Echoes of History

A Path Through Indigenous History

On a scenic road to Brighton, is a place of historical significance to the Indigenous peoples of this region called Carrying Place.  Carrying Place is not just the oldest road in continuous use in Ontario, it was an important portage route for Indigenous nations following their natural food source through the regions and later to trade. The route was called “Carrying Place” by Indigenous Nations who would use the path to portage and carry their canoes between the Bay of Quinte and Wellers Bay.  The portage trail was used as a trade route by Indigenous people for thousands of years as the trail offered easy access to Lake Ontario and a safer way to portage the dangerous waters of what is now Prince Edward County. At one time, when the waterways were the most popular mode of transportation, Carrying Place was expected to have a brighter future then even Toronto.

The most notable history of the Kente Portage Trail was it was the site of the Gunshot Treaty of 1787 which saw the purchase of land that stretched from the Bay of Quinte to what is not Etobicoke from the Mississauga Nation.  This event is marked by a historical marker on the corner of Old Portage Rd and Loyalist Parkway. The “Gunshot Treaty,” refers to the distance a person could hear a gunshot from the lake’s edge and is one of the earliest land agreements between representatives of the Crown and Indigenous People that resulted in a large tract of territory being opened for settlement which later became part of the Williams Treaty of 1923. 

Today, this ancient travel route can take you to experience much of the natural beauty that remains in Prince Edward County.