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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Are you ready for the Northwest Wilderness Quest?

Do you dream of paddling the vast wilderness of Northwestern Ontario, gliding past moose, caribou and wolves? Can you hear the gentle sound of your paddle smoothly caressing endless lakes and rivers, drops of water slowly tumbling off the tip of your blade? Does the scent of pine and spruce forests invite fond memories of past backcountry canoe trips and inspire dreams of future adventures?

Just picture it. This is the Northwest Wilderness Quest.

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5 life-changing paddling routes of Northeastern Ontario

Whether you’re planning a scenic day trip or a rugged backcountry adventure, Northeastern Ontario is a paddler’s playground.

Last year, Northeastern Ontario Tourism asked their readers to vote for their top paddling destinations…

…and the votes are in!

Join us in counting down the top 5 paddling destinations of Northeastern Ontario:

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Maintaining the Missinaibi

The Missinaibi River is one of the longest and most famous canoe routes in the Hudson Bay watershed – 500 km of whitewater river, from the Arctic watershed divide down to James Bay.

This summer, our Northeastern Resource Stewardship Crew traveled 185 km of that river working to maintain Missinaibi Provincial Park‘s backcountry.

Check out this video of their travels:

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Paddle like it’s 1796 at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park!

Experience the life of a voyageur at the height of the fur trade by paddling a voyageur canoe on the beautiful Mattawa River.

Our knowledgeable guides will help you discover part of our proud Canadian heritage.

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Campsite vacancy highlights: June 17-19

Happy National Paddling Week! This week’s parks all boast stellar paddling opportunities, whether you prefer a kayak adventure on Lake Superior or quiet paddleboat through the pond.

Across Ontario, most parks still have a good selection of sites available for the weekend, for tent and RV campers alike!

Scout out your ideal campsite on our Campsite Browsing/Reservation tool (including pictures of most campsites!), or check out these featured campsites (available as of noon, June 16):

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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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