Georgian Bay

Georgian Bay (French: Baie Georgienne) is a large bay of Lake Huron, in the Laurentia bioregion. It is located entirely within the borders of 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
Georgian Bay at Cabot Head
Georgian Bay
Coordinates45.5°N 81.0°W / 45.5; -81.0
Basin countriesCanada
Max. length190 km (120 mi)[citation needed]
Max. width80 km (50 mi)[citation needed]
Surface area15,000 km2 (5,800 sq mi)[citation needed]
Average depth150 feet (46 m) near the shoreline of Cabot Head
Islands31,000+
SettlementsCollingwood
Owen Sound
Meaford, Ontario
Parry Sound
Midland
Penetanguishene
Wasaga Beach

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-Iroquoian 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.[1] 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).[2]


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