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Tourism – Settlement Continues

Following the influx of the railway lines and the eventual improvement of the road networks that accessed Bancroft and North Hastings, tourism gained a foothold as another wave of settlers found our area. The affluence of the industrial revolution created employment and success in business that gave disposable income to some searching for that “Shangri La” within reasonable travel distance from the populated areas of Southern Ontario and the northern USA.

The cottage and tourist industry sprang up after World War 1 and continues today and cottage country settlers and their subsequent families continue to frequent their “paradise” in North Hastings. Direct descendants of some world renowned business’ came to our lakes in the early 1900’s and built cottages beside our First Nation families who made the lakes their home. Baptiste Lake bears the name of the Chief of the local Algonquins, John Baptiste who first came to our area from the Lake of the Mountain and Oka region of southern Quebec. Families such as the Irwin’s out of the Oshawa region who had direct connection to the original entrepreneurs who started “General Motors of Canada Ltd.”, brothers George and Sam McLaughlin were a family that shared Baptiste Lake with their First Nation neighbours.

Local employment was sparse at best for many locals and the connections made from cottagers and tourists from the cities gave opportunities to get jobs when none were available here. As the draw for recreation brought cottagers and tourism here, employment drew people to jobs in the cities. This cycle continues with retiring locals who went to the city for work and prosperity, are able to return to their roots and become another wave of settlers to Bancroft and North Hastings.