SRAPO is an organization that was created to help maintain this beautiful area of Canada and to ensure that the interests of the community are represented at all government levels.

In addition SRAPO annually hosts the Severn River Regatta with many water and other events that helps to bring the community together.

QUICK HISTORY FACTS OF THE SRAPO COTTAGE AREA

It is thought that Etienne Brule was the first white man to see this area, while he traveled with the Huron Indians likely around 1615. Champlain did not travel in this area. A French explorer La Salle did travel in the Severn area in 1681.

In 1793 John Graves Simcoe was looking for a different route from the capital of Upper Canada to the Upper Great lakes he traveled with his wife Elizabeth through this area.

Elizabeth drew pictures of the area on birch bark. These drawings were presented to the the King in England and today are in the British Museum.

Population in the Severn Falls area start around 1914 when the Canadian Pacific Railway expanded into the area. The town of Orillia built the power dam at Swift Rapids around 1917. World War I stopped work in the area so it was not until 1918 that the Marine Railway at the Big Chute was finished. The Marine Railway at Swift Rapids was completed in 1919. The last lock on the system was completed in 1920.

In 1965 the Marine Railway at Swift Rapids was taken out and the new lock finished by the Pearson Government in Ottawa.

Orginally access through the system was free, but in the 1990’s costs increased and fees per foot of boat length are now applied to all boats using the locks.

MORE UPDATES WILL BE ADDED AS INFORMATION IS COMPILED.