Day 101 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: Peterborough / The Canadian Canoe Museum, Ontario

Peter in his raccoon skin coat


The Canadian Canoe Museum

History of the Museum

Professor Kirk Wipper was the founder of the Kanawa International Museum of Canoes and Kayaks.
The unparalleled collection of over 600 canoes and kayaks that form the nucleus of The Canadian Canoe Museum began in 1957, when a friend presented Kirk Wipper with a dugout canoe made circa 1890.  Professor Kirk Wipper taught at the University of Toronto’s Department of Physical Health, and possessed a keen insight into the power of the canoe to tell the story of Canada’s people.  Wipper’s collection grew, and in late 1960s, with over 150 artifacts, a building was constructed to house the craft at Camp Kandalore, a residential summer camp near Dorset, Ontario.  This collection came to be known as the Kanawa International Museum.

Even with additions to the building, the collection outgrew its space.  A new home was needed, and Peterborough, the centre of canoe manufacturing for more than a century from 1850 – 1960, was a logical site.  A group of people, many of them connected with Trent University, came together to work towards creating a centre of knowledge about the role of the canoe.  In 1989, a board of directors was formed, and in 1994 Wipper transferred control of his historic collection to the organization now called The Canadian Canoe Museum.  This group has worked tirelessly, raising money and resources to build a national museum.  footnote -Information taken from the Canadian Canoe Museum website.


Pierre Trudeau’s buckskin coat


Haida Canoe and Paddles from Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands


Birch Bark Canoes


There were numerous types of Canoes and Kayaks on display at the Museum


Canoe Workshop


Bill Mason was an award-winning Canadian naturalist, author, artist, filmmaker, and conservationist, noted primarily for his popular canoeing books, films, and art. He was born in 1929 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and graduated from the University of Manitoba School of Art in 1951. He developed and refined canoeing strokes and river-running techniques, especially for complex whitewater situations. He canoed all of his adult life, ranging widely over the wilderness areas of Canada and the United States. Called “wilderness artist,” in one book about him, Mason left a legacy that includes books, films and artwork on canoeing and wild nature. He died of cancer in 1988.


Ice-covered Otonobee River


Faces Of The Day


Flag of the Day



1 Response to “Day 101 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: Peterborough / The Canadian Canoe Museum, Ontario”

  1. 1 DMR
    January 12, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    While you’re in the vicinity (Peterborough) I hope you will find time to head on over to the Haliburton area for a visit to check out the Wolf Centre. I think you will find the wolves interesting enough to photograph for a posting on the site.

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