Region1: South Western Ontario

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This is the southern most region in Canada. With a latitude of Northern California this area has the warmest diving available, and the longest season. From the developed St. Clair and Detroit River system to the deserted coastline of Lake Erie there are several weeks worth of diving available on numerous shipwrecks.

The Lake Erie coastline is very flat on the western rim, rising to bluffs and rolling sand dunes at Long Point and ending in the colossal Niagara gorge where it pours into Lake Ontario. The region is the flattest in Ontario, but is rolling in places and cut by many rivers.

The summer heat provides the fuel for some of Canada's most impressive Thunderstorm activity especially in the Windsor to London corridor. Be careful if you venture out into the open lakes; both Erie and Huron are big and dangerous.

Several rivers are routinely dove, and several quarries in the region allow divers. The rivers are usually characterized as high current or low visibility and are generally not suitable for novice divers. The quarries provide very protected, shallow safe diving.

The visibility ranges from excellent to zero. Lake Huron is the clearest diving in the province and Lake Erie, because it is shallow, and silt filled is generally much lower visibility. However, the invasion of Zebra Mussels in recent years has filtered out so much of the silt in Lake Erie that its visibility is often as good as it is in Lake Huron.

The heavy population in the Western area makes boaters the single greatest hazard the diver will face, and a dive flag is absolutely an essential item in this area.

Map key

The region divides into several natural diving zones: (yellow regions)

  1. LowerLakeHuron
  2. St.Clair River
  3. Detroit River
  4. Pelee Passage
  5. Rondeau
  6. Long Point

Many dive shops can be found in the area. Several are found each in:

Numerous parks provide plenty of camping and diving possibilities right from your campsite.

  1. The Pinery
  2. Ipperwash
  3. Point Pelee National Park
  4. Wheatley
  5. Rondeau
  6. John E. Pearce
  7. Port Bruce
  8. Port Burwell
  9. Long Point
  10. Turkey Point
General Information regarding parks

This is a contact list for the parks. The "Camp Sites" column lists the total available for the park. The "Pull Through" list indicates the fraction that can accomodate trailers. The reservation phone numbers may indicate the regional office in some cases.

Park Camp Sites Pull Through Park Phone Reservations
Pinery 1000 126 (519) 243-2220 (519) 243-3099
Ipperwash 266 112 (519) 243-2220 (519) 243-3099
Point Pelee National na na (519) 326-3204 na
Wheatley 210 210 (519) 825-4659 (519) 354-7340
Rondeau 226 150 (519) 674-5404 (519) 354-7340
John E. Pearce na na na na
Port Bruce na na (519) 773-9241 na
Port Burwell 232 ? (519) 874-4691 (416) 314-1717
Long Point 265 100 (519) 586-2133 (519) 426-7650
Turkey Point 195 30 (519) 426-3239 (519) 426-7650

These descriptions are linked to the park icons on the map. Clicking on one will bring you to the appropriate park description.

The Pinery

A favourite spot for summer parties. This park is located near the community of Grand Bend It is somewhat out of the way for diving, except for the Kettle Point site.

Ipperwash Provincial Park

Currently there are ownership disputes regarding this park. It is not particularly near any diving sites.

Point Pelee National Park

This park provides access to the only shore dive wreck in the region. It is Canada's most southern point and is definitely worth the visit. There is no camping in the park, but there are numerous places to chose from around the area. The park is a must visit for several reasons. This lance-like formation juts out into Lake Erie and has impaled a staggering variety of ships on her shoals. The wreck of the Conemaugh lies just off the tip, it struck the point so hard that her propeller blades were snapped off.

Wheatley Provincial Park

Several creeks provide canoeing within the park, and plenty of beach access is available on the lake. Quiet and out of the way.

Rondeau Provincial Park

The second of the three sandspits of Ontario contains the largest remaining stand of Ontario's hardwood forest. Over 200 campgrounds and 12 kilometres of beach give you plenty of room. Easy access to the Rondeau wrecks from this area.

John E. Pearce Provincial Park

No camping is available here, but you can see the sand and clay bluffs that run along a part of the lake shore.

Port Bruce Provincial Park

A neighbouring park to Pearce, no camping is available.

Port Burwell Provincial Park

The nearest park outside Long Point, it features woodlands, meadows, wetlands and dunes. over 200 campsites, and comfort stations with showers are available.

Long Point Provincial Park

Plenty of camping and comfort stations here. The sand and gravel beaches and wetlands make it excellent for bird watching. It is the longest sandspit in Ontario and hides dozens of sunken vessels off her sandy shores.

Turkey Point Provincial Park

Located along lake Erie bluffs, there is almost 2km of beaches, 195 campsites and comfort stations.

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