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The town is located on Highway 17, approximately halfway between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. The area was first settled in the early 19th century by French-Canadian fur traders who established a post at the mouth of Blind River to trade with natives for furs and fish. The settlement became known as "Pointe-aux-Loups" (French for "Wolf Point") because of its proximity to a large native village called Agawa or Ojibwa Village ("Ojibwegwag" in Ojibwe). In 1857, it was incorporated as Fort Garry after Winnipeg's Fort Garry which had been named after Sir Guy Carlton's home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba but renamed Blind River three years later due to confusion with another nearby community also named Fort Garry (now part of Thunder Bay).