A 64-year-old man who passed away in a nearby boating accident has been identified as a local resort owner and the Mayor of a small town in southern Ontario.

The Sioux Lookout OPP say John C. Grace was found deceased roughly seven hours after his barge, which had been transporting fuel, capsized on Lake St. Joseph near his family’s fishing resort, the Old Post Lodge. Grace was the lone occupant of the vehicle.

The Old Post Lodge opened in 1986, beginning as an over 200-year-old Hudson’s Bay Company Trading post, where John worked had worked as a Manager in the 70s. John later purchased and revitalized the property, saying he fell in love with northwestern Ontario’s lifestyle and its people.

''The Old Post Lodge

John had also served as the Town of Goderich’s Mayor since 2018, with a municipal political career that spanned nearly two decades in the Huron County. John was a lifelong resident of Goderich, a former small business owner and had recently announced his Mayoral re-election campaign.

In a statement from the Town of Goderich, staff say John was a ‘bright light’ who will be dearly missed. He leaves behind his wife, their three boys, his daughter-in-law and a grandson.

Huron City Council held a moment of silence for Grace on August 10.

The Old Post Lodge is also known for its charity work as a longtime supporter of Sioux Lookout’s Meno Ya Win Health Centre, Fishing Forever, the Salvation Army and the Fanshawe Foundation.

The OPP, Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Environment are continuing to investigate the incident. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).