Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area
Thursday, September 21, 2017

Echo Bay & the Township of MacDonald, Meredith and Aberdeen Additional

General Information

  • Location - Highway 17, 638
  • Population in 2011 - 1,464
  • Access - Road, air
  • Official website - http://www.echobay.ca/

Overview

The Village of Echo Bay is situated approximately 26 km east of Sault Ste. Marie, on the shore of Lake George. Located at the junction of Highway 17 and Highway 638, Echo Bay is the commercial hub for the Township of MacDonald, Meredith and Aberdeen Additional. Echo Bay is an excellent place for the outdoor enthusiast to make a day trip, including taking a scenic drive through the Sylvan Valley by following Highway 638.

Europeans interested in the region’s lumber and rich agricultural soils were the first white settlers in the Echo Bay area. As settlement stretched throughout the region, by the 1860s communities were located in the Sylvan Valley, Bar River and Echo Bay. With the construction of a Canadian Pacific Railway Station in Echo Bay in 1888, the village of Echo Bay expanded with businesses and homes being constructed around the station. The C.P.R. station remained the centre of activity well into the twentieth-century carrying passengers and freight alike. The C.P.R. closed the station in 1977.

A variety of natural attractions and beauty surrounds Lake George and Echo Bay. Lake George, an important international flyway and nesting location for waterfowl and shorebirds, is home to the second largest wetland on the St. Mary’s River. The many bird, plant and fish species offer excellent opportunities for nature study and wildlife viewing. Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, hiking and boating make up the bulk of other popular recreational activities that can be experienced. Windsurfing is another activity that is gaining increased popularity in the area. The waters south of Echo Bay bridge have been designated as a “safe area” for windsurfing by the Ontario Provincial Police.

Ojibway/Laughing Water Park, located on the eastern edge of the Garden River Indian Reserve (just west of Echo Bay), offers an excellent location for day use beach activities or overnight camping. During the summer, the water is warm, the sand is perfect and there are a variety of activities presented in the park.

Locally, you can also enjoy the specialty shops, restaurants, general store, and for the traveller passing through, a full service gas station.

For those interested in learning more about the history of the area, the EKOBA Historical Society maintains a museum hat which contains artifacts and archives for the area. In order to view the museum, please contact the township office at (705) 248-2441, as the museum does not have regularly scheduled hours.

Within the township there is one campground and several parks.

• Memorial Park is a municipal park situated in the centre of the Village of Echo Bay. In the middle of the park stands a fountain surrounded by a variety of flowers. It offers visitors an opportunity to sit and relax.
• Tower Lake has a public beach/day park for everyone to enjoy. It does not permit overnight camping.
• Located on Highway 638 is Camp Wakonda. This camp presents an ideal location for family reunions, retreats, etc. The main lodge, cabins, and paths are wheelchair accessible. This camp is owned and operated by the Kiwanis Club of Sault Ste. Marie. For more information, call its proprietors at (705) 248-2552.

A person travelling along Highway 17 through Echo Bay may be surprised to see the giant Loon dollar monument. The monument was constructed in recognition of local artist, Robert Carmichael, who designed the Loon dollar that was distributed in 1987 as a form of Canadian currency. With the efforts of the local horticultural club, flowers encircle the monument and benches are provided for leisure relaxation. This little park is a popular rest area for travellers.

Birders and ornithologists will want to visit the Sault Naturalists and Ducks Unlimited viewing platforms located on both Lake George and Echo Bay. The latter offers excellent waterfowl viewing in the breeding season including Pied-billed Grebe, Black Terns, Marsh Wrens and Virginia Rails. The Lake George viewing platform provides observers with opportunities for viewing the spring migration of waterfowl including Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, American Widgeon, and Lesser and Greater Scaup.

There are several events that celebrate the outdoors. The long weekend of July sees the Elk’s Lodge put on the Echo Bay Hay Days. This event takes place at the Elk’s Lodge Grounds.

During the winter months, there are two events on the schedule. On the second weekend in December is the Parade of Lights. This event sees Memorial Park lit up in the spirit of Christmas. As well, the winter carnival takes place during the last week of January or the first week of February (weather dependent – contact the township office, (705) 248-2441, for an exact date).

For more information on Echo Bay and the Township of MacDonald, Meredith and Aberdeen Additional, contact the Township office at (705) 248-2441.