Their collection of Birchbark canoes is very nice. They have a large Voyageur canoe that was built in the mid 1970’s by César Newashish who was also appeared in the famous National Film Board (NFB) documentary, César's Bark Canoe.
As you can see in the photo part of the canoe exhibit is closed off. Behind the fancy yellow gate I met Jeremy Ward who is the curator at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario. Jeremy was at the ROM today helping with an ongoing restoration of the Voyageur canoe.
Over the next week Jeremy will be taking the stern apart to repair a section of birchbark that cracked several years ago. Nobody really knows how it got damaged but some speculate it most likely hurt when the canoe was moved from one floor to another via a grand spiral staircase. A true mystery of the ages!
Sorry, I didn’t get any good photos of the canoe, we got to talking and before I knew it, my lunch hour was over and had to scurry back to work.
For your viewing pleasure, below is the NFB production of César's Bark Canoe. Even on the original, there is no narration; just César Newashish himself demonstrating the techniques of birchbark canoe building.