William English Canoe Company

Years in Business: 
1861 - 1932
Company History: 

The William English Canoe Co. was established in 1861 by William English. He died in 1891, and the business carried on under William’s younger brother Samuel and partners John Carveth and John Baptiste O’Dette. In 1914 the company was purchased by the owners of the Peterborough Canoe Company who maintained the English brand name until sometime in the 1920’s, but moved operations to the Peterborough Canoe Company factory. The charter of the company was surrendered late 1932.

Models Offered: 
  • All-Wood Open Canoes - William English offered all-wood canoes in basswood or cedar wide-board construction and longitudinal cedar strip construction. Numerous models were offered that ranged in length from 13-1/2’ to 20’.
  • Freight Canoes - built in all-wood or canvas-covered construction in lengths ranging from 17’ to 20’.
  • Half-Deck Canoes - built on the same models as open canoes.
  • War Canoes - all-wood construction, 30’ in length and accomodates 15 paddlers.
  • Canvas Covered Canoes - offered in two models (Otonabee and Alqonquin) and built in lengths from 15’ to 18’
Model No.LengthBeamDepthDescription

(1909) This canoe is especially adapted for a hunter’s canoe, and will carry a fair burden if made 15 in. deep. It will carry four men and their outfit for a week’s camp. It is a very popular canoe with prospectors, and there are a great many of them in the mining districts.

(1919) This is a very popular hunting canoe. Will carry four men and outfit.For a heavy load we often build it 15 inches deep. It is also a fine canoe for prospecting or any work that calls for a combination of light weight, easy paddling and good carrying capacity.

217½35½ (1909)
36 (1919)
13This is also a four man canoe, very easy running and popular as a cruiser.

(1909)This is a splendid cruiser, particularly where rough water is likely to be met, and a desirable canoe for children’s use. It is also suitable as a three man canoe for short trips, where a small quantity of dunnage is taken.

(1919) A three-man canoe, on similar lines to No. 1 model. This also makes a large size pleasure canoe, as it is roomy and safe.

416½32½ (1909)
33 (1919)
12This is one of the best general purpose canoes on the market. It is a good double cruising canoe, and very good for boys’ use. It is very popular with lumbermen, and carries well through rough water.

(1909)This is the pioneer hunting Peterborough canoe, and one of the most popular models now in use. We can recommend it to anyone requiring a pleasure craft.

(1919) This is the pioneer double hunting canoe and one of the most popular models for that purpose. Also a fine pleasure canoe. It is much the same as No. 22.

615½29½ (1909)
30 (1919)
11This canoe is on the same lines as No. 5, but smaller. It is known as the single hunting Peterborough canoe.
814½16½10These two canoes are for the use of fisherman and lumbermen. They are not intended for carrying loads.
9142510A special canoe for lumbering purposes, or where easy carriage through the bush is requisite.
1013½23½10This canoe is intended for the same purpose as No. 9.
11193613We would recommend this canoe to anyone having a cottage on any of our inland lakes, as a superior family canoe. It is easily managed, perfectly safe, and one in which six or seven grown persons can take a trip without being crowded. As a canoe for hunters going on a trip of some duration it has no equal in the market.
13162811This is a single paddle racer, but its dimensions do not permit its entering A.C.A. races.
151531½ (1909)
32 (1919)
12This is a very steady canoe, with a very flat bottom, and was designed as a ladies’ canoe. For a nice, light running canoe, with either sail or paddle, this canoe has no superior.
17163012This canoe is a tandem racer and very fast. We do not recommend it for general use, as it is not steady.

(1909) This is a standard racing model and a splendid one for this purpose, and also for general use where not much of a load is required.

(1919) This is a very fast canoe, almost a racing model. Is used a lot by clubs for amateur racing. It is a fine canoe for open sailing racing.


(1909) This is a very easy running canoe, modelled between the lines of the No. 5 and No. 20. It will carry a fair load.

(1919) This is a good pleasure canoe and fairly fast to paddle. It is modelled between the lines of No. 22 and No. 20. Not quite as flat on bottom as No. 22. The stems are made straight, giving the canoe a different appearance from others.

221631½ (1909)
32 (1919)

(1909) This is the Rice Lake model. It is very flat on the bottom and very steady. It is popular as a general purpose canoe.

(1919) This is our most popular pleasure canoe. A good, steady craft, pretty flat on the bottom, and an easy paddler. We consider this the safest 16-ft. canoe on the market. It is sometimes called the “Rice Lake” model. There is a slight tumble in on the sides, which makes it a very graceful canoe on the water.

25203013This is our four man racing canoe.
Half Decked Canoes
Odd Size Canoes
Freight Canoes
35 (1909)17½4016 
35 (1919)173615 
381946 (1909)
45 (1919)
39 (1909)19½4820 
39 (1919)205420 
War Canoes
 3048 (1909)
46 (1919)
18 to 20 

Data for English canoes in following table is from 1919 catalog.

Wm. English Canvas Canoes
Model NumberLengthBeamDepth
Otonabee Model
Algonquin Model or Guides Canoe