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Callander

The Municipality of Callander (formerly the Township of North Himsworth) is a township in central Ontario, Canada, located at the southeast end of Lake Nipissing in the District of Parry Sound. The municipality is located on Callander Bay, just south of North Bay.

The municipality renamed itself from North Himsworth to Callander in 2003, adopting the name of its major community because, in the words of then-mayor Bill Brazeau, "Nobody knew where North Himsworth was."[2]

Callander Bay is an eroded Proterozoic volcanic pipe formed by the violent, supersonic eruption of a deep-origin volcano, approximately 500 million years ago. It is one of eight known volcanic sites in Ontario, including the Manitou Islands in North Bay.

The first people in the Callander area were of Ojibwa and Algonquin descent who have lived around Lake Nipissing for about 9,400 years. Though in history known by many names, they are currently known as Nipissing First Nation. They are generally considered part of the Anishinaabe peoples, a grouping which includes the Odaawaa, Ojibwe and Algonquins.

In 1610, French explorer Samuel de Champlain sent a young apprentice, Étienne Brûlé, to live with the Huron natives at Georgian Bay. While on route, Brûlé discovered Lake Nipissing via the Lavase River Portage (approximately 3 km north of Callander) and established a major fur trading route linking the Ottawa River with the upper Great Lakes. Other explorers who used the Lavase Portage were Samuel de Champlain in 1615, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye in 1731, Alexander Henry in 1761 and Sir Alexander MacKenzie in 1802.

In 1880, George Morrison, a bookkeeper from Oxford County in Southern Ontario traveled by ox-cart from Muskoka to Lake Nipissing. There he built a raft and floated his family and possessions across the lake to the south-east bay. Logging companies had taken interest in the abundant Eastern White Pine that grew in the area. He was one of its first pioneers and his wife was the first white woman. On June 1, 1881, he opened a Post Office in his general store and named it after his parents' Scottish birthplace of Callander.

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