Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Canoe Museum

I raced through Roy MacGregor's  most recent book, "Canoe Country" when I bought it last week. He talks about the Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario. I had booked Friday off and I managed to convince LT that he should take the day off too and accompany me on a road trip to Peterborough. It is getting a bit late in the season for us to head to the backcountry, I thought this would be way to extend our canoe joy. 

It was a Friday of a long weekend, so the traffic was pretty heavy. It was a rainy day as well. All the better to spend it indoors in a museum! The museum is easy to find, it has an ample parking lot, and despite the austere exterior, you can tell a lot of love and care has gone into the displays inside.
Lots of parking!
The entry fee is $10.50 per adult. Here's the website for more information: You should check their calendar to ensure that they're open the day you would like to visit.

The museum has some very old canoes and some newer ones. The gentleman at reception will gladly give you a recommendation in which order to enjoy the exhibits. The museum was gifted Professor Kirk Wipper's extensive collection of canoes, kayaks and other watercraft. The museum has over 600 of these, but only 100 on display. 

The first area we explored upstairs shows canoes designed and built by aboriginals many years ago. They have a display that gives a lot of information about the voyageurs and explorers that mapped Canada. Make sure you attempt to pick up one of the packs they have to feel how heavy the voyageur's portaging load was. The main floor is more current. There is some information about how canoes were used as recreational vessels, as well as how camps were built to give young people a taste of living in nature. Bill Mason is honoured, as well as Pierre Elliot Trudeau (the two were friends), and recent Olympic athletes have watercraft displayed. 

There is a workshop where artisans may be at work building a canoe or kayak. And there is a lovely gift shop with a great variety of products to choose from.

We both enjoyed the museum and I would recommend it being well worth a visit (and the drive to get there).

Now, the pictures!
Bark canoes
Amazing methods of working with what was easily found in nature

Prized paddles got decorated as well

Weapons used for hunting

One end of a voyageur canoe
The other end, Hudson's Bay Company

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