Batchawana Bay

Coordinates: 46°52′55″N 84°28′59″W / 46.88194°N 84.48306°W / 46.88194; -84.48306[1]
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Batchawana Bay
Batchawana Bay is located in Ontario
Batchawana Bay
Batchawana Bay
Location in Ontario
LocationAlgoma District, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates46°52′55″N 84°28′59″W / 46.88194°N 84.48306°W / 46.88194; -84.48306[1]
EtymologyBadjiwanung, Ojibwe for "swift water/current"
Part ofWhitefish Bay, Lake Superior
Primary inflows
Basin countriesCanada
IslandsBatchawana Island

Batchawana Bay is a small bay in Algoma District in Northeastern Ontario, Canada.[1] It is on the eastern shore of Lake Superior, approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Sault Ste. Marie.

The name "Batchawana" is derived from the Ojibwe word obatchiwanang (or spelled badjiwanung), meaning "current at the strait" or "narrows and swift water there", and refers to the turbulent or bubbling waters flowing between Batchawana Island and Sand Point where the lake narrows and a strong current and undertow results. The Ojibwe believed this was caused by an underwater spirit about to surface.[2][3][4]


The bay, part of Whitefish Bay, is formed on the north side by the Whitefish Point on the Canadian side of Lake Superior. Havilland and Harmony Bays are 2 smaller sub-bays within it.[5][6]

Batchawana Island, with an area of more than 2,100 hectares (5,200 acres) and a coastline of 32 kilometres (20 mi), is a large and only island in the middle of the bay.[7] This pristine undeveloped island was also reputedly the site of Spirit houses (elevated graves) of the Ojibwe.[4] Batchawana Island and Whitefish Point are both important routes and stopovers for migratory birds.

Batchawana Bay Provincial Park is located on the northern shore of the bay,[8][9] and the unincorporated place and Compact Rural Community of Batchawana Bay is on the northwest shore of the bay.[10] The community is along Highway 563.

Nearby Batchawana Mountain (47°03′55″N 84°24′39″W / 47.06528°N 84.41083°W / 47.06528; -84.41083) is the fourth highest point in Ontario at 653 metres (2,142 ft).[11][12]


Batchawana Bay was an important fishing site for the Ojibwe. A trading post was established on Batchawana Island near the mouth of the Batchawana River for fur trading around 1817 or 1819 by clerks of the North West Company.[13][14] After the merger of the North West Company with the Hudson's Bay Company, the post (spelled "Batchewana" or "Bachawinna" at the time) continued to operate as a HBC winter outpost for Michipicoten until 1870.[15]

In the early 1920s, the largest fish ever recorded in the Great Lakes was caught by Frank Lapoint in the bay. A sturgeon, it was reportedly 90 years old, measured 2.25 m (7.5 ft) and weighed 140 kg (310 lb).[4]

The bay was historically notable as the dividing point separating the two Robinson Treaty areas between the Crown and the Ojibwe people.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Batchawana Bay". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2018-07-01. (bay)
  2. ^ Boyle, Terry (2011). Hidden Ontario: secrets from Ontario's past. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 106. ISBN 9781554889563.
  3. ^ Franklin, Dixie (1991). Faces of Lake Superior (1st ed.). [West Bloomfield, MI]: A & M. p. 62. ISBN 9781878005144.
  4. ^ a b c Chisholm, Barbara; Gutsche, Andrea; Floren, Russell (1998). Superior: Under the Shadow of the Gods. Toronto: Lynx Images. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0-9698427-7-4. OCLC 39380117.
  5. ^ "Havilland Bay". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada.
  6. ^ "Harmony Bay". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada.
  7. ^ "Batchawana Island". 2021. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Batchawana Bay Provincial Park". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2018-07-01. (park)
  9. ^ "Batchawana Bay". Ontario Parks. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
  10. ^ "Batchawana Bay". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2018-07-01. (unincorporated place)
  11. ^ "Batchawana Mountain". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2018-07-01. (mountain)
  12. ^ "Mountains". Atlas of Canada. Natural Resources Canada. 2009-08-12. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
  13. ^ Ernest Voorhis. "Historic Forts and Trading Posts of the French regime and of the English Fur Trading Companies". Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  14. ^ Anick, Norman (1976). "The Fur Trade in Eastern Canada Until 1870" (PDF). Manuscript Report Number. I (207). National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Hudson's Bay Company: Batchewana". Archives of Manitoba - Keystone Archives Descriptive Database. Retrieved 20 June 2023.

External links[edit]

Media related to Batchawana Bay at Wikimedia Commons