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The town is the southern terminus of the Algoma Central Railway, and was formerly served by Ontario Northland's "Parry Sound Express" passenger train. Parry Sound is also a popular destination for boaters on Lake Huron and has been named one of Canada's best sailing destinations. The community was named after William Edward Parry, who explored the area in 1819-1820 during his search for a Northwest Passage to Asia. In addition to its natural beauty, tourism plays an important role in its economy as it attracts many visitors from Southern Ontario year round as well as during summer months when seasonal residents arrive from Toronto and other large cities across Canada; most visitors are attracted by recreational opportunities such as camping at nearby Killbear Provincial Park or hiking/biking trails within town limits (such as along Highway 69).