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Highway closure may affect travel to RBG 403W will be closed from September 30 at 11 p.m. until October 3 at 5 a.m.

Paddling in Paradise

Date & Time:

August 17, 2022, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Arboretum (16 Old Guelph Road)


Courses and Programs, Outdoor Adventure


2+ Hours


Pre-Registration Required, Ticketed Event

Event Description

One of RBG’s Courses & Workshops

Explore Cootes Paradise by canoe to get a glimpse of the astounding life that depends on a healthy marsh for survival. We supply canoes, paddles, and life jackets, you bring your camera and binoculars. Canoes have single bench seats only, so bring pads to sit on for extra comfort. Water bottles and pocket snacks also recommended. Please arrive 15 minutes early and be prepared to paddle rain or shine. In the event of high winds or threatening weather, please call the Program Update Line. You will need to walk up and down a steep slope to access the boat house.

See F.A.Q. below for more information.

2022 Dates:

  • Saturday June 11, 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday June 22, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday July 9, 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday July 20, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday August 6, 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday August 17, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday September 10: 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday September 21: 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday October 8: 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday October 19: 6 to 8 p.m.

Fee: $40 + Service Fee.

(Members 10% off*)
Please pre-register 10 days in advance*

Register for Outdoors Programs

Pre-registration required for all Courses and Workshops. Click the button below to continue to Eventbrite, and to browse / register for any “Into the Wild” program at RBG. View all upcoming courses and workshops from all categories at

RBG Members receive 10% off most RBG Experiences programming when using the member discount code. Learn more about where to find the code.

*Pre-Registration is required for all RBG Courses & Workshops, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated “register by” date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

Paddling in Paradise F.A.Q.s

What is Paddling in Paradise all about?

The goal of RBGs Paddling in Paradise programs is to introduce participants 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, have the opportunity to view wetland plants and wildlife, and hear about some of our 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

Can children attend?

RBG welcomes children aged 10 and up, accompanied by an adult, to attend this program. Those age 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 for this program.  It is understandable that some participants may prefer to have a party of three in their boat, this setup is acceptable.  Please indicate any notes about your party at the time of registration and to the program instructor.  Personal flotation devices (PFD/lifejacket) will be available for participants to borrow.  These must be worn during the program.

If a party wishes to have an attending child sit in the center of the canoe, please inform the program instructor at the start of the program.  Children must be aged 10 and up and be registered for the program.

What if I 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.

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 in the event that 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.

Where does the program meet?

This program meets at RBGs Nature Interpretive Centre within the Arboretum at 16 Old Guelph Rd. Hamilton, ON.  After a greeting, program instructors will travel with the program attendees 500m down a 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.  If you arrive late and the group has departed, make your way down the Anishinaabe Waadiziwin trail hill to the boathouse.

What happens if bad weather / a storm approaches while on the water?

RBG program leads take precautions to monitor weather conditions leading up to program start times and will cancel or postpone this program if weather is or is forecasted to be unfavourable (e.g.: high winds, lightning, heavy rain).  In the event that unfavourable weather conditions appear during the program, program instructors will modify the program or make the decision to cancel or postpone the program.

More Courses & Workshops

RBG offers courses and workshops for families, kids and adults in the areas of gardening, nature, botanical arts and wellness. Visit to see this season’s full offering.