Canoeing & Kayaking
Ontario is one of the top destinations for canoeing and kayaking. With 400,000 sparkling lakes and rivers and the longest network of canoe and kayak routes in the world, Ontario offers something for everyone from the absolute beginner to the seasoned paddler. Come empty handed and Outfitters situated near parks throughout the province can supply you with all of your kit, including food, equipment and boat rental; they can teach you the basics or take you on guided tours.
For an interesting day out, explore the Heritage Rivers of Ontario, steeped in history with earlier uses by Aboriginal peoples, voyageurs and fur traders. For pure pleasure, go down a lazy river through rolling countryside and rare Carolinian forests on the Grand River, only an hour west of Toronto, with stretches that will appeal to every level of canoeist or kayaker. Take on Northern Ontario's mighty Mattawa River with a backdrop of soaring black granite cliffs jutting from the shore. Or thrill to the rushing rapids and narrow chutes along the French River which flows through the rugged Canadian Shield.
Kayak on Georgian Bay with the rugged beauty of the 30,000 Islands as a backdrop. Witness the timeless beauty of the wild and rocky coast of Lake Superior, which has quickly become one of North America's sea kayaking hot spots. Challenge a tangled network of over 500 crystalline lakes and rivers in Quetico Provincial Park – once water routes for the Ojibwa and fur traders, and considered one of the world's greatest canoeing and camping wilderness adventures.
Ontario's preferred canoe and kayak companies form the Paddling Ontario Alliance. Together, they offer an incredible variety of experiences, from weekend getaways to wilderness expeditions.
More Water Adventures
Experience the spine-tingling rush of whitewater rafting on the Ottawa River; adventurers will love the class III and class IV rapids, while those seeking a more gentle experience have the option of family floats trips. In the Kingston area, dive among century old shipwrecks. Near Tobermory, explore sea caves and shipwrecks in the crystal-clear waters of Fathom Five National Marine Park - or view the sunken ships from a glass-bottom boat tour. Be exhilarated on an hour-long ride on a Niagara Whirlpool Jet Boat, taking you right to the edge of the rumbling, tumbling Whirlpool Rapids. Sail the picturesque "big lake" of Lake Superior for a few hours or several days with Sail Superior.
All over the province, in cities and in the countryside, you will find narrated cruises where you can enjoy the scenery and learn about history. Marvel at the magnificent 1000 Islands in the St Lawrence River in Eastern Ontario or the equally resplendent 30,000 Islands in Georgian Bay. Board the R.M.S. Segwun – the oldest continually operating steamship in North America – for a voyage on the beautiful lakes in Muskoka where you'll sail past the palatial homes and cottages on Millionaire's Row. Cruise into the past on historic canals, like the Rideau and Trent-Severn, representing some of the greatest engineering feats in the world. Learn of local legends and days gone by on the MS Kenora in the Lake of the Woods in Northwestern Ontario. Many more choices await you.