Killarney, Ontario is the gateway to the North Channel situated right at the entrance amidst the stunning white quartzite peaks and unique pink granite rock. Sitting on the waterways of Georgian Bay, the village of Killarney is the oldest community on the northern shores. The permanent population of the village is less than 500 people but it does not stop this stunning town from being a popular place for boats, hikers and general tourists from around the world.
Killarney, Ontario was originally known as Shebahonaning, an Obkibwe name meaning safe passage. The native peoples that enhabited this area hunted, fished and trapped here and eventually were joined by the French and English on their exploration of Canada. Killarney was established as a fur trade post in June of 1820. Fur tradining, logging, fishing, mining and tourism were the major players in building the local economy. The village had no road access until 1962. Prior to that steamships carried passengers and freight to the various locations on Georgian Bay and through the North Channel. Today mining and tourism are still Killarney, Ontario main industries.
Nestled into the base of the La Cloche mountain range this quaint little town is a reminder of an old fishing village complete with two working lighthouses to guide in boats. The mountain range that runs through Killarney are a small part of the Canaidan shield that stretches south to the township of Massey, through Killarney and southwest to Sudbury. These mountains are very popular for campers and hikers alike. There are many day and overnight hiking trails through the mountain range as well as Killarney Province Park is nestled into the middle of them.
Many of the visitors that come to explore Killarney also spend sometime in one of Ontarios most popular provincial parks, Killarney Provincial Park. You can read of our adventures in the provincial park here.
— WHERE TO STAY IN KILLARNEY? —
Thinking of staying at a hotel or B&B in the town? Make sure to book early as options are limited and fill up quickly, especially in the summer.
Killarney Mountain Lodge
Situated right on the waterfront this beautiful mountain lodge provides a great view of the marina and the Northern Channel. The hotel is only open Spring to Fall and books up very quickly. You have a choice of standard rooms, suites and cabins with rates varying from $160-$949 depending on your room choice and if you add a meal package onto your stay.
This inn is an old-time, three-storey Inn that has also been given a massive rennovation. Don’t let its old-style fool you with its interior being sleek and chic with modern wood furnishings, gas fireplaces and flat screen tv’s. All the rooms have a waterfront view and there is a large communal porch for people to relax on at anytime throughout the day. There are suites, motel style units as well as a few cabins to choose front. If you are coming in by boat there are many slips right infront of the Inn that provide power and can even deliver food to the boat.
Some other options that we did not have a chance to check out in the town are Killarney Bay Inn and Rock House Inn.
— WHERE TO EAT? —
There are a few options to eat in Killarney. Both The Sportsman Inn and Killarney Mountian Lodge offer full service dining as well as a more casual bar side option. We got the chance to eat at the Killarney Mountain Lodge and really enjoyed the service, the view of the sunsetting and our food.
Herbert Fisheries is also very well known for their fish and chips. This can be very busy but the line is well worth the wait if you are a fish and chips lover! If you are looking for some ice cream then stop by Channel Marina where you will be able to find lots of options. You can also purchase camping and boating supplies here if you are in need of those.
Lastly, if you are looking for some groceries instead of eating out, then the general store is the place to go. Located on the main street, they have everything you could need from forgotten overnight supplies, food and drinks. Close by to the general store you will be able to find an LCBO.
Despite its small year-round population, this is one of the best small towns in Canada. Between the views of Georgian Bay and the La Cloche Mountains, the great accommodations, food and actvities to do there is something for everyone and is great to visit in all seasons.