(Pembroke, ON) – After more than a decade of waiting, our Ottawa River has been designated as a Canadian Heritage River. Today, Kathryn McGarry, the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, designated the Ontario portion of the Ottawa River as a Canadian Heritage River for its outstanding cultural heritage values.
This designation covers the entire course of the Ontario portion of the Ottawa River through the Ottawa Valley and the County of Renfrew and all the way upriver to Lake Timiskaming and downriver to the Quebec border at East Hawkesbury, a total length of 590 kilometres. It is expected that Quebec will soon assign a Province of Quebec heritage designation to their portion of the Ottawa River, adding the 681 kilometres of the Ottawa which flow entirely in Quebec for a total of 1271 kilometres of the Canadian Heritage Ottawa River.
“Already known as The Whitewater Capital of Canada because of the world-class whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing in the Rocher Fendu section of the Ottawa in Whitewater Region Township, the Canadian Heritage River designation is national recognition of the historical, cultural and recreational importance of the Ottawa River,” states Chris Hinsperger, President of the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association. “It is an exciting day for all residents of the Ottawa Valley and for all of Canada. We know the Ottawa is a vitally important river, the key travel route for our First Nations and for explorers, fur traders, settlers and loggers, and now all of Canada and the world will share in this knowledge and recognition.”
“As we approach the celebration of Canada 150th in 2017, this Canadian Heritage River designation of the Ottawa River is a powerful new promotional tool for us to promote all the recreational and heritage features of the Ottawa River, and all our other tributary waterways, tourism businesses, museums, artists and communities,” claims Alastair Baird, Manager of the OVTA.
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