Paddling & Diving in Central Ontario North
 
Sea Kayaking

Paddlers often look askew when you mention sea kayaking in Ontario. In a sense they're right. After all the only access to the ocean is along James or Hudson's Bay shorelines, not exactly an easily accessible area. What they've missed are those great salt free paddling routes in Canada's inland seas - the Great Lakes.

 
 
 

Certainly, there is good paddling in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie especially if you like to play in the waves when the wind is up (and when the wind is up this is no mean feat). The real prize however is to be found a little further afield on Lake Superior and Lake Huron's Georgian Bay. These two areas can match anything along Canada's coast, if you hold the tides and the salt, that is.

Georgian Bay has some of the best sea kayaking in the world. From the relatively protected eastern shore, dotted by countless islands, to the wide open stretches along the Bruce Peninsula, the scenery is stunning. From the white cliffs of the Bruce, to the polished slabs of the shield the areas waters are varied shades of translucent blue and green. You'll find dozen's of routes and launch points. May of the islands can be use for camping and the shoreline has a number of parks for overnights as well. One of the latest trends is inn-to-inn paddling which adds another dimension to the experience.

Keep in mind the waters along the Bruce are for experts and while much of the eastern shore is protected, the waters still pose many risks. Fierce storms can arise in a moment, (check out the Scuba section for wrecks if you are skeptical) and the waters in the bay are extremely cold, presenting a very real threat of hypothermia if you have to swim. In addition, you can get wind bound for days, no matter how good a paddler you are. Most of the area is suitable for experts or strong intermediates. There are guides available for almost every paddling destination - take advantage of them.

 

  • Awenda Provincial Park - Beginner-Expert. This is a beautiful park at the tip of the Penetanquishene Peninsula on Georgian Bay. The park is across the inlet from Georgian Bay National Park (too long and dangerous of a paddle) and has several beaches some of which are rocky baby's heads, while others present you with sandy shorelines. The park includes a large island, with the interesting name of Giants Tomb, which in good weather is a nice destination for strong paddlers. Unfortunately there is no camping on the island, so you'll have to content yourself with the parks camping (which isn't shabby) on your return . The park itself is beautifully forested and the campsites are well spaced. Novices can get some experience close to the parks shores. The nearest towns are Penetanguishine and a little further south Midland, while the much smaller town of Toanche is just outside the park. The park is located in the Central Northern Region of Ontario just north of Penetanguishene. From the 401 take the 400 north to exit 121 passed Barrie, then head north on the 93. From Penetanquishene follow the signs to the park. Out-There's Awenda, Park Weather - Georgian Triangle Tourism - Rainbow Country Tourism
  • Bruce Peninsula - Cabot's Head/Tobermory. Expert. - This area can provide a multi-day trip along the beautiful escarpment or you can launch at several points and just explore the shoreline on an out and back. The waters here are a unique shade of blue-green that sharply contrasts with the white limestone and dolomite cliffs of the shoreline. A section of the shoreline follows Bruce Peninsula National Park, where you'll find a campsite accessible from the water at halfway dump. This is a wilderness site along the famous Bruce Trail. You can reserve through the park. Another option is to stay at the parks car camping sites, but you'll have to carry you're boats a distance from the beach or find some other way to secure them. This is one of the best paddling areas in Ontario but it can be one of the most difficult particularly due to the reflected shores waves from the cliff faces and the possibilities of heavy seas brought on by high winds or sudden storms. There are stretches where landings are impossible in any weather. Be very wary of rounding the cape from Dunks Bay to Tobermory, where waves can increase in size dramatically. An alternative paddle is to camp in the park and take day trips along the coast line. Another option is to paddle from the parks campsites to halfway dump and overnight. From the 401 follow highway 10 north to highway 6 south of Owen Sound. Follow the dog leg on the 6 until it heads north again onto the Peninsula. Turn off towards Dwyer's Bay for Cabot Head or watch for the sign for the National Park Campground. There are guides and outfitters in the town of Tobermory at the top of the peninsula. Contact the park for more information. Out-There's Bruce Peninsula National Park, Tobermory's Weather - Bruce County Website
  • Georgian Bay Islands National Park - Honey Harbour. Intermediate, Expert - Except for the crowds (particularly on the weekends) this is one of the most beautiful and accessible areas for sea kayaking in Georgian Bay. The launch point at Honey Harbour is easily reached by car and the paddle to Beausoliel Island is relatively easy (watch out for motor boats, which are plentiful and be keenly aware that a sea kayak is the lowest boat in the water, making it very difficult to see above a power boats raised bow). There are dozens of campsites on the east side of the island or if you're an experienced paddler you can head around to the unprotected side, where there is group camping (this area must be booked in advanced by qualifying groups, check with the park for details). There are hundreds of other islands in the area which can also be explored. To reach Honey Harbour take the 400 north from the 401 until just passed the Port Severn turn off, where you'll follow the 5 north for a short distance to the town. Contact the park for the information on guides and outfitters. Out-There's Georgian Bay Islands National Park, . Midland Weather (Midland is across the inlet, for a more accurate forecast contact the park before you set out).
  • Flower Pot Island - Tobermory. Expert. Located in Fathom Five National Marine Park, the sister of the Bruce Peninsula National Park, the paddle to these unique sea stacks is a siren for all kayakers. Perhaps its the stretch of open water, the sunken wrecks or the unique rock formations themselves. Whatever it may be, it seems everyone wants to paddle this route. Unfortunately, what looks like a short stretch on a map is actually a difficult and tiring paddle, especially if there is a wind working against you (which is often the case). If the the weather turns on route, it can have dire consequences, so narrow the odds by consulting the forecast carefully just before you leave. There are a limited number of campsites on the island, so reserve early. You can also stay at the light station for a fee (a donation is the preferred term and really seems a fair way of putting it) if the campsites are full. If your not an expert kayaker, don't hesitate - hire a guide. From the 401 follow highway 10 north to highway 6 south of Owen Sound. Follow the dog leg on the 6 until it heads north again onto the Peninsula and out to Tobermory. There are guides and outfitters in the town of Tobermory. Out-There's Bruce Peninsula National Park, Tobermory - Tobermory's Weather - Out-There's Bruce Trail
  • Bordering Regions

    North Eastern Ontario

    • Killarney Provincial Park - Killarney. Intermediate, Expert. You can launch from the park or just a short distance outside the park at the town of Killarney, depending on your destination. This is one of Ontario's most beautiful parks.The Le Cloche mountains are a bleached white quartzite. The shoreline around the the town and the park is a rich red granite. The bays waters are multiple hues of green and blue making for a stunning visual setting. There are never ending possibilities for kayaking in this area. With the protection offered by Manitoulin island you can kayak for hundreds of kilometers in and around the granite outcroppings on the shores of the park and beyond. The standout is the archipelago east of the park, between the park shores and Manitoulin Island.The area is made up of endless inlets and islands but it has one distinctive drawback - access. A second excellent area is south of the park, in and around Phillip Edward Island. There are thousands of small islands in the vicinity and the area is once again extremely beautiful. Sea kayaking in the park is still being developed, you should consult with the park and the local outfitters for more information. Killarney is located just east of Manitoulin Island on the shores of Georgian Bay. Take highway 69 north from the 400, then follow the 637 about 50km west to the park. The nearest city is Sudbury to the north of the park along the 69. Town of Killarney - Information and History. The park is a few hours drive from the Muskokas.

    Greater Toronto Region

    Yes, you can even sea kayak in the city and you might be surprise just how many people you meet while paddling on a sunny day.

  • Lake Ontario Shoreline - Beginner, Intermediate. There are number of interesting areas you can explore along the Toronto shoreline. These include the Rouge Beach Park area, the Leslie Street Spit, the islands off Coronation, Marilyn Bell Park and the area around Humber Bay Park Further afield the mouth of the Credit and the Credit River itself off some interesting areas to explore. Another excellent area for exploring is the bluffs stretching from Victoria Park in the west to Meadowvale in the east along Lake Ontario. This is a remarkably scenic area, it's hard to believe its in a cosmopolitan area. You can launch at the base of the bluffs at Bluffers Park.
  • Toronto Island - Intermediate. Sweltering night in July, haul your kayak out from under the porch, head down to the waterfront and launch on the cooling waters of Lake Ontario, then head out to the islands. There are lots of places to explore in the areas park. Just make sure you stay away from the airport, which is strictly out of bounds (we're talking mega fines for crossing that line) and watch for the boat traffic which can get snarly.
  • Sea Kayaking is a sport which requires instruction. No one should paddle a kayak without a good knowledge of safety and experience with wet exits and self rescue. Before you go paddling make a point of taking a course or lessons from certified instructors. Never paddle alone under any circumstances.

     
     
      White Water Paddling

    While you will find some white water in the region, it's often only runnable in the spring or after a heavy rain. The east side of Algonquin Park presents a couple of options if you're into play boats or white water trips, in the form of the Opeongo, the Pettawawa and the well known Mattawa rivers. Nearby you'll find the Gull River (This area is managed by Whitewater Ontario), a designer run intended for kayakers just outside Minden in the Haliburton area. To the southeast kayakers will also want to visit Elora Gorge which is a great play area even if it is getting a little crowded.

    Rafters have can take advantage of the float trips on the Grand or if you're willing to travel a little further afield the wild waters of the Ottawa in Ontario East

     

    Algonquin

    Madawaska

    This is perhaps the most famous of Ontario's whitewater river and has a lot of variation with rapids ranging from class I to class V. The river flows for a distance of over 70km. The river starts just at the park border (Whitney) in the southern section and can be accessed on several points along Highway 60.

    The river is broken up by lakes into three distinct sections. The lower section through Palmer Rapids is a great area for learning and improving your skills. The upper part of the river is generally more difficult and demanding. Finally, the short middle area has some really fun sections if you have the skills The river is dam controlled and the water levels may not reflect the season.

    Opeongo

    The rivers headwaters start just outside the southern section of the park in Victoria Lake and empties into the Madawaska 30km later. While the river isn't really long it does have its share of play areas and challenges which are sometimes overlooked due to its proximity to the Madawaska This is a scenic area which also makes for very nice canoe tripping if you have whitewater skills. The river's rapids ranges from class I to IV.

    The river can be accessed within the park by canoeing from Farm Lake to the headwaters at Shall Lake. Farm Lake is at the end of Victora-McCauley Lake Road off of Hwy 60 just west of the town of Madawaska. The river is at its best in the spring.

    Petawawa

    This is the only significant stretch of whitewater that lies within the park boundaries. The Petawawa's source is Daisy Lake on the west side of the park. From here to Brent on Cedar Lake, the river is ideal for flatwater canoe tripping. It is slow & any rapids are too shallow to be run.

    Cedar receives water from the Petawawa & Nipissing Rivers as well as many creeks. As a result, the Petawawa has much more water from this point on & the whitewater fun begins. The final access point is at McManus Lake on the east side of the park.

    There are a number of possible put-ins with the main one being at Brent Lake. Brent Lake is reached from outside the park off of Hwy 17 from Deux Riviers. It should be noted that the section of the river passed the park border is a live firing range for the Canadian Army and should under no circumstances be run.

    North of the park you'll find the Mattawa River which is a part of the Voyageurs route and offers some excellent paddling. A distance to the east is the upper Ottawa with Ontario's best whitewater which is easily accessible.

    Bordering Regions

    • Elora Gorge - Beginner - Expert. Season - Spring, Summer. Class II to V depending on water levels (the river is dam controlled). Put In Irving Creek - Take Out is the low level bridge at the west end of the conservation area. Located on the Grand River, this area is a classic, unfortunately like a lot of classics it's real popular, particularly on the weekends. Don't let that discourage you, this is a really nice paddle, just try to get up there during the week or early in the season.
    • Gull River (Minden Wildwater Preserve) - Beginner - Expert. Season Spring, Summer, Class II to IV(dam controlled). Further away than Elora, this white water area just outside of Minden, in the Haliburton area is well worth a visit. The river has been "modified" to provide a variety of features that ensure some really interesting paddling. The upper section is for intermediate to expert paddlers, while the lower area can be paddled by beginners. Whitewater Ontario is the administrator of the wild water reserve.They are looking to start work on enhancements, and could use your support - why not pitch in.

    Greater Toronto

    The Greater Toronto region lies just to the south of Central Ontario North just a short drive from most of the region.

    • Bronte Creek - II - Beginner, Intermediate. Put in Appleby Line - Take out in the Town of Bronte. You can run from north of highway 5, through Bronte Creek Provincial Park all the way down to the town of Bronte Creek. The best part of the run is the central section. NOTE: Scout the whole section and consult with local paddle shops before making a run. The river is prone to deadfalls, strainers and sweepers.
    • Credit River - II-IV Intermediate, Expert - March-May outside of this window you need a long heavy rain. Experts only in high water. Put In Brittania Road - Take Out is at Erindale Park. South of the 401 the whitewater section flows from Streetsville to Erindale Park. High banks make sections difficult if you get in trouble. The lower section of the river also has some white water. NOTE: You must take out river left at the fish ladder to avoid the dam at McCarthy's Mill. Scout the whole section and consult with local paddle shops before making a run. Canoe Country offers sit-on top rentals for paddling the section between Georgetown and Norval. The river is prone to deadfalls, strainers and sweepers.

      Toronto

      It's often hard to convince people that you can run white water in the Toronto region let alone the city of Toronto. The Don, the Humber and the Rouge Rivers all have some good white water runs in the in the spring, while nearby Dufferin Creek provides another option.

    • Humber - II-III/IV. Season March, April and after a long heavy rain. Put In just west of Weston Road just below the 401 - Take Out at Dundas. Located in the western part of the city, the river parallels the 400 before it crosses under the 401. It roughly parallels, and runs west of Jane Street for the remainder of its course. The white water section is located between highway 401 and Dundas Avenue and runs through Weston Golf Clubs before it's back into public greenspace in Cruickshank Park followed by Cruickshank, Lions Raymere, Scarlett Mills then James Gardens, Lambton Woods. NOTE: There are a series of dams with wicked keepers on route, two are located on the section after the bridges. Scout the whole section and consult with local paddle shops before making a run on any part of this river. The river is prone to deadfalls, strainers and sweepers and the dams are potential killers.
    • Rouge River - Class I, II. Season March - April or after a long heavy rain. Put In Finch Avenue - Take Out Highway 2. Aside from the paddling the best part of this river is the scenery. The river runs through the park of the same name. You'll be hard pressed to believe this is an urban setting. Rouge Watershed - Friends of the Rouge Watershed - Rouge Valley Foundation - Rouge Park

    Whitewater kayaking is a sport which requires instruction. No one should paddle a kayak without a good knowledge of safety, river hazards and experience with wet exits or preferably eskimo rolls. Understanding how to read the river is an essential part of your repertoire, as is knowing how to swim a rapid if you have no other choice. Before you go paddling make a point of taking a course from a good school or certified instructors . Never paddle alone under any circumstances.

     

     
       

    Canoe Tripping - Region River List

    The North Central Region marks the transition to shield country or what most of the provinces paddlers would refer to as canoe country. We've listed three prominant river routes in the area, the Saugeen, the Beaver and the Rankin as well as the combination river, lake route the Gibson MacDonald. There are several other routes in the Muskokas worth mentioning, including the Moon River and the Muskoka River routes. Of course you can't really discuss canoeing without Algonquin being brought up, so we've done our duty and included
    a section on the park as well as a link to our Algonquin feature.

    We've also included some of the excellent paddling areas in the bordering regions such as the Grand River and excellent routes which are available at the Frost Center in the Haliburtons just to the west. .

     
     

     

    Algonquin

    • Lake and River Routes - This is what the park is famous for. It has over 1600 canoe routes extending over tens of thousands of kilometers. There are wilderness campsites throughout the park. The routes range from single lake access, to your choice of a never ending combination of lakes and rivers which usually involve portages. You can customize a trip to fit any itinerary or match any skill level. The main access points are off the parks main corridor along highway 60 but many routes are accessed outside the main corridor. Access to the park interior is often best from outside the corridor. For more information consult the canoe section in Out-There's Algonquin and from the official site for Algonquin Provincial Park. You can purchase a map of the canoe routes from the Friends of Algonquin. To get an idea of the routes you can also download a version of the map (for viewing only) online. The National Topographical Series Maps that cover the park are as follows: 31 L/3, 31 L/2, 31 L/1, 31 K/4, 31 E/14, 31 E/15, 31 E/16, 31 F/13, 31 E/11, 31 E/10, 31 E/9, 31 F/12, 31 E/7, 31 E/8, 31 E/1. Books: "A Paddlers Guide to Algonquin Park" By Kevin Callan, The Boston Mills Press 1997. The park can be reached from the 401 in Toronto by taking the 400 north to the highway 11 split just passed Barrie. Follow the 11 to Huntsville where you can pick up highway 60 which takes you into the park along the main corridor. Out-There's Algonquin

      White Water River Routes & Playspots

      Madawaska - This is perhaps the most famous of Ontario's whitewater river and has a lot of variation with rapids ranging from class I to class V. The river flows for a distance of over 70km. The river starts just at the park border (Whitney) in the southern section and can be accessed on several points along Hwy 60. The river is broken up by lakes into three distinct sections. The lower section through Palmer Rapids is a great area for learning and improving your skills. The upper part of the river is generally more difficult and demanding. Finally the short middle section has some really fun sections if you have the skills The river is dam controlled and the water levels may not reflect the season. Out-There's Algonquin

      Opeongo - The rivers headwaters start just outside the southern section of the park in Victoria Lake and empties into the Madawaska 30km later. While the river isn't really long it does have its share of play areas and challenges which are sometimes overlooked due to its proximity to the Madawaska. This is a scenic area which also makes for very nice canoe tripping if you have whitewater skills. The river's rapids ranges from class I to IV. The river can be accessed within the park by canoeing from Farm Lake to the headwaters at Shall Lake. Farm Lake is at the end of Victora-McCauley Lake Road off of Hwy 60 just west of the town of Madawaska. The river is at its best in the spring. Out-There's Algonquin

      Petawawa - This is the only significant stretch of whitewater that lies within the park boundaries. The Petawawa's source is Daisy Lake on the west side of the park. From here to Brent on Cedar Lake, the river is ideal for flatwater canoe tripping. It is slow and any rapids are too shallow to be run. Cedar Lake receives water from the Petawawa and Nipissing Rivers as well as many creeks. As a result, the Petawawa has much more water from this point on and the whitewater fun begins. The final access point is at McManus Lake on the east side of the park. Out-There's Algonquin

    North of the park you'll find the Mattawa River which is a part of the Voyageurs route and offers some excellent paddling. A distance to the east is the upper Ottawa with Ontario's best whitewater which is easily accessible.


     

    • Beaver River - 20km (river length 40km), Beginner-Intermediate, Put-in - Beaver River access point on Grey County Road 13 just north of Kimberley. Take Out - Heathcote. The route can be shortened by taking advantage of the access point west of Road 13 on the road to Epping. The river flows through forested areas which progressively give way to more agricultural settings. For expert canoeists the river below Heathcote can be run (not recommended) in the spring but protruding boulders and barbed wire (?!?) limit this activity to high water. There is no camping along the route. For more information contact the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority at (519) 376-3860 also Grey County Tourism and Bruce County Tourism. The Beaver River is about 2 to 2.5hrs northwest of Toronto.

    • Gibson McDonald Route - 56km, intermediate, loop, 3-4 days, 9 portages, longest portage 230m. The route starts and ends at Six Mile Lake Provincial Park in the Muskokas almost due east of Georgian Bay National Park. The route runs north on Six Mile Lake, into Gibson Lake, west along the Gibson River and into Georgian Bay. In Georgian Bay you work you're way back to McCrea, McDonald then Six Mile Lake. Set in cottage country, with some isolated sections, the scenery is of particular note. This is a mixed route of lakes and rivers which includes a section in Georgian Bay where boat traffic can be a problem. In addition the bay section opens up the possibility of becoming wind bound. There are unrunable sections (do not miss the portage at Three Rock Chute), some lift overs, road crossings and some rapids which may can be run by experienced paddlers depending on water levels. Water levels are controlled through the Trent Severn Waterway. There is a car campground at the park, rustic camping along the Gibson River and on McRea Lake. The route crosses roads and highways, so a shorter linear route is possible if you've set up a shuttle. To reach the park and the put-in/take-out, follow the 400 north to Georgian Bay Road between Port Severn and Parry Sound, which takes you to the park. Muskoka. - For more information contact the park and the Parry Sound MNR district office. - Six Mile Island Provincial Park
    • Rankin River Canoe Route - 18km 5-7hrs, Beginner-Intermediate. Put in - Sky Lake at Isaac Lake, Take out - Sauble Falls Provincial Park just above the bridge. Later in the season there are sections of low water which will require lining. The route can be shortened by taking advantage of the access point on the way at county road 13, between Oliphant and Wiarton. There are two portages over dams near Sauble Falls as well as a third for a section of white water nearby the dams. The river is largely an easy paddle but travel on Boat Lake can be difficult. Camping is available at Sauble Falls Provincial Park. For more information contact the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority at (519) 376-3860, also Grey County Tourism and Bruce County Tourism. Federal Topographical Maps 31 A/14, 41 A/1. Rankin River Canoe Route Map. The Rankin River is about 2 to 2.5 hrs northwest of Toronto in the North Central region of Ontario.
    • Saugeen River Canoe Route - 102km, 3-4 Days, Intermediate. Put in - Hanover Park, Hanover Highway 10 and Country Road 4 - Take out - Denny's Dam outside Southhampton. Spring water levels can demand greater skill levels and late in the season low water levels may make some sections impassible. The route can be shortened by taking advantage of any of the numerous access points near the river side towns. The Saugeen is due north of London to the southwest of the Bruce Peninsula. The route takes you from Hanover to Walkerton, passed Paisley, then just to the east of Port Elgin on your way to Southhampton. The river terminates at Lake Huron outside of Southhampton. Camping is available in Hanover Park, Saugeen Rendez Vous Campground between Hanover and Walkerton, Lobies Town Park just passed Walkerton, McBeath Conservation Area before you reach Paisley and the Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Area between Paisley and Port Elgin. While the area the river flows through is largely agricultural, the riverbanks are lined by forests and in areas you'll find scenic high bluffs. The Hanover-Walkerton and Paisley-Southhampton sections are essentially easy paddling but the central section has a number of rapids and is best left to more experienced canoeists. There are three dam's along route which require a carry between Hanover and Paisley. Guides and Outfitters: The Greater Saugeen Trading Co. - Paisley. Topographical Maps 41A-6, 41A-3. For more information contact the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority. River Levels. Canoe Route Map or Canoe Route Map. The river is about 2 to 2.5hrs north west of Toronto in the North Central Ontario region. Saugeen County Tourism.

      Bordering Regions

    • Grand River - Total river length 290km, Beginner-Intermediate. Paddle routes vary in length from a few hours to days. - The most popular section of the river is the short paddle of a couple of hours from Cambridge to Paris. The trip takes you passed an area of scenic bluffs and through the Grand River Forest. . For extended trips you can launch below Elora Gorge and paddle all the way to Lake Erie. Camping is available at Elora Gorge and Byng Island in the Dunnville area. As a cushy alternative you can take advantage of some of the B&B's in the towns on route. Grand River Watershed Map - Online River Levels (or Phone the GRCA River Flow Information Line (519) 621-2763 ext. 519) For more information contact the Grand River Conservation Authority. The GRCA sells a guide book and video on the Grand River. Guides and Outfitters: Grand Experiences The Grand is a Canadian Heritage River with extensive historical significance. From north to south cities and towns that border the river include: Dundalk, Grand Valley, Lake Belwood, Elora, St Jacobs, Waterloo Kitchener, Cambridge, Paris, Brantford, Caladonia, York, Cayuga and Dunnville. National Topographical Series Maps: 30M-4, 40P-1, 40P-8, 40P-9, 40P-16, 41A-1, 40P-2, 40P-7. The Grand is about 1hr from Toronto by car. Southwestern Ontario
    • Leslie M. Frost Center - This canoe area has dozens of routes with varying degrees of difficulty. The routes can be combined with others in the Gull River System (some sections are impassible in low water) as well as routes in the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve. For more information check out the Frost website and map. A map is available for the Gull River System from the MNR Minden office which can be reached at (705) 286-1521. The Frost Center is located north of Minden between Carnavon and Dorset. From Toronto take the 400 north from the 401and branch off on the 11 north of Barrie. then head east at Muskoka Falls on the 118 or alternately keep going to Huntsville then head south on the 35. The center also has excellent hiking, cross country skiing and nature viewing. Friends of the Frost Central Ontario South Note: The Frost Centre has been closed!
    • Greater Toronto

      Just to be annoying we're going to tell you you can canoe camp in Toronto (we've showed you where you can do just about every other adventure sport in this city, so why stop here). The Rouge River has the paddling, and the Rouge Park provides the camping. O.K., so it's not the Thelon but it is a lot of fun for less experienced paddlers and of course dad and the kids. At any rate, there are a number of canoe routes within a short distance of the city, and seeing how this is Ontario, the land of the "J-stroke", there are hundreds more within a days drive.

     

    Rafting

    There is no organized rafting in the Central Ontario North region (that we are aware of) but you will find float trips nearby in the bordering regions. If your willing to make the drive there are excellent extended rapids on the Ottawa for hardened white water enthusiasts.

     
     

     

    Southwestern Region

    • Blue Heron Rafting - Float Trips, Grand River, Brantford Ontario, Southwestern Ontario, approximately 1 hr from Toronto by car

      Eastern Ontario - Ottawa River

    • Esprit Rafting - Rafting, Eastern Ontario - Ottawa River, Petawawa River and Magnetawan River in the Eastern Ontario Region 4-5hrs. by car from Toronto.
    • Owl Rafting - White water rafting on the Ottawa River. Resort/Lodge. Also does family float trips. Located north of Ottawa, outside Beachburg in the Eastern Ontario Region. 4-5hrs. by car from Toronto.
    • River Run - White Water Rafting on the Ottawa River. Resort/Lodge. Also does family float trips. Kayak and canoe instructions. Located north of Ottawa, outside Beachburg in the Eastern Ontario Region. 4-5hrs. by car from Toronto.
    • Wilderness Tours - White water rafting on the Ottawa River. Resort/Lodge. Also does family float trips. Located north of Ottawa, outside Beachburg in the Eastern Ontario Region. 4-5hrs. by car from Toronto.
     
    Photo courtesy Fathom Five National Park
      Diving

    The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have seen thousands of wrecks going as far back as the 1600s. While many have been located, there are still more to be found. Given that this is a freshwater area, the wrecks are often in much better shape than what you find along the sea coast. While you'll find some interesting dives in the Toronto region and just outside Kingston and the Thousand Islands area, the best diving is off the Bruce Peninsula. Fathom Five National Marine Park off Tobermory, a few hours north of Toronto, is considered amongst the best diving areas in the world.

     
    Photo courtesy Fathom Five National Park
     

    Wrecks

    • Alice G - One of three tugs in the same area in the harbour, Tobermory (Fathom Five), Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County
    • Arabia - 110ft depth. A three masted ship which went down in 1884. This is a popular dive but at significant depth, Tobermory (Fathom Five), Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County
    • Forest City - 75-150ft depth. A freighter that went down in 1905, Tobermory (Fathom Five), Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County.
    • Sweepstakes - 1ft depth. Just below the surface the wreck can be examined with just a snorkel, Tobermory (Fathom Five), Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County.
    • W.L. Wetmore - 20ft depth. A good size wooden wreck locate in shallow water, Tobermory (Fathom Five), Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County

    Bordering Regions

    • Sligo - Originally a wooden triple masted schooner - Located just off Humber Bay in Toronto in just over 18m of water. Built in the eighteen hundreds the ship sank in a storm during WWI (but not as a result of the war). Access is by boat.
    • Juno - Located outside Oshawa, take the Bowmanville exit 431 south off the 401 to Lake Ontario. The wreck can easily be accessed from shore a few hundred meters west of the entrance in 3 to 4m of water.

    Clubs and Associations

    Bordering Regions

    Retailers and Services

    • Bill Dowkes Scuba - Owen Sound
    • Divers Den - Tobermory (Fathom Five), Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County
    • Dive Tobermory - (519) 593-2219, Tobermory (Fathom Five), Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County
    • G and S Watersports - Tobermory (Fathom Five), Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County
    • Groundhog Divers - (519) 389-3629, Port Elgin (Lake Huron), Bruce Peninsula
    • Huronia Sport & Dive - Barrie
    • Scuba Shack - Gravenhurst, Muskoka
    • The Wet Shop - Barrie

      Bordering Regions

    • Scuba Diving Center - Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario
    • Lake Erie Marine Services - Port Colborne, Southwestern Ontario, Ontario

    Web Sites

     
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