Imagine, without paying a cent at a tourist booth, that you are stepping on the very stones that Champlain, Brûlé, the early Jesuits and all other major historical figures of Canada, and later, MacKenzie and Thompson, had stepped on hundreds of years ago!
The Ottawa and Mattawa Rivers form Canada's historical gate when you came from the east, and it is historically as significant as the old Roman roads in Europe, the ancient Nile River route that made Egypt prosper from the treasures that came out of Africa, or the Incan roads of South America that held their empire together. Only the arrival of the railroad in the 18th century displaced the need to use this gateway, and plane and automobile eventually made us forget the significance of that area.
The Town of Mattawa is located at the crossroads of a vast water highway that opened up the country. Mattawa was at the centre of the routes taken by Aboriginal Peoples, European explorers, missionaries, fur traders, loggers, miners, and settlers wishing to access central, western and northern Canada.