A Tale of Two Peninsulas

Photo of the Bruce Peninsula by Bill Caulfeild-Browne.

The Door Peninsula will be the central topic of a forum hosted by Sources of Knowledge, an Ontario nonprofit organization. Held in Tobermory, Ontario, the forum is titled The Great Arc: Life on the (L)Edge. It will take place May 8-10, 2015.

The link that ties the Door Peninsula to Tobermory and its location on the Bruce Peninsula is that both places are on the Niagara Escarpment. This geological structure, often referred to as the “Great Arc,” extends from Niagara Falls northward through the Bruce Peninsula, across Manitoulin Island and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and then southward through the Door Peninsula to Green Bay and down through Calumet County. Communities situated on this Arc, while different in many ways, have in common an escarpment, sometimes submerged or buried, but very evident in areas such as the Bruce and Door peninsulas. Places along the Great Arc share a limestone bedrock chemistry.

Learning about these communities is interesting of itself, but it is our common issues and the ways they have been addressed that form the core of the forum. The Door and Bruce peninsulas in particular have geographical and geological similarities. Both economies depend on tourism, have offshore islands and tour boat operations, are home to retirees and artists, and depend on urban centers at their base (Green Bay and Owen Sound). Both have rich archeological and cultural histories, have First Nation communities, and have hiking trails and parks. John Muir, famous as the founder of the Sierra Club, lived for a time at the base of both peninsulas.

There are also major differences. The Door is more heavily populated and economically more developed than the Bruce. In a sense, the Door represents one version of a future for the Bruce as it seeks to develop economically. Conversely, residents of the Door might envy the state of natural preservation of the Bruce Peninsula and seek to learn from it.

The Sources of Knowledge forum will provide opportunities to look at these possibilities. The group is cooperating with Eric Fowle, executive director of the East Wisconsin Planning Commission in preparation for this event. Planners and interested residents of the Door Peninsula are cordially invited to join the forum for a weekend of interesting presentations, informative field trips, intriguing discussions, and friendly social activities. The forum also includes an art show and a film festival featuring recent, relevant videos.

Detailed program information and registration details will be posted on the Sources of Knowledge website at as they are finalized. Please join us for an informative cross-border learning experience.