With more than sixty-six percent of its terrain covered in forests and over half a million lakes and waterways, Ontario is a paddler's paradise. Its provincial and national parks with their endless lakes, rivers, hills and wonderful landscapes offer endless opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, rafting and so much more.
Even better, many of these amazing waterways are just a short drive from urban centres, making them perfect for lodge getaways and inclusions in a fly drive itinerary. It’s time to do the things you have been dreaming about. It doesn’t matter what you choose—just get out and explore. Here are just some of our favourite outdoor water activities you can enjoy in Ontario:
- Canoeing and kayaking: Ontario boasts numerous lakes and rivers, making it an ideal destination for paddling enthusiasts. Algonquin Provincial Park is a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking, with its picturesque lakes and waterways. You can also explore the beautiful Muskoka region, the Kawartha Lakes, or the Thousand Islands area.
- White-water rafting: If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, consider white-water rafting. In Ontario Highlands, the Ottawa River and the Madawaska River offer thrilling rapids and guided rafting trips for all levels of experience.
- Sailing: Ontario’s Great Lakes, including Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior, provide excellent opportunities for sailing. Many marinas along the coast offer boat rentals and sailing lessons.
- Swimming: Ontario has numerous sandy beaches along its lakes and rivers. The shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, as well as the beaches around the Muskoka region, are popular spots for swimming and sunbathing. Even Canada’s largest city Toronto boasts beaches, from Sugar Beach near downtown to the stunning Scarborough Bluffs slightly further afield.
- Scuba diving: The Great Lakes offer excellent diving opportunities, with submerged shipwrecks and clear waters. Fathom Five National Marine Park, located near Tobermory, is particularly famous for its underwater attractions.
- Stand-up paddle-boarding: You can rent paddleboards at various locations throughout Ontario, including on many lakes and along the Lake Ontario shoreline. The city views are wonderful from a paddle board on Toronto’s waterfront. Paddle-boarding is a relaxing way to explore calm waters and enjoy nature.
- Waterfalls: While not an activity in the water per se, Ontario is home to several beautiful waterfalls that you can visit. Hamilton, known as the ‘City of Waterfalls,’ has many impressive cascades to explore, not to mention the unmissable Niagara Falls.
- Boat tours: Not all water activities have to be high adrenaline. Boat tours are available throughout Ontario, with some of the most popular being at Niagara Falls, Muskoka Lakes and Thousand Islands.
What’s more, we can arrange all of these options as part of your Ontario holiday itinerary! So now all you need to know is how you can experience some of these wonderful locations for youself. Click here to see our fly drive dedicated to Ontario’s lakes and rivers, and for our full range of Ontario itineraries click here.