallel to it and just to the south, through western New York and southern Ontario. The Escarpment is the most prominent of several escarpments formed in the bedrock of the Great Lakes Basin. From its easternmost point near Watertown, New York, the escarpment shapes in part the individual basins and landforms of Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Michigan. In Rochester, New York, three waterfalls over the escarpment are where the Genesee River flows through the city. The escarpment thence runs westward to the Niagara River, forming a deep gorge north of Niagara Falls, which itself cascades over the escarpment. In southern Ontario, it spans the Niagara Peninsula, closely following the Lake Ontario shore through the cities of St. Catharines, Hamilton, and Dundas, where it takes a sharp turn north in the town of Milton toward Georgian Bay. It then follows the Georgian Bay shore northwestwards to form the spine of the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island, as well as several smaller islands in northern Lake Huron, where it turns westwards into the Upper Peninsula of northern Michigan, south of Sault Ste. Marie. It then extends southwards into Wisconsin following the Door Peninsula through the Bayshore Blufflands and then more inland from the western coast of Lake Michigan and Milwaukee, ending northwest of Chicago near the Wisconsin-Illinois border.Northern Bruce Peninsula
The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula is located on the Bruce Peninsula in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada. It is a popular vacation spot in the summer for its water sports and cottaging, and in the winter for snowmobiling. The popularity of the area has led to severe strain on the infrastructure and quality of life especially in the summer. Huge crowds of tourists and their vehicles overwhelm parking and facilities. The one highway into the area, Highway 6, is experiencing an increase in accidents and speeding vehicles. The municipality was formed on January 1, 1999, when the townships of St. Edmunds, Lindsay, and Eastnor (which was named after Eastnor, Herefordshire), as well as the Village of Lion's Head, were amalgamated.
It is home to the Bruce Peninsula National Park, the Fathom Five National Marine Park, and the Lion's Head Provincial Park.Sauble Beach, Ontario
Sauble Beach (pop. 2000) is a beach community and unincorporated area in the town of South Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County, in the northern area of southwestern Ontario, Canada. It is on the Bruce Peninsula, along the eastern shore of Lake Huron, on the north edge of the Saugeen Nation. The beach takes its name from that given by early French explorers to the sandy Sauble River, originally "La Rivière Au Sable" (river to the sand) also indicating that the river emptied into Lake Huron at a sandy beach. The river was labelled with the French name on maps until 1881, when it became the Sauble River; in early years, a sawmill was built on the river, and later, a hydro electric plant.Saugeen Complex
The Saugeen Complex was a Native American culture located around the southeast shores of Lake Huron and the Bruce Peninsula, around the London area, and possibly as far east as the Grand River. They were active in the period 200BCE to 500CE. There is archeological evidence that the Saugeen complex people of the Bruce Peninsula may have evolved into the Odawa people (Ottawa).Saugeen Tract Agreement
Saugeen Tract Agreement, registered as Crown Treaty Number 451⁄2, was signed August 9, 1836 between the Saugeen Ojibwa and Ottawa and the government of Upper Canada. Conducted on the Manitoulin Island, Sir Francis Bond Head used this occasion for the provincial government's annual distribution of gifts to the Ojibwa and Ottawa of the Saugeen Peninsula (Bruce Peninsula) to negotiate the treaty. In exchange for 1.5 million acres (6,070 km²) of land, the Ojibwa and Ottawa of Saugeen received only a promise to assist and protect Indians who took up residence on the Bruce Peninsula.South Bruce Peninsula
South Bruce Peninsula is not to be confused with the Municipality of South Bruce, Ontario
South Bruce Peninsula is a town at the base of the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario, Canada, in Bruce County between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. It was formed on January 1, 1999, when the town of Wiarton, the village of Hepworth, and the townships of Albemarle and Amabel were amalgamated. This new municipality was created to provide necessary political representation, administrative support and necessary municipal services on behalf of the residents.Tourism, particularly cottage rental and providing services to visitors, is the major industry in the area. Many cottages are found along Sauble Beach (North and South).Tamara Hope
Tamara Lindeman (born November 2, 1984), also known by the name Tamara Hope, is a Canadian actress and musician. Her starring roles include Guinevere Jones and The Nickel Children, as well as a recurring role on CTV's Whistler as Leah McLure. In her music career, in which she is credited as Tamara Lindeman, she has worked with the band Bruce Peninsula and has her own music project, The Weather Station.Tobermory, Ontario
Tobermory is a small community located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula in the municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula. It is 300 kilometres (190 miles) northwest of Toronto. The closest city to Tobermory is Owen Sound, 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of Tobermory and connected by Highway 6. Due to similar harbour conditions it was named after Tobermory (; Scottish Gaelic: Tobar Mhoire), the capital of the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides.
The community is known as the "fresh water SCUBA diving capital of the world" because of the numerous shipwrecks that lie in the surrounding waters, especially in Fathom Five National Marine Park. Tobermory and the surrounding area are popular vacation destinations. People come for the beaches, the diving, the unspoilt countryside and the relaxed pace of life. These very qualities are being destroyed by the huge influx of tourists each year. Facilities and parking cannot cope with the large tourist numbers. The town lies north of the Bruce Peninsula National Park.
The MS Chi-Cheemaun passenger-car ferry connects Tobermory to Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. Tobermory is also the northern terminus of the Bruce Trail, and has twin harbours, known locally as "Big Tub" and "Little Tub". Big Tub Harbour is Canada's largest natural freshwater harbour.
Tobermory is typically a few degrees colder than Toronto. Most of the businesses in the town are open from May until the Thanksgiving long weekend in October, and are closed for the other seven months of the year.Wiarton, Ontario
Wiarton is a community in Bruce County, Ontario, at the western end of Colpoys Bay, an inlet off Georgian Bay, on the Bruce Peninsula. The community is part of the town of South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario.
Wiarton is known for the Wiarton Willie Festival, in February each year (starting in 1956), when national and international media cover Wiarton Willie and his Groundhog Day prediction. In the summer, Wiarton hosts the Bruce Peninsula Multisport Race.