|Native name||Gaa-Ministigweyaa (Ojibwe)|
|• coordinates||48°41′53″N89°38′29″W / 48.69806°N 89.64139°W|
|• elevation||420 m (1,380 ft)|
|at the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario|
|48°23′34″N89°12′58″W / 48.39278°N 89.21611°W Coordinates: 48°23′34″N89°12′58″W / 48.39278°N 89.21611°W|
|183.5 m (602 ft)|
|Length||95 km (59 mi)|
|River system||Great Lakes Basin|
|   |
The Kaministiquia River /ˌkæmɪˈnɪstɪkwɑː/ is a river which flows into western Lake Superior at the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Kaministiquia (Gaa-ministigweyaa) is an Ojibwe word meaning "where a stream flows in island" due to two large islands (McKellar and Mission) at the mouth of the river. The delta has three branches or outlets, reflected on early North American maps in French as "les trois rivières" (the three rivers): the southernmost is known as the Mission River, the central branch as the McKellar River, and the northernmost branch as the Kaministiquia. Residents of the region commonly refer to the river as the Kam River.
Water flow in the Kaministiquia River system is regulated at the Dog Lake dams 1 and 2 and at the Greenwater, Kashabowie and Shebandowan dams. Two generating stations, one at Kakabeka Falls (25 MW) and another at Silver Falls (48 MW), are operated by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), a public company wholly owned by Government of Ontario. 
Kakabeka Falls, located on this river, is the largest waterfall in the Lake Superior watershed at a height of 47 metres (154 ft).  Below these falls, the river flows through an extensive floodplain created by an ancient predecessor that flowed through this region following the last ice age.
"Kamanistigouian," as a place, is first mentioned in a decree of the Conseil Souverain de la Nouvelle-France dated 23 August 1681 instructing one of two canoes to make known the king's amnesty to coureurs de bois . The unnamed river is depicted on the 1671 "Carte des Jésuites" as "R. [rivière] par où l'on va aux Assinipoualacs à 120 lieues vers le Nord-Ouest" (river by which one travels to the Assinipoualacs 120 leagues to the north-west).  Like the Pigeon River, this river was an important part of the water route into western Canada. During the French regime, two fur trading posts were established at the delta of the Kaministiquia, the first by Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut (1684/85-1696)  and a second one in 1717 by Zacharie Robutel de la Noue. Both are now usually referred to as (Fort Kaministiquia)) because of the large number of variant spellings used during the French regime, such as Kamanistigouian, Camanistigoyan, Kaministigoyan, etc.  Decades later, a British trading post of Fort William was established here in 1803 by the North West Company at the river's mouth, and another upstream at Point de Meuron by the Hudson's Bay Company.  The two rival British posts were amalgamated in 1821. The river has had many spellings since 1681, finally being spelled as Kaministiquia, although for a time Kaministikwia was also an official spelling.
Following the opening of the United States canal and locks at Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, in 1855, the river became more accessible to navigation. Silt had created a sand bar at its principal mouth, such that dredging was required as early as 1873 to enable larger boats to venture farther upstream.
After 1883, the lower Kaministiquia river was heavily industrialized by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), which constructed railway yards, coal yards and docks, grain elevators, shipping docks, and sawmills. The double-deck Jackknife Bascule Bridge was built by the CPR in 1913 to allow trains and vehicles to cross from the mainland to Mission Island. The Thunder Bay Generating Station is located on Mission Island in the river's delta. The three branches of the river at the delta were extensively dredged and widened by the federal Department of Public Works in the early twentieth century to facilitate navigation.
The river has been depicted by many prominent Canadian artists such as William Armstrong (1822–1914), Frances Anne Hopkins (The Red River Expedition at Kakabeka Falls, 1877) and Lucius Richard O'Brien (Kakabeka Falls, 1882).
Since the Grand Portage route was better, the Kaministiquia route was soon forgotten. The problem was that it was on the US side. In 1784 the North West Company sent Edward Umfreville to find a route on the British side. He failed. In the summer of 1798 Roderick McKenzie, the cousin of Alexander Mackenzie, met a group of Indians on the Height of Land Portage, who showed him the Kaministiquia route. The new route was approved by Simon McTavish in 1799.
This section covers the voyageur route from Fort William 217 kilometres (135 mi) west to the juncture of the Grand Portage route at Lac La Croix.  For the other route see Grand Portage. For the whole route to Lake Winnipeg see Winnipeg River and for all routes see Canadian canoe routes. The Kaministiquia and Grand Portage were the two main routes used by Canadian fur traders to travel to western Canada from the Great Lakes. The Kaministiquia route was first used in 1688 by Jacques de Noyon. About 1731 La Vérendrye used Grand Portage, which became the preferred route. Since it was impractical for western traders to make a round trip to Montreal in one season, they would go to Grand Portage and exchange goods with boats that had come up from Montreal. By 1803 it was found that Grand Portage was on the US side of the border and the route was moved 64 kilometres (40 mi) northeast to Fort William.
The canoe route ran west from Fort William with only one decharge to Kakabeka Falls, which was passed by the Mountain Portage. The North West Company soon built a road to a depot above the falls. From here north up a swift stretch with at least seven portages, and then some more portages and significant altitude gain to Dog Lake about 40 kilometres (25 mi) northwest of Fort William. Then an easy 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest up the twisting Dog River, Jordain Creek and Cold Water Creek to Cold Water Lake. Then began a difficult boggy stretch west through the 4.8-kilometre (3 mi) Prairie Portage, Height of Land Lake, the 800-metre (1⁄2 mi) De Milieu Portage, Lac de Milieu, the 2.4-kilometre (1+1⁄2 mi) Savanne Portage to the Savanne River in the Lake Winnipeg drainage. Then west down the Savanne to Lac des Mille Lacs. Since the Seine River is too rough for freight canoes, the route went over the 400-metre (1⁄4 mi) Baril Portage to the Pickerel River and Pickerel Lake, the Pickerel and Deux Rivières Portages to Sturgeon Lake and down the Maligne River to Lac La Croix, where the route from Grand Portage came in from the southeast. For the route west from Lac La Croix see Canadian canoe routes.
Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye was a French Canadian military officer, fur trader, and explorer. In the 1730s, he and his four sons explored the area west of Lake Superior and established trading posts there. They were part of a process that added Western Canada to the original New France territory that was centred along the Saint Lawrence basin.
The Pigeon River forms part of the Canada–United States border between the state of Minnesota and the province of Ontario, west of Lake Superior. In pre-industrial times the river was a waterway of great importance for transportation and the fur trade.
Fort William was a city in Ontario, Canada, located on the Kaministiquia River, at its entrance to Lake Superior. It amalgamated with Port Arthur and the townships of Neebing and McIntyre to form the city of Thunder Bay in January 1970. Since then it has been the largest city in Northwestern Ontario. The city's Latin motto was A posse ad esse, featured on its coat of arms designed in 1900 by town officials, "On one side of the shield stands an Indian dressed in the paint and feathers of the early days; on the other side is a French voyageur; the cent[re] contains a grain elevator, a steamship and a locomotive, while the beaver surmounts the whole."
The Mattawa River is a river in central Ontario, Canada. It flows east from Trout Lake east of North Bay and enters the Ottawa River at the town of Mattawa. Counting from the head of Trout Lake, it is 76 kilometres (47 mi) long. The river's name comes from the Algonquin word for "meeting of waterways".
Kakabeka Falls is a waterfall on the Kaministiquia River, located beside the village of Kakabeka Falls in the municipality of Oliver Paipoonge, Ontario, 30 km (19 mi) west of the city of Thunder Bay.
The Winnipeg River is a Canadian river that flows roughly northwest from Lake of the Woods in the province of Ontario to Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. This river is 235 kilometres (146 mi) long from the Norman Dam in Kenora to its mouth at Lake Winnipeg. Its watershed is 106,500 square kilometres (41,100 sq mi) in area, mainly in Canada. About 29,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi) of the watershed is in northern Minnesota, United States.
The Slave River is a Canadian river that flows from the confluence of the Rivière des Rochers and Peace River in northeastern Alberta and empties into Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. The river's name is thought to derive from the name for the Slavey group of the Dene First Nations, Deh Gah Got'ine, in the Athabaskan language. The Chipewyan had displaced other native people from this region.
Zacharie Robutel de La Noue was a French lieutenant and captain in the colonial regular troops, and seigneur of Châteauguay. Robutel de La Noue was a Canadian, born in Montreal, son of Claude Robutel de La Noue, seigneur of Île Saint-Paul, and Suzanne de Gabrielle. As a soldier he escorted various expeditions - to Hudson Bay in 1686 with Pierre de Troyes, Chevalier de Troyes and up the Ottawa River in 1692. He also led military attacks on Mohawk villages in 1692–93. He was sent by governor Vaudreuil in July 1717 to establish a chain of three posts from Lake Superior to Lake of the Woods, but he was only able to re-establish a fur trading post, Fort Kaministiquia, on the Kaministiquia River. He remained there as commandant until 1721.
The Rupert River is one of the largest rivers in Quebec, Canada. From its headwaters in Lake Mistassini, the largest natural lake in Quebec, it flows 556 kilometres (345 mi) west into Rupert Bay on James Bay. The Rupert drains an area of 43,400 square kilometres (16,800 sq mi).
Grand Portage National Monument is a United States National Monument located on the north shore of Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota that preserves a vital center of fur trade activity and Anishinaabeg Ojibwe heritage. The area became one of the British Empire's four main fur trading centers in North America, along with Fort Niagara, Fort Detroit, and Michilimackinac.
The Dumoine River is a river in western Quebec with its source in Machin Lake near La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve. From Dumoine Lake, the river flows almost due south off the Canadian Shield and empties into the Ottawa River, just west of Rapides-des-Joachims, Quebec, or Rolphton, Ontario. The river is 129 kilometres (80 mi) long and drains a watershed of 5,380 square kilometres (2,080 sq mi). This relatively short river compared to its drainage area indicates that the Dumoine has a strong current and many steep-gradient rapids.
Fort Kaministiquia, was a French fort in North America. It was located on the north shore of Lake Superior at the mouth of the Kaministiquia River, in modern-day Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. It and Grand Portage to the west were the starting points of the early Canadian canoe routes from the Great Lakes to western Canada. Details of the route can be found under Kaministiquia River.
Fort Maurepas was the name of two forts, or one fort in two locations, built by the French in the Lake Winnipeg area in the 1730s. They were both named after Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux, Count of Maurepas who, as Minister of Marine, was in charge of French colonies and chief adviser to King Louis XVI.
Fort Saint Pierre on Rainy Lake was the first French fort built west of Lake Superior. It was the first of eight forts built during the elder Vérendrye's expansion of trade and exploration westward from the Great Lakes.
Beaver River is a large river in east-central Alberta and central Saskatchewan, Canada. It flows east through Alberta and Saskatchewan and then turns sharply north to flow into Lac Île-à-la-Crosse on the Churchill River which flows into Hudson Bay.
Height of Land Portage is a portage along the historic Boundary Waters route between Canada and the United States. Located at the border of the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, the path is a relatively easy crossing of the Laurentian Divide separating the Hudson Bay and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watersheds.
Jacques de Noyon was a French Canadian explorer and coureur des bois. He is the first known European to visit the Boundary Waters region west of Lake Superior.
The Montmorency River is a tributary of North-East bank of St. Lawrence river, flowing in the administrative region of Capitale-Nationale, in the province of Quebec, Canada. The course of the river successively crosses the regional county municipality of:
This article covers the water based Canadian canoe routes used by early explorers of Canada with special emphasis on the fur trade.
The Rivière des Chutes drains mainly the municipality of Saint-Narcisse, and also Saint-Stanislas, at the end of its course. These municipalities are located in the Les Chenaux Regional County Municipality, in the administrative region of Mauricie, in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Media related to Kaministiquia River at Wikimedia Commons