Callander, Ontario

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Municipality of Callander
Main Street in Callander
Main Street in Callander
Four Seasons of Reasons
Callander is located in Southern Ontario
Location of Callander in Ontario
Coordinates: 46°13′N 79°22′W / 46.217°N 79.367°W / 46.217; -79.367
DistrictParry Sound
 • TypeTownship
 • MayorRobb Noon[1]
 • MPAnthony Rota
 • MPPVic Fedeli
 • Land102.98 km2 (39.76 sq mi)
 • Metro
788.48 km2 (304.43 sq mi)
 • Municipality (single-tier)3,964
 • Density38.5/km2 (100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code705
Marina on Callander Bay

The Municipality of Callander (formerly the Township of North Himsworth) is a township in central Ontario, Canada, located at the southeast end of Lake Nipissing in the Almaguin Highlands region of the District of Parry Sound. The municipality is located on Callander Bay, just south of North Bay.

The municipality renamed itself from North Himsworth to Callander in 2003, adopting the name of its major community because, in the words of then-mayor Bill Brazeau, "Nobody knew where North Himsworth was."[4]


The main community of Callander is located in the northeast corner of the municipality, along the eastern shore of Callander Bay.

The south shore of Callander Bay and Lake Nipissing (southwest of the town) represents the rural population of Callander, which primarily runs along Highway 654 West. This area includes the communities of Wisawasa and Lighthouse Beach.


Callander Bay is an eroded Proterozoic volcanic pipe formed by the violent, supersonic eruption of a deep-origin volcano, approximately 500 million years ago. It is one of eight known volcanic sites in Ontario, including the Manitou Islands in North Bay.

The first people in the Callander area were of Ojibwa and Algonquin descent who have lived around Lake Nipissing for about 9,400 years. Though in history known by many names, they are currently known as Nipissing First Nation. They are generally considered part of the Anishinaabe peoples, a grouping which includes the Odaawaa, Ojibwe and Algonquins.

In 1610, French explorer Samuel de Champlain sent a young apprentice, Étienne Brûlé, to live with the Huron natives at Georgian Bay. While en route, Brûlé discovered Lake Nipissing via the La Vase River Portage (approximately 3 km north of Callander) and established a major fur trading route linking the Ottawa River with the upper Great Lakes. Other explorers who used the La Vase Portage were Samuel de Champlain in 1615, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye in 1731, Alexander Henry the elder in 1761 and Sir Alexander MacKenzie in 1802.

In 1880, George Morrison, a bookkeeper from Oxford County in Southern Ontario travelled by ox-cart from Muskoka to Lake Nipissing. There he built a raft and floated his family and possessions across the lake to the south-east bay. Logging companies had taken interest in the abundant Eastern White Pine that grew in the area. He was one of its first pioneers and his wife was the first white woman. On June 1, 1881, he opened a Post Office in his general store and named it after his parents' Scottish birthplace of Callander.

Lumber companies that established mills in Callander included:

  • J.R. Booth Lumber Company
  • John B. Smith & Sons Lumber Company
  • Payette Lumber Company
  • Thomas Darling & Sons Lumber Company

Notable people[edit]

Prominent people who have lived in Callander include:


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Callander had a population of 3,964 living in 1,636 of its 1,758 total private dwellings, a change of 2.6% from its 2016 population of 3,863. With a land area of 102.98 km2 (39.76 sq mi), it had a population density of 38.5/km2 (99.7/sq mi) in 2021.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Long-serving northern mayor Hector Lavigne dies suddenly
  2. ^ "2021 Census Profile".
  3. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions (municipalities), Ontario". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  4. ^ "Callander grows selectively". Northern Ontario Business, January 2005.
  5. ^ "Michael J. Fox".

External links[edit]