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Roots and Rivers
Ottawa RiverMore than 8,000 years ago, paleo-Indian traders paddled the Ottawa River by canoe, part of the...
Bonnechere ValleyWhere else can you spelunk in underground caves, paddle the Bonnechere's gentle flatwater,...
Opeongo RoadAs sawmills and settlements opened up the interior of the Ottawa Valley in the 1850's, the...
Madawaska ValleyFamous Canadian Group of Seven artist A.Y. Jackson toured the Madawaska River, captivated by its...
Pontiac CountyFrom ancient pictographs on Oiseau Rock to the picturesque cottage ambience of Norway Bay, secrets...
Nature of the Pontiac

From ancient pictographs on Oiseau Rock to the picturesque cottage ambience of Norway Bay, secrets await discovery in friendly Pontiac County, Quebec. Canoe or raft the Ottawa River in the paddle strokes of Champlain then drive stunning back roads to Fort William, once a fur trading post. Prefer bicycling? Cycle east, from Allumette Island to Fort Coulonge, where stone mansions recall George Bryson, the lumber baron who built them. Later, visit Calumet Island's monument to Cadieux, a coureur de bois slain in an Iroquois ambush. Shawville tempts you next, with its Victorian red brick homes set in undulating farmland. Later, you can return to Ontario on the seasonal Quyon ferry.

Having taken its name from the County of Sussex in Britain, Chichester is a predominantly agricultural community. Forestry is still an important industry here. Incorporated in 1885, Chichester's first mayoral candidate was John B. Poupore.

Local legend has it that the name "Allumette" or "Matchstick" island describes the tall stick-like reeds found along the soft, sandy shorelines. Before the arrival of the first colonies, this is where the Algonquins and Iroquois battled for control over the river. With the coming of 1800's, Hudson Bay Company established a trading post in this region. The building still stands, and is a gathering place for local beach-goers. The first European colonies settled south of Allumette Island, and in 1840 constructed an impressive church, where their travels were halted by the rapids. The village of Chapeau became incorporated in 1873 with Patrick Cunningham as its mayor.


The municipality of Waltham derived its name from a village close to Grimsby, England. Incorporated in 1859, its first mayor was John T. Coglan.

In Fort Coulonge, experience the Marchand Covered Bridge, see the George Bryson Houses, Portage Historical stone homes, visit Cadieux historical site, Reid House, and enjoy the rural scenery and pretty dams.

While in the area, picnic at the Chutes Coulonges waterfalls, or dine at any local restaurant in the Fort Coulonge/Mansfield area. Explore the villages of Fort Coulonge, Bryson and Calumet Island. Drive through Portage du Fort to return to the Ontario side at Renfrew - or stay in Pontiac County for more!

A wooded residential area, the village of Davidson features a red covered bridge.

The village of Bryson was named after the Honourable John Bryson. Incorporated in 1873, the town's first mayor was Walter Rimer. Situated on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.

A small community originally settled by Irish immigrants, some of whose ancestors farm this area still! Every July 1st Sheenboro holds a parade to celebrate Canada day with musical accompanyment provided by the Sheenboro Fiddlers. Come on over and join the parade!

Forestry and Agriculture brought the first colonies to Campbell's Bay. Named after soldier Donald Campbell, it officially became a municipality in 1904, and its' first mayor was E.H. Workman. The main street has a particular character here - all the buildings on Front street are situated on one side, offering everyone a magnificent view of the Ottawa River.


Established by Irish settlers in 1873 as a farming community, Shawville continues to enjoy a rich agricultural heritage. With many shops and specialty stores, surrounded by many of the original Victorian brick homes, this quaint village has managed to preserve the old while embracing the new. While in the area, drive to Brystol, and then on to Quoyon to cross the Ottawa River by ferry to Ontario. You will see the Norway Bay Cottage area.

Between Wyman and Shawville, you cross a region with rich agricultural land which has preserved a surprising bio-diversity. Here wild nature and agriculture coexist in harmony for the great pleasure of the naturalist who will make many interesting observations.

Catch the ferry from Quyon and take in the view.