||June 9, 2000
Mattawa area holds many heritage opportunities
||The Mattawa and District Museum is a picturesque building
overlooking the Ottawa
River and the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec.
There are many outstanding opportunities in the Mattawa area where you
can experience some of the history touched on last week. Most Mattawa residents
are aware of and have participated in many of these activities, but many
in the wider Community Voices area have not. The following are some of
these opportunities. For information not included below, contact the Mattawa
Travel Information Centre at (705) 744-0222 or call the site of the activity
The Mattawa and District Museum
The museum is located just across the bridge on Mattawa’s main street (Hwy
533) on Explorer's Point. It has a wide variety of artifacts and is open
from 11-7 from Friday through Sunday in June, and more often throughout
the summer. There is no entrance fee but there is a donation box. For further
information call the museum curator Peter Cianfarani at (705) 744-1287,
or the museum at (705) 744-5495.
The Timber Train
The Timber Train takes the 71/2 hour round trip daily from Mattawa to Temiscaming,
Quebec from June 2 to October 14. The train crosses the Ottawa River to
Quebec and travels on high ground overlooking the Ottawa River on the way
to Temiscaming. An on board guide points out the natural and cultural heritage
sites along the way. Reference is made to the old "Moccasin Line" Colonization
Road which was flooded when the Le Cave dam was built. Buy a souvenir copy
of the book The Moccasin Line for some interesting reading on the train.
The trip includes a 3 hour stop at Temiscaming and an opportunity to
choose from several tour options. Four tours (historical, industrial, ecological
and Algonquin Heritage) and a shuttle bus to the town centre give you a
chance to experience Temiscaming. Prices vary according to the season and are
very economical in June. (sorry this train is no longer running)
The Voyageur Heritage Centre
Situated just inside the Samuel de Champlain Park, before the pay station,
this centre on Voyageur history features a 39-foot birch bark canoe like
the ones used to carry huge loads of furs. Various interactive displays
provide an excellent understanding of Voyageur life. There is no entrance
fee. For information phone (705) 744-2276.
The Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park
This 2500 hundred hectare park is situated on highway 17, 13 km from Mattawa
and 40 km from North Bay. The park is situated on the Mattawa River Park,
which runs from the west end of Trout Lake to the east side of the Samuel
de Champlain Park.
The Samuel de Champlain Park has several trails where our natural heritage
can be experienced, and there are various other programs providing a wide
range of family activities. Canoeists can use the Mattawa River independent
of the park. An excellent map "The Mattawa Heritage River Map" is available
from local outlets including the Samuel de Champlain Park store. (705)
The Canadian Ecology Centre (CEC)
The CEC is rapidly developing into an influential and effective force in
a variety of areas, many of which emphasize our natural and cultural heritage.
Their setting in the Samuel de Champlain Park and the professional, educational
and recreational activities provided are conducive to a high level of learning.
Many school tours have already begun. Visitors can stay in one of 19 duplex
cabins and next summer the main centre will accommodate 100 additional
people and will dine up to 185. There will be an eco-store and gallery,
all of which will make for the best possible situation to participate in
a positive heritage experience. French language programs are being developed.
Space allows for only a short listing of their activities. Their Voyageur
Adventure Tour involves exploring the Mattawa River in a 26 foot North
canoe. There is also a 2 hour cruise in tandem canoes. Several Canadore
College Artsperience courses have been, and will be, provided in the future.
Information is available on the fur trade, logging camp life, Native and
Voyageur life, etc. The CEC has all of the most advanced technology for
use by participants. 1-888-747-7577 or (705) 744-1715.
The Mattawa River North Trail System
The Mattawa River North Multiple Use Trail Map is another invaluable resource
for hikers, snowshoers, skiers and people using horses, dogsleds or mechanized
vehicles in the area north of the Mattawa River. The map outlines a variety
of wide-ranging locations on old trails from the past that have been redeveloped.
The Mattawa and Area Forestry Committee for Economic Development is one
of many key players in the development of both of the maps above. They
are also behind a definitive tourism and heritage map, pending in 2001.
All of these maps have been developed by Wilson Steer, who is the Education
and Research Director at the Canadian Ecology Centre. (705) 744-1715.
Mattawa Voyageur Days
Mattawa's annual Voyageur Days will take place July 27 to the 31st, with
many heritage activities included. The North Bay to Mattawa Canoe Race
will take place on Saturday July 29th as a part of this event. (705) 744-0222.
Heritage Perspective Home Page