This park of 1,832 hectares (4,505 acres), located between Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay, was created in 1962. It is within the southern part of the upland boreal forest region.
Settlement of the area began with the fur trade of the 1700s. By 1797, both the North West Company and the rival Hudson’s Bay Company were trading with the Ojibways along the Michipicoten River for furs. In 1821, the Hudson’s Bay Company took over the North West Company.
Work on the construction of the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway reached here in 1884. A cabin at White Lake was an important rest stop along the unfinished portion for soldiers on their way to put down the Riel Rebellion in Manitoba.
The route of the Trans-Canada Highway through White River was opened in 1960.
A prosperous lumber industry in the black pine and jack pine forests developed, peaking in the 1950s. Between 1910 and 1932, Ontario and immigrant men came to work in the lumber camps. Timber went from White Lake down the White River to Lake Superior in annual log drives. The last drive was in 1964.
Mining of gold was begun about 1872. It was not until 1980 that the mother lode was found. There are several mines in the area, but they will eventually be terminated and the landscape returned to its natural state.
The Precambrian Shield, of which White Lake is a part, consists of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. The metavolcanic and metasedimentary bedrock is covered by glacial deposits, sand, gravel, and boulders.
We would like to thank Laurel Finney, Natural Heritage Education Co-ordinator, White Lake Provincial Park, for information provided for this page.
(This page was updated in November 2012.)