In 1814, during the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States, one of the battles was fought in southern Georgian Bay.
On August 17, at the mouth of the Nottawasaga River near Wasaga Beach, the British schooner HMS Nancy was sunk by three American vessels.
Aboriginal communities continue to live on their territories and practise their cultural traditions.
The first European to visit this area was likely Étienne Brûlé, who at age less than 20, in 1610 was sent to live as an interpreter trainee with the Onontchataronon, an Algonquian people of the Ottawa River.
The French Jesuit Jean de Brébeuf began a mission in Huronia in 1626.
In 1639 he oversaw the building of the mission fort of Sainte-Marie, Ontario's first European settlement, at what is now the town of Midland.
The granite rock formations and windswept eastern white pine are characteristic of the islands and much of the shoreline of the bay.
At the same time another young interpreter trainee, a youth remembered only as Thomas, who was employed by the French surgeon and trader Daniel Boyer, also likely made it to Huronia, in the company of the Onontchataronon, another member of the confederacy.
In 1615, Brulé's employer, the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, made his own visit to Georgian Bay and overwintered in Huronia.
The Bay appears on maps of the time as "Toronto Bay".
Penetanguishene, the location of an Ojibwe village located at the southern tip of the bay near present-day Midland, was developed as a naval base in 1793 by John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.