Ontario Sea Kayak Centre

Paddling In The Canadian Wilderness North of Toronto

It doesn’t get any more Canadian than paddling yourself across our sparkling blue waters.

If you’ve ever seen some photos or footage of Canadians paddling on a serene lake with mist rising in the morning and a loon calling out in the background, chances are it was filmed in the wilderness north of Toronto. That’s because this neck of the Ontario woods is recognized for some of the best paddling in the nation, from Algonquin Park in the east to Georgian Bay in the west.

It doesn’t matter what your skill level is – paddling can be as easy or as challenging as you want to make it. And whether you are meandering at a leisurely pace or speeding along, you will be gob-smacked by the natural landscape around you.  (And a visit to iconic Algonquin Provincial Park – one of Canada’s most popular parks – would not be complete without sitting in a canoe!)


If you don’t have your own canoe, kayak or stand up paddle board, there are plenty of outfitters across the region who have rentals available. Many also offer guided paddling excursions or lessons. Most accommodations providers have paddling equipment at their establishments as well – just ask when you book your stay.

For more adventurous paddlers – with more skills and no fear of a portage or two – consider a trip onto Georgian Bay or into one of a dozen national and provincial parks. Outfitters have maps and insight to get your planning started. And consider some trips off the beaten waters, like the Pickerel River in Loring-Restoule, offering 42 kms of navigable waters over to the French River gorge and Georgian Bay. Ask a local for route recommendations and you’ll discover some little known gems, like the Magnetawan River in the Almaguin Highlands.

Guided Paddling & Instruction

Algonquin Adventure Tours Algonquin Park
Algonquin Outfitters Algonquin Park
Black Feather Wilderness Adventure Company Seguin
Canadian Adventure Expeditions Algonquin Park, Georgian Bay & Lake of Bays
Driftwood Paddle Algonquin Park
Find Your Wild Huntsville
Georgian Bay Tours Carling
Georgian Nordic Paddling Parry Sound
Hatchets Rowing Centre Port Carling
Liv Outside Bracebridge
Muskoka Paddle Club Bracebridge
Northern Edge Algonquin Algonquin Park
Northern Wilderness Outfitters South River
The Portage Outpost Dwight
Voyageur Quest Algonquin Park


Algonquin Basecamp Kearney
Algonquin Bound Outfitters Barron Canyon & Madawaska
Algonquin Outfitters Bracebridge, Brent, Canoe Lake, Huntsville, Opeongo, Oxtongue & Port Carling
Canoe Algonquin Kearney
The Detour Store Nobel
Eagle Lake Narrows Country Store South River
Grundy Lake Supply Post Britt
Killbear Park Mall Nobel
Liv Outside Bracebridge
Manitouwabing Outpost McKellar
Opeongo Outfitters Whitney
The Portage Outpost Dwight
Swift Outdoor Centre Georgian Bay & South River
White Squall Nobel

Paddling Events

Paddling Film Festival & Social March 23
Celebrate National Canoe Day in Algonquin Park June 26
Muskoka River X September 13-15
Paddlepalooza and Greenland Camp September 13-15
Wilderness Traverse September 28-29

Here’s famed Canadian paddler Kevin Callan learning about stand up paddle (SUP) boarding – the latest paddling craze in the wilderness north of Toronto.

To plan your paddling adventure in the wilderness north of Toronto, click here.