The natives used it to hunt, the voyageurs used it to travel, our animals used it to drink and many have swam in it. The Mattawa River has been a crucial link to the discovery of Canada for over 300 years and it has been a spillway which has drained into a series of Great Lakes for 5000 years.
The Mattawa River held a very important link in the great canoe route between Montreal and the West. It was chosen for its natural, cultural and human heritage values and recreational opportunities.
The Mattawa River was also used to transport logs to Ottawa where they were shipped overseas to build great sailing ships.
It was also used to create energy by building a hydro electric dam in 1948.