Blind River is a town in Northern Ontario and is considered a vacationer's paradise as it offers a break from busy city life surrounded by the beautiful Northern Ontario outdoors, sandy beaches, campgrounds, and a championship golf course. This is also a popular place for a meal or rest stop for drivers and bus passengers as it is half-way between The Sault and Sudbury.
The Ojibway people (known as the Anishnawbe) resided in this area long before the Europeans arrived in the 1600s starting with explorer Samuel de Champlain to prospect for precious metals and furs. Upon discovering Lake Huron and the North Channel of the Mississaugi River which later became part of the Voyageur Route, a fur trading post was established by the Northwest Company in 1789 and later taken over by the Hudson Bay Company in 1820 when trappers settled along the banks of the river leading into Lake Huron. Along this route, one of the rivers was named by the Natives as 'Penewobecong', which was translated as "Smooth Rock" or "Sloping" but the mouth of this river was not visible to the Voyageurs as they followed the canoe route, so they called it the "Blind River", which then became the name of the settlement along the mouth of this river.
Spurred by the growth of the copper mining industry in the 1800s in nearby Bruce Mines, the first sawmill was built beside the mouth of the Blind River at the current site of the Old Mill Motel as it provided timber and planks for the mine. In 1906, Blind River was incorporated as a town and a second sawmill was built at the site of the current Blind River Marine Park. The Carpenter Hixon Company built a state-of-the-art pine sawmill in 1929 that produced over 89 million board feet in its first year and survived as the McFadden Lumber Company, which was the largest white pine sawmill east of the Rocky Mountains, until the 1948 Great Mississauga Fire led to a depletion of timber resources resulting in its eventual closing in 1969 due to difficult economic conditions.
Uranium was discovered in the area in 1955 which led to the opening of the short-lived Pronto Mines operation in nearby Algoma Mills whose significance led to the discovery and establishment of the Blind River-Elliot Lake Uranium mining camp. A uranium refinery was built just west of Blind River in 1983 and is now owned by Cameco Corporation, which processes uranium concentrates from all over the world into uranium trioxide.
This town is a rest stop for regularly-scheduled local and express buses for Greyhound Lines of Canada as well as for tour buses and truckers. If you are in town for a rest stop, keep in mind that there could be as many as seven Greyhound buses arriving at once during peak travel times. Make sure you know your three or four-digit bus number to make sure you board the right bus to continue your trip or you might end up going the wrong way or take someone else's seat.
Blind River Marina includes a boater's lounge, eatery, wireless Internet access, 30 or 50 amp power and water, gas, diesel, pumpouts, charts, launch ramps, repair facilities, storage, recycling services, courtesy bicycles, washroom and shower, laundry facilities, horse shoe pits, car and trailer parking, and spotless personal comfort stations. Dockage rates are mid tier. For more information contact (705) 356-7026 or on approach using VHF Channel 68 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blind River is connected to the network of groomed snowmobile trails maintained and operated by the OFSC. A trail permit is required.
The small size of the city makes it easy to get around by walking or by bicycle. Local streets have little or no traffic as most through traffic is on Causley Street/Highway 17.
- Timber Village Museum, 180 Leacock Street, ☎ +1 705 356-7544. depicts life in the lumber camps and early settlement homes and businesses of North Channel communities.
- Blind River Chamber of Commerce Travel Information Centre, 243 Causley Street (Hwy 17 beside Timber Village Museum), ☎ +1 705 356-2555. Open year round 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday to Friday with extended summer hours. Closed Christmas day. Public washrooms open 24-7 from June ot September, free RV dumping station (May to October), free access to computer and Internet, picnic area, and farmer's market on Saturday mornings during the summer.
- Rocking on The River (Wandering-Elk Promotion & Productions), 135 royer rd (off hwy #557), ☎ +1 705 356 6778, e-mail: email@example.com. 11am-11pm. Annual 2 day Concert, "Blind River's Best kept Secret", Live bands, vendors, fireworks.
- Huron Pines Golf Course, Box 2041, Blind River, Ontario, P0R 1B0 (west of Blind River, look for sign, turn off Hwy 17), ☎ +1 705 356-1663, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 18-hole par 72 6783 yard championship golf course. Green fees available for 9 and 18 holes. Full-service practice facility with driving range, practice greens and bunkers, and bent grass tees. Licensed restaurant. Motor cart rentals. Pro shop with club rentals. Stay-and-play golf packages.
- Boom Camp Interpretive Park (At the west end of Blind River turn South off Highway 17 onto Industrial Road, proceed to Pigeon Drive, turn West on Pigeon Drive, then South over the canal to the pavilion. Watch for the large blue signs along the way!). offers 12 kilometers of multi-season trails for hiking and cross-oountry skiing passing through three distinct ecological zones from coastal headlands through to provincially significant wetlands and is located at the mouth of the Mississagi River.
Causley Street (Hwy 17) has numerous shops and services such as gas stations, convenience stores, grocery store, LCBO, Beer Store, department stores, etc.
Along Causley Street (Hwy 17) you will find both chain fast-food eateries as well as locally owned and operated "mom and pop" restaurants
- Tim Hortons, 33 Causley Street (Hwy 17), ☎ +1 705 356-1579. This is by far the most popular place for a stopover, especially for truckers and buses. During peak travel times, line-ups can be long. If you are driving, a drive-through is also available.
- Seventeen Restaurant, 2 Woodward Ave., ☎ +1 705 356-7721. Various Chinese dishes
- Lakeview Inn, 143 Causley St. (Hwy 17), ☎ +1 705 356-1912. Breakfast and brunch served. Kid's menu. Smoke-free dining. Credit cards accepted. Reservations accepted. Take-out available.
- Christie's Restaurant (Auberge Eldo Inn), ☎ +1 705 356-2255. Breakfast served. Credit cards accepted. Wheelchair accessible
- Auberge Eldo Inn (Hwy 17), toll-free: +1-800-798-3536. All rooms equipped with Internet data port, cable TV, irons, hair dryers, and ironing boards. No smoking. No pets.
- Old Mill Motel, 4 Woodward Ave., ☎ +1 705 356-2274. Site of Blind River's first sawmill (see Understand above). Cable and satellite TV, fridge, microwave, free wireless Internet.
- Lakeview Inn, 143 Causley St. (Hwy 17), ☎ +1 705 356-0800. Pets allowed
- North Shore Wayside Inn, 181 Causley Street (Hwy 17), ☎ +1 705 356-2249. Pets welcome. Cable TV. Wireless Internet. All rooms newly renovated.
- A Taste of Home Bed and Breakfast, 29 Fullerton Street, ☎ +1 705 356-7165.
|Routes through Blind River|
|Sault Ste Marie ← Jct to St. Joseph Island ←||W E||→ Espanola → Sudbury|