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Originally settled over a 100 years ago by loggers and farmers, the Township of Madawaska Valley offers visitors and new settlers alike, picturesque forests, plentiful wildlife and over 60 kilometers of navigable waterways. Located only two hours from Ottawa, three from Toronto and in close proximity to world famous Algonquin Provincial Park, the township provides an abundance of recreational, eco-tourism and business opportunities for everyone.
"The Heart of the Madawaska Valley" can be found in its three vibrant communities of Barry's Bay, Combermere and Wilno. Each offers a unique cultural experience and a welcoming environment that makes both tourism and retirement living an integral part of our economy.
From its early roots as a lumbering town, the Village of Barry's Bay has been the main service centre for the surrounding area. A healthy commercial core incorporates a wide range of retail and professional services including grocery and clothing stores, banks, restaurants, hardware/building centres, legal, dental and family medical practices. Also available are municipal water & sewer infrastructure, two elementary schools, the Madawaska Valley District High School and the Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy. St. Francis Memorial Hospital and ambulatory services are located just outside the village.
Combermere has grown from a summer vacation destination to a year-round tourism and retirement living community. Situated on the Madawaska River, both residents and visitors enjoy the fishing, swimming, boating, whitewater rafting, canoeing and bird-watching opportunities of this extensive waterway leading to Conroy's Marsh. Don't forget to visit the Saturday morning Farmer's Market during the summer or enjoy the ice fishing, snowmobile trails, and cross-country skiing throughout the winter.
First settled in the early 1800's by Kashubian Poles, the Hamlet of Wilno is proud to be Canada's oldest Polish Settlement. Local descendents have nurtured and cultivated the culture, arts and crafts of their ancestors, transforming Wilno into a truly unique and colourful experience. Originally built when the railway went through in 1894, the Wilno Tavern offers cold beer, traditional Polish dishes and entertainment by a variety of fine local musicians. Walking tours of Wilno include a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills, forests and lakes from The Shrine Hill lookout.
The Township of Madawaska Valley is serviced by the O.P.P. and has a volunteer fire department with fire halls in Barry's Bay and Combermere. Community recreational facilities include an arena, 3 outdoor rinks, ball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, beaches and parks.