Paddling in Paradise: Fall Canoe Tours
Explore Cootes Paradise by canoe to get a glimpse of the astounding life that depends on a healthy marsh for survival.
- Fee: $40.50 + $1 Service Fee & HST (Members 10% off)
- More dates available!
Led by one of our experienced and knowledgeable canoe guides, you’ll enjoy a few hours on the water learning about the history of Cootes Paradise introducing you to the wonders of exploring the natural world by canoe. These programs will explore Cootes Paradise by canoe to get a glimpse of the astounding life that depends on the health of the marsh for its survival. Participants will have the opportunity to view wetland plants and wildlife, and hear about some of our restoration efforts that help keep Cootes’ a Paradise. We supply canoes, paddles, and life jackets, you bring your camera, binoculars and curiosity!
All Fall Session Dates
Each date requires separate registration. Use the link above to register for any upcoming program.
- Thursday, September 7, 2023; 5:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, September 12, 2023; 5:30 p.m.
- Sunday, September 17, 2023; 2 p.m.
- Saturday, September 30, 2023; 2 p.m.
- Saturday, October 14, 2023; 9 a.m.
- Sunday, October 15, 2023; 1 p.m.
- Saturday, October 21, 2023; 9 a.m.
- Sunday, October 22, 2023; 1 p.m.
F.A.Q.s & Registrant Requirements
What should I expect during the Paddling in Paradise program?
The goal of RBG’s Paddling in Paradise program is to introduce participants to the wonders of exploring the natural world by canoe. These programs will explore the marsh by canoe to get a glimpse of the astounding life that depends on its health for survival. Participants will have the opportunity to view wetland plants and wildlife and hear about some of the restoration efforts that help keep Cootes a paradise. This program is suitable for novice through experienced canoeists. Although we do instruct on the basics of canoeing and will assist novice individuals with skill building, the collective skill set of the groups will set the pace and will dictate route and exploration options.
I have never canoed or been in a canoe, can I still participate?
RBG’s Paddling in Paradise program is not a “Learn to Canoe”. Each participant must be able to demonstrate the following skills with confidence:
- Proper canoe handling and lifting
- Safely enter and exit a canoe without assistance; docking
- Know how to properly hold and use a paddle
- Be familiar with strokes and command calls see Paddle Canada Canoeing Basics requirements
- Portage and carry canoes up to 10 meters
- Maneuver in moving water and winds
- Be able to walk safely over rocky, sandy, wet, or muddy surfaces
- Safely and securely wear a lifejacket and adhere to RBG safety policies
Can children attend?
RBG welcomes children aged 10 and up, accompanied by an adult, to attend this program. Those aged 16 and older may attend without an adult. All attendees, regardless of age are required to register for the program.
How many can fit in one canoe?
RBG owns a fleet of canoes that allows two people per canoe. It is understandable that some participants may prefer to have a party of three in their boat, this setup will be at the discretion of the instructor. Please indicate any notes about your preference at the time of registration and to the program coordinator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Personal flotation devices (PFD/lifejacket) will be available for participants to borrow. These must be worn during the program.
Can a child sit in the middle of the canoe?
Any decisions will be up to the discretion of the instructor. Please indicate any notes about your preference at the time of registration and to the program coordinator by emailing email@example.com. Children must be aged 10 and up and be registered for the program.
What if I want to sign up solo?
RBG welcomes parties of varying sizes to this program. Single registrants will be paired in a canoe with other single registrants or with a program instructor. Currently RBG does not host solo canoeing.
How do water levels affect this program?
Annual water level cycles may impact the ability to run this program effectively. In the case that water levels are too low to canoe, RBG will cancel or postpone the program.
How does water quality affect this program?
Cootes Paradise Marsh receives water from 17 different streams. These flow from neighbourhoods, parking lots, agricultural lands and natural areas covering 270 km2. The health of this marsh reflects the conditions of the upstream communities. Recovery of water quality to that typical of natural Ontario conditions is a basic goal for the restoration of Cootes Paradise Marsh. Exclusion of carp and significant improvements to inflowing water have resulted in a much healthier marsh in recent year and much of Cootes Paradise Marsh has fair water quality. RBG water-based programs take place in areas of Cootes Paradise Marsh that have been identified as typically safe for contact. RBG staff monitor water quality and water ingress and will take action to modify, postpone or cancel water-based programs and/or activities if areas identified as typically safe for contact present unfavourable conditions. For more information on RBGs conservation efforts including the work being done in Cootes Paradise Marsh, please visit RBGs Conservation Projects webpage here.
Where does the program meet?
This program meets at the RBG Nature Interpretive Centre within the Arboretum at 16A Old Guelph Rd. Dundas, ON. Please arrive 15 minutes before program start time. After a greeting and safety briefings, program instructors will travel with attendees 500m down a steep hill to the boathouse located on the northern shore of Cootes Paradise.
What happens if I arrive late?
This program will start promptly: please arrive 15 minutes early for safety briefings. If you arrive late and you have missed the safety briefing, or the group has departed, then your ticket will be forfeited without refund, and you will not be permitted to join the group on the water. Those who are not present for safety briefings will not be permitted to canoe. This is to ensure the safety of all participants.
What happens in bad weather or if a storm approaches while on the water?
RBG program instructors take precautions to monitor weather conditions leading up to program and will cancel or postpone this program if weather is forecasted
to be unfavourable (eg. high winds, lightning, heavy rain). If unfavourable weather conditions appear during the program, program instructors will modify the program or make the decision to cancel or postpone the program.