Islands are inherently enigmatic locales. They captivate our imaginations and remind us that something new awaits to be explored, just beyond our familiar shores. Islands are geographically secluded, sometimes isolated, and always worthy settings for top-shelf adventure (think Treasure Island, Lord of the Flies, The Beach, Lost).
But we don’t have to venture that far out to appreciate their allure. With its long coastlines and numerous lakes and rivers, Canada is prime territory for little-known islands. Here is our top 10 roundup:
Here Are The Most Mysterious Islands In Canada
10.René-Levasseur Island, Quebec
This near-perfectly circular island is the result of a 5 kilometre-wide meteor that slammed into what is now Lake Manicouagan some 200 million years ago.
Sometimes referred to as the “Eye of Quebec”, it is visible from space. But no need to go that far. Day visitors and outdoor enthusiasts are welcome.
9.Oak Island, Nova Scotia
No longer secret, and popular enough to inspire a show, Oak Island holds a 223-year mystery. Like something out of The Goonies, for two centuries teams of researchers (including Franklin D. Roosevelt), have tried to unearth what is believed to be an elaborately hidden treasure (some even believe it to be The Grail).
The island does have inexplicable features (including an elaborate shaft, dubbed “the money pit”) and it comes with a curse to boot. The latter is said to have originated more than a century ago, stating that seven men will die in their search of the treasure before it is found. To date, six men have died in pursuit. Need we say more?
8.S’Gang Gwaay island, British Columbia
The Haida have lived on the Haida Gwaii archipelago for some 8,000 years. The village of S’Gang Gwaay, located in the south-west, is part of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and the Haida Heritage Site.
Occupied by the Haida village until the 1880s, the captivating totem poles remain, slowly giving way to nature’s order. It is only accessible by boat and only about a dozen people are allowed to visit it at a time, guided by Haida Watchmen, who explains the significance of the totems.
7.Saint-Pierre et Miquelon (et L’Île-aux-Marins), France
Ok, so it’s not technically in Canada, but it is odd to think that just an hour away from Fortune, Newfoundland you can find yourself in France (not Quebec, but France). Saint-Pierre is more of a commercial centre, while it’s brother-island, Miquelon, is more sparsely populated and features the Grand Barachois lagoon, a popular hangout for seabirds and seals.
But here is where it gets really interesting: Nearby L’Île-aux-Marins is just off the coast of its bigger and better-known siblings, but was actually a commune until 1945 when it got annexed by Saint-Pierre. While its settlement dates back to the 1600s, it is a present-day ghost-town and an abandoned fishing village. Creepy.
5.Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Mnidoo Mnis, as it’s known by its modern Odawa name, means “Spirit Island”, and historically, was named for an underwater cave where a powerful spirit was said to live. It is the largest lake island in the world and situated in Ontario’s aqua-coloured Lake Huron, it has numerous scenic points, including High Falls.
While not “secret” (ancient artifacts point to human settlement as early as 10,000 B.C.), it is located in what is known as Rainbow Country in Northeastern Ontario, and its beauty is equally captivating. Don’t miss it’s iconic Bridal Veil Falls.
4.Flower Pot Island, Ontario
Flowerpot Island in the Fathom Five National Marine Park is a popular destination for glass bottom tours. There are caves and shipwrecks to explore, hiking to be done and Instagram photos to take.
The features that gave the island its name are two rock formations that millennia of wind and ice shaped into what look like huge flower pots.
3.Îles de la Madeleine, Quebec
Also known as Magdalene Islands, these islands are officially part of La Belle Province, but so tucked away in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, they’re actually closer to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
You can enjoy Caribbean-like sandy shores, make most of the sandstone cliffs at sunset, or visit the incredible caves,
2.Fairy Lake Tree, British Columbia
This little island is what childhood dreams are made of: There is a mysterious and tenacious Douglas fir growing on a tiny island in the middle of a lake near Port Renfrew in British Columbia. The lake too lives up to its name, Fairy Lake, and does serve as a perfect setting for fairy folk.
1.Sable Island (French: île de Sable), Nova Scotia
Literally translating to “Island of Sand”, this East Coast island is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, about 300 km southeast of Halifax. The island is known for its Sable Island feral horse – a dark,
pony-sized horse that was first released on the island in the 1800s and is now genetically unique enough to warrant research. This island too isn’t secret, but it did come as a surprise to the many seafarers who got shipwrecked on the island’s many sand bars. Some 350 ships fell victim to this fate.