The BRUCE PENINSULA is a peninsula in
Canada , that lies
Georgian Bay and the main basin of
Lake Huron . The peninsula
extends roughly northwestwards from the rest of Southern
Manitoulin Island , with which it forms the widest
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
James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin (Lord
Elgin), Governor General of the Province of
Canada . A popular tourist
destination for camping, hiking and fishing, the area has two national
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 .
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
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
Niagara Escarpment in the
Peninsula National Park. Smokey head White Bluffs near
Lion's Head, Ontario.
* 1 History
* 1.1 History from the 19th century
* 1.2 Natural history of the Bruce
Peninsula and the Niagara
* 1.3 Native history
* 2 Parks
* 3 Lighthouses
* 4 Wildlife
* 5 Wildflowers and orchids
* 5.1 Orchids
* 6 Communities
* 7 References
* 8 External links
HISTORY FROM THE 19TH CENTURY
Up until the mid-19th century, the area known as the Bruce Peninsula
was territory controlled by the Saugeen
Ojibway Nations. The nations
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
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
NATURAL HISTORY OF THE BRUCE PENINSULA AND THE NIAGARA ESCARPMENT
Over-look towards the
Niagara Escarpment at Dyer's Bay, Bruce
Peninsula Overhanging Point along the
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
Ordovician periods (405 to 500 million years old) to be found anywhere
in the world.
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
Rochester, New York , south of Lake
Hamilton, north to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. It is covered by
the waters of Lake Huron, appearing as Manitoulin Island, then across
Michigan and down the west side of Lake
Michigan into the State of
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 dolostone (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
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
Organized in the mid-1970s, during a period of increased political
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
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
Georgian Bay from south of Goderich, west to the
international border and north to the mid-point between the tip of the
Peninsula and Manitoulin Island; then east to the mid-point of
Georgian Bay and south to the southern-most point of Nottawasaga Bay."
There are 2 National Parks, 8
Ontario Parks, and 4 Federation of
Ontario Naturalists Parks located within the Bruce Peninsula. The
"Grotto" at the Bruce
Peninsula National Park.
* BRUCE PENINSULA NATIONAL PARK - In the heart of a World
Biosphere Reserve , the park contains massive, rugged cliffs inhabited
by thousand year old cedar trees. The park is composed of an array of
habitats from alvars to dense forests and several small lakes.
Together these form a greater ecosystem - the largest remaining chunk
of natural habitat in southern Ontario.
* FATHOM FIVE NATIONAL MARINE PARK - The waters at the mouth of
Georgian Bay are home to Fathom Five - Canada's first National Marine
Conservation Area. The park preserves 22 shipwrecks and several
historic light stations. Fathom Five’s freshwater ecosystem contains
some of the most pristine waters of the Great Lakes. The park
contains rugged lake bed topography that is popular with scuba divers.
ONTARIO PARKS - include:
* Black Creek
* Ira Lake
* Johnstons Harbour
* Little Cove
* Cabot Head
* Smoky Head
* Lion's Head
* Hope Bay Forest
FEDERATION OF ONTARIO NATURALISTS -
Ontario Nature works to protect
and restore the species, spaces and landscapes that represent the full
diversity of nature in Ontario.
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
Cove Island Light
Cove Island Light in the Bruce Peninsula.
Other lighthouses include:
* Lion\'s Head Lighthouse
* Flowerpot Island
* Big Tub Lighthouse
* Knife "> Pink ladies slipper orchid in the Bruce Peninsula.
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:
* yellow lady's slipper —
* nodding ladies' tresses —
* eastern prairie fringed orchid —
* ram's-head lady's-slipper —
* European common twayblade —
* helleborine —
Peninsula is composed of the Municipalities of Northern
Peninsula and South Bruce
The main villages in these regions are as follows: Sauble Beach,
* Tobermory is located at the northern end of the Bruce Peninsula.
It has a landing for the passenger-car ferry
MS Chi-Cheemaun . Nearby
Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park.
This port village has galleries, tourist shops and a historic
* Lion\'s Head is located in the centre of the Bruce
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.
* ^ A B Parks
* ^ "Geology of the Escarpment"
* ^ Geology of the Escarpment
* ^ http://www.turtleisland.org/discussion/viewtopic.php?p=2116
* ^ Parks
Canada - Bruce
Peninsula National Park. Pc.gc.ca
(2011-11-23). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
* ^ Parks
Canada - Fathom Five National Marine Park. Pc.gc.ca
(2011-11-23). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
Fathom Five National Marine Park of Canada
* ^ Welcome to
Ontario Parks. Ontarioparks.com (2013-01-16).
Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
* ^ Johnston Harbour - Pine Tree Point. Ontarioparks.com
(2002-11-07). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
* ^ Hope Bay Forest. Ontarioparks.com (2002-11-07). Retrieved on
* ^ Archived August 12, 2007, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Tobermory Thebrucepeninsula.com, Retrieved on 2013-07-12
* ^ Lion\'s Head. Thebrucepeninsula.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
* ^ Sauble beach Chamber of Commerce