Muskoka Canoe Works is a family owned business run by a husband and wife team, Dan & Becky Van Gelder. A shared passion for wilderness canoe trips, wooden canoes, and woodworking inspired them to launch a business combining these passions.
The love affair for the wooden canoe began as teenagers. Becky began working in a local shop specializing in the building and restoration of cedar canvass canoes and wooden boats in 2001. In 2003 she met Dan through an outdoors program which introduced them to the wonderful world of wilderness canoe tripping. By the end of a 10 day trip in Algonquin, they were both hooked, and have been tripping together every year since.
In 2005 Dan & Becky restored their first cedar canvass canoe together. In 2006, they restored a second cedar canoe…they have been building, restoring, collecting and canoe tripping cedar canoes ever since.
There is something special about working with wood and creating a beautiful vessel from materials taken from nature. Every single piece of wood is unique, with its own special characteristics, just like every place on earth and every person is unique and beautiful in their own way. It is this uniqueness that makes wooden canoes and furniture special. Every piece that we produce is a one of a kind.
We are modern day craftsman who respect tradition. We pride ourselves in using traditional methods and materials in an effort to preserve the traditional craft of canoe building. The same methods used to build and restore cedar canoes are applied in the construction of our canoe inspired furniture.
Dan and Becky are proud members of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association.