The Town of Mattawa is located at the junction of the Ottawa and Mattawa rivers.  Mattawa in Ojibway means Meeting of the Waters. The convergence of the two rivers meant that this site has held an important position for the people who traveled this historic waterway to explore the rest of Canada.

Many explorers like Étienne Brûlé (1610), Samuel de Champlain (1615), and Pierre Radisson (1659), passed through Mattawa, plus Jesuits like Father Jean de Brébeuf (1626) and Father Lalement (1626) also rested here before pushing onward to Lake Nipissing and the interior of Canada.

Mattawa was incorporated as a town in 1892.

Three Crosses

There are many beautiful vistas in Mattawa, but the best place to view the town is from the Three Crosses at the crest of the Laurentian Mountains across from the Town of Mattawa on the Québec side.

The Three Crosses were erected on this site in 1686.  During their trip up the Ottawa River, a group of explorers and missionary priests stopped at Explorer’s Point to repair their canoes.  In commemoration and by order of Sieur de Troyes, they decided to mark the place where the two rivers meet and erected the Three Crosses at the crest of the Laurentian Moutains which overlooks Explorer’s Point.

Views of Mattawa from the Three Crosses through the years

view6 viu3.5 mattawa-birdseye.1

Click on the double headed arrow in the upper right corner for a full screen view

Related Articles

Macleans, Frederick Edwards, September 15, 1939 – Small Town Big Men
Doug Mackey, 9:June 2, 2000 – Mattawa’s roots buried in history
Doug Mackey, 10:June 9, 2000 – Mattawa area holds many heritage opportunities
Doug Mackey, 189:August 6, 2004 – History notes and footnotes
Doug Mackey, 222:July 22, 2005 – Mattawa Matters
Doug Mackey, 227:September 9, 2005 – History in the Streets of Mattawa
Doug Mackey, 280:August 31, 2007 – Motorcyclists Visit Seniors Residence
Doug Mackey, 306:August 15, 2008 – Life on the Upper Ottawa Above Mattawa
Doug Mackey, 307:September 05, 2008 – Fatal Footnotes From Mattawa History
Doug Mackey, 308:September 19, 2008 – Another Lost Mattawa Area Village
Doug Mackey, 309:September 26, 2008 – Up Snake Creek Without a Paddle
Doug Mackey, 314:October 31, 2008 – The Mattawa Timmins Family in Perspective
Doug Mackey, 315:November 7, 2008 – Footnotes on the Mattawa Timmins and Dunlap Families
Doug Mackey, 317:January 30, 2009 – Mattawa celebrates 125 years in 2009
Doug Mackey, 328:May 15, 2009 – More Mattawa Matters on their 125th
Doug Mackey, 330:June 5, 2009 – Making History Today
Doug Mackey, 332:June 26, 2009 – Mattawa Celebrates Its Heritage
Doug Mackey, 340:September 25, 2009 – Voices and Choices in Perspective
Doug Mackey, 351:January 15, 2010 – Mattawa’s 125th Anniversary a Success

Related Publications

Mattawa: The Meeting of the Waters (1980) by Léo Morel
Mattawa: Our Timeless Town (1999) by Gérard N. Therrien
Mattawa Health Hub History (2021) by Greg J. Humbert

Related Videos and Slideshows

Mattawa’s Historical Statues

Produced by Mariah Lejambe, published 15 November 2020

Old footage of the Mattawa flood in the late 50’s ?

Courtesy of Yura Monestime

Drone Footage of Mattawa 2021


Courtesy of Justin Smith

Related Websites

Vintage Mattawa Postcards
History of Mattawa – The French Canadian Geneologist

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© 2019 Mattawa & District Historical Society
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