The Municipality of Killarney is situated one and a half hours Southwest of Sudbury on the North Shore of Lake Huron. It surrounds itself with gleaming white quartzite of the La Cloche Mountain range, crystal clear waters and sparkling pink granite of Georgian Bay and the rugged wilderness of the Killarney and French River Provincial Parks.
POPULATION: 386 | DISTANCE FROM OTTAWA: 6 h 5 min | DISTANCE FROM TORONTO: 4 h 21 min
The Municipality encompasses over 1500 square kilometres, stretching from Baie Fine and Frazer Bay in the Northwest to the Pickerel River, Key River and the designated Heritage French River, in the Southeast. It is twice as large as the geographical area of the City of Toronto and has small settlements at Hartley Bay Road and Key River, with the largest permanent settlement located at the end of Highway 637 at Killarney Village. Its population increases significantly in the summer as seasonal residents return to their cottages; and boaters, campers, hikers and tourists flock to the area. The unspoiled beauty of the Municipality provides visitors the opportunity to hike to spectacular vistas on park trails; kayak, canoe or paddle board on one of its’ many pristine lakes or rivers; or trek to the back country to enjoy the flora and fauna while wilderness camping. The big water of Georgian Bay is a sailors’ dream and an anglers’ paradise. Activities are only as limited as one’s imagination. For those just wanting to sightsee or relax and enjoy the serenity, there are many lodges, cottages and campgrounds which provide accommodations ranging from luxurious to rustic, with everything in between. Eateries will please all tastes from down home to the most discriminating palate.
The picturesque Historical Village of Killarney is located on what was a major water transportation route. Established in 1820 as a Fur Trading Post originally known as Shebahonaning, which is Anishinaabemowin for canoe passage, it is one of the oldest settlements in Canada. To experience Killarney’s rich heritage, one can visit the old Jail House or Centennial Museum, which exhibits many fascinating historical artifacts from the community. One mile east of the village on Red Rock Point, stands the Killarney East Lighthouse which was built in 1909 and has been designated a Federal Heritage Building. From there you can look out over the expansive Bay or take a walk along the pink granite outcrop to Pebble Beach. Although it began as a Fur Trading Post, the area also saw a booming logging industry in the mid 1800s, flourishing commercial fishing in the late 1800s and an expanding mining industry starting in the early 1900s.
Tourism dates back to the lumbering era but has now become the mainstay of the Municipality. The Village was not accessible by road until 1962, with the completion of Highway 637. This became an important part in the expansion of the tourism industry. The Village also boasts an airport which can accommodate small aircraft. It is also not unusual to see float planes land on the Channel beside yachts, sailboats and fishing vessels.
Killarney has earned a prominent spot as a popular Canadian tourist destination for national and international travelers. Visitors come from all over the world to admire the breathtakingly beautiful landscape, famous for inspiring the works of legendary Canadian artists, The Group of Seven. Killarney has a majestic beauty that captures the heart of all those who visit.