Penetanguishene, often shortened to Penetang, is a quaint, historical town of approximately 9000 residents located within Simcoe County. The name Penetanguishene is believed to come from either the Wyandot Or Abenaki via Ojibwe meaning "land of the white rolling sands".
Located on the southeasterly tip of Georgian Bay and incorporated on February 22, 1882, this bilingual (French and English) community is one of only three communities in Central and Southwestern Ontario where the population of francophones exceeds the provincial average of five percent. The town is also 12.6% Métis, compared to the provincial average of 0.6%. Penetanguishene has a rich heritage of cultures and people.
The Town of Penetanguishene offers many recreational and scenic areas including Huronia Park/Beach a short walk from the Champlain Shores community, as well as the 90 acre Rotary Champlain Wendat Park. Overlooking the inner harbour, Rotary Park celebrates our four cultures; Anglophone, Francophone, Indigenous and Metis. The shoreline park offers an opportunity to glimpse our 400 year history as visitors walk the path viewing hand crafted statues and historical plaques. More recently the Park has seen the addition of an amphitheatre, fishing dock and playground featuring a popular children’s splash pad.
Long recognized as having one of the most beautiful and protected harbours, Penetang is a haven for boating enthusiasts. From your home in the Champlain Shores community explore our Gateway to the 30,000 Islands in your or boat or simply enjoy the view of the various watercraft.
Within steps of the new Champlain Shores planned community, Discovery Harbour tells the story of the intriguing British Naval and Military outpost and its role in the War of 1812. Nestled within Discovery Harbour, the King’s Wharf Theatre is a 385-seat entertainment venue that offers all the comforts of a modern facility, featuring live musical performances and theatre. Flanked by the historic buildings, the theatre is located at the end of a beautiful boardwalk that looks on to the homeport of replica ships H.M.S. Bee and H.M.S. Tecumseth. Discovery Harbour is also home to Captain Roberts Table a restaurant and special event venue where guests can enjoy deliciously crafted food with an unparalleled view.
Immerse yourself in the rich history of our Town with a visit to The Penetanguishene Centennial Museum & Archives. The Museum is a labour of love with a strong volunteer base of individuals committed to bringing our history to life. Wander through one of Ontario’s last original general stores viewing the collection of memorabilia and partake in the vast assortment of special events throughout the year. A must see!
The Penetanguishene Public Library is a bilingual community oriented partner that fosters leisure reading and lifelong learning. The Penetanguishene Friends of the Library are a committed community of volunteers bringing various extra curricular activities to the facility such as introduction to Spanish, adult and children’s crafts and so much more. Our Library is a vibrant part of our Town.
Winter in Penetanguishene is breathtaking! We get plenty of snow and we know how to play. On any winter day you may see people skating or cross country skiing on the frozen harbour, snowmobiling or snowshoeing. Open year round, nearby Awenda Provincial Park features many kilometres of groomed trails for hiking and cross country skiing. Another year round destination for recreation and education is the 3,000 acre Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre in nearby Midland. Downhill skiing can be enjoyed in nearby Mount St Louis, Blue Mountain or Snow Valley. Indoor sports include a large curling community, bowling, gentle stretching, yoga, social clubs and countless volunteer opportunities.
Our neighbouring community of Midland features the Georgian Bay General Hospital, big box shopping, movie theatre, Midland Cultural Centre & Quest Art Gallery, North Simcoe Recreation Centre, Georgian Bay boat cruises and plenty of special events including Ontario’s Best Buttertart Festival, Ribfest and Canada Day Celebrations to name just a few. Both Penetanguishene and Midland have recently reconstructed their main streets enhancing the downtown experience while visiting various shops, restaurants and services. Benches, flower boxes, and street art abounds!
On the outskirts of Midland, just off Highway 12, is the magnificent national treasure known as Martyrs Shrine. Martyrs Shrine offers a holy and historic space of education, spiritual conversation and Sacrament. The Shrine and surrounding grounds welcome thousands of pilgrims annually.
Adjacent to Martyrs Shrine is Saint Marie Among the Hurons another nationally recognized attraction in our area and proud to be one of ONTARIO SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES. Step back in time to 17th century Canada, touch history, and experience life at this historic French Jesuit mission in the heart of the Huron-Wendat First Nation. A top Ontario attraction, December’s First Light is a multi evening event on the grounds of Saint Marie. Visitors stroll through the candlelit pathways and historic buildings, dressed up for the holiday season. A one of a kind event not to be missed!
We have so much to to experience in our Southern Georgian Bay Area! In addition to those already mentioned we have an extensive network of hiking and biking trails, countless local farm stands, numerous golf courses, antique shops and a local art scene.
Getting to our area is easy via Highway 400, Highway 93 or Highway 12. While in either Midland or Penetanguishene a local bus service running in and around the two towns is a convenient alternative to driving if you prefer.
Please join us in the Heart of Georgian Bay, we live it and you’ll love it!