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Kenora, Ontario

What to See & Do in Kenora, Ontario?

Kenora is on the North Shore of the Lake of Woods, Kenora is known for great fishing, hunting and boating. It is also the airbase for floatplanes to many remote hunting and fishing camps in all direction! Kenora lies on the main Highway #17 Trans Canada Highway Route at the junction with Highway #71 which connects south to Fort Frances and the western end of the Ontario Northern Route #11. of the Trans Canada Highway. Kenora lies 209 km E of Winnipeg, , 500km W of Thunder Bay, and 215 km N of Fort Frances.

Visit Kenora, Ontario
Kenora Plaque about Ontario Boundary Dispute

Kenora Plaque about Ontario Boundary Dispute

Situated on the North Shore of the Lake of Woods, Kenora is known for great fishing, hunting and boating. Kenora is at the point where the Trans-Canada highway 17 heads east, but one highway 71 heads south to Fort Frances, the US border, and highway 11, which merges again with the Trans-Canada just west of Thunder Bay. In 2000,  Kenora amalgamated with two other towns to form the City of Kenora.

Dryden and Kenora are the only cities in Ontario located in the Central Time Zone

Kenora at Watson's floatplane dock - fuel drums for remote camps

Kenora at Watson’s floatplane dock – fuel drums for remote camps

Kenora History

The area around today’s Kenora was originally inhabited by the Anishinaabe people.

In the 1870s, the Canadian Pacific Railway was extended to the area, on its way to the Pacific Ocean at Vancouver. This brought settlers to the area, as the community grew as a regional transportation hub. The town was also a major stopping point for steamships and other vessels traveling through the waterways of Northwestern Ontario. The community grew into an important center for the logging and timber industry, which transported to markets across North America.

This community began in 1882 as Rat Portage, named for the abundance of muskrat in the Winnipeg River basin, and was part of Manitoba. In 1884, the Privy Council moved it into Ontario, where it became an incorporated town in 1892. The town was renamed in 1905 as apart of a municipal amalgamation, taking the first two letters of each of Keeewatin, Norman, and Rat Portage. Norman was a community midway between Rat Portage and Keewatin, named for the son of a local lumber company manager.

In the early 1900s, the mining industry also began to develop in the area around Kenora, with the discovery of rich deposits of gold and other minerals. Kenora continued to grow and develop as a regional center for commerce and industry.

During World War II, Kenora was home to several military training facilities. Today, Kenora continues to be important to the transportation, logging, and mining industries.

After WWII, the community grew to be an important center for tourism. Visitors are attracted to the area’s natural beauty,  and outdoor recreation, and rich heritage and events. There are many historic sites and landmarks that can be visited throughout the area.


What to see & do around Kenora

Kenora tour boat, on Lake of the Woods

In the heart of this 10,100-resident community stands a 12 metre (35 ft) high, 2 ton wood, steel and fiberglass statue of “Husky the Muskie” (a replica fish) as a symbol of the environment as well as the frequent record-breaking catches made in this area.Many Murals and Indian petroglyphs can also be found around the city (as well as the lake) revealing the colorful history of the town. In the summer, you can take tours of Kenora’s biggest employer, the paper mill.

There are many ways to venture out into Lake of the Woods to experience the legends of the lake first hand including boat taxi, shuttle service or the MS Kenora which will carry up to 200 passengers.

To reduce traffic congestion in the community, the Highway 17A Kenora Bypass was built. This is the through-route followed by most truckers, and still has lots of views of Ontario’s Canadian Shield and lakes. Cyclists may consider driving through town to reduce the fast Bypass truck traffic swishing by. This older route meanders through the smaller settlements that make up Kenora.

Kenora Attractions

Husky the Muskie

Mcleod Park, in town (just before bridge westbound)

This enormous replica stands as a symbol for the Lake of the Woods, where you’ll find some of North America’s best Muskie fishing.

The Muse –  Lake of the Woods Museum & Douglas Family Art Centre

300 Main St. S, in Memorial Park;
(807) 467-2107


This museum houses a collection of over 15,000 articles including displays of Indian culture and artifacts of an early Portage. Wide collection of beaded native clothing.

MS Kenora

Harbourfront, Kenora, ON P9N 4B5
Departs from the Kenora Harbor Front
(807) 468-9124

Cruise beautiful Lake of the Woods on this 200 passenger boat. The daily cruise starts from Kenora’s scenic waterfront which takes you past Coney Island’s beautiful public beach, then heads south on a spectacular circle route of the northern section of famed Lake of the Woods. Dinner Cruises also available.


Lake of the Woods

Kenora, ON, P9N 3X8
(807) 468-8715

This massive lake is one of the most popular attractions in Kenora, offering endless opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and other water-based activities. The lake is also home to numerous islands and beaches, making it a great destination for exploring and relaxing.

Kenora Harbourfront

1 Main St S, Kenora, ON, P9N 1S9

This scenic waterfront area offers stunning views of Lake of the Woods and is home to numerous shops, restaurants, and other attractions. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk, take in live music and other entertainment, or relax in one of the many parks and green spaces.

Mather Walls House

640 River Dr, Kenora, ON, P9N 1K9
(807) 467-2041

This historic home was built in 1893 and is now a museum showcasing the history and culture of Kenora and the surrounding region. The house features exhibits on the fur trade, logging industry, and other aspects of local history.

Kenora Golf and Country Club

This 18-hole golf course offers stunning views of Lake of the Woods and is a popular destination for golfers of all skill levels. Visitors can also enjoy a driving range, pro shop, and clubhouse with a restaurant and bar.
(807) 468-7995
1078 Golf Course Rd, Kenora, ON, P9N 3W8

Keewatin Beach

(807) 467-2980
Beach Rd, Keewatin, ON, P0X 1C0

This beautiful beach is located just outside of Kenora and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The beach offers plenty of amenities, including change rooms, washrooms, and a playground for kids

Rushing River Provincial Park

Kenora, ON, P0X 1N0
(807) 727-2020
Website https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/rushingriver

This beautiful park is located about 30 minutes from Morson and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping. The park is home to several scenic waterfalls, as well as a network of hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Kenora, Ontario Area Map