What does a 95-year-old canoe look like? Let us show you.

This isn’t just any old boat. This beautifully restored Peterborough cedar-strip canoe was first purchased by none other than Alex and Myrtle Philip in 1916 for the use of guests at their recently opened Rainbow Lodge. After the Philips retired and sold the lodge in 1948, Myrtle kept it as her personal canoe for the next 25 years.

Getting out on the water was a major attraction for early guests to Rainbow Lodge, and the Philips owned a variety of boats and canoes for that purpose.

A few years ago the near-antique was starting to show signs of its age, and so the canoe ended up with Dave Lanthier, an expert vintage canoe restorer and member of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association.

The canoe, pre-restoration.

David did an amazing job restoring the canoe to its former beauty, and the Whistler Museum purchased the wooden work of art and repatriated it to its former home. The canoe’s purchase was made entirely thanks to the generous support of the British Columbia Provincial Government.

Post-restoration, the red cedar has an amazing warm glow.

A detail of the bow deck and internal ribbing, post-restoration.

There is perhaps nothing more quintessentially Canadian than the canoe, as the eminent Canadian historian Pierre Berton so eloquently reminded us. This canoe is a pretty cool example of a classic, early-1900s design, fully restored to its original glory. Knowing that this specific canoe was taking avid fishermen out on Alta Lake nearly a century ago, and has been on countless River of Golden Dreams tours since, its only right that it has returned to its original home.

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