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KILLARNEY, ONTARIO – It doesn’t take long to decompress in Killarney, although a jump into the soothing waters of Lake Huron on a hot summer day certainly speeds up the process.

Lounging by the rocky shore of Georgian Bay, the stillness of the day is only occasionally broken by the sound of children playing on the beach or the gurgle of boats passing through the channel. Whether relaxing in the sun or feasting on mouth-watering fish and chips, Killarney offers a welcome respite from the complications of everyday life.

A five-hour drive north of Toronto, Killarney is famed for its rugged natural beauty. Outdoor lovers and artists flock to Killarney Provincial Park, yet the region is remote enough to have escaped the crowds and development experienced further south in Muskoka and the Kawarthas.

The village of Killarney is the hub for the region, nestled among the red granite rocks of the Canadian Shield. It’s a popular stop for sailboats and cruisers plying the Great Lakes, in addition to fans of hiking, kayaking, canoeing and rock-hounding.

Here visitors will find Killarney Mountain Lodge, a 46-room resort on the eastern edge of town. Originally built as a private retreat for the Fruehauf Trailer Company of Detroit, the resort has been operated by Maury and Annabelle East since 1962.

The cottage-like design hasn’t changed much since then, with its inviting wood decor and comfortable furniture. Friendly activity directors check in with guests to inform them about scheduled sailing excursions, kayak lessons and scenic hikes. “We try to encourage people to take those trips,” says Mrs. East. “We hope that they get out either on the bay or on the inland lakes to see the beauty of the area.”

After a long day enjoying the outdoors, lodge visitors can enjoy comfort food made from tried and true recipes. Local ingredients are used whenever possible, from fresh pan-fried fish to succulent wild blueberries.

Herbert Fisheries Fish and Chips

Killarney’s main culinary attraction is Herbert Fisheries Fish and Chips. People have been known to fly in to town for the sole purpose of tasting their French fries and whitefish, lightly-battered and cooked to flaky perfection. There are no frozen fish sticks here; the catch is brought in daily from Lake Huron.

The Group of Seven

Killarney Provincial Park has been a popular spot for artists ever since the region was featured in paintings by the Group of Seven. A. Y. Jackson was so concerned about logging that he spearheaded a successful lobbying effort to set aside land to protect its rugged beauty, eventually leading to the founding of the park.

This article was originally published in Metro News. You can find it here.

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