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Marathon no more: Council approves name change to Shabogesic Beach

Chief Scott McLeod says Nipissing First Nation looks forward 'to working with the City of North Bay and other partners in the future to reclaim some of the important names that were given to the surrounding areas'
2022 05 02 Shabogesic Beach
Marathon Beach has been renamed in honour of Chief Shabogesic, who is the subject of this circa 1845 painting by Paul Kane, titled 'Against The Heavens.' Photo courtesy Stark Museum of Art, Texas.

North Bay City Council unanimously approved the renaming of Marathon Beach to Shabogesic Beach during its regular meeting, Tuesday.

The sandy beach adjacent to King's Landing, along the shore of Lake Nipissing, will now officially be known by its Ojibway name, Shaabgiizhig Jiigbiik, pronounced — with a nod to the helpful staff at Nipissing First Nation — as Shah - bo- guee - zik Jeeg - beek and translated and anglicized to Shabogesic (Shah - bo- GEEE- zik) Beach. (Hard G)

See original story: Marathon Beach to be renamed with council approval

The motion to rename the popular waterfront attraction acknowledges the City of North Bay's situation on the ancestral lands of Nipissing First Nation and is intended to share the importance of the heritage and history of NFN in the North Bay community. It was brought forward by Coun. Chris Mayne and seconded by Coun. Mark King, and was a collaborative effort with local Indigenous community leaders.

Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod tells BayToday he is a direct descendant of Chief Shabogesic, who, as a signator of the Robinson–Huron Treaty of 1850 played a significant role in protecting NFN's inherent rights and in securing its future.

"I think it’s a very good initiative on behalf of North Bay City Council to recognize the importance of our history and our place in the history of Canada," McLeod shares. "We look forward to working with the City of North Bay and other partners in the future to reclaim some of the important names that were given to the surrounding areas."

A plaque will be constructed and placed at Shabogesic Beach in consultation with Nipissing First Nation and in recognition of its heritage and as an important part of the history of the shared community.

Marathon Beach was named after the real estate arm of Canadian Pacific, Marathon Realty Co. Ltd., which owned the land before selling it to the City of North Bay. Over the years, Marathon Realty acquired millions of acres of land, train stations, rights-of-way, railway lines, warehouses, and roundhouses across Canada.

With files from Jeff Turl

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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