Berens River

Coordinates: 52°21′25″N 97°03′04″W / 52.35694°N 97.05111°W / 52.35694; -97.05111
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Berens River
Berens River is located in Manitoba
Berens River
Location of the mouth of the Berens River in Manitoba
Physical characteristics
SourceUnnamed lake
 • locationKenora District, Ontario
 • coordinates51°28′03″N 92°38′18″W / 51.46750°N 92.63833°W / 51.46750; -92.63833
 • elevation407 m (1,335 ft)
MouthLake Winnipeg
 • location
Census Division 19, Northern Region, Manitoba
 • coordinates
52°21′25″N 97°03′04″W / 52.35694°N 97.05111°W / 52.35694; -97.05111
 • elevation
217 m (712 ft)
Basin features
River systemNelson River drainage basin
 • rightWhitefish River

The Berens River is a river in the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, Canada. It flows west from an unnamed lake in Kenora District, Ontario, and discharges its waters into Lake Winnipeg near the community and First Nation of Berens River, Manitoba. The river has a number of lakes along its course, and many rapids.[1]


The river has been a First Nations traditional hunting and fishing area for thousands of years. It was first travelled by European explorers in 1767, who descended the river to Lake Winnipeg after having crossed over from the Severn River.[3] The river was named for Joseph Berens, then governor or the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). Several HBC posts and one of the Northwest Company were established at the mouth, upriver, and even at the mouth of the Pigeon River further south, the first in 1814.[3] The river system became an HBC trade route between the Berens River Post at Lake Winnipeg and Little Grand Rapids (about 140 kilometres (90 mi) upstream) and even further inland.[4]

Natural history[edit]

Berens River is one of the last remaining fresh water rivers in southern Canada with very little development, no major roads, and with woodland caribou habitat.


The river can be crossed over an all-weather permanent bridge in the community of Berens River First Nation in Manitoba.[5]

The Ontario Government announced funding in 2009 for "…design, surveying, environmental assessments and other steps required before construction can begin" for a permanent bridge on the existing winter road between the all-weather road connecting to Ontario Highway 125 to the south and the Deer Lake First Nation, North Spirit Lake First Nation and Sandy Lake First Nation to the north.[6][7] The bridge would be located on the Berens River east and upstream of Berens Lake.[7]



  • Keeper River (left)
  • Crooked Mouth River (right)
  • Pikangikum Lake
    • Dowling River (left)
  • Throat River (right)
  • Windfall Creek (left)
  • Owl Creek (left)
  • Mamakwash River (left)
  • Whitefish River (right)
  • Serpent River (left)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Natural Resources Canada-Canadian Geographical Names (Berens River)". Retrieved 2014-08-29.
  2. ^ "Atlas of Canada Toporama". Retrieved 2014-08-29.
  3. ^ a b Palmer, Gwen (Winter 1973). "Camperville and Duck Bay, Part 1 - Camperville, Berens River". Manitoba Pageant. Manitoba Historical Society. 18 (2). Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  4. ^ "Hudson's Bay Company: Berens River". Archives of Manitoba - Keystone Archives Descriptive Database. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Berens River Bridge Replacement". Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. 17 November 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  6. ^ "New Berens River Bridge Will Benefit First Nations". Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  7. ^ a b "District 1 - Kenora / Far West" (PDF). Northern Ontario Winter Roads Map. Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry]. 2010-07-22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-01-25. Retrieved 2010-08-19.