Manitoulin’s century-old agricultural heritage does a lot to lend a character of settlement to the land. Three-generation family beef farms are common enough to be ordinary. Several full-service towns show what rural life can be like when the nearest Walmart is three hours drive away. Where else but in Gore Bay, Manitoulin’s seat of government, could you find a town of 900 people that boasts two pharmacies, a new car dealership, a modern grocery store, the district courthouse, an elementary school, nursing home, doctor/dentist’s clinic, an outstanding health food store, a modern ambulance base, a complete library, summer theatre, a hair salon, curling and skating rinks, a golf course, and the head office of Manitoulin Transport, one of the ten largest highway carriers in North America. A vibrant commercial fishery also means that stores everywhere sell fresh-caught and smoked local fish. The wild salmon that run up Island rivers in October make you think you’re in British Columbia. Whatever you do, if you come here to live, please don’t change anything.