Connecting by Canoe

For nearly a century, Peterborough was internationally associated with wooden canoe manufacturing.

For the last two decades, it has been home to The Canadian Canoe Museum, which stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. More than 600 in number, we believe the watercraft and their stories have a pivotal role to play in our collective future.

It is these stories that encouraged more than 172,000 individuals to engage with the museum locally, provincially, nationally and virtually — last year alone.

In partnership with individuals, groups and communities — locally and from coast to coast to coast — we work to experience and explore all that the collection can inspire. This sees students opening their minds in our galleries; community members connecting through artisanry; people of all ages getting on the water and learning to paddle; and exhibitions and events that spark conversation and collaboration.

And, as part of our responsibility for the collection, a cultural asset of national significance, we are building it a new home. The new museum, at the water’s edge, will care for the collection the way it deserves to be cared for — preserving, protecting and showcasing for generations to come. One-of-a-kind experiences will draw visitors from near and far, and from this high-profile cultural centre, we will reach further.

Construction of the new museum is scheduled to begin early next year.

The new museum will be supported by a $65 million capital campaign, and has received foundational financial support from municipal, provincial and federal governments. Most recently, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has invested $7.5 million, building on its more than 20-year-long legacy of leadership with the organization. This lead private gift will support capital costs and educational program development for the new museum. It is the largest known private one-time gift to a charitable organization in the City and County of Peterborough.
Now, the museum will be reaching out across Canada for further support of this extraordinary endeavour. For more information on our journey, or to put a paddle in the water, please get in touch via