Welcome | Join us | Help | Français

Hop on board!

Let's travel together upstream to the Pays d'en haut. On these pages you'll find a portrait of the voyageurs and of the North West at the height of the fur trade. While serving as backbone for one of Canada's largest industries, the voyageurs also helped create a unique culture that thrives to this day over large areas of the continent.

This enterprise gave rise to a new class of tradesmen. Voyageurs transported freight by canoe across an immense network stretching from Montreal to the hunting grounds of the Northwest, filling a role comparable to modern-day long distance truckers. Their destinations were the trading counters and fur-rich territories of the North West.

Did you know?

The Athabasca region lay 5000km from North West Company (NWC) headquarters in Montreal, A canoe covered about 1,600kms per month. Since waterways were ice-free for only five months a year, the NWC established Fort William at the mid-point and used two teams of voyageurs.

Far removed from colonial society in the East, the voyageur came into close contact with Aboriginal peoples. The unique blending of cultures left its mark not just on the history of the fur trade, but of all of Canada. The voyageur is one of the main players in this story.

Welcome to the Voyageur's World!

Top of page Next