French River History

Old Photo French River
From Lake Nipissing to Gerogian Bay The French River forms part of the Heritage Waterway trade route used by Voyageurs, Ojibwe Indians, fur trappers, Jesuit missionaries, explorers and loggers.

Explorer's, traders, missionaries and loggers came to the French River to seek their fortunes, some would suceeed, some would fail and some would be burnt at the stake.


17th Century

La Riviere des Francais was the name given the waterway by the French explorers, Brule, Champlain, Brebeuf and Lalmant. The Ojibwe referred to it as Wemitigoj-Sibi and historically called New France


18th and 19th Century

Trappers, fishermen and loggers,profitted from the areas natural resources of timber, furs and fish. Building log cabins, lodges and lumber mills as they progressed across the region with boats, Alligator tugs, and canoes. Whilst out boating you can clearly see, marked on the rocks, arrows indicating which channels to follow to stay on "Voyageur" routes.


20th Century onwards

Designated a Canadian Heritage River in 1985, twenty five years after the Ontario government closed the region to industrialization, the French River is a vacation spot filled with natural bays, rapids, wildlife and flora.
The Dokis First Nation still occupy lands along the shores of the French River.

Come see for yourself why The French is loved by anglers, photographers and historians.