The Friends of Awenda Park

Geology Challenge

Stop #2: Giant’s Tomb Island – Awenda’s Stony Giant

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 Shield is a large stretch of bedrock formed 554 million years ago that covers parts of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, 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 in the area that is covered by glacial till, which is leftover sediment from the glacier retreating.

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 God called Kitchikewana.

Wyandot legend tells of a great warrior, Kitchikewana, 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: The Tomb

Cup your hands around your eyes like a pair of binoculars, or use a pair of binoculars, to focus a short distance east, or to the right, of “the Tomb”.

Follow Kitchikewana’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. Can you spot the boundary line?

Next Up: Head to Stop #3

  • Continue walking westward down the beach, or to your left when facing the bay, until you see a giant boulder – the biggest one on the shoreline.
  • Find the wooden post labelled Stop #3, and click on Next Up: Stop #3 below.