Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 14th Year - 2018

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Canoe Route to the West

Canoe Route to the West

Photo by contributor Colin Old - Posted November, 2009

Canoe Route to the West

Photo by contributor Brian Bockus - Posted May, 2017

Plaque Location

The District of Nipissing
The Town of Mattawa
On the northwest corner of
Main Street (Road 533) and Mattawan Street

Coordinates: N 46 19.126 W 78 42.391


Plaque Text

Here, when the canoe was the principal means of travel, explorers, voyageurs, missionaries and others bound for the West, left the Ottawa River and followed the Mattawa River to Lake Nipissing, the French River and the upper Great Lakes. For over 200 years the Mattawa River formed part of the route linking the St. Lawrence River settlements with the vast interior of the continent. Among the historic figures who passed here were: Samuel De Champlain, 1615, Jean Nicolet, 1620, fathers Brébeuf, 1626, and Lalemant, 1648, Radisson and Groseilliers, 1685, La Vérendrye, 1731, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, 1794, and David Thompson, 1812.

Related Ontario plaques
Canoe Route to the West
The French Portage
The Mattawa Route
The Michipicoten Canoe Route
Champlain's Journey of 1613
Sieur de La Vérendrye
Bethune-Thompson House


Canoe Routes

Fur Trade

Mattawa Plaques

(none yet)

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