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Powassan, Ontario

Powassan is a town located in Northeastern Ontario, on Highway 11. Powassan is located 30km S of North Bay at the Highway 17 junction, about 16 km N of Bracebridge on Highway 11, and 250 km N of Barrie on Highway 400

The Powassan and Area Historical Society and the Powassan Museum work to preserve the town’s history through exhibits, artifacts, and community events.

Explore hiking, cycling, and ATV trails in the surrounding natural areas, as well as opportunities for fishing, camping, and wildlife watching.

Powassan History

The region around Powassan was inhabited by the Algonquin and Nipissing First Nations, who lived off the land by hunting, fishing, and gathering.

The fur trade played a significant role in the early history of the region. French fur traders established trading posts along the waterways extending from the Mattawa River, to facilitate the exchange of furs with Indigenous peoples.

The abundance of timber in the surrounding forests also led to the rise of the logging and lumber industry. In those days (given that there were no roads, let alone logging trucks) logs were floated down area rivers to mills for processing. The town of Powassan was officially established around 1880 with the construction of a sawmill and a grist mill (for grinding wheat or other grains into flour).

Settlers also arrived to clear land for agriculture, to build roads, and to build a small community. The name “Powassan” is derived from an Ojibwe word meaning “bend in the river.” The arrival of the Northern and Pacific Junction Railway (later, part of the Canadian Pacific Railway) in 1885 further connected Powassan to other communities in Ontario.

In the early 1900s, industries such as sawmills, grist mills, and cheese factories were established to process the area’s resources, building the local economy.

Over the decades, Powassan’s population grew steadily, and established schools, churches, and other institutions.

The town’s tourism industry has grown, based on its rural charm, natural surroundings, and recreation.

Powassan Attractions

Powassan Maple Syrup Festival

Various locations in Powassan
Website: Powassan Maple Syrup Festival

An annual festival held in late spring (late celebrating the local maple syrup harvest, featuring maple syrup products, entertainment, and family-friendly activities.

Hockey Heritage North

249 Whitewood Avenue West, North Bay, ON P1B 9T5
Website: Hockey Heritage North

A museum celebrating the history of hockey in the region, showcasing artifacts, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits.

Powassan Farmers’ Market

250 Clark Street, Powassan, ON P0H 1Z0

A seasonal market offering fresh local produce, handmade crafts, baked goods, and more

Powassan, Ontario Area Map