Ghosts of the Fur Trade | Canoeroots Magazine | Rapid Media
Ghosts of the Fur Trade Photo: Archives Ontario

Temagami | 1902 | Winterers in a North Canoe


Headwaters is a new column about the old ways that appears in Canoeroots magazine. 


By 1690, Europeans no longer relied on aboriginal traders bringing their furs to Quebec. They had traveled west from Montreal, the epicenter of trade, and entered the wilderness to live and work with the natives, establishing trading posts. As a result, business boomed.

To accommodate the flow of goods, the Hudson Bay Company (HBCo) commissioned the build of Montreal canoes. Handmade in Louis Maître's shop in Trois Rivière, they were 30 to 36 feet long, six feet wide and more than 700 pounds. Able to carry four tons of trade goods, they could hold passengers and even livestock. Paddled by the Voyageurs, these canoes plied the big waters from the St Lawrence Seaway to the western shore of Lake Superior, delivering and receiving goods from major trading posts.

Exploring the waterways further west required smaller boats. Looking to compete and carve out its own territory, the North West Company built freight canoes with half the load capacity of the Montreal canoe...


CRv13i2-20.jpg Continue reading this article in the digital edition of Canoeroots and Family Camping, Early Summer 2014, on our free iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch App or Android App or read it on your desktop here.



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