Northern Lakes winter event

Alex Guthro

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Winter Event in Toronto

Murat Vardar spends a lot of time researching and recreating historic paddles and many of you have seen his Paddle display and read his blog. He has contributed several articles to the Wooden Canoe Journal. Murat had a terrific idea for a winter event, something different, but looks like fun.

The idea is to visit to the First Nation Gallery at the Royal Ontario Museum to view their display of four birchbark canoes. One of the canoes will be the focus of an upcoming journal article in Wooden Canoe. I've (Murat) done some research for the curator in order update their incomplete records. Months of searching and I've been able to help identify the origins of the canoe and two associated paddles in their storage collection. I'd be happy to give attending folks a quick preview of the findings. Access to the whole Daphne Cockwell Gallery of First Peoples is now complimentary to the public so there will be no museum entry fee. Lots of other neat artifacts to see as well. See link below:

From there it is a short (10 minute) walk to the Toronto Reference Library. Half of that distance can be underground through office buildings if the weather is doesn't cooperate. Their special collections room on the 5th floor has some vintage canoe catalogues that we can examine up close. Available for perusal are the following:

1899 J.H Rushton Illustrated Catalogue
1908 Chestnut Canoe Co Catalogue
1915 Peterborough Canoe Co
1915 Brown Canoe Co
1927 J.J. Turner & Sons Catalogue (mostly Canadian Canoe Co boats)
1950 Chestnut Canoe Co (reprint from 1998)
1967 Lakefield / Rilco Catalogue

The museum and the Reference Library are both located immediately on the subway line so that might be convenient for some folks.

The date that works for us is Sunday February 9, with the following timeframe;

Meet at 3:30 pm at the Royal Ontario Museum (exit Museum Subway Station). Enter via the "Weston Queen’s Park entrance" not the "Crystal entrance" facing Bloor Street. We can meet in the lobby. Entry to the "Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture" is complimentary. More information about parking in the area can be found on this page:

• After touring all the gallery displays, we can walk to the Reference Library (10 min away) and examine those historic catalogues. They also have a very neat "Sherlock Holmes" room in their special collections gallery. It’s a recreation of a 19th Century Victorian room filled old books and other stuff for fans:

• By then it might be close to 5ish and we could settle for drinks, dinner and hopefully make plans for future chapter events. There is a Jack Astor's Bar and Grill located nearby that would be suitable. Please let me know if you plan on attending this event.
What a great idea Alex, Murat!
Just wish I was a LOT closer- I'd sign up in a heartbeat.

I've spent hours in the Reference library researching various survey and history related projects over the years but never considered it as a source of canoe information.

Good to know.

Thanks for the heads up and have fun.


And in retrospect it is probably a good thing I didn't think to search for canoe stuff there. I already spent countless hours there "researching" some topic or other-"goofing off" to my wife...

And thanks for heads up on digital archive. That definitely wasn't available when I was regularly cruising the stacks.