Scuba Diving

Tobermory – Canada’s Diving Capital

SCUBA Diving


Scuba Diver explores a wreck in Fathom Five National Marine Park (Photo Credit: Parks Canada)

What better way to spend the weekend than diving in Canada’s first national marine park – Fathom Five.  This amazing park features 50 square miles of clear, clean, cold water with 19 islands. For the diving enthusiast there is much to see – submerged forests, underwater cliffs and canyons, underwater waterfalls, the remains of ancient coral in what was once a tropical sea, and more than 20 historic shipwrecks.

The Tugs site in Tobermory offers an opportunity to dive or snorkel on historic shipwrecks from shore, adjacent to (limited) free parking. The Tugs site has the wreckage of two small steam tugs and other features.

In Big Tub Harbour, you can visit the “Sweepstakes”, a two-masted schooner lying on the bottom since 1884.  This site is visited by divers, snorkellers and tour boat passengers.

For experienced divers, the “must-see” shipwreck is the “Arabia”, a barque that foundered off Echo Island in 1884. This site is recommended for advanced divers only, under the careful direction of a dive master.

All divers in Fathom Five National Marine Park MUST register at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre before entering the water.  Full details about diving in the park and surrounding area are available upon registration.  Dive shops, charter dive vessels, glass bottom tour boats are all available in Little Tub Harbour.   Tobermory is also home to a Hyperbaric Chamber, located at the Medical Facility on Highway 6.


Hard Hat Diving Exhibit at the National Park

Snorkeling — Mask and Flippers = Underwater Sightseeing

Snorkeling has become one of the most popular activities on the Bruce Peninsula. In Tobermory, it is second only to visiting the Flowerpots. Snorkeling is a great alternative to diving and no experience is necessary.

G+S Watersports in the downtown area of Tobermory rents all the equipment needed and also provides maps and literature on the sport.

You can go out on a snorkeling boat charter or you can rent or buy the equipment and discover snorkeling on your own — take a trip to the grotto and explore the caves and shoreline or explore the Tugs shipwrecks at the mouth of Little Tub Harbour.

Other interesting sites are the wreck of the Gargantua in Wingfield Basin at Cabot Head and the wreck of the Cyrenian at Lion’s Head Beach. Just about any rocky shoreline offers an opportunity to experience the endless variety of Niagara Escarpment limestone.

Snorkelers do not require a dive permit but do need to take extra caution and stick to designated areas. Watch out for boat traffic, undertow and wave conditions if venturing far from shore or into deep water.

Click here for Shipwrecks You Can See From Shore