Canadian Canoe Museum, holding the world’s largest collection of canoes, some as long as a transport trailer, are reportedly being moved from their previous location in a fornmer outboard motor factory in Peterborough, Ont., to a new waterfront home three kilometres away.
With world’s largest collection of paddled watercraft, from birchbark canoes made by Indigenous craftspeople to a sleek kayak used in the Olympic Games, the museum’s home for the past 26 years is so cramped that only a portion of the collection could be displayed to the public leaving 500 canoes in an adjacent warehouse.
Realizing that the collection deserves a new home the museum’s executive director, Carolyn Hyslop was reported saying that there is no other collection like this in the world.
Moving the largest canoes in the collection, such as Kokomis Tchiman — an eight-metre-long birchbark canoe — made by Marcel Labelle, a Métis elder from Mattawa, Ont. is reportedly the biggest challenge.
Under construction on the edge of Little Lake, the museum’s new home expected to open in summer of 2024 near the spot where the canal locks of the Trent-Severn Waterway meet the Otonabee River.
“Birchbark canoes are, from my perspective, one of the most incredible pieces of engineering,” Jeremy Ward, curator of the Canadian Canoe Museum reportedly said.