Change! Our world, its people, and businesses are continually changing even when we would rather they didn’t. Today is one such occasion as Ontario based icon Mid-Canada Fiberglass (MCF) – makers of Scott Canoes, Bluewater Canoes and Impex / Formula Kayaks – is closing its doors after 53 years in business.
In 1960 to better service the increasing number of tourists and paddlers exploring Algonquin Provincial Park the very first Scott Canoe was created in a tiny basement workshop. Scott Canoe grew steadily until they became the largest canoe builder in Canada. At their peak MCF offered a whopping 35 canoe models in a multitude of lay-ups that included fibreglass, Kevlar, ultralites, Royalex and Royalite.
In 1999 MCF unveiled Formula Kayaks, a quality composite line of skeg style sea kayaks to the Canadian market. Later the name was changed to Impex Kayaks as the line expanded into the United States and beyond. Impex Kayaks grew to become a major player in the North American paddlesports industry until the 2008 global recession, which vastly reduced sales within the U.S. market.
Bluewater Canoes, originally located in Guelph Ontario, was added to MCF’s offerings in 2002. Bluewater Canoes introduced ‘vacuum bagging’ – a high tech pressure process that produces stronger and lighter boats than traditional hand lay-ups. Accordingly, Bluewater Canoes was widely regarded as the ‘Holy Grail’ in canoe quality and design for decades.
A visit to MCF’s 50,000 square-foot New Liskeard Ontario based manufacturing facility and retail outdoor gear outlet was always a fun and unique experience. Beyond canoes & kayaks their factory also made a full range of boats that included y-sterns, freighters, duckboats and even large voyageur canoes. Their manufacturing diversity also included fibreglass truck caps, snowmobile sleighs, and ambulance sleds, but our all time favourite were MCF’s giant fibreglass cows for the dairy industry… yep, I did say Giant Cows!
Mid-Canada Fiberglass has been a household name in Canada for generations. Frontenac Outfitters is proud to have played a part in MCF’s history. Our sincere thoughts and best wishes go out to the entire MCF family!