Click here! Constance Bay


Looking at Sand Point from the River.
Constance Bay is a prominent feature on this stretch of water. Sand Point is located in the northwest corner of the bay, and the area just south of it is a very popular day anchorage for those who like to stop for a swim. While the point remains a distinguishable landmark on the river, it is far less impressive than the large sand bluff that used to exist on this spot during the days when the Ottawa River was the major fur trading route into North America. Historical notes indicate that by the early 1900's much of the bluff had been carted away for "building purposes".

Like Aylmer Island, Sand Point has provided evidence of an earlier Aboriginal presence on the Ottawa River. Human bones have been found in the sand, and these are believed to be the remains of an Iroquois war party that suffered a surprise attack by French fur traders along with their Aboriginal allies (most likely Algonquin and/or Huron).

As was the practice in those days, the Iroquois had posted a sentry on the sand bluff overlooking the river. However the Iroquois encampment had already been spotted by nearby fur traders and their Aboriginal allies. Under cover of darkness, they decided to launch a preemptive strike against the superior and larger Iroquois war party. In the middle of the night they took to their canoes and quietly landed at the southern end of Constance Bay. From here the French fur traders and their
The anchorage is located in the area south of Sand Pt.
allies made their way overland back towards Sand Point. This brought them behind the Iroquois camp. Their nighttime attack apparently caught the Iroquois completely off guard.

Although the area south of Sand Point does not offer quite as much protection from the prevailing west or north-west winds as some other spots along the river, numerous boats do use it as a fair-weather overnight anchorage. One of its advantages is that it is relatively free of the hoards of mosquitoes that plague many other anchorages along this waterway. A gradually sloping sandy bottom which extends a considerable distance from the beach makes for easy anchoring. Boats approaching this area should keep an eye out for a rather long sand bar which jets out under the water from Sand Point.

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Text and photos by Michael McGoldrick.
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