Twitter Slider
segbay logo

Coming Events

No events

Job Central Simcoe/Muskoka


History of the Southeast Georgian Bay Region

In the early 1600’s, the first Europeans came to the area, with fur traders and French missionaries travelling from the St. Lawrence to Huronia. Samuel de Champlain canoed to Georgian Bay in 1615. In the late 1700’s, Canada was transferred from French to British control. The British feared an American invasion and the area along the Severn Route was improved and surveyed in an effort to protect the country and its fur trade. Lumbering opened up the region from Collingwood to Midland, Waubaushene, Honey Harbour, Port Severn, Severn Bridge and northward to Muskoka and Parry Sound. Later, around the turn of the twentieth century, the Georgian Bay region became a mecca for tourists. It was then that Didace Grise built the Royal Hotel in Honey Harbour. The Grise family also developed and operated the well-known Delawana Inn.


Fishing and Hunting clubs sprung up in the late 1800’s. The Mordolphton Club began as a small fishing club in Waubaushene, moved to the abandoned log cabins of the Georgian Bay Lumber on Gloucester Pool, which later became Severn Lodge, owned and operated by the Breckbill family from Ohio, in 1936. Hunters and fishers made annual expeditions led by local Ojibwe guides to Six Mile Lake or Georgian Bay. From 1915 to the 1950s, guide boats were a daily sight on the Severn River. But by the end of the war, the pattern of tourism changed, with camps, summer cottages and fast boats becoming the norm, and numerous hotels on the Trent Severn and Sparrow Lake making the area one or the most popular tourist areas in Canada.

Honey Harbour – Folklore accounts: from as early as the time of the Hurons, said to have found wild bees and honey, to the lumbermen of the nineteenth century, the captain of a schooner blown off course toward Present Island, a commercial honey producer from Beeton in Simcoe County, and the public land surveyor in 1878 who all found large deposits of honey in the area.

Port Severn – Oldest community on the Severn, it was a “company town” dominated by the lumber industry. Robinson, Sanson, Christie, and finally Georgian Bay Lumber were the line of lumber companies that owned all of the lands, the houses stores, the hotel, and the only industry in town, until the sawmill burned down in 1896. Originally called Severn Mills, people have lived in the community since 1850.

MacTier – Originally known as Muskoka Station, it was founded in 1882 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, which used the community as a divisional train-switching point for their north/south destinations. In 1908, Hugh Anderson opened a general store. In the same year, a new Post Office was built. However, Canada Post identified a problem with the town’s name as being frequently confused with two other communities, Muskoka Wharf and Muskoka Falls, since mail bags were delivered in error to Muskoka Station and vice versa. Mr. Anderson was asked to choose a new name for the town, so he named it after A.D. MacTier, who was the General Superintendent of the CPR’s eastern division at the time.

Coldwater, in Severn Township, is located between Orillia and Midland on the Coldwater River. Chief John Aisance and his band of Chippewas settled at what is now Coldwater in 1830, calling the place Gissinausebing, which means "cold water." A grist mill was built on the site in 1833, and a post office was established in 1835 with the name Coldwater. The native people owned the mill until 1849. Coldwater was opened to European settlement in 1836, and was incorporated in 1908.

Waubaushene is located in the Township of Tay, at the junction of Highway 400 and the western leg of Highway 12 (it was the terminus of Highway 400 from the mid-1970s until 1996). The site of modern-day Waubaushene was historically notable as the place where Canadian Martyrs Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lallemant, missionaries from the nearby Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, were killed. In 1907, a small chapel was consecrated at Waubaushene in honour of the martyrs; the chapel was later moved to Midland and remains an active church as the Martyrs' Shrine.

Come Visit Us

45 Lone Pine Road
Port Severn, ON
L0K 1S0

Community Map

View our Community Map!
Find accommodations, dining, shops, businesses, events, points of Interest.
Hints: Choose the services of interest. Zoom the map to uncover locations. Click & drag the map to re-center it. Click the Icons for further information.

Events Calendar

January 2018
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3


Click to down this informative document from the Government of Ontario

Pandemic Planning Tool Kit - A pandemic plan can help your company be prepared against organizational downtime during a health crisis.

Removing Barriers - A Business Guide to Improving Accessibility. From the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy

Website Produced by Wendy Smith

Copyright © 2014 Southeast Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.

Powered by Joomla!. Design by: joomla 2.5 template  Valid XHTML and CSS.