White River, Ontario – World-famous children’s character Winnie the Pooh was inspired by an orphaned bear cub, which was purchased from a trapper at White River by Captain Harry Colebourn, during WW I. He was a veterinarian and his troop train had stopped at this Northern Ontario town enroute from Winnipeg. Colebourn named Winnie for his home city
(Winnipeg) and took her on to England as his troop’s mascot. Before shipping on to France he left Winnie at the London Zoo where she was discovered by author A.A. Milne’s delighted son Christopher. Winnie inspired Milne to write the children’s stories for his child. (Historia video) . The town has a large statue of Winnie complete with honey pot, and the popular
children’s character is celebrated with Winnie’s Annual Hometown Festival, held the third week in August.
White River (pop 841) is on Hwy 17 of the Trans Canada Hwy, inland from Lake Superior, half-way between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. Hunting, fishing, canoeing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are all popular activities in the region. There is a Heritage Museum with Winnie memorabilia. The museum’s artifacts also include a copy of a painting by A.J. Casson of the Group of Seven, which he did while his train was stopped at the station.
200 Elgin St White River, Ontario