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The Grand River

The Grand River and its major tributaries - the Conestogo, Eramosa, Nith and Speed rivers - were designated Canadian Heritage Rivers in 1994.

The designation recognizes the outstanding human heritage values and excellent recreational opportunities along the rivers. The designation carries no regulatory or legal authority or restrictions.

The Canadian Heritage River System was established in 1984 by the federal, provincial and territorial governments. The goal is to conserve and protect the best examples of Canadian river heritage, to give them national recognition and to encourage the public to enjoy and appreciate them.

Human heritage

The Grand River valley has been home to Indigenous peoples for more than 10,000 years. The Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation have a strong presence to this day. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the region attracted waves of immigrants to its fertile lands: Scots and Irish in the north, Mennonites and Germans in the central area and United Empire Loyalists in the south. Others followed from around the world.

The area's rich history is reflected in the watershed's historic sites and artifacts: dams, mills, canals, unique bridges, historic homes, archaeological sites and other features.


The Canadian Heritage River designation recognizes the countless recreational activities that the Grand River watershed offers such as:

·       Boating - canoeing, kayaking, rafting, motorized boating

·       Angling - fly fishing, ice fishing, fishing vacations

·       Water sports - swimming, water skiiing, stand-up paddleboarding

·       Water associated activites - hiking, hunting, camping

·       Winter activities - dog sledding, skiing

·       Natural heritage appreciation - wildlife viewing, scenic views

·       Human heritage appreciation - sporting events, visiting historic sites

Taken from:

The Grand River: About
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