Roy MacGregor – No Canoe, No Canada

Episode 44

Award-winning journalist and best-selling author, Roy MacGregor discusses the history of the canoe and how it continues to capture the imaginations of people across Canada and beyond 

  • Published Jul 26, 2022
  • Updated Aug 09
Roy MacGregor on the Ottawa River in his cedar-canvas Northland canoe. (Photo courtesy Roy MacGregor)
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“If the canoe is not on the Canadian flag, it is most certainly to be found in the Canadian imagination.” 

While Roy MacGregor wasn’t born in a canoe, growing up in and around Ontario’s Algonquin Park, he might as well have been. For as long as he can remember, he’s had a self-described love affair with the canoe and all it represents to this nation of ours.

An award-winning journalist and best-selling author, MacGregor has spent decades at the top of his game covering everything from politics, to hockey, to reconciliation, to the many strands of life that make up this wonderful and complicated nation of ours. Through all of that, his main passion has been the canoe and the Canadian rivers and lakes it has navigated for thousands of years.

Among his many best selling books include Canoe Country – The Making of Canada and Original Highways: Traveling the Great Rivers of Canada.

Roy takes us through the thousands of years of history of the canoe, from a vessel of transport for First Nations, then for new settlers, fur traders, lumbermen and its most recent incarnation as a popular form of recreation. We explore what it is about the canoe that continues to capture the imaginations of people all over Canada and beyond, as well as some of his favourite canoe trips.


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