We were happy to pull out of Killbear and be on our way. Not knowing what to expect in Killarney, it turned out to be one of our favorite stops. Our travels through Georgian Bay brought us to the Killarney Channel where the water became a beautiful clear aqua. We passed a number of lighthouses along the way and one marked the entrance to the channel. The small community of Killarney sits along the mainland side of the mile long, hundred yard wide channel that separates George Island from mainland Ontario.
Along the Killarney Channel we were impressed with the history. Until 1962, Killarney was only accessible by water, therefore the local businesses had docks rather than parking lots. Before Killarney became the township it is today (population of less than 500), if you wanted groceries, you pulled up to “Pitfield’s General Store” dock. Pitfield’s is the only grocery store in town. The local LCBO (Liquor Control Board Ontario) was next. We watched a seaplane pull in for a bottle of wine and beer.
“World Famous” Herbert’s Fisheries is located along the water in the center of town. All of their fish is caught in Lake Huron by its fishing boat “Playfiar II” that docks here as well. They only have fish on the menu – you can order a 2-piece dinner with fries and slaw, or you can order a 6-piece dinner to share.
A short distance later was our destination, The Sportsman’s Inn, with docks on both sides of the channel. We docked on the island side and had a perfect view of all the comings and goings in the channel. Sportsman’s Inn has a drive-inn movie theater, which is actually a boat-in movie theater. During the summer months they project movies on a large white billboard across the channel from the Inn. Inn patrons and boaters tune in their radios for sound and watch the movie on the large screen.
This was our view East and West. Out to the east, where we entered, is Georgian Bay. Out the West, our exit, would be the beginnings of the Killarney Range mountains.
The channel was busy with floatplanes, a small sailboat parade (I think they were all homemade), more floatplanes, kayaks, paddleboats, canoes, peddle “bikes”, dozens of dinghies, and every kind of boat imaginable.
Karen playing in her dinghy……
This is Nick, our favorite employee at the Sportsman’s Inn. Nick, along with helping boaters dock, fuel, etc., would shuttle us back and forth across the channel in “Tinker Bell”, the Inn’s pontoon shuttle.
Since each dock was outfitted with two bright red Adirondack chairs, it was the perfect spot for us to watch the traffic on the channel.
The waters were so clear we thought we saw a sunken treasure here……still not sure……
The variety of boats continued to entertain us……..
…and same for the houses that dotted the shoreline…..
Ominous clouds rolled in the next day but we didn’t let that stop us. We packed our umbrella and walked to town. It was a short walk and we got to see the same businesses from the street side. We decided to walk to the general store to pick up a few things, but along the way ran upon a farmer’s market where we picked up some fruits and vegetables.
This was “The Hermitage”, not exactly the same as the one in Nashville, but caught our attention all the same…..
Everyone recommended the souvenir store to pick up a few local gifts for the grandkids so we walked down Waterfront Street, took a right on Charles, passed the OPP (police station), only to find a little one-room house with nothing more than a few sundries and nick-nacks. We left empty handed and chalked the walk up to “exercise”. And we got to visit the small stone Irish Catholic church.
On our last day we took a walk to the Killarney Mountain Lodge. It was a very nice resort and it also had it’s own marina.
In their bar we ordered our first order of “Poutine”. Poutine is very popular in Canada and, like butter tarts, we had to try it while there. Poutine is a bowl of french fries smothered in brown gravy and topped with cheese curd! Was not our favorite way to eat french fries – but we can say we had it!
Back at the Sportsman’s Inn we had dinner in the pub – a Killarney burger and flatbread pizza.
It’s sad, but a big part of our entertainment each day is the sunrise and the sunset.
RANDOM STUFF: Here is a perspective of the loopers in this area.