The Township of Ryerson was incorporated in 1880 and named after Dr. Egerton Ryerson, the Chief Superintendent of Education for Ontario from 1844 to 1876, who was the founder of the educational system in Upper Canada (Ryerson University in Toronto is also named after him).
An excerpt from the local history book, A Tribute to Ryerson Township, describes: “…The Township of Ryerson (as) situated in the east portion of the District of Parry Sound in the Province of Ontario. It is a beautiful area containing several lakes and the Magnetawan River winding its way through the Township from East to West. The River at one time was the main means of travel as the steam boats navigated the waters.
Each season of the year has its own attractions. In spring, even before the buds burst open, the tantalizing aroma of syrup making fills the air. In summer the lakes are surrounded by people on holidays, boating, water skiing and swimming. The fantastic beauty of the woods in the fall is almost impossible to describe, with all the glorious colours of red maple, gold birch, yellow popular and evergreens, mixed in just the proper proportions. Then it is winter and the snow is like a soft downy blanket over everything, the air is crisp and cold and oh so fresh! Just right for cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing or an old fashioned horse drawn sleigh ride.
Today with good roads, cars to travel in, and trucks to move our possessions it is difficult indeed to visualize the early settlers as they moved into the area. Many of the first settlers walked miles to the spot they had chosen to clear the trees and build their log homes. Imagine if you can the dense forests in the mid 1880’s and the trails winding their way through swamps and around mountains to an unknown area where many of the early settlers decided to build their homes. The Township of Ryerson is made up of six well known communities: Midlothian, Doe Lake, Starratt, Wiseman’s Corner, Cecebe, and Bordeau.
Historic points of interest include the Wiseman’s Corner School House, S.S. #4, Younger’s Landing (a steamer stop on the Magnetawan River), the Swing Bridge on the Midlothian Road, and Echo Rock where a steamer sank.
The navigable waters of the Magnetawan River and Lake Cecebe played a great part in the settlement of the area and today still play an important role encouraging tourism and cottage development. In 2004 the Township of Ryerson replaced the historic Midlothian Road one lane “Swing Bridge”, with a new two lane structure. In November the Township celebrated the opening of the new bridge with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The middle section of the Swing Bridge was saved and is on display at the Museum located at 112 Midlothian Road. The Township logo is not of the swing bridge which was replaced in 2004, but rather on a picture of the original bridge built across the Magnetawan River.”
The Township has available the second edition of the history book
A Tribute to Ryerson Township 1880-2007
$20.00 including GST
Copies can be obtained at the Township office.