Gordon/Barrie Island

Points of Interest

Located at Janet Head at the end of Lighthouse Road, this Georgian-style lighthouse was built in 1879 and contains a fascinating history of maritime life, local development, and tragedy. Visit for a guided tour available a few afternoons each week in July and August.

On Golf Course Rd. off Highway 542. Nine scenic holes, club and cart rentals. Restaurant and bar.

Following the Second World War, the Federal Department of Transport decided to establish an airport on Manitoulin to provide radio and weather information and an emergency landing centre. Since its completion in 1947, the airport has remained a vital asset for the area.

Enjoy both of Gordon’s sandy beaches located at Tobacco Lake and Julia Bay. Use the children’s area at Tobacco Lake or practice your diving on the raft at Julia Bay. Visit the Salmon Bay Park on Goosecap Crescent on Barrie Island for a peaceful picnic spot overlooking Lake Huron. While you’re there, use the nearby boat launch to take a tour of the waters – the same can be done close to the Julia Bay beach.

Gordon/Barrie Island

The Municipality of Gordon/Barrie Island is somewhat unique on Manitoulin Island: it is a completely rural township without a town, village or even hamlet within its borders.

In fact, the municipality is the product of the fairly recent amalgamation of two other completely rural townships: Gordon Township and Barrie Island Township.

Besides being home to a large percentage of Manitoulin Island’s best agricultural land, there are some other special features within the boundaries of Gordon/Barrie Island.

It is a rural municipality with a lighthouse. Janet Head Lighthouse has to be accessed via Gore Bay but it lies inside of Gordon/Barrie Island. It is a classic Great Lakes wooden lighthouse and to see it the visitor must follow the road that traces the shore line westward in the Town of Gore Bay. Past the Harbour Centre and Split Rail Brewery, this road becomes Lighthouse Road which leads, of course, to the lighthouse (names after the land feature it sits on, Janet Head.)

The municipality is also the host to the Manitoulin Island Country Club, a 9-hole, very friendly golf course situated just off Highway 542 and about 1 km south of that roadway’s terminus at Highway 540.

The country club has a licenced bar, there are club and cart rentals and the course’s location, amid that high-class farmland, is delightful.

In the Gordon/Barrie Island area:

The Gore Bay-Manitoulin Airport, close to the Barrie Island part of the amalgamated municipality, is another important feature of Gordon/Barrie Island. This was Manitoulin’s first airport (late 1940) and was established when Air Canada’s predecessor, Trans Canada Airlines was covering Canada using DC-3 aircraft for passenger service.

The airport in Gordon/Barrie Island was established by the federal Department of Transportation as one of a series of line-of-sight airports. (The next one south is at Wiarton and the next one north is at the Soo.)

Rural airports like Gore Bay-Manitoulin weren’t designed as passenger hubs but rather as emergency landing and fueling depots and as part of the national weather reporting service. The local weather reports on the CTV affiliate television station in Sudbury always reports the Island temperatures as Gore Bay temperatures because that is still where Island weather conditions are recorded.

The Gordon/ Barrie Island municipality office is located on Noble Road, just off Highway 540 at the corner dominated by Noble Lumber and Building Supplies.