Harbourfront Alert

Welcome to our fresh new website. Scroll down for latest news & updates. Opening Day June 13. Close this box and enjoy exploring.

Happy Paddlers on a social paddle
Photo Credit: Michael Connor

Located in Toronto on the edge of Lake Ontario for over 35 years, the Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre has become the most popular paddling centre in Toronto for kayaking, canoeing, big voyageur canoe tours, and stand up paddleboarding. With the scenic Toronto Islands only a short paddle away, we are your source for relaxation and skills development. Many friendships and even some marriages have come about from the social community that is available for anyone to become involved in down here.

Our lakeside office is open daily from Victoria Day weekend to the end of September. We are located on Queens Quay West in Toronto, directly south of Rogers Centre. We are only a short walk from Union Station, CN Tower, Toronto Convention Centre, Westin Harbour Castle as well as Harbourfront Centre.

Hours of Operation: Mon to Fri Noon – Sunset / Sat & Sun 10am – 5:30pm (May long weekend till the end of Sept)

Contact us: ask@paddletoronto.com / 416-203-2277 / 1-800-960-8886 / 283 Queens Quay W Toronto M5V1A2

We offer:

  • Early season in-pool kayak rescue and rolling lessons
  • Early and late season intermediate kayak weekend paddling
  • Kayak, canoe & paddleboard instruction and rentals
  • Weekly kayak social paddles & BBQs
  • Voyageur canoe and tandem kayak tours
  • Team-building programs
  • Lakeside & Island personal boat & paddleboard storage

Our Commitment

Owner Dave Corrigan with daughter Jessica and sons James and Josh
Photo Credit: Michael Connor

The Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre is committed to providing safe, fun, creative and educational activities in canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards (SUP). We strive to provide exceptional customer service; safe experiences and ensure the safety and well being of all.

Our goal is to create a welcoming, friendly atmosphere to anyone who comes our way. Our paddling courses feature instruction from some of the most friendly, experienced and certified instructors that love what they do. We use Paddle Canada’s certification system to offer you the opportunity to develop safe, fun skills that will benefit you for a lifetime.

Dave & Clare Corrigan

Photo Credit: James Corrigan

Owners Dave & Clare are so happy to see the Harbourfront further develop each year with new equipment, more staff to assist you, and most importantly more guests joining the paddling community.

Dave always has time to chat and loves guiding the weekly social paddles on Thurs & Fri nights, but still burns the occasional burger at the BBQ that follows.

Clare works behind the scenes from home taking care of the finances and most importantly raising 3 great kids, who you might see working the docks or office, or even posing in front of the above welcome sign.

Dave & Clare are so thankful for the family of wonderfully welcoming staff that are here now, and for all who have built this community over the years. Remember, these builders are not only present and past staff, but present and past paddlers like you who go out of their way for others, and of course Steve & Diane Magee’s family who started the Centre 40 years ago.

Our Mission Statement is FUN!

  • ‘F’ is for Friendship with staff, guests, and the paddling & corporate communities.
  • ‘U’ is for Understanding by furthering our own local ecosystem knowledge & paddling skills.
  • ‘N’ is for Nature. We want everybody to develop an appreciation for nature and a passion to bring others closer to it.

Getting Involved in a Friendly Community

There is much friendship, health, and happiness to be had down here at the Lake. How do you get involved? The following will help bring more community into your life:

  1. Learn to paddle …we have great courses and you can meet paddling buddies on courses, especially the multi-day value packages. (We especially suggest kayaking so you can enjoy social paddles/bbqs)
  2. Start to come out regularly to evening Social Paddles/BBQs and be sure to stay and visit at the BBQ. Sometimes you may not be able to get out of work/obligations in time to start the paddle, but come down relax in the park, and join in on the BBQ when it starts… the more the merrier.
  3. Find people who paddle your speed and ask them if they would like to meet for a weekend rental paddle
  4. Watch the facebook Harbourfront paddlers community posts, our facebook page, and instagram, for updates on groups going paddling or simply socializing

Our Dedication to the World

Not only are we always endeavouring to clean up the waterfront, waterways and islands of litter, every year through donations from our BBQ nights we support various charities. This amounts to thousands of dollars each year, and through your continued support, we hope to donate even more money to make this world a better place to live. 

Our sponsored children through your donations at the BBQs and water/gatorade sales

Past donations have included:

  • Canoe Heads Amici Kids Camping Charity
  • Toronto Renewable Energy Windshare
  • Kids Help Phone
  • Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
  • Amnesty International
  • Princess Margaret
  • Breast Cancer
  • Community Air Legal Defense Fund
  • Daily Bread Food Bank
  • David Suzuki Foundation:Climate Change Fund
  • Zambian Aids Centre
  • World Vision Ongoing Sponsored Child (BBQ Donations)
Helping to raise money to send kids to camp

Island Wildlife

While paddling within the 13 Toronto Islands it is common to spot the following: Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, Painted Turtles, Trumpeter Swans, Mute Swans, Belted Kingfishers, Red Winged Blackbirds, Beavers, Minks, Muskrats, Great Egrets, Racoons, Black-Crowned Night Herons, and Double-Crested Cormorants. (See more details)

White Swan and kayak
Photo Credit: Michael Connor

The Future

The Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre will continue to buy new equipment, pontoon boats, and add to the vast programming available. We dream of a day that we share a new modern community building in the same location with our present neighbours, accessible to all. We have the dream, and the plans, let us know if you know an organization or person with the resources to make a community dream come true. There is a lot of excitement for the direct future of our neighbourhood in Toronto as well, as many projects have been confirmed. Check out the following links to see what is coming in the years to come:

Rees St & Lakeshore Rd (Just 1 block north of us)

Queens Quay & York St (just 2 blocks east of us)

Mouth of the Don River

Jack Layton Island Ferry terminal

Our Planet Links

As we introduce and teach people how to experience the outdoors and nature through paddling down here at Harbourfront, we also need to foster a sense of respect and understanding for the planet we live on. Yes, we all drive cars and use too much electricity but we can try and do better – and that is all anyone can ask! It is important that we educate ourselves with issues that concern not only our lives but of those that are important to you. We, at Harbourfront, believe that all issues are equally important – however, we do have an inherent concern for Our Planet. Support local and global environmental issues facing our society today. The following are links to websites if you are interested in learning more or getting involved.

“What gives beauty and meaning to life is our capacity to give to others, our ability to experience joy, and our willingness to share it with those around us”

The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard – What is the Story of Stuff? From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life for the future.

Accessibility Links

The Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre is committed to providing excellent and accessible customer service. For feedback related to the accessibility of the service provided to customers with disabilities, please email us at ask@paddletoronto.com. Or if you prefer, you can visit us during our season from Victoria Day Weekend until the end of September. We’re located at 283 Queens Quay W. on the south-west corner of Queen’s Quay and Robertson Crescent, directly south of the Rogers Centre.

Abilities in Motion is a non profit organization and the brainchild of Pauline Halstead.  Based in Toronto, Pauline is passionate about enabling people that have physical or mental constraints to feel free, empowered and enabled. She believes that everyone should have the opportunity to live life to its fullest. Abilities in Motion provides specialized kayak programs for all ages and abilities to people with disabilities, special needs and seniors.

The Queens Quay Disabled Sailing Program (QQDSP) offers learn-to-sail courses, racing, recreational sailing, cruising, access to sailing volunteers, equipment, socials and special events.  They have specialized equipment to increase the accessibility of the program.  From specialized Martin 16 sailboats, to lift systems, and staff and volunteers trained in approved transfer techniques, QQDSP can get you on the water!

Adaptive Skiing Resort Guide provides people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of snow sports at resorts and facilities throughout North America. This resource informs adaptive skiers of all levels how they can access and enjoy programs at many of the major resorts in the US and Canada.

Wheelchair Accessible Travel Guide.   Today, individuals who use a wheelchair can travel by nearly every mode of transportation to virtually everywhere in the world. But whether traveling two hours or two thousand miles away, traveling with a wheelchair still requires a lot of thought and careful planning. Wheelchair users must not only consider how to get from point A to point B, but what they need to do to prepare for the trip, whether they’ll find wheelchair accessible accommodations and attractions at their destination, and even little ways to make traveling with a wheelchair easier. Without proper planning, wheelchair users may find traveling more frustrating than accessible.

Global and National Links

Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of “ordinary” people who work together to achieve extraordinary results. Each day we stand in solidarity with – and help protect – individuals and communities around the world whose human rights are under attack. We appeal for the violations to stop. We mobilize public pressure to prevent human rights abuses from taking place. And we support Amnesty’s campaigns through our financial contributions.

World Vision helps children, their families, and their communities by responding to the root causes of poverty. Changing children’s lives is about more than putting in a well here or a school there. It’s about: building up communities, responding to the root causes of poverty and creating resilience, encouraging parents to send their boys and girls to school, creating rewarding work opportunities for adults so that children aren’t at risk of being sent to do dangerous jobs, finding out what a community needs and how best to respond. To do this, we work in different areas, all contributing together so children and families enjoy the fullness of life with justice, dignity, peace and hope.

The Buckminster Fuller Institute …Scientist, inventor, environmentalist, genius. Inventor of the geodesic dome, R. Buckminster Fuller believed that humanity had reached the point in its technological development where it could easily provide for the needs of all of the inhabitants of “Spaceship Earth.” Fuller worked toward sustainable technology, alternative energy and affordable housing for all. He invented and tested a 30 MPG, 11-person land transport van that could travel at 120 MPH…in 1933! The BFI website has links to examples of sustainable, Fuller-inspired developments and technologies today.

The David Suzuki Foundation has worked since 1990 to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us. Focusing on four program areas – oceans and sustainable fishing, forests and wild lands, climate change and clean energy, and the web of life, the Foundation uses science and education to promote solutions that help conserve nature. Climate change is a very real situation we live with now and we must do what we can to for generations to come. Check out David’s info on climate change.

Sweatshops and child labor are a growing problem, particularly in clothing and textiles. And many popular agricultural products, from coffee to bananas to cut flowers, are grown under terrible conditions. No one wants to buy products made with sweatshop labor, but it is hard to know what to avoid, and where to find green and Fair Trade products. Co-op America provides the information you need to help stop sweatshop labor and promote fair treatment of workers everywhere.

The Ontario Environmental Directory is a comprehensive, searchable directory of hundreds of environmental groups, organizations, agencies and websites across Ontario, Canada.

Local Links

Earthroots is a strong advocate and agitator for wilderness preservation in Ontario, combining aggressive grassroots campaign strategies with excellent research and educational programs. Since 1986, Earthroots has used its grassroots expertise to organize, educate and mobilize the public, conduct successful media events, carry out wilderness research projects and ensure proper forest management planning.

Federation of Ontario Naturalists: Organization founded to protect Ontario’s nature through research, education and conservation action.

The Planet Friendly newsletter website to help keep you up to date on local events concerning environmental issues.

The Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative (TREC) was formed in 1998 by members of the North Toronto Green Community, a neighborhood-based environmental group. Their members wanted to create a vehicle for the development of community-based renewable energy in Toronto.

Wildlands League focuses on protection and preservation of nature through parks and protected places.

The Canadian Canoe Foundation is a registered charity that develops watershed-health education projects that culminate in youth leadership canoe-trips.