Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
The page shows real photo postcards from a number of communities in Bruce County, Ontario, organized by community, with a primary interest in those found on the Bruce Peninsula.
Below, an excerpt from an 1880 map of the “Four Northern Townships of the Indian Peninsula”.
The Bruce Peninsula encompasses the northernmost part of Bruce County, and is characterized by its extensive shoreline along Lake Huron to the east, and Georgian Bay to the west, and the presence of the Niagara Escarpment, which is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The Niagara Escarpment dates back about 450 million years.
Occupied by the Saugeen Ojibway Nations, dating back about 7,500 years, today the Chippewas of Nawash at Cape Croker, and the Chippewas of Saugeen at Chippewa Hill are seeking settlement of a land claim dating to 1994 based on the Crown’s failure to honour treaty obligations dating back to 1854, when a treaty granted the Crown rights to the peninsula.
European settlers began to occupy the Bruce Peninsula in the mid-1800s. The rich forests of the peninsula were laid waste in a short period of time, starting with the first sawmill in Tobermory in 1881. By about 1900, most of the best of the forest were gone, and by the 1920s, most of the forest cover on the peninsula had been devastated, with the exception of the tenacious old growth cedar forests that clung to the face of the escarpment.
While the Bruce Peninsula’s recent history is one of small towns and villages, today the peninsula has a seasonal population of cottage-dwellers and other tourists that exceeds the year-round population.