Kenora: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of Kenora
Location of Kenora in Ontario
Coordinates: 49°46′N 94°29′W / 49.767°N 94.483°W / 49.767; -94.483
Country Flag of Canada.svg Canada
Province Flag of Ontario.svg Ontario
Region Northwestern Ontario
District Kenora
Incorporated (town) 1882 as Rat Portage
Renamed 1905 as Kenora
Amalgamated (City) 2000[1]
 - Mayor Len Compton
 - MP Greg Rickford (Kenora, CPC)
 - MPP Howard Hampton (Kenora—Rainy River, NDP)
 - City 210.91 km2 (81.4 sq mi)
Population (2006)[2]
 - City 15,177
 Density 72.0/km2 (186.5/sq mi)
 Urban 11,306
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
Postal Code FSA P9N, P0X
Area code(s) 807
Website Kenora Community Portal
Statistics Canada 2006 Community Profile[3]

Kenora (2006 population 15,177), originally named Rat Portage, is a small city situated on the Lake of the Woods in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, close to the Manitoba boundary, and about 200 km (124 mi) east of Winnipeg. It is the seat of Kenora District.

The town of Kenora was amalgamated with the towns of Keewatin and Jaffray Melick in 2000 to form the present-day City of Kenora.



Kenora's future site was in the territory of the Ojibway when the first European, Jacques De Noyon, sighted Lake of the Woods in 1688. Pierre La Vérendrye established a secure French trading post, Fort St. Charles, to the south of present-day Kenora near the current Canada/U.S. border in 1732, and France maintained the post until 1763 when it lost the territory to the British in the Seven Years' War — until then, it was the most northwesterly settlement of New France. In 1836 the Hudson's Bay Company established a post on Old Fort Island, and in 1861, the Company opened a post on the mainland at Kenora's current location.

In 1878, the company surveyed lots for the permanent settlement of Rat Portage — the community kept that name until 1905, when it was renamed to Kenora. The name, "Kenora," was coined by combining the first two letters of Keewatin, Norman (two nearby communities) and Rat Portage.

Kenora was once claimed as part of the Province of Manitoba. There are early references to Rat Portage, Manitoba. Boundaries were drawn up and the Northwest Angle on Lake of the Woods which definitively drew the boundaries between Ontario, Manitoba, Canada and, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Gold and the railroad were both important in the community's early history: gold was first discovered in the area in 1850, and by 1893, 20 mines were operating within 24 km (15 mi) of Rat Portage, and the first Canadian ocean-to-ocean train passed through in 1886 on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Later, a highway was built through Kenora in 1932, becoming part of Canada's first coast-to-coast highway in 1943, and then part of the Trans-Canada Highway, placing the community on both of Canada's major transcontinental transportation routes. The original barrier to the completion of the highway concerned the crossing of the Winnipeg River at two locations. The single span arch bridges are among the longest of their type in North America.

Rat Portage was a small town of ill repute with storied brothels collected along the early Canadian Pacific Rail line. Large tracts of land were allocated to Marathon Realty for the purpose of gathering and controlling lands along the railway for commercial and development purposes. Excavation of garbage dumps adjacent to the brothels revealed opium bottles, prescription tranquilizers similar to Lorazepam[4], champagne bottles and pickle jars. Early suppliers of patent medicines from Johnson's Pharmacy during that era reveal Lydia Pinkam's Vegetable Compount, Kickapoo Indian Oil, Dr. Thomas Electric Oil and many others. During prohibition, the Lake of the Woods served as a route for the transport of Drewery's alcohol.

The logging industry, which was important earlier, declined in the second part of the 20th century as the tourist industry grew, and the last log boom was towed into Kenora in 1985.

A dramatic and daring bank robbery took place in Kenora on May 10, 1973. An unknown man entered the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce heavily armed and wearing a "dead man's switch", a device utilising a clothespin, wires, battery and dynamite, where the user holds the clothespin in the mouth, exerting force on the clothespin. Should the user release the clothespin, two wires attached to both sides of the pin complete an electrical circuit, sending current from the battery, detonating the explosives. After robbing the bank, the robber exited the CIBC, and was preparing to enter a city vehicle driven by undercover police officer Don Milliard. A sniper, Robert Letain, positioned across the street from the bank shot the robber, causing the explosives to detonate and killing the robber. Most of the windows on the shops on the main street were subsequently shattered as a result of the blast. Recently, Kenora Police submitted DNA samples from the robber's remains to identify him however the suspect was never positively identified.

Husky the Muskie

The Stanley Cup was won by the Kenora Thistles hockey team in 1907. The team featured such Hall of Famers as Billy McGimsie, Tommy Phillips, Roxy Beaudro, and Art Ross, for whom the Art Ross Trophy is named. Kenora is the smallest town to have won a major North American sports title.

In 1967, the year of the Canadian Centennial, Kenora erected a sculpture known as Husky the Muskie, which has become the town's effective mascot and one of its most recognizable features.[1]


In addition to the formerly separate towns of Keewatin and Jaffray Melick, the city also includes the named neighbourhoods of Norman, Reddit, Brickyard, Pinecrest, Minto and Lakeside.

Keewatin now forms the western-most section of the city of Kenora. Norman was a small community located half-way between the village of Keewatin and Rat Portage. The Village of Keewatin was founded in 1877 while the Village of Norman was founded in 1892; both communities amalgamated with Rat Portage in 1905 to form the City of Kenora. In 1908, Township of Keewatin was founded, which in 2000 also amalgamated with the City of Kenora.

As of 2000, Jaffray Melick neighbourhood now forms the eastern-most section of the City of Kenora. The Township of Jaffray was founded in 1894 and the Township of Melick in 1902; the two townships were amalgamated in 1908 as Jaffray and Melick, and renamed as Jaffray Melick in 1911.


Forestry, tourism and mining are the three largest sectors of the Kenora economy. The population balloons in the spring and summer to almost double the normal population when summer residents move in. The Lake of the Woods and numerous smaller lakes situated all around Kenora are the major draw for cottagers who summer here. Many are from the neighbouring province of Manitoba and the state of Minnesota.


Climate data for Kenora
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 8.3
Average high °C (°F) -12.6
Average low °C (°F) -22
Record low °C (°F) -43.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 26.1
Source: Environment Canada[5] 11 June 2009


Lakeside Inn

The city's most prominent cultural venue is the downtown Harbourfront, a park on the shore of Lake of the Woods which hosts the city's annual winter and summer festivals, as well as concert series, a "Bard on the Harbour" reading series of Shakespeare plays and other special events. Harbourfront is also the docking point for the M/S Kenora, a small cruise ship which offers a guided tour of the lake, and the home of Husky the Muskie.

The city's downtown core is home to an arts project which has to date seen 20 murals depicting the region's history planned and painted along buildings in the business district.

The city is also home to a major international bass fishing tournament.

Kenora is unfairly stereotyped as an archetypal hoser community, evidenced by the phrase "Kenora dinner jacket"[6] as a nickname for a hoser's flannel shirt.

In March of 2010, Kenora was also the host of the Girls Single A OFSAA Volleyball Tournament. A provincial tournament held yearly. Kenora's very own St. Thomas Aquinas High School won silver, only beaten by Monsigneur Bruyere.


Kenora waterfront

VIA Rail offers passenger service to Redditt on the CN transcontinental rail line, approximately 30 minutes and 20 km (12 mi) north of Kenora. The CP transcontinental rail line passes directly through town.

Kenora Airport is located 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) east northeast of the city centre.

Greyhound Lines offers intercity bus services from the Excel Coach Lines terminal.[7]

Highway 17 passes through Kenora, and the Highway 17A Kenora By-Pass goes around the city. Both routes are designated as part of the Trans-Canada Highway. Highway 658 extends northerly from Kenora to Redditt.

Kenora Transit operates three routes, from Monday to Saturday, 7:00am to 6:30pm.[8]


Kenora is represented at in the House of Commons by Conservative Member of Parliament Greg Rickford, and in the Ontario Legislative Assembly by MPP Howard Hampton, leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party.

The current mayor of Kenora is Len Compton.

Some residents of Kenora, citing dissatisfaction with the level of government service provided to the region by the provincial government, have proposed that the region secede from Ontario to join the province of Manitoba. Former Kenora mayor Dave Canfield, who was defeated by Compton in the 2006 municipal election, was the most notable public figure to have endorsed this proposal.[9]


The Lake of the Woods District Hospital was founded in 1897, and was originally known as the Rat Portage Jubilee Hospital and then the Kenora General Hospital. Through the years a series of additions and renovations took place to meet the expanding needs of the population. On May 1, 1968, the St. Joseph's Hospital and the Kenora General Hospital amalgamated to form the Lake of the Woods District Hospital. Treating well over 30,000 people per year, Lake of the Woods District Hospital is Northwestern Ontario's largest hospital outside of Thunder Bay.

Being funded largely in part by the Lake of the Woods District Hospital Foundation, the hospital's core programs include emergency and ambulatory care, chronic care, mental health, maternal and child health, and acute care services which include general medicine, intensive care and surgical services. It also manages a broad range of services including dialysis, chemotherapy, diagnostic imaging, mammography, ultrasound, addiction counseling and detoxification, a sexual assault centre, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services, ambulance (land and dedicated air), palliative care and various education programs.

The Lake of the Woods District Hospital meets the immediate healthcare needs of residents of the city of Kenora, as well as a large surrounding area, including several First Nations Communities.


Two school boards and a community college function in the Kenora Area.

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board operates one high school (Beaver Brae Secondary School) and 5 elementary schools (Lakewood School, Keewatin Public School, Evergreen School, King George IV School, and Valleyview School).

The Kenora Catholic District School Board operates one high school (Saint Thomas Aquinas High School) and three elementary schools (École Ste. Marguerite-Bourgeois, Pope John Paul II School and St. Louis School). The elementary school, officially named Pope John Paul II, amalgamated approximately 350 students from the former Mount Carmel and Our Lady of the Valley schools. École Ste. Marguerite-Bourgeois is a French immersion school.

Confederation College has a Kenora campus and serves post-secondary and adult education needs in the city and surrounding area.

Housed within the college is Contact North, which offers Kenora residents local access to university and college programs not directly offered by the college campus. Contact North is Ontario's most extensive distance education network providing access to education and training opportunities in remote locations of Northern Ontario through a network of access centres. Contact North works with 13 colleges and universities.


Kenora had a population of 15,177 people in 2006, which was a decrease of 4.2% from the 2001 census count. The median household income in 2005 for Kenora was $59,946, which is slightly below the Ontario provincial average of $60,455.[10]

Ethnic Groups (according to the 2006 Canadian Census):[11]


The major news source in Kenora is the Kenora Daily Miner and News, one of Canada's smallest daily newspapers. On the weekends, the Lake of the Woods Enterprise is delivered free to area households. NWO Update, offers regional news coverage.

It is also Canada's smallest (and North America's second smallest) television market, with just a single station, and two CBC/SRC affiliates.



CBWAT was once a separate CBC Television station from Winnipeg-based CBWT. It would air basic news, weather and sports from Winnipeg followed by a locally produced current affairs programme. This was discontinued when CBWAT became a repeater of CBWT.

Notable people

See also


External links

Coordinates: 49°46′N 94°29′W / 49.767°N 94.483°W / 49.767; -94.483

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kenora is a small city in Northern Ontario. It had a 2006 population of 15,177. Kenora is the westernmost major centre in Ontario. Surrounded by wilderness and thousands of lakes, and directly situated on the Northern tip of Lake of the Woods, Kenora is in "cottage country" and is a vacation mecca in Central Canada. Kenora's name came from the surrounding areas. Ke - Keewatin, No - Norman, Ra - Rat Portage. Couriously Kenora had the last legal execution-by-hanging in Canada

Get in

By plane

Bearskin Airlines (based in Thunder Bay) provides daily air service from Kenora to Winnipeg, Manitoba and Thunder Bay.

By car

The Trans-Canada Highway - Highway #17 - passes through Kenora continuing on to the Manitoba border. Highway 17A is the bypass route for Kenora for through traffic.

By rail

ViaRail provides service on the Canadian National mainline from Toronto through Northern Ontario to Winnipeg, Manitoba and westward. The closest stop to Kenora is in Redditt, Ontario, 25 minutes North of the city. The stop in Minaki, Ontario, 45 minutes North of Kenora is also easily accessible.

By bus

Greyhound provides service to Kenora from Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, Manitoba along Highway #17, with stops in communities along the route. Excel Coach Lines also provides bus service to Red Lake and Fort Frances. The bus station is centrally located within Kenora on Highway 17 East.

Get around

Kenora is a very pedestrian-friendly city and downtown area is very conducive to walking. The City of Kenora also runs a transit service on three different routes that runs 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday. Taxi service is also easily available within the city.


Lake of the Woods

Kenora is situated on the Northern tip of Lake of the Woods in "cottage cottage". It is the second largest inland lake in Ontario and a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. The lake has over 14,000 islands and the vast majority of the waterfront is undeveloped wilderness. Renting a boat, canoe, or kayak or taking a guided tour is a great way to see the lake.

Kenora Heritage Townscape Murals

As you walk or drive down through the streets of Kenora and Keewatin, you will find dozens of large murals painted on the sides of our buildings. These murals represent significant activities or moments in our history and make Kenora what is today. There is a collection of 21 murals in the downtown area. A map and information pamphlet is available from the Tourist Information Centre.

Lake of the Woods Museum

The Lake of the Woods Museum, located at 300 Main Street South, is one of the finest small museums in Canada. The Museum was established in 1964 and seeks to promote understanding of and respect for the cultures and heritage of the Lake of the Woods area, and to engage a diverse community in discovery and learning. Today, this well-established museum is home to a varied and intriguing collection of artifacts and thematic displays and special events.

Keewatin Potholes

Located 1 block south of Highway 17 at 6th St. in Keewatin.These round, cylindrical holes in the outcrop appear to be man-made but they were formed by the action of running water during glaciation. These holes are thought to have formed from water-spun rock fragments that have slowly eroded holes in the bedrock. The Keewatin rockholes provide evidence for glaciation in the Lake of the Woods area and demonstrate that sediment-laden, high-velocity water can perform major and unusual feats of erosion.

M.S. Kenora

The M.S. Kenora is a great way for visitors to the city to experience the unsurpassed splendor of Lake of the Woods. Weighting 205 tons and accommodating a complement of up to 195 passengers, the M.S. Kenora enables tourists and residents alike to see the sights on the Lake. Originally a freight ship on Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, it was rechristened as the M.S. Kenora in 1984. Since that time, it has delighted passengers with its comfort and the scenic vistas it cruises past. The cruise passes by Coney Island beach, through the scenic channels south of Kenora, and returning through the exciting ‘Devil’s Gap’, a channel guarded by a mythical rock bearing its name. Bald eagles and wildlife can also be sighted. Passengers can enjoy the panoramas in air-conditioned comfort or on the outdoor deck and there is a fully licensed restaurant onboard. A daily dinner cruise is offered and a Sunday brunch cruise. The spectacular scenery and nautical comfort leaves little doubt as to why the M.S. Kenora is one of the region’s most popular attractions.


The possibilities for outdoor adventure are endless! For the truly adventurous, we offer wilderness camping, mountain biking, sailing, parasailing, rock climbing. For the more sedate, golf, fishing, hiking on local trails. And bring your camera! The Lake of the Woods provides a magnificent backdrop for vacation memories.


The Kenora area is on of the few places in Canada with beautiful public beaches right in the city! You can drive 10 minutes and be at Rabbit Lake and Garrow Park, just north of town or drive just south (a block south of WalMart) and be at Anicinabe Park with a picinic area, playground and large beach. On the west side of town, you have Norman Park or Keewatin beach. Both have picnic areas and places for you to swim. Have fun!


The Lake of the Woods is home to variety of fish species. Many anglers consider the area to be amongst the best in the world for fishing Walleye, Muskie, and many others.

For the seasoned professional, the majority of lodges are located in the heart of fishing supremacy; some lakes in the area have even been designated as trophy waters. Accommodations offer a variety in bait and lures, as well as boat rentals complete with live wells, fish finders and navigational aids.

For those interested in guide services, the area has several!


Cycling in the Kenora area is a do-it-yourself adventure experience. There are some very challenging trails close to town. For the sensation of exposed rugged bedrock and a wonderful view of the town and the lake saddle up and ride to the top of the Little Amik Trail. The trail takes a small loop and is moderately challenging if only approximately one kilometre long. A good warm up.

From the parking lot you can choose to go a little more hardcore to the North or take a scenic ride to the beaches to the South and West. Taking a turn to the left and past the Paper Mill will bring you to Scramble Ave. Go to the end of the street and you will find an advanced level trail which leads to Garrow Park on Rabbit Lake. Be cautious. Many riders have been injured on the rocks, roots and rivulets.

Make your way to the East end of Rabbit Lake and you’ll find a trailhead which leads to the pipeline and hydroline (beside the school board storage building). From here turning left, to the West, will bring you back toward town but you will have to conquer a few hills and swampy sections. Turning right, to the East, is the beginning of the ‘epic’ ride. Big hills, big swamps and some endurance oriented excursion grinding will give you hours of sweat and enjoyment. Don’t worry about getting lost - you are never very far from a road or highway to head home on. If you know you're going to go hard, fill your water bottles and tell someone where you plan to go. Ask at a local bike shop for more information.

Just West of Casey’s Bar & Grill you’ll find scenic Sandy Nook and even further West (just past Keewatin) on Hwy. 17, look for the Mackenzie Portage Road which leads to the moderately challenging Vernon Trails.

A 40 min. drive north on Hwy. 596 will lead you to the Minaki Yurt Adventures race trail. It is a well developed and maintained 25km course featuring some moderate to advanced level riding. They offer bike rentals, lessons, great local hospitality and unique accommodation options.

For those with a pioneering spirit and explorers enthusiasm there is great potential for discovering old logging roads and all terrain vehicle trails in the forest areas. Adventure tourists can take pleasure in the wilde ness, wildlife, landforms and the unique history of the Kenora area as one of the most rugged destinations they may ever ride a bike through.


Mount Evergreen, located off the Airport Road, has 11 downhill runs, 2 T-Bar lifts, a Terrain Park, a large & spacious, and 20 km of beginner to expert classic and skate technique cross-country Skiing Trails. Five kilometers of the classic and skate cross-country ski trails are lit in the evening hours for nighttime use. The Rollercoaster, Two Towers, adn Matoo's Trail are amoung the best nordic ski trails in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Phone: 807-548-5100 Off Season call: 807-468-5377 Website:

Vernon Nature Trails, located down McKenzie Portage Roard, offers 5km of groomed classic technique cross-country ski trails through different area ecosystems, ranging from oak ridges, to pine forests, to deciduous woodlands.

The Club Minaki trail system, located approximately 45 minutes North of Kenora, offers 20km of classic technique cross-country ski trails. The Grey Owl and Jackpine trails are highly recommended.

Rushing River Provincial Park, 25 km southeast of Kenora, offers 10 km of groomed classic technique cross-country ski trails along scenic terrain.


Kenora Golf & Country Club Golf Course Road, Kenora, ON Phone 807-468-7995 Web:

Beauty Bay Golf Course Essex Road, Kenora, ON Phone 807-548-4777

Bergman Driving Range Phone 807-543-3562


Hunting on the Lake of the Woods provides a serene environment with a variety of species to hunt. Traditional bow hunting and other unique hunting experiences are available. Try timber wolf hunting or the fall bear hunt; grouse and duck hunts are always favourites; and of course there is deer and moose hunting available. Many resorts offer hunting packages for the experienced gamesman or the beginner.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Kayaking and canoeing are two perfect ways to experience the truly sublime and picturesque scenery which are unique to the area. The Kenora area features over 20 major canoe routes, as well as several businesses, which offer both rentals, and lessons developed to cater to everyone from beginners to experts. The Hardwear Company, located at 160 Main St. South, offers anywhere from half day to week long rentals of kayaks and canoes and will provide two hour lessons, off of the Harbourfront, (there is a two person minimum for all lessons). This is a beginners’ course, which teaches the layout of a kayak, how to enter and exit, how to turn, proper stroke technique, as well as how to execute safety maneuvers. The Hardwear Company can be contacted by phone at 807- 468-1226. Another avenue people may wish to pursue is Green Adventures, which rents all the equipment needed for a kayaking, as well as offers six different tours which range in difficulty from beginner to expert. They also offer more inclusive packages which include the required gear and transportation as well as meals. For more information contact Scott Green at 807-466-7412 or visit his website


Shopping in the City is a truly unique experience - you can find everything from jewelery to jigs, country crafts to computer access.

Green Adventures phone number is 807 467 8535


Kenora has more than 50 restaurants offering traditional fare and ethnic treats!


There are many popular bars and pubs in the city.

Casey's Bar and Grill Located next to Super 8 Motel on Hwy 17 West.

Hap's Bar and Grill Centrally located on Main St. with an outdoor patio facing the Harbourfront.

Shooters Located in the Lake of the Woods Hotel on Matheson Street. Offers live music and exotic dancers on select nights.

  • My Place Restaurant, Ottawa Street, (807) 547-4044. My Place is a great little spot serving contemporary cuisine including coconut shrimp and mango chicken salad. They also make a mean martini! Located in Keewatin, about 10 minutes West of downtown Kenora. Worth the drive! $12-25.  edit
  • Lakeshore, Keewatin. The Lakeshore is Keewatin's only bar. Located centrally right beside the Keewatin Legion and the one laned bridge.  edit
  • Anchor Inn, 551 Lakeview Dr, 807-468-6861. Anchor Inn is a nice little Inn in Kenora with some cottages. Its reasonably priced and centrally located.  edit


Tourism Kenora provides visitor information services within the Kenora region. The bureau can be reached at 1-800-535-4549 or (807)-467-4637 or online at The vistor information centre is located at 1500 Highway 17 East. In the summer months, there is a branch office located in the Thistle Pavillion on the Harbourfront off Bernier Drive.

Get out

Kenora is only 45 minutes from the Manitoba border, 2 hours from Winnipeg, Manitoba, 3 hours from the United States border and 6 hours from Thunder Bay.

Routes through Kenora
ReginaWinnipeg (becomes ) ←  W noframe E  DrydenThunder Bay
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KENORA (formerly RAT Portage), a town and port of entry in Ontario, Canada, and the chief town of Rainy River district, situated at an altitude of 1087 ft. above the sea. Pop. (1891), 1806; (1901) 5222. It is 133 m. by rail east of Winnipeg, on the Canadian Pacific railway, and at the outlet of the Lake of the Woods. The Winnipeg River has at this point a fall of 16 ft., which, with the lake as a reservoir, furnishes an abundant and unfailing waterpower. The industrial establishments comprise reduction works, saw-mills and flour-mills, one of the latter being the largest in Canada. It is the distributing point for the gold mines of the district, and during the summer months steamboat communication is maintained on the lake. There is important sturgeon fishing.

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