Discovering Port McNicoll, Ontario: A Blend of History and Modernity
The Historical Significance of Port McNicoll, Ontario
Port McNicoll, Ontario, is a community nestled in the Simcoe County township of Tay. Established in 1908, Port McNicoll served as a bustling Great Lakes port on the southern shores of Georgian Bay. It was the home port of the Canadian Pacific Railway's Great Lakes Service, named after railway executive David McNicoll (1852-1916).
The community was the western terminus of the CPR's Georgian Bay and Seaboard Railway, connecting to its Ontario and Quebec Railway near Bethany. Warehouses, a station for passengers, a roundhouse, and railyards were constructed for handling package freight and servicing the trains. A large grain elevator was also built for storing grain brought in by bulk freighter from the Canadian Lakehead.
The Boat Train Era in Port McNicoll, Ontario
From 1912, Port McNicoll became the home port of the CPR's passenger and package freight steamships, SS Keewatin and flagship SS Assiniboia. These steamers would carry passengers from Toronto to Port Arthur / Fort William and back.
During the depression of the 1930s, the rail connection between Orillia and Lindsay was abandoned. However, the SS Keewatin and SS Assiniboia continued operating until the cessation of passenger service in 1965. The SS Keewatin, the last of the CPR Ships built in 1907, was returned to Port McNicoll in 2012 and is the last Edwardian steamship left in the world.
Life in Port McNicoll, Ontario
Port McNicoll, Ontario, once had a public elementary school that taught children from Jr. Kindergarten to Grade 8. However, as of June 2015, the school closed due to lack of funding. Students now commute to neighbouring Victoria Harbour for schooling.
Over the last 20 years, businesses in Port McNicoll have been on the decline. Despite this, the town remains vibrant, with its population increasing during the summer months due to cottagers. The annual Portarama festival held on Victoria Day weekend is one of the most popular events in the town.
Investment Opportunities in Port McNicoll, Ontario
Port McNicoll, Ontario, is currently undergoing a $1 billion redevelopment project. Skyline International Development Inc. is building a community for urban dwellers who want private marina space. With a Victorian style, Port McNicoll will see more than 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2) of commercial space added to the region. This investment interest signals a promising future for this historical town.