The small town of Tobermory, which bears that name and is situated at the very tip of the Bruce Peninsula, is also referred to as the “capital of freshwater scuba diving in the world.” The Chi-Cheemaun ferry, which connects Manitoulin Island to the mainland, is also located there. The magnificent Niagara Escarpment, Flowerpot Island, and two national parks are all visible to tourists. Visitors can enjoy an experience like no other thanks to the Tobermory landscape. Some of nature’s most stunning vistas are set against the imposing cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment.
Tobermory is home to over 20 shipwrecks
The Fathom Five National Marine Park offers a wide range of underwater activities, including some of Canada’s best freshwater diving opportunities.
A variety of underwater diving experiences are available thanks to the clear, clean water, underwater geological formations (cliffs, caves, and overhangs), and more than 20 historic shipwrecks. You can see shipwrecks while diving, snorkelling, boating, or even right from the harbour!
Everyone can find something to explore and enjoy in the park, from inexperienced snorkelers to the most experienced divers. The City of Grand Rapids and the Sweepstakes, two shipwrecks in Big Tub Harbour, are accessible to snorkelers and open water divers.
The Canadian schooner Sweepstakes, also known as Sweeps, was constructed in Burlington, Ontario, in 1867. It was damaged off Cove Island and towed to Big Tub Harbour in Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay, where it sank in September 1885 after being damaged there. Ontario’s Fathom Five National Marine Park, Big Tub Harbour is home to Sweepstakes’ wreckage. The schooner is reportedly one of the most well-liked wrecks in the park, and tourists, divers, and snorkelers frequently stop by to explore it. The hull of Sweepstakes is said to be in perfect condition, and the 20 foot depth makes it camera perfect.
City of Grand Rapids
Another well-traveled shipwreck close to the sweepstakes is the City of Grand Rapids. It lies in 15 feet of water, perfect for snorkelers to see. A double-decked steamer named the City of Grand Rapids operated the coastal trade route between Owen Sound and the communities on Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula. The Grand Rapids caught fire that evening, October 29, 1907, as it was berthed in Little Tub Harbour. The tug Clucas took the burning ship in tow, towed it out of the harbour, and released it under Captain Alex Craigie’s direction. After that, the City of Grand Rapids slid into Big Tub Harbour. As it burned on, it eventually came to rest at the head of the harbour, where it rolled to starboard, burned to the water’s edge, and sank.
Tobermory offers a variety of activities for divers and snorkelers. There are options for boat tours, sightseeing, camping, cottages, and taking in the view of the crystal clear waters. Tobermory has a population of about 1,000 people, but it has been reported that over 700,000 tourists, particularly divers from all over the world, are drawn there during the summer.