Northeastern Ontario is really mid-central in the province of Ontario.
The province is so big [50% larger than the state of Texas] that Northwestern Ontario is nearly equal in size to the rest of Ontario. And in the middle, where the farming begins to dropoff and the Canadian Shield forests and lakes take over is canoeing country. This section of Ontario has many rivers and lakes that stretch across the province and have provided a more natural canoe-based transportation system for over 8000 years. During the settling of Canada from 1600 to the mid 1850s the courier de bois used the Ottawa river valley and the many lakes and streams of mid-Ontario as the premier transport system for moving furs, logs, and goods between east and west. Northern Shores is is a tabletop treasure trove of images and canoeing stories about this countryside.
Northern Shores book cover – a Nipissing Kiwanis Club Project
Canoeing is at the heart of Northern Shores as it has been for thousands of years. Yes, there is industry, farming, logging and mining across this section of the Canadian Shield. Besides fishing, hunting and the best means of getting around the Canadian Shield Country, canoeing also has a rich tradition of sport and ongoing activity. There are two major parks, Temagami and Algonquin, in the area that have wonderful lakes and canoeing support. But what comes from the book and its stories is the wide range of activities on the lakes and rivers in this most adventurous canoe country.
Detail: Canoes sneaking across lake in the early dawn – Andrew Collett
One quickly learns that canoeing is an all weather activity; but it is best to take advantage of the still and quiets out on the water. Dawn colors and reflections add to the mystiques of gliding through waters traversed for hundreds of years in similar fashion. And the palces that you can reach – are breathtaking:
Detail: Gliding by the Canadian Shield Walls – Paul Chivers
Northern Shores tells and has gorgeous image of the rivers and lakes in all the seasons. Sometimes it looks like perpetual Fall Hues with the dramatic colors at dawn and dusk. And the stories catch the drama of changing weather caught out on a lake. Even more interesting is some of the many fellow water way travellers – not just loons. moose have with their bulk and size the ability to traverse some pretty deep narrows. And bears like to fish at the whitewater falls popular with Olympic canoeists. NorthernShore shows what happens when the weather turns brisk or the portage along snaking trails means canoe and stuffs hop on your back. It also shows the the back country through the season changes – Springs shoots, Summer blossoms, Fall colors, Winters white-silver starkness and all the starry Northern Lights in between.
Detail:Morning campfire by the lakeside by Chris Mayne
The mood and style of the book is captured by the fireside lake scene. On could easily imagine the same peace and sojourn to be found lakeside 100 or 400 years ago. Yes perhaps a some changes to the sand, pebble and beach outline. But the composition is the same – a sense of tranquility.
Northern Shores is a book that you won’t find on Amazon.ca – look here to the Nipissing Kiwanis Club to order a copy. And consider, that all of the proceeds from the book sales will be passed onto to One Kids Place in North Bay – where kids in the North Country receive vital medical care.