It’s tough to be paddlers living in the city. We’d prefer to be on a flat blue lake, sliding past northern Ontario’s rocky, pine-spotted shores – but most of the time we’re surrounded by the grey monotone of the concrete jungle that is Toronto. It’s more and more common for people to find themselves living in urban centres these days. Yet paddling a canoe or a kayak remains a quintessential part of the Canadian identity. That spirit of exploration was forged in the early days of this country, before it was even called Canada, when voyageurs paddled deep into the forests to trade furs, tools, and luxury items. How do we keep that sense of adventure alive? It might be hard to maintain a passion for paddling while living in the city, but for from impossible. There are rivers running through our metropolises and lakes bordering them. Often, large swaths of wilderness can be driven to within a couple of hours. Keep the paddling spirit alive. Be an Urban Paddler.
“We survive. We learn. We paddle.” –Don Starkell, Paddle to the Amazon
Brian Jackson is a technology journalist who lives in Toronto. When he’s not covering I.T. conferences, reviewing gadgets, or interviewing Canada’s hottest tech startups, he prefers to be paddling. Brian is an experienced canoe tripper and former ORCKA instructor. He’s paddled through many Ontario parks and crown land destinations, including Algonquin Park, Massassauga Park, the Leslie Frost Centre, the Black River, Magnetawan, and more.
Cassandra Jowett is a content marketer who works at a software startup in Toronto. Her love of the great outdoors first started at the base of the Rocky Mountains when her parents took her camping as a baby. It blossomed as an adult when Brian began taking her canoe tripping across the rocky, wind-swept shores of southern Ontario.