• I first paddled the canoe in the spring of 1967 when I went to Bill Greenwood’s workshop on the banks of the Fraser River. Camp Deka (run by my parents, Lorne and May Brown) had ordered the canoe to be used on an expedition on the upper Fraser River, and I was ‘testing’ the canoe to see if it would be suitable (my impression is that it was either the first of that model that Bill had made, or one of the few being made).

  • The canoe was used in the summer of 1967 on the section of the Centenary Journey from the Yellowhead pass down the Fraser to Quesnel.

  • From 1967 to 1976, the canoe was one of twenty canoes, including at least ten 15’ Greenwoods used at Camp Deka (located east of 100 Mile House), for the summer canoeing program.

  • Camp Deka closed in 1977 and when the fleet of canoes was dispersed, my wife and I acquired the 17’ Greenwood.

  • In 1979 Suzanne and I, with our Greenwood, retraced most of the fur trade route from Northern Saskatchewan to Montreal; a 3,450 km trip, taking four months.

  • In 1981 the canoe moved with us from B.C. to Ontario. During the eighties, it was used for relatively short trips in southern and central Ontario. Whenever we met other canoeists on the water, they would ask if ours was an Old Town canoe, mainly because of the distinctive profile.

  • In 1988 the canoe was recanvassed for the first time.

  • In 1992 we travelled by canoe from our home near Georgian Bay to Hudson’s Bay; 2,400 km (see Kanawa Fall 1993 – ‘100 Days to Great Whale’). The canoe sustained major damage while on a transport truck in northern Quebec, so after having numerous ribs and planks replaced it was recanvassed again.

  • In 1994 we continued our journey northward on Hudson’s Bay, and with the help of a small outboard motor travelled 1,200 km along the east coast. The canoe is spending the winter in a warehouse in the small Inuit community of Akulivik waiting for us to return next summer to continue our travels along the Hudson and Ungava coasts.

  • I first met Bill Greenwood in 1953 or 54. Being only three or four years old at the time, my recollection is very faint, but I have been told of that day when my parents and I went down to the Fraser River to take possession of an inboard motor boat. My father was to take the boat from Bill’s shop via the Fraser River and Howe Sound to our cottage on Keats Island. Apparently I was somewhat more than upset that I could not go in the boat and had to be restrained by my mother and Bill. That motor boat was like one of the family for many years at Keats Island and then for many years at Camp Deka.”

In the fall of 2015, the Browns generously donated this canoe to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario. The museum stated that they were delighted to receive  this canoe from such a beloved and colourful canoe maker operating outside of eastern manufacturing circles.


By Greg and Suzanne Brown

Greg and Suzanne Brown, owners of a 17’ Greenwood Sportsman's model canoe built in 1967 for Camp Deka Boys camp, wrote in 1994 – “…We have had a ‘love affair’ with our Greenwood for many years, as it is our treasured possession and has enabled us to travel about 10,000 km on the rivers, lakes, and oceans of Canada.

Produced by Bill Loucks 

Narrated by Lois Palmer