Overlooking the confluence of the Muskrat and Ottawa rivers, Pembroke is a small city along the Ontario-Quebec border. It’s home to a recreated pioneer village and landmarks detailing the city’s industrial heritage, as well as a former timber reserve that’s now a recreational hub.
Things to do in Pembroke
Journey back in time at the Champlain Trail Museum, a recreated pioneer village that boasts one of the Ottawa Valley’s largest collections of artefacts. Wander through the vintage log home and old school house, then admire a replica of Samuel de Champlain’s astrolabe and see Pembroke’s first motorised fire engine.
You can learn more about the local history at the Cockburn Pointer Boat Monument, a waterfront installation that pays tribute to a vessel once crafted in Pembroke. Featuring a pointed bow and stern, it was uniquely designed so raftsmen could easily separate logs from their floating booms as they travelled to timber mills along the Ottawa River.
Don’t miss the Murray L Moore Hydro Museum, which is housed in the original diesel room of the Pembroke Electric Light Co. Admire the murals illustrating Pembroke’s legacy as the first Canadian community to have commercial street lights, then browse the vintage light fixtures and artefacts.
Escape to the scenic surrounds of Algonquin Park, a former timber reserve scattered with abandoned train stations, bridges and logging depots. Learn about the logging heritage along one of the signposted walking trails or rent a canoe to explore Algonquin’s waterways and wildlife-filled lakes.
Getting around Pembroke
Pembroke is just under two hours’ drive from Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport or around 4.5 hours from Toronto. A loop route bus travels through Pembroke, although the downtown area is small enough to walk around.