The Towns and Cities of Northern Ontario
Massey Ontario - in Ontario's Rainbow Country
Massey Ontario, once called Massey Station, is found along Highway 17 about 1 hour west of Sudbury Ontario. It sits itself where the Spanish River meets the Aux Sable River and has the Spanish on it's south side and Chutes Provincial Park on it's north. Driving along the Highway you may see little to encourage you to stop. You notice no accommodations of note, no tourist attractions to fascinate the kids, no restaurants that look to have stars in anyone's guide book.
And if you stop at that first impression you'll be missing one of the great jewels in Northern Ontario!
Massey Ontario is worth exploring. That's something I missed for years when living only minutes away and something I discovered quite by accident in recent years while working in the area.
Turn north at the only traffic light in Massey and in seconds you're at Chutes Provincial Park. The park gets it's name from a chute that used to divert logs around the falls. The chute is gone today, the falls and many rapids remain. There is camping for all levels of enthusiasts and hiking trails that will lead you through some of the most spectacular and breath taking river scenery you're likely to ever come across. Follow the Aux Sable River south through town and you'll find a lovely tree shaded park area with white sandy beaches, shallow water so perfect for wading, and a playground area for the kids. Of course you'll find more of that right in the park area too!
Or, turn south at the traffic light in Massey, cross the Spanish River and then you are forced to make a decision. Right will take you into the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation reserve. Drive in, park your car and wander into a local corner store. Chat. It's that easy to make new friends and spend time with some of the most hospitable and friendly Northerner's I've met in years. I've spent some great moments hanging out on store porches just asking dumb tourist questions and being charmed and helped by any number of people in this area. I have the phone numbers to prove it! The area is full of hiking trails, scenery to die for, intriguing history, and even remote expanses of sandy beaches encircling coves dotted with wind twisted pine clad islands (if you know where to look - we'll leave that for you to discover on your own, can't spoil all the fun).
If you chose to turn left after crossing the bridge things really get complicated. Do you want to spend your vacation at some awesome lodges and resorts, canoeing endless lakes and rivers, fishing, resting in a hot tub a few feet from a lake watching the sun go down in blazing glory, hiking conservation areas, touring fish breeding beds, or identifying wild flowers? Can't decide? How about horse back riding through our Northern Ontario wilderness along wide level trails or up and down rocky and rugged hillsides? Tour a dairy farm, pick enough wild blue berries to make yourself ill (my dogs love them too and pick their own), do some bird watching in an area noted for it's wide variety of species from common to rare and unusual. And photography! Oh the opportunities for photography! Just go.
Of course Massey also offers a golf course and club, a museum, an agricultural fair, flower shows, a marathon that is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, and native Pow Wow's.
It's taken me a year to decide to write this page. I love the place and have been afraid that telling you what Massey Ontario is really like will have hoards of you pouring in and spoiling it for me! On the other hand Northern Ontario is a pretty big place, I've decided to share the wealth. Enjoy.