|Township of Ramara|
Municipal office in Brechin
|• Mayor||Basil Clarke|
|• MPs||Bruce Stanton|
|• MPPs||Jill Dunlop|
|• Total||418.82 km2 (161.71 sq mi)|
|• Density||22.7/km2 (59/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
Ramara was formed in 1994 through the amalgamation of the townships of Rama and Mara. The municipality stretches along the northeastern shore of Lake Simcoe from Gamebridge to Orillia, and along the entire eastern shore of Lake Couchiching from Orillia to Washago. Farming, tourism and aggregate are the primary industries, and are supported by a wide variety of local enterprises. The area is perhaps best known for its proximity to Casino Rama, which is actually located on the neighbouring First Nations reserve of Chippewas of Mnjikaning First Nation in Rama.
The township comprises the communities of Atherley, Bayshore Village, Bayview Beach, Bonnie Beach, Brechin, Brechin Beach, Brechin Point, Concord Point, Cooper's Falls, Fawkham, Floral Park, Fountain Beach, Gamebridge, Gamebridge Beach, Geneva Park, Glenrest Beach, Grays Bay, Floral Park, Hopkins Bay, Joyland Beach, Lagoon City, Lakeview Beach, Little Falls, Longford Mills, Mara Beach, Mariposa Beach, McDonald Beach, Millington (ghost town), Murphy Beach, New Gamebridge Beach, Oaklawn Beach, O'Connell, Orkney Point, Orkney Beach, Paradise Point, Point of Mara Beach, Prophet Beach, Ramona, Rathburn, Riverside Beach, Sandy Beach, Sandy Pine Beach, Southview Cove, Talbot, Tanglewood Beach, Udney, Uptergrove, and Val Harbour.
Brechin is one of the township's largest communities. It is known for its several local businesses such as a new Tim Hortons and a Statue Store. The town has all the necessities of a small town, such as a Foodland, LCBO, Legion, both a Shell and a nearby Ultramar, as well as schools and churches. The town is also a central meeting location for the area's youth where they partake in numerous recreational activity involving the town's proximity to the lake.
The Township of Ramara owns and operates the Ramara Centre, located at 5482 Highway 12, between Atherley and Uptergrove. The Township of Ramara also owns community centres in Longford, Udney and Brechin that are operated by Community Centre Boards of Management which are composed of volunteers.
There are three fire halls in the Township. Fire Hall #1 is located at 3290 County Road 47, Brechin at the corner of County Rd. 47 & Hwy. 12. Fire Hall #2 is located at 85 Patricia Drive, Atherley at the corner of Patricia Drive & Balsam Rd. Fire Hall #3 is located at 7305 Simcoe County Rd. 169, Washago at County Rd #169 & Switch Road.
The Ontario Lumberjack Championships were held at the Brechin Ball Park on the second Saturday in June in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The Canadian rock band, Floral Park, takes its name from the Floral Park community in which one of the band's members grew up.
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The former townships of Rama and Mara were first named in 1820. The origins of the names are unclear, as both may be either Spanish words (rama for "branch" and mara for "sea") or Biblical references (rama for Ramah, the biblical town of Benjamin in ancient Israel, and mara for Marah, named in the biblical Book of Exodus as the place where Moses sweetened the bitter waters for the Israelites.) As both styles of place naming were popular in Ontario at the time, it is not clear which one Lieutenant-Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland had in mind. Being British, the names likely originated from the Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit text. Rama (Ramachandra), is a major deity of Hinduism. He is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu. Mara is a Sanskrit word meaning "death" or any personification thereof. In Hinduism, Mara is the goddess of death.
The townships were originally part of York County, but were transferred to Ontario County when they were first incorporated as an amalgamated municipality in 1852. They were later reincorporated as separate municipalities in 1869.
A portion of Rama Township was allocated to form what became the Mnjikaning First Nation 32 Indian reserve of the Chippewas of Mnjikaning First Nation. Many Indigenous people were living on the narrow strip of land that separates lakes Simcoe and Couchiching between Atherley and Orillia. These lands were surrendered by treaty in 1836. After that time, the local Indian Agent began purchasing lands in Rama Township and the Indigenous people were resettled there. The main settlement on the reserve is also known as Rama and is the site of Casino Rama.
North of Rama, the community of Longford Mills was established in 1868. In 1867 American lumberman Henry W. Sage had purchased blocks of land in Rama Township after buying timber berths in Oakley Township in Muskoka District. Sage had considered relocating his mill from Bell Ewart to a point between the Black River and Lake Couchiching, or possibly at Wasdell Falls. This area lacked rail transport, so the sawn lumber would have to be barged to the Northern Railway at Bell Ewart. Instead, Sage came up with the idea of a canal to float logs from the Black River to supply the mills of Lake Simcoe. The Rama Timber Transport Company was formed in 1868. Not only did it allow the logs of Muskoka and Victoria reach the mills of Lake Simcoe, but helped establish the community of Longford Mills.
Ontario County was dissolved upon the formation of the Regional Municipality of Durham in 1974, and both townships were transferred to Simcoe County. As part of the municipal restructuring of Simcoe County, Mara and Rama Townships were reamalgamated to form Ramara in 1994.
Washago railway station, located in the neighbouring township of Severn, is served by Via Rail's weekly Canadian transcontinental service between Toronto and Vancouver. The station was also formerly a stop on the Ontario Northland Railway's Northlander service.
The gingerbread style Atherley Junction railway station was built by the Grand Trunk Railway in what is now Ramara in 1897, but it was destroyed by a fire in 1931. It was likely rebuilt after 1931 by Canadian National Railway, and now the structure is now located at Couchiching Beach Park in Orillia, Ontario.
- Population: 9,488
- % Change (2011-2016): +2.3
- Dwellings: 6,028
- Area (km²): 418.82
- Density (persons per km²): 22.7
- "Census Profile, 2016 Census Ramara, Township". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "Goffatt Island". Private Islands, Inc. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
- "The Northern Railway of Canada Group". Railway Pages and Charles Cooper. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "C.N.Rys. Ontario Stations". CNR in Ontario. Jeffrey P. Smith. pp. Chronology tab. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "Replica of the Atherley Junction station". Railpictures.ca. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "2011 Census Profile". Statistics Canada. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
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