Waterways Ontario
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A City Perched on the Edge of the Wilderness



The city of Kenora is a focus of bustling city life and culture carved out of the forest… and just as the wilderness is only steps outside of town, the history of the place is close to the surface.  Coureurs du bois made trails through these trees, followed by roads and railways.  With steam power came industry - lumberyards, gold mills, and flourmills.

The old name for Kenora is Rat Portage for the great number of muskrats the voyageurs found, but in 1905, the settlement was growing, with more businesses, so the city was given its new name - KE from their sister town Keewatin, NO from the nearby village of Norman, and RA from Rat Portage.


Highlights of Kenora’s past are captured in murals throughout the city… and exceptional museums… but you’ll find lots to do in its present!  After a day on the water, with your arms tired from hauling in fish, a hot shower, a great meal and a comfortable bed will get you ready for the next day out.  Kenora has accommodations and restaurants to suit every budget and taste.  For shoppers, the city has unique shops for one-of-a-kind gifts and mementoes, a farmers’ market, galleries and boutiques.  If you have the energy for a night on the town, there are pubs and live entertainment as well.


From this northern city you can explore the wilderness… rent a canoe or kayak and follow the voyageurs… let our local guides show you where to find fish and game… take a float plane to untouched lakes so far off the beaten path few even know their names.


Come experience winter, too… the “best snow on earth”, snowmobile trails that cut through the wilderness, downhill and cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.  Whatever the season, Kenora is your gateway to the northern wilderness of Ontario… and some of the most fun you’ll ever have!

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