Home of the Georgian Bay Biosphere and the 30,000 islands - which make up the world’s largest freshwater archipelago - life for those of us who live in Parry Sound, centres on the bay for a large part of the year.
The Island Queen Cruise departs the docks at 9 Bay Street and offers a three-hour unforgettable trip along the narrow channels and shallow waterways of the 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay. In July and August, they also offer a two-hour inner harbour tour, featuring some of the homes and cottages. The triple deck Island Queen is a modern, well-equipped cruise ship, accommodating 550 passengers. The Island Queen is wheelchair accessible.
Cruise and dine through the 30,000 Islands aboard the M.V. Chippewa, a former Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist. The boat is fully equipped with washrooms and is also licensed by the L.L.B.O. The Captain explain the sights and points of interest along the way with informal talks. They offer: daytime excursions, dinner/sunset cruises, island restaurant stopovers, fall colour tours and two-hour sightseeing tours.
There are 3 public boat launches in Parry Sound, and the opportunity to rent transient or permanent dockage for your boat, should you wish to leave it in the water. Canoes and kayaks can be rented from White Squall or Georgian Bay Marina. Should you wish to rent a boat or jet-ski, you are required to have a boat operator’s license. 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast has off-street parking for trailers.
National Geographic Magazine rated White Squall the fourth best paddling outfitter in the world. They are the leaders in sea kayak instruction and tripping; many of the staff are nationally certified instructors and wilderness guides. They have two shops in the Parry Sound region with paddling accessories and camping gear & clothing. At the paddling centre (open at the beginning of May) you'll find one of the largest selections of sea kayaks and canoes for rent and for sale. You can try out your paddling skills any time at the paddling centre. Lessons, day and overnight trips and special events are available.
Big Sound Marina is a 120-serviced slip marina for transient vessels up to 60 feet. Reservations a re accepted, but not required at this "Clean Marine" participant. Washrooms, hot showers, barbeques, laundry facilities, marine pump-out and internet access are all available. 40 Bay Street is just a short stroll up the street to accommodate extra boating guests.
Located on Georgian Bay, water taxis are available at any time to take you anywhere you need to go. These smaller craft provide scenic boat rides, transportation to Henry's Fish Restaurant on Frying Pan Island, trips to water-access only cottages on a flexible schedule. Please talk to us about your particular needs and we can recommend the taxi most suitable to your needs.
Located on Georgian Bay, there are two beaches in right in Parry Sound - Waubuno Park offers a variety of recreational choices, comprising of a beach, basketball court, snack bar, comfort station, and large playground. A variety of community events are held here each year, including the annual Dragon Boat Festival. The "Old Town Beach" doesn't have any amenities, just a beautiful sand beach, a giant outcropping of rocks, and a fantastic view of Sail Parry Sound - a sail training facility. Killbear Provincial Park also offers a wonderful beach to swim at; municipalities located on the Bay have public beaches, as do many of the larger local lakes.
Fishing is a year-round past time in the Parry Sound area. Most Canadian residents need an Ontario-issued Outdoors Card and fishing license tag to fish in Ontario if they are at least 18 years old but have not reached their 65th birthday. Non-resident anglers may purchase a fishing license that is effective immediately at the local sporting goods store (Canadian Tire). If you have your own boat, there are several boat launches in town, and 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast has great off-street parking available for your boat and trailer. No boat? No problem! Boat charters are available on Georgian Bay or inland lakes, while great fly-in fishing adventures are available on some of the remote lakes. In the winter, there are a number of Ice Fishing Derbies throughout the area at various times - bring the whole family for a day of fun, fishing in-land lakes and on the Bay. Local provincial parks have a "Tackle Share Program" where participants can sign out an assortment of fishing tackle at no fee for the day.
If you're a certified diver, check out the variety of diving opportunities in the area - from ship wrecks to fantastic rock formations. You can rent equipment, get advice on where the best diving is, and even come up with suitable options for snorkelling, to meet the needs of the non-divers in your group.
Dragon boats are the largest flat water racing canoes in the world. Constructed of solid teak, dragon boats weigh 700 kgs. and are over 12 meters in length. Each Dragon Boat team consists of 20 paddlers (with a minimum of 8 females), a drummer, and a steersperson. The Festival includes entertainment, vendors and children's activities.