Barratt Island – Everything You Need to Know!



Barratt Island


As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Barratt Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It offers a stunning view of the Hamilton Harbour and a picturesque setting.

Apart from tourists, Barratt Island also attracts fisherman who come to catch salmon, herring, and mackerel. With an increase in the number of tourists, the island has also had to contend with increasing demands for water and resources.

The municipality is currently considering ways to address these demands while ensuring the island remains a beautiful and sustainable tourist destination.

Barratt Island

Geography and climate of Barratt Island


The St. Clair River forms the border of Barratt and Conception Bays on its west side, while Desbarats Bay lies to the north. An area now known as Carruthers Island once sat in between these waterways, but was connected with mainland to the east via a causeway after being filled in around 1934

The climate is characterized by long warm summers (July average heat 9 °C), short mild winters (December average minimum -7 °C) and high rainfall (August average of 105.6mm, or 3¼ in). In general there is a longer growing season than on the rest of the Bruce Peninsula because it receives more winter snowfall.

In terms of geography, Barratt Island has an overall area off coast land with an approximate total area size as following:

History of Barratt Island

The Barratt Islands, once home to a village of the same name on Brunger Island, were created by glaciers during the last Ice Age and are attached to mainland shorelines via mostly natural sandstone bluffs.

It is thought that the island’s most recent glacial erosional episode occurred 8-9 thousand years ago when glacier meltwater caused underwater landslides which separated a portion of what used to be an archipelago off coast land from mainland shorelines.

Over time these submerged land masses emerged above the waterline, extending several kilometres out into the St. Clair River and nearby Desbarats Bay thus forming two islands (Peninsula Island and Lower Peninsula Island).

Growth on Barratt began in 1874 when a group of artists took over an old military post located at Carraway Camp for use as summer artist colony home to create art work – glass blowing, lighting fires etc.

Wildlife of Barratt Island


Birding is a popular activity on Barratt. The island has been used for research by the Flamingo Project, Michigan Audubon Society, and other organizations which have studied migratory birds such as Canada Goose’s.

An endangered species of land bird known as Barrow’s Goldeneye are often seen swimming in coastal waters from Peninsula Island to Lower Peninsula Island during breeding times with few sightings elsewhere in the winter months or spring through fall before going to the incubation areas for their nests.

This unique bird is listed by COSEWIC as endangered and studies have shown that this species requires a narrow habitat, which includes coastlines of another vanishing island (Peninsula Island) over fish-bearing flats along with freshwater lakes and marshes on adjacent islands which include Barratt Islands.

Tourism on Barratt Island

Tourism on Barratt Island

The Historic Barratt Island Bird Observatory Building (aka The Farm) is open for hands on experience to the public. Located at Peninsula Point and built in 1957, it was Michigan’s first inland cottage with running water & toilet.

This unique building contains bedrooms, living rooms a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom facilities as well as private backyards of waterfront cottages – uniquely owned individually by full time residents who still maintain family life-style from home office desk areas and laundry rooms.

Three historic cottages are being restored with new paint, doors & windows plus solar heating systems at Peninsula Point to make them fully operable: 1978-Cottage No 1; 1954-Cottage No 2; 1957 – The Farm.

Winter months resort life exists year round on Barratt as the land may be traveled by snowmobile or ATV’s which access various island beaches including those with camping facilities along unde.

Water management on Barratt Island

Water management on Barratt Island

Protection of water quality on Barratt Island is a critical and complex issue. Due to the large amount of land not suitable for ultimate land use due to poor soil conditions, two main strategies were implemented by CCSD/RIU in 1996:

Regular beach clean-ups as well as sediment monitoring and flow enhancements at several streams has been ongoing since then with support from Bird Studies Canada (BSC) & Environment Canada. Sulphide

Infrastructure on Barratt Island

There are no sewage treatment facilities on Barratt Island, but the RIU have investigated “dual-use” composting (genetically engineered processes implementing chlorine agains all organic materials).

However since 2000 bird droppings and beech seeds have been handled by bioremediation techniques involve water purification in place of chlorination.

Past Human Use on Barratt Island Past human use of Barratt Island was for cattle and sheep grazing with pastures covering much of the island from midelevation to water-levels.

At its peak there were 114 fellow residents on Barratt Island which decreased dramatically after 1934, going through several phases:

During 1951 Ontario demanded that CCSD relocate all structures away from large creeks & ponds – essentially creating multiple land/water management units (LMWU ) on Barratt Island.

The LMWU were created south of the former homesteads & farm buildings, north of Algonquin Road, and creating both a salt marsh and freshwater wetland environment for marshes with saw grasses known as “Annawix”.

Sandy beaches exist on each side along most major creeks – what used to be horse paddocks/pastures are now areas that wash-in sand from Smith’s pond


Birding is often the catalyst for tourism development, however Bird Studies Canada & Environment Canada have surveyed birds and their habitats on Barratt Island.

They found much of the island was undisturbed by human resource activity or past uses – various hiking conservation trails were constructed to encourage these activities as well as providing a historical context for birdwatching

Highlights: See detailed report here . Future plans include aiding power generation at an abandoned 20 MVA hydroelectric dam – creating fish habitats, restoring a foredune area and hydroseeding areas on the southern shore of Smiths pond.


About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

  • How To Test A Chainsaw Ignition Coil: The Easy Way Chainsaw ignition coils are used to start the chainsaw engine. They do this by allowing the spark plug into the gas supply of the chainsaw. A chainsaw ignition coil can get damaged over time, which can cause it to fail to spark. Failure of a…

    Read more

  • All About Of Photo Retouching – Everything You Have to Know

    All About Of Photo Retouching – Everything You Have to Know

    If you have ever wished you could take your photos to the next level, photo retouching is the perfect solution for you! With easy-to-use tools and a wealth of options, you can make your photos look glossy, fresh, and perfect for any occasion. Whether you want to remove blemishes, brighten up your teeth or add…

    Read more

  • The Admiral Roaring Currents Meaning and Ending Explanation

    The Admiral Roaring Currents Meaning and Ending Explanation

    Recently, a friend told me about the upcoming movie “The Admiral: Roaring Currents.” The film’s premise is that an ex-Navy SEAL and a billionaire inventor attempt to build a ship in the 19th century using new technology. What was interesting to me was the protagonist’s name – Admiral Tom Barrow. I had never heard this…

    Read more