In 1949 Jack McIntaggart purchased a tract of land on Georgian Bay - extending from what is now known as 1595 to 1679 Champlain Road in the Township of Tiny - from Ethel Odessa. The development was called Clearwater Beach because of the clarity of the water. In the early 1950’s, the Northern section was subdivided by the Desroches Family to accommodate four seasonal dwellings, and the Southern section was subdivided by Leo Mailloux.
At the time, Concession 17 ended at the Bush Road. The only access to the property, which ended at the Daniels' property, now known as 1673 Chaplain Road, was by a lumber trail from Bush Road to Marygrove. In 1956, the Concession was extended straight through to Beach Road, which itself was extended to Crescentwood Beach allowing for the development of the North end of Clearwater Beach.
In 1952 Jack Purkis called a meeting in his cottage (1641 Champlain Road) attended by Bill Hendry, Sam Goodfellow, Maurice Hook, Bill Dalryimple’ Jack Purkis, Harry Hook, Ray Hook and Jack McIntaggart for the purpose of organizing a Ratepayers’ Association. They authorized Jack Purkis to draft a constitution and bylaws for presentation the following year. The Clearwater Beach Ratepayers’ Association constitution and by-laws were adopted at a General Meeting held in Maurice Hook’s boat house (1631 Champlain Road) in July 1953. Maurice Hook was elected as the first President and Jack Purkis was named Secretary Treasurer.
At first, The Association covered only the McIntaggart sub-division. As the South end had been developed, and the middle section was starting to fill in, the following year the boundary was extended past Pinery Point, then an American fishing camp, to the Marygrove boundary.
When Beach Road was cut through to Crescentwood, the North end developed, and in 1959, George Britton approached the Association to request membership for the area as far north as the lot now known as 1769 Champlain Road. The cottagers in this area preferred to join Clearwater rather than Crescentwood, as they perceived it to be a stronger voice for road improvements in the area. The entire area between Marygrove and Crescentwood Beach now became known as Clearwater Beach, and George Summers erected the now famous “Have a Heart” signs at both ends of The Beach. The cottages were numbered and this property identification system was adopted by the Township of Tiny.
The Annual Clearwater Beach “Fun Day” started at Harry Hook’s cottage as a swim meet in 1953 for the purpose of encouraging children to learn to swim. As the children got older, the entries to swimming events dropped off, so races and special events were introduced. In the mid-1960’s, the site shifted to Bill Parker’s property. As the event grew, space became limited and arrangements were made to hold the “Fun Day” at Camp Marygrove. The event continues to be held there each year on the Saturday afternoon of the Labour Day weekend, and has become a touchstone for many generations of cottaging families.
With the introduction of snowmobiles in the late 1960’s, winter activities also began to develop along Clearwater Beach. Year round access prompted many property owners to winterize their cottages, and some adopted them as permanent residences. While retaining its cottage atmosphere and rich history, Clearwater Beach has evolved into a dynamic mix of vacationers, commuters and retirees living on the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay. Together, we all continue to write the history of our beloved Beach.
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