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The Best Little Sportfishing Centre

Northern Ontario Sportfishing Centre
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The Best Little Sportfishing Centre

If you're heading up Highway 71, be sure to visit the Northern Ontario Sportfishing Centre in Sioux Narrows

The Northern Ontario Sportfishing Centre in Sioux Narrows is housed in a beautiful building on the shores of Lake of the Woods. The Centre is seeing visitors from the United States, Sweden, France, Australia, England, Germany and of course, Canada. Filled with exhibits, it definitely set it apart from other visitor centres. Since fishing is the number one attraction in Sioux Narrows/Nestor Falls, it seems fitting that the town has a Sportsfishing Centre.

Giant map of Lake of the Woods at the Sportfishing CentreGiant map of Lake of the Woods at the Sportfishing Centre in Sioux Narrows, Ontario

The project was funded with a $900,000 grant from the Build Canada Fund and a $374,000 Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation grant, but with a total cost of $2 million it meant a $726,000 bill for taxpayers. There is wood everywhere in the Centre. A real "cabin feel" is achieved by stained glossy wood ceiling towering over the spacious room with Tyndall stone walls, locally carved pine pillars, and large glass windows overlooking Regina Bay in Lake of the Woods. 

Displays of fish species in Northern Ontario at the Sportfishing CentreNorthern Ontario fish species display at the Sportfishing Centre in Sioux Narrows, Ontario

While the Centre is a tourist information centre, the exhibits and structures are a great reason to stay awhile. The air-conditioned building also features a log cabin style heritage room, colouring sheets for children, paintings by local artists for sale, books, a lounge area, and free Wi-Fi. The Sioux Narrows Bridge was once the longest single-span wooden bridge in the world. It has been replaced now, but a scale model of the old Sioux Narrows Bridge is proudly exhibited in the Northern Ontario Sportsfishing Centre. There are feature-length documentaries that are playing on a loop in a big television. Documentaries on walleye, bass and northern pike are currently running and will soon be joined by films on muskie and trout to cover the main fish species in the area. If you prefer to watch the movies at a more leisurely pace, you can grab one of the iPads and watch a documentary in one of the comfy leather chairs in the lounge area.

Sioux Narrows Bridge Display at the Sportfishing CentreExhibit of the Sioux Narrows Bridge at the Sportfishing Centre

The heritage room has many artifacts and displays including some antique motors that are on display. An old wooden boat from the Haas boat manufacturer, which was a backbone of the area from the 1940s until the early 1960s is displayed. 

Be sure to stop by the Northern Ontario Sportfishing Centre near the government docks if you are in Sioux Narrows or just driving by. The centre is open 7 days a week from 7:30am until 7:00pm from mid-May to Mid-September on Highway 71 in the heart in Sioux Narrows. Call 807-226-5293 in the summer and 807-226-5241 in the winter for more information.

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