Kenora, Ont, incorporated as a city in 2000, population 15 348 (2011c), 15 177 (2006c). The City of Kenora is located on LAKE OF THE WOODS, 50 km east of the Manitoba border. The city is the result of the amalgamation of 3 former towns, Kenora (incorporated 1892), Jaffray Melick (incorporated 1988) and Keewatin (incorporated 1908).

The LA VÉRENDRYES built Ft St-Charles on the NW arm of the lake in 1732. Incorporated as Rat Portage by Manitoba in 1882 during a boundary dispute with Ontario, and subsequently by Ontario in 1892, the current site was renamed Kenora in 1905. The name derives from Keewatin, Norman and Rat Portage, interdependent communities clustered where the lake spills into the Winnipeg R.


Kenora's scenic location on a major international waterway determined its growth patterns. A prehistoric dependence on caribou, fish and WILD RICE continued through the FUR TRADE era. By 1836 the Hudson's Bay Company had established a post within the former town limits.

Construction on the Canadian Pacific Railway beginning in 1879 brought lumbering, steamships, gold mining, fisheries, hydroelectric development and flour milling. Seaplanes and the TRANS-CANADA HWY (1953) swelled summer traffic. Kenora's economy is based on a pulp and paper mill, tourism, CP Rail and government offices. Neighbouring reserves affirm a significant OJIBWA presence. Nearby Manitoba and the US exert a strong social, economic and political influence.