Louis Picard, Huron Canoe, Quebec

Louis A. Picard


The information comes from the current owner of the company. I have more material that will be available when I finish the write-up. The Picard family have been building canoes for 250 years Louis A. Picard (still living) owned the company from about 1947 to 1995. His nephew, Christian took over in 1995 and has 35 years experience making canoes. Christian tells me he could probably give a built date on canoes made before 1967. His father, grand-father and great-grand-father all used the same basic construction but small variations allow an approximation. Since 1967 the canoes are stamped with a serial number on the inside face of the inner rail near the seats on both sides of the canoe. The rough format is "ZLP 345678". ZLP identifies Louis A. Picard as the builder, QPK identifies Christian. The last two digits give the built year give or take a few years. I will need to have another talk with Christian, some details are not clear...

One last tidbit... The arrow-head deck and the double ribing are characteristics of the Picard canoes. Christian says these were naturally omitted for canoes built under contract for Chestnut, Rice, St-Maurice and other canoe manufacturers.

Hope this helps,


Louis Michaud

The serial number starting with ZLP has been in use since 1975 and the number QPK since 2002 according to the Coast Guard’s “Manufacturer Identification Code” database.
Dick Persson
Headwater Wooden Boat Shop

Thank you for your research. This boat is a joy to paddle. I wasn't having any luck in finding the builder beyond what Dan at Dragonfly was able to provide. I thought it was much older based on the condition that it was in when I recieved it. Are you a paddler or boat builder in Quebec?

Again, Thanks.

Tom Doran
Bienvenue !

If your canoe doesn't have the serial/coast guard number then it could be older than 1975, much older. Does it ? What's the length and beam ?

I'm just a paddler and amateur restorer. I started 3-4 years ago when I learned my cousin wanted to burn the old rotting family canoe, first canoe I ever got into. A major rebuilding later and I have a great 15' Bastien Bros. along with a monkey on my back with a hunger for w/c canoes. Around here (Rimouski, about 300km east of Quebec city) it's mostly Bastien and Picard canoes. I have another Bastien (14') and 2 Picard (18' and 16'). I also helped a few friends to restore their canoes. Having fun !


Louis Michaud

It all started with one canoe. What exactly is "it"? A monkey on your back, borderline obsession, or a genuine desire to participate in this perfect technology; as functional and practical today as it was when it was when it was first derived from its birchbark ancestor. This is the canoe.

I picked up this 15' ZLP Picard (see previous thread) this spring for cheap. Apparently I was the only buyer interested who was willing to take on the repairs it needed. Now, I did not attempt a "restoration" but strictly pragmatic repair. This approach was partly in keeping with the original construction. No frills on a a Picard boat. It's a straightforward working craft. Any elegance it demonstrates comes directly from its origin of wood and water.

I pick up another boat tomorrow. An 18' Old Town, Guide-model, circa 1910. Sadly, it is glassed and a long way from floating.


Tom Doran
Louis Picard 16'

Thos Doran said:
Does anyone know when Louis A. Picard was building Huron-style boats in Loretteville, Quebec?

I have a 16' Louis Picard Canoe that I purchased in Loretteville, Village of Huron, Quebec City, Canada on the 23rd of July 1972. Mr. Picard was building them in a former bowling alley, he was using the lanes to house the molds for various stages of construction. The only power tool I can remember was a very small (4 or 6") table saw. He proudly lifted the canoe over his head and placed it on our vehicle. It weighed 67 lbs and it cost $130. I also purchased two solid maple paddles and they were $9 for the pair. It cost a total of $5.20to bring these items across the border in Maine. I still have these items as well as the Bill of Sale with Mr. Picard's letterhead/phone number/and Lic. Fed: /address on it. I value all these items as well as the Bill of Sale. Always stowed under cover. I have never looked for any serial numbers but will glance under those areas with a mirror next chance I get. A friend of mine also purchased one on the same day as did we. If anyone would like a photo of any of this I will be able to do that sometime this summer (2006) as the canoe is at my fishing camp at Moosehead Lake about 3 hours away. A great canoe and paddles. A piece of me and my wife. Memories!!!