Find us on Social Media

Volume 16 No. 7

The ice is out, and has been out for several weeks! It used to be that no one ventured out onto the Bay in their boats until the END of April because of the ice floats – which is definitely not true this year. The number of folks who have been enjoying their cottages already is clearly evident.

So as we look forward to warmer summer months, ToA, PaBIA and our GBay partners have been busy as they look forward to summer. Fire Season has begun and there is a new beautification program underway at the transfer station – check it out as they would like your help!

And your Board has been meeting regularly on your behalf, preparing for a fun summer with another Fire Pump contest with $100 cash prizes, Regattas, and two documentaries highlighting a new PaBIA Film Series. To help plan your summer, the Yearbook is now at the printers scheduled to be sent out at the end of April/beginning of May, and Dave Anderson has the summer calendar on the website.

Additionally, the Board sent out a stand alone letter to each of you outlining the changes to the Marine Patrol Program. If you have not had a chance to read this important letter, please take a moment to do so.

Table of Contents In this eBlast:

  • PaBIA’s Marker Replacement Program
  • PaBIA’s New Film Series
  • Welcome NEW Senior Regatta Chairs – Meg Allen and Kate Pitfield
  • Check out the JuneJuly, and August Calendars


  • History Moment – The Lure of the Fish


  • ToA Transfer Station Beautification Program – You Can Participate!
  • ToA – April Begins Fire Season
  • WPSHC – Your Way to Health – Support the Health Centre in May
  • GBB – Ways our Waters are Changing & Updates
  • GBA – Spring Edition Update 2024
  • GBA – Sign Up to Receive the GBA Update Directly
  • In Memoriam – Wally KingNancy Lofft, David Davidson
  • Lake Michigan-Huron Water Levels – April 15, 2024


Many have expressed sadness at the loss of the Marine Patrol, but also expressed support for the difficult decision that the Board had to make. We’d like to thank the many generous members that have graciously agreed to re-allocate their Marine Patrol donations to the Marker Replacement Program. 

The channel markers are important to all of us as we navigate the waters of Pointe au Baril. With these extra donations, PaBIA will be able to purchase and install more permanent markers this summer than the 10 we had originally planned. The Board is also reviewing the reallocation of the Marine Patrol operating expenses to the Marker Program. Working with our suppliers and Desmasdons, we are updating our Marker Program plans to figure out how many markers we can install this summer and fall. Look for an update on the Marker Program in the May eBlast. 

The Education Committee is excited to announce that it will be introducing two programs this summer one in July and one in August, both highlighting our waters of Georgian Bay in cooperation with Georgian Bay Forever.

In July, PaBIA will be featuring our own Water Brothers (who cottage in PaB) and is inviting you to enjoy two ½ hour documentaries entitled: ‘Paving Over Paradise’ & ‘Great Plastic Lakes’.

In August, Georgian Bay Forever will introduce their newly premiered documentary, ‘All Too Clear’.

About three quarters of the wetlands that once existed in southern Ontario are now gone. How do we restore these vital habitats that are also some of our best natural defenses against the effects of climate change?

Over 10 million kilograms of plastic enters the Great Lakes each year. As the largest freshwater ecosystem on Earth fills up with plastic, it is also building up in the bodies of wildlife and the 40 million people who rely on the Lakes for drinking water. The Water Brothers go on a search for promising solutions to the massive global challenge of plastic pollution.

Meg Allen

I’m Meghan Allen and I’m very excited to be joining the PaBIA team as a Co-Chair, alongside Kate, of the Senior Regatta and volunteer my time back into the community. I have been coming up to PAB in the summers since I was young and previously worked at the Ojibway Camp for 5 years. The Regatta has always been a special weekend for the community and the competitors alike. I’m looking forward to bringing lots of energy and fun to this annual event and excited to see lots of familiar and new faces competing in the Regatta! 

Kate Pitfield

I’m Kate Pitfield and I am super excited to be co-heading the Sr. Regatta this coming summer! PaB has been an important part of my summers for the entirety of my life and truly love the community. Having the opportunity to co-head the Sr. Regatta is an amazing opportunity as I know just how much fun the day can be and the memories that can come from it. I can confidently say some of my favorite memories are watching the Sr./Jr. regatta eating a pulled pork sandwich on the dock. I am counting down the days until we are all back in PaB, especially since this will be my first time in 5 years getting a full summer there due to treeplanting and I could not be more excited!


Brought to you by the Ojibway Historical Preservation Society

To restore, preserve and protect those structures in the Pointe au Baril area designated as historically and architecturally significant

Original fishing village at the Pointe near the lighthouse, 1904, showing McIntosh general store. From Green family collection

We owe our name to French Canadian voyageurs, our early settler history to fishing, and our personality to a wayward barrel of whiskey.

The first settler fishing village emerged, not at “the station” where the action is now, but rather at “the point” out by the present-day lighthouse. It started with a mishap. In the 1870s, fur traders travelling by canoe along the shore were caught in a fall storm and lost one of their canoes. In the canoe was a barrel of whiskey, which was discovered by fur traders the following spring. After consuming said whiskey, the happy traders left the empty keg on the point as a marker. Passing voyageurs began to refer to the place as Pointe au Baril, meaning “barrel point.”

Commercial fisherman Sam E. Oldfield, one of the first people to build permanent structures near that point of land, remembered seeing the barrel when he passed through the channel in 1873.

Fishermen refined the first landmark by putting a barrel up a tree, with one side cut out to house a kerosene lantern. Men on the first boats in for the evening would light the lamp for those arriving in after dark.

In 1889, the lighthouse was built and Mr. Oldfield, who also built the Bellevue Hotel, became the first lighthouse keeper and postmaster.

In 1894, another fishing family moved in to the area, led by patriarch John McIntosh. The McIntoshes had a general store, a fishing station and a fishing fleet to take advantage of the abundant trout and whitefish in Georgian Bay. Fishing was done from skiffs about 20 feet long that were equipped with one or two sprit sails. The gill nets were made of linen and the floats of oiled cedar.

By 1901, the pioneer village at the Pointe was listed with a population of about 100. Both J.D. McIntosh and Oldfield & Son were cited as fish dealers. The fishing industry along the east coast of Georgian Bay back then was a bit of a wild west, with no licenses, no tax and no limits. The first full time game warden was hired in the early 1900s out of Parry Sound to police commercial fishing. But he didn’t have a motorboat to start with, and he “suffered many a blister” rowing around, pursuing offenders.

Action surrounding the original fishing village started to wane in 1908 when the railroad was extended north to Pointe au Baril and on to Sudbury. With travellers now arriving by train, amenities were needed on a different shoreline. And the village at “the station” was born.

To see more photos, go to:

Sources: Our Pointe au Baril by Ruth H. McCuaig and At the Ojibway: 100 Summers on Georgian Bay by David MacFarlane, published by Nancy Lang

HISTORY MOMENT written by Celia Milne, Jane Manning-Marshall, Nancy Lang ~ OHPS Board Members

Of Interest

The Township of The Archipelago is looking to improve the aesthetics of its waste and recycling transfer stations. As a part of the project, the Operations Department is hoping to collect local images from residents and affix the selected images to durable outdoor displays on the fencing. This project is cost-conscious, therefore staff is looking to Community Associations to share this request with its members for high-quality (min. 2MB) photos of the Archipelago landscape or historical locations.

The submission deadline for photos is April 19, 2024. Photos can be sent directly to Josh Badger, Director of Operations and Facilities, at Josh Badger.

With warmer weather upon us, it’s crucial to prioritize fire safety. Here are some important reminders:

Stay Informed

Residents and visitors to the area are accountable for staying aware and informed about the Township’s Fire Danger Rating. If you are planning on having a fire, make it a habit to visit the Township Website to confirm the fire rating! The Township website is the most up-to-date source for Township related fire information.

Know the Rules

It is good practice to familiarize yourself with the Township’s fire provision By-laws at the start of each fire season. When in doubt, check them out!

See a Fire? Who to Call!

  • Report a Forest Fire – To report a forest fire within the Township, call the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) at 310-FIRE (310-3473). *No area code is needed. If you encounter an answering machine, leave a message. In order to assess the situation and coordinate a response (likely by air), it is vital that MNRF staff speak to the first-hand witness directly. Remember, providing accurate details is crucial for an effective response!
  • Report a Violation – To report a fire rating violation, call the Township By-law Enforcement Department.
  • Phone: 705-746-4243 ext. 325
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Online Reporting toolE-Service Request

As a Township, it is critical that we work together to ensure a safe and enjoyable fire season for everyone in our community.

Stay vigilant and stay safe!

Formally known as the Georgian Bay Walk, Run, Pole, this hybrid event brings the community together while inspiring a healthy lifestyle.

From May 1st to May 31st, track your activity (walking, running, poling, swimming, kayaking – however you prefer to move!) and fundraise towards your goal.

Join a team or participate solo.

Mark your calendar to join us for an in-person “Meet Up” at one of four sites across our region.

We’ll move our bodies together to support healthcare in our community:

  • Wednesday, May 1st at West Parry Sound Health Centre
  • Sunday, May 26th at Pointe au Baril NPLC

Good water quality is essential for ecosystem health and human enjoyment. Without clean water, aquatic food webs suffer and many of our favourite summer activities are compromised. In 2004, Georgian Bay Biosphere (GBB) was recognized by UNESCO as a globally ecologically significant region with the potential to promote sustainable development – striving for “a balance between people and nature” and the potential to coordinate conservation efforts along the coast.

As the largest freshwater archipelago in the world, monitoring water quality and sharing key issues and threats to Georgian Bay is a big part of our work. Since 2013, we have been involved in supporting and reporting on various indicators of water quality. In 2023, we tested water quality at 22 sites across the Biosphere region to better understand trends and changes.

Our State of the Bay ecosystem health program began in 2008 as a way to gather the best available research about water, wetlands, fisheries, and habitats in this unique landscape and share trends and recommendations with those who want to take action. As part of the program, we hold conferences and workshops along the coast, deliver classroom lessons, and release a magazine every five years.

In 2023, we released our third edition of State of the Bay – both the technical report and the public magazine – to provide an overview of the health of eastern Georgian Bay, share information about key issues and threats, and weave Anishinaabek perspectives throughout.

The latest edition detailed numerous changes observed in the waters of Georgian Bay and inland lakes in the last several decades. Over the three months, in PaBIA’s eBlasts, will be the summary of each one of three notable changes. To read the entire article, click here.

Decline in offshore total phosphorus concentrations. The nutrient phosphorus is the foundation of life in the waters of Georgian Bay and inland lakes. Phosphorus feeds the smallest organisms (e.g., algae) which in turn feed zooplankton, prey fish, and predator fish.

In the deep offshore waters of Georgian Bay, phosphorus levels have naturally been low. However, long-term trends show significant total phosphorus (TP) declines, with the most dramatic declines observed since the mid- to late-1990s. This decline is believed to be linked, in part, to the introduction of invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

TP concentrations have since levelled out at around two micrograms per litre, but this low-nutrient environment means the offshore waters of Georgian Bay can no longer support the same abundance and diversity of species they once did.

Here is the April GBB News

In this Spring GBA Update 2024 edition:

  1. GBA continues to press DFO on aquaculture regulatory concerns
  2. Parks Canada is offering an opportunity to comment on floating homes
  3. Georgian Bay has lost one of its greatest friends – Wally King
  4. GBA and MPP Saunderson discuss microplastic pollution in the Great Lakes
  5. The spring edition of UPDATE is now online
  6. Ontario’s bear hotline opens early in anticipation of hibernation ending early
  7. A new agreement to enhance cooperation on Great Lakes restoration and protection
  8. A University of Windsor project aims to bolster sturgeon populations
  9. Water Levels Report

In Memoriam

David Davidson, A30-60 ‘Nin-Winaki, Pine Point’ on Tonches Is., husband of Penny-Anne Davidson, father of the late Tim (Sheila), Rob (Ximena), Lucy (Karl) Wunderlich, Jamie (Sarah), Amy (the late Matthew) McGurk, March 2024.

Charles Wallis (“Wally”) King, Sans Souci cottager, a driving force in the founding of the Township of the Archipelago, past President of the Sans Souci & Copperhead Association and the Georgian Bay Association, founding Chair of the Georgian Bay Land Trust. March 25, 2024. March 25, 2024

Nancy Lofft, A462 ‘White Caps’ and A447 ‘Weatherly’, wife of the late Tom Lofft, mother of Andrew (Sandra), Jennifer, Chris (Jackie), December 2023.

Water Levels

Lakes Michigan/Huron Water Levels April 15th, 2024

To better read the charts, please click on the chart for the Daily or Six Month Forecast Water level chart and the corresponding websites

Please support PaBIA’s Yearbook Advertisers 2024

This site’s advertising feature was created to provide assistance for special local information & events for existing Yearbook advertisers only.