The mission parish of Shanty Bay was founded in 1830 by Lt.-Col. Edward O’Brien and his wife, Mary.                                 Lt.-Col. O'Brien, leading member of the Shanty Bay settlement, donated the church site and clergyman's residence,  and directed the construction of the church.


The cornerstone of the church was laid on June 29, 1838 and construction was largely completed by 1841. This  church is one of the few surviving structures in Ontario built of "rammed earth". This method of construction  utilized wet clay mixed with chopped straw, compacted into forms and covered, when dry, with plaster or siding for protection against weather. The church was officially opened on February 27, 1842.


One can find more informaton about Shanty Bay's history in:


Shanty Bay - A Village Remembers, a book of historical remembrance written, compiled and collected by Ted Bigelow (2013)

Ted is a direct descendant of the earliest pioneers who founded Shanty Bay, Col E.G. O'Brien and his wife, Mary Gapper O'Brien


There is a copy of the book in our Parish Hall's library. 


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Did you know that Canada's first superstar artist in the 19th century was born and raised in Shanty Bay? Read on.

>>Lucius Richard O'Brien was one of Canada's first native-born artists, though he was never "just an artist."

He grew up in the early 1800s on a homestead call "The Woods." He was born in August 1832 in Shanty Bay, where he was raised until a young teen. Shanty Bay was the Canadian backwoods when the O'Brien's first moved there -- they were among the earliest settlers. But Lucius was raised with a strong foundation in the arts as well as science.

Lucius, or Young Dick, as he was known in the family, had Mary Sophia Gapper, an Irish woman of landed gentry, for a mother and Edward George O'Brien for a father.

Edward was one of the early leading lights in Canadian business history and a pillar of the community in central Ontario. Responsible for no less than the construction of two churches (Collier Trinity in Barrie and the rammed-earth church in Shanty Bay), he also was instrumental in the founding of newspapers, the establishment of the African-Canadian veteran settlement in Oro Township and was one of the province's early magistrates and the lieutenant-colonel of the local regiment.

So, Lucius certainly had some shoes to fill. And he did so amazingly well...<<

Read the full article here: Canada's first superstar artist