City of Orillia
Atherley Narrows | Orillia, ON

Atherley Narrows

A point of interest on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour available on the Tripvia Tours App for Android & iPhone.

Listen to the tour audio!

Audio Excerpt

Welcome to the Atherley narrows. You're standing right where the first settlement on Lake Couchiching took shape hundreds of years ago!

The Narrows is a thin peninsula of land separating Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching. For centuries, it had been an important part in the aboriginal trade routes that branched out throughout central Ontario. The Hurons called it, ‘The Meeting Place of the Trails’.

Early fur traders generally followed traditional aboriginal routes, so by the early 1800s The Narrows had become an important location in the fur trade.

Antoine Gaudaur, an ex-fur trader, was one of the first such settlers in the area. He fought in the War of 1812, and later married a Chippewa Chief's daughter. Their neighbour, Captain Thomson, was the single-most important individual in the development of The Narrows. He was a retired Royal Navy officer, and owned 914 acres on the north side of the narrows in 1832.

Thomson built a manor called Invermara, which also served as a court room after he was named a justice of the peace in 1833. He built farms that employed many local men, and built a wharf where the steamship Sir John Colborne would dock.

Between 1843 and 1964, three railway bridges were constructed, and the navigational channel dredged to allow larger boats to pass through. In 1970, the current version of the vehicle bridge was built, although improvements have been done since. The Narrows remains an important part of Orillia, and as you can see, is now home to a number of marina's and businesses.

Millennium Trail

Walking Tour

This POI is featured on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour, part of the Tripvia Tours mobile app available for Android & Apple.

Experience the beautiful waterfront trail in a unique and entertaining way!

Tours can be downloaded on WIFI and don't use any mobile date during tour.

Entertaining & Educational

Knowledgeable tour guides point out interesting things as you walk or bike.

Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia question that adds to the fun.

Tour experience is the same in either direction.

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