Area Shipwrecks

An eerie and exciting aspect of Georgian Bay is the toll it has taken on the ships that have traveled over its waters. Many stories exist and have continued through generations, gaining character and personality through the telling.


Likely the most famous shipwreck within this area is that of the sidewheel Steamship named Waubuno. This vessel sailed between Collingwood and Parry Sound during the 1860s and 1870s transporting people, animals, and supplies.

One stormy November evening in 1879, the Waubuno's captain debated whether or not to make his last voyage of the season. The raging storm was intense, and the ship was laden with crew, supplies, livestock, and passengers. Early in the morning on November 22, 1879, the captain decided that the wind had dropped enough to begin the journey to Parry Sound. The number of passengers and crew who embarked on this fateful journey was 23 or 24.

The last record of the Waubuno seems to have been taken by the Nottawasaga Lighthouse keeper on Clark's (now Nottawasaga) Island at 4:00AM on November 22. The records indicated no problems with the ship and we can only speculate as to what happened next.

Through research and hearsay, it is believed that the Waubuno attempted to take refuge near Wreck Island but never got further than Haystack Rocks. Although many articles and pieces of the ship have been located over the years, there has never been a discovery of the main ship, her passengers, nor crew. However, there may be a remnant of the ship that can be seen in shallow waters to the north of Wreck Island.

Click here for more information on the Waubuno Tragedy

The steamer Waubuno

The steamer Waubuno

The Waubuno today