Click here! Pinhey Point

Pinhey Point anchorage ( the actual point is on the right ).
Pinhey Point provides for a pretty little bay which serves as a very popular day anchorage, and a convenient overnight anchorage. Because of its proximity to the marinas and sailing clubs on Lake Deschenes, it can be very busy. This is especially true on Friday evenings when boats pour into Pinhey Point in order to get an early start for a weekend cruise upriver.

The Greek Isles?  No - a view from Pinhey Pt. onshore.
Although the area behind the point offers protection from a wide variety of winds, a large number of boats regularly anchor along the shoreline up to a half kilometer downriver from Pinhey Point. These boats will be protected from winds from the south to the west, including the prevailing northwest winds. However, if the winds shift a little more to the north, the waves will start to refract around the point, and these boats may spend a bumpy night at anchor.

While Pinhey Point can fill up quite fast on weekends, it is worth noting that boats arriving in the evening hours still have a chance of finding a nice spot to anchor for the night. This is because many people use Pinhey Point as a day anchorage, and after they are finished supper, they pull up
Pinhey Pt. on Nautical Chart
anchor and head home. (Most sailboats can motor back to one of the clubs on the far side of Lake Deschenes in slightly under two hours. Sailing times will, of course, depend on the wind conditions.)

Pinhey Point has a muddy bottom, but it is littered with old logs that have long lost their buoyancy. Although efforts have been made to clean up these old logs, those that remain can still make anchoring difficult on occasion.

Local Heritage Site at Pinhey Point

Print # 1. The area around Pinhey Point, circa 1840.
Onshore, Pinhey Point is home to an 88 acre heritage site, including an old manor house which dates back to the early 1800's. The house is open for tours from Wednesday to Sunday throughout the summer months. The rest of the time people are free to roam around the grounds of the heritage site where they will find picnic tables, public toilets (with showers), a children's play structure, and a bandstand which was erected by the former City of Kanata.

Access to the actual Point was closed to the public sometime ago because it was found that the large number of visitors was endangering the ecology of this small strip of land. Also note that people should not attempt to land at the site's small dock facilities in anything bigger than a dinghy or tender.

Print # 1 is an engraving by W. H. Bartlett. It shows the area along the Ontario shoreline immediately downriver from Pinhey Point (Horaceville) around 1840. The church in the background was located relatively close to Pinhey Point in an area just southeast of the manor house, and its ruins can still be seen today. The text in the blue box below is from a plaque erected on the site by the Ontario Heritage Foundation. It provides a good summary of the history of the original settlement at Pinhey Point.

A merchant and ship owner in his native England, Pinhey came to Upper Canada in 1820. For his services as King's messenger during the Napoleonic Wars, he received a 1000 acres land grant on the Ottawa River. Within a decade he had built up an estate which he named Horaceville after his elder son. In addition to a manor house and barns, it included mills, a store and church. Pinhey took a leading part in township and district affairs. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1847, served as Warden of the Dalhousie District, and as the first Warden of Carleton County. Horaceville remained in family hands until 1959 when it was purchased by the National Capital Commission.
( From a plaque erected on the site by the Ontario Heritage Foundation. )
The Pinhey's Point Heritage Site (now owned and operated by the City of Ottawa) in conjunction with the Pinhey's Point Foundation organizes events and historical exhibits from late June to the end of August, including the "Children's Discovery Days (on most Sundays). Most of the events and activities are free, but donations are appreciated. For more details about these events and the heritage site, see the The Pinhey's Point Foundation Website. Their phone number is 613-832-4347 (seasonal).

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Text and colour photos by Michael McGoldrick.
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