The Municipality of Killarney came into existence on January 1, 1999 when the Township of Rutherford and George Island amalgamated with the unorganized townships of Killarney. Hansen, Goshen, Sale, Attlee, Kilpatrick, Struthers, Allen and Travers as well as portions of the unorganized townships of Bigwood, Humboldt and Carlyle. Several islands in north Georgian bay were added to the Municipality in 2001. Now comprising more than 1578 square kilometres within the districts of Manitoulin, Sudbury and Parry Sound, the Municipality of Killarney is more than twice as large as the geographical area of the City of Toronto and contains two provincial parks - Killarney and French River - within its boundaries.
Many visitors, familiar with the original village of Killarney, are surprised to see the Municipality of Killarney, sign at the Key River, our southern boundary on Highway 69.
Situated at the entrance to the North Channel amidst sparkling white quartzite peaks and pink granite rock, its harbour sheltered from the turbulent waters of Georgian Bay by George Island, the original Village of Killarney is the oldest community on the north shore. Many of the present-day residents can trace their ancestry back to Etienne Augustin deLamorandiere and his wife Josephte Sai-sai-go-no-kwe who established a trading post in 1820 at what was then called by the Ojibway name "Shebahonaning" (canoe passage).
The French River delta and Pickerel River areas were a part of the early voyageurs' route to the west.
With a year-round population of less than 500, this treasure of Rainbow Country must surely rank as the biggest little town in Canada, if not the world!