Ignace lies about midway between Thunder Bay and Kenora, and is at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway 17 and highway 599, Ontario’s northernmost road. Ignace was originally a railway town and was the site of two base metal mining operations. Ignace now focuses on forestry, CP Rail, natural gas transmission and tourism and has a population of 1,800.
The town was named in 1879 after Ignace Mentour, a Mohawk from the Caughnawaga (now Kanawake) Reserve south of Montreal, who guided Sir Sanford Fleming across Canada in 1872, when he was first planning the route of the trans-continental railway. After the community became a municipal township in 1908, some wanted to rename it Elmsdale, but the historical importance of its original name stuck.
The town boasts access to many lakes and rivers, providing opportunity for anglers to fish pike, walleye, bass and trout. Visitors will want take a walk down Heritage Corridor to see the large murals depicting certain themes relevant to the area’s history.
White Otter Days, featuring many special events throughout July & August.
The Dennis Smyk Heritage Center (Museum) and Visitor Centre
36 Main Street, PO Box, Ignace, ON P0T 1T0
Adjoning the igance Public Library
The town’s visitor information centre displays an original 63 foot tall fire tower, as well as mining displays, and arboretum and a forest fire display. . The nine themes showcased include Early Peoples, Exploration, Fur Trade and Settlement, Railroad, The Town, Mining, Quarrying, Logging, Road and Air Transportation.
located, just west of town, south of the TransCanada Highway. Choose between two of the best sandy beaches in the region.
Smyk Indian Pictographs
near White Otter Lake
Indian paintings dating back to prehistoric times can be found throughout the Ignace area.
10 minutes from Ignace
(About 25 km west of Ignace, watch for Raleigh Lake Rd leading south from the Trans-Canada Highway)
See a breathtaking view of the falls and picnic area nestled in this rugged landscape. Take Raleigh Lake Rd south from the Trans-Canada Highway. for 300-400 m to get to the falls, which are less than 50 m west of the road.
Sandbar Lake Provincial Park
about 12 km northeast of Ignace along Highway 599.
Enjoy over 5,083 hectares ( 12,560 acres) of camping, hiking, swimming, and boating.
White Otter Castle
White Otter Lake, about 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Ignace,
This elaborate 3-storey log home was hand-built in 1903 by Jimmy McOuat, a lonely prospector who had made and lost a fortune in the gold rush and by gambling. He hoisted massive three tonne logs of green timber up to four stories during the building’s construction. A $1.1 million restoration was recently completed.