Points of Interest
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.