Wiarton, Ontario, Canada: Wiarton Willie, Weather-Forecasting Groundhog

Wiarton Willie is Ontario's official Groundhog Day prognosticator. He can be seen year-round in his special enclosure, designed by the Toronto Zoo.
400 William St., Wiarton, ON, Canada
Just east of Berford St./Hwy 6 in Bluewater Park. From Berford turn east onto William St. Drive two blocks, then turn left onto Willie's Way.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Wiarton Willie, Weather-Forecasting Groundhog

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Albino groundhog.

Wiarton Willie, Weather-Forecasting Groundhog

Wiarton Willie is Canada's equivalent of Punxsutawney Pete. Unlike Pete, Willie has the distinction of being an albino groundhog.

In 1956 Mac McKenzie, a local resident, wanted to promote Wiarton, so he sent out letters inviting people to come to town for a Groundhog Festival. A reporter from the Toronto Star newspaper showed up and was surprised to find out that not many people in town even knew about the event. After tracking down Mr. McKenzie he told him he needed something to take back to justify his travel expenses, so Mac got his wife's fur hat, stuck it in the snow, and had the reporter photograph it.

Wiarton Willie was born. It wasn't until 1977 that an actual groundhog appeared at the event. The average lifespan for groundhogs in the wild is about four years, but because Willie lives in a special enclosure designed by the Toronto Zoo, he is currently eight years old, and his predecessor lived for 15 years. He has become a very popular tourist attraction for the town. He can be seen year-round in the visitor center at Bluewater Park, which has four cartoony fiberglass statues of Willie as well.

[signmanjoe, 06/05/2015]

Nearby Offbeat Places

The Corran RuinsThe Corran Ruins, Wiarton, ON, Canada - 1 mi.
Big Upholstered ChairBig Upholstered Chair, Wiarton, ON, Canada - 3 mi.
Tiny ChurchTiny Church, Shallow Lake, ON, Canada - 10 mi.
In the region:
Famous and Heroic Dogs Park, Meaford, ON, Canada - 28 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

July 12, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Ontario Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Spud Drive-In Giant Potato, Driggs, Idaho (Jul 6-12, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Nearby Hotels: Wiarton, Ontario

Nightly rates found:

Book Now