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Temagami Canoe Company

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Charliemaker, Sep 18, 2022.

  1. Charliemaker

    Charliemaker New Member

    Given they were one of the oldest (the oldest?) builder in Ontario, I find it surprising that so little in mentioned online or elsewhere of the Temagami Canoe Company. Maybe I'm not looking at the right places.

    Would anyone know of any historical documents ( information in print, old catalogs, etc ) that may exists regarding the Temagami Canoe Company?

    Also, if anyone has one of their canoes in their collection, it would be fabulous to see photos.

    I've driven by this historic building most of my life and really rather regret not stopping in in earlier years to catch a glimpse inside!


  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

  3. paddler123

    paddler123 Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I paddled a Temagami Canoe Co. 17' Cruiser one summer that I worked at Camp Wabun (John Kilbridge is a Wabun alum, and there is a smattering of his canoes in the fleet). Clearly a meticulously crafted canoe, although far from new by the time I got to it. This is the best picture I could find of it. I think Temagami Canoe Co. has primarily served a relatively local market for most of its history (of which the Temagami region provides plenty!) compared to the national reach of Chestnut etc., which may explain why it's harder to find information. There's some history here.

    Attached Files:

  4. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Bill Smith boats are fairly easy to identify once you know the characteristics, and he was certainly not as prolific a builder as Chestnut et al. He worked at Peterborough for a time, IIRC, and his cruiser is a sweet boat. I once put mine alongside an original Peterborough 26C cruiser i had, and they are very close. Interestingly, the rails are red pine rather than spruce. If you can track down John Kilbridge, he will fill your head with details and lore about Bills work. Talked with him 2 nights ago, always more to learn from him about those canoes.
    Rob Stevens likes this.
  5. OP

    Charliemaker New Member

    Thanks to everyone who was able to respond, provides bits of history and additional information on the Temagami Canoe Company. I do appreciate it and hope to learn more!

    @Andre Cloutier, do you happen to have photos of your Temagami Canoe cruiser that you would share?
  6. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Somewhere, have to check. If i remember i will take some more photos of the shop this weekend when i am up at Johns picking up canoes he has stored for me
  7. Rollin Thurlow

    Rollin Thurlow member since 1980

    I met Steve at one of the Assemblies in the early 80's. At that time business cards were much more important than they are now and and you would not expect a low key bushiness like Steve's to put much importance on business cards but he had the best card that a wooden canoe builder could have. A 3.5" x4" section of planking, hand printed with his information. I don't know how many of these he made up but they certainly stood out from the rest.

    Attached Files:

  8. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Now thats kool. I’m gonna send that to John. Not much activity these days, wood canoe renaissance never really took of in Canada like it did there, what a shame.

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