Paddle at RBG

See the marsh and its inhabitants from a new perspective as your guide leads you from one shore of Cootes Paradise to another.

Canoing ProgramsGroup Tours Self-Guided

grouping of canoes on Cootes Paradise, with program leader speaking about the marsh

Paddling in Paradise

Tuesdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m.; May through August

Come explore Cootes Paradise by canoe to get a glimpse of the astounding life that depends on the health of the marsh for its survival. Register for these guided tours to view wetland plants and wildlife, and hear about some of our restoration efforts that help keep Cootes a Paradise. Pre-Registration Required.

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We supply the canoes, paddles and lifejackets. 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 NOTE: Arrive at the Nature Centre 15 minutes early and prepare to paddle rain or shine. In the event of high winds or threatening weather please call the Weather Update Line at ext. 404.

couple in canoe on Cootes Paradise

FIT Experience

Scenic Canoe Tour

There is nothing more Canadian than paddling a canoe on the Great Lakes! On this three-hour tour, visitors explore Lake Ontario's Cootes Paradise marshland by canoe and learn about RBG's conservation efforts, wetland plants and wildlife. Tours depart from the Nature Interpretive Centre, Arboretum.

Request Tour

The UNESCO Biosphere Discovery Tour is a two-and-half hour journey on gentle trails through the forest and along the shoreline of Lake Ontario’s Cootes Paradise Marshlands. Guides explain the area’s unique natural history and there is opportunity to view wildlife and migratory birds that inhabit the Reserve. Minimum group size of 4 to maximum of 20 per guide.

Fee: $65 per person

Contact Group Tours to arrange your UNESCO Biosphere Discovery Tour!

Kayaking along Grindstone Creek

Canoe Launches

Self-Guided Paddling

For those with their own watercraft, RBG is home to two canoe launches: Princess Point along Cootes Paradise, and Valley Inn at Grindstone Cree. Seasonally, docks are also available to help land and portage around the Fishway.

Area Maps

Please remember that paddling is prohibited in posted areas during the nesting season (May and June) to protect vulnerable wildlife.

Motorized boats are prohibited at all times, excluding for Gardens’ research purposes.

Please don’t land your boats on the islands of Cootes Paradise, as these are for birds and/or fragile plant species.


map of Cootes Paradise trails

On the Trails

RBG's nature sanctuaries feature more than 27 km of nature trails. There are four main trailheads, as well as two canoe launch sites. Find maps and more! Learn More


walking along a boardwalk through the forest


Find your route to stay active, and set aside some time to appreciate nature while walking RBG's trails. Learn More


yoga class in Royal Court

Courses and Programs

RBG Experiences for gardeners, nature lovers, artists, health and wellness enthusiasts, families and more, all year long. Learn More