If you look across the water you can see a very special part of Awenda, Giant’s Tomb Island. The island’s formation is unique as it marks the beginning of the Canadian Shield which is just beyond the island’s northern tip.

The Canadian Shield

The Shield is a large stretch of bedrock formed 554 million years ago that covers parts of Nunavut, the North-West Territories and Manitoba; most of Ontario; and all of Quebec.
In Awenda you can see where the massive Canadian Shield comes to an end.

But there’s more to the island than rock, Giant’s Tomb Island is one of only five islands out of thousands of islands in the area that is covered by glacial till, leftover debris from when the glacier retreated.

The view of Giant's Tomb Island from the beach.
The view of Giant’s Tomb Island from the beach.

What’s in a name?

For such a unique geological feature, Giant’s Tomb Island was deserving of an equally special name which came from the legendary giant, Kitchekewana.

In native story it was Kitchekewana, who, in a blind rage when the woman he loved left him, formed the 30,000 Islands by tossing huge rocks to the North after her. Exhausted and heartbroken he lay down in his final resting place to die.

If you look carefully his head is to the north; his arms are folded over his chest (highest point) and his legs are stretching to the south.

Challenge: Cup your hands around your eyes like a pair of binoculars, or use a pair of binocoulars, to focus a short distance east, or to the right, of ‘the Tomb’.
Follow Kitchekewana’s handiwork and go island hopping to discover the actual boundary of southern Ontario and the Canadian Shield. The underlying rock of the larger landscape south of the bald islands is limestone. The area is appropriately referred to as the transition zone.
What direction is the dividing line traveling?

Next up: For Stop #3 keep heading down the beach (to your left if you are facing the water) all the way to the tip till you see a giant boulder–the biggest one on the shoreline.