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Canoe & Kayak Schools and Courses in Ontario

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Canoe & Kayak Schools and Courses in Ontario

Ontario’s paddling schools make whitewater canoeing as easy as 1, 2, whee! • Credit: Ontario Tourism

Learn from the best

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.



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.

NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO

Rossport Schools & Courses

Superior Outfitters, (807) 824-3314, Dock St, Rossport, dtamblyn905@gmail.com 
Half- and full-day, introductory “Discover Sea Kayaking” instruction offered daily in July and August.

Thunder Bay Schools & Courses

Wilderness Supply | WAVpaddling, (807) 684-9555, 244 Pearl St, Thunder Bay
Introductory and intermediate sea kayak instruction; half-day, full-day and weekend courses available. All levels of standup paddleboard instruction also available (half-day).

Such a Nice Day Adventures, (807) 356-6785, info@suchaniceday.com     
Beginner to intermediate sea kayak instruction; private lessons and 2-day Paddle Canada certification course available in and around Thunder Bay (June to September).

Atikokan (Quetico) Schools & Courses

Spirit of the Paddle, (807) 597-8281, Atikokan, Dw.tico@hotmail.com / Dave@spiritofthepaddle.com 
ORCKA canoe instruction and certification courses, offered in Quetico Park.

Kenora Schools & Courses

Green Adventures, (807) 407-8683, 806 River Dr, Kenora, info@greenadventures.ca 
Beginner canoe, kayak and standup paddleboard instruction; courses offered evenings and weekends in July and August.

ALGOMA COUNTRY

Wawa Schools & Courses

Naturally Superior Adventures, (705) 856-2939 / 1-800-203-9092, 10 Government Dock Rd, Wawa, info@naturallysuperior.com 
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, paddlers10@gmail.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.

NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO

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, info@horizonsadventures.ca 
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, sudburycanoeclubon@gmail.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.

Temagami Schools & Courses

Temagami Outfitting Co., (416) 835-0963, 11 Lakeshore Dr, Temagami,  info@temagamioutfitting.ca 
Intermediate whitewater canoe clinics on the Temagami River (2 days), offered weekly during summer.

MUSKOKA, ALGONQUIN PARK, HALIBURTON AND ALMAGUIN HIGHLANDS

Almaguin Highlands SCHOOLS & COURSES

Blackfeather, (888) 849-7668, info@blackfeather.com 
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,  muskokakayakschool@gmail.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.

Kirkwood Canoe, (705) 783-5817, 729 White House Rd, Huntsville, kirkwoodcanoe@gmail.com 
Canoeing instruction for all skill levels and ages; ORCKA certification courses (1 to 5 days) and custom lessons available. Locations include Huntsville, Algonquin Park and Muskoka.

Paddle In, (705) 533-3576, 503 Con Rd 15W, Tiny, marty@paddlein.com / martyt@csolve.net 
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.

Wilderness Adventures, (416) 746-7427 / (866) 383-9453, wildernessadventures1@gmail.com 
Beginner canoe trips with ORCKA certified instruction. Canoe trips take place in Algonquin Park (3 to 6 days, June to October).

Parry Sound Schools & Courses

Young woman doing a kayak roll.
Learn to roll on Georgian Bay. 

Ontario Sea Kayak Centre, (905) 399-1216, 6 Harmony Lane, Parry Sound, info@ontarioseakayakcentre.com 
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. 

Wilderness Adventures, (416) 746-7427 / (866) 383-9453, wildernessadventures1@gmail.com 
Beginner sea kayak trips with ORCKA certified instruction. Kayak trips depart near Parry Sound on Georgian Bay (3 to 5 days, June to August).

BRUCE PENINSULA, SOUTHERN GEORGIAN BAY AND LAKE SIMCOE

Tobermory Schools & Courses

Thorncrest Outfitters, (519) 596-8908, 7441 ON-6, Tobermory, tub@thorncrestoutfitters.com 
Beginner and intermediate sea kayak instruction; half- and full-day courses available.  Introductory standup paddleboard instruction also available (two hours).

Collingwood Schools & Courses

Free Spirit Tours, (705) 606-0867 / (519) 599-2268, 236720 Grey County Rd 13, Heathcote, freespirittours@hotmail.com I
ntroductory sea kayak and paddleboard lessons (two hours) on Georgian Bay.

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).

EASTERN ONTARIO

Ottawa Valley Schools & Courses

Whitewater kayaker paddling had to get through a gate.
Learn from the best at MKC. 

Madawaska Kanu Centre, (613) 756-3620 / (888) 652-5268, 247 River Rd, Barry's Bay, paddle@mkc.ca 
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, info@paddlerco-op.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.

Black Feather, (888) 849-7668, Palmer Rapids, info@blackfeather.com 
This whitewater canoeing weekend is the perfect opportunity to learn the paddling skills and safety techniques you will need to enjoy Ontario’s wilderness rivers. Offered June 6 to 7 and June 20 to 21, 2020.

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, info@liquidskills.com 
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).

Boreal River Rescue, (866) 242-9383, 78 George St, Suite 204, Ottawa, info@borealriver.com 
Whitewater and swiftwater rescue, wilderness first aid courses offered across Ontario; custom whitewater canoe, kayak and raft skills courses available on-request.

Kingston Schools & Courses

1000 Islands Kayaking Co, (613) 329-6265, 110 Kate St, Gananoque, kayaking@1000ikc.com 
Beginner and intermediate sea kayak certification courses (2-day or 4-day), offered June to September.

Frontenac Outfitters, (613) 376-6220, 6674 Bedford Rd, Sydenham, info@frontenac-outfitters.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, ask@paddletoronto.com 
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, info@completepaddler.ca  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, aaron@kayak-ontario.com 
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.

SOUTHWEST ONTARIO

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).

London Schools & Courses

Otter Valley Paddle Sports, (519) 688-7330, 72 Vienna Rd, Tillsonburg, sales@otterpaddle.com 
Introductory and skill refinement sea kayaking instruction, ranging from 2-hour winter pool lessons to half- and full-day clinics. 

PADDLE ON

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.

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