Many adventurers have explored Ontario, but as one of the first, France’s Samuel de Champlain holds a special place.
Champlain was a painstaking cartographer, an avid naturalist interested in the use of plants, an important ethnographer and, above all, a visionary in terms of his intention to establish a New France in America, and in his relationships with First Nations people. For all of these reasons, but perhaps most of all for his commitment to colonization and conciliation throughout his career, particularly to the south of Georgian Bay, historians consider him the father of New France.
The Ontario Champlain Scenic Route is based on Champlain’s 1615-1616 great expedition. It is built around experiences involving French/bilingual services that reflect the famous explorer’s adventures and his legacy.
The Champlain Route is an itinerary replete with products, experiences and attractions, including services in French for local and foreign Francophone tourists.
“Champlain’s places of discovery are a world that we may be losing, but they are not yet a world we have lost. It is still possible to explore them by car and plane, by canoe and kayak, by sailboat and zodiac boat, by snowshoe – and some of the best places are accessible only by foot. At all these many sites we can rediscover this great discoverer by going there, and doing it, and traveling through his space in our time.”
(David Hackett Fisher, Champlain’s Dream)