|Etymology: Named after Tobermory in Scotland|
|Municipality||Northern Bruce Peninsula|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
Tobermory is a small community located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula, in the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. Until European colonization in the mid-19th century, the Bruce Peninsula was home to the Saugeen Ojibway nations, with their earliest ancestors reaching the area as early as 7,500 years ago. 300 kilometres (190 miles) northwest of Toronto. The closest city to Tobermory is Owen Sound, 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of Tobermory and connected by Highway 6.It is part of the municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula. It is
Naval surveyor Henry Bayfield originally named this Port Collins Harbour. // ; Scottish Gaelic : Tobar Mhoire), the largest settlement in the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides.Due to similar harbour conditions it was renamed after Tobermory (
The community is known as the "freshwater SCUBA diving capital of the world"because of the numerous shipwrecks that lie in the surrounding waters, especially in Fathom Five National Marine Park. Tobermory and the surrounding area are popular vacation destinations. The town lies north of the Bruce Peninsula National Park.
The MS Chi-Cheemaun passenger-car ferry connects Tobermory to Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. Tobermory is also the northern terminus of the Bruce Trail, and has twin harbours, known locally as "Big Tub" and "Little Tub". Big Tub Harbour is Canada's largest natural freshwater harbour.
Tobermory is typically a few degrees colder than Toronto. Many businesses in the town are open from May until the Thanksgiving long weekend in October, and are closed for the other seven months of the year.
The Government of Ontario has erected a plaque in Tobermory about the geography of the area.The first, at the tip of the peninsula, titled ESCARPMENT SUBMERGENCE, provides this information: "This shoreline marks the northern extremity of the Niagara Escarpment in southern Ontario. Stretching unbroken for 465 miles across southern Ontario from Niagara Falls. The escarpment was created by erosion of layered sedimentary rocks deposited in ancient seas of the Paleozoic Era over 400 million years ago. Portions of the escarpment form the islands between Tobermory and South Baymouth and the same Paleozoic rocks shape the geology of Manitoulin Island."
In 1857, A. G. Robinson, the chief engineer for Lake Huron lighthouse operations described the area as being “totally unfit for agricultural purposes."In 1869, Public Land Surveyor Charles Rankin arrived in the area to resurvey the proposed road that would run through the centre of St. Edmonds Township from the Lindsay town line to Tobermory Ontario Harbour. After six weeks of struggle to complete the task, Rankin and his crew returned to their base camp. He summarized in his report that the work had been “one of the most troublesome explorations and pieces of line running ... which I have ever met with." William Bull, a representative of the Indian Department, was sent in 1873 to explore the region to ascertain the amount of good agricultural lands and also the quality and quantity of timber resources. He reported that the town plot and some of the surrounding area was “nearly all burnt off, leaving the white rocky ridges quite bare”.
Despite such warnings, during the 1870s and 1880s the government sold tracts of land to prospective settlers under the guise of promoting them as agricultural lands. The result was chaotic. Some pioneers arrived and struggled to create farmland while others came and after battling the environment and the elements, abandoned the land. Some of these plots were taken over by others, while many tracts remained undeveloped for decades.
One major product taken from the Bruce Peninsula forests was the bark from hemlock trees. On average about 4,000 cords of hemlock were shipped to tanneries in Kitchener, Acton, Listowel and Toronto.
The first saw mill opened in Tobermory in 1881, and within 20 years most of the valuable timber was gone. Fires then charred the ravaged landscape, and by the 1920s, the region was nearly bare of forests. The decline of the industry forced settlers out and the peninsula experienced a steady population decline until the 1970s, when cottagers noticed the region and began to buy land.
Bruce Peninsula lumber is no longer a major economic force, but it provided the impetus to settle the region.
Tobermory has a humid continental climate (Koppen: Dfb) with four distinct seasons. Summers are mild to warm and winters are cold. Precipitation is well distributed year round.
|Climate data for Tobermory (1951–1980)|
|Record high °C (°F)||11.7|
|Average high °C (°F)||−2.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−6.3|
|Average low °C (°F)||−9.9|
|Record low °C (°F)||−30.6|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||71.9|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||12.6|
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||58.0|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||10||8||7||7||7||8||6||7||9||9||9||12||99|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||2||1||3||6||7||8||6||7||9||9||7||4||69|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||9||7||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||8||31|
|Source: Environment Canada|
Tobermory is home to many different species of plants and animals. Ancient cedar trees survey along cliff edges and the vast dense forests in Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula.Black bears and rare reptiles also find refuge in rocky areas the diverse wetlands of the area.
Some of the more commonly sighted animals include black bears, raccoons, white-tailed deer, porcupines, chipmunks and a variety of snakes. The Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake can also be found in Tobermory although it is now an endangered species.
Among the many types of plants found in the area, there are around 43 species of wild orchids on the Bruce Peninsula due to its variety of habitats. To celebrate, Tobermory hosts an annual orchid festival in June which includes guided tours and presentations.
At least one species of flower is found growing in Big Tub and no place else in the world.[ citation needed ]
Massive hauls of lumber in the early 1900s eventually resulted in settlers turning to fishing.Fishermen began dropping nets into Tobermory's deep natural harbours, Big and Little Tub in the late 1800s. The rich fisheries began to decline in the early 1920s due to overfishing and the introduction of the lamprey eel.
Tobermory is located next to Fathom Five National Marine Park, Canada's first national marine conservation area. The park includes 22 shipwrecks, several historic lighthouses, and glass-bottom cruises from Tobermory.[ citation needed ]
Known for its lion's-head shape, the eroding cliff edge has served as a tourist destination in Tobermory for the past few decades, and was utilized as a landmark when sailing ships were most common, providing them with shelter from the turbulent Georgian Bay.
Tourism is booming in the area, having grown by over 200% in the five years between 2003 and 2008, and is expected to increase in the future.
Bruce Trail, a popular hiking trail with magnificent cliff's-edge views of the turquoise water, begins at Tobermory and runs south all the way to Niagara Falls, making it one of Canada's oldest and longest footpaths.
The main road in town is Ontario Highway 6. It is the northern terminus of the southern segment of the highway as the northern section is interrupted by Georgian Bay. The ferry MS Chi-Cheemaun serves to connect the two sections of Highway 6 during part of the year.
Tobermory Airport is a public (general aviation) airport located south of the town.
The science fiction novel Commitment Hour by James Alan Gardner is set in Tober Cove, a post-apocalyptic version of Tobermory.
James Reaney's poem "Near Tobermory, Ontario" describes a cove near the town.
The local newspaper is the Tobermory Press.
CHEE-FM 89.9 in Tobermory provides seasonal information about the MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry.Operating status of CHEE-FM is unknown.
CBPS-FM 90.7 Bruce Peninsula National Park provides tourism, park and weather information.
CFPS-FM Port Elgin has an FM repeater at Tobermory which operates at 91.9 FM
CHFN-FM 100.1 Neyaashiinigmiing First Nations community radio station
All other radio stations from Owen Sound, including Manitoulin Island, Sudbury, even northeastern Michigan and Central Ontario can also be heard in Tobermory and areas of the northern Bruce Peninsula.
Manitoulin Island is an island in Lake Huron, located within the borders of the Canadian province of Ontario, in the bioregion known as Laurentia. With an area of 2,766 km2 (1,068 sq mi), it is the largest lake island in the world, large enough that it has over 100 lakes itself. In addition to the historic Anishinaabe and European settlement of the island, archaeological discoveries at Sheguiandah have demonstrated Paleo-Indian and Archaic cultures dating from 10,000 BC to 2,000 BC.
Bruce Peninsula National Park is a national park on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. Located on a part of the Niagara Escarpment, the park comprises 156 square kilometres and is one of the largest protected areas in southern Ontario, forming the core of UNESCO's Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. It was established in 1987 to protect the rock formations and shoreline of the Niagara Escarpment. The park offers opportunities for many outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and bird watching. The park has trails ranging in difficulty from easy to expert, and connects to the Bruce Trail. Bruce Peninsula National Park is known for its crystal clear blue waters, cobblestone beaches, rocky cliffs and karst formations.
The Bruce Trail is a hiking trail in southern Ontario, Canada, from the Niagara River to the tip of Tobermory, Ontario. The main trail is more than 890 km (550 mi) long and there are over 400 km (250 mi) of associated side trails. The trail mostly follows the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, one of the nineteen UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves in Canada. The land the trail traverses is owned by the Government of Ontario, local municipalities, local conservation authorities, private landowners, and the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC). The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada. Its name is linked to the Bruce Peninsula and Bruce County, through which the trail runs. The trail is named after the county, which was named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin who was Governor General of the Province of Canada from 1847 to 1854.
The Niagara Escarpment is a long escarpment, or cuesta, in Canada and the United States that starts from the south shore of Lake Ontario westward, circumscribes the top of the Great Lakes Basin running from New York through Ontario, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The escarpment is the cliff over which the Niagara River plunges at Niagara Falls, for which it is named.
St. Catharines is the most populous city in Canada's Niagara Region, the eighth largest urban area in the province of Ontario. As of 2017, St. Catharines has an area of 96.13 square kilometres (37.12 sq mi) and 140,370 residents. It lies in Southern Ontario, 51 kilometres (32 mi) south of Toronto across Lake Ontario, and is 19 kilometres (12 mi) inland from the international boundary with the United States along the Niagara River. It is the northern entrance of the Welland Canal. Residents of St. Catharines are known as St. Catharinites. St. Catharines carries the official nickname "The Garden City" due to its 1,000 acres (4 km2) of parks, gardens, and trails.
Georgian Bay 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.
MS Chi-Cheemaun is a Canadian passenger and vehicle ferry in Ontario, Canada, which traverses Lake Huron between Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island. The ferry connects the two geographically separate portions of Highway 6 and is the vessel that replaced MS Norgoma and SS Norisle in 1974. The ferry service runs seasonally from mid-May to mid-October. As of 2022 she is the third largest passenger vessel sailing the Great Lakes after the expedition cruise liner Viking Octantis and the US ferry SS Badger, although several larger vessels previously serving the Great Lakes are still in service in other parts of the world.
The Bruce Peninsula is a peninsula in Ontario, Canada, that divides Georgian Bay of Lake Huron from the lake's main basin. The peninsula extends roughly northwestwards from the rest of Southwestern Ontario, pointing towards Manitoulin Island, with which it forms the widest strait joining Georgian Bay to the rest of Lake Huron. The Bruce Peninsula contains part of the geological formation known as the Niagara Escarpment.
King's Highway 6, commonly referred to as Highway 6, is a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. It crosses a distance of 480 km (300 mi) between Port Dover, on the northern shore of Lake Erie, and Espanola, on the northern shore of Lake Huron, before ending at the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 17) in McKerrow.
Tehkummah is a township in the Canadian province of Ontario, located on Manitoulin Island.
The Owen Sound Transportation Company, Limited was the forerunner of the enterprise that currently operates the vehicle and passenger ferry - M.S. Chi-Cheemaun - between Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula, and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island. For updated information, see the article on the M.S. Chi-Cheemaun.
Jordan is a community located on the eastern edge of the Town of Lincoln, in the Niagara Region. Jordan is bordered by the Twenty Mile Creek and Vineland to the west, Lake Ontario to the north, St. Catharines to the east, and Pelham to the south. Lying roughly 100 km from Toronto and 65 km from Buffalo by road, Jordan is located along a major transportation corridor between Canada and the United States. In January 2014, Jordan was brought to international attention when Al-Qaeda-directed terrorists were arrested for plotting to derail a passenger train traveling from Toronto to New York on a rail-bridge crossing the Jordan Harbour.
Hamilton is located on the western end of the Niagara Peninsula and wraps around the westernmost part of the Lake Ontario. Most of the city including the downtown section lies along the south shore. Situated in the geographic centre of the Golden Horseshoe, it lies roughly midway between Toronto and Buffalo. The two major physical features are Hamilton Harbour marking the northern limit of the city and the Niagara Escarpment running through the middle of the city across its entire breadth, bisecting the city into 'upper' and 'lower' parts.
CFPS-FM is a Canadian radio station in Port Elgin, Ontario, broadcasting at 97.9 FM, with an active rock format with the on-air branding 97.9 The Bruce.
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands, or simply St. Lawrence Lowlands, is a physiographic region of Eastern Canada that comprises a section of southern Ontario bounded on the north by the Canadian Shield and by three of the Great Lakes — Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario — and extends along the St. Lawrence River to the Strait of Belle Isle and the Atlantic Ocean. The lowlands comprise three sub-regions that were created by intrusions from adjacent physiographic regions — the West Lowland, Central Lowland and East Lowland. The West Lowland includes the Niagara Escarpment, extending from the Niagara River to the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island. The Central Lowland stretches between the Ottawa River and the St. Lawrence River. The East Lowland includes Anticosti Island, Îles de Mingan, and extends to the Strait of Belle Isle.
Sweepstakes was a Canadian schooner built in Burlington, Ontario, in 1867. It was damaged off Cove Island, then towed to Big Tub Harbour in the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron, where it sank in September 1885. The remains of Sweepstakes lie in Big Tub Harbour, in the Fathom Five National Marine Park, in Tobermory, Ontario. The schooner is said to be one of the most popular of several wrecks in the park, and it is often visited by tour boat passengers, divers, and snorkelers.
The Mixedwood Plains Ecozone is the Canadian ecozone with the most southern extent, covering all of southwestern Ontario, and parts of central and northeastern Ontario and southern Quebec along the Saint Lawrence River. It was originally dominated by temperate deciduous forest growing mostly on limestone covered by glacial till. It is the smallest ecozone in Canada, but it includes the country's most productive industrial and commercial region, and is home to nearly half of Canada's population, including its two largest cities, Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. Hence, little of the original forest cover remains, making protection of the remaining forests a high conservation priority. This ecozone includes two regions described by J.S. Rowe in his classic Forest Regions of Canada: the entire Deciduous Forest Region, and the southern portions of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region. In the province of Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources maps this area as Site Regions 6E and 7E.
CHAW-FM is a Canadian FM radio station that broadcasts at 103.1 MHz in Little Current, Ontario, serving Algoma, Manitoulin and a good portion of the 17 and 69 Highways including Tobermory and areas of the northern Bruce Peninsula. The station, owned by Manitoulin Broadcasting Corporation through licensee Craig Timmermans, broadcasts a country format branded as Country 103. Timmermans received approval to broadcast from the CRTC on April 1, 2015. The station broadcasts with an effective radiated power of 35,200 watts.
Big Tub Lighthouse is an active lighthouse located near Tobermory in Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada. The lighthouse was originally lit in 1885 and is still used up to this day.
The Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) is an environmental NGO, a registered environmental charity, and a qualified recipient to receive ecological gifts through the eco-gifts program of Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canada). It is the largest Ontario-focused land trust, with over 190 nature reserves as of January 2021.