Georgian Bay is a special place...
…a unique North American ecosystem that reflects its diverse geology and landscapes that record the last 2.4 billion years of Earth history.
It is the crown jewel of Canadian geology and a key part of the shared legacy of human understanding of how our planet has evolved.
Historically, the study of Georgian Bay rocks paved the way
for modern global understanding of how continents form and migrate,
and oceans come and go as part of a grand supercontinent cycle.
The formation and breakup of ancient supercontinents that record ancient plate tectonics, massive mountain ranges, ancient ice ages and giant rivers, the nature of Earth’s early atmospheres, and the rise of complex life forms that lived in giant seas, are recorded in the rocks that surround Georgian Bay.
Establishment of a prestigious UNESCO Geopark
in Georgian Bay (Canada’s largest)
will ensure over the coming decades that the Bay becomes a robust ‘territory of resilience’ providing exciting opportunities for regional geotourism, public education and ongoing fundamental research into its rocks and landscapes, and the many cultures that call this unique place home.
Five essential building blocks can help us get there:
Geotourism and Destination Stewardship
Establishing 100+ Geopark Sites
Developing The Geopark On line
Education and Research Initiatives
GEOTOURISM & DESTINATION STEWARDSHIP
Tourism planning, development and management in the Aspiring Georgian Bay Geopark shall be guided by the concepts and principles of geotourism and destination stewardship.
Consistent with the Arouca declaration (Adopted at the International Congress of Geotourism, under the auspices of UNESCO, that took place in the Arouca Geopark, Portugal, November 2011) geotourism is defined as tourism which sustains and enhances the identity of a territory, taking into consideration its geology, environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. Geological tourism is one of the multiple components of geotourism.
Destination Stewardship is a globally recognized approach to tourism that focuses on sustaining and enhancing the unique natural and cultural assets of a place—the destination—and that uses a multi-stakeholder approach where the community itself is at the table at which discussions about tourism take place. Residents—the hosts— work in concert with local government agencies and civil society to plan, develop, and market their tourism future.
The Aspiring Georgian Bay Geopark team are reaching out to key tourism stakeholders and communities around Georgian Bay to enlist their support in developing the tourism strategy for the Geopark encompassing the principles of geotourism and destination stewardship. The Geopark represents a significant opportunity to target new high yield growth markets, create compelling new tourism experiences around the geological and cultural stories of the 8 chapters of Deep Time around the Bay, to create innovative Geoproducts and GeoFoods and to establish a strong identity for the Bay as a unique and compelling tourism destination.
100 + GEO SITES
Cultural Archaeology Sites
Historical and Tourism Sites
THE GEOPARK ONLINE
Virtual tours of each Geosite
For each Geopark site
For each Geopark site
- Local tourism services
- Things to do
- Cultural and community events
EDUCATION & RESEARCH
Researchers, scientists and thought leaders will populate the Geopark website with information that will enhance and contribute to Conservation efforts around The Bay.
Virtual Field Trips and modules for use by educators at all levels.
An easily accessed and ever evolving library
of the latest Georgian Bay research and studies
The first Geopark Research project is underway using drone based Lidar mapping technology. See the Education, Research and Field Trips page for more details
The online platform will be a rich resource for Municipalities, First Nations, Businesses and Organizations to plan and implement the Geopark for their region.
Communities, businesses and organizations will be able to use the website to
Network with other geoparks
Access guidelines, branding and communications materials
Funding opportunities to plan and implement local Geopark acivites