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Vision and Plan

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
Community Leadership


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.


The foundation of the Geopark will be more than 100 globally significant Geopark Sites around Georgian Bay. They showcase the geology, geography, archaeology and human stories that have
 created our unique region, peoples and history.

Geology Sites

La Cloche Mountains
Manitoulin Island Cup and Saucer
Bruce Peninsula Grotto

Cultural Archaeology Sites

Beausoleil Island
Moon River
Giant's Tomb
Manitoulin Island

Historical and Tourism Sites

Wye March Wildlife Centre
Snug Harbour
Killarney Mountain Lodge
Manitoulin Island
Fathom Five Nat'l Marine Park
Huronia Museum
Awen Gathering Place


Virtual tours of each Geosite

For each Geopark site

  • Science
  • Legends
  • History
  • Landmarks

For each Geopark site

Links to

  • Local tourism services
  • Things to do
  • Businesses
  • Cultural and community events


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

Find out more about Georgian Bay aspiring UNESCO GeoPark


A grass roots initiative to establish Georgian Bay
 as one of the world’s greatest UNESCO Global Geoparks

Georgian Bay Geopark

A Georgian Bay Geopark will showcase the Bay’s extraordinary Geo-heritage to Canada and the world
Find out more


There are 177 UNESCO GeoParks in 46 countries around the world, 5 in Canada

UNESCO Geoparks

"Single, unified geographical areas of international geological significance managed with a holistic concept"
Find out more


Georgian Bay’s geology, long history and culture position the Bay to be one of the World’s great Geoparks

Why Georgian Bay?

Historically, the study of Georgian Bay rocks paved the way for modern global understanding of how continents form and migrate
Find out more


Four essential building blocks will build one of the world’s greatest Geoparks

Georgian Bay Geopark Vision

100+ Geopark Sites Geopark On line Education and Research Community Leadership
Find out more


A Georgian Bay UNESCO Global Geopark will engage and benefit all of Georgian Bay

Who benefits?

Municipalities, First Nations and Metis, Conservation Groups,Tourism and Businesses, Permanent and Seasonal Residents, Educators
Find out more


Work has begun on Educational Material, Virtual Field Trips and new Research

Research, Education, Field Trips

New initiatives are providing key scientific information to support conservation efforts around the Bay
Find out more


The creation of a UNESCO Global Geopark is a grassroots initiative led by The Georgian Bay Geopark Network – GBGN

About us

The Georgian Bay Geopark initiative is guided by a set of inclusive principles
Find out more


The GBGN is looking to form partnerships and collaborations with communities and organizations throughout the Bay

Get involved

The GBGN also invites individuals to join the Network; to get involved with ideas, stories and support.
Find out more

The GBGN thanks these organizations for their support