Steamboat Channel Protected!
Posted on July 18, 2016
Hooray! After more ups and downs than we can count, and incredible effort and generosity from our community of supporters, we are thrilled to announce that the 35 acre northern section of Pointe au Baril’s Mackenzie Island is now protected by the Georgian Bay Land Trust. Known locally simply as “Steamboat” after the channel whose southern shore it borders, this property is both highly ecologically significant and historically treasured by the Pointe au Baril community.
One of Georgian Bay’s few remaining pockets of old growth white pine forest is found here, a rare occurrence as the coast was so extensively logged over the last two centuries. The property is also a documented home to several Species-at-Risk, including Eastern foxsnake and Whip-poor-will.
Steamboat Channel is so named because its depth, orientation, and sheltered waters made it a favoured passage for the steamboats that served Pointe au Baril before the railways and roads were built. Many of Pointe au Baril’s earliest cottages were built in the surrounding area, but the channel itself remained largely undeveloped. Long valued by the community for its natural and unspoiled shoreline, it has become a favourite destination for canoeists and kayakers now that the steamboat era has passed.
The acquisition of the Steamboat Channel property is the result of the Pointe au Baril community coming together to protect a beloved shoreline and ecological jewel. We’re so happy to have been a part of this effort and to have the privilege of stewarding this property in perpetuity. THANK YOU to the generous donors and tireless volunteers who made this happen!