When you take frequent road trips (or make a website about a street) you learn a few lessons very quickly:
- Lesson #1 – Always keep your keys in your pocket – lest you get locked out in the middle of nowhere.
- Lesson #2 – Always follow the map – lest you get lost in the middle of nowhere.
- Lesson #3 – Maps always lie.
Although my provincial highway map seems to suggest others, once again Pass Lake isn’t on Highway 11. It has a gas station and a few homes on the highway, but the town is five kilometres south of the highway, towards Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
Pass Lake has two interesting aspects to its history. First, the area was first populated by the Aqua-Plano Aboriginals 9000 years ago. The Aqua-Plano built a society around the hunting of large game animals, building specialized tools to prolong their existence.
Second, the area was the site of a special settlement of Danish homesteaders during the Great Depression. It was hard for Danes to own land at home, some they came to Canada, cleared the land, built a settlement, and in 1932 erected Salem Lutheran Church, which still stands today. A quick scan of local mailboxes showed names like Hansen, Salem, Sorensen, and Riemer, showing that descendants of original settlers remain to this day.A local resident obviously wouldn’t let a bad acronym get in the way either her own name or the joys of alliteration –
Kathy’s Karen’s Kountry Kitchen serves home cooked meals on what must be one of Ontario’s most serene patios. There is a beach at the lake with some cottage and camping facilities. Beyond that, the town was hard to find. There was an arrow for a community centre, but it looked to be far into the bush on a red dirt road. The houses are spaced out and there is no focus to the town.
Pass Lake hosts an annual fall fair and offers some great views of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, which is approximately 25 kilometres further down the peninsula from the town.