Nestled in the heart of the Parry Sound District in Ontario,  Lake Manitouwabing is a picturesque freshwater lake that attracts visitors from all over the world. Its breathtaking natural scenery and the diverse range of outdoor activities available make it an ideal vacation spot for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth analysis of the history of Lake Manitouwabing, its geography, and the current real estate market trends and statistics. Whether you are interested in purchasing a property on the lake or simply want to learn more about this stunning destination, this article is the perfect place to start.

Sue and I plan on paddling the lake later this summer so we'll add some more photos information on day paddles from McKellar. With all its bays & islands it will be a really interesting lake to explore.

Lake Manitouwabing cottage
Indigenous History

The history of Lake Manitouwabing dates back centuries ago when the region was inhabited by the Anishinaabe people. The lake played a significant role in the lives of these indigenous communities, providing them with food, water, and transportation. The lake was an important gathering place for the Anishinaabe people, who called the lake Manitouwabing, meaning "Spirit Lake". The Anishinaabe people have lived in the area for over 10,000 years and have a deep connection to the land and water.

In the 19th century, European settlers arrived in the area, and the lake became a vital hub for logging and fishing industries. Today, Lake Manitouwabing is a popular vacation destination that attracts visitors from all over the world.

In the mid-1600s, the French arrived in the area and established trade relationships with the Anishinaabe people. These relationships were built on mutual respect and helped to shape the cultural landscape of the region. Today, the Anishinaabe people continue to live in the area and have a strong presence in the community.

Lake History

Early maps called its upper section Minerva Lake. Later documents referred to the whole of it as Manitowaba, or Manitowabin. It's a glacial lake that was formed approximately 10,000 years ago. It is one of the largest lakes in the Parry Sound district, covering an area of approximately 16 square kilometers. The lake is known for its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and beautiful scenery. It is home to a wide variety of fish, including northern pike, smallmouth bass, and walleye.

The lake has a rich history of recreational activities, with many cottages and resorts built along its shores. The lake has been a popular destination for vacationers for over a century, with many families returning year after year to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the lake.

Lake Data

According to the lake association "Manitouwabing Lake is a sprawling, many bayed lake on the North Branch of the Seguin River. It is essentially shallow with isolated basins of deeper water. Water temperatures during summer surveys ranged between 69F at the surface and 40F near the bottom. Thermal stratification was not well developed in the larger basins. Mean dissolved oxygen content ranged between 9.2 parts per million near the surface and 8.2 parts per million near the bottom. The water is neutral (mean pH 7.0) and light brown in colour (secchi disc reading 9 feet). An average total dissolved solids concentration of 37 parts per million was determined from conductivity readings. Lake Manitouwabing is one of the largest lakes in the region, with a surface area of 1178 hectares and almost 120 kms of shoreline. The lake is 18 kilometers long and has a maximum depth of 33 meters. It is located in the district of Parry Sound and is part of the Magnetawan River watershed."

The lake is fed by the Middle River as well as several small streams and is drained by the Magnetawan River system , which flows into Georgian Bay. The lake has several islands and bays that are popular for boating and fishing.

The M.N.R. states on their website that " The water level on the lake is controlled by a dam on the outlet at Hurdville which has raised the water by approximately 2.5 m from its’ natural level. As a result, there are significant flooded areas with soft bottom, which may explain the high abundance of Brown Bullhead in the lake. The fishery has been relatively well studied due to perennial interest by the local community, particularly in the stocking of the lake with Walleye. The Walleye population is self-sustaining through natural reproduction. In general, supplemental stocking of self-sustaining population is not done because it is not effective and can have long-term negative impacts on the natural reproduction"

Major Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Lake Whitefish, Northern Pike and Black Crappie.

Manitouwabing Cottage Real Estate

Lake Manitouwabing, Parry Sound area

The demand for waterfront properties on Lake Manitouwabing is driven by its natural beauty, world class golf course and proximity to Parry Sound. It will be interesting to watch the post-pandemic real estate market on Manitouwabing and see if the generally down-turn is somewhat buffered by it's popularity.

In terms of property types, there is a wide range of options available for buyers in many price ranges. Seasonal cottages generally sell for between $750,000 and $950,000 with year round lake homes generally selling between $1,200,000 to over $3,000,000++. Very few good vacant properties come to the market.

Some of the popular communities around Lake Manitouwabing include McKellar, Dunchurch, and Parry Sound. McKellar is a small town on the northwestern shore of the lake that offers amenities such as a grocery store, a restaurant, and a marina. Dunchurch is a village located just a short drive north of the lake that offers additional services, including a gas station and a post office. Parry Sound is a larger city located about 30 kilometers east of the lake, which offers a range of services and amenities.

If you're considering purchasing a property on Lake Manitouwabing, it's important to work with a local real estate agent who has experience in the area. We can help you navigate the local real estate market and find a property that meets your needs and budget. Additionally, we can provide you with information about local zoning regulations and bylaws that may affect your property.

Things to do in the McKellar Area

  1. The Ridge at Manitou

The Ridge at Manitou is a premier golf course located on the southwestern shore of Lake Manitouwabing. This 18-hole championship golf course was designed by renowned golf course architect Thomas McBroom and offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding wilderness. In addition to golfing, The Ridge at Manitou also offers a restaurant, clubhouse, and a pro shop.

  1. Oastler Lake Provincial Park

Located about 30 kilometers north of Lake Manitouwabing, Oastler Lake Provincial Park offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and swimming. The park features several hiking trails that wind through the forest and around the lake, providing scenic views of the surrounding wilderness. The park also has a sandy beach and a boat launch for those looking to cool off in the lake.

  1. Parry Sound and Georgian Bay

Parry Sound is a city located about 30 kilometers east of Lake Manitouwabing, and Georgian Bay is a large body of water located to the north of the city. Parry Sound offers a range of services and amenities, including restaurants, shops, and museums. Visitors can take a cruise on the Georgian Bay to explore the nearby islands and experience the stunning natural beauty of the region.

  1. White Squall Paddling Centre

One of our favorite outdoor stores,The White Squall Paddling Centre is located about 30 kilometers north of Lake Manitouwabing. They have a great knowledgeable staff and the owners, Tim & Kathy, are wonderful community minded folks. Visitors can explore the nearby Georgian Bay and experience the natural beauty of the region from the water.

  1. Killbear Provincial Park

Located about 50 kilometers north of Lake Manitouwabing, Killbear Provincial Park is a popular destination for camping, hiking, and swimming. The park features several sandy beaches and hiking trails that wind through the forest and along the shoreline.

  1. The Museum on Tower Hill

Located in the nearby town of Parry Sound, The Museum on Tower Hill offers visitors a chance to explore the history and culture of the region. The museum features several exhibits that showcase the natural and cultural history of the area, including displays on the region's Indigenous peoples, early settlers, and local wildlife.

  1. Seguin Valley Golf Club

Located about 25 kilometers southeast of Lake Manitouwabing, Seguin Valley Golf Club is a championship golf course that offers stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. The course was designed by renowned golf course architect Doug Carrick and features a range of challenging holes and scenic views.

Looking to buy a cottage or home in the Parry Sound Area? Reach out and let us know what you're looking for!