Towering limestone cliffs, superb scuba diving
with some spectacular natural scenery
The Bruce Peninsula is a small strip of land that extends north from the main body of Southwestern Ontario between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. It is one of the most beautiful regions in the Province
as it contains unique geological formations as well as flora and fauna not to be found elsewhere in the Province.
At its heart lies the Bruce Peninsula National Park and the offshore Fathom Five National Marine Park at its extreme northern tip.
The landscape of the peninsula is breathtaking with its towering limestone cliffs, weathered pines and wave beaten shores. The area has long been famous for its unbelievable sunsets
and while small in total area, “The Bruce”, more than makes up for it in sightseeing and recreational activities.
The Bruce Peninsula area
The Bruce Peninsula stretches from the Town of Wasaga Beach in the east to Town of Southhampton in the west and encompasses all the land in between to its ending at the tip of the peninsula near the Town of Tobermory at its extreme north.
The region is very sparsely populated with its largest town being the City of Owen Sound with a population of approximately 22,000 people. The only other communities of a significant size are the towns of Collingwood and Meaford. All three lie at the extreme south of the peninsula along the shores of Georgian Bay.
While the region is limited in the number of permanent inhabitants this is one of the most heavily visited portions of the province and its population significantly swells with tourists on a year round basis but in particular during the summer vacation months. Located about 2 hours north of Toronto the parks, beaches and mountains offer locals and visitors alike an unlimited amount of recreational activities to partake in.
Highlights of the "the Bruce" include:
Getting to the Bruce Peninsula region of Ontario Canada:
- Wasaga Beach with the longest freshwater sand beach in the world
- Collingwood with nearby Blue Mountain, arguably the best skiing in the Province
- Craigleith Provincial Park, famous for its fossilized marine animals
- Bruce Peninsula National Park with its “Flowerpot Rocks”
- Fathom Five National Marine Park one of the best scuba diving locations on the planet
- Tobermory which links Southern Ontario to the north via Manitoulin Island through the summer operating MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry.
As it is relatively remote car is really the only practical way of visiting the various attractions scattered throughout the region. Highways # 10 and # 6 are the traditional routes for reaching the bulk of the region but these are older, slower routes and are now considered secondary highways and pass through many small communities as they travel north.
Most people heading to the "the Bruce" will travel on Highway 400 north out of the Toronto area until arriving in the City of Barrie from which point you would take Highway #26 west toward Owen Sound. Once past Owen Sound you would link up with Highway $6 to continue you journey north until your final destination.
It is approximately 2 hours to drive from Toronto to Owen Sound (with no traffic) and then another 1 hour to reach the tip of the peninsula at Tobermory.
Highway 400 is one of the most heavily congested highways in the country as it is the main route in Ontario’s cottage country. Be forewarned that heading north on a summer Friday or coming home south on a Sunday will result in a long journey. It can sometimes take over 4 hours to simply get from Toronto to Owen Sound. Try to travel mid week and you will most likely not experience any delays.
While some of the peninsula's communities have small local airports there is no international flights into anywhere in the region. Commuter flights from other Canadian cities are also non-existent, flying into the region simply isn’t an option.
By Public Transport:
There is no rail service into any of the communities in the region.
There is a public bus service offered by Greyhound Canada into many of the communities in the region but the ride can be quite lengthy as it makes many stops along the way. Depending on where you wish to travel to you can expect to spend the bulk of the day sitting on a bus before you finally arrive. Visit www.greyhond.ca
for schedules and fares.
Owen Sound is also serviced by the Northlink bus service, visit northlink for more information.
Update: Northlink services seem to be down as of March, 2014 and their website is no longer operational.
Strap on your scuba gear to explore sunken ships and a labyrinth of sea caves in an amazing underwater marine park. Be awed by towering limestone cliffs and rock formations, rare orchids and a sky streaked with fiery hues as the sun dips behind one of the area's many lighthouses.
While it may be somewhat remote the Bruce Peninsula area is definitely one that any visitor should consider when planning a trip to Ontario Canada.
The activities and spectacular natural scenery make it a worthwhile journey. There are plenty of accommodations in the area and the Bruce Peninsula also offers some of the best camping conditions to be found anywhere in the Province.
The region has also proven to be a year round destination as an abundance of ski resorts have popped up all along the southern shores of Georgian Bay. During the summer, the beaches of the Bruce and its surrounding regions are well known as most likely the best that Canada has to offer.
I would definitely recommend a journey to "the Bruce" if you plan on visiting Ontario Canada for more than a few days
, two days is sufficient to see most of the sights and attractions and the best way of doing this is by renting a car and doing a self-drive tour.
For a complete list of the Bruce Peninsula attractions and sights visit the pages below for more information.
Bruce Peninsula Attractions
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