Adventures to be had, memories to be made...we are committed to exploring and experiencing all that Northern Ontario has to offer us. Our plan is to immerse ourselves in the rugged beauty and vast vistas one step at time.
High in Parry Sound
Parry Sound is a small bay within Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. The town of Parry Sound borders that small bay, and is within the Georgian Bay Biosphere reserve, one of only 13 UNESCO sites in Canada. With 14,000 year-round residents in the area and another 80,000 cottagers, it has an interesting dynamic.
Parry Sound has 30,000 islands, making it the world’s largest freshwater archipelago. It also has the
world’s deepest natural freshwater port, down 750 feet by some accounts. The sound is irregularly
shaped with many deep bays and islands. The weather in town is significantly impacted by the lake,
causing massive and unpredictable swings in temperature and precipitation including incredibly wet weather from September through January.
This town was very popular in the early 20 th century with the Group of Seven artists, particularly Tom Thomson. In a hockey-mad nation, it is also best known as the birthplace of legendary defenseman Bobby Orr and there is a museum in town dedicated to him. Also interestingly, there is a 230 km Park-to-Park trail connecting Killbear Provincial Park in Parry Sound to Algonquin Provincial Park in both Dorset and Kearney.
In September my girls, one of my girlfriend's eldest daughter and I headed to Parry Sound to meet family. The most noteworthy location we went was Parry Sound Lookout Tower at Tower Hill Heritage Garden. The tower is 30 meters high, 130 steps, and has an unobstructed 360-degree view of boats, float planes, the famous Canadian Pacific Railway trestle bridge and the town. Although rife with graffiti, the tower is still worth the effort, with protective caging around the stairs…unless you suffer from acrophobia in which case you should keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
Below the tower is the beautifully maintained – by volunteers – Heritage Gardens constructed in the 1920s, with a lovely little house and a pond full of frogs. Also close by is the Parry Sound District Museum. We spent an hour trying to catch frogs without success, and our dog tried to walk on water, also without success.
We visited two parks: Mission Park on Emily Street and William Street Park on William Street. The first park, Mission Park was hard to find because it took about seven minutes to realize there was a small path between a bunch of trees that led up a rather steep hill to a very small park. The park had a tall spider web climber, a single 9 step slide and a few swings.
While driving from one park to the next we saw something that looked like a large black dog crossing the road from afar. Upon getting closer we realized it was a black bear heading into a residential home’s backyard directly towards their garbage cans. Although terribly cute, we were sure glad that it wasn’t our yard.
Author: Amy Mazur
1 of 2 authors on this site. See About The Adventures for more information on the authors.
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“I urge you; go find buildings and mountains and oceans to swallow you whole. They will save you, in a way nothing else can.”