The multi-award-winning Lake of the Woods Museum is considered by the CAA Magazine to be “one of the coolest little museums in Canada.” The history of the area is presented through three levels of permanent and temporary exhibits and engaging educational programming. The Museum also boasts a small but unique gift shop that features local and regional authors, clever children’s books and toys, and only-available-at-the-museum products.
Take a look into the history of railroading in Kenora. The Railroaders Museum features a model railway inside and a caboose on rails outside.
Located at the corner of Lakeview Drive and Norman Drive
Mather Walls House
The Mather Walls house was built by John Mather, a native of Scotland that emigrated to Canada in 1857. John built the house in 1889 and was one of Keewatin’s earliest pioneers. He built the house for his son David Mather. John was a shrewd business man and formed the Keewatin Lumbering and Manufacturing Company building a flour mill and a saw mill. In 1906, the house was purchased by John Walls, foreman of the mill. This house is a Queen Anne style Victorian house which has been featured in an episode of Creepy Canada due to the resident ghost which inhabits the home. Today the house is preserved by the Ontario Heritage Foundation and operated by the Lake of the Woods Historical Society. During the summer months of July and August the tea house is open. Lunch is served and guided tours are offered. Throughout the year there are other teas. There is a Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, End of the Summer & a Xmas tea. These are from 2-4pm. Admission is $5. Every October local High School Students transform the house into a haunted house. Guests can visit and tour the spooky house during 2 evenings. You may even meet the real apparition in the house! For more details about all of our events please check out Mather-Walls Facebook page.
The Lake of the Woods Heritage Townscapes has been a work in progress since 1994 when it opened as an outdoor gallery in the City of Kenora. There are 21 murals completed while work continues in planning more murals throughout the City. The murals are painted by leading Canadian artists on the large walls of buildings in the City. The artists are chosen so that each mural will be unique in design and painting style and as a collection these murals help to bridge the past, present and future of our city. The Lake of the Woods has a rich and varied history. Each year, the Committee chooses themes and asks local artists to offer their own interpretations in the form of a mural. More information: Tourism Kenora has a pamphlet describing all 21 murals and their artists.
Murmur is an oral history project located in various locations across the city. Green ear signs are posted at these locations and contain instruction as to how to access the information. Participants call a number and get to hear first hand stories about the location.
Native Pictographs are rock paintings and often thought of by native populations as Spirit Rocks. Aboriginals believe certain rocks inhabit spirits and most ancient rock paintings are around 5000 years old. Spirit Rocks were painted by native artists using berry juice and sap. These natural attractions are found scattered around Lake of the Woods area. Many can be viewed by boat only and no roads connect to them. Many pictographs are located near shorelines so you will need to go by boat to view. These are sacred places to our native people and it is important to be respectful of each pictograph for both historical and cultural significance. Please keep this in mind when visiting them. Native Pictograph Etiquette: When visiting Lake of the Woods Spirit Rocks proper etiquette is to leave behind some type of offering in acknowledgement. Your offering can be in the form of tobacco, a stick of gum, or some trinket you feel appropriate to the scene. Never climb or otherwise disrespect these settings and this includes leaving behind trash at these settings. We ask for your cooperation as a visitor to our city.
Devil’s Gap Rock, Accessible by Boat Only
Devil’s Gap Rock is not exactly a spirit rock although it is a very popular attraction. It was painted as a prank in 1894 by two brothers and over the years has been repainted by others. There is no road to the rock but it can be viewed from the MS Kenora during the dinner cruise tour. Devils Gap Rock continues to be a popular attraction for visitors to Kenora.