|Entrance to Nancy Island Provincial Park|
Wasaga Beach plays a lively role in Canada's young history. During the War of 1812, the area saw battle between the British and Americans who faught over the control of the Upper Great Lakes. On August 13th, 1814 an American fleet of three ships arrived at the river mouth and discovered the British schooner Nancy and after a heavy fight sunk it in the river. It all took place at what is now known as Nancy Island. Visitors are encouraged to visit Nancy Island's wonderful museum and learn more about the history of this area. Before the arrival of the Europeans, the river mound was settled by natives. The meager sandy soil did not make for good farming but it was the abundance of fish and the ideal supply route provided by the Nottawasaga River that attracted natives, early settlers and later loggers and fur traders.
During the turn of the century and through the twenties and thirties, Wasaga Beach developed into a tourist destination for the rich and famous that could afford the long and expensive trip from the City of Toronto to this remote area. Several grand hotels and dance halls had been built along the river and shoreline. All of these structures had been torn down, but the famous Dardanella Night Club, still a big attraction, is still where is was built so many years ago.
During World War II, Wasaga Beach saw a big boom when thousands of service men stationed in nearby Base Borden flocked to the sandy beaches on weekends, causing the first real building boom of cottages and year round structures. Ever since then, Wasaga Beach has been a prime vacation spot, welcoming countless of tourists and summer residents.
Now Wasaga Beach is developing into a year round vacation destination and has been named Ontario's largest growing community in its range. Residential and touristic development alike will bring Wasaga Beach to the next level but always with the visitors and tourists in mind.