Blind River is a town in Northern Ontario and is considered a vacationer's paradise as it offers a break from busy city life surrounded by the beautiful Northern Ontario outdoors, sandy beaches, campgrounds, and a championship golf course. This is also a popular place for a meal or rest stop for drivers and bus passengers as it is half-way between The Sault and Sudbury.
The Ojibway people (known as the Anishnawbe) resided in this area long before the Europeans arrived in the 1600's starting with explorer Samuel de Champlain to prospect for precious metals and furs. Upon discovering Lake Huron and the North Channel of the Mississaugi River which later became part of the Voyageur Route, a fur trading post was established by the Northwest Company in 1789 and later taken over by the Hudson Bay Company in 1820 when trappers settled along the banks of the river leading into Lake Huron. Along this route, one of the rivers was named by the Natives as 'Penewobecong', which was translated as "Smooth Rock" or "Sloping" but the mouth of this river was not visible to the Voyageurs as they followed the canoe route, so they called it the "Blind River", which then became the name of the settlement along the mouth of this river.
Spurred by the growth of the copper mining industry in the 1800's in nearby Bruce Mines, the first sawmill was built beside the mouth of the Blind River at the current site of the Old Mill Motel as it provided timber and planks for the mine. In 1906, Blind River was incorporated as a town and a second sawmill was built at the site of the current Blind River Marine Park. The Carpenter Hixon Company built a state-of-the-art pine sawmill in 1929 that produced over 89 million board feet in its first year and survived as the McFadden Lumber Company, which was the largest white pine sawmill east of the Rocky Mountains, until the 1948 Great Mississauga Fire led to a depletion of timber resources resulting in its eventual closing in 1969 due to difficult economic conditions.
Uranium was discovered in the area in 1955 which led to the opening of the short-lived Pronto Mines operation in nearby Algoma Mills whose significance led to the discovery and establishment of the Blind River-Elliot Lake Uranium mining camp. A uranium refinery was built just west of Blind River in 1983 and is now owned by Cameco Corporation, which processes uranium concentrates from all over the world into uranium trioxide.
This town is a rest stop for regularly-scheduled local and express buses for Greyhound Lines of Canada as well as for tour buses and truckers. If you are in town for a rest stop, keep in mind that there could be as many as seven Greyhound buses arriving at once during peak travel times. Make sure you know your three or four-digit bus number to make sure you board the right bus to continue your trip or you might end up going the wrong way or take someone else's seat.
Blind River Marina includes a boater's lounge, eatery, wireless Internet access, 30 or 50 amp power and water, gas, diesel, pumpouts, charts, launch ramps, repair facilities, storage, recycling services, courtesy bicycles, washroom and shower, laundry facilities, horse shoe pits, car and trailer parking, and spotless personal comfort stations. Dockage rates start as low as $1.50/ foot. For more information on rates and the marina contact Harbour Master Darryl Maclean at (705) 356-7026 or by email [email protected]
Blind River is connected to the network of groomed snowmobile trails maintained and operated by the OFSC. A trail permit is required.
The small size of the city makes it easy to get around by walking or by bicycle. Local streets have little or no traffic as most through traffic is on Causley Street/Highway 17.
Causley Street (Hwy 17) has numerous shops and services such as gas stations, convenience stores, grocery store, LCBO, Beer Store, department stores, etc.
Along Causley Street (Hwy 17) you will find both chain fast-food eateries as well as locally owned and operated "mom and pop" restaurants