Canadian canoe culture

“If it is love that binds people to places in this nation of rivers and in this river of nations then one enduring expression of that simple truth, is surely the canoe.”

— James Raffan, adventurer, acclaimed author and Director Emeritus of the Canadian Canoe Museum

Through the stories of five paddlers across Ontario, “THE CANOE” underscores the strength of the human spirit and how the canoe can be a vessel for creating deep and meaningful connections.

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Spring paddling safety

Itching for ice out? We certainly are.

But spring weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too early, failing to respect weather conditions or paddling beyond your skill level isn’t just risky — it’s downright dangerous.

We chatted with Paul Smith, Superintendent of Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, to get some top do’s and don’ts for spring paddling safety:

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Wooden canoe- and paddle-making in Ontario

Wooden canoes and paddles are closely linked to Ontarians’ collective sense of history. For centuries, rivers and lakes were the railways of their time: traversing our waterways by canoe was how Indigenous people and early European settlers explored this vast country.

Ontario is known as the “canoe capital” of the world for good reason. Our endless lake and river routes run from the far north of the province to the U.S. border.

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8 ways paddling can improve your health

Just when we thought nothing could top the “good for you” news about chocolate…

…research shows that paddling is good not only for our physical health, but for our mental health as well!

Here are some of the benefits that will have you reaching for your paddle:

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Ice-Out Canoeing: A spring tradition for adventurous paddlers

It’s a rite of passage for many die-hard paddlers and it’s only a couple of weeks away….an ice out canoe trip.  So what’s the attraction?   It’s a moment of celebration, a time for paddlers to break free of the winter blahs, the sweet spot before the annoyance of spring bugs.  As long as you’re well prepared, an ice-out paddle can be the ultimate early spring adventure. Continue reading Ice-Out Canoeing: A spring tradition for adventurous paddlers

Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive: lifejacket lending program keeps park visitors safe

Swimming, boating, fishing or just plain splashing around is part of the fun of visiting Ontario Parks and our PARKsmart Lifejacket Lending Program helps keep it that way.

Through the generous support of our sponsors, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), BOATsmart and The Canadian Red Cross and Swim Guide thousands of park visitors are exposed to water safety messaging and are able to borrow lifejackets every year and stay safe while enjoying our beautiful lakes, waterways, rivers and streams. Continue reading Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive: lifejacket lending program keeps park visitors safe

What are we doing this weekend?

Guest Blogger: Matt Olsen from Paddle In

 

“What are we doing this weekend?”  

 A question posed to me by my three year old daughter on a cold and blustery January afternoon.  It’s a simple enough question but at the time, for the life of me, I had no answer.  I don’t quite remember what I ended up answering her but I believe it was along the lines of, “we’ll see.”  That question stuck with me and I promised myself that for the rest of the year I’d have an answer for her.  So as 2013 progressed, it became a year full of preparing, learning and most importantly, a year full of camping under the stars in some of Ontario’s most beautiful provincial parks.

Out on the trails at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park (Photo Credit: Paddle In).

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Waiting for Spring – why you can’t trust groundhogs

Spring canoeingWe all make mistakes. No one is right all the time. But what makes this particular error hard to swallow is that it has resulted in a delayed paddling season. The lesson might be to not plan an ice-out canoe trip on a prediction made by an albino groundhog, despite the fact that he gave us hope. Hope that has remained frozen in the lake as winter is only recently beginning to release its grip. Continue reading Waiting for Spring – why you can’t trust groundhogs