Whether you’re a first-time paddler or an advancing intermediate, taking a course with one of Ontario’s excellent canoe or kayak schools or Paddle Canada is a fun and social way to improve your skills and meet new paddling friends. Along with first-rate instruction, some schools also offer comfortable on-site accommodations and meal plans, so you can focus on your paddling technique, rather than your Pad Thai.
If you’re looking for a local mentor or a specific type of coaching, visit Paddle Canada to find a course or certified instruction provider near you. Search “Find a Course” or “Find an Instructor” on Paddle Canada’s comprehensive website. Ontario Recreational Canoeing & Kayaking Association members (ORCKA) also offer certification courses throughout the province.
Wawa Schools & Courses
Naturally Superior Adventures, (705) 856-2939 / 1-800-203-9092, 10 Government Dock Rd, Wawa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginner to advanced sea kayak instruction (half-day to 5-day), certification and custom courses available June through September. Standup paddleboard instruction also available. Stay-and-play packages for paddlesports learning vacations.
Blind River Schools & Courses
Algoma Paddlers Canoe & Kayak Club, (705) 356-9815, Blind River, email@example.com
Canoe and sea kayak instruction for club members, serving Blind River, Elliot Lake and surrounding Algoma region. ORCKA certification courses, clinics and winter pool sessions available. Learn more here.
Manitoulin Schools & Courses
By Path or Paddle, (705) 859-1683, 20 Moggy Parkway, Manitowaning, Mark Gibeault.
Introductory to intermediate sea kayak instruction, and introductory canoe or big canoe instruction available on request.
Sudbury Schools & Courses
Horizons Adventures, (705) 866-6069, 28 Sleepy Hollow Rd, Whitefish, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginner to advanced sea kayak instruction (half-day to 5-day), certification and custom courses available May through September. Course locations include Greater Sudbury, North Channel and Manitoulin Island.
Sudbury Canoe Club, (705) 822-2399, 206 Ramsey Lake Rd, Sudbury, email@example.com
Introductory canoe, kayak and standup paddleboard lessons (1 to 3 hours) on Sudbury’s Ramsey Lake for club members. Winter kayak polo (pool), summer whitewater kayak lessons, and kids’ canoe camps also available.
MUSKOKA, ALGONQUIN PARK, HALIBURTON AND ALMAGUIN HIGHLANDS
Almaguin Highlands SCHOOLS & COURSES
Blackfeather, (888) 849-7668, firstname.lastname@example.org
Intermediate and advanced whitewater canoeists can improve whitewater skills in the technical rapids of the Upper Magnetawan River (May 16 to 18, 2020) or Lower Magnetawan River (May 18 to 22, 2020).
Haliburton Schools & Courses
AO Boatwerks, (705) 286-1492 / (866) 529-2570, 12667 ON-35, Minden
Beginner to advanced instruction for kayaking, canoeing and C1 in both flatwater and whitewater on the Gull River. There are no specific course dates—lessons and clinics (half-day and full-day) run on-request all season long.
Muskoka and Algonquin Schools & Courses
Muskoka Kayak School, Port Sydney and Minden, email@example.com
Focused on teaching kids to kayak, Muskoka Kayak School offers a variety of summer camps (five day camp – full or half day), training groups (introduction, intermediate and advanced skills), whitewater weekends and competitive learning sessions.
Paddle In, (705) 533-3576, 503 Con Rd 15W, Tiny, firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Flatwater and moving water canoeing instruction and flatwater kayaking instruction for all skill levels; ORCKA certification courses (1 to 5 days, May to August) and custom coaching available. Course locations throughout central Ontario, including Washago, Bala, Palmer Rapids, French River and Georgian Bay.
Parry Sound Schools & Courses
Ontario Sea Kayak Centre, (905) 399-1216, 6 Harmony Lane, Parry Sound, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginner to advanced sea kayak certification courses (2 to 5 days, June to August) available in Georgian Bay and Guelph; pool rescue and rolling lessons offered in Toronto/Mississauga and Oakville. The annual Paddlepalooza Kayak Festival ( late May) and the Women on Water Festival (early June) offer great learning opportunities.
BRUCE PENINSULA, SOUTHERN GEORGIAN BAY AND LAKE SIMCOE
Tobermory Schools & Courses
Thorncrest Outfitters, (519) 596-8908, 7441 ON-6, Tobermory, email@example.com
Beginner and intermediate sea kayak instruction; half- and full-day courses available. Introductory standup paddleboard instruction also available (two hours).
Barrie Schools & Courses
Happy Paddling, (705) 881-5533, 81 Lakeshore Dr, Barrie I
ntroductory and refresher sea kayak clinics (2.5 hours); introductory canoe lessons (2.5 hours); and discover standup paddleboarding lessons (1 hour).
Ottawa Valley Schools & Courses
Madawaska Kanu Centre, (613) 756-3620 / (888) 652-5268, 247 River Rd, Barry's Bay, firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitewater canoe and kayak courses for all ages and abilities; full-day, weekend and 5-day courses available. World-class instruction for beginner to advanced paddlers; locations include the Madawaska and Ottawa rivers. Stay-and-play packages for whitewater learning vacations. Black Feather offers a whitewater canoe tripping clinic (May 29 to 31, 2020) based at MKC. This clinic is designed to prepare paddlers with some experience for a significant expedition on a northern river.
Paddler Co-op, (613) 758-2772, 6535 Palmer Rd, Palmer Rapids, email@example.com
Whitewater canoe and kayak instruction for all ages and abilities; full-day, 2-day and 5-day courses available (May to August) on the friendly Madawaska River. Stay-and-play at the Paddler Co-op’s riverside campground.
Wilderness Tours / Ottawa Kayak School, (888) 723-8669, 503 Rafting Rd, Foresters Falls
Beginner to advanced whitewater kayak instruction for all ages; courses range from 1-day to 6-day. Stay-and-play packages at Wilderness Tours Adventure Resort on the world-class whitewater of the Ottawa River.
Liquid Skills Kayak & SUP School, (613) 633-8795, 28 Farnel Trail, Beachburg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginner to advanced, flatwater and whitewater kayak and standup paddleboard instruction for all ages. Courses range from 1-day to 5-day, 1-hour clinics also available. World-class whitewater and coaching on the Ottawa River (April to November).
Frontenac Outfitters, (613) 376-6220, 6674 Bedford Rd, Sydenham, email@example.com
Introductory to beginner-intermediate sea kayaking instruction and certification courses (3.5 hours, full-day or 2 days), available June to August. Introductory and skill refinement canoe lessons (3 hours) and discover standup paddleboarding lessons (1.5 hours) also offered.
GOLDEN HORSESHOE ONTARIO
Toronto Schools & Courses
Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre, (416) 203-2277 / 1-(800) 960-8886, 283 Queens Quay W, Toronto, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginner to intermediate sea kayak, lakewater canoe and standup paddleboard instruction; programs range from 2-hour pool lessons to 5-day certification courses.
Toronto Adventures, (416) 536-2067, 9 Old Mill Rd, Etobicoke, Info@TorontoAdventures.ca
Introductory kayak, canoe and standup paddleboard lessons (1.5 to 2 hours), available May to October on the Humber River. Beginner-intermediate sea kayak certification courses (full day), offered June to October on Lake Ontario.
The Complete Paddler, (416) 255-6905 / 1-866-9-KAYAKS, 919 Oxford St, Etobicoke, email@example.com I
ntroductory to intermediate sea kayak, lakewater canoe and standup paddleboard instruction; programs range from 2-hour pool lessons to 2-day certification courses. Pool classes are offered year-round, lake courses available June to September.
Paddlesport Lessons, (647) 848-4177, info@PaddleSportLessons.com
Introductory and skill refinement sea kayaking lessons offered in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and St. Catharines. Beginner to intermediate certification courses also available at Toronto location (June to September).
Hamilton-Niagara Schools & Courses
Kayak Ontario, (647) 779-3016, St. Catharines, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introductory to intermediate sea kayak instruction, including winter pool lessons (January to April), 2-day skills symposium (October), Paddle Canada Level I certification courses (2 days, May to October) and Level II course (4 days, August). Locations include St. Catharines, Jordan Harbour, Burlington, Port Maitland, and Bruce Peninsula.
Paris Schools & Courses
Grand Experiences, 519-442-3654 / 1-888-258-0441, 115 Grand River St N, Paris
Introductory to intermediate lakewater canoeing and sea kayaking lessons and certification courses; locations include Long Point (Lake Erie) and the Grand River. Also offer introductory whitewater kayaking instruction on the Nith River (spring only).
If you're looking to plan an ambitious canoeing adventure, polish your kayaking skills, or just get on the river for the first time, Ontario’s paddling centres can get you there.