Debbie Brasch feels at home in Spanish, Ontario, and considers herself something of a local since she’s been living here with her family for the past 12 years. The town sits on the beautiful Lake Huron and has a population of approximately 700 people. Relocating to Spanish was quite a change for her and her family after moving from the big city of Hamilton, Ontario, with its population of around 747,545.
Although it may sound like they downsized, they really didn’t.
“We’ve got three acres right in the middle of town,” described Brasch. “So it’s like living in the city but away from everything. It’s great.”
When Brasch first moved to Spanish, she was running a mile a minute when it came to work and raising her kids. But now that her and her husband’s careers have switched to something she feels to be more local, she plans on soaking up everything Spanish has to offer. In fact, the Brasch family is in the process of getting a fishing boat so they can more thoroughly enjoy Spanish’s marina and the wonders Lake Huron has to offer.
The Spanish Municipal Marina is one of the major attractions of the city. It’s situated in the heart of the popular Whalesback and North Channel, plus it’s close to the Benjamins and other surrounding islands. The location alone makes this marina the perfect anchoring spot.
The marina features 125 seasonal and transient slips with a maximum dock length of 80 feet. You can also find plenty of parking, a double launch ramp and a service bay. Additionally, all the power cables have been buried so there won’t be any obstructions when you launch your boat.
The Spanish Municipal Marina is open from the May long weekend up until September 30. The dockside services include gas and diesel fuels, charts and guides, ice, and live bait. The slips also include power and water.
Then don’t forget the marina’s Four Seasons Waterfront Complex. This facility has all the works. There are clean restrooms, showers, a sauna, an exercise gym, a conference room, laundry facilities and a spacious lounge with satellite TV and complimentary Wi-Fi. It’s the perfect place to kick back and relax.
Spanish’s harbor is made up of a riprap breakwater that extends out from the shorelines on the east and west sides and then across the south side. There are two openings with the entrance being on the west end. The east opening isn’t a passage.
If you’re coming from the west, the channel that leads into the Spanish Municipal Marina is well-marked and easy to see. The outer buoys are marked with an F1 red light, and while many obstructions are charted, some aren’t so be cautious when navigating.
If you’re coming from the east, then travel north between Landry Point and Green Island. Keep Whiteaves Island to your starboard side and head straight to the channel entrance. The harbor entrance is to the north of the third pair of channel markers.
Then don’t forget to bring your hiking boots because the Shoreline Discovery Trail begins right at the Four Seasons Waterfront Complex. It begins strong with a panoramic view in a red-roofed gazebo atop the rocky bluffs next to the marina. You’ll get to take in the sights overlooking the Spanish River Delta, Sagamok Anishnawbek, Whalesback Channel, and the Town of Spanish.
From there, you walk past the wind turbine and begin the hike along the Shoreline Discovery Trail. The beautiful, fun trail is about a mile and a half long and takes around an hour to complete, so get ready for adventure!
Contrary to what its name suggests, the people of Spanish generally don’t speak Spanish. People have speculated as to why the town came to be named Spanish and they’ve come up with a myriad of viable explanations.
One theory is that the town got its name from the Spaniards who worked on the railway, and another say it’s because some Spaniards camped at the mouth of the river. It’s even suggested that Spanish is named after a Spanish woman who was captured by Indians then brought north to the Spanish area where she ended up living and raising a family.
Regardless of where the town got its name, Spanish is a phenomenal small town and the ideal place to relax and cruise around the gorgeous North Channel. Brasch and her family love the life they’ve built in Spanish over the last 12 years and they couldn’t be happier to call this charming town their home.
For More Information:
Great Lakes Sailing
Town of Spanish