A heralded Canadian businessman’s original diary has been unearthed from a Parks Canada warehouse in Cornwall, Ont.

Nicholas Garry paddled from Ottawa to northeastern Manitoba to explain the merger of HBC and the North West Company to their workers in 1821.

Along the way, the man who would go on to be the namesake of Winnipeg’s Fort Garry kept handwritten notes on what he was witnessing.

Hear and see more in this audio slideshow, prepared by the CBC’s Laurie Fagan and Andrew Foote.