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Visiting Mazinaw Lake, Ontario: Seasonally Contrasted; Remote and Deep

Updated on March 28, 2020
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
This was how it looked from the top of Mazinaw Rock looking south west, down at the Bon Echo Inn Point in 1920. Bon Echo Inn Point and Bridge. Part of the Alfred Ross Oborne Collection.
This was how it looked from the top of Mazinaw Rock looking south west, down at the Bon Echo Inn Point in 1920. Bon Echo Inn Point and Bridge. Part of the Alfred Ross Oborne Collection. | Source

A resonance of recurring waves and sights faraway

[I have visited this area a number of times over many years.]

Close to Cloyne, Frontenac County, Eastern Ontario, in the Addington Highlands, is Mazinaw Lake.

This is a remarkable lake. It is deep by the standards of other Canadian lakes, including some of the Great Lakes. Lake Mazinaw's average depth is 41 metres and 145 metres at its deepest point. Put into perspective, when one considers for example that the average depth of Lake Erie is 19 metres, Mazinaw Lake is indeed a deep lake.

The lake is noted for the rock formations in its vicinity. Over 260 First Nations pictographs have been identified on some of these rocks. Bon Echo Provincial Park encompasses substantial areas of the wider vicinity. The nearby village of Coyne serves, in the summer months, as a venue for camping and vacationing supplies.

The lake area attracts a seasonal population. Part of Fishing Management Zone 18, the lake attracts many fishing enthusiasts and can become very busy in the summer months (1). Species of fish present in the lake include lake trout, pike and bass.

While the popular perception of Eastern Ontario may to some extent be of the populated area around Ottawa, and large towns along the St. Lawrence River, linked by the Highway 401 corridor, the location of Mazinaw Lake bears little relation to this perception. The lake is truly very isolated in the Addington Highlands. Even in this third decade of the 21st century, there are areas which have no reliable cellphone coverage.

The lake is noted for the presence of a rare species of turtle, known as Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) (2).

One of the well known personalities associated with the area was Dr. Weston Price (3), who with his wife Florence Weston built Echo Inn in 1899. A convinced Methodist, the Inn under his ownership was a popular centre for retreats among those who shared his persuasions.

Another well-known personality was Flora MacDonald Denison (1867-1921)(4), who with her husband Howard Denison was notably the owner of the Echo Inn close to Mazinaw Lake, which was turned into a regular gathering place for writers and artists, including members of the Canadian Seven.

The lake has long been a popular vacation and summer camp venue. Girl guides have been associated with summer activities by the lake. Camp Mazinaw for Boys operated from 1940 until 1986 (5).

Cloyne and District Historical Society has been the source of many items in an inventory of photos relating to Mazinaw Lake and Bon Echo Provincial Park (6).

Mazinaw Lake is situated close to Highway 41, a short distance north of Cloyne, Ontario.

March 28, 2020

Notes

(1) See also: https://www.anglersatlas.com/place/102326/mazinaw-lake

(2) See also: 'Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority - Mazinaw Lake', http://mvc.on.ca/mazinaw-lake/

(3) Dr Price was a notable dentist and medical researcher; and was often quoted for his views on nutrition (some of which have been called into question). See also: https://www.alternativeboomerlegacy.com/blog/weston-who

(4) Flora MacDonald Denison was very successful in business; and she also served as a teacher and authored some hundreds of newspaper columns. She was notably closely associated with the Canadian Suffrage Association.

(5) See also: 'Camp Mazinaw Alumni', http://campmazinaw.ca/

(6) See also: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Cloyne,_Ontario

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Bon Echo, Mazinaw Lake https://web.archive.org/web/20161021220015/http://www.panoramio.com/photo/58542480
Bon Echo, Mazinaw Lake https://web.archive.org/web/20161021220015/http://www.panoramio.com/photo/58542480 | Source
Flora MacDonald Denison Records of the National Woman's Party
Flora MacDonald Denison Records of the National Woman's Party | Source

Also worth seeing

In Cloyne itself, there is an often photographed oversized wooden lawn chair; a Pioneer Museum attracts tourists and family history researchers.

In Renfrew (distance: 108.9), the McDougall Mill Museum, in a stone building dating from 1855, overlooks the Bonnechere River; other notable buildings include the stone Government of Canada Building, with a conspicuous clock tower, dating from 1909; the original Swinging Bridge, repeatedly rebuit, dates from the late 19th century; Bonnechere Provincial Park is located near the town.

In Ottawa (distance: 181.8 kilometres), among the numerous visitor attractions are: Parliament Hill; the National War Memorial of Canada; Château Laurier; the Rideau Canal; Laurier House; Rideau Hall; the Bank of Canada Currency Museum; the Supreme Court of Canada Building, and many others.

Gatineau , Quebec (distance 183.5 kilometres); the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Musée canadien des civilisations), in Gatineau is Canada's most visited museum. Gatineau's Citizen's House (French: Masion du citoyen) has a noted art gallery and the Hall of the Nations (French: Hall des nations) containing valuable cultural artifacts from around the world. Gatineau Park (French: Parc de la Gatineau) has exceptional recreational and scenic possibilities.

Kingston (distance: 106.7 kilometres) visitor attractions include: Fort Henry; Bellevue House; the Neoclassical City Hall; the Frontenac County Courthouse; Portsmouth Village; the Flora MacDonald Confederation Basin; and many others.

...

How to get there: Air Canada flies from various North American destinations to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport / Aéroport international Macdonald-Cartier d'Ottawa (distance from Cloyne, Ontario: 183.5 kilometres); car rental is available. Rogers Airport (distance from Cloyne, Ontario: 101.5 kilometres), at Kingston, Ontario is served by Air Canada, offering scheduled flights to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide flight connections, and by charter airline Brock Air Services. Car rental is available from Kingston/Norman Rogers Airport.Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

A map of Ontario highlighting Frontenac County
A map of Ontario highlighting Frontenac County | Source

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