About Tom Byers

Tom Byers is Métis and grew up along the St. Lawrence seaway in Canada, the historic heartland of the fur trade era. He has always lived near water.

Since 1994, he has honed the craft of birchbark canoe making on the banks of the Vermilion River in northern Ontario near Killarney Wilderness Park.

Tom's canoes have literally traveled the world including Hawaii, Florida, Montana, Wisconsin, Ohio and throughout Canada.

For example, in 1998, Tom built with Ian and Sally Wilson a 17-foot Algonquin canoe for their epic 1,600-mile canoe adventure following the path of the voyageurs through northern Canada, which was documented in their book Wilderness Journey.

In 2002, two Norwegians used a 16-foot Chippewa birchbark canoe built by Tom on a 30 day paddling expedition on the Thelon River, Northwest Territories.

If you have attended a fur trade reenactment in the northeastern U.S., you may have seen one of Tom's Abenaki canoes on the water.

Tom's passion for canoe building has made him one of the premiere birchbark canoe makers in North America.

Ever since he saw a birchbark canoe built by the late Patrick Maranda hanging from the rafters of a local shop, he has kept the tradition alive.


Unsurprisingly, his lifestyle reflects the way he works.

Tom Byers lives in a small hand-hewn log cabin with no running water, no electricity and no telephone.

His craftsmanship embodies the values of man working with nature.


Balance • Harmony • Perfection

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Tom Byers
1518 Grassy Lake Road
Whitefish, Ontario, Canada
P0M 3E0

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