Pickerel was a small lumbering settlement that began as a booming point for the logs being floated down to the Georgian Bay and onward to the mills. It started with a store to service local jobbers. A second store was quickly added after the Canadian Northern Railway (later CN) arrived in 1910.
Things began to pick up during the 1920s. Pickerel saw its best days with the opening of a store, post office, sawmill, and boat house, that doubled as a Roman Catholic church once a month. A large building known as “the hall” was used regularly for dances and other social activities.
Pickerel continued to grow during the 40s. A school was built around 1940. Shortly after that, the railway employees formed a gun club and also built 14 small cabins.
By the 50s, things were quieting down. By then the sawmill had closed and the railway had left. The population eventually dropped to nothing in the mid-60s.
Pickerel has seen a modest renewal of sorts. It continues to exist as a summer hideaway for cottagers, many of whom grew up in the community and still have strong roots. Many of the old buildings and cottages have now been renovated and are used as summer homes. Learn more