Driving north on Highway 17 as you're leaving Sault Ste. Marie you immediately enter the most beautiful and rugged landscape in all of Ontario. The highway follows the contour of Lake Superior, snaking its way between the shoreline and the base of a weathered mountain range formed millions of years ago.
The North Shore sports dozens of incredible bayfronts, some so shallow you can walk hundreds of feet out before the water covers your head, some so deep a few feet from the shoreline that swimming is truly hazardous. Having stopped for a walk along a beach of fine white sand, you might travel another kilometer or two down the road and find instead a sea of smooth river stone, or a sheer cliff hundreds of feet high plunging directly into the water at its base.
Our store is located on Pancake Bay, named many years ago by fur traders who often made their last stop here before a final day of paddling to Sault St. Marie. It was on the shores of this bay that they used the last of their flour and sugar to make a meager meal of pancakes, knowing that fresher food and a well-deserved rest were only one more day away.
There are three stores at Pancake Bay: Agawa Indian Crafts, The Canadian Carver and The Campers' Store. They are open from the beginning of May until the end of October. Each season, tens-of-thousands of travellers stop in to visit. Some are old friends that we see year after year. Others are cross-country travellers or international visitors stopping in for the first time. Some people come for the ice cream, some for gas. The odd camper drops by for a complimenatry coffee and a little conversation.
Season: Our stores are open from the beginning of May until the end of October.
Hours: Our summer hours are a bit differnt than our spring/fall hours. As a general rule, we're open every day from 8am-9pm from June to the end of August, and every day from 8am-7pm in May, September and October.
Services Available: We have just about everything a person needs for camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, gift shopping, or driving. Our services/ammenities include a(n):
- Rest Area
- Hunting and Fishing Licence Office
- LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario)
- ATM Machine
- Full-Service Gas Station
- Propane Exchange Service
- Internet Service
- Complimentary Tea and Coffee
- Complimentary Air Service
- Firewood and Ice
- Gift Shops
- Smoked Fish
Gerry spends most winters visiting native craft co-operatives and individual craftspeople to ensure that the Agawa can offer a wide variety of high-quality aboriginal art and crafts. We stock genuine birch bark canoes, wolf and bear hides, and some incredible artwork. The Globe and Mail calls this store "a virtual treasure trove of gifts for the entire family." Visitors who have travelled the length and breadth of our country often declare that Agawa Crafts is unique among gift stores in Canada. (We think it is, too!)
If you can't find what you're looking for in the store, chances are we've got what you're after somewhere on the shelves in our warehouse. And if it's not there either, find Gerry and tell him about it! Don't be surprised if you're back the following spring to find five varieties of your item waiting for you under the counter in the office!
THE CANADIAN CARVER
Next door to Agawa Indian Crafts, you'll find The Canadian Carver. Here's where we stock the shelves with Canadian-made wood carvings, woodcraft, paintings, lithographs and home décor for your cottage and home. There are waterfowl decoys that look so real we often catch children poking them to make them honk or quack! On the walls you'll find original pieces of artwork, candle holders, limited edition prints, and artwork cards. We have hand painted traditional drums and some breath-taking taxidermy. The Canadian Carver is truly a must-see!
THE CAMPERS' STORE
Just across the parking lot from The Canadian Carver is the Campers' Store. It's the best place for miles to properly outfit a camper, hiker, kayaker, fisherman, hunter or plain old travel bum. June and Gerry make sure that you'll have plenty of flavours of ice cream to choose from, that the produce will be fresh, and that the firewood will be all bundled up and ready to burn. We also offer a nice selection of home decor and supplies for many of the local cottagers in the area, as well as a gift area. With real anitiques on the shelves, and rough sawn lumber shelving and counters, the Campers' Store is a fun mix of contemporary product, with an old general store feel.