The unusual topography and geology is caused by the rocks of the Canadian Shield which were formed in Precambrian times some 500 million years ago during a lengthy period when two tectonic plates converged.

More recently, around 20,000 years ago the Arctic glacier (1-2 km thick ice sheet) reshaped the surface creating the unusual landscape of Georgian Bay that we witness today. This activity left behind the many islands and inlets, scouring much of the bedrock clean. We can see the evidence of this today along the eastern shores: the famous "30,000 Islands" archipelago dotted with a combination of whispering windswept pine trees and treeless islands on pink granite rock in relatively shallow waters.

Hunters and gatherers roamed the shores of Georgian Bay as early as 9000 BC. There is evidence in Killarney that semi-nomadic Plano people set up camp around that time. Woodland Indians moved into the area around 225 BC.

Georgian Bay Islands National Park, with its designated 63 islands, starts only 6 miles from our Midland sailboat rental operation.  It preserves human cultural history as well as the more obvious natural history of the National Park and the 30000 islands archepelago. Beausoleil Island, the largest island in the park, was once inhabited by many distinct Aboriginal peoples. Archeology and carbon dating have found artifacts from as far back as the Middle Archaic period, 7,000 years ago, such as an Otter Creek projectile made from Onondaga chert (very hard limestone).

Georgian Bay - 30000 Islands

Today we know Georgian Bay as a distinctive landscape with a rich, layered history from millions of years of planetary evolution. Weathered and glaciated billion-year-old rocks, countless shipwrecks concealed in her depths, and ghost towns with lingering spirits all contribute to making this a special place on earth to visit – many places only accessible by boat or yacht.

The topography supports a rich mosaic of forest, wetlands, and rocky habitat types with associated biodiversity that supports a wide variety of wildlife.  You’ll never forget Georgian Bay’s 30000 Islands smooth clean rock, its whispering pines, whimpering gulls, and sparkling aqua-turquoise waters.

Here at COSMOS Yacht Charters, we find time and time again guests comment on how they have a spiritual experience while on the water, especially in the tranquility of the 30000 Islands. This is because the water calls us due to our biological heritage with the planet. We naturally feel a deep connection to the water which is soothing, relaxes us, changes us, brings us back to our original roots and makes us feel whole again.