The largest collection of canoes and kayaks in the world is at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough

Photo courtesy Canadian Canoe Museum

Photo courtesy Canadian Canoe Museum

Peterborough, Ontario – Located in the scenic Kawartha Lake region just 90 minutes east of Toronto is the home of the Canadian Canoe Museum, which houses the largest
collection of canoes and kayaks in the world. In the days of the Voyageurs the rivers of Canada were the highways and the canoe was the most practical form of transportation.
Originally made from bark, the wooden-plank canoe was invented and produced in Peterborough area, earning this town the distinction as ‘canoe capital of the world’. About 600 canoes and kayaks are in the museum’s archives and usually more than 100 of the watercraft are on display. It was here I learn that it’s possible to paddle across Canada, coast-to-coast, with the longest portage needed – just 21 miles!

IN THE NEWS: In April 2014 it was announced that Parks Canada and The Canadian Canoe Museum are exploring relocating the museum to the Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site on the Trent-Severn Waterway as a way to boost the tourism and revenue potential for both organizations.

We started with celebrating National Canoe Day on June 26, in 2008, and then in 2013 it became National Paddling Week with community-led events across the country. It is celebrated at the Canadian Canoe Museum with live demonstrations, workshops, special guest speakers and people are encouraged to bring their own boats. You can follow Paddling Week on Twitter at @paddlingweek The museum is usually open for the main day for free. You can follow the Canadian Canoe Museum on Twitter at @CndnCanoeMuseum

The city of Peterborough is 142 km east of Toronto. It has hundreds of shops and services, more than 60 restaurants, and accommodation ranging from bed and breakfasts to hotels. Each summer you can enjoy more than 300 festivals and events in Peterborough & the Kawarthas region (learn more at The region of Peterborough and the Kawarthas, which has more than 134 lakes, is the historical home of wooden canoe craftsmanship, offering everything from kayaking and canoeing to fishing, boating and swimming, and cruises on the Trent-Severn Waterway. Right from town you can hop aboard tour boats which will take on a short trip you to Lock 21 – which is the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world.


The Canadian Canoe Museum, 910 Monaghan Rd Peterborough, Ontario


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