tobermory ontario

Swim next to sunken shipwrecks in waters near Toronto

With its clear, calm and turquoise waters the Bruce Peninsula could be mistaken for the tropics come summer. Because of its outstanding spots for hiking, camping and swimming, Tobermory has become one of the hottest spots in Ontario to visit when the weather gets warm.

But, beneath these seemingly tranquil waters lies a tremendous graveyard of shipwrecks — each with a fascinating story to tell. These preserved schooners, steamers and barges have been buried beneath the waves of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, some as early as 1852.

The Fathom Five National Marine Park seeks to protect and display these spectacular shipwrecks, along with a handful of lighthouses and freshwater ecosystems in the area. Less than four hours from Toronto, this place should definitely be on your summer checklist!

A post shared by Ashely Green (@ms_green7) on

Local companies, like The Diving Den, offer diving, snorkelling and scuba instruction, so you can get up close and personal with these buried vessels.

A post shared by Damian Lemieux (@dplemieux) on

Whether you’re a novice or professional, The Diving Den makes it possible for anyone to explore the underwater world of sunken treasures, caves, cliffs and aquatic life.

A post shared by Justin Russo (@justinrusso) on

Or, you can obtain a diving pass and venture down on your own if you have some experience.

The park is home to all 20 shipwrecks, including the two most notorious to Big Tub Harbour: The Sweepstakes and The City of Grand Rapids. Luckily, if you’re not up for scuba diving, both wrecks can easily be seen from one of the many boat cruises in the area such as The Blue Heron Company.

A post shared by Jason Paris (@jasonparis) on

The best part about a Blue Heron cruise boat? It has a glass bottom, so you can take that epic ‘gram of The Sweepstakes and The City of Grand Rapids without ever getting wet!

A post shared by Sarah ッ (@pandalove_xox) on

After you’re done exploring the wrecks, be sure to check out the other hot spots around Tobermory, like the surreal Grotto, Flower Pot Island and the stunning lighthouses.

Lead photo by

erinkerrphoto


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Sports & Play

10 outdoor skating rinks and trails in Toronto to check out this winter

You can go skating outdoors at Wayne Gretzky's winery in Niagara this winter

Toronto Raptors to play home games in Tampa Bay and fans already have thoughts

The Toronto Raptors could play at home again when the new season starts

That time when Ontario Place was the most fun amusement park in Toronto

Toronto fitness and yoga studios grapple with closures and changing rules

This is when Toronto's outdoor skating rinks are opening for the season

This group of cyclists is lighting up the nights with rave bike rides in Toronto