Maps and Routes of the North West Company

he History of the Fur Trade in Canada is as much about economics as it is a story of exploration and travel. As the competition for pelts intensified, especially after 1763, with the secession of New France to Great Britain, the Hudson's Bay Company and the rival North West Company (NWC) engaged explorers and cartographers to extend their trading networks, in time, as far as the Pacific Coast. Of particular note are the discoveries Simon Fraser, Alexander MacKenzie, and David Thompson who were either NWC partners or engaged by the North West Company to chart and map the voyage from west from sea to sea. In this section the user can consult a map documenting the canoe routes west from Montreal, and we have included a sampling of key historical maps for the user to examine.

At the present time, we are developing additional maps which include the geographical extent of the rival trading systems (The North West Company and The Hudson's Bay Company)and a map of the principal trading posts. We hope to have these maps available in 2002.

Copyright © McGill University, 2001