Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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White Otter Castle

White Otter Castle

Photo by contributor John Wulff - Posted August, 2005

White Otter Castle

Photo by contributor Jean Paul - Posted October, 2005

Plaque Location

The District of Kenora
The Township of Ignace
On the northeast shore of White Otter Lake,
southwest of Ignace and northwest of Atikokan

Coordinates: N 49 10.257 W 91 54.540


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Plaque Text

Woodsman Jimmy McOuat completed this house in 1915 when he was sixty years old. Ever since people have wondered why and how he built it. McOuat claimed that as a child in the Ottawa valley he was once scolded "Ye'll never do no good! Ye'll die in a shack!" and that he resolved late in life to avoid such a fate. Single-handedly he felled trees, winched them from the woods, and hewed them square. With block and tackle he raised massive logs onto platforms and into place. Roofing and windows were hauled in across fifteen portages from Ignace. McOuat drowned nearby in 1918, leaving this wilderness mansion as his monument.


Assorted Buildings

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted January 15, 2014
Can anyone send me photos that you have taken of White Otter Castle. My Aunt, is interested in doing a pen and ink drawing and would like some photographs. Can you send them to me at
Susan E. Israel
6475 Salem Drive
Fishers, IN 46038

> Posted September 6, 2013
We visited the Castle via Browns' Clearwater in August 2013 with our family and friends. It was an amazing experience for my family. It is truly a work of art and an amazing structure to see. I would recommend that everyone takes the time to visit it once in their life time! Our pictures will be treasure for years and years.

> Posted June 29, 2013
I visited the castle in June 1979 and May 1983 by canoe. Both times we were the only ones on the lake except for a floatplane that dropped in with tourists. I would like to get back there and visit the most unique structure I have ever seen, but at 63 it might be a bit more than I am up to. Still great to visit Jimmy's castle and beautiful White Otter Lake online.

> Posted May 23, 2012
I canoed into White Otter Lake in September 1986 with my friend Joe May. We canoed from ClearWater Lake and I was amazed as we approached the castle. The red shingled roof could be seen for some distance as we approached the castle. I marvel to this day at what this man accomplished and to think how remote this was in 1903!! It is probably the highlight of my wilderness adventures just to see this castle. Thanks to those who preserved it and get there if you can. At 60 I am ready to go back. He finished it at 60! Why not? Tom Thompson

> Posted March 14, 2012
As a JR Ranger we did a canoe trip past this site in 1986 and it was amazing! This is one site I want to re-visit while I still can portage out that way!

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