Our Collection

Founded on the collection of the late Professor Kirk Wipper, and established in Peterborough, Ontario, in 1997, the museum’s holdings now number more than 600 canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft with over 100 on display in our galleries. Together they span the country from coast to coast to coast and represent many of the major watercraft traditions of Canada.

The museum’s artifacts range from the great dugouts of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest to the singular bark canoes of the Beothuk of Newfoundland; from the skin-on-frame kayaks of northern peoples from Baffin Island in the east to the Mackenzie River Delta in the northwest to the all-wood and canvas-covered craft manufactured by companies with names like Herald, Peterborough, Chestnut, Lakefield and Canadian. Over the years paddled watercraft from as far away as Paraguay and the Amazon have helped the Museum expand its reach and scope to include International examples

 5 bay artifact storage facility

5 bay artifact storage facility


On December 7, 2017, we welcomed several of Gordon Lightfoot's canoes into our collection.

Click here to learn more!

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