Seeley’s Bay is a village in Eastern Ontario on the historic Rideau Heritage Route, approximately 25 miles (40 KM) northeast of Kingston and 100 miles (160KM) southwest of Ottawa. In winter, snowmobiling, hockey, skating and ice fishing are popular in and around the area.
The flooding of Cranberry Marsh during the building of the Rideau Canal formed the geographic bay which was to become “Seeleys Bay”.
The dam and locks at Upper Brewers, completed in 1832, and the control dam at Morton raised the water level, flooding the marsh, changing it into today’s Cranberry Lake.
The lot on which Seeleys Bay sits was originally granted to Matilda Read. In 1825, her son, John Seeley, acquired the lot. However it was his father, Justus Seeley, with his second wife Anne and their youngest children who moved onto the land that would become the village of Seeleys Bay. After Justus died in 1830, Anne remained on the land.
The site became a landing for steamboats plying the Rideau, and Anne and her children ran a store to serve visitors. In 1841, the community that was growing in area became known as Seely’s Bay (sic). By the 1850s, Seely’s Bay was a regular stop for stagecoaches heading south to Kingston and north to Perth. In 1950 the spelling was changed to “Seeleys Bay”.
Full credits for the content on this page to Ken Watson from Rideau Canal World Heritage Site website and Dave Munro from the Seeley’s Bay website. These sites are great for more info on our area and the Rideau Canal region.