Explore Manitoulin, the "Spirit
September 1-3, 2018
Culture and Heritage, star gaze under Ontario’s darkest skies, relax with nature
sounds, and much more…
About Manitoulin Island: Located in the middle of Lake Huron, Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater island in the world, with an area of approximately 2,766 square kilometers. Situated as the dividing point between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Manitoulin Island has more than 80 inland lakes. It is located about 550 kilometers north of Toronto. The island can be accessed via two routes. Either by ferry from the South in Tobermory or over a swing bridge from the North in Little Current. Manitoulin means "Spirit Island" in the Ojibwe language. The island remains a sacred place for the natives although they have had their share of troubles. The Aboriginal culture on Manitoulin Island is still strong.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW: Manitoulin Island is a remarkable combination of pristine landscapes and fascinating history. On this getaway, authentic experiences in the Aboriginal community deepen your understanding and appreciation of their culture. Visit the M'Chigeeng 27th Annual Pow wow. And the Great Spirit Circle Trail for a Voice of the Drum Performance. Stargazing at Gordon Park, a designated Dark Sky Preserve. Capture the breathtaking Bridal Falls with your camera or simply sit and admire the majesty of this natural wonder. We travel to Manitoulin Island overland via Parry sound and on the way back, we cross Lake Huron to Tobermory aboard the iconic Chi-Cheemaun Ferry. Ojibwe for “Big Canoe,” this ferry crosses the deep waters of Georgian Bay. Travel home refreshed and revitalized, the memory of fresh Lake Huron air and breathtaking landscapes still in your mind, and a new understanding of Aboriginal culture in your heart.
Day 1- SAT 1 Sep, Toronto – Manitoulin Island
7.30 AM: 1st Pick-up location: Mississauga Carpool Lot, Hurontario & Hwy 401. (Please arrive 15 Min before the departure time)
8.00 AM: 2nd Pick-up location: York Mills subway station.
We will have a short coffee/washroom stop on route.
12.00 - 1.15 PM: For lunch, we will stop at " French River Trading Post - Hungry Bear Restaurant" (lunch on your own expense)
1.30 – 2.30 PM: Enjoy a visit to the French River Visitor Centre and Suspension Bridge
The French River is the first designated Canadian Heritage River that Aboriginal people used for travel and as a meeting place for thousands of years. Visit the award-winning French River Visitor Centre to explore this heritage through the "Voices of the River" exhibit and view the French River Gorge from the iconic suspension bridge (William E. Small Suspension Bridge).
The Visitor Centre’s exhibits showcase the rich history of First Nations, French and English cultures that have lived, worked and travelled these waters over the centuries, as well as the river’s plants, wildlife and unique landscapes. The “Voices of the River” exhibition provides a first person accounts of their experience with the River, using historical accounts and contemporary voices that embrace the River multicultural character and the role ‘canoe culture’ plays in shaping Canadian identity.
3.00 PM: We head towards Manitoulin Island - Little Current (180 km = about 2 hrs).
5.00 PM: Check in to our hotel , Manitoulin Hotel & Conference Centre, and have a rest.
5.30-8.00 PM: Free time for a short rest and dinner. There are 3 options for dinner (Hotel's restaurant, fast food places right outside the hotel, and Elliott's Restaurant near the hotel (dinner on your own expense)
8.00 PM: Transfer to Gordon’s Park
9.00-10.30 PM: Enjoy the Astronomy Tour @ the Gordon’s Park Eco Resort
Gordon’s Park (Latitude N 45.66866, Longitude W 81.97073) is the proud home of a Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) designated Dark Sky Preserve.
The Astronomy Tour includes:
· A knowledgeable astronomy interpretive guide
· Access in to the RASC designated dark sky preserve
· Observing through telescopes & wide angled binoculars of key objects in the sky
· An amazing laser guided tour of the night sky pointing out planets, constellations, galaxies, double stars etc
· Orientation into astronomy including teaching participants how to star hop and make your way through the Milky Way and the night sky.
· A complimentary paper star map that can be used for future observing anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere
· A free Sky News magazine
10.30 PM: Return to the hotel
Day 2- SUN 2 Sep, Manitoulin Island
Breakfast at the hotel
10.00 AM- 6.00 PM: Full day tour with a knowledgeable Aboriginal local guide
· Visit the breathtaking Bridal Falls
Visit the Great Spirit Circle Trail for a Voice of the Drum Performance. Enjoy a 1-hour Voice of the Drum Tour. This tour can provide an introduction to native song and drum, an exhilarating hand drum performance (by a professional singer or group, or the full “Voice of the Drum” experience where visitors learn to make their own personal hand drum to take home ! Performance (includes singing, hands on interactive performance, and games)
Visit OCF (Ojibwe Cultural Foundation)
Participate in the M'Chigeeng 27th Annual First Nation Pow wow. The powwow will be an opportunity for visitors to learn about, and increase their awareness of, traditional and contemporary Aboriginal life and culture. Men's Traditional Dance simulates a warrior performing scouting duties before a battle. Dancers carry a small staff with feathers, and they move in a slow, steady manner. In addition to the singing and dancing, you will also find many authentic Native craft and eat local pow wow food (lunch at your own expense)
A visit to Native Design Inspired Church.
6.00 PM: Return to the hotel.
There are 3 options for dinner (Hotel's restaurant, fast food places right outside the hotel, and Elliott's Restaurant near the hotel (dinner on your own expense)
Day 3- MON 3 Sep, Manitoulin Island - Tobermory - Toronto
Breakfast at the hotel and check out @ 9.30 AM.
We start our day with an excursion to Providence Bay and enjoy its famous sandy beaches and boardwalk...
Drive towards South Baymouth (35 km)
1.30 - 3.30 PM: Cruise from South Baymouth (Manitoulin Island) to Tobermory and cross the Lake Huron aboard the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry
3.30-4.30 PM: Free time in the charming fishing village of Tobermory lined with many restaurants and shops.
4.30 PM: Drive towards Toronto (268 km = 3.5 hrs)
We will have coffee/washroom stops on route
We expect to arrive in Mississauga around 8.30 PM and York Mills subway station around 9.00 PM (With regular traffic).
· Per person in double occupancy: $ 549 + 13% HST
· Single room supplement: $170
All prices are per person, in Canadian dollars.
Same price for children
NOTE: If you are a solo traveler and would like to share room with someone the same gender, please choose the "DOUBLE" Room option. We will find a roommate for you.
· Two nights’ accommodation at Manitoulin Hotel & Conference Centre (4-star)
· Two Hot Manitoulin Breakfasts at the hotel
· Round trip transportation on a deluxe Air-conditioned highway coach
· A visit to the French River Visitor Centre and Suspension Bridge
· Escorted tour, accompanied by the Tour Director
· Cruise from Manitoulin Island to Tobermory to aboard the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry (2 hours cruise)
· Full-day Guided Manitoulin Heritage Tour with a Knowledgeable Aboriginal local Guide
· 1-hour "Voice of the Drum" Tour in Manitoulin Island
· A 1.5 hr Astronomy Tour and observation at Gordon Park in Manitoulin Island
· Visit the Bridal Falls, the Native Design Inspired Church, Providence Bay and much more...
· Visit OCF (Ojibwe Cultural Foundation)
· Participate in the M'Chigeeng 27th Annual First Nation Pow wow.
· Complimentary bottled water on the bus.
· All gratuities
What’s Not included:
· Personal expenses
· Meals other than breakfast
HOW TO PAY
The payment options are: "Credit Card", "PayPal" or" Email money transfer".
Even for Email money transfer, you still need to register yourself through that link first (so we have your name in our list).
• Our tours are in ENGLISH language only.
• This tour is considered as easy-medium activity. The hikes last approximately 1 hour.
• Appropriate clothing and footwear is highly recommended (based on the weather)
· We assign the seats based on first paid first served. In case you and your companion pay separately, to be seated together, please send an email to “NOUSHIN” firstname.lastname@example.org after placing your order.
· The standard rooms in the hotels have maximum 2 double beds. So, the ones who book a Triple room need to know that two of them will need to sleep in 1 double bed, as the hotel does not provide any extra bed/cot.
PARKING / PICK- UP Location
1st pick-up location: Mississauga Carpool Lot, Hurontario & Hwy 401.
Entrance into the carpool lot is on the west side of Hurontario, between the ramps to Hwy 401 East and Hwy 401 West. This parking lot is not easily visible from Hurontario and can be easily missed so please carefully follow the P Carpool signs. Detailed instructions from all four directions are given below. This is a Government of Ontario, Ministry of Transportation parking lot. Cars may be left here for up to 5 days, parking is free. This parking lot does not have a street address. The GPS location is 43.6300490, -79.6861980
When you enter the carpool, please park at your left side section.
If you are driving north on Hurontario, go past the intersection with Hwy 401 and keep going north. Turn left on Prologis Blvd. (second stop light north of Hwy 401) and then take the first left on Kateson Drive. Drive to the end at the last stop sign, you will now be in the carpool lot. Our bus stops in the parking area on your left hand side.
If you are driving south on Hurontario, go past the intersection with World Drive and past the ramp to Hwy 401 West. Turn right at the next stop light. You will be turning right into the carpool lot. If you reach the ramp to Hwy 401 East or the intersection with Brittania Rd. you have gone too far!
If you are driving on Hwy 401 westbound, take the exit for Hurontario. When you reach the lights at the end of the exit ramp, do not turn right or left! Go straight across the intersection with Hurontario. You will now be in the carpool lot.
If you are driving on Hwy 401 eastbound, take the exit for Hurontario and turn left. You will now be going north on Hurontario. Turn left on Prologis Blvd. (second stop light north of Hwy 401) and then take the first left on Kateson Drive. Drive to the end at the last stop sign, you will now be in the carpool lot. Our bus stops in the parking area on your left hand side.
Mississauga Carpool MAP
2nd pick-up location: York Mills Subway Station. The bus will stop on Yonge St., directly outside the Starbucks at 4025 Yonge St. This is the York Mills Centre office building on the North-East corner of Yonge St. & York Mills Rd. The York Mills subway station is in the basement of this building. If it is raining or snowing, you are welcome to wait either in Starbucks or in the lobby of the office tower until you see the bus stop in front of Starbucks.
FOR PARKING: For overnight and multi-day trips, cars cannot be left in the TTC parking lot or the Green P parking lot. Parking is allowed in the covered parking of the York Mills Centre. The parking lot has two entrances, one on York Mills Rd and one on Yonge St. Please note that the parking cost is $18 per day (2014 rates). Street address is the same as our bus pickup location, 4025 Yonge St.
3rd pick-up location: Scarborough Town Centre (Address: 300 Borough Dr, Scarborough, ON M1P 4P5) . The bus stops directly outside the Cineplex movie theatres at the Scarborough Town Centre. You are NOT allowed to park your car in this location for multi-day trips. If you wish to use this pickup location for a multi-day trip, please consider taking a taxi or public transit or have someone drop you off.
OUR HOTEL: The Manitoulin Hotel & Conference Centre offers contemporary design combined with natural elements of wood and stone, and décor reflecting the First Nations traditions. Our waterfront property has beautiful walking trails to the downtown area of Little Current or a view the Historic Manitoulin Swing Bridge. Experience authentic Aboriginal traditions and culture!
TRADITIONAL QUEEN ROOMS - Amenities: with 2 queen beds - Work area with desk and chair- In-room Keurig coffee machines - Alarm Clock - Flat screen television with cable - High speed wireless internet In-room telephone - Hairdryer - Iron/Ironing Board - Mini Refrigerator - Free Wifi, Outdoor Pool on site, Fitness facilities available next door free of charge.
If you have any questions, please email to: email@example.com - Emergency contact: 416-897-3020