Georgian Bay Islands National Park (established 1929, 12.7 km2
) comprises 59 islands located off the southeast coast of GEORGIAN BAY
Many of these islands, part of the Canadian SHIELD
, are stark and windswept, and inspired many GROUP OF SEVEN
paintings. Although small, the park protects several unusual species. Beausoleil Island, the largest park island, is one of the last strongholds of the Massasauga rattlesnake, eastern Canada's only venomous snake. In fact, the park holds the title of having the greatest diversity of reptiles and amphibians of any Canadian NATIONAL PARK
. Other noteworthy species protected include the eastern fox snake, hognosed snake and spotted turtle. Several rare plant species are also found in the park, including the endangered forked three-awned grass.
Over the last 4000 years, Beausoleil Island has seen many different hunting and fishing camps made along its shores by nomadic peoples of the Early Woodland cultures. OJIBWA
lived here in the late 1800s.
The area has long been famous as a boating mecca. The park has 9 docking areas, and campgrounds on Beausoleil Island, accessible by boat only.
Northern Beausoleil Island
Northern Beausoleil Island is the largest of the 59 islands in Georgian Bay Islands National Park (photo by Greg Gemmell, courtesy Parks Canada).
At the very tip of the Bruce Peninsula (Corel Professional Photos).
MAXWELL W. FINKELSTEIN
Links to Other Sites
Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada
This illustrated Parks Canada website describes the ecology, geography, and history of Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada
Four Directions Teachings
Elders and traditional teachers representing the Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi’kmaq share teachings about their history and culture. Animated graphics visualize each of the oral teachings. This website also provides biographies of participants, transcripts, and an extensive array of learning resources for students and their teachers. In English with French subtitles.