About Algonquin Canoe

Algonquin Canoe Company History

In the 1990s, when the WLFN faced critical mill and plant shut downs in the regional forest industry, WLFN began to focus on community-based eco-tourism initiatives as a means of diversifying its economic base and employment structure. With this intent, in 1997 the band purchased a former tourism information centre building on Long Sault Island on the Ottawa River and converted it into a native craft store.

In 1998, the Timber Train, a summer tourist train attraction along the Ottawa River between Mattawa and Temiscaming engaged WLFN as a receptive tour operator for their summer tourism train clientele. WLFN offered tourists the option of purchasing a traditional Algonquin lunch of moose stew and bannock and cultural tour. Three years later the Timber Train went into receivership over management issues outside of WLFN’s control. Despite the short duration of their venture with the Timber Train, WLFN had learned that culture­ based tourism products enjoy high demand, and can be marketed successfully, that WLFN members had the capacity to work in the field of tourism and manage businesses themselves.

In 2002, the community adopted a 10-year comprehensive tourism development strategy to develop community owned and operated tourism facilities and products. In 2004, the community launched its own new venture converting the craft store location into the Algonquin Canoe Company as the first step of the multi-phase initiative to establish ecotourism as a supplementary component of its social, economic and cultural development.

Since then, the Algonquin Canoe Company has established itself at two locations in both provinces, andmaintains and outfits over 500 km of traditional Algonquin canoe routes in the Ottawa River Basin. Under the same tourism strategy, the band purchased  a tourism fishing lodge, restaurant and bar on Lake Kipawa (2011) and the Nanabush Cafe and Laundromat in Swisha (2014). All businesses are located at key access points where Algonquin employees can maintain their presence as ambassadors to the territory.


Sitting right along the edge of the Ottawa River, the Algonquin Canoe company offers a variety of services including outdoor equipment rentals (canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes), paddling routes, information for accommodated camping, and a store filled with Indigenous crafts, medicines, and art.

The Algonquin Canoe Company was opened under Anishnabek Outfitting Inc. by The Wolf Lake First Nation, out of Temiscaming and Swisha Quebec. Since 2004 ACC has compiled GPS points throughout our traditional territory to highlight portage routes, campsites, sight-seeing areas, historical sites and other points of interest. During this time we’ve also constructed cabins in remote parts of Lake Kipawa, particularly Hunter’s Point where the Wolf Lake First Nation settlement is.

Our year round Algonquin Canoe Company gift shop offers quality outdoor clothing, camping gear, souvenirs, and hand-made Native art by local artisans in addition to offering rental vessels suitable for everyone from flat water to white water paddlers, kayaks and stand up paddlers.

In 2012, we purchased the old Air Swisha base in Rapids des Joachims after Trailhead closed their branch. On July 4th, 2014 we held the grand opening of our second Algonquin Canoe Company location and Nanabush Café & Laundromat; developed to serve as a paddling start or stop location where paddlers can enjoy a fresh cooked meal, clean their clothes after a journey and rent canoes to explore some of the watershed areas there.

In the fall of 2011, Anishnabek Outfitting Inc. purchased its second Tourism Business, Camp La Lucarne. Located at 1920 Route 101 Laniel Quebec, J0Z2K0; Camp La Lucarne is a full service lodge with 5 water front cabins, hot tub, sauna, beachfront, boat launch and restaurant. Added to the lodging is the North River Chalet located at Hunter’s Point which offers guests a more natural and serene environment with water access to both Lake Kipawa and Lake Ostabonigue and our soon to be completed Lake Ostabonigue Outpost. With the creation of the new Opemican National Park due to open in the next year, we will be re-branding as Opemican Park Lodge.


The Algonquin Canoe Company