The Park officially opened in July of
1967, a credit to the Chippewas of Nawash Band who recognized
the potential and intrinsic value of such an area to the Band
members of present and future generations.
Planning for the development of the Park was initiated in the
early 1960's. Hastened by the need to provide on-Reserve
employment for the Band members in a community where staggering
numbers were unemployed. A request was made to the Federal
Government through the Indian Affairs Branch and to the
Department of Lands and Forests (Now the Ministry of Natural
Resources) under the Parks Assistance Act. The application was
accepted and the Park designated an approved Park by the Parks
Integration Board on July 18, 1963 and by Order in Council No.
OC2526/63 dated August 16, 1963. The Treasury Board of the
Province also approved funds towards the purchase of the
property, preliminary planning and limited initial improvement
projects. Preliminary negotiations for the purchase of lands to
form the Cape Croker Park were initiated in 1963 and concluded
in 1964 with the acquisition of about 520 acres surrounding
Sydney Bay. Construction of Access Roads, Buildings; Comfort
Station & Gate House, Fences, Picnic Tables, Campsites,
Nature Trails, Signs etc. began in earnest (A welcomed boost to
the economy of a small community).
A full forty years have past since the opening day in July
The Cape Croker Park now directly employs several seasonal
employees, and several summer students. The members of the
Chippewas of Nawash now enjoy the spin-offs of such a business;
e.g. Variety Stores, Gas Station which caters to the Band
members and tourists alike, a ready market for fresh fish
caught out of the waters of Georgian Bay. Some visitors to the
Reserve are so taken by the beauty, the clean refreshing water
and the relaxing atmosphere, that they now make this Reserve
their home away from home by purchasing seasonal permits of
their favourite campsite.
The Park lands envelope the Western portion of Sydney Bay which
is an inlet from Georgian Bay, into which Cape Croker itself
projects. The property is dominated by the craggy escarpment
which rises to a maximum height of 250 feet above lake level.
The Western half of the Park rises consistently from the shore
to the Major Escarpment and is almost totally treed with mixed
growths of substantial size and exists generally in an
undisturbed state. A number of small spring fed streams lead
into the head of Sydney Bay primarily from the marshy area,
although some springs emanate on the lower levels of the Bank.
The water depth at the head of the Bay is relatively shallow.
The limestone bluffs which extend east of the Park property
towards the Cape, provide numerous vantage points from which to
view the Park and the head of Sydney Bay - a truly magnificent
site cradled between craggy limestone bluffs.