The French River Trading Post – A Northern Ontario Legacy

by | Mar 9, 2016 | Attractions and Festivals, Big Blog | 0 comments

When you’re cruising up to cottage country this summer be sure to make a stop at the French River Trading Post, one of Canada’s oldest and most famous gift shops. For almost 60 years, the French River Trading Post has been a must-visit destination where road tripping families enjoy great tasting food and browse authentic local merchandise.

Trading Post vintageThe French River Trading Post is located on Highway 69, South in French River, about 3.5 hours drive north of Toronto and 45 minutes south of Sudbury. Its location makes it a perfect stopping point for those driving north from Toronto, and for those exploring the beautiful French River area known as the “Land of the Voyageurs.”

The Trading Post was first established back in 1956 by Bill Biggs and his parents, Lorne and Edith. It started out as a modest gift shop on a gravel road and over the years it’s grown to be a famous landmark that holds a special place in the hearts of people from Northeastern Ontario and beyond. Set amid towering pine trees on a sprawling grassy landscape, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy Northeastern Ontario at its finest. It won’t take long for you to feel at home at this rustic family-run establishment that’s been hosting families for generations.

The Hungry Bear Restaurant

Trading post restaurant

Open seven days a week during the summer months, the Hungry Bear restaurant is your best stop for fast and fresh food that will make the whole family happy. Try the mouthwatering burgers and steak and round out your meal with hand-picked selections from the full salad bar. Schedule your visit for a Wednesday and enjoy all-you-can-eat fish fry for $15.99.

In addition to its hot and tasty lunch and dinners, the Hungry Bear Restaurant serves up legendary hot breakfasts and a special breakfast buffet each Sunday morning. If you have some hungry children on your hands stop in for kid-friendly dishes like chicken nuggets, mac ‘n cheese, hot dogs and more.

Before you get back in the car, stop by the ice cream parlour and choose from fifteen delectable flavours. Enjoy your cold treats outside in the sunshine on picnic tables and a spacious back deck. The Hungry Bear restaurant is open from 7am to 9pm daily in the summer months.

Trading Post Gift Shop

Trading post shop

You won’t find a more impressive collection of classic Canadian clothing, gifts, folk art and sweet treats than at French River Trading Post. First Nations handicrafts sourced from Manitoulin Island and Quebec artisans, as well as authentic Hudson Bay wool point blankets, socks, cushy towels, sweaters and more are for sale. You can also buy great quality Canadian-made moccasins that will last a lifetime.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the Trading Post’s fresh homemade fudge. It’s made in the store using local seasonal ingredients and it comes in twenty delicious flavours. Try the popular blueberry, maple bacon, pralines and cream, and “Death By Fudge” flavours. If you’re headed to the cottage, stock up on Cottage Life food products, amazing dips, bbq sauces, salad dressings on the way!

Hungry Bear & Blueberry Hound

The Trading Post’s life-size Hungry Bear and Blueberry Hound characters give famous bear hugs. These adorable costumed characters make an appearance during the summer months each hour, on the hour. Get a bear hug and a photo with your new Trading Post friends!

About Emily Baillie

Emily is a travel writer hailing from rural Ontario. After travelling to over 25 countries worldwide she is on a mission to inspire people to get off the beaten path and explore destinations both near and far. She works with travel brands and new media publications to inspire meaningful travel.