The Township of Madawaska Valley is located in Renfrew County, Ontario, in the eastern part of the province and has a population of approximately 4300 people. It covers an area of 259.40 square miles and includes three vibrant communities – Wilno, Barry’s Bay & Combermere. Its picturesque area includes rolling hills and a multitude of lakes and rivers, some of which are used for white water activities. Summer cottages abound, and many have turned their cottages into their year round homes, they love it here so much.
It was originally settled over 150 years ago with immigrants from the old country – Kashuby, Poland, Ireland, to name a few. Many found the area hard to farm because of its rocky hills and poorer soil conditions. The main industries became logging and lumbering, with many logging camps dotting our heavily forested area. Today the logging industry is still a significant industry providing employment. The Service Sector is our largest industry and tourism is high especially during the summer months – we are the gateway to Algonquin Park and many stop in our communities to enjoy the unique shops and dining, our Farmers Markets and our relaxing and casual way of life.
The Village of Barry’s Bay, situated on shores of Kamaniskeg Lake, is the main hub of the area, and has everything you need with a wide range of retail and professional services, including St. Francis Memorial Hospital, two elementary schools, a high school and retirement residences.
Wilno is steeped in history, it was first settled in the early 1800’s by Kashubian Poles, and is proud to be Canada’s oldest Polish settlement. Descendants of the original settlers have retained the arts and crafts of their ancestors and many of these items are available at the local artisan shops. The views from the Wilno Hills are breathtaking and the backroads are often an adventurous drive. We still have wildlife in abundance, so please watch for deer, fox, wild turkeys and moose.
Combermere is situated on the Madawaska River and residents and visitors alike enjoy swimming, boating and fishing. Bird watching opportunities abound in Conroy’s Marsh, a provincially significant wetland covering 2400 hectares. It was designated as a conservation area in 2003.
In the winter, we enjoy ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing or just sitting in front of the fireplace enjoying the fire.
Madawaska Valley is the perfect place to live, work and enjoy life.