Grand Bend, ON
Lat: 43° 18.809 Long: 081° 46.015
Located on the Au Sable River, Grand Bend Ontario was originally established in the 1830's on land purchased from the Canada Company - a company charged with expanding settlement in what is now Ontario. (Interestingly, it continued in business until 1953.) Originally a lumbering town, the arrival of roads allowed Grand Bend to diversify economically. As time passed, Grand Bend started to become a summer holiday destination. Today, tourism is the mainstay of its economy.
Quiet during the winder, Grand Bend Ontario roars to life in the summertime as visitors from across Ontario and from Michigan flock to its beautiful beaches. The holiday atmosphere continues well into the evening at the many popular bars and restaurants.
The approaches to Grand Bend Ontario are clear from all directions.
FROM THE SOUTH
Note the charted Kettle Point Reef which is marked with a Fl RED light. Give it wide berth. It is prudent to stay 2-3 nm until abreast of the harbour entrance. The harbour can be identified during the day by a tall condominium building by the beach and at night by lights on the beach.
The entrance lies between 2 breakwaters. On the end of the north pier is a Fl GREEN light, visible 6 nm offshore. The entrance can shoal so watch depths carefully. You should avoid this harbour in heavy seas unless facing a real emergency.
MARINAS, YACHT CLUBS, MOORINGS, ANCHORAGES
Lambton Shores Marina (519) 238-2000 VHF 68
Lambton Shres Marina is just inside the channel entrance, on the south side of the river. There are approximately 80 slips, including some slips on the north side of the river. There are about 30 available for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. There is water and power at each slip. Washrooms, showers and laundry facilities are available. There are picnic areas and BBQ grills.
Grand Bend Yacht Club (519) 238-6676
GBYC is upriver from Lambton Shores marina, on the south side of the river. They have 52 slips and would be able to accomodate several transient cruisers. They do not have a fuel dock or pumpout station. They have water and power at the docks. There are washrooms, showers and laundry facilities in the clubhouse.
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE, PROVISIONING, BANKS/ATM's
Southwest Marine Services can provide general repair and maintenance services.
Sobey's is a large supermarket located about .75 mi/1.3 km from the harbour
TD Bank, located in the downtown (.5 mi/1 km) has counter service and ATMs.
Grand Bend Community Health Centre (519) 238-2362 is a walk-in clinic locate north of the Au Sable River, about .75 mi/1.3 km away. The nearest hospital is South Huron Hospital, located about 15 mi/25 km to the east in Exeter, ON.
Shoppers Drug Mart (519) 238-8540 is located about .5 mi/1 km from the harbour.
PLACES TO EAT
As you would expect in a summer resort town, there are lots of places in Grand Bend Ontario to enjoy a meal or a drink on a warm summer day. Most are found along either Main St. or Ontario St. F.I.N.E. A Restaurant specializes in regional cuisine. Enjoy their warm, wood-toned dining room or lovely outdoor patio. Riverbend Bar & Grill is a casual neighbourhood bar.
Aunt Gussies has been serving the local community for decades. That suggests they must be doing something right. Good food in a warm, comfortable setting.
The Colonial Hotel has a popular dining room - the Rod and Gun Lounge - which offers standard pub fare along with a good selection beers. Enjoy their outdoor patio. Free WIFI is available as well.
Paddington's is a popular, cozy pub that has an outdoor patio and live entertainment most weekends.
If you want to sample great fish, look no further than Purdy's. For over 100 years, the Purdy family has fished Lake Huron waters. In addition to a major wholesale operation, Purdy's has a large and popular retail store on the waterfront. Not only do they have superb fish, they will cheerfully share ideas on preparing it so you get the best enjoyment from it.
THINGS TO DO/SEE/VISIT
Grand Bend Ontario is a great harbour for a stop over. The beaches are terrific. There are the usual shops, bars and restaurants you would expect in a very popular beach town.
In and around town are other points of interest. If the roar of engines is music to your ears, check out Grand Bend Motorplex & International Speedway. It hosts weekend racing every weekend of the summer.
For other types of music, there is Gables with live entertainment nightly.
The Huron County Playhouseis a first-rate theatre company that stages musicals and dramas that draw audiences from across Ontario and Michigan.
There is no shortage of things to occupy a visiting sailor who chooses to spend a few days in Grand Bend Ontario . The Grand Bend Ontario tourism page or this Grand Bend ON site will give you lots of ideas on how you can enjoy your visit to this summer haven.
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