<> 17:47 2018-03-22 rev 20180325


The entire shoreline of the City of North bay is actually Great Lakes Heritage Coast that was frozen in time circa 2,500 years ago - according to the Lumbers North Bay Parry Sound Geology report R094

In the Ontario Crown Land Policy Atlas and addition to the French River Provincial Park (P110) the Ontario government deemed that all Crown Land of Lake Nipissing South Shore from the mouth of the South River to the mouth of the French River is Great Lakes Heritage Coast Signature Site



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It follow that there can not be any doubt that this landform of North Bay Dunes and Beaches is an ancient Great Lakes Coast but unlike the south shore of Lake Nipissing and the Islands of the French River the base of that ancient shoreline which can be accessed by vehicle at either end and even experienced the same as by walking the 0.9 kilometre natural pedestrian walkway that follows it! In all, these features are much older than the Pyramids of Egypt!
  • Following is a late 1980s clipping of an MTO photo which I included because the pedestrian walkway and Nipissing Great Lakes Heritage Coast show up so clearly.

    the reason remnants of this grass are found on North Bay's (and, I suspect, part Nipissing I.R. #10's shoreline) is that the northwestern shores of Lake Nipissing (from Beaucage Point to La Vase River) are actually part of the Great Lakes Heritage Coast Signature Site.)
  • These clumps deflect the wind allowing sand grains to settle
  • a slight mound or hummock is created
  • as time passes this grows into a dune
  • and the Marram's interwoven roots and rhizomes grow holding this sand in place so the dunes and beaches increase in size while they are being fed new material.
  • If something interrupts this these dunes and beaches will start to shrink because they definitely are not static without this kind of vegetation protecting them or anything that lowers their sand budget.
  • Actually these grasses can not take fertilizers, shade from brush/trees/other vegetation and don't react well to be stomped on.
  • IN SUMMARY
    this grass that has created dunes and beaches, and, to a lesser degree, still is holding these glacial drift dunes in place over the last 4,000 years but compared to the 1980's photo below there doesn't seem to be much of it left. This grass is probably on it's way out.
  • following is an image of the dunes and beaches that have been created:

    There used to be a lot of Marram Grass but civilization has been busy stomping it of existance.
  • A case in point is the area of the Harbourside Condominium and this 1985 MTO photo from the air shows how the wave cut dune being almost completely covered top to bottom.
  • prior to 1980 this land was CPR owned and had a large Petroleum Storage tanks - the company set controlled fires to the brush and grasses each spring to prevent wildfires. The result was a park like setting and a whole lot of Marram Grass. This is what that looked like:)


    Because this grass only grows inland on the fore-shores of the coast lines of the Great Lakes. Means that these dunes and the beaches on Lake Nipissing northern shores must be relics of the Nipissing Great Lakes Coast - 110 kilometres or more away from Lake Huron's Georgian Bay current coast!

    My conclusion is that all the shore area from Beaucage Point to the Mouth of the La Vase River is Great Lakes Heritage Coast Line.

    As the the land raised the apparent water level of the ancient Nipissing Great Lakes dropped, leaving a series of parallel dunes and/or relic beaches were left behind and some are still visible (using Google Earth) on Nipissing Indian Reserve #10 - (permission would be required to see them on the ground.)

  • another example of these types of beach lines is noted near Parry Sound

  • these relic beachlines left behind by the (isostatic rebound or rising land) are all over the Nipissing area but there are many shrubs & trees making them difficult to spot.

    2,500 years ago
  • saw the south shores of current Lake Nipissing appearing so that the massive waves of Lake Huron no longer pounded the northern shores
  • but the slightly subdued waves of Lake Nipissing did keep working with the result even up to 1985 a much reduced, in volume, of longshore drift still maintained the beaches.
  • over that 2,400 years much of of these earlier shorelines would have overgrown with various vegetation
  • As a silent witness Sir William Logan's 1845 Journal of the first modern survey of the upper Ottawa and Mattawa Rivers and Lake Nipissing had the following:
      Thursday 9th Oct 1845 - Page 139 -
      "We have at last got to Lake Nipissing & have surveyed about 3 miles on each side of the nouth of the Riviere de Vase, by way of a finish to our map."
      ...
      "The shores of the lake are on the east side. To the north of the river the beach is beautiful sand, with a margin of 50 yards wide by waves which are washed ashore during high storms. It has the appearance of a sandy beach on the sea shore with the tide out."
  • Obviously these beaches impressed him then and are testament to these beaches being maintained naturally.

    This pretty much ends the Natural History of Lake Nipissing - another later web page will deal with the unNatural History which started in 1883, with the coming of the CPR and a whole lot of people!