Explore one of Canada’s most renowned waterways.

About Mattawa River

Mattawa’ is an Algonquin word which means “meeting of waterways”, and it is in this northern Ontario locale that the 76 kilometre-long river of the same name flows into the larger Ottawa River. The Mattawa River follows an ancient fault line through the Algoma Highlands, marking the northern ridge of a geographical formation known as a rift valley; a lowland area caused by a dramatic separation of the earth’s surface. Designated a Canadian Heritage River in 1998, this famous waterway was once an important component of the commercial transportation corridor used by early fur traders and loggers, and also by the aboriginal population centuries before the arrival of Europeans on Canadian shores. Now under government protection, its shoreline is forever preserved, and serves primarily as a recreational/tourist attraction, while hosting numerous species of both flora and fauna.

The Mattawa River was first explored by a European in 1610 by Etienne Brule, and then five years later by famed adventurer Samuel de Champlain. For nearly two centuries, the fur and logging trades thrived along this waterway until the national railway reached Mattawa in 1881, connecting the town to the rest of the country.



76 kilometer-long river

Explored by Etienne Brule in 1610

Rich in flora and fauna

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