The French Jesuit Jean de Brébeuf began a mission in Huronia in 1626.In 1639 he oversaw the building of the mission fort of Sainte-Marie, Ontario's first European settlement, at what is now the town of Midland.In 1814, during the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States, one of the battles was fought in southern Georgian Bay.
Several weeks later, Nancy was avenged when British boarding parties in the De Tour Passage surprised and captured two of the three American vessels.
The first nautical charts of Georgian Bay were made in 1815 by Captain William Fitzwilliam Owen, who called it Lake Manitoulin.
They travelled every winter to live with the Arendarhonon people of the Huron (Wendat) confederacy at the southern end of Georgian Bay, in the area now called "Huronia".
Brulé returned to the Arendarhonon the following year.
In October 2004, the Georgian Bay Littoral was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Archeological records reveal an Aboriginal presence in the southern regions of the Canadian Shield dating from 11,000 years ago.The rugged beauty of the area inspired landscapes by artists of the Group of Seven.The western part of the bay, from Collingwood north, and including Manitoulin, Drummond, Cockburn and St. Because of its size and narrowness of the straits joining it with the rest of Lake Huron, which is analogous to if not as pronounced as the separation of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, There are tens of thousands of islands in Georgian Bay.The Huron (or Wendat) and Tionontati inhabited the lands along the southern coast, having migrated from the northern shores of Lake Ontario.Names of islands such as "Manitoulin" (from Gitchi Manitou, the Great Spirit who left the bay as a source of life for the first people) and "Giant's Tomb" are indicative of the richness of the cultural history of the area.The reconstructed Jesuit mission, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, is now a historic park operated by the province of Ontario.