Our History

Over 10,000 years ago, Lake of the Woods was carved into the granite of the Canadian Precambrian Shield by receding glaciers. The underlying bedrock of the lake is among the oldest of geological formations to be found on earth. The area was born of the mamouth Lake Agassiz which covered much of Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and northern Minnesota. These glacial waters eventually receded leaving Lake of the Woods as we know it today. The second largest inland lake in Ontario, Lake of the Woods is host to a land of pristine water, fruitful forests, rugged wilderness and plentiful wildlife.

The Lake of the Woods area has a rich history dating back to 7,000 BC when small bands of Palaeo Indians were hunting prehistoric large game. The aboriginal peoples who first settled in the Lake of the Woods area over 7,000 years ago called the lake “minestic” or “Lake of the Islands”, a name befitting an area with over 14,000 islands. However, the French fur traders who first visited this area in the late 1600’s can be forgiven for mistakenly confusing the native word “mistc” which means woods, as forests of pine, oak, spruce, and poplar cover the land. In the end, “Lake of the Islands” was forever changed to “Lac du Bois” or Lake of the Woods.

Ancient pictographs and petroglyphs that have survived for over 500 years still grace the steep rock faces of a number of islands in Lake of the Woods. The drawings were made of berry juice, spruce gum, fish oils or tallow and certain minerals and depicted spirits, animals and less identifiable shapes. These mysterious remnants bear evidence of a long aboriginal presence in the area.

More recently, on January 1, 1998 the Township of Morson and McCrosson-Tovell were amalgamated to form our present township of Lake of the Woods. The annexation of a portion of the islands on Lake of the Woods was incorporated into those municipal boundaries in 1999 and the construction of two bridges on Highway 621, one to cross the Big Grassy River and the other to cross Eleanor Lake and arrive in the heart of Morson were built in 2000.

While remnants of logging, farming, commercial fishing and trapping remain, the township of Lake of the Woods depends upon its well-established tourism industry. Travelers to the area can view much of the same spectacular scenery of the explorers who first discovered this island-studded gem. There are over 104,000 km of shoreline, making the area a premier vacation destination for anglers, hunters, boaters, birders and nature lovers alike. The township offers some of the best fishing in the country. Muskie, walleye, bass, northern pike, crappie and perch are waiting for yo in Miles Bay, Obabikan Lake and Sabaskong Bay, and you’re close to the clear deep water trout prefer in Whitefish Bay. Only dedicated naturalists and experienced woodsmen and women attempt the true wilds of Lake of the Woods. Will you be one of them?