A recreationalist and nature enthusiasts nirvana
rich in Aboriginal traditions...
For a lot of Ontario citizens Rainbow Country is as far north as they ever drive. This area is a favorite among residents as it is a day-trippers paradise and is only located a few hours away from the main Canadian population centres.
This popular tourist destination stretches north from the Town of Parry Sound in the west, along the northern shores of Georgian Bay to north of the City of Sudbury, it includes Manitoulin Island as well as many of the various other islands of Georgian Bay, to the City of North Bay in the east. It is centrally located in the heart of Ontario and it’s largest population centre, the City of Sudbury, is the transportation hub and gateway to Northern Ontario.
Location of the Rainbow Country
Rich in Aboriginal traditions, the region includes the mystical Manitoulin Island in Georgian Bay, the largest freshwater island in the world. Other popular destinations include Parry Sound, Killarney and the world famous angler’s paradise: the French River area. Georgian Bay is also one of the most popular sailing spots in North America, it is not unusual to see thousands of sailboats on its waters on a typical summer day.
Just north of Sudbury there are literally hundreds if not thousands of bodies of water to fish, canoe, kayak, swim or do whatever. Many are accessible only by plane or all-terrain vehicles and Sudbury serves as a main transportation hub for the outfitter and remote resort industry.
The area also contains Killarney Provincial Park that offers unbelievable panoramic views and has long been known as the crown jewel in the Ontario Provincial Park system. It is a recreationalist and nature enthusiast’s Shangri-la.
Getting to Rainbow Country:
If you are coming from Toronto getting to the region is relatively easy depending on where you actually want to go.
If you are driving and heading to Parry Sound, the gateway to Rainbow Country, then on to Sudbury, you would take Highway 400 North until it turns into Highway 69 which leads you straight into Sudbury.
If you are heading via Manitouiln Island it is a little less direct but still very easy.
- Head west from Toronto on the Gardiner Expressway to Highway 427 North, then head west on Highway 401 to Highway 410.
- Head north and once past the City of Brampton it turns into Highway 10. Continue on Highway 10 until reaching the Town of Owen Sound. Highway 10 will end at Highway 21.
- Take Highway 21 West until reaching Highway 6 North. Follow this road until you reach land’s end at the Town of Tobermory.
- You then have to embark on the MS Chi-Cheemaun, a car ferry that makes the journey across “The Main Channel”, the Georgian Bay – Lake Huron straits, from Tobermory to South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island in approximately 2 hours. For more information on the ferry visit www.chicheemaun.com. After disembarking the ferry in the Town of South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island you are in Rainbow Country.
The only airport of any significance in this area is located in the City of Sudbury. Sudbury Airport serves as the main air transportation hub for Northern Ontario and from here you can catch a flight to many small Northern Ontario towns and also many remote camps and resorts. Sudbury Airport provides daily flights to most major Ontario cities as well as being linked up internationally with a number of US cities.
By Public Transport
You can also reach Sudbury by train as it is located on the main Toronto to Vancouver line. Service is provided by VIA Rail. Check out www.viarail.ca
for more information.
There is daily bus-services to and from many of the major Ontario cities including Toronto. Service is provided by both Greyhound Lines and Ontario Northland www.ontc.on.ca
Completely different from Southern Ontario a trip up to Rainbow Country for a day or two will provide you a good look into the Canadian way of life as this is the area where many residents head for the weekend. Expect long delays if you head up on a Friday and come back on a Sunday during the summer “cottage season”.
Rainbow Country Attractions
Get free Ontario travel tips, updates and news. Susbcribe to my newsletter.
This site is continuously updated with useful and pertinent information for your Ontario visit so if you enjoy this Ontario Travel Guide and would like to bookmark it for future reference you can do so here …