Learn about Canada’s Manitoulin Island from blogger Erin in today’s Exploring Geography post! Erin is a homeschooling mother of three who loves children of all ages, hiking, and a lot of coffee, but avoids spiders and clowns whenever possible. She blogs at The Usual Mayhem, and you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If she’s not there, she’s either teaching her weekly nature study class at Schoolhouseteachers.com, or hiding from the kids and eating chocolate. Visit Erin’s blog and check out her Mondrian-inspired tape resist masterpieces, Polar Animals unit, and Snowflake art.
By de:user:Daniel FR (Image:Great Lakes Lake Huron.png) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The whole population of Manitoulin Island is only a little over 12,000 people. What this means is that you can drive for miles without ever seeing another person. In fact, assuming that my often-shaky math is correct, it’s an average of less than 5 people per km2! It has a large Native population, mostly Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi.
There are many farmers, including my bloggy friend Christine and her husband. There are many families who have lived on Manitoulin for several generations, and there are an equal number of people who just wanted a great, unspoiled, unpolluted country life for their families on what we joke is the island that time forgot.
Don’t get me wrong; Manitoulin Island has internet, phone, Netflix and satellite TV, and all the things we use for everyday life. What you won’t find is Tim Horton, McDonalds, or any other big chain fast-food joints, dollar stores, giant warehouse stores, or Wal-Mart. You have to drive about 2 hours off the Island to see any of those. What you do get is fresh air, a small-town feel, friendly people, and some of the most beautiful views in Canada.
Misery Bay, a property with many hiking trails, donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada
Manitoulin Island has rock beds (“alvars”) that geologists have dated back to 150 million years ago. Imagine walking on a piece of history like that, every time you go for a hike!
We plan to live there full-time as soon as our house here sells (anyone want a beautiful home in small-town Quebec?!). If you are in Ontario, or planning a trip to Canada, don’t miss this beautiful summer spot!
Thank you, Erin, for introducing us to this wonderful place to live and visit!