We tapped in to a local resource in Parry Sound, Ontario and asked them to describe what Parry Sound has to offer visitors to the area.
They call it the Jewel of the 30,000 Island and without a doubt Parry Sound is for nature lover. A short two-hour drive north from Toronto lays Parry Sound, known as the “Jewel of the 30,000 Islands”. Nestled within the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, this small town offers tourists the opportunity to explore world’s largest freshwater archipelago.
The biosphere is home to over 1,000 different habitat types from the open waters of Georgian Bay to the sheltered bays of islands; exposed bedrock to sand and cobble beaches; coastal wetlands to upland forests.
The best way to understand the diversity of the area is to take a boat cruise on the “Island Queen”, which leaves the Town Dock at 1:00 p.m. every day from the beginning of June until mid-October.
Imagine yourself following in the wake of historic First Nations people or Samuel de Champlain when they sailed these same waters hundreds of years earlier. As you travel through the islands, you grow to understand what an important tool these waterways played in opening up this part of Canada to the fur trade, lumber, shipping and tourism.
Some of the highlights you will see include two provincial parks (Killbear and Massassauga), a unique geological feature called “Hole in the Wall, many marinas and a swing bridge as well as numerous islands and narrow channels.
If terra firma is more your style, then spend a day at Killbear Provincial Park, with its mixed shoreline of rocks and numerous sand beaches, 6 kilometers of trails for hiking and an interpretive centre that tells the story of the area’s unique ecology and history.
Every summer from mid-July until August the Festival of the Sound takes place in Parry Sound. This 3 week, world-renowned festival of chamber and classical music is presented by Canadian and international musicians. A highlight of the festival is the concerts aboard the Island Queen, featuring music from classical to dixieland to jazz. Visit the Festival of Sound website for a complete concert listing and order tickets to this memorable annual event.
End your day watching one of Georgian Bay’s world-famous sunsets, while dining at a waterfront restaurant.
To be able to truly explore the area, an overnight stay is required – and we recommend 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast Located on the waterfront, and across the road from all the major attractions, shopping and restaurants, 40 Bay Street offers this B&B offers 3 rooms with en-suite baths and air-conditioning. Each room has a unique feature – a view of the harbour, a spa-like bath, or a private deck overlooking the perennial gardens. Voted as the best place to stay in Parry Sound, your host Susan is well-known for her generous hospitality and helpfulness in assuring your stay is the best stay you have had at a B&B.
Since the population of Parry Sound increases five-fold during the summer months, you are encouraged to book trip ahead of time.
Traveller Tip: Parry Sound is 240 km or 150 miles from the Boatel, north of Toronto. It will take about 2 ½ hours on Highway 400. Download the Parry Sound Travel Guide to find out more information on the area.