The manufacture of fur trade canoes each year at Grand Portage was considerable. "The canoe-yard, for constructing canoes used for penetrating into the interior parts of the country is upon a great scale, seventy canoes per annum having been contracted for," Travels Through the Canadas, George Heriot, 1807.
During archeological investigations in the 1963-4 seasons, evidence for a large log structure was found outside the west gate of the stockade. It was built on a poor site which necessitated the use of pilings to level the foundation. Archeologists speculate that it belonged to an independent trader because adequate space still existed for additional NWCo. warehouses inside the stockade.
The warehouse has four birchbark canoes on display: a 36-foot Montreal (canot de maitre) and 24-foot North (canot du nord) both constructed by Bill Hafeman, an Ojibwe long nose canoe built by Andy Rockwood and Wally Deschampe and a wild ricing canoe built in Grand Portage over 80 years ago. Visitors can also learn about 18th century craftsmanship and tools in the warehouse.