Portraits of the
Great Fur Trade Canoes

Canadian Museum of Civilization

The great canoes of Canada's fur trade era opened up our nation's frontiers

"Voyaging canoes played a crucial role in the economic, political, military, and missionary affairs of North America over a span of several centuries."

Timothy J. Kent, Birchbark Canoes of the Fur Trade, vol. 1 (Ossineke, Mich.: Silver Fox Enterprises, 1997), p. viii.

" . . . the great canoes of the Canadian fur trade must be looked upon as the national watercraft type . . . far more representative of . . . national expansion than the wagon, truck, locomotive, or steamship."

E. Adney and H. Chapelle, Smithsonian Institution, 1983

Canada is a canoe route.

-attributed to Arthur Lower, historian, c. 1965

Montreal Canoe Exhibits - 2 pages Aboriginal Canoe Styles - 2 pages Passengers and Freight - 3 pages Sir George Simpson's Travels - 2 pages Portaging and Voyageurs - 2 pages Credits

The Hudson's Bay Company and the Canadian Museum of Civilization join here in presenting the story of a Montreal Canoe, the largest birchbark vessel ever used in Canada. Our knowledge of the great canoes' shapes, sizes, contents, and colours comes largely from studying paintings and drawings such as these, which have been selected from many archival collections across Canada.