Blind River (population 3,500 in 2016) is a small town in Northern Ontario, midway between Sault Ste Marie and Sudbury on the Trans-Canada Highway, which serves as a rest stop with sandy beaches, campgrounds and a championship golf course.
This used to be Ojibwa land. Explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in the 1600s, Lake Huron and the North Channel of the Mississaugi River later became part of the Voyageur Route. A fur trading post established by the Northwest Company in 1789 was taken over by the Hudson Bay Company in 1820. A river known to the natives as 'Penewobecong' was not visible to voyageurs as they followed the canoe route, so it was called the "Blind River".
The first sawmill, built at the current site of the Old Mill Motel, provided timber and planks for a copper mine in nearby Bruce Mines. A second sawmill was built in 1906 at the site of the current Blind River Marine Park and Blind River was incorporated as a town. Pronto Mines operated briefly in nearby Algoma Mills after uranium was discovered in the area in 1955. Ore from the Blind River-Elliot Lake Uranium mining camp fed a uranium refinery, built just west of Blind River in 1983 and now owned by Cameco Corporation.
- Ontario Northland, toll-free: . Operates primarily in Northern Ontario. Operates a route between Sault Sainte Marie and Sudbury including stops in Blind River, Elliot Lake, and Espanola.
- Blind River Marina, ☏ , email@example.com. Boater's lounge, eatery, Wi-Fi, 30 or 50 amp power and water, gasoline, diesel, pumpouts, charts, launch ramps, repair facilities, storage, recycling services, courtesy bicycles, washrooms and shower, laundry facilities, horse shoe pits, car and trailer parking. Marine VHF Channel 68.
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.
- Timber Village Museum, 180 Leacock Street, ☏ . This museum depicts life in the lumber camps and early settlement homes and businesses of North Channel communities.
- Blind River Chamber of Commerce Travel Information Centre, 243 Causley Street (Hwy 17 beside Timber Village Museum), ☏ . Open year round M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM with extended summer hours; closed Christmas day. Public washrooms open 24-7 from June-September, free RV dumping station (May to October), free computer and Internet access, picnic area. Farmer's market on summer Saturday mornings.
- 1 Rocking on THE River (Wandering-Elk Promotion & Productions), 135 Royer Rd (off hwy #557), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM-11PM. Annual 2-day concert, "Blind River's Best kept Secret", Live bands, vendors, fireworks.
- Huron Pines Golf Course, turn off Hwy 17 west of Blind River, ☏ , email@example.com. 18-hole par 72 6783 yard championship golf course. Green fees for 9 and 18 holes. Full-service practice facility with driving range, practice greens and bunkers, and bent grass tees. Licensed restaurant. Motor cart rentals. Pro shop with club rentals. Stay-and-play golf packages.
- Boom Camp Interpretive Park (At the west end of Blind River turn South off Highway 17 onto Industrial Road, proceed to Pigeon Drive, turn West on Pigeon Drive, then South over the canal to the pavilion. Watch for the large blue signs along the way!). 12 km of multi-season trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. Located at the mouth of the Mississagi River, passes through three distinct ecological zones from coastal headlands through to provincially significant wetlands.
- 1 Lauzon Aviation, ☏ . A DeHavilland Beaver float plane may be chartered to carry up to 500 kg (1100 lbs) of passengers and equipment from Lake Lauzon (on Hwy 17 in Algoma Mills) to off-the-grid fishing outfitter's cabins on any of 2-Bay Lake, Blue Lake, Elbow Lake, Hastie Lake, Marionette Lake, Mountain Top Lake, Robb Lake, Starr Lake or White Owl Lake. Fishing for lake trout, rainbow, specks, northern pike, whitefish, smallmouth and largemouth bass. Simple and cosy off-the-grid cabins on these peaceful wilderness lakes include a woodstove for heat, an outdoor propane BBQ and a kitchen (with a sink, a propane fridge and stove), but no running water and no electricity. Water is carried with pails from the lake.
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.
- Seventeen Restaurant, 2 Woodward Ave., ☏ . Various Chinese dishes
- Christie's Restaurant (Auberge Eldo Inn), ☏ . Breakfast. Credit cards accepted, wheelchair accessible.
- Copper Bean Cafe, 9196 Highway 17 in Bruce Mines (75 km west of Blind River). M-Sa 8AM-3PM, Su 10AM-3PM. If you're coming from Sault Sainte Marie, and you're sick of doughnut shop coffee, the Copper Bean is a good stop for real coffee.
- Auberge Eldo Inn (Hwy 17), toll-free: . Internet data port, cable TV, irons, hair dryers and ironing boards in all rooms. No smoking. No pets.
- Old Mill Motel, 4 Woodward Ave., ☏ . On site of Blind River's first sawmill. Cable and satellite TV, fridge, microwave, free wireless Internet.
- Lakeview Inn, 143 Causley St. (Hwy 17), ☏ . Pet-friendly inn. Smoke-free restaurant with breakfast and brunch, kids' menu, credit cards and reservations accepted, take-out available.
- North Shore Wayside Inn, 181 Causley Street (Hwy 17), ☏ . Wi-fi, cable TV, pets welcome.
- A Taste of Home Bed and Breakfast, 29 Fullerton Street, ☏ .
- [dead link] Birch Lodge, 2429 Granary Lake Rd. (13 km N. of Blind River), ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 9AM. Five fully equipped clean Cottages overlooking Granary Lake, with sandy beach. Marked hiking trails lead to scenic outlooks or remote lakes with crystal clear waters. ATV tours, seasonal continental breakfast.
|Routes through Blind River|
|Thunder Bay ← Sault Ste Marie ← Jct S ←||W E||→ Jct N → Espanola → Sudbury|