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Ontario Unveils New Route That Follows Champlain's Historic Journey

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Ontario Unveils New Route That Follows Champlain's Historic Journey

New 1,500 Kilometre Tourist Route Will Create Jobs and Boost Local Economies

Ontario is unveiling a new tourist route that will guide visitors on a path closely aligned to explorer Samuel de Champlain's historic journey through Ontario.

Marie-France Lalonde, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, was at the International Pavilion in Ottawa today to make the announcement on behalf of Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. The Route Champlain will stretch over 1,500 kilometres and will shine the spotlight on Francophone culture and heritage. Highlights of the route will include:

  • Outdoor adventures reminiscent of Champlain's experiences on Ontario's waterways.
  • Cultural and heritage sites that celebrate Ontario's Francophone regions, cities and villages.
  • Experiences that commemorate 400 years of the French presence in Ontario.
  • Places of remembrance and history directly related to Champlain.

The Route Champlain will open in 2018 and will introduce visitors to the Ontario communities along the journey that Champlain began in 1615. The route will also highlight local culture, heritage, culinary experiences and outdoor attractions.

Investing in opportunities for tourists to explore Ontario's history is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is supporting the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité de l’Ontario (RDÉE) to develop the Route Champlain. The province has invested $690,786 in the project.
  • There are over 600,000 Francophones in Ontario representing 4.8 per cent of the province's population – the largest Francophone community in Canada outside of Quebec.
  • The Route Champlain will stretch across the province and include communities like Midland, Ottawa and North Bay.
  • Ontario’s tourism industry supports 372,000 jobs and generates over $29.8 billion of economic activity in the province.
  • The Tourism Action Plan and the Strategic Framework for Tourism in Ontario committed the government to support tourism experiences that showcase Ontario’s vibrant and diverse art, music and culinary scene, as well as preserve connections to our past.

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“Ontario is home to unique tourism experiences that make our province a destination of choice for visitors from around the world. The new Route Champlain will be a wonderful addition that will highlight our province’s vibrant Francophone culture and heritage for tourists from around the world. It will also increase Francophone tourism offerings and give visitors a unique opportunity to explore and discover Ontario communities along the route.”

Eleanor McMahon

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“The Route Champlain is a major initiative that highlights our historical heritage and promotes our Francophonie in all its diversity. An important legacy of Ontario’s 400th Commemoration of French presence and Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Route Champlain reflects the Ontario government’s commitment to our Francophone communities. This initiative offers an unparalleled opportunity for visitors from home and abroad to discover the richness of Ontario’s Francophonie while contributing to the province’s tourism industry and its economic and cultural development.”

Marie-France Lalonde

Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs

“RDÉE Ontario thanks the Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport for having entrusted it with the development of this major project that so clearly demonstrates the priority that the Government of Ontario accords to Francophone tourism. What we have today is unique, the historical depiction of Samuel de Champlain’s journey as identified by historians and experts on the explorer. Stretching over 1,500 km, this route provides visitors with the opportunity to discover numerous tourist, cultural and heritage attractions offering Francophone and/or bilingual services. We applaud the excellent collaboration developed with the seven tourism regions and communities located along the route. The next phase in the marketing of the Champlain Route and Ontario’s tourism industry locally, provincially, nationally and internationally will gather a whole new momentum!”

Denis Laframboise

Vice-President, RDÉE Ontario

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