Parry Sound is a town in Northern Ontario that is a popular summer cottage destination for Torontonians. It is also the world's deepest natural freshwater port. The town is home to several cultural festivals, including the Festival of the Sound classical music festival, an annual dragonboat race, and a buskers' festival which takes place as part of the town's Canada Day festivities.
Parry Sound is a town in Northern Ontario (just barely), on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay in the Heart of the 30,000 Islands. It is located roughly half way between Toronto and Sudbury. Parry Sound has approximately 6500 year-round residents (2016),vehicle the summer influx of cottagers increases its seasonal population significantly. There are about 21,150 people in the Parry Sound area.
Long before the European explorers, Parry Sound was inhabited by the Ojibwe who referred to it by Shining Shore. Captain Henry Bayfield surveyed its waters in the 19th century and named the town after the Arctic explorer Sir William Parry. Years later, rail service made Parry Sound a valued depot along the rail lines to Western Canada.
During the early part of the 20th century, Parry Sound attracted artists such as Tom Thomson and others from the Group of Seven. Historically, the town competed with a nearby rival lake port at Depot Harbour; that community is now a ghost town.
From spring to mid-summer, lake waters are cooler than nearby land areas, resulting in less precipitation, but alternation of low clouds and fog resulting from warmer air passing over snow-covered ground, frequent into May most years with occasional sunshine, especially once the long winter's snow cover has melted (mostly May through July). Parry Sound's average driest month is July; here, thunderstorms are rare, due to cool lake waters inhibiting the combination of heat and humidity that fuels thunderstorm activity over areas like the central, southern and eastern United States.
From September to January, nearby waters release their stored warmth from the summer season, and increasingly strong polar and Arctic air outbreaks pass over these still-relatively-warm waters before hitting Parry Sound. This results in heavy cloud formation, unstable rain showers (in September and October), transitioning toward heavy snow showers and squalls as temperatures continue to drop from November to January. December, the wettest month, sees heavy snowfall, followed by more in January.
Parry Sound is 225 km (140 miles) north of Toronto on Highway 400; exit on Bowes Street (exit 224). From Sudbury and the Trans-Canada Highway mainline, go 160 km (100 miles) south on Highway 69 (2hr 15 min) to Parry Sound Drive. A branch of the Trans-Canada Highway passes through the area, traveling between Sudbury and Kanata (near Ottawa) on Highway 69 and 400, then Highway 12, then Highway 7, then Highway 417.
- Ontario Northland, toll-free: . Operates primarily in Northern Ontario. Operates a route several times daily between Toronto and Sudbury including stops in Barrie, Orillia (some trips), and Parry Sound.
Ontario Northland Motor Coach Services run buses daily from Toronto, en route to Sudbury.
VIA Rail Canada, toll-free: . Operates train routes across Canada. Operates The Canadian up to three trips per week between Toronto and Vancouver with stops in both directions in medium to large cities and tourist destinations such as Sudbury, Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, and Kamloops. In Parry Sound, there are two stations about one kilometre apart, as the railroads through Parry Sound use directional running:
- 1 Parry Sound for eastbound trips toward Toronto
- 2 Parry Sound South for westbound trips toward Vancouver
- 1 Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport (YPD IATA), ☏ . 12 nautical miles southeast of Parry Sound. No scheduled flights.
- Parry Sound Taxi, ☏ .
- Ivy's Taxi, ☏ .
- Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, Two Bay St, ☏ . 60 trophies and awards, interactive games. Learn about Parry Sound native Bobby's Orr's legendary hockey career.
- 1 West Parry Sound District Museum, 17 George St, ☏ .
The Seguin Trails are perfect for a hike or a bike ride. You can also stretch your legs and take in the sites along the Waterfront Fitness Trail.
- 1 Charles Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, 2 Bay St, toll-free: . Live performances in a magnificent 480-seat Festival Performance Hall designed by acoustical engineers.
- 2 Bear Claw Tours, 35 Shoebottom Rd, ☏ . ATV guided tours.
- 3 Georgian Bay Airways, 11A Bay Street, Town Dock, toll-free: . A modern fleet of seaplanes operate from Parry Sound’s downtown waterfront.
- 4 The Ridge at Manitou Golf Course, 160 Inn Rd, ☏ . Golf amidst 300 acres of unspoiled nature.
- 5 [dead link] Spirit of the Sound Schooner Company Ltd., RR# 2, toll-free: . M.V. Chippewa III offers several 30,000 Islands cruises and menus.
- Park to Park Trail, 70 Church St, toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 230-km multi-use trail connects Killbear to Algonquin Provincial Park and cuts across the Canadian Shield.
- [dead link] Seguin Valley Golf Club, 144 Badger, Otter Lake, ☏ .
- Diver's Nook. A fully stocked SCUBA dive shop offering charters and air fills/equipment. They usually dive the shallow wrecks around the Sound, and a charter consists of two dives.
- 1 Parry Sound Mall, 70 Joseph St, ☏ .
- WildRose Designs Gallery, 17 Bay Street (Parry Sound), ☏ . The art of Ingrid Zschogner, pastel and pencil artist,
- Hemp Tent, 63 James St, ☏ . All-natural, Fair Trade and Canadian-made clothing, accessories, jewellery, body products, hemp foods and house wares.
- SiSi Georgian Bay, 45 Seguin St, ☏ , email@example.com. natural skincare shop, blending bar, refillery station
- 1 Bay Street Café, 22 Bay St, ☏ . Friendly service, view of the Georgian Bay.
- Log Cabin Fine Dining, 9 Little Beaver Blvd, Seguin (3 km south of Parry Sound, Exit 220, Hunter Drive, 1 km south on Oastler Park Drive), ☏ . Rustic decor, varied menu, good seafood.
- Trappers Choice Restaurant, 50 Joseph St, ☏ . Daily from 8AM. Appetizers and light meals, including salads, sandwiches and burgers, full main courses specializing in steaks and seafood.
- The Country Gourmet Cafe and Gallery, 65 James St, ☏ . M-F 7AM-3PM, Sa 7AM-3PM, Su 10AM-2PM. Home-made soups, quiche, fresh salads daily, comfort foods, coffee, desserts, wi-fi, art gallery.
- Trestle Brewing Company, 9 Great North Rd, ☏ . Taproom and kitchen: M-Th noon-9PM, F Sa noon-10AM, Su noon-7AM; retail M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-7PM. A small, independently owned craft brewery in downtown Parry Sound on the waterfront where the Seguin River flows into the harbour with a spectacular view looking towards the CPR Trestle bridge and Georgian Bay. The brewery includes a taproom serving year-round beer offerings brewed on site and other seasonal special beers. The taproom offers a menu.
- 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast, 40 Bay St (across road from boat cruises), toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Waterfront B&B, 3 rooms each with own private bath, air-conditioning, free parking, WiFi, 24 hour coffee & tea station, guest fridge, bottled water. Full, hot breakfast; can provide for special diets. From $125.
- Bayside Inn, 10 Gibson St, ☏ .
- [dead link] Bell Lake Cottages, 143 Hwy 124, toll-free: .
- Comfort Inn, 120 Bowes St, ☏ .
- 1 Craganmor Point Resort, McLaren Island, Seven Mile Narrows, toll-free: .
- Four Winds Cottage Resort, 508 Hurdville Rd, ☏ .
- 2 Georgian Bay Fishing Camp, 40 Isabella St, ☏ .
- [dead link] Canadas Best Value Inn & Suites, 48 Joseph St, ☏ .
- Horseshoe Lake Camp & Cottages, R.R. #2 North Sandy Plains Rd, ☏ .
- 3 Log Cabin Inn, 9 Lil Beaver Blvd., ☏ .
- 4 Parry Sound KOA Campground, 276 Rankin Lake Road, toll-free: .
- 5 Quality Inn & Conference centre, 1 J.R Drive, RR#2, toll-free: .
- 6 Trailside Park, 105 Blue Lake Rd, toll-free: .
This abandoned ghost town, of which little remains but ruins and foundations, had been a busy Georgian Bay lake port as the western terminus of the Ottawa, Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway. Ottawa lumberman John Rudolphus Booth established a port and railway roundhouse on expropriated native land, building a railway to send trainloads of western grain through Algonquin Provincial Park to Ottawa on its way east to Atlantic ports. By 1898 the town had a hotel, rail yards, two large grain elevators, a school and three churches. In 1904, Booth sold the line to the Grand Trunk Railway for $14.2 million; in 1923, the bankrupt Grand Trunk became part of Canadian National. CNR closed Depot Harbour's roundhouse. The Welland Canal, a competing transportation route, was rebuilt in 1932. An ice-damaged rail bridge in Algonquin Park severed the line in 1933 and was never repaired. A World War II cordite maker in nearby Nobel stored its wares in the railway's dockside freight sheds; an August 14, 1945 fire and explosion destroyed much of the town. The docks, briefly used for coal shipments in the 1950s, later loaded pelletized iron ore from the Low Phos Mine at Sellwood. The last of the town's homes was abandoned in 1964; the mine closed in 1979 and the railway tracks were removed in 1989. The Anishinaabe natives reclaimed their lands in 1987, but little remains of the town except the loading docks, a bank vault and the foundations of what was once a village. One building remains in use as a cottage.
|Routes through Parry Sound|
|Winnipeg ← Sudbury ←||W E||→ Washago → Toronto|
|Sudbury ← French River ← becomes ←||N S||→ Waubaushene → Barrie|