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Paddle the Don - Volunteers Needed

Join us to paddle one of Toronto's most important watersheds - the Don River - and help support the Toronto Region & Conservation Authority's "Paddle the Don" event as official "weir watchers."

The WCA supports Paddle the Don as it gives us an opportunity to promote the WCA, be seen as a significant paddling organization, and help the TRCA raise money for the Don River restoration. It's also a lot of fun, and there is no cost to the WCA or WCA volunteers (cost for the public is $100/canoe). Volunteers also receive a free lunch at the take-out and a souvenir gift. Additional details on the event are at: http://paddlethedon.ca/

The Basics
Event Location: 
Don River - Eglinton to Lake Ontario
Date(s) & Time: 
Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 07:00
Registration Cut Off: 
04/20/2017
Event Duration: 
6 - 8 hours
Difficulty Rating: 
Beginner
Itinerary
Itinerary description: 

More details will be provided to volunteers.

How to Get There
Event Directions: 

Launch is at Ernest Thompson Seton Park (Leslie St & Eglinton Ave). Take-out is at the Keating Channel at Lake Ontario (170 Villiers Street). Transportation will be provided between the launch and the take-out. Shuttles will run in a loop between these two locations all day

Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Geri James
Phone: 
000-000-0000

Winter Pool Sessions

For all you new and experienced whitewater paddlers, we have rented Albert Campbell CI swimming pool in Scarborough again for winter pool training sessions. This is a great opportunity to practice your paddling technique and your roll, or just plain work-out so you're in shape when you hit the spring rivers. OC-1, C-1, or kayaks welcome. I have a few spare boats (open canoe, C-1, and kayak) for newbies or paddlers just wanting to try something different from their usual boat. They're available on a first come; first served basis. If you are having problems with your roll, we can help you. We have 10 rentals of 1.5 hours from Sunday January 5 to Sunday March 9.Time: 5:30-7:00 p.m. For just $110 for your share of the rental cost, you can have a whole winter of learning and paddling fun. Please contact me to register as soon as possible as space is limited.

Cheques should be payable to me as I'm paying the rental fee; not the club.

Sorry, but you can't register on-line. You have to contact me personally if you want to join in so I can manage the organization effectively. Thanks.

The Basics
Event Location: 
Albert Campbell Collegiate swimming pool
Date(s) & Time: 
Sunday, January 5, 2014 - 17:30
Registration Cut Off: 
Book as soon as possible as spaces are limited.
Event Duration: 
Ten sessions of 1.5 hours each.
Difficulty Rating: 
Beginner
Itinerary
Recommended Items to Bring: 

If you want to practice your roll, we recommend you bring your PFD, nose plugs, and goggles or swim mask. A light synthetic top like a rash guard can be good as the water is occasionally a little chilly. You can change in the change rooms, but there is not guard watching your things, so bring them out to the pool deck where they are safe.

How to Get There
Event Directions: 

Pool is just northwest of Finch & McCowan in Scarborough. Get off HWY 401 at McCowan (At Scarborough Town Centre). Drive north up McCowan to Finch, and turn left onto Finch. You'll see Woodside Square Mall with Macdonald's on the northwest corner. Go west one block, and turn right at the lights onto Sandhurst Circle. Go north about 100 metres, and you will see the school on your left. Keep going. The pool is at the north end of the building, where the parking lot is. Park here and carry your boat through the pool doors- super convenient access. Our rental starts at 5 pm, but normally the staff will let us in around ten minutes early, so you can get changed and ready to hop in your boat right at 5:30.

Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Bill Ness
Phone: 
416-321-3005
Email: 

Point Pelee Bird Migration

Leisurely bird watching at world famous Point Pelee National Park, during the Festival of Birds. Over 100 species of birds migrate through this area each spring. Early morning or twilight outings to the tip promise a symphony of bird calls. Short hiking loops provide oportunity for bird spotting, as does the marsh boardwalk & observation tower. Canoeing on the marsh provides more of Pelee's bird watching experiences. A bike trail along the east shore, and sandy beaches are easily accessed.
We will be sharing a rented cottage that sleeps 7, on the Lake Erie shore near Point Pelee Park gates. The days are at your leisure, and self guided. Guided bird hikes with the Friends of Point Pelee need to be booked early.

The Basics
Event Location: 
Point Pelee National Park, near Leamington
Date(s) & Time: 
Sunday, May 12, 2013 (All day)
Registration Cut Off: 
Book as soon as possible.
Event Duration: 
3 days
Difficulty Rating: 
Beginner
Participant Info
Maximum Group Size: 
Rented cottage sleeps 7.
How to Get There
Event Directions: 

Exit HWY 401 at exit # 48, and follow HWY 77 south into Leamington. Continue south on County Road 33 into the park.

Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Janet Kuzniar
Phone: 
(905) 840-6015

Paddle the Don River – May 6, 2012

Paddle the Don River – May 6, 2012 Join us for the annual Manulife Paddle the Don River day on Sunday May 6, 2012. This 2-3 hour paddle starts at Ernest Thompson Seton Park (enter via Wilket Creek Park on the west side of Leslie Street, north of Eglinton Ave East) and winds its way south for about 10 km to the Keating Channel at Lake Ontario. Members of the WCA will be helping out as volunteer weir watchers along the way. The river is flooded for this event so there will be moving water, swifts and rapids. There are three weirs; the first two must be portaged and the third may be run. Bring your white water canoe, paddling gear for cold water, and a camera. The river offers a unique view of the city landscape, city wilderness and maybe wildlife. The takeout is located at 170 Villiers Street at the northwest corner of Villiers Street and the Don Roadway. Here you will find free entertainment and food and drink for purchase (or you can bring your own lunch). A free shuttle bus will take you back to the start where you can pick up your car and drive back to the takeout to pick-up your canoe. This event is free, but you must register in advance. It fills up quickly, so register early. You can also help raise money to support regeneration projects within the Don watershed by completing a pledge form from the website. Go to http://www.paddlethedon.ca/ for more information and to sign up for 2012 event notifications.

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The Basics
Event Location: 
Don River - Toronto
Date(s) & Time: 
Sunday, May 6, 2012 - 08:00
Registration Cut Off: 
http://www.paddlethedon.ca/ for more information and to sign up
Event Duration: 
one day
Difficulty Rating: 
Novice
Participant Info
Who's Invited: 
All WCA members WHO REGISTER ON THE ABOVE SITE FIRST
Maximum Group Size: 
600 people and 300 canoes
Minimum Group Size: 
1
Itinerary
Itinerary description: 

Go to http://www.paddlethedon.ca/ for more information and to sign up for 2012 event notifications.

Required Items to Bring: 

Event is held rain or shine. Cold water gear, spare clothing. Fully equipped canoe. Its the Don river so bring waterproof gloves and shoes / boots and hand sanitizer. Lunch, drinking water, sunscreen, camera, life jacket, whistle, hat, etc etc. Money for the party at the end and stuff sold.

Recommended Items to Bring: 

smile

How to Get There
Event Directions: 

starts at Ernest Thompson Seton Park (enter via Wilket Creek Park on the west side of Leslie Street, north of Eglinton Ave East) and winds its way south for about 10 km to the Keating Channel at Lake Ontario.
The takeout is located at 170 Villiers Street at the northwest corner of Villiers Street and the Don Roadway. A free shuttle bus will take you back to the start where you can pick up your car and drive back to the takeout to pick-up your canoe.
See the website for details.

Carpool Info: 

n/a

Other
Cancellation Policy: 
For the last several years this event registration has filled up very quickly on the first day. If you do not go, others are missing out.
Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Gary James at gary.james@sympatico.ca and 416-512-6690.
Phone: 
416-512-6690.

BIRDING AT POINT PELEE

Observe the spring migration. No paddling required.

The Basics
Event Location: 
Point Pelee National Park. We will camp at Wheatley Provincial Park.
Date(s) & Time: 
Friday, May 11, 2012 (All day)
Registration Cut Off: 
1 March 2012
Event Duration: 
Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday
Difficulty Rating: 
Beginner
Itinerary
Itinerary description: 

Meet the group Friday evening at Wheatley Provincial Park for a potluck dinner. Rise with the birds on Saturday and spend the day at Pelee National Park (PNP) wandering the trails looking for warblers and other avian treasures. Check Hillman Marsh for shorebirds in the evening. On Sunday, bird the campground, head back to PNP, or move on to Rondeau Provincial Park. There’s lots of opportunity to “do your own thing”. It’s a relaxed and sociable weekend. Wildflowers will be in bloom.

Required Items to Bring: 

Bring your own binoculars. Bring your own camping gear. Bring a contribution to a group meal on Friday evening, and your own breakfast and lunch for Saturday and Sunday. We will eat out on Saturday evening.

Recommended Items to Bring: 

Bird book. Scope and tripod. Patience, keen eyes and ears, rubber neck. Museum legs, or a small portable stool.

Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Anne Bradley
Phone: 
519-855-4835

Winter Pool Paddling Training

For all you new and experienced whitewater paddlers have rented Albert Campbell CI swimming pool in Scarborough again for winter pool training sessions. This is a great opportunity to practice your paddling technique and your roll, or just plain work-out so you're in shape when you hit the spring rivers. OC-1, C-1, or kayaks welcome. I have a few spare boats (open canoe, C-1, and kayak) for newbies or paddlers just wanting to try something different from their usual boat. They're available on a first come; first served basis. If you are having problems with your roll, we can help you. We have 10 rentals of 1.5 hours from Sunday January 8 to Sunday March 11. For just $110 for your share of the rental cost, you can have a whole winter of learning and paddling fun. Please contact me to register as soon as possible as space is limited.
Cheques should be payable to me as I'm paying the rental fee; not the club. And sorry, but you can't register on-line. You have to contact me personally if you want to join in so I can do the organization effectively. Thanks.

The Basics
Event Location: 
Albert Campbell Collegiate swimming pool
Date(s) & Time: 
Sunday, January 8, 2012 (All day)
Event Duration: 
Ten Sunday pool sessions going to March 11.
Difficulty Rating: 
Beginner
Itinerary
Recommended Items to Bring: 

If you want to practice your roll, we recommend you bring your PFD, nose plugs, and goggles or swim mask. A light synthetic top like a rash guard can be good as the water is occasionally a little chilly. You can change in the change rooms, but there is not guard watching your things, so bring them out to the pool deck where they are safe.

How to Get There
Event Directions: 

Pool is just northwest of Finch & McCowan in Scarborough. Get off HWY 401 at McCowan (At Scarborough Town Centre). Drive north up McCowan to Finch, and turn left onto Finch. You'll see Woodside Square Mall with Macdonald's on the northwest corner. Go west one block, and turn right at the lights onto Sandhurst Circle. Go north about 100 metres, and you will see the school on your left. Keep going. The pool is at the north end of the building, where the parking lot is. Park here and carry your boat through the pool doors- super convenient access. Our rental starts at 5 pm, but normally the staff will let us in around 4:50, so you can get changed and ready to hop in your boat right at 5:00.

Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Bill Ness
Phone: 
416-321-3005
Email: 

Palmer Rapids-Canada Day Weekend Meeting of the Tribe

Palmer Rapids on the Madawaska River, northeast of Bancroft, will be the venue for this long weekend get-together. The campground is right on the river between two sets of rapids. I will reserve a group campsite, but if you’re independently minded , you can also take your choice from individual sites among mature trees to open grassy meadow. For those of you who have never been there, you will find that the location provides one of the most mellow summer outdoor summer weekend experiences imaginable. There are all sorts of activities available nearby. For many campers, the big attraction will be the user-friendly Grade 1-2 rapids adjacent to the site, which provide probably the best moving water learning spot in Southern Ontario. While this is not a whitewater clinic, I’m happy to provide a little informal coaching to get you going in moving water, or even help you learn to role. For the more adventuresome, a group may want to get together for a day trip on the more challenging Snake Rapids section downstream. If whitewater isn’t your thing, there are lots of lakes and relaxing rivers nearby to enjoy and explore. This is a great family location- bring the kids. There’s a small, clean sand beach where they can build sand castles and swim. As there are no cottages or other development on this section of river, there isn’t a lot of fishing pressure, and I’ve seen jumbo pickerel pulled in from the shore. So bring your rod and catch dinner. If you want to take a break, visit some of the studios & boutiques in the area. Barry’s Bay has some interesting shops for a small town. If camp dinners aren’t to your liking, we can recommend the Wilno Tavern, which serves hearty Polish cuisine. The Polish buffet on Saturday and Sunday night gets a big two-thumbs-up. (http://www.wilnotavern.com/food.html). Come back stuffed and sit on the rocks to enjoy the sunset or go for an evening paddle. The open meadow in the centre of the campground is also an excellent spot for star-gazers to set up.

If you are free on the Canada Day weekend, please come join us for a great weekend of fun and relaxation.

If you are new to the WCA, we’d like to extend to you a special invitation. Come on out to get to know your fellow members better, and start participating in our community of paddlers.

Please go to the Outings section of the WCA newsletter for details on driving directions, camping facilities and rates, and boat rentals.

I’ll reserve the campsite starting Thursday for those who want to get a jump on things. I’ll be there Thursday afternoon.

See you there!

Bill Ness

An Appeal for Help:
If you are joining us, are you able to help out by giving some introductory moving water coaching, by organizing a group to go down the Snake Rapids section or to do a lake trip, or even by taking some hungry paddlers down to the Wilno Tavern? Anything you can do to make this weekend more fun and enjoyable for the group would be really appreciated by me and your fellow WCAers. Please contact me and let me know what you can contribute to make this event a success Thanks a lot. -Bill

The Basics
Event Location: 
Palmer Rapids, Madawaska River
Date(s) & Time: 
Thursday, June 30, 2011 (All day)
Registration Cut Off: 
June 26- which is appropriately National Canoe Day
Event Duration: 
4 days
Difficulty Rating: 
Beginner
Participant Info
Who's Invited: 
Everyone in the WCA.
Itinerary
Itinerary description: 

I'll arrive Thursday afternoon and base camp. A group campsite will be reserved. Camping costs $20 per tent for maximum of 2 people per night.

Required Items to Bring: 

Regular car camping gear. This is a "natural" campsite. There are some picnic tables, a pump for water, and outhouses (bring your own TP). That's it.
If you want to play in the rapids, you need a Royalex canoe with air bags. If you are new to this and need a helmet, a bike or hockey helmet will do.

Recommended Items to Bring: 

Tarp, bug tent. Lots of sun screen.
Some food and supplies are available in the village of Palmer Rapid, and there's a diner if you hate to cook.

How to Get There
Event Directions: 

HWY 401 to 35/115. North to Peterborough. Head north out of Peterborough on HWY 28, and follow it to Bancroft. Continue north, and then east, on HWY 62 out of Bancroft until you reach the village of Combermere. Then you will go over the Madawaska River bridge. Turn right onto HWY 515 and follow it southeast. You will cross the river again. Slow down on bridge, and make an immediate right onto River Bend Road. Follow the road and the river for about a km or two, until the road makes a shart turn to the left. You go straight ahead onto a dirt track. You'll see a crude wooden sign with a canoe & teepee in orange paint at the entrance. Follow the track until it opens out into a field, which is the campground. Look for my silver Honda Pilot with the roof racks. There should also be a sign for the WCA area. The time from Toronto is about 4 hours.
It is also possible to come up from HWY 41 in the south. Drive north on 515 out of the village of Palmer Rapids till just before the bridge, and then turn left. Follow the instructions above from there. If you've never been here before, I suggest the northern route because I think it's easier to follow.

Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Bill Ness
Phone: 
416-321-3005
Email: 

2011 MEC Paddlefest June 11 -12

Once again the WCA will be represented at Mountain Equipment Co-op annual Paddlefest.

For details on MEC Paddlefest, visit blog.mec.ca/events/mec-paddlefest/mec-paddlefest-toronto/.

 

As usual, we are looking for WCA members to help out during the two days of Paddlefest. We need volunteers to occupy a presentation booth in order to inform the general public about the WCA. We will have brochures and application forms to hand out. It would be especially helpful if we have volunteers Sunday all morning and in the afternoon until about 3:00 p.m. The more volunteers we have, the more you can each explore other displays and events at Paddlefest.

If you can help at any time during that weekend, contact Jeff at jhaymer@primus.ca.

The Basics
Event Location: 
Sunnyside Beach
Date(s) & Time: 
Saturday, June 11, 2011 (All day)
Event Duration: 
2 days
Difficulty Rating: 
Beginner
Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Jeff Haymer
Phone: 
416 635 5801

Birding at Point Pelee

Join the spring migration ritual. We will camp at Wheatley Provincial Park. Rise with the birds on Saturday and spend the day at Pelee National Park (PNP) wandering the trails looking for warblers and other treasures. Check Hillman Marsh for shorebirds in the evening. On Sunday, bird the campground, head back to PNP, or move on to Rondeau Provincial Park. There’s lots of opportunity to “do your own thing”. It’s a relaxed and sociable weekend. Greet spring early. Bring your own binoculars. No limit on numbers. Register by March 1. Contact: Anne Bradley at 519-855-4835, annebradley@sympatico.ca.

The Basics
Event Location: 
Pelee National Park, and Rondeau Provincial Park
Date(s) & Time: 
Friday, May 6, 2011 (All day)
Event Duration: 
3 days
Difficulty Rating: 
Beginner
Participant Info
Maximum Group Size: 
None.
Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Anne Bradley
Phone: 
519-855-4835

Winter Pool Sessions- Scarborough

We have booked a rental at our usual Scarborough pool of Albert Campbell Collegiate (Finch at McCowan) for Sundays from 5:00 to 6:30 pm, with 10 sessions from January 9 through to March 13. A whole winter of paddling pleasure will cost you only $100. Whether you’re an experienced boater looking to refine your technique or a new whitewater paddler looking for help with your roll, this is a great opportunity. Open canoes, C-1’s & kayaks welcome. Call me as soon as possible to book a spot as space is limited. I do have a few extra boats (kayaks, C-1, & a canoe) that people can borrow from me on a first-come, first served basis.
NOTE ON-LINE BOOKINGS SHOW AS CLOSED AS NO ON-LINE BOOKINGS CAN BE ACKNOWLEDGED OR ACCEPTED. CONTACT ORGANIZER DIRECTLY TO REGISTER.

The Basics
Event Location: 
Scarborough
Date(s) & Time: 
Sunday, January 9, 2011 - 17:00
Event Duration: 
January to March
Difficulty Rating: 
Novice
How to Get There
Event Directions: 

HWY 401 exit at McCowan Road. North to Finch. Left on Finch one block/lights. Right onto Sandhurst Circle. Collegiate is on left. Parking at north end of building. Enter with boats through pool doors that open onto parking lot.

Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Bill Ness
Phone: 
416-321-3005
Email: 
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